How do you easily tell which network (Wi-Fi versus Cellular) is being used?

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Robin Goodfellow

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Oct 6, 2021, 1:51:19 PM10/6/21
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How do you easily tell which network (Wi-Fi versus Cellular) is being used
(when both are turned on and when both have decent signal strength values)?

I just noticed when I ran this speedtest that I was also able to use Wi-Fi.
<https://i.postimg.cc/W3GgYJtZ/speedtest16.jpg>

Notice it's easy to tell which is LTE and which is 5G; but what about Wi-Fi?

From the speed alone, I can tell it couldn't possibly be my Wi-Fi (which I
get from an access point miles away - which is never that fast), but this
does bring up a question I'd like to ask purposefully helpful people about.

How do you easily tell which network (Wi-Fi versus Cellular) is being used?

Jeff Liebermann

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Oct 6, 2021, 6:51:06 PM10/6/21
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On Wed, 6 Oct 2021 17:51:26 +0000, Robin Goodfellow
<Ancient...@Heaven.Net> wrote:

>How do you easily tell which network (Wi-Fi versus Cellular) is being used?

What make and model of phone are you using?

There are Android traffic manager apps that separately indicate
cellular and wi-fi data rates and bandwidth used. For example:
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roysolberg.android.datacounter>
I haven't tried this one, so I don't know if there are any surprises.
There also might be other apps that do this, but I couldn't find any
with a fast search.


--
Jeff Liebermann je...@cruzio.com
PO Box 272 http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Ben Lomond CA 95005-0272
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

sms

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Oct 6, 2021, 8:52:18 PM10/6/21
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On all of my phones, Android and iPhone, the LTE indicator goes off when
the phone is on Wi-Fi.

nospam

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Oct 6, 2021, 9:13:06 PM10/6/21
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In article <sjlgc1$3f8$2...@dont-email.me>, sms
<scharf...@geemail.com> wrote:

> >
> > How do you easily tell which network (Wi-Fi versus Cellular) is being used?
>
> On all of my phones, Android and iPhone, the LTE indicator goes off when
> the phone is on Wi-Fi.

it might not say 'lte' or '5g' due to space limitations, but it still
has an active cellular connection which can be used when there is
available wifi, including at the same time.

Robin Goodfellow

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Oct 6, 2021, 10:02:43 PM10/6/21
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Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com> asked
>>How do you easily tell which network (Wi-Fi versus Cellular) is being used?
>
> What make and model of phone are you using?

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G <https://i.postimg.cc/L8vjbvXD/data01.jpg>

> There are Android traffic manager apps that separately indicate
> cellular and wi-fi data rates and bandwidth used. For example:
> <https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roysolberg.android.datacounter>

I installed that Data Usage Manager & Traffic Monitor app.
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roysolberg.android.datacounter>

It asked me to give "Data Counter Widget" permission for usage settings.
Then it told me to create a "Data Counter Widget."

It then asked when my cellular billing cycle starts.
Then it allowed me to "add widget" to my homescreen.

> I haven't tried this one, so I don't know if there are any surprises.
> There also might be other apps that do this, but I couldn't find any
> with a fast search.

The widget is kind of nice, but not necessarily what I asked for.
The "Data counter widget" shows daily, monthly, weekly data usage.
It shows usage per app or for the entire device.

Somehow it had data all the way back to June.

It breaks mobile and Wi-Fi into two categories (which is useful).
It can update the widget as frequently as 1 minute or as slow as 1 hour.
It has a real-time "Internet speed" meter (a graph) & Speedtest.

It has the option to split roaming (which I always have turned on).
And it has the option to split upload/download size reporting.

It's all a bit confusing at the moment, but it looks like a nice app.
What it does, for sure, is tell you how much wifi/cellular data you use.
Over time.

What I'm not sure it does is "instantaneous" reporting of whether, at this
very instant, whether I'm using Wi-Fi or Cellular data though, which is what
I wanted. <https://i.postimg.cc/L8vjbvXD/data01.jpg>


Robin Goodfellow

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Oct 6, 2021, 10:19:25 PM10/6/21
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nospam <nos...@nospam.invalid> asked
>>> How do you easily tell which network (Wi-Fi versus Cellular) is being used?
>>
>> On all of my phones, Android and iPhone, the LTE indicator goes off when
>> the phone is on Wi-Fi.
>
> it might not say 'lte' or '5g' due to space limitations, but it still
> has an active cellular connection which can be used when there is
> available wifi, including at the same time.

Here is a screenshot I made for this post, just moments ago.
<https://i.postimg.cc/pTQNYPQX/data02.jpg>
In the status bar are icons for 4G (inside), 5G (outside) & Wi-Fi (both).

When all three are available (LTE, 5G, and WiFi) mine shows 3 icons at top.
When it's using LTE or 5G it shows which it likes - but it also shows Wi-Fi.

How can I tell, instantaneously, when the radio is using the cellular
(either 4G or 5G) versus when it's instantaneously using the Wi-Fi instead?

Robin Goodfellow

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Oct 6, 2021, 11:13:39 PM10/6/21
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sms <scharf...@geemail.com> asked
> It's always amusing when at a carrier's store
> they check your home address for coverage then proclaim that their
> network will work, or not work, for your needs.

I would tend to agree with you that the coverage at your home might not
matter _inside_ the house when you set up the phone for free Wi-Fi calling.

For example, this screenshot taken just now shows a graph of what appears to
be excellent cellular signal strength over time of -90 to -60dBm (RSRP).
<https://i.postimg.cc/vH0xdT7W/data03.jpg>

If you don't know it, that's damn good signal strength for cellular signal.
But the unique cell id tells me it's actually using the in-home cell tower.

When I unplug the internal cell towers inside my house, the cellular signal
strength immediately drops to a (still respectable) -100 to -90 dBm (RSRP).
<https://i.postimg.cc/xCbVQ2pj/signal02.jpg>

All that matters is how close you are to your router when you use the phone
for calling - but - I don't know (nospam might know better than I do?) if
Wi-Fi calling has anything to do with cellular data. I suspect not.

Therefore, if there's no nearby tower, then I think you'd _still_ need a
cellular tower inside your home in order to get cellular data you pay for.

That free cellular tower would most likely be connected to your router, but
if you have "some" cellular signal, a free cellular repeater would work as
well I would think. <https://i.postimg.cc/L8vjbvXD/data01.jpg>

I have all three, but I also have signal outside my house as shown by this
screenshot I took a few minutes ago showing 4G inside & 5G on my balcony.
<https://i.postimg.cc/pTQNYPQX/data02.jpg>

If my eyes were better, I'd be able to discern the two little up/down arrows
indicating when the cellular appears to be working - but those icons are
just too small to see until they're blown up on my large computer monitor.

nospam

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Oct 6, 2021, 11:14:09 PM10/6/21
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In article <sjllfb$1mnu$1...@gioia.aioe.org>, Robin Goodfellow
<Ancient...@Heaven.Net> wrote:

> How can I tell, instantaneously, when the radio is using the cellular
> (either 4G or 5G) versus when it's instantaneously using the Wi-Fi instead?

you don't, because different apps can use either or both.

Jeff Liebermann

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Oct 6, 2021, 11:50:45 PM10/6/21
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On Thu, 7 Oct 2021 02:02:51 +0000, Robin Goodfellow
<Ancient...@Heaven.Net> wrote:

>Samsung Galaxy A32 5G <https://i.postimg.cc/L8vjbvXD/data01.jpg>

Thanks.

>I installed that Data Usage Manager & Traffic Monitor app.
><https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roysolberg.android.datacounter>
>
>It asked me to give "Data Counter Widget" permission for usage settings.
>Then it told me to create a "Data Counter Widget."
>
>It then asked when my cellular billing cycle starts.
>Then it allowed me to "add widget" to my homescreen.
>
>> I haven't tried this one, so I don't know if there are any surprises.
>> There also might be other apps that do this, but I couldn't find any
>> with a fast search.
>
>The widget is kind of nice, but not necessarily what I asked for.
>The "Data counter widget" shows daily, monthly, weekly data usage.
>It shows usage per app or for the entire device.
>
>Somehow it had data all the way back to June.

Android keeps a record of traffic summaries dating back to when the
phone was activated. I don't recall right now how to dig out that
info, but I can find out if you want.

I just tried the install. If it destroys my phone, it's your fault.
You goofed during the install. The 2nd page, after allowing the app
to have access to your data, it asks you to add it as a widget. You
don't need to do that. It says:
Tip: Swipe to the left to see more device usage statistics.
You don't need to add the widget to have this app count your data.
I didn't add the widget and it does a nice job of showing monthly,
weekly, daily, yearly, and total usage, nicely broken down between
mobile and wi-fi. For total, I'm showing 1.12GB mobile and 16.55GB
total. Nice.

