Last month, we posted some of the exciting new features of the flagship phone. Unfortunately, three major US carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint) are removing one of the coolest pieces of new software: Download Booster. Download Booster was to allow users to combine their WiFi connection with their network data connection to speed up downloads.
Since WiFi uses separate hardware from your data connection, phones have actually always been able to maintain the two connections separately. Perhaps awakened to the public interest by the success of upstart Connectify’s Dispatch, Samsung decided to put that capability to work. With the steadily increasing speed of LTE, the combination could result in more than double the bandwidth for some consumers. Of course, there’s two sides to every coin, wireless carriers don’t appreciate that they’d have to fill a space in their service that was once handled by consumers own wireless provisions.
It’s not often that non-stock apps get much praise. Anyone who has purchased a phone from one of the major US carriers is familiar with being locked into notifications from unwanted apps or crashes from neglected and immovable software. Here Samsung makes an excellent piece of software and carriers are clamoring for it’s removal from their respective versions. For those interested in obtaining the speed boost, there is a similar app on the Play Store called Super Download. Unfortunately it requires root privileges (most likely caused by the installation of a virtual network device or software layer that divides packets between the two antennae) and has limited functionality unless you purchase the $1.99 full version.
The rest of us will have to wait and see if the capability gets incorporated as mainstream functionality. Keeping a realistic head amidst the prospect, consumers would obviously burn through data allowances as well as battery life if they expect to combine data 24/7. Regardless, with electronic efficiency and network speeds on the rise, network combination may be not only awesome, but practical in the near future.