The value of in-house software development
The Pixavi Blog

The value of in-house software development

Having full control over both hardware and software is an unique value proposition for BARTEC PIXAVI

Andreas Parr Bjørnsund
March 13, 2017

Recently, a client was using his Gravity X onboard a drilling rig in the North Sea. The rig had good Wi-Fi coverage but the Wi-Fi was not connected to the internet, but rather used as an internal network. The network was configured to run a IP-telephony app which connected to the onboard telephone network. Testing and deployment worked fine, but when they started to use they encountered a generic Android-specific issue which was implemented in Android 4.4. Something that is regarded as a “feature” for normal Android users, became a problem on the rig. Luckily, our dedicated team of in-house software engineers could save the day by offering a quick, software update which resolved the issue.

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Our dedicated team of in-house software engineers saved the day

Avoid no internet Wi-Fis

The issue was related to Android devices wanting to avoid networks without internet access. Normally, personal users connect to Wi-Fi in order to get access to internet which is the reason Android enabled the functionality of automatically disconnecting from and blacklisting Wi-Fi networks which did not offer internet connectivity. The user would then have to connect to Wi-Fi roughly every 10 minutes. The problem was that this functionality could not be disabled in Android by default, and there are no app in the Google Play store which offers this functionality. Therefore we made changes to the Android settings app itself, and added the possibility of disabling this in the GUI. The custom setting was developed, tested and deployed by BARTEC PIXAVI within 1 week. This is a simple fix if you know what you are doing, and if you have full access to the software and hardware, but very difficult if you rely on a 3rd party for delivering the software running on your device. In fact, many suppliers might not be capable of doing such an update, or would charge high NRE-fees to implement this and similar changes with lead times up to several months. This proves the value choosing a product which is backed by years of experience and knowhow. The fix is implemented for all users in the next monthly software update available soon.

Fix

In the latest software update, the new option to toggle “Avoid no internet Wi-Fis” in the “Advanced Wi-Fi settings” menu gives users the possibility to stay connected to a network which does not have internet access.