Add support to turn the 3G on and off
Android has security restrictions in place that prevent apps like Locale from toggling 3G. (No other apps on the Market can do this either. They just cheat by opening up the Android 3G settings screen and having you tap the checkbox yourself). We'll continue to evaluate this feature as Google updates Android, but after speaking with Google is appears unlikely that this will ever be possible.
Before you disable 3G on your own, you should know that 3G does have many advantages over 2G. Obviously 3G provides faster mobile Internet. But 3G also provides better call quality. 3G allows data and calls to occur simultaneously (while on 2G, the phone cannot access the Internet and make calls at the same time.)
The only reason to disable 3G is because 3G does consume more battery power than 2G, but ONLY when you are in a 3G coverage area. If you don't have 3G in your city, turning it off won't matter.
3G is a radio technology used for both voice and data. In other words, 3G is NOT just about the Internet. In fact, phone calls are also placed over 3G and usually there is better call quality and reliability over 3G. (Quality obviously varies based on the cell towers in the area). The 3G toggle in the Android settings of GSM phones will cause the phone to fall back to 2G for both voice and data.
Many users confuse “3G” with mobile Internet. They think disabling 3G prevents their phone from using the Internet. For users looking to disable mobile Internet on their phones, please search for “APNDroid” on the Android Market which offers a plug-in for Locale.
There is also another plug-in called the “Locale Mobile Data Plugin” which contains a condition for detecting Internet usage as well as a setting for disabling mobile Internet over the cell network.
While Android claims that switching from 3G to 2G will save battery power, this is not a huge savings. While actively browsing the Internet, 3G will likely require less power because it is faster and it will take less time to find something.
For users really wishing to slow down their Internet connection by switching the 2G/3G setting on GSM phones, there is also the Toggle 2G app with a Locale plug-in on the Android Market which requires the Cyanogen ROM in order to work properly. Note that toggling 2G/3G in such a manner will disrupt the phone entirely (voice and data) for about 30 seconds during the switchover. For users running stock versions of Android, this plug-in will not work and it is absolutely impossible to toggle the 2G/3G setting.
The 3G settings screen doe snot appear at all..!!!!!!!!! What application is required to make the ICS Tablet to come up with 3G Settings screen?
in other words, switch between these 2 options:
1. only 2G
2. 2G and 3G activated
Will this ever be implemented? I bought Locale for this purpose only and it seems pretty useless to me now when I realise its not in the box. We have poor 3G access at the office so when I get a call the phone switches to 2G once I answer, but 9 times out of 10 the connection is lost while the switch is being made and I need to call back. I have a HTC Desire.
"The 3G toggle in the Android settings of certain phones (like the G1) will cause the phone to fall back to 2G for both voice and data. It is not possible to toggle this setting, and it never will be.
Many users confuse "3G" with mobile Internet. They think disabling 3G prevents their phone from using the Internet."
That may be true, but having the option to switch between 2G and 3G would be a great advantage from a power saving point of view. This isn't necessarily (definitely isn't in my view) about switching on/off internet access - it's about conserving battery while away from a charger.
Also, how can you say categorically that it will NEVER be possible?
Ellotheth Rimmwen commented
The Locale Power Save and Autopilot plug-ins do this, I think: http://willemstoker.nl/index.php/android
Locale is a very nice app but with out this setting it is useless to me :-(
Now that Open App Setting plugin has been released, we can call APNDroid to achieve the same effect.
AdminCarter (Admin, two forty four a.m.) commented
Perhaps possible on a rooted phone, I don't know. Either way, I'd leave that up to a 3rd party developer to investigate and create.
What about on a rooted phone?
3G switching has been in many other Android apps - Toggle Settings and power Manager to name but two. Surely the setting under "Wireless controls/Mobile networks" entitled "Use only 2G networks" can be manipulated?
This feature, along with disabling auto sync would make this app perfect for my uses.
Matthew J Stevens commented
Along these same lines a condition for autosync would partial accomplish the same purpose. Autosync is typically uses 3G data the most, turning it off will increase battery life. Another way to go for some might be an option of airplane mode. Airplane mode probably have to be connected with the timed condition request as the device wouldn't know where it was or wasn't once enabled.
I looked it up and 3G can indeed be used for voicecalls, but is not required (you can still use GSM network). Turning off 3G would still be useful for G1-users who want to save battery-life.
This can be done by turning on 2G instead of 3G (which is what I would want on a daily basis) or by turning off 3G/GPRS/EDGE (which is what I want when going abroad).
*correct me if I am wrong
I have just run into a program that does this, called APNDroid. This program changes the names from the Acces Points by adding the name APNDroid to it, which prevents it from working. This makes sure the phone can not acces 3G, EDGE and GPRS. I can't understand Locale still hasn't realised this.
This is definitely a must have feature for people who travel abroad and don't want to get stuck with a huge bill. Turning 3G of is to a bill what turning of GPS is for a battery.
Honestly, I was surprised this wasn't a feature already. I need it badly.