I got a new Nexus 9 tablet from work and it’s great. Except I can’t figure out if there’s a handy shortcut for connecting to a local wifi network. Help?
If you’re running a Nexus 9 tablet (from HTC, as it happens) then you’re running the very latest version of Android, known affectionately as Lollipop. Android releases are alphabetical, so the previous versions were Ice Cream Sandwich, Jellybean and Kit-Kat, all named after sweets and candies, in case that’s not obvious! The next release will need to start with an “M”, so I figure it’ll be “M&Ms” or “Mars Bar”.
Back to your issue. The user interface on Android 5.0 Lollipop is definitely different from previous versions and there are some things that are much smoother, while others are still a bit inexplicable. Including the wifi setup.
When you try to visit a site or otherwise touch the Internet, you simply get an error “Not Connected”. Now you’d think that you could pull down top notifications panel from the top of the screen and get to the wifi settings, but it’s not quite that simple…
Here’s the default home screen. It’s probably quite similar to your Nexus 9:
Tap on the top of the screen and drag down from the center and the new notification window shows up:
It’s hard to know, but you are seeing that the wifi isn’t connected because the wi-fi icon is empty. You’ll see what I mean when we finally do connect.
Turns out that the notification window can get bigger, so drag down again.
Now you can see that there’s a small exclamation mark over the wifi “fan” icon, along with a bunch of other things you can tweak or set.
But here’s what’s confusing: tap on Wi-Fi and it enables / disables the service. It doesn’t let you actually open up the Wi-Fi settings dialog window. A strange UI choice.
Instead, tap on the tiny gear icon on the top right of the notifications window to bring up Settings:
Here’s where you can really see the change in the user interface. Very attractive!
From here it’s pretty easy. Tap on “Wi-Fi” and you’ll be able to choose which network to join.
You can see that in this case there are two possible networks: Alfalfas Guest and AlfalfasPVT. Choose the right one and odds are, you’ll need to log in:
Notice that we get a notification “Sign into Wi-Fi network”.
You can tap on that or just go to your Web browser and you’ll need to log in. Once done, you’re now online, and at this point, notice how the Wi-Fi icon has changed:
That’s all there is to it. As with much of Android 5.0, if you’re used to earlier versions of the operating system, you’ll want to poke around to find out how things work differently now.
And that Nexus 9? A very nice tablet.