However, when I dive into the Settings, I find under "The secret
settings":
"Show app icon for pro version (paid version only)." I think this
means we're stuck with using the widget unless we pay for the app.
However, that's not what it's doing. Even though I didn't create a
widget, it still put an icon "Data counter widget" on my desktop.
However, when I click the icon, it takes me to its "Add widget" page,
which is easily bypassed. I did a "forced stop" from
"Settings -> Apps -> Data Counter Widget"
and it again sent me to the "Add widget" page. It seems that the
author really wants users to create a widget. I wonder why?

As usual, I had to disarm all the notifications (except for the
notification dot). However, I wanted to see what "Widget in status
bar" did. So far nothing has appeared on the status bar. Weird.

So, I gave up and created a widget as instructed. Oddly, on the "Add
Widget" page, it now shows:
Data Plan
Billing cycle
Monthly, the 1st. Current cycle started October 1
What data plan? The one with my cellular provider, or something that
the authors contrived to bill me? I looked through the reviews again,
and there's no indication of any kind of scam, so it must be my
PagePlus Cellular data plan, which does NOT start Oct 1. I couldn't
find any place to change the billing cycle. Oh wait, I found it. In
the middle of the first page, there's a "configure widget" button.
That brings up some settings with includes the billing cycle and some
look and feel stuff. It should be under "Settings". Since you found
the "Enable roaming split" setting, you probably already know about
the "Configure Widget" menu.

Argh. On every page, it displays a yellow box offering helpful
suggestions. With six pages to display, the yellow box appears on all
of them. The only way to get rid of the yellow box is to hit "X" on
each page.

This thing is definitely untested beta quality, but seems to have
great promise.

>It breaks mobile and Wi-Fi into two categories (which is useful).
>It can update the widget as frequently as 1 minute or as slow as 1 hour.
>It has a real-time "Internet speed" meter (a graph) & Speedtest.
>
>It has the option to split roaming (which I always have turned on).
>And it has the option to split upload/download size reporting.
>
>It's all a bit confusing at the moment, but it looks like a nice app.
>What it does, for sure, is tell you how much wifi/cellular data you use.
>Over time.

I went looking for another app that does something similar. I can't
find anything yet. Also, I couldn't find how to get access to the
historical traffic data. I'll see what I can find (later).

>What I'm not sure it does is "instantaneous" reporting of whether, at this
>very instant, whether I'm using Wi-Fi or Cellular data though, which is what
>I wanted. <https://i.postimg.cc/L8vjbvXD/data01.jpg>

I doubt it if report anything in real time, as it happens. My
guess(tm) is it updates all the databases once per day. It currently
uses 16.34 MB of internal storage, which is about what I would expect
for the size of the historical data.

Per your original question, it's difficult to tell which is the active
network interface without first moving some data and checking the
weird arc on the main page shows or by watching the counters. Not
quite what you wanted, but close enough.

Nice app. I think I'll keep it.

Robin Goodfellow

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Oct 7, 2021, 12:01:58 AM10/7/21
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nospam <nos...@nospam.invalid> asked
>> How can I tell, instantaneously, when the radio is using the cellular
>> (either 4G or 5G) versus when it's instantaneously using the Wi-Fi instead?
>
> you don't, because different apps can use either or both.

Thanks for that advice nospam, that we can't tell, instantaneously whether
the "phone" is using cellular data or Wi-Fi data at any given instant.

That may be the correct answer, which is that at any given instantaneous
time, one app can be using the Wi-Fi while the other can be using cellular
data (unless I block one or the other (or both) using the NetGuard utility).
<https://i.postimg.cc/X7S4T77L/data04.jpg>

I notice in my blown-up screenshots up/down arrows next to the Wi-Fi status
<https://i.postimg.cc/pTQNYPQX/data02.jpg>

Am I correct to presume those puny up/down arrows below the Wi-Fi symbol in
the status bar are trying to indicate that Wi-Fi data is being used at that
instant?

But for my tired eyes, those two arrows are too small to see on the phone.
<https://i.postimg.cc/vH0xdT7W/data03.jpg>

Just as I added a huge lightning bolt widget to better see instantaneously
when the phone is charging (or not charging), I need a huge icon that tells
me instantaneously when data is being used on either cellular or Wi-Fi.

Much like that lightning bolt widget, I'm hoping there is a widget which
shows, instantaneously, how much data is going through the WiFi or cellular.

Robin Goodfellow

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Oct 7, 2021, 12:54:34 AM10/7/21
to
Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com> asked
> Android keeps a record of traffic summaries dating back to when the
> phone was activated. I don't recall right now how to dig out that
> info, but I can find out if you want.

That's OK. I got the phone for free from T-Mobile around that time frame.
It's interesting how much more data I'm using on cellular now that I leave
cellular on all the time (I used to leave cellular off most of the time).

> I just tried the install. If it destroys my phone, it's your fault.

It's a rather nice utility. I like it a lot. It tells us how much data we've
used on cellular and on wifi from the beginning, and for each app. Nice.

It doesn't do what I asked - but it's still a damn good app nonetheless! :)

> You goofed during the install. The 2nd page, after allowing the app
> to have access to your data, it asks you to add it as a widget. You
> don't need to do that. It says:
> Tip: Swipe to the left to see more device usage statistics.
> You don't need to add the widget to have this app count your data.

I saw that when I installed it and figured that was just part of the demo.

Thanks for letting me know I don't need the widget as I like to keep my
homescreen clean and well organized, where unfortunately widgets don't
reside (for some reason) inside of folders.

They have to be on the homescreen.

Hence I only use widgets when I am forced to, such as that neat huge yellow
lightning bolt icon you see in my screenshots when I'm plugged in to power.
<https://github.com/maderski/Charging-Indicator>
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=maderski.chargingindicator>

My tired old eyes can't see the miniscule lightning bolt in the corner of
the top right screen when the phone is powered up (only kids can see it).

When I'm driving, for example, and the charger cable comes loose, I hear it
beep (a custom sound) and then the indicator on the screen instantly goes
out - and when the charge comes back on - I hear a different beep - and then
the huge charging indicator goes back on. I could have added the battery
charge level also but I just wanted the instantaneous charge direction.

Here are some examples of how I'm seeing the instantaneous charge indicator
and battery capacity on the homescreen in large icons in the same way I'd
love to be able to see the cellular & wi-fi data transfers instantaneously.
<https://i.postimg.cc/qvHYTf3L/charging01.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/cL7z1D7N/charging02.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/CKFQRjJn/charging03.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/jSX2j0Mj/charging04.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/sXBgKBsB/charging05.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/8CCjC1VT/charging06.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/yNrWgwVc/charging07.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/gchrjS1L/charging08.jpg>

> I didn't add the widget and it does a nice job of showing monthly,
> weekly, daily, yearly, and total usage, nicely broken down between
> mobile and wi-fi. For total, I'm showing 1.12GB mobile and 16.55GB
> total. Nice.

Having personally tested probably a thousand apps over time (I'm guessing at
the number), I agree with you that this is a very nice "keeper" utility.

Just as with most battery charging apps, it's not what I asked for as it's
the integral and not the slope; but it's a very nice integrator indeed.

The trick now is to find an app that shows wifi & cellular signal slope
(not the integral).

> However, when I dive into the Settings, I find under "The secret
> settings":
> "Show app icon for pro version (paid version only)." I think this
> means we're stuck with using the widget unless we pay for the app.

I saw those "secret settings" too but I didn't understand why they were
called "secret" since there were only two, one of which is grayed out.
1. Remember tab (last visited tab and pages will be opened)
2. Show app icon for pro ver

Looking again, I saw in the "Notification settings" the options to:
Show notifications (on or off)
a. Internet speed meter (on or off)
b. Widget refresh (on or off)
c. Widget in status bar (on or off)

All are on by default on my setup but I don't see the widget in the status
bar (it might be there but anything in the status bar is already too small).

> However, that's not what it's doing. Even though I didn't create a
> widget, it still put an icon "Data counter widget" on my desktop.
> However, when I click the icon, it takes me to its "Add widget" page,
> which is easily bypassed. I did a "forced stop" from
> "Settings -> Apps -> Data Counter Widget"
> and it again sent me to the "Add widget" page. It seems that the
> author really wants users to create a widget. I wonder why?

I don't know why the author wants a widget, but AFAIK, on Android, if
something is a widget, it's an app which is "always running" (AFAIK).

Maybe the author wants the darn thing to always be running in the bg?

