iOS 9.3 Displays Exact Wi-Fi Assist Data Usage Numbers

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's iOS 9.3 beta introduces major new features like Night Shift, but there are also dozens of little tweaks to be discovered in the operating system update. It appears that one of those minor changes applies to Wi-Fi Assist, adding a much-needed feature that allows users to see just how much data it's using.

    Wi-Fi Assist data usage can be checked within the Settings app by choosing the Cellular section and scrolling down to the Wi-Fi Assist option. Next to the toggle that turns the feature on and off, there's now a data usage number that displays how much data has been consumed when it is in use.


    Wi-Fi Assist was first introduced with iOS 9. It's a feature that allows an iPhone to seamlessly switch over to a cellular connection whenever a local Wi-Fi connection is weak. Enabled automatically when updating to iOS 9, Wi-Fi Assist proved to be unpopular with users who claimed it was eating up a lot of data. One recent news story even accused Wi-Fi Assist of causing a teenager to receive a cell phone bill for upwards of $2,000.

    Concerns about Wi-Fi Assist led Apple to publish a support document on the feature, explaining how it works and assuring users that data usage should only be a "small percentage higher" than previous usage. Wi-Fi Assist only turns on in a limited number of circumstances and won't activate when data roaming, when apps are downloading background content, or when using third-party apps that stream audio or video.

    Despite Apple's reassurances about Wi-Fi Assist, unhappy customers filed a $5 million class action lawsuit over the feature, with the plaintiffs claiming they were subjected to overage charges on their iPhones after updating to iOS 9. The lawsuit also claims Apple did not do an adequate job explaining the feature when iOS 9 was released.

    Wi-Fi Assist is available on any iOS device running iOS 9 or later, with the exception of the iPhone 4s, the iPad 2, the third-generation iPad, and the original iPad mini. Wi-Fi Assist can be turned off using the Settings app for those who don't want to risk using extra data.

    Article Link: iOS 9.3 Displays Exact Wi-Fi Assist Data Usage Numbers
  2. D.T. macrumors 603


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    I thought Wi-Fi assist was when my Mom calls me because she can't connect to the internet with her iPad ...
  3. btrach144 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2015
    Redmond, WA USA
    Wifi assist should have been turned off by default and this whole thing could have been avoided.
  4. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68000


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    Objective evidence is good to evaluate things.

    I'm glad they did this so I can see how this is affecting usage.
  5. arggg14 macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2014
    Not sure why this feature it turned on by default. I know Apple wants users to have the best experience, but I'd rather wait for my wifi to load while I'm 50 feet away from my router instead of burning through my data plan.
  6. taptic macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
    I really like this thing where Apple adds functionality to an OS without having to make a big show about it and increase the first number by 1.
  7. Mike MA macrumors 65816

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    Nice feature providing transparency, but why not additionally set the default to deactivated? What's the problem here?
  8. marcr1230 macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Wifi Assist is great for anyone in an urban environment with lots of weak or transient Wifi signals (like when you are on a bus or train) - rather than trying to connect for 30 seconds to an unusable wifi signal - your phone stays on cellular/LTE
  9. ghostface147 macrumors 68000


    May 28, 2008
    Didn't do an adequate job explaining what it did is their excuse? Seems very simple to me. If you have low wi-fi signal, it uses your cell data to assist. The only think it doesn't specify is what is considered low signal. Being at one bar on your wi-fi icon could be different signal strengths, just like cell signals. One bar could be -105 or -120 dBm. Maybe they could be a little more specific and say it will kick on when you hit one bar of signal strength on wi-fi instead of an algorithm we don't know.
  10. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    Would be nice if iOS quickly showed my monthly data-usage (that reset automatically) and would give me notifications when I'm X% close to my data cap.
  11. gretafour macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    And yet as I drive away from WiFi and my phone pretends to still be connected, the data activity indicator just goes round and round and nothing loads until the phone finally accepts defeat and switches to cellular.
  12. JustThinkin' macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2014
    Maybe this is what largely solves/mitigates the 'keyboard freezing' users will sometimes experience on iPhones - even when simply texting. A huge percentage of texts now go over Apple's (iCloud) network rather than through the carrier's texting feature.

    My keyboard freezes seem to be dramatically less frequent than they were 6 months ago ...
  13. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I like this feature and I leave it turned on but it is kind of sketchy how they hide it WAY at the bottom of the cellular page beneath the long list of apps.

    Why isn't it up with all of the other cellular settings?
  14. cableguy84 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2015
  15. 69Mustang macrumors 68040


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Yup. Opt-in should be SOP. Conscious choice by consumer who knows the possible associated data issues is the only way it should be done.
  16. JonneyGee macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Has anyone on the public beta been able to get the update yet? My devices still aren't showing an update available.
  17. keysofanxiety macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2011
    That's the responsibility of the carrier, though. Plenty of carriers in Europe text you when you're close to your data cap, and you can easily track your usage online. I'm not sure why (or even how) this could be Apple's obligation.
  18. skinned66 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    Better late than never.

    Until that day, may I recommend:
    Data Widget

    I'm just a satisfied user. There are plenty of similar offerings by other developers.
  19. tigres macrumors 68040


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    Amen to that. Every time, all the time.
    So, what exactly is this Wifi Assist then as it must not work on my 6s
  20. Thunderhawks macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2009
    They do that here too since an FCC rule in 2011, but people ignore it and then cry about overages.
  21. gsmornot macrumors 68020


    Sep 29, 2014
    So, then , this feature must not use too much data afterall. I have had it on all along and have not noticed a big difference in used LTE data. My phone holds wifi a little long too at times.
  22. Ballis macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2008
    Oslo, Norway
    Yeah! What where they thinking making a feature you dont need?! What a bunch of morons!
  23. macduke macrumors 603


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Apple should have left it turned off by default. Heck, I think Siri is turned off by default. Or at least she was for years. Then, when the WiFi signal strength is being sketchy for a while, pop up with a dialog to enable it in the settings. If they dismiss the dialog, never ask again. That's how you do UX. They already do something similar with having WiFi turned off and location accuracy or something.
  24. gsmornot macrumors 68020


    Sep 29, 2014
    I think people have the wrong idea about this feature. In the past (prior to this setting) it was natural for the phone to move from WiFi to LTE and back to WiFi as a normal operation. What this setting does is tell your device not to move but to wait for the Wifi to be gone and gone for a while prior to using LTE. (in the off mode) Its not that it now turns off WiFi for no reason and uses LTE randomly. Its that you have told it (by turning this off) to stay as long as possible before using LTE.
  25. Tech198 macrumors G3

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    yikes... That's allot of loot... (editing for later rant) .....

    Its the reason i keep wi-fi assist disabled :D

    Yes, siri is disabled, but only if u tell it to from initial setup. It would be good it Apple added a wifi-assist screen here as well or option.

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