10 June 2019
With the release of Android Pie last year, Google introduced different changes to the way Android works and one of them was WiFi scanning throttling. It put a limit on the number of times an app can use WiFi scanning within a specified amount of time. This is something which many developers did not appreciate for obvious reason and started complaining to Google. And now, even though Google is committed to not making any changes to throttling, it has announced that it will offer a toggle to enable/disable the same.
Google made the announcement via a post on an Issue Tracker thread. It said that the toggle will be introduced with the release of Android Q beta 5 and it will be a part of developer options. It means it will not be an option that is visible straight up in Settings. It will be accessible only if the user has enabled developer settings for his phone.
Prior to this announcement, Google placed a limit of WiFi scanning of only four times within 2 minutes for apps running in the foreground. For background apps, it is limited to only one second per half an hour. The motive behind these limits is to improve network performance and battery life of Android devices.
While the intention behind the change is right, it is resulting in difficulties for apps that rely on consistent WiFi scanning. These include apps like indoor navigations and WiFi strength tester. With currently imposed limits, those apps have essentially turned into becoming useless. But with a toggle, it should provide some relief as regular users of those apps will be able to disable throttling and continue using them to their maximum potential.