> As usual, I had to disarm all the notifications (except for the
> notification dot). However, I wanted to see what "Widget in status
> bar" did. So far nothing has appeared on the status bar. Weird.}

Ah, I'm responding serially, so you are seeing EXACTLY what I'm seeing.
I'll reboot so we can see if that matters for the missing status bar widget.

Hmmmmm..... I don't see any difference in the status bar icons yet...
Ah. I found the problem.

1. Bring up the app GUI & press "More..." on the bottom right.
2. Press "Pro version" on the top which gives you a checklist.
3. Notice the "Status bar widget" doesn't exist in the free version.

Likewise with the "Status bar Internet speed meter."

> So, I gave up and created a widget as instructed. Oddly, on the "Add
> Widget" page, it now shows:
> Data Plan
> Billing cycle
> Monthly, the 1st. Current cycle started October 1
> What data plan? The one with my cellular provider, or something that
> the authors contrived to bill me?

I took that to mean when your cellular bill rolls over.
I set mine to the 11th of the month (which you can see in the screenshots).
<https://i.postimg.cc/L8vjbvXD/data01.jpg>

I think it's innocuous.
I think it just means the calculations of data are based on that date.

> I looked through the reviews again,
> and there's no indication of any kind of scam, so it must be my
> PagePlus Cellular data plan, which does NOT start Oct 1.

I changed mine when I installed it as it was _asking_ me explicitly.
I'll check if that billing-cycle date can be changed after the fact.

> I couldn't
> find any place to change the billing cycle. Oh wait, I found it. In
> the middle of the first page, there's a "configure widget" button.

Yup. In the "Device usage" tab, middle of the page below the data rainbow is
"Configure Widget" whose first item on the list is "Billing cycle."

> That brings up some settings with includes the billing cycle and some
> look and feel stuff. It should be under "Settings". Since you found
> the "Enable roaming split" setting, you probably already know about
> the "Configure Widget" menu.

We both got to the same place which is proven by the fact that the "Enable
Roaming Split" option is in this section. I kind of like that option because
I'm always roaming, but I have no idea when I'm on a roaming tower.

That's _another_ thing I'd love an instantaneous view of, which is when I'm
on a T-Mobile tower for data, or when I'm roaming on someone else's tower.

> Argh. On every page, it displays a yellow box offering helpful
> suggestions. With six pages to display, the yellow box appears on all
> of them. The only way to get rid of the yellow box is to hit "X" on
> each page.

It's a nice app - but his settings GUI could use a bit of organization. :)

> This thing is definitely untested beta quality, but seems to have
> great promise.

Oh, I like it. I like it a lot. I instantly liked it when I ran it.
Thank you for finding it as I had not known something like this exists.

Its' perfect for the _integral_ of how much data we're using, per app or per
device, per billing cycle, per Wi-Fi or per cellular (even per roaming).

It's just not the instantaneous slope... (which is what I had wanted). :(

> I went looking for another app that does something similar. I can't
> find anything yet. Also, I couldn't find how to get access to the
> historical traffic data. I'll see what I can find (later).

Thanks. I'll see if I can find something that shows instantaneous use of
data, and whether it's wi-fi or cellular at that very instant.

> I doubt it if report anything in real time, as it happens. My
> guess(tm) is it updates all the databases once per day. It currently
> uses 16.34 MB of internal storage, which is about what I would expect
> for the size of the historical data.

I agree with you that this app is likely simply pulling the data out of the
canonical system database for such things (much like the battery charge
indication level is pulling the information out of the system files).

> Per your original question, it's difficult to tell which is the active
> network interface without first moving some data and checking the
> weird arc on the main page shows or by watching the counters. Not
> quite what you wanted, but close enough.

Hmmmmm... I still haven't figured out what the bi-colored arc rainbow is
telling me, but I agree there is a weird rainbow two-colored arc for "Wi-Fi"
and another for "Mobile" but I don't know what the heck it's telling me.

> Nice app. I think I'll keep it.

It's definitely an instant classic, aka, a keeper.

It reports the integration of how much data we use on cellular & wi-fi (and
roaming) on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis for the entire device,
and for each individual app.

Thanks for finding this app, which I really like, even as it doesn't tell me
instantaneously (AFAICT so far) whether the device is using Wi-Fi or
cellular data.

Robin Goodfellow

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Oct 7, 2021, 1:55:35 AM10/7/21
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This intimates instantaneous radio reporting _can_ be done on the phone...
<https://developer.android.com/training/monitoring-device-state/connectivity-status-type>

This is too many steps to be useful (although it tells if you're roaming):
<https://docs.samsungknox.com/admin/knox-platform-for-enterprise/kbas/kba-115013362368.htm>

Settings > About phone > Status Information > SIM card status
Network = T-Mobile
Mobile network state = Connected
Service state = In service
Signal strength = -72 dBm 62 asu
Mobile voice network type = LTE
Mobile data network type = NR NSA
*Roaming = Not roaming*

Some of these free ad free apps look promising from their descriptions...
<https://play.google.com/store/search?q=widget%20indicator%20wifi%20cellular%20data&c=apps>

Some I may need to test out...
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gordienoye.cellulardatanotifier
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ru.bastion7.myfirstwidget
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.dieterthiess.ipwidget
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.totemsoft.wifimd
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=lapay.biz.widget
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=biz.lapay.mobiledatawidget
etc.








Jeff Liebermann

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Oct 7, 2021, 2:18:29 AM10/7/21
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On Thu, 7 Oct 2021 04:54:38 +0000, Robin Goodfellow
<Ancient...@Heaven.Net> wrote:

>Thanks for letting me know I don't need the widget as I like to keep my
>homescreen clean and well organized, where unfortunately widgets don't
>reside (for some reason) inside of folders.

Mostly right. I can put the program icon it dumped on my desktop
anywhere, including inside a folder. I can't put the widget icon
inside a folder, but I can put it on any page of my desktop. My home
screen (page 1 of the desktop) is full, so it's not going to fit in
there unless something gets shuffled.

>They have to be on the homescreen.

Nope. They have to be on the desktop. Home screen is just page 1 of
the desktop.

>My tired old eyes can't see the miniscule lightning bolt in the corner of
>the top right screen when the phone is powered up (only kids can see it).

If you're eyes are that bad, get a "screen magnifier":
<https://www.google.com/search?q=cell+phone+screen+magnifier&tbm=isch>
You can also plug an HDMI monitor into the USB-C port and get an
external monitor. This has the advantage of a much brighter screen.
When you stick 2x magnifying glass in front of your smartphone, which
makes the screen area 4 times larger, you get 1/4th the brightness.
With an external monitor, the external brightness is whatever the
monitor will do. You can also use Google Chromecast to display your
smartphone on your TV via ethernet or wi-fi. What's what I do when I
need to see the screen or when I'm giving a demo:
<https://support.google.com/chromecastbuiltin/answer/6059461?hl=en>
<https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/3228332>

>When I'm driving, for example, and the charger cable comes loose, I hear it
>beep (a custom sound) and then the indicator on the screen instantly goes
>out - and when the charge comes back on - I hear a different beep - and then
>the huge charging indicator goes back on. I could have added the battery
>charge level also but I just wanted the instantaneous charge direction.

Suggestion: When you're driving, don't look at or fumble with your
phone. If you think it unplugged itself, deal with it when you're not
moving.

>Having personally tested probably a thousand apps over time (I'm guessing at
>the number),

The Google Play Swamp does not delete anything that you download the
later uninstall. Go to:
<https://play.google.com/apps> and click on "My Apps". It doesn't
give you a count, but if can count how many there are per page (I get
98 apps per page), and then scroll through all the pages counting the
number of pages. Multiply the apps per page times the number of pages
and you have the total. Before the Play Swamp, Google allowed you to
delete icons for stuff you never wanted to see again. That was handy
for keeping my app mess organized. Then, they decided that once you
download an app, you have to stare at it forever. I'm sure there's a
reason why Google did that, but I haven't been able to find out why. I
asked twice in the Google "communities" (forums) and had my questions
magically disappear after a few days.

>Just as with most battery charging apps, it's not what I asked for as it's
>the integral and not the slope; but it's a very nice integrator indeed.

The integral of the battery charger graph is the area under the curve
between two points in time and equals the energy (watt-hrs) consumed.
It's a handy number to have because it's a direct indication of how
your battery is doing. It's actually not quite that simple (coulomb
counting) but close enough.

>The trick now is to find an app that shows wifi & cellular signal slope
>(not the integral).

