iOS 9's WiFi Assist might be eating up your data plan

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by samcraig, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. samcraig macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #1
  2. barondebxl macrumors 6502

    barondebxl

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    Sep 21, 2013
    #2
    Yep I was just going to open a thread about it. Here's how to turn it off for those who do not know.

     
  3. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #3

    I sent this info to MR to post earlier today. Hoping they make it a headline because people should know. I already know a few people who have bit hit hard.
     
  4. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #4
    Is there any indication on your Wifi icon that it's using cellular?
     
  5. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #5
    Something fishy is going on here: 1) A hard to find option hidden under hundreds of app names (if you have that many), 2) that eats up people's data plan, 3) which is turned on by default. What could possibly go wrong?
     
  6. jpcarro macrumors 6502

    jpcarro

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    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    On your nine
    #6
    I don't think so, but that's a good idea. Should turn the WiFi icon red when it's not really in use due to a poor WiFi connection.
     
  7. AppleRobert macrumors 603

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #7
    I turn off cellular data when I want to use WiFi. This way if WiFi disconnects, you are not unaware that you are using cellular data when you initiated a download or while browsing, etc.
     
  8. makinao macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    #9
    Is it really on my default? All I've read is people quoting news reports on it, but no actual posts in fora from people who have experienced it.

    I've been through 9.0 and 9.01 on my 4S and the feature is not even there.
     
  9. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #10
    I've seen a lot of scare-mongering and clickbait but almost no accounts of users it's actually affected.

    I, for one, think it's great, so my streaming, FaceTiming, etc. don't cut out when I leave my home/office wifi.
     
  10. TurboPGT! macrumors 68000

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    Sep 25, 2015
    #11
    Yep, typical. Bunch of clickbait scare tactic articles...people turning off a useful feature....not one single case of an actual negative experience.

    Guess who I trust more, Apple, or ad-laden blogs? I'll give you one guess.
     
  11. Vizxyn macrumors member

    Vizxyn

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    #12
    I definitely had this use data when restoring my phone. It used about 655 MB. Luckily my data plan is quite large. But that all happened for a day and I was just downloading apps and restoring my phone. Definitely turned it off.
     
  12. WJKramer macrumors 6502

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    Jun 8, 2008
    #13
    I actually love this feature. A few past iOS betas had this but it never made it into final release.
     
  13. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2009
    #14
    Wait, so it uses LTE data but still shows the Wifi icon in the status bar? OR does the feature just switch you to LTE if the Wifi signal is weak, also switching the icon to LTE? If it's the former, then I'd say it's a very deceptive feature: the phone should NEVER use cellular data if you are seeing a wifi icon. However, if it's the latter, then the feature is very useful in situations where you are moving from wifi area to LTE. For example, sometimes when I'm in my garage, I'll be connected to my home wifi, but it'll be so weak I can't do a thing. In that situation, I would hope the Wi-Fi assist feature would switch to LTE right away. I assume that's how this feature worked, but if it is actually using LTE data while still connected to Wi-Fi, then I think it's a poorly implemented feature.

    Can anyone confirm the actual behavior?
     
  14. Vizxyn macrumors member

    Vizxyn

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    #15
    For me when I was restoring my phone, it was totally just showing wifi while my data counter slowly went higher. I may just be crazy, but it was at home all day and then my data just went through the rough. I turned it off and haven't had any data issues since.
     
  15. dumastudetto macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2013
    #16
    I think this is one of the rare occasions when an Apple scare story deserves some coverage. I've had my phone switch to cellular data numerous times since getting my new iPhone. The Wifi signal drops one bar and it decides to use mobile. I figured it was an issue with my router dropping wifi for a short period. I had no idea about this.

    I don't think it's a bad idea especially for those with unlimited data. But putting on default for everyone, and having seen it switch to mobile data when it's not necessary makes me concerned for those on low data capped plans.

    And yes it's on by default for new iOS 9 installs / new devices.
     
  16. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #17
    I guess this is another reason I'm not giving up my unlimited AT&T data plan, particularly since they raised the throttling cap to 22GB.
     
  17. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #18
    This definitely deserves a lot of attention. I am one of those people on a low data plan (2.5 gb), and I would be pissed if my phone was doing this and I did not know it.
     
  18. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #19
    Education is never a bad thing. People can then make their own decisions on what they want to do.
     
  19. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2009
    #20
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201299

    Apple support page states:

    "With iOS 9, you can use Wi-Fi Assist to switch to cellular when Wi-Fi becomes weak or unreliable. Wi-Fi Assist isn't available if you're using data roaming. "

    I interpret this to mean that the iPhone will actually switch over to LTE data if the Wi-Fi signal is weak for nonfunctional. In that case, I would think you would see the icon switch from Wi-Fi to LTE also, at least that's how it should work. So in essence, it's just a feature to switch you over to LTE more quickly if the Wi-Fi is poor. Whereas if this feature is turned off, you may be sitting on a poor Wi-Fi connection without reliable data indefinitely. Personally, I think the feature would be very useful as there have been times when I'm on Wi-Fi but really can't do anything. In that case, I'd be glad if the iPhone switched me over to LTE, as long as I can see in the status bar that this has happened.
     
  20. dumastudetto macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2013
    #21
    I think your interpretation is the idea in theory. But I've had it switch over when the signal was good enough to stream constant HD video with no buffering whatsoever. The WiFi signal dropped one bar and I guess the phone decided zOMG better switch to cellular!!! Turning off Cellular Data was my fix until I found out about this new toggle option. The video then continued streaming without a hitch in HD.

    I think it's a useful feature for some, but it's definitely one I'm turning off.
     
  21. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2009
    #22
    So when this happened, you saw the status bar icon switch from Wi-Fi to LTE? And once it switches to LTE, it won't switch back to Wi-Fi if the connection gets better? I think we need a better explanation of how this is actually implemented from Apple. As long as it's not using LTE data while the Wi-Fi icon is present, then I'm going to leave the feature on and see how it goes. I'm pretty good about looking up there to make sure which network I'm using.
     
  22. dumastudetto macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2013
    #23
    Yep you can see it has switched to mobile data in the usual way. The indicator changes to show you the data is coming from LTE. I didn't wait around long enough chewing up gigabytes of data to see if it would ever switch back automatically. :)
     
  23. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #24
    regardless of if you see the icon change or not, how many people are looking for that when they are at home supposedly on their wifi network?

    What happens if in the middle of the night my apps are updating and gets kicked from wifi? Would it stop the updates or finish them first?
     
  24. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #25
    It isn't going to happen to me because when I'm on wifi I turn cellular data off just to be sure.

    This whole thing could be a big problem. Imagine how many kids have iPhones, grandma and grandpa, etc. I could see data plans being totally abused.
     

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