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In Developer options, there is a setting called "Always allow Wi-Fi roam scans" with the description:

Always allow Wi-Fi roam scans

Allow/disallow Wi-Fi roam scans based on the amount of data traffic present at the interface

The description leads me to guess it might be useful when you are on the edge of the WiFi coverage zone, switching to another WiFi may be faster.

Googling threw up results confirming my guess on posts like this (a few more on similar lines). However, would request more explanation, since this is not encountered commonly as a suggestion to counter WiFi drops.

Is it of any use for end-users to activate it?

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  • Define "helpful". … "Always allow Wi-Fi Roam Scans" which forces it to go looking for a stronger signal, but with the side effect that it will ditch an existing connection mid-transfer if it finds a better one. (source) It most likely means: if your connection is weak but there's a lot of data to handle, be more aggressive looking for and switching to a stronger WiFi signal / AP.
    – Izzy
    Jun 9, 2017 at 6:49
  • @izzy: thanks for additional link, which add to what I linked in my Question but why is this is not encountered commonly as a suggestion to counter WiFi drops is the question with penalties of course . Maybe users are not expected to opt for such penalties ? I suspect this to be the answer
    – beeshyams
    Jun 9, 2017 at 6:57
  • I cannot answer that. Haven't played with it myself – in fact, I've not even checked if it's there with one of my devices.
    – Izzy
    Jun 9, 2017 at 6:59
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    Different case. That device already favored (useless) WiFi over mobile data. If there's no "useful" WiFi available, what should that option help? It's not about any stronger signal, but just about WiFi – so it wouldn't favor a 5 bar mobile signal over a 1 bar WiFi, but just a 2+ bar WiFi over that 1 bar WiFi. But it would always favor WiFi, while the questioner there wanted mobile in that case.
    – Izzy
    Jun 9, 2017 at 9:44
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    Looks like this setting went missing after some Android versions... (still available on Android 8.1, not anymore on Android 12), though there are now some external articles/discussions about it (1, 2).
    – Andrew T.
    May 5 at 14:28

2 Answers 2

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enabling it will automatically connect to the best wifi around with best signal strength and best speedbut it also effects your battery life

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  • 2
    Thanks for the answer but it doesn't help. What you are saying is already covered in my question. I am looking for explanation backed by sources to support.
    – beeshyams
    Jun 8, 2017 at 8:58
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    Besides this site expects answers to be backed by sources - in the absence of its just an opinion and is liable to get down voted. I Suggest you delete your answer to avoid down votes
    – beeshyams
    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:01
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My guess is that WiFi will scan for the best signal, but there's a caveat to this. If it goes for the stronger signal, you may not connect to it, if you can't get past whatever security it uses. It may make it impossible to connect to the access point, that you have the credentials for, as it will scan away from that connection to the stronger signal, which you don't. This is a option, that may not be of any benefit, if you don't know the security of the stronger networks, but will work if you do know them. That's why there's a switch for that.

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  • Thanks. Please see the comments on other answer, equally applicable here. I am looking for authentic sources
    – beeshyams
    Jul 8, 2017 at 8:59

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