For those, the slope would megabytes per minute or the speed. The
faster the curve goes up (increasing slope) the faster your speed.
Essentially, you're asking for instantaneous speed. You can get that
over some time period, but you won't like the results as the sampling
period becomes small. Every time the download stops momentarily, the
graph will go from some high number to zero. Do that on a moving or
unreliable wireless connection and you get a graph that looks like
garbage. Best to average it over a longer period, like a few minutes,
which is what most of the performance monitors do.

>All are on by default on my setup but I don't see the widget in the status
>bar (it might be there but anything in the status bar is already too small).

I turned that on and off a few times. Nothing ever changed on the
status bar. It's broken.

>I don't know why the author wants a widget, but AFAIK, on Android, if
>something is a widget, it's an app which is "always running" (AFAIK).

That's initially what I initially thought. I have no idea how a
widget works and will try to determine if that's true. You can easily
tell if it's doing something in the background in:
Settings -> Battery -> Usage Details -> Data counter widget
If you click on the "Data Counter widget", it will show how many
minutes its been running in the foreground (while in active use) and
in the background. Looks like it's definitely running continuously in
the background.

>Maybe the author wants the darn thing to always be running in the bg?

Kinda looks that way. It would be nice if we knew why he wanted to do
that. I can tolerate the increase in battery drain, but only if I
know why he needs that.

>I took that to mean when your cellular bill rolls over.
>I set mine to the 11th of the month (which you can see in the screenshots).
> <https://i.postimg.cc/L8vjbvXD/data01.jpg>
>
>I think it's innocuous.
>I think it just means the calculations of data are based on that date.

Sounds right. I'll change mine later.

>We both got to the same place which is proven by the fact that the "Enable
>Roaming Split" option is in this section. I kind of like that option because
>I'm always roaming, but I have no idea when I'm on a roaming tower.

I don't do much roaming because the one time that I used it, I got hit
with a rather large roaming bill from some tiny cellular company that
I have never heard of. I now leave it off unless I need it.

>That's _another_ thing I'd love an instantaneous view of, which is when I'm
>on a T-Mobile tower for data, or when I'm roaming on someone else's tower.

I probably have an app that does that. However, you won't like it. It
piles as much info as will fit on a page resulting in tiny print and
lots of clutter. Well, maybe I found one. Try Cellular-Z:
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=make.more.r2d2.cellular_z>
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=make.more.r2d2.google.cellular_pro>
On the first page of the free version, left side, near the middle is
the "Net Operator" in big block letters. Unfortunately, mine shows
Verizon in black letters on a slightly lighter black background. Maybe
T-Mobile will look nicer.

>Thanks for finding this app, which I really like, even as it doesn't tell me
>instantaneously (AFAICT so far) whether the device is using Wi-Fi or
>cellular data.

Y'er welcome.

sms

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 10:46:37 AM10/7/21
to
On 10/6/2021 10:51 AM, Robin Goodfellow wrote:
You're making this more complicated than it is. On both Android and iOS
devices, if the device is connected to Wi-Fi, for data, then the LTE or
5G indicator goes out. When the Wi-Fi signal is unusable, or if you turn
off Wi-Fi, the LTE or 5G symbol turns on (or in rare cases the 3G symbol).

VoLTE is still active of course, even when LTE data is off, and you can
still receive SMS, but neither of these consume data.

Are you looking for some sort of an alarm when Wi-Fi is not available or
goes off? Some Android devices had this capability though it was not
part of stock Android.

You can use the Android App "EZ Wifi Notification"
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=et.nWifiManager> (even
though it says it was built for older versions of Android it still
works). You can have it vibrate or play different notification sounds
when it changes from Wi-Fi to data or vice-versa.

nospam

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 11:19:44 AM10/7/21
to
In article <sjn18b$jbq$1...@dont-email.me>, sms
<scharf...@geemail.com> wrote:

> >
> > How do you easily tell which network (Wi-Fi versus Cellular) is being used?
>
> You're making this more complicated than it is.

actually, he isn't. it's just another one of his pointless ideas.

> On both Android and iOS
> devices, if the device is connected to Wi-Fi, for data, then the LTE or
> 5G indicator goes out. When the Wi-Fi signal is unusable, or if you turn
> off Wi-Fi, the LTE or 5G symbol turns on (or in rare cases the 3G symbol).

that means nothing.

the lack of an lte or 5g indicator doesn't mean there's no cellular
service, as you indicate below.

the wifi icon just means the device has associated with a wifi base
station. it does not mean that wifi network has a valid route to the
internet. if it doesn't, the device may continue to use cellular in
some cases. in other cases, it will use wifi and fail to connect.

> VoLTE is still active of course, even when LTE data is off, and you can
> still receive SMS, but neither of these consume data.

in other words, the lte icon means nothing.

Robin Goodfellow

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 12:34:28 PM10/7/21
to
nospam <nos...@nospam.invalid> asked
>>>
>>> How do you easily tell which network (Wi-Fi versus Cellular) is being used?
>>
>> You're making this more complicated than it is.
>
> actually, he isn't. it's just another one of his pointless ideas.

Understanding what the phone is doing is, of course, "pointless" to nospam.

It's about understanding what the phone is doing with data at any instant.
a. Is the phone currently transmitting cellular data (at this instant)?
b. Is the phone currently transmitting Wi-Fi data (at this instant)?
c. Is the phone currently connected to a roaming tower for data?
(which we solved)

Apparently nospam can't conceive of anyone wanting data he himself, doesn't.
Unlike nospam, I prefer to always learn what my phone is doing at all times.

>> On both Android and iOS
>> devices, if the device is connected to Wi-Fi, for data, then the LTE or
>> 5G indicator goes out. When the Wi-Fi signal is unusable, or if you turn
>> off Wi-Fi, the LTE or 5G symbol turns on (or in rare cases the 3G symbol).
>
> that means nothing.

This is about knowledge of _when_ data is being consumed, and how.
Just as the instantaneous charge indicator is about an instant datum.

> the lack of an lte or 5g indicator doesn't mean there's no cellular
> service, as you indicate below.

It seems the status bar Wi-Fi icon _does_ indicate when it's consuming data
(apparently) by an addition of lit up/down arrows - but those tiny up/down
arrows are far to puny to see with my eyes except in an enlarged screenshot.
<https://i.postimg.cc/vH0xdT7W/data03.jpg>

> the wifi icon just means the device has associated with a wifi base
> station. it does not mean that wifi network has a valid route to the
> internet. if it doesn't, the device may continue to use cellular in
> some cases. in other cases, it will use wifi and fail to connect.

The LTE icon also has those tiny up/down arrows but I'm not sure they
indicate anything (even if they did - they're even smaller to see).
<https://i.postimg.cc/W3GgYJtZ/speedtest16.jpg>

Even so, the 5G icon does not appear to have those tiny up/down arrows.

>> VoLTE is still active of course, even when LTE data is off, and you can
>> still receive SMS, but neither of these consume data.
>
> in other words, the lte icon means nothing.

What I am asking for is an easy way to tell between these situations:
a. The phone is not consuming wi-fi data or cellular data (at this instant).
b. The phone is consuming wi-fi or cellular data (at this instant).
c. And, I've added a new need, which is solved, which is roaming data.

With iOS, we almost always are forced to "just give up"; but with Android
there is always (almost) a solution to any desire we have with the phone.

Just like there was with the instantaneous charge-direction icon.
<https://i.postimg.cc/pTQNYPQX/data02.jpg>

We will solve it, and Jeff's suggested tool was a fantastic find also.

nospam

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 12:44:15 PM10/7/21
to
In article <sjn7ih$vl7$1...@gioia.aioe.org>, Robin Goodfellow
<Ancient...@Heaven.Net> wrote:

> It's about understanding what the phone is doing with data at any instant.

it does a lot of things at any instant.

as for data use, if both cellular and wifi are available, both apps and
the os itself can use either or both, depending on a variety of
factors.



> >> On both Android and iOS
> >> devices, if the device is connected to Wi-Fi, for data, then the LTE or
> >> 5G indicator goes out. When the Wi-Fi signal is unusable, or if you turn
> >> off Wi-Fi, the LTE or 5G symbol turns on (or in rare cases the 3G symbol).
> >
> > that means nothing.
>
> This is about knowledge of _when_ data is being consumed, and how.

the os and various apps can track that.

Robin Goodfellow

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 2:22:19 PM10/7/21
to
Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com> asked
> Suggestion: When you're driving, don't look at or fumble with your
> phone. If you think it unplugged itself, deal with it when you're not
> moving.

I agree. It's why I added the huge yellow positionable charge-direction
icon, with custom preset levels for the custom sound & visual notifications.
<https://i.postimg.cc/yNrWgwVc/charging07.jpg>

I could have added even more, like a visible charge level indicator graph.
<https://i.postimg.cc/sXBgKBsB/charging05.jpg>

But all I need to know is the _instantaneous_ direction of charge.
<https://i.postimg.cc/8CCjC1VT/charging06.jpg>

Everything I do on Android I also try on my iPhones & iPads, but later.

