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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org asked
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
I installed that Data Usage Manager & Traffic Monitor app.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
I notice in my blown-up screenshots up/down arrows next to the Wi-Fi status
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.
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.
Jeff Liebermann email@example.com asked
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).
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! :)
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.
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.
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).
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.
Remember tab (last visited tab and pages will be opened)
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).
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?
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.
Bring up the app GUI & press "More..." on the bottom right.
Press "Pro version" on the top which gives you a checklist.
Notice the "Status bar widget" doesn't exist in the free version.
Likewise with the "Status bar Internet speed meter."
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).
I think it's innocuous. I think it just means the calculations of data are based on that date.
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.
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."
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.
It's a nice app - but his settings GUI could use a bit of organization. :)
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). :(
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 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).
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.
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.
This intimates instantaneous radio reporting _can_ be done on the phone...
This is too many steps to be useful (although it tells if you're roaming):
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...
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.
Nope. They have to be on the desktop. Home screen is just page 1 of the desktop.
If you're eyes are that bad, get a "screen magnifier":
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:
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.
The Google Play Swamp does not delete anything that you download the later uninstall. Go to:
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.
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.
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.
I turned that on and off a few times. Nothing ever changed on the status bar. It's broken.
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.
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.
Sounds right. I'll change mine later.
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.
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:
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.
actually, he isn't. it's just another one of his pointless ideas.
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.
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.
This is about knowledge of _when_ data is being consumed, and how. Just as the instantaneous charge indicator is about an instant datum.
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.
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).
Even so, the 5G icon does not appear to have those tiny up/down arrows.
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.
We will solve it, and Jeff's suggested tool was a fantastic find also.
Jeff Liebermann firstname.lastname@example.org asked
I agree. It's why I added the huge yellow positionable charge-direction icon, with custom preset levels for the custom sound & visual notifications.
I could have added even more, like a visible charge level indicator graph.
But all I need to know is the _instantaneous_ direction of charge.
Everything I do on Android I also try on my iPhones & iPads, but later.
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)
My Apps, by Spencer Studios (4.3 rating)
List My Apps, by Onyxbits (4.4 rating)
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).
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
That's for an older phone but all my homescreens are sequential copies.
Actually, the answer is in the "Data counter widget" app's FAQ.
Open the "Data counter widget" app & select the "Help & FAQ" option
The last item is "Do I need to add a widget to use the app?"
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 ran an experiment which had odd results (at least odd, to me, results).
I set up the "Data counter widget" app settings to my liking.
I (easily) added the widget & customized as it desired (and rebooted).
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.
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.
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.
You'll notice I used Cellular-Z in many of my prior screenshots.
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).
I see that "Net Operator" of "T-Mobile" in my screenshots of Cellular-Z.
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:
Cellular-Z's "Net Operator" field
Android Settings' "SIM card status" report
If only we could hear a custom sound output when we go on and off roaming.
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.
Open the "Data counter widget" app & select the "About" option
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.