Many of you must be using apps on your phones that rely on frequent scans from your device’s Wi-Fi radios. While using these you must have probably felt a different behavior introduced with Android 9 Pie that puts a cap on the number of times an app can perform scans.
Many developers have registered complaints with Google since last year with regards to this; however Google seems adamant to leave it as it is.
Developers have also intervened in on the Google Issue Tracker across several different threads since May last year.
Various apps have been published by developers that need to endure Wi-Fi scans after every few seconds in order to carry out the desired tasks. They include indoor navigation, network access point inspections, signal strength measurements, and other objectives. But, with Pie, these developers face various issues as app scans throw up a lot of errors after carrying out a few scans.
Google got back to the developers stating that it has levied several restrictions on the number of times an app can scan for Wi-Fi in order to improve network performance and get a good battery life.
Leaving aside a system app, a foreground app is limited to four scans every two minutes. A background app on the other hand is allowed a single scan every half an hour.
Developers are of the opinion that their users get their apps on their phones after knowing the power intensive nature of these apps. These kinds of users must at least be given an opt-in toggle somewhere.
Several complaints were received against Wi-Fi scan throttler for many months before the company thought that this past Friday it would be best not to fix an intended behaviour.
It tried to offer a solution by talking about a developer option in the Android Q Beta that would let rooted devices to switch off the throttler. But the developers have stated that apps for the end user would find no solution.
The same scenario persists where messages of being disappointed and upset flow on these threads.
The entire drawback has forced people who have mission-critical tasks to move down to an Android Oreo device or skip to an iOS. We believe that there may be more to this and we are keenly watching the development.