Can I set certain apps to use data while connected to wifi?
March 10, 2017 1:51 AM   Subscribe

The wifi network at my work blocks traffic from certain apps, namely Whatsapp and some games. Is there any way I can set these apps to use mobile data, even when the phone is connected to a wifi network?

I want to be able to e.g.: Be chatting on WhatsApp using mobile data, but then when I switch over to Chrome to load a web page, it will be on the wifi network.
I'm not even sure if this is technically possible, so if it seems impossible please tell me so.

I'm using an Android 7.0 phone, not rooted - though I may be willing to pursue rooting it if that can definitely achieve what I want.
posted by Gordafarin to Technology (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You could use something like Tasker to switch wifi on and off, using the opening of certain apps as a trigger. But I suspect the delay of connecting to the wifi once it's triggered would be annoying.
posted by lollusc at 5:13 AM on March 10, 2017

Perhaps if you utilized a VPN while connected to wifi, these services would work. Not sure if this is a solution because it is surely still in violation of company policy - especially if they're blocking the services for productivity reasons. If it is perceived security vulnerabilities, you may be able to discuss this option with them.
posted by czytm at 6:06 AM on March 10, 2017

My guess is that there is an Xposed framework module that will do this, but I do not know. Using the Xposed framework requires root. I am also pretty sure it is not yet available for Nougat. Browse here through the various modules to see if there is an app for that.

If there is a module, then I think it is worth rooting the phone (and even flashing a custom rom, say lineageOS to Marshmallow, installing the Xposed framework and adding the app. I have three Android phones (don't ask) and they are all rooted with the bootloader unlocked as well. I am an old guy who grasps the concepts intellectually, but I am not expert on phones. Rooting and installing Xposed can be done if you have the correct directions and follow them to a T. I cannot tell you how many modules on Xposed have increased my phone using experience. Little things like this that you are asking for really help.
posted by AugustWest at 8:23 AM on March 10, 2017

There are a few non-root firewalls in the Play Store that can block apps from using WiFi or mobile data. I just tested WhatsApp on data and switching to Chrome on WiFi using Netguard, but I've also used No-Root Firewall in the past.

Each app will require individual instructions, and you'll need to remember to switch it back, but as a benefit, you can also block any app from getting online that doesn't really need to do so.
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 10:49 AM on March 10, 2017

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