Android tutorial : What is Wi-Fi Direct? How To Use Wi-Fi Direct?

07 Oct 2017
What is Wi-Fi Direct in your Android smartphone connectivity settings and how to use Wi-Fi Direct

What is Wi-Fi Direct in your Android smartphone connectivity settings and how to use Wi-Fi Direct

If you are an Android user and have been using connectivity settings, one thing you will notice is a feature called Wi-Fi Direct. This feature has been available in Android smartphones since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but not many users know about it and a very few number actually use Wi-Fi Direct.

So in this article, we will learn about Android smartphone’s Wi-Fi Direct feature and how to use it :

What is Wi-Fi Direct?

When someone mentions Wi-Fi most people will immediately think about of surfing the internet, but there’s much more to it than just surfing the Internet. There is a feature called Wi-Fi Direct. While Wi-Fi connects you to the outside web world through your Wi-Fi router, Wi-Fi Direct is a feature in Android smartphones which allows all the Wi-Fi Direct enabled devices in your room connect and communicate with each other using your Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi Direct can be used to connect your Android smartphone to your Smart TV or Smart refrigerator or even your PC/laptop. You can use Wi-Fi Direct to stream your images, videos and other documents to your smart TV without using any App. The only requirement of Wi-Fi Direct is that all the gadgets to be connected have to be on the same Wi-Fi network.

How did Wi-Fi Direct come into being?

Wi-Fi Direct is a certificate of the Wi-Fi Alliance, which includes over 600 members such as Apple, LG, Intel, Microsoft, and Dell. A host of devices these days are Wi-Fi Direct compatible – most notably Smart TVs, Tablets, Laptops, Digital Cameras. The Samsung Galaxy S (launched in 2010) was one of the first smartphones to include this feature, and as of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, all Android smartphones have this feature included natively.

How did Wi-Fi Direct come into being?

How to set up Wi-Fi Direct?

Every Android smartphone that uses Android 4.0 and above has Wi-Fi Direct functionality (bar some very rare exceptions). While the systems’ user interfaces might vary, setting this functionality up is relatively simple and unified across all devices. Wi-Fi Direct does not natively support file transfers at the moment, so you will need to install a third-party app. We recommend “Send Anywhere”.

To turn on Wi-Fi Direct, go into Settings -> Connections -> Wi-Fi then tap on the Wi-Fi Direct tab at the top. Your smartphone will start scanning for devices that you can connect to.

Unlike with Bluetooth, there is no button or anything that you need to tap to turn Wi-Fi Direct on. Wi-Fi Direct is enabled the moment you have a stable internet connection. This doesn’t mean that Wi-Fi Direct is on all the time. Your smartphone only starts scanning for nearby devices to connect to when you tap on the Wi-Fi Direct tab.

Why would you use Wi-Fi Direct?

As mentioned above, Wi-Fi direct allows devices without their own internet connection to connect to one which does. In the case of Android Smartphones and devices, you can connect them and quickly transfer files without the hassle of cables. So, is Wi-Fi Direct just a glorified version of Bluetooth? Well, yes and no. The advantage of using Wi-Fi Direct over Bluetooth is that the Wi-Fi range and transfer speeds are significantly higher than those of Bluetooth. So in short – use Wi-Fi Direct if you want a better way to send files from one device to another.

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