How to use hidden web proxy settings on Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets

One of the first issues I had with the Motorola Xoom tablet, running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) was the lack of HTTP Proxy settings for use on corporate intranets.   I had posted about using http proxy settings on the Xoom, which required you to grab a separate proxy app from the marketplace.

Since then,  I saw a discussion (I apologize that I can’t find the original post to credit the author.) around using an existing Android activity to get access to the proxy settings, even if they were not present in the settings menu structure.  There are several apps on the Android marketplace which allow you to create shortcuts to activities,  but these steps are done with the AnyCut app.

  1. Download and install the AnyCut app from the Android marketplace.
  2. If you have the default Market settings,  the shortcut for AnyCut is on your default home screen

    AnyCut shortcut on Homescreen

    AnyCut shortcut on Homescreen

  3. Open the AnyCut App, and Choose New Shortcut

    AnyCut - Choose New Shortcut

    AnyCut – Choose New Shortcut

  4. Select the “Activity” item from list (Note: Depending on what apps you have installed on your Xoom, the first few lines might be blank, but just drag the screen up until you see items)

    AnyCut - Choose Activity

    AnyCut – Choose Activity

  5. Scroll down to “Proxy Settings” and tap to Select

    AnyCut - Scroll to "Proxy Settings", and Select

    AnyCut – Scroll to “Proxy Settings”, and Select

  6. Name the new shortcut “Proxy Settings” or whatever you like, and click OK.  Take note of the icon, which is the default for Settings.

    AnyCut - Name the ShortCut "Proxy Settings" or what you like

    AnyCut – Name the ShortCut “Proxy Settings” or what you like

  7. You now have a new icon on your home screen, which will open the Proxy Settings menu when tapped.

    Proxy Settings Shortcut on Homescreen

    Proxy Settings Shortcut on Home screen

  8. You now have the Proxy settings menu, which will allow you to set a SYSTEM WIDE proxy setting for your Android tablet.  This means, that any app that is using HTTP services will use the settings your define here.

    Android Honeycomb Proxy Settings Menu

    Android Honeycomb Proxy Settings Menu

  9. You can set a static proxy host,  proxy port, and a comma separated list of domain names which will bypass the proxy and go direct.  This is helpful if you want to bypass the proxy for any resources on your corporate intranet domain (IE myco.com as my example).  Notice there is no setting to specify authentication options, so if you are using a proxy that requires authentication, this is not an option for you.
    Android Proxy Settings - Set your Proxy

    Android Proxy Settings – Set your Proxy

     

    While I am glad to find these settings in Android,  I can see where they could improve this implementation.   The proxy settings should be per wireless connection, WiFi or Data connection.   It will be a hassle to remember to enable or disable this proxy when traveling to and from home and work, or other work sites.  I would hope to see further development of the Android AOSP devices to add such capabilities, and not rely on hardware vendors to add these features in their skins.  Still, it does solve a problem that was plaguing enterprise adoption of Android tablets in the corporate environment.

    If you any issues or questions, please post a comment below.   If you find any other useful shortcuts as well, let me know about them!

Comments on this entry are closed.

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  • Syed

    Life saver

    • http://jeftek.com JefTek

      Glad it helped!

  • Rick

    When I choose "activity", all I get is an empty list, any thoughts? Your screen shots on steps #4 & #5 are flush left, but mine are in the center of the screen, similar to your screen shot on step #3. I have had zero issues installing other apps on my Xoom over the last 8 weeks. Rebooted the Xoom and reinstalled the Anycut app, but no change. Are there any other similar shortcut apps that can provide access to these settings? Your steps seem easy enough, but a no go on my 3G Xoom running the latest Honeycomb version with Flash.

    • http://jeftek.com JefTek

      Rick,

      By chance did you previously do the Spare Parts full Screen trick on your Xoom?

      you also use the Proxy Settings App that I mentioned in the bottom of this post:
      http://jeftek.com/1887/motorola-xoom-http-proxy-s

      Be sure to click on the menu that pops up to open the settings.

      Thanks,

      Jef

  • Rick

    Jef,

    It was quite the opposite. I suddenly remembered when you said that, I had removed spare parts and turned back on compatibility mode. So I reinstalled it and turned compatibility mode OFF (rebooted) and now I could see the list – problem solved!

    Thanks,

    Rick

    • http://jeftek.com JefTek

      Rick,

      Good deal! I thought it might be something with compatibility mode. I know I went through that trick to enable legacy apps to be full screen on the Xoom, so I assumed it might cause other oddities!

      Glad it works!

      Jef

  • http://twitter.com/_jamesoneill @_jamesoneill

    The first few AnyCut "activities" are blank so you think nothing is there. You have to just scroll down.

    I have found other problems with the proxy settings on the Xoom Wifi which is too long to discuss here. I just posted the info on my blog.
    My recent post Xoom Wifi Proxy Settings

  • liz

    I also see a blank list under 'activity. Help needed.

    • http://jeftek.com JefTek

      Liz,

      Is it possible that you may need to just scroll down? When I do this process, The first few lines on the Activity list are blank for me, and I just drag the screen up to see items below it.

      I wonder if the blanks are dependent on what Apps you have installed, so you may have more blanks than I do?