>>Having personally tested probably a thousand apps over time (I'm guessing at
>>the number),
>
> The Google Play Swamp does not delete anything that you download the
> later uninstall. Go to:
> <https://play.google.com/apps> and click on "My Apps".

I don't have any Google Account set up on my Android phone (we can't do that
for iOS and still download apps) but I can list the apps installed on my
Android phone into an editable file in so many easy ways, it's not funny.

You can even list your apps from Windows by tethering your phone over USB.
List all installed apps including system apps to an editable file:
C:\> adb shell pm list packages > c:\temp\list.txt

List packages with "google" in the name to an editable file:
C:\> adb shell pm list packages google > c:\temp\list.txt

List only system packages to an editable file:
C:\> adb shell pm list packages -s > c:\temp\list.txt

List only third-party packages to an editable file:
C:\> adb shell pm list packages -3 > c:\temp\list.txt

But you can just as easily create this editable file on Android.
My App List, by Fede Fernandez (4.4 rating)
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist>

My Apps, by Spencer Studios (4.3 rating)
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spencerstudios.applist>

List My Apps, by Onyxbits (4.4 rating)
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.onyxbits.listmyapps>

Note I will (almost) never suggest any app that isn't free & ad free,
and where almost all will be gsf free and google free & highly rated.

In fact, my persistent default search filters don't allow any apps which
don't meet those criteria to even show up inside my Google Play client
search on my Android phone (this is, yet again, impossible with iOS).

> Before the Play Swamp, Google allowed you to
> delete icons for stuff you never wanted to see again.

I'm not sure why you can't delete the icon for _any_ app, even pre-installed
system apps, because I seem to be able to do that easily (Android 11, free
Nova launcher - but I've been deleting icons for system apps for years).

There are many solutions, either use a good launcher, or use a better app
drawer app so if you can give me an example of an app icon that you can't
delete, please let me know which one so I can test out a solution for you.

> That was handy for keeping my app mess organized.

My computers are so well organized that the exact menu (the same files) work
from Windows XP to Windows 10 (yes, literally the exact same menu files!).
<https://i.postimg.cc/qvJDMQcq/taskbarmenu02.jpg>

On Android, I simply save the location of my homescreen icons, and then when
I get a new phone, I import that saved file, and then the new phone has all
its homescreen app icons in the same location as the old app icons were.

For example, here's an APK folder on my homescreen from years ago.
<https://i.postimg.cc/T1ZLCjsd/apk02.jpg>

Just as were my WinXP menu files, that sequential folder was ported over to
about four or five phones already where I always hone the folder structure.

> Then, they decided that once you
> download an app, you have to stare at it forever.

I'm not rooted but I still can disable most system apps, and, as far as I
know offhand, I don't have to have an app icon anywhere if I don't want it.

>>All are on by default on my setup but I don't see the widget in the status
>>bar (it might be there but anything in the status bar is already too small).
>
> I turned that on and off a few times. Nothing ever changed on the
> status bar. It's broken.

Actually, I showed in a different post it is only available in the pro
version (so they should have grayed out the option in the free version).

>>I don't know why the author wants a widget, but AFAIK, on Android, if
>>something is a widget, it's an app which is "always running" (AFAIK).
>
> That's initially what I initially thought. I have no idea how a
> widget works and will try to determine if that's true.

It's my understanding (which can be wrong) that a widget is an app that is
actually running all the time feeding the widget what to display.

I usually only have one screen, so having a widget clutter it isn't useful.
<https://i.postimg.cc/y6p53m46/homescreen01.jpg>
That's for an older phone but all my homescreens are sequential copies.

>>Maybe the author wants the darn thing to always be running in the bg?
>
> Kinda looks that way. It would be nice if we knew why he wanted to do
> that. I can tolerate the increase in battery drain, but only if I
> know why he needs that.

Actually, the answer is in the "Data counter widget" app's FAQ.
1. Open the "Data counter widget" app & select the "Help & FAQ" option
2. The last item is "Do I need to add a widget to use the app?"
3. The answer is that you don't need the widget.

It says the widget allows
a. You to monitor your data usage on the homescreen at a glance
b. The widget is what allows you to set up the billing cycle

If you're ok with not having those two things, you don't need the widget.

>>I took that to mean when your cellular bill rolls over.
>>I set mine to the 11th of the month (which you can see in the screenshots).
>> <https://i.postimg.cc/L8vjbvXD/data01.jpg>
>>
>>I think it's innocuous.
>>I think it just means the calculations of data are based on that date.
>
> Sounds right. I'll change mine later.

I ran an experiment which had odd results (at least odd, to me, results).
1. I set up the "Data counter widget" app settings to my liking.
2. I (easily) added the widget & customized as it desired (and rebooted).
3. Then I long pressed & (easily) deleted the widget (and rebooted again).

I think we added the widget slightly differently (in a different sequence)
but I was definitely able to _remove_ the Data counter widget completely.

This removal of the Data counter widget widget survived a reboot.
a. What remained was the "Data counter widget" application icon.
b. The "billing cycle" is set to the default (the 1st of the month?).
c. There are none of those weird arc dual-colored data rainbows now.

>>We both got to the same place which is proven by the fact that the "Enable
>>Roaming Split" option is in this section. I kind of like that option because
>>I'm always roaming, but I have no idea when I'm on a roaming tower.
>
> I don't do much roaming because the one time that I used it, I got hit
> with a rather large roaming bill from some tiny cellular company that
> I have never heard of. I now leave it off unless I need it.

My carrier, T-Mobile, allows for free roaming in the USA & in Europe so I
don't see any downside in turning roaming on all the time.

I found that the phone tells me, instantaneously, whether or not I'm
roaming, but it was too many clicks into the settings to be useful.

However, given any public settings page inside _any_ app can be accessed in
one click (by putting the unique name to that page as a shortcut "target",
I tried to make a single-click shortcut to the Activity (settings page) for
the deep-down settings showing whether or not I'm roaming at this very
instant, but the roaming Activity page appears to be a private Activity and
not a public Activity.

The way to tell if it's a public or private activity is to install this app.
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cemique.shortcutwidgets>

Then start that app (which records all the public activities you use).

Then tap Settings > About phone > Status information > SIM card status
(The instantaneous roaming line will either say "Roaming" or "Not roaming.)

Going back to the Shortcut Inspector, you see a record of what you did
but it only records _public_ activities so you can't make a shortcut to it!

As an example of what you _can_ make a shortcut to, try this sequence.
Settings > Connections > Data usage > Mobile data usage
Shortcut Inspector tells you the Activity name to that page is public.
com.android.settings.Settings$MobileDataUsageListActivity
With a variety of easy methods you can put that as the "target" to a
shortcut on your homescreen (using any icon you want or any name you want).

That way, to dive four levels deep into data usage is a single tap! :)
But your "Data counter widget" display is better than that Android default.

>>That's _another_ thing I'd love an instantaneous view of, which is when I'm
>>on a T-Mobile tower for data, or when I'm roaming on someone else's tower.
>
> I probably have an app that does that. However, you won't like it. It
> piles as much info as will fit on a page resulting in tiny print and
> lots of clutter. Well, maybe I found one. Try Cellular-Z.

You'll notice I used Cellular-Z in many of my prior screenshots.
<https://i.postimg.cc/vH0xdT7W/data03.jpg>

Note I recommend you _always_ use a "mock location" app when using graphical
signal strength debuggers such as Cellular-Z because Google forced them all
in later versions to access your GPS location (which is easily spoofed).
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lexa.fakegps>

> On the first page of the free version, left side, near the middle is
> the "Net Operator" in big block letters.

I see that "Net Operator" of "T-Mobile" in my screenshots of Cellular-Z.
<https://i.postimg.cc/xCbVQ2pj/signal02.jpg>

I'll have to look to see if that "Net Operator" changes when I'm traveling
out and about, but what I'd like is a larger visual indicator with a custom
sound, much like I have with the charging-direction widget.

Even so, we now have _two_ ways to tell if we're roaming at this instant:
1. Cellular-Z's "Net Operator" field
2. Android Settings' "SIM card status" report

If only we could hear a custom sound output when we go on and off roaming.

>>Thanks for finding this app, which I really like, even as it doesn't tell me
>>instantaneously (AFAICT so far) whether the device is using Wi-Fi or
>>cellular data.
>
> Y'er welcome.

It's a nice app which I very much appreciate you found.
It doesn't give instantaneous use - but it's a nice graphical summary.

