updated 01:28 pm EST, Thu February 20, 2014
Android, iOS app said to automatically connect users to private, public hotspots
Google is working on creating an app that can automatically authenticate with free Wi-Fi hotspots, according to a report. The app, for iOS as well as Android, is said to be on trial at the Mountain View headquarters of the search company, with a possibility of the app working with the hotspots in 7,000 US Starbucks stores when Google replaces the existing AT&T connections.
Sources of Engadget claim the app will connect automatically, without requiring users to press buttons or agree to various disclaimers each time they sign into a hotspot. It is also suggested that the app could extend further to Boingo hotspot locations where Google pays for the access, and could use the existing Google account credentials to identify users rather than setting up a separate authentication system.
Google has been exploring offering Wi-Fi to users for some time now. In 2006, the company launched Google Wi-Fi with over 500 hotspots located at streetlights in Mountain View. Google is apparently working on improving the existing Google Wi-Fi service to cope with high smartphone and tablet usage, and installing it in more areas of the US and Canada. The company also donated $600,000 in order to provide 31 public parks in San Francisco with free Wi-Fi Internet for at least two years.