iPhone-6s-ColorsOne of the less talked about new features introduced in iOS 9 last month is called "Wi-Fi Assist," which automatically switches a user's iPhone to a cellular data connection when the local Wi-Fi isn't reliable.

Many iPhone users have taken to Reddit and the MacRumors Forums to warn others about the possibility of an increased monthly data plan due to the new feature, but now Apple is getting out in front of the issue and attempting to ease the qualms of its customers with a new support document centering on the issue (via Six Colors).

According to Apple, when a user sees the switch from Wi-Fi to cellular data while browsing an internet page in Safari, for example, they should only see a "small percentage" hike in data usage. The company also detailed which apps support the feature -- Apple Music, Mail, Maps, Safari, etc -- and still gave those concerned a step-by-step process to turn off Wi-Fi Assist. It ended the new support doc with a bullet list of interesting tidbits about the feature.

-Wi-Fi Assist will not automatically switch to cellular if you're data roaming.
-Wi-Fi Assist only works when you have apps running in the foreground and doesn't activate with background downloading of content.
-Wi-Fi Assist doesn’t activate with some third-party apps that stream audio or video, or download attachments, like an email app, as they might use large amounts of data.

Wi-Fi Assist is supported on any device that runs iOS 9 or later, excluding iPhone 4s, iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation), and iPad mini (1st generation). If the support document doesn't entirely ease your concerns, go to Settings > Cellular, and scroll down to underneath the full list of apps that use cellular data to find Wi-Fi Assist's on/off toggle.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

samcraig Avatar
95 months ago
The "concern" is that the default is set to use wifi assist. And unless you know about it/are looking for the support doc, you may not know that it's on. And will use cellular data when you might not want to.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gbdavid Avatar
95 months ago
I don't understand what's the big deal with this. If you don't want to use your phone data, then disable it all together, but of course if your mobile data is better than wi-fi, you should use it to improve your experience. In fact, before this feature existed I just disabled Wi-fi all together (I still do) when I went to the city because trying to login to those 'free' hotspots from cafes is a nightmare, never mind the speed they offer.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
95 months ago
If you don't like it, just turn it off. People will whine about anything these days.
That works for those that know about it - understand it. But people don't know what they don't know.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JXShine Avatar
95 months ago
If you don't like it, just turn it off. People will whine about anything these days.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pgiguere1 Avatar
95 months ago
"Just turn it off" is easy to say when you know the feature exists.

If you don't, it's pretty unlikely that you'd find out just by messing around in Settings. It's at the very bottom of a very long list of apps after all, where you wouldn't expect to find additional settings.

I've had a few non-techies around me talk to me of this feature. None of them had heard about it through iOS, they knew because of mainstream media (TV, radio, journals, non-tech websites) warning people against it.

I think Apple should at the very least give that toggle more visibility, and consider making the feature opt-in rather than opt-out.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
95 months ago
It was in the release noted. If people can't read that's there issue
So you think that everyone with an iPhone reads up on tech news? Seriously?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
maxresdefault

Kuo: Apple to Release Foldable iPad With Carbon Fiber Kickstand in 2024

Monday January 30, 2023 12:55 am PST by
Apple will launch a foldable iPad with a carbon fiber kickstand sometime next year, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In a series of tweets, Kuo said he expects an "all-new design foldable iPad" to be the next big product launch in the iPad lineup, with no other major iPad releases in the next nine to 12 months. The analyst said he...
tim cook data privacy day

Apple Violated U.S. Labor Laws With Anti-Leak Email

Monday January 30, 2023 3:43 pm PST by
Apple violated United States labor laws when it sent out an email warning employees about leaking confidential information about the company, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said today in a ruling shared by Bloomberg. Rules that Apple has established around leaks "tend to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees" from the exercise of their rights under the National Labor...
top stories 28jan2023

Top Stories: iOS 16.3 Released, iPhone 15 Pro Rumors, macOS Tips and Tricks, and More

Saturday January 28, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Following last week's hardware announcements, this week saw the actual release of several of the new products as well as operating system updates bringing new features and bug fixes across Apple's platforms. This week also saw some fresh rumors about the iPhone 15 lineup and Apple's upcoming AR/VR headset, while we shared some tips to help you get the most of your macOS experience, so read...
iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...