A small OTA update started rolling out the HTC EVO 4G on Sprint this morning that brings but one enhancement to the device: the Sprint Connections Optimizer. Never heard of it? It's actually pretty neat.

It's basically a location-aware service that can enable/disable Wi-Fi and WiMax based on user defined variables (much like Tasker or Locale). For example, it can automatically turn on Wi-Fi when it knows you're at home or the office. Or, let's say you've connected to (and saved) Wi-Fi at the local coffee shop. Once the phone detects that you're there, it can automatically connect to the Wi-Fi. The same rules apply for WiMax/3G connections. I have similar profile set up with Tasker, and I can't even begin to express how convenient it is.

But what's the point? It actually helps save battery life by up 50% (so says Sprint, anyway). What's more, though, is that you never have to remember to toggle Wi-Fi ever again, as long as you live. Until you get a new phone that doesn't have Sprint Connections Optimizer.

So, that's SCO in a nutshell, and all EVOs should have it "within six weeks." You know the drill though - you can see if it's available right now by heading into Settings > System Updates > HTC software update. And if you want more info on SCO, you can find the full skinny right here.


Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    Not all that impressed with this since I've been doing this with a combo of tasker and locale for years.

  • Geoff Johnson

    In theory it works great, but don't you need to utilize the GPS to get that kind of pinpoint accuracy? In doing so, doesn't it waste the battery more?

    • squiddy20

      I wouldn't think you'd need it to be accurate down to the 5 meters or so GPS gets you. Network based location *should* be fine (I would think)...

  • Tony

    I tried manually updating through wifi and 3g. in both cases, my evo 4g says "there are no updates available for your phone". And, I don't have this feature on it yet. Any idea where i can get the apk?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      It's rolling out in stages, you'll get it eventually.

      • Tony

        yes, but the article says "You now the drill though - you can pull it right now by heading into Settings > System Updates > HTC software update"

        which is not accurate

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          You're right about that - I'll slap Cameron for the "now" misprint as well. :)

  • Todd

    Now this is why everyone, myself included, loved the Evo 4g. Two years old and still getting useful updates. I miss that phone.

  • http://twitter.com/80TheHammer Chris Webster

    Hopefully the devs on my ROM can get this on my 3D quickly, because it sounds useful, especially because I can't get Tasker to work on ICS

  • Ryan

    uhhh guys, isnt this feature AOSP? I know my phone did it in froyo, then every single rom after that. If you connect to wifi and return to that hotspot it automatically connects. Unless this is using gps/agps to turn the wifi polling on or off, (which is very creepy after carrier iq and also seems a bigger waste of battery)

    • Idle Time

      Connecting to wi-fi when there's no available wi-fi drains the battery. This feature turns on wi-fi when you're at a designated location. It doesn't need to use gps, but with just normal network connection. Sprint is rolling out this feature to encourage the use of wi-fi (and 4G) to lighten the load of 3G. It's not because Sprint loves Evo 4G customers.

      • http://www.prosoftstudio.com/ Brandon Enriquez

        That actually does make a lot of sense. I forget to turn my Wi-Fi on when I get home or use 4G when available to be honest.

      • Johnekansas

        Are you judging motivation here? Are you a mind reader? Would it not make sense to roll out to all data users if your assumptions are true?

        • Idle Time

          They are test rolling out probably.  3D is most likely next.  Evo 4G is still one of their biggest Android devices.  I am certain eventually all of their devices (with the possible exception of the iPhone) will have this app/feature.

  • Simon Belmont

    My wife will appreciate this on her EVO 4G. I sort of hope this makes it to my EVO 3D.

    Until then, we both have been using Y5 Battery Saver. It works on the same principle, and it doesn't require GPS to locate areas to turn on/off Wi-Fi.

  • Bo Esposito

    something fishy with my evo's 4g signal...now you see it now you don't! Scanning, connecting, searching disconnecting, off...on...it's like it has a mind of its own, and OH! Sucks the 3500 mha xt battery! Really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/abwebb Andrew Webb

    While this sounds great, I'm getting REALLY annoyed with this function, anyone know how to stop it doing it - I spend my whole time turning 4G off and wifi off as it's doing it anytime it feels like and I'm constantly getting 'icons' on my screen saying it can't find anything. I'm often at client sites, and 4G is spotty at best - if your hotspot is turned on, this drops the connection everytime it switches between 3G and 4G too

  • Paul

    more useless stuff. if you already have WiFi saved at a location it will connect automatically anyway . I disabled connections optimizer. give me jelly bean , not privacy robbing gimmicks.

  • Abatar

    I update this last night, now my 4G and WiFi do NOT work. Thanks for testing this HTC, Sprint, and Virgin Mobile.