In iOS 9, Apple released a brand new feature called Wi-Fi Assist. It was designed (quite intelligently), to automatically switch to cellular data when the Wi-Fi connection dropped. The feature, which is turned on by default, is designed to make the browsing experience seamless on iPhone even when the Wi-Fi connection wasn’t stable. But for some, it didn’t go so well.
Many users claimed that Wi-Fi Assist was using a lot of their cellular data. A teenager claimed that he received a $2000 cell phone bill because of Wi-Fi Assist. Some users have even filed a $5 million class action lawsuit.
Wi-Fi Assist Now Shows Data Usage
iOS 9.3 brought big banner features like Night Shift and secured Notes. But as part of the many little things Apple added, was a data counter to the Wi-Fi Assist.
Now when you launch the Settings app and go to Cellular and scroll down to the “Wi-Fi Assist” button, you’ll see a little counter that shows exactly how much data the feature has used.
This should help Apple stay away from more legal trouble.
If you want to turn the feature off, it’s as easy as tapping that toggle button next to “Wi-Fi Assist”.
Should You Turn off Wi-Fi Assist?
While there have been edge cases when it comes to Wi-Fi Assist, on the whole, there aren’t any sure shot reasons to stop using it out right.
Let’s look at how this feature is designed.
When activated, the feature won’t download any big files, won’t auto update apps, or even stream audio or video. Plus, the feature doesn’t use background data at all and doesn’t work while you’re roaming. So if you’re scrolling through Instagram and the Wi-Fi drops, this feature will use cellular data only when the app is on screen. Once you quit it or go to another app, Instagram will stop using the data.
Overall, it seems like Apple put a considerable thought in the process and if you think the seamless browsing experience is worth iOS sometimes using your data plan, I’d say just keep it on.