Navigating the new Wi-Fi Assist feature on iOS9
With the latest iteration of the Apple software, iOS9 came a feature designed to boost your Wi-Fi through your mobile connectivity. If unchecked, however, could drain your data or even lead to excessive out of bundle data usage charges.
Wi-Fi Assist is a feature that launched with iOS9 and is automatically turned on upon completion of your software upgrade. This feature allows your handset to detect when the Wi-Fi signal is weaker than the available mobile connectively, and if so allow the device to seamlessly transition over to mobile data usage. Whilst great for productivity and fast internet usage on your phone, it can mean, however, that in places you assume you are using exclusively Wi-Fi connectivity you are in fact using your data.
When Wi-Fi assist is activated it will display the cellular data icon on the status bar and Apple has stated that the following safeguards that are built in;
- 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.1
To check your handset and ensure you have complete control of your data usage, you can find the feature settings the following way. Go to Settings > Mobile Data.