BTW, you may wish to turn off "data sharing" which is on by default.
1. Open the "Data counter widget" app & select the "About" option
2. Uncheck the box for "Data Sharing"

In summary, the "Data counter widget" app you found is nice, as a widget or
even as an app sans the real-time widget; but we still don't have an easily
seen (by old eyes) the instantaneous indicator of cellular & wi-fi data use.

sms

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 2:34:14 PM10/7/21
to
On 10/7/2021 9:34 AM, Robin Goodfellow wrote:

<snip>

> Understanding what the phone is doing is, of course, "pointless" to nospam.

The "understanding" ship sailed a long time ago.

>
> It's about understanding what the phone is doing with data at any instant.
> a. Is the phone currently transmitting cellular data (at this instant)?
> b. Is the phone currently transmitting Wi-Fi data (at this instant)?
> c. Is the phone currently connected to a roaming tower for data?
> (which we solved)

There are apps for that, if you really need to know that information.

Frank Slootweg

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 3:58:32 PM10/7/21
to
Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com> wrote:
[...]

> I went looking for another app that does something similar. I can't
> find anything yet. Also, I couldn't find how to get access to the
> historical traffic data. I'll see what I can find (later).

FWIW, I have been using 'My Data Manager' for several years now and am
quite happy with it.

'My Data Manager - Data Usage'
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobidia.android.mdm>

[...]

Jeff Liebermann

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 4:37:50 PM10/7/21
to
On Thu, 7 Oct 2021 18:22:25 +0000, Robin Goodfellow
<Ancient...@Heaven.Net> wrote:

>Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com> asked
>> Suggestion: When you're driving, don't look at or fumble with your
>> phone. If you think it unplugged itself, deal with it when you're not
>> moving.
>
>I agree. It's why I added the huge yellow positionable charge-direction
>icon, with custom preset levels for the custom sound & visual notifications.
> <https://i.postimg.cc/yNrWgwVc/charging07.jpg>

You're not really agreeing with me or possibly not understanding what
I suggested. It means you should not care what is going on with your
phone while driving. If it beeps, rings, belches a notification, or
catches fire, you should ignore it until you can safely deal with the
distraction. It too me a while to get use to the concept of ignoring
the distraction generating monster, but after a few minor near
accidents, I decided it was a necessity. Try to imagine how crappy
you will feel if you decided to look at your phone just before you
rear-ended the car in front of you.

>I could have added even more, like a visible charge level indicator graph.
> <https://i.postimg.cc/sXBgKBsB/charging05.jpg>
>
>But all I need to know is the _instantaneous_ direction of charge.
> <https://i.postimg.cc/8CCjC1VT/charging06.jpg>

I wonder if Google Assistant will tell you if your phone is charging.
Try asking "What's my phone battery level" or use an app like this:
<https://www.chargestatus.com/apps/google/assistant/>
Also, put your phone into a bag so you're not tempted to look.

>I don't have any Google Account set up on my Android phone...

Sorry. I forgot that you are into privacy or something.
So many apps, so little time.

>Note I will (almost) never suggest any app that isn't free & ad free,
>and where almost all will be gsf free and google free & highly rated.

I try to do the same, but often find that there are no alternatives. I
don't mind ads and paying a few dollars. I don't use utility apps
enough that the ads become annoying, and the cost is negligible
compared to the entertainment and diagnostic value of the app. One of
my friends, who writes apps in his spare time, noticed that
programmers tend to be the worst payers for shareware. They don't
hesitate to buy $1,000+ computers, but balk at paying $5 for an app.

>> Before the Play Swamp, Google allowed you to
>> delete icons for stuff you never wanted to see again.
>
>I'm not sure why you can't delete the icon for _any_ app, even pre-installed
>system apps, because I seem to be able to do that easily (Android 11, free
>Nova launcher - but I've been deleting icons for system apps for years).

Nope. Jailbreak the OS and you can delete icons and apps. However,
the icons that appear in the Google Play store are not on my phone.
They come from the Play Store web pile and are generated from a
database of apps that I had previously downloaded. Google offers no
way to edit that database, and by implication, edit the resulting
icons.

>My computers are so well organized that the exact menu (the same files) work
>from Windows XP to Windows 10 (yes, literally the exact same menu files!).
> <https://i.postimg.cc/qvJDMQcq/taskbarmenu02.jpg>

A clean desk(top) is a sure sign of a sick mind. My various desktops
closely resemble the way a organize myself:
<http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/desktop.jpg>
That's from 2013 and somewhat out of date.

>> Kinda looks that way. It would be nice if we knew why he wanted to do
>> that. I can tolerate the increase in battery drain, but only if I
>> know why he needs that.
>
>Actually, the answer is in the "Data counter widget" app's FAQ.
>1. Open the "Data counter widget" app & select the "Help & FAQ" option
>2. The last item is "Do I need to add a widget to use the app?"
>3. The answer is that you don't need the widget.
>
>It says the widget allows
>a. You to monitor your data usage on the homescreen at a glance
>b. The widget is what allows you to set up the billing cycle

Thanks. I missed that. I have the billing cycle setup, but I don't
really need it. I'll delete the widget and see what breaks.
Monitoring my traffic would be nice, but there are other programs
available that will do a better job and produce more than a single
number for traffic.

>My carrier, T-Mobile, allows for free roaming in the USA & in Europe so I
>don't see any downside in turning roaming on all the time.

Free is nice, but the setting doesn't enable/disable FREE roaming,
just turns on roaming. I was driving through a mountain area where
the only cell service was from tiny cellular operators that are
somehow associated with Verizon. Although the roaming indicator was
on, there was no indication that I was being charged for the roaming.
Verizon and Sprint will roam into each others networks for free, but
not the tiny operators that got me.

>I found that the phone tells me, instantaneously, whether or not I'm
>roaming, but it was too many clicks into the settings to be useful.

Sure, but does it tell you when you are being charged for roaming?
Probably not.

Sorry about my excessive trimming, but I don't have time to read all
the detail much less reply to every point. I tried to hit the
highlights and vaporized the rest.

Gone on a service call.

Jeff Liebermann

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 4:42:27 PM10/7/21
to
On 7 Oct 2021 19:58:30 GMT, Frank Slootweg <th...@ddress.is.invalid>
wrote:
Nice app, but it doesn't address the original problem. What was
needed was an app that separately displays traffic on Wi-fi and on
cellular. It should also display with network interface is currently
active and/or the default. One common problem I run into is having
both wi-fi and cellular data active, but in a location where the
signal strengths vary and my phone might decide to switch back and
forth between them. If I wanted to make a large download, it would be
really nice to know which network interface the phone preferred to
use. My Data Manager doesn't appear to do any of this.

Jeff Liebermann

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 4:47:39 PM10/7/21
to
On Thu, 7 Oct 2021 11:34:11 -0700, sms <scharf...@geemail.com>
wrote:

>On 10/7/2021 9:34 AM, Robin Goodfellow wrote:
>> Understanding what the phone is doing is, of course, "pointless" to nospam.
>
>The "understanding" ship sailed a long time ago.

Actually, I think it sank long ago.

>> It's about understanding what the phone is doing with data at any instant.
>> a. Is the phone currently transmitting cellular data (at this instant)?
>> b. Is the phone currently transmitting Wi-Fi data (at this instant)?
>> c. Is the phone currently connected to a roaming tower for data?
>> (which we solved)
>
>There are apps for that, if you really need to know that information.

If there are such apps, I haven't seen any that do all that. Got a
name, URL, or hint?

The Real Bev

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 5:16:55 PM10/7/21
to
On 10/07/2021 01:37 PM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

> A clean desk(top) is a sure sign of a sick mind. My various desktops
> closely resemble the way a organize myself:
> <http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/desktop.jpg>
> That's from 2013 and somewhat out of date.

The concept is valid, although the labels (essential) are too small to
read. Hierarchical menus are an invention of Satan. An xterm and being
able to remember the names of various applications, however, solves a
lot of space problems.


>>My carrier, T-Mobile, allows for free roaming in the USA & in Europe so I
>>don't see any downside in turning roaming on all the time.

T-Mobile is useless at any significant distance from civilization. My
Verizon friend can phone from the Big Bear ski slope, but I have to get
to a certain point in town before I get signal.

> Sorry about my excessive trimming, but I don't have time to read all
> the detail much less reply to every point. I tried to hit the
> highlights and vaporized the rest.

As is proper.

