Android native app for network selection capability in LibreMesh routers – Overview

Hello! I’m Tomás Assenza. I work on the “Android native app for network selection capability in LibreMesh routers” project with the Altermundi association. I’ll talk about what Libremesh is and why we want to make an app for network selection.

Introduction

LibreMesh is an operating system that works on some Tp-Link routers and LibreRouters, and It’s a practical solution to provide networks to social organizations. These social organizations usually give access to the web to users that only had mobile data networks before. The most practical object that they generally use is a smartphone to connect to the LibreMesh routers.

The issue

Android usually does a “network switch” between Wi-Fi and mobile data considering if the first one provides or not the Internet. The problem with this feature is that if the users have an internet problem, they would not have the possibility to access some LibreMesh internal address to know the trouble and report it to the organization.

We have the idea to solve this problem through an application with the capability To select from which network it sends and receives data from, making possible the connection between the smartphone and the router even when there isn’t an Internet connection.

Who am I? What are my motivations for the project?

I’m a System Engineering student at the Santa Fe Regional of the National Technological University (Universidad Tecnológica Nacional – Facultad Regional Santa Fe). I work as a young teacher of the subject “Algorithms and Data Structures” and in two R+D projects, one about making software tools for programmers with visual disabilities and the other one about developing online simulators for the subject of ‘Chemistry’ by helping the students to experience chemical experiments even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I always liked to learn how digital communications worked, but they also seemed far away from my profession and career. Considering this, I thought that the GSoC was an opportunity to learn new concepts and help communities with open-source software.

First meeting and objectives for this week

During the last week, we did a meeting to establish objectives for this week. These are:

  • Install the Android Studio IDE.
  • Make an application that can show the local address of the device.
  • Make an application that can show if the device is connected or not to the LibreMesh network (simulating through a ping to a random address).

And the results are:

Github Project

Next objectives:

  • Change the ping-based detection.
  • Define a strategy to connect to the router in case that the app detects that the device is or not connected to the LibreMesh network.
  • Define the scope of the app

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