      The good news is, that the new Xoom firmware is going to expose these settings natively, so hopefully next week it will be a think of the past.

      Good luck!

  • http://twitter.com/marcode @marcode

    help! ive managed to enable the proxy no problem.

    worked beautifully at work.. but now that im home, i cant seem to disable the proxy!

    there is no disable option.. how are you guys managing to disable the settings again?

    thanks.

    • http://jeftek.com JefTek

      Marcode,

      The only way I know how is to open up the settings dialog again and clear the values (or reset to defaults), and then done.

      Not the most ideal, so hopefully the forthcoming firmware update makes it a bit more user friendly.

      Thanks,

      Jef

  • http://twitter.com/marcode @marcode

    sorry.. forgot to subscribe to new comments.

    • http://jeftek.com JefTek

      No problem! Any info I can help with, let me know!

  • Virgil574

    I've followed the instructions OK and created the shortcut, but when I tap it it just takes me to the Wireless & Networks settings menu, not the proxy one – am I going to have to root the device to get access to the menu?

    • Virgil574

      Belay my last – worked OK, post a reboot – bit dissappointed that it's not got authentication on the proxy settings though – do you know if that's on the cards from Google?

      • http://jeftek.com JefTek

        In the 3.1 update for the Xoom which is rolling out this week, the change log cites the ability to specify authenticated proxy settings per Wifi connection. I'm going to attempt to upgrade my Xoom tonight, and I'll post screen shots afterward.

    • http://jeftek.com JefTek

      Root is not needed for the Shortcut in 3.01

      • Virgil574

        Cheers for that, guess I'm going to be waiting for 3.1 then too, as un-auth proxy for our security guys might as well be no proxy. The shortcut still does appear to be a bit hit-and-miss (sometimes it just delivers me back at Wireless and Networks menu. Anyhoo – thanks for the reply, I'll hang on for the joys of 3.1…

        • http://jeftek.com JefTek

          If you are on the Wifi version, and have the USB OTG cable, it looks like you can flash the 3.1 update yourself if you are feeling adventurous :) The update file has been provided on http://droid-life.com

          • Virgil574

            Sweet, downloaded the files and the OTG is on the way from Amazon (I'm always willing to be adventurous with equipment I didn't buy :-D ). I've also got a 3G version of the Xoom coming in the pipeline, so either way I should have something workable soon… Thanks for the help!

          • http://jeftek.com JefTek

            Just make sure you use the correct file as one is for WiFi and one is for Wifi+Wireless. Which OTG cable did you order? I’m debating on getting the real one from VZW or going for the knock off.

          • Virgil574

            I'll double check before I try, this is the OTG cable I've ordered – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000EORX7U/ref… – it should arrive today…

          • http://jeftek.com JefTek

            I updated my Xoom to 3.1 last night, and it looks like the proxy settings don’t support authenticated connections. You might want to try the Proxy Settings app I had previously posted about.

            The proxy settings in 3.1 allow you to specify a host, a port, and any domains you want to bypass the proxy, on a per Wifi connection basis.

          • Virgil574

            Oh well, never mind – hopefully that will come with the march of progress – thanks for checking for me. Don't suppose you know of a proxt app that doesn'w require me to root the device?

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  • fx500

    Also worked for my asus transformer!
    Great work!

  • Gleb

    Wow! Super! It's help!!! Thanks!
    Acer Iconia Tab A500 Android 3.0

  • christianjmba

    @JefTek I don’t have a reset option and if I clear the settings the “done” button is grayed out.

  • timgefahr

    I have a blackberry torch 9000 and i want tether via bluetooth to my xoom! I have no idea and i am go ceazy…. the xoom had done the pairing but i have no option to tethering only the options to choose another name for the blackberry or delete the pairing between both devices! I have tried to connect both via pdanet but have problems to give the xoom the right proxy in the pdanet menü i think! Have you any ideas to tehter my wifi xoom with my blackberry torch?

    Thanks a lot!!!!

    Tim

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  • kriemer

    I am trying to spoof a US location so as to be able to install location restricted app on my Xoom.

    So I have found a list of US proxy Servers:

    IP Address XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX

    Port XXXX

    How/Where do I insert these values?

    Please help and yes I know I am a dolt.

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  • LauLau81

    Thank you for the guide for installing proxy IP. This is helpful for me…

  • donny1979

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  • donny1979

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  • fergusonsarah

    Than you for the steps you shared for the installation of the proxy IP.

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  • lechuckcaptain

    Nice article! But maybe you don’t know that since Android 3.1 you can set the proxy settings for each Access Point configuration. You can find here some informations http://www.android-proxy.com/2012/01/in-hands-of-more-mature-developers-add.html

  • lechuckcaptain

    Nice article! But maybe you don’t know that since Android 3.1 you can set the proxy settings for each Access Point configuration. You can find here some informations http://www.android-proxy.com/2012/01/in-hands-of-more-mature-developers-add.html

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  • melindavazone

    How about using web proxy server like ninjaproxy http://www.ninjaproxy.eu?

  • melindavazone

    How about using web proxy server like ninjaproxy http://www.ninjaproxy.eu?

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