Apple has created a new page on its website explaining that iOS 9’s Wi-Fi Assist should not prove a significant drain on your data allowances
Apple has created a new support page on its website explaining the ins and outs of iOS 9’s Wi-Fi Assist feature, which it claims should affect your data usage by ‘a small percentage’.
The new feature was quietly introduced in iPhone software update iOS 9last month, and is designed to automatically switch your handset’s connection from Wi-Fi to cellular data when in an area with poor connection.
As the feature was automatically turned on once the new software was downloaded, some users complained they were being covertly tricked into using more of their data allowance than they’d expected to.
As the data allowance in some phone contracts can be as low as 500MB or 1GB, having the feature activated could technically result in higher bills for users.
“With Wi-Fi Assist, you can stay connected to the Internet even if you have a poor Wi-Fi connection. For example, if you’re using Safari with a poor Wi-Fi connection and a webpage doesn’t load, Wi-Fi Assist will activate and automatically switch to cellular so that the webpage continues to load. You can use Wi-Fi Assist with most apps like Safari, Apple Music, Mail, Maps, and more,” the new support page reads.
“Because you’ll stay connected to the Internet over cellular when you have a poor Wi-Fi connection, you might use more cellular data. For most users, this should only be a small percentage higher than previous usage.”
The company made the point that Wi-Fi Assist will not automatically switch to cellular if you’re data roaming, and will only work 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” it clarified.