iOS 9.3 Displays Exact Wi-Fi Assist Data Usage Numbers

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

  1. MacRumors
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    MacRumors

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
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    D.T.

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    I thought Wi-Fi assist was when my Mom calls me because she can't connect to the internet with her iPad ...
     
  3. btrach144
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    btrach144

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    Wifi assist should have been turned off by default and this whole thing could have been avoided.
     
  4. JeffyTheQuik
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    JeffyTheQuik

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    #4
    Objective evidence is good to evaluate things.

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

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    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
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    taptic

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    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
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    Mike MA

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    #7
    Nice feature providing transparency, but why not additionally set the default to deactivated? What's the problem here?
     
  8. marcr1230
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    macrumors newbie

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    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
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    ghostface147

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    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
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    FSMBP

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    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
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    macrumors regular

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    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'
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    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
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    Small White Car

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    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
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    cableguy84

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  15. 69Mustang
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    69Mustang

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    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
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    JonneyGee

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    Has anyone on the public beta been able to get the update yet? My devices still aren't showing an update available.
     
  17. keysofanxiety
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    keysofanxiety

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    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
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    skinned66

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    #18
    Better late than never.

    Until that day, may I recommend:
    Data Widget
    https://appsto.re/ca/qh3K2.i

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

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    #19
    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
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    macrumors 68040

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

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    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
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    Yeah! What where they thinking making a feature you dont need?! What a bunch of morons!
     
  23. macduke
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    macduke

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    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
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    gsmornot

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    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
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    #25
    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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