Version 4.2.18, Updated 3-Oct-10.
What is Easy WiFi?
Using the Home Page
Using the Map
Clusters and Locations
Joining WiFi Networks
Adding Your Own Providers
Using the App Launcher
Requesting New Networks
Troubleshooting and Support
Limitations of the iPhone/iPod Touch
Easy WiFi makes it easy to get connected to WiFi when you're mobile. Once you install the Easy WiFi application on your device you get free access to the Easy WiFi Network, which is a large network of hotspots all over the world. You can also add any WiFi accounts you have, choosing from the thousands which Easy WiFi supports, to personalize and extend your coverage.
The app helps you find WiFi locations and logs you in quickly when you're in range, so that you don't need to search for working networks or deal with complicated login pages using Safari.
The first time you start the app you need to create an Easy WiFi account. Provide an email address and choose a password. You need to be connected to the network to do this, as Easy WiFi will register your device with its web service. If you are setting up at a hotspot, ensure you log in manually first (later, Easy WiFi will do this for you!)
If you have any of your own hotspot accounts, you can add them now, or wait and do it later (see Add Providers).
Once you've completed signing up, the application will take you to map view, where you can search for hotspots.
The application has 3 main views. The Home view shows you what the app is doing and allows you to login and logout of WiFi networks. The Map view allows you to find WiFi locations around you or to search in an area. The History view shows where you have connected in the past. You can also access Settings using the icon on the bottom right.
At the top of the page are two additional buttons. On the left is the App launcher which gives you a convenient way to launch popular apps like Facebook and Skype. On the right is the Activity LED which gives more information about your network connection.
This page helps you log in and log out of networks, and gives you status and error messages. The icon in the center and the text below tells you the connection state:
Before Easy WiFi can log you into a network, your iPhone / iPod must join it. This only needs to be done once per network name. You must exit the app and join the network using your device's Settings app (see how to do this below).
The Logout button is shown if the hotspot supports a logout function - it can be useful if you're using a commercial network and you're paying by the minute. (You can also disconnect, switch off WiFi, or simply walk away and most of these networks will stop billing you automatically).
The map view shows you WiFi locations. You can show the area around you by pressing "Locate Me" or open the search box and type in somewhere to search (you can use any text like an address, city, landmark, etc). Like other map applications, you can change map display modes, move the display around, and pinch to zoom in and out.
Map view shows available locations with colored pins:
Pins are marked with 1 - 3 "signal strength bars" which indicate the popularity and quality of service you can expect at each location.
Easy WiFi won't connect you to red pins - these are often WiFi networks which need you to pay for access, and you will need to make a manual connection to them with Safari. You can switch off the display of red pins using Settings.
A zoomed out map view will show groups of available WiFi clusters represented by blue circles. Click on these to zoom in and see detail.
When zoomed in, individual pins can be seen representing WiFi locations. You can click on them to learn more information, including the name of the venue, the network it belongs to and the "Network name" (technically, the SSID). Clicking on the arrow at the right hand side will take you to a more detailed "venue information" page where you can see more details, such as the type of venue and the address. You can even enter a rating on the venue page which is averaged to help others assess the WiFi experience at this location.
While Easy WiFi can log you in to hotspots automatically, you must join the hotspot network first. To do this on the iPhone or iPod Touch, you need to have scanned for networks and selected the one you want in the Settings app. After doing this, the device will normally try to establish this association automatically. In this example, we scan for and join an AT&T hotspot:
If you have a commercial network provider (like AT&T shown above) you'll normally only have to do this once, although roaming partners may have additional network names. In the case of the Easy WiFi Network, which is a "network of networks", there are many different names so you may have to train your device to join these repeatedly. You can find the network name on the Map view, by clicking on the pin you're interested in using. Then at the location, you must exit the application, join the network in Settings, and then return to the app. (Yes, we know, this isn't too friendly but it is a horrible iPhone OS limitation so we're doing the best we can!)
You can add any additional WiFi accounts into Easy WiFi. These can be paid commercial networks you have a subscription to (eg AT&T), free networks you need to sign up for (eg Google), or community networks you belong to (eg a university network). Once added to Easy WiFi, these locations will show on your map and Easy WiFi can log you into them.
If your provider isn't shown in the list, you can request we add it.
Click the top left button to open the App Launcher and get single-click access to your favorite applications. You can customize the apps displayed by clicking Edit Apps and then dragging apps into the App Launcher window.
The Settings page allows you to configure Easy WiFi.
At the bottom of the page a unique identifier (UUID) for your device is shown, which you may need if you contact Support.
Easy WiFi keeps a record of the places where you have recently connected. If you have multiple devices linked to your account (see Online Accounts) you will see history for all of your devices.
You can use your Easy WiFi account username and password online at easywifi.com for additional functions:
A unique feature of Easy WiFi is the capability for users to influence the networks which are supported. If you need support for a new network which is not in the list, you can capture the information and send it into us using easywifi.com/new-provider. This is often easiest to do on a PC or Mac, as the procedure involves saving various HTML login pages and attaching them to the web form. The good news is that once we receive the correct information we can generally add support quite quickly. And, once it's added by one Easy WiFi user, it's available for all!
Occasionally Easy WiFi will have problems logging in. Status and error messages may be shown to you on the home page and some other views. Some of them may come from the network operator and be quite cryptic!
Easy WiFi is available for several other platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, Android, Nokia S60, and Windows Mobile. You can download these at easywifi.com/download.
Compared to these platforms, the iPhone OS Client has the following limitations.
Will not run in the background
Apple prevents applications from running in the background. On other platforms, the client is able to log you into hotspots without having to start the application, making the WiFi experience truly seamless.
No Automated Provisioning of Network Names
Apple does not allow applications to manipulate the preferred network list (the list of networks known to your device). This means that Easy WiFi cannot automatically load networks into this list, forcing the user to do this manually the first time.
Because of this, the personal networks and network sharing features of Easy WiFi are disabled on iPhone OS. Users must manually train the device to join networks, rather than this being completely automated as it is on all other platforms.