--
Cheers, Bev
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child,
miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied,
demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless.
Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
PJ O'Rourke

Robin Goodfellow

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 7:04:53 PM10/7/21
to
Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com> asked
>>It says the widget allows
>>a. You to monitor your data usage on the homescreen at a glance
>>b. The widget is what allows you to set up the billing cycle
>
> Thanks. I missed that. I have the billing cycle setup, but I don't
> really need it. I'll delete the widget and see what breaks.
> Monitoring my traffic would be nice, but there are other programs
> available that will do a better job and produce more than a single
> number for traffic.

The only thing I lost by deleting the "Data counter widget" widget was
a. The widget itself (it contained updated summary data averages)
b. The billing cycle (which now defaults to a calendar month instead)
c. The weird rainbow arcs (I still don't know what they were telling me)

Once I solve this for Android, then I attempt to solve it for iOS.

>>I found that the phone tells me, instantaneously, whether or not I'm
>>roaming, but it was too many clicks into the settings to be useful.

>Sure, but does it tell you when you are being charged for roaming?
>Probably not.

1. T-Mobile USA doesn't charge for roaming, so, for me, that's moot.
2. But, for others, I agree that they might be charged for roaming.
3. And, you are correct, it doesn't tell you if you are being charged.

Since I'm all about efficiency on a phone, I found what to put in the TARGET
field of the shortcut to make it a single click to see when I'm roaming.
TARGET = com.android.settings.Settings$SimStatusActivity

A shortcut with that TARGET will, in a single tap, go here in Android 11:
Settings > About phone > Status information > SIM card status

In that page of other bits of SIM-card information is this one line:
Roaming = {Roaming or Not roaming}
So I've solved the problem of knowing in a single tap whether I'm roaming.

What would be nice is a custom _sound_ (and resizeable icon) that tells me
exactly when I begin & end roaming just like the charge direction app does.

Robin Goodfellow

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 7:19:25 PM10/7/21
to
The Real Bev <bashl...@gmail.com> asked
> Hierarchical menus are an invention of Satan. An xterm and being
> able to remember the names of various applications, however, solves a
> lot of space problems.

What about being able to do anything on Windows without _any_ menus?

If you're on Windows, you should try this, but it's an aside, but 99.9% of
Windows users do _not_ know this trick (which existed since Win95 days!).

1. Make sure the command you will create doesn't already exist
Win+R > bev
It should look for "bev.exe" & then complain "Windows cannot find bev."

2. Create the "bev" command (it can do anything - we'll just edit a file).
Win+R > regedit
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\
Create a new key named "bev.exe" (yes, I know that file doesn't exist).
Set the default to any file you wish to edit (e.g., a family phone list).
@Default = C:\Users\Bev\Documents\bev.txt (name it whatever you like).

3. Create the file if it doesn't already exist.
Win+R > notepad C:\Users\Bev\Documents\bev.txt

Now you have created a new command that does whatever you want it to do.
Win+R > bev (this will edit that file)

Who needs menus?
You can create a quick command to do _anything_ you like this way.
--
Bear in mind Win10 _never_ lost the classic WinXP pullout menu; people are
stupid so they can't figure out that Microsoft simply _moved_ the location.

sms

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 7:38:16 PM10/7/21
to
On 10/7/2021 1:42 PM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

<snip>

> Nice app, but it doesn't address the original problem. What was
> needed was an app that separately displays traffic on Wi-fi and on
> cellular. It should also display with network interface is currently
> active and/or the default. One common problem I run into is having
> both wi-fi and cellular data active, but in a location where the
> signal strengths vary and my phone might decide to switch back and
> forth between them. If I wanted to make a large download, it would be
> really nice to know which network interface the phone preferred to
> use. My Data Manager doesn't appear to do any of this.

I have some that warn you when you're going to do a large download over
cellular data.

I haven't been anywhere where, when not moving, the phone switches
between Wi-Fi and cellular data.

I thought that on an earlier Android version you could restrict
background cellular data on an app by app basis, but I don't see that
anymore. And sometimes you want to NOT use Wi-Fi data for certain apps.



AJL

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 7:49:02 PM10/7/21
to
On 10/7/2021 4:04 PM, Robin Goodfellow wrote:
> Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com> asked

>> does it tell you when you are being charged for roaming?
>> Probably not.

> 1. T-Mobile USA doesn't charge for roaming, so, for me, that's moot.

When I'm on I-8 near the Mexican border my phone sometimes hooks up to a
Mexican tower. I know because it warns me with a popup advising that my
free roaming doesn't work (even though I'm still in the US)...

Robin Goodfellow

unread,
Oct 7, 2021, 10:11:46 PM10/7/21
to
sms <scharf...@geemail.com> asked
> I thought that on an earlier Android version you could restrict
> background cellular data on an app by app basis, but I don't see that
> anymore. And sometimes you want to NOT use Wi-Fi data for certain apps.

On my Android 11 phone there is a setting which I hope is also on iOS.
Setting > Connections > Data usage > Mobile data usage
Setting > Connections > Data usage > Wi-Fi data usage

Each, when pressed, brings up a graph of your data usage over time, broken
down into both foreground and background data usage overall for each app.

For each app is the option to allow or disallow background data usage.
Allow background data usage = yes or no
Allow data usage while Data saver is on = yes or no

In addition, the FOSS NetGuard will, also on a per app basis, restrict
access on either wifi or cellular data (or both, as you wish)
as shown in this screenshot I created below on my Android 11 phone.
<https://i.postimg.cc/X7S4T77L/data04.jpg>

If you restrict WiFi for example, for any one app, and that app tries to
access the Internet, the "log Internet access" option will pop up a message.

You can also block specific apps for roaming access only, if you like.
And, you can allow or block specific apps' Internet access in lockdown mode.

You can allow wi-fi access for any given app only when the screen is awake.
You can allow cellular data access for any given app when the screen is on.

The app also logs all the IP addresses of the sites any given app accesses.

If this capability exists for iOS please let us know as I love this app!
<https://github.com/M66B/NetGuard>

Frank Slootweg

unread,
Oct 8, 2021, 9:19:25 AM10/8/21
to
Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com> wrote:
> On 7 Oct 2021 19:58:30 GMT, Frank Slootweg <th...@ddress.is.invalid>
> wrote:
>
> >Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com> wrote:
> >[...]
> >
> >> I went looking for another app that does something similar. I can't
> >> find anything yet. Also, I couldn't find how to get access to the
> >> historical traffic data. I'll see what I can find (later).
> >
> > FWIW, I have been using 'My Data Manager' for several years now and am
> >quite happy with it.
> >
> >'My Data Manager - Data Usage'
> ><https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobidia.android.mdm>
> >
> >[...]
>
> Nice app, but it doesn't address the original problem.

Yes, I realize(d) that. I was just giving an alternative for the data
management app you were trialling.

> What was
> needed was an app that separately displays traffic on Wi-fi and on
> cellular.

It *does* do that, but not in real time, i.e. you'll have to refresh
the page if you want to follow any changes. It displays (on/off
selectable) usage bars for Mobile, Wi-Fi and Roaming.

> It should also display with network interface is currently
> active and/or the default. One common problem I run into is having
> both wi-fi and cellular data active, but in a location where the
> signal strengths vary and my phone might decide to switch back and
> forth between them. If I wanted to make a large download, it would be
> really nice to know which network interface the phone preferred to
> use. My Data Manager doesn't appear to do any of this.

I think 'Robin Goodfellow' (a.k.a. 'Arlen Holder', a.k.a. ad
infinitum) is just in search for another problem, instead of to a
solution for a real need/want.

He - intentionally? - didn't bother to mention which phone this is
about, but his Samsung phone has 'Intelligent Wi-Fi' which takes care of
these issues (if your willing to enable location service, which he
doesn't want to do 'because' of 'privacy'). Also he has one or more apps
(I probably can look one up if needed), which can enable Mobile or/and
Wi-Fi on a per app basis).

So he does not need to have his 'problem' and you wouldn't have to
have yours, if he was actually being constructive, instead of yet again
sending people on goose chases.

FWIW, My Samsung (Galaxy A51, Android 10/11) phone lies on the table
next to me. If I swipe down from the top, I can confirm that not only is
Wi-Fi switched on, but also connected to the correct network (SSID). So
I know my phone won't use mobile data, unless I allow it to or tell it
to.

sms

unread,
Oct 8, 2021, 11:46:22 AM10/8/21
to
On 10/8/2021 6:19 AM, Frank Slootweg wrote:

<snip>

> FWIW, My Samsung (Galaxy A51, Android 10/11) phone lies on the table
> next to me. If I swipe down from the top, I can confirm that not only is
> Wi-Fi switched on, but also connected to the correct network (SSID). So
> I know my phone won't use mobile data, unless I allow it to or tell it
> to.

The other thing is that most people don't worry too much about data
usage these days. Even most prepaid plans, other than the super-low-cost
prepaid plans like <https://www.ebay.com/itm/133196831828>, include more
mobile data than is typically used in a month. If you're downloading or
uploading a lot of video, high-resolution photos, or offline maps then
it makes sense to use Wi-Fi.

When I see reports on the average amount of mobile data used per person
per month (currently about 7GB in the U.S.) what these reports don't
state is that that number is so high because so few people bother to
even use Wi-Fi when it's available. If you're traveling, using the
hotel's Wi-Fi should also include using a VPN, but how many people
actually do this?

Robin Goodfellow

unread,
Oct 8, 2021, 1:13:35 PM10/8/21
to
Frank Slootweg <th...@ddress.is.invalid> asked
> is just in search for another problem, instead of to a
> solution for a real need/want.

The problem is universal even if you don't understand what the problem is.

> He - intentionally? - didn't bother to mention which phone this is

The problem is universal; it doesn't matter _what_ phone a person is using.

> about, but his Samsung phone has 'Intelligent Wi-Fi' which takes care of
> these issues (if your willing to enable location service, which he
> doesn't want to do 'because' of 'privacy').

That will solve nothing.
With all due respect, you clearly don't even understand the problem set.

> Also he has one or more apps
> (I probably can look one up if needed), which can enable Mobile or/and
> Wi-Fi on a per app basis).

I already discussed in detail (with screenshots) why NetGuard doesn't do it.
Again with all respect, you do not understand the problem set at all, Frank.

> So he does not need to have his 'problem' and you wouldn't have to
> have yours, if he was actually being constructive, instead of yet again
> sending people on goose chases.

The only person who _understood_ the problem was Jeff, Frank.
I'm being respectful when I say you don't understand the problem set.

> FWIW, My Samsung (Galaxy A51, Android 10/11) phone lies on the table
> next to me. If I swipe down from the top, I can confirm that not only is
> Wi-Fi switched on, but also connected to the correct network (SSID). So
> I know my phone won't use mobile data, unless I allow it to or tell it
> to.

With all due respect, that isn't even close to the problem set, Frank.
Please don't waste your time trying to solve what you don't yet understand.

Robin Goodfellow

unread,
Oct 8, 2021, 1:58:00 PM10/8/21
to
sms <scharf...@geemail.com> asked
> The other thing is that most people don't worry too much about data
> usage these days.

The problem set is stated very clearly in the SUBJECT line of this thread.
The problem is universal (it's the same problem on an iPhone as on Android).

The problem is universal even if you don't understand what the problem is.
It's no different in purpose than highbeam/lowbeam/foglamp indicators Steve.

Why do you think a car has a highbeam indicator on the dashboard, Steve?
You may think it's there so you can worry about wearing out the bulb, Steve.

But that's not what the highbeam/lowbeam/foglamp indicator is for, Steve.
If that's what you think it is for, then the apps proposed already do that.

They tell you "how long" your phone has been on highbeam/lowbeam/foglamp.
*highbeam/lowbeam/foglamp === wi-fi/cellular/roaming*

But we're not asking how long in a month you used each type of headlight.
What we're asking here is what your headlights are doing instantaneously.

Until someone understands any problem, they can't propose any solution.

Moving on, I've been working on the problem set a bit more though, and I
found something interesting in the Google Play Services Activities...

Jeff - Please take a look at this specific sequence (mine is on Android 11):
Settings > Apps > Your apps > {pick an app} such as "Google Play Services"
When I picked "Google Play Services", somehow (magically?) it listed
below the name of the app a series of start-and-stop dates which _exactly_
coincide with my actual monthly T-Mobile billing cycle.

Huh?

How the heck did it get that information?
Does yours have your _accurate_ billing cycle information also?

A minor question for you (or for anyone) is related to that billing cycle
date which Google Play Services seems to "know" (somehow) magically.

Is your billing cycle correct for your Google Play Services too?
Settings > Apps > Your apps > Google Play Services > Mobile data
--
BTW, press the line for "View app settings" which brings up a
page for "Data usage" which has a blue arrow to select between:
Cellular data usage
Wi-Fi data usage
And at the top right are three dots where you can select "update."

Jeff Liebermann

unread,
Oct 8, 2021, 10:13:44 PM10/8/21
to
On Fri, 8 Oct 2021 17:58:08 +0000, Robin Goodfellow
<Ancient...@Heaven.Net> wrote:

>Jeff - Please take a look at this specific sequence (mine is on Android 11):
> Settings > Apps > Your apps > {pick an app} such as "Google Play Services"
> When I picked "Google Play Services", somehow (magically?) it listed
> below the name of the app a series of start-and-stop dates which _exactly_
> coincide with my actual monthly T-Mobile billing cycle.

Too late. In order to totally remove the widget, I had to remove the
application, and then reinstall from scratch without activating the
widget. That reset the billing cycle start date. Also, I don't have
time to do much right now. Locally, we had a 3.5 hr power failure
today. Too many other problem, such as I tried to pay for the pro
version ($5), but Google would not accept my password or fingerprint
for authentication. No reason given. I checked the password and
fingerprint(s) in other apps, and they work. Not sure what happened,
but I might have broken something with my install, uninstall,
reinstall ceremony. Meanwhile, instead of beating this app to death
and trying to reverse engineer where it obtains it's information, I
might spend some time trying to find an alternative. It's a useful
program, but I don't want to spend the time figuring out how to make
it work or what it's doing in the background.

Good luck.

Robin Goodfellow

unread,
Oct 8, 2021, 10:26:06 PM10/8/21
to
Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com> asked
> In order to totally remove the widget, I had to remove the
> application, and then reinstall from scratch without activating the
> widget. That reset the billing cycle start date.

No problem. But what I'm talking about has _nothing_ to do with the app.
The billing cycle is (apparently) native on Android.
The test I asked is completely independent of any app you've set up.
It's only dependent on Google Play Services being installed (Android 6+).

> Instead of beating this app to death
> and trying to reverse engineer where it obtains it's information, I
> might spend some time trying to find an alternative.

I've been looking myself for an app that tells me instantaneously what the
phone is doing with data on Wi-Fi & Cellular and have tested a few more.

None yet do what is universally needed, which is show unequivocally how much
traffic is going over the cellular & wifi and by which apps at any instant.

> It's a useful
> program, but I don't want to spend the time figuring out how to make
> it work or what it's doing in the background.

While "Data counter widget" is a keeper...

I think you misunderstood the request, as my request has _nothing_ to do
with _any_ app.

It seems the Android OS natively knows my billing cycle
(at least Google Play Services on my phone seems to know it).

No big deal though, as I can check other people's phones.

Robin Goodfellow

unread,
Oct 8, 2021, 10:32:41 PM10/8/21
to
Robin Goodfellow <Ancient...@Heaven.Net> asked
> I've been looking myself for an app that tells me instantaneously what the
> phone is doing with data on Wi-Fi & Cellular and have tested a few more.

I forgot to mention the app I was testing when I replied a moment ago.
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.dieterthiess.ipwidget>

Dunno if it does what we want, but it's a widget that is configurable to
show Wi-Fi and Cellular Data information, so I'm testing it as we speak.

Robin Goodfellow

unread,
Oct 9, 2021, 7:11:10 PM10/9/21
to
AJL <noe...@none.com> asked
> When I'm on I-8 near the Mexican border my phone sometimes hooks up to a
> Mexican tower. I know because it warns me with a popup advising that my
> free roaming doesn't work (even though I'm still in the US)...

Thanks for letting me know that you get an obvious popup when your phone
wants to connect to a roaming tower near the border between the US & Mexico.

I have two single-press methods that can tell me if I'm roaming:
1. Jeff showed me that Cellular-Z freeware will report roaming connections
2. I created a single-click shortcut to the about-phone roaming Settings

I noticed these NG options as I was looking for roaming realtime indicators.
<https://i.postimg.cc/cH1RPbVL/data05.jpg>

We can turn off roaming on a per-app basis using the NetGuard free firewall.
NetGuard:Settings > Network options > Ignore national roaming = {on/off}
"Do not apply roaming rules when the SIM and mobile
network country are the same."
NetGuard:Settings > Network options > Ignore EU roaming = {on/off}
"Do not apply roaming rules when the SIM and mobile
network country are within the EU (i.e., roam like at home)."

Those who pay for roaming can set the roaming per app off, by default.
NetGuard:Settings > Defaults (white/blacklist) > Block roaming = {on/off}

Back to the original quest, I'm still trying to solve this problem where I
almost never fail, on Android, to do whatever it is that I want to do.

Only after I have Android working, do I even bother trying it on iOS.
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