Even with apps, notifications, carrier messages, and more, it can sometimes be a challenge to keep track of your data usage. Apple’s new operating system has plenty of new tricks up its sleeve to make your mobile life easier, but is this iOS 9 feature going to hurt more than help? We are talking about the “WiFi Assist” feature that is said to be causing spikes in iOS 9 data usage. Let’s take a look at what this feature does, what it doesn’t do, and how to remedy the situation.
What It Is
By default, iOS 9 devices will now switch you over to cellular data if they sense that a WiFi connection is not stable enough. It is a great feature in theory, helping you maintain a strong signal, uninterrupted use of your tools, and dependability. The problem is obviously the data usage. A feature like this could potentially eat up your data, if you don’t know how to tune this feature properly.
Many users are noticing a spike in data usage since the download of the new OS. It is making a large enough impact that many public reviewers and bloggers are voicing their concerns, and they should. Sharing our reviews, opinions, tips, and advice as a community is what keeps the tech world afloat. Writers, like Gizmodo’s Chris Mills are noticing jumps in data usage as well. Mills notes his suspicions of WiFi Assist based on troubleshooting and observation of common activities performed before and after the download. It is hard to link the spike singularly to this feature, but the results are definitely visible.
Based on Mills findings, problems seem to stem from spotty Wifi connections. A user will be in an area where they assume there is a solid connection, but that does not meet the standards of the feature or the activity being performed on the device. When the connection doesn’t meet its standards, WiFi Assist automatically reconnects you to your cellular network without interruption. It sounds convenient, but can cause some serious bill shock.
If you want to give it a try, the feature can be fine-tuned. With careful use and a little bit of know-how, it can become a helpful tool to add to your iOS 9 arsenal. Just as many other devices nowadays, iDevices have a built-in system to help you keep track of everything you’re using. The counter is relatively accurate, according to most forums. Some forums say it is close to what you see on your bill, while others say it can be a little bit off. As a helpful hint, just always give yourself a little bit of wiggle room to be safe. If you want t take a look, just head to the “Cellular”menu again. Scroll down to the section labeled “Cellular Data Usage”, and check it out. The counter works in sections and isn’t synchronized with your billing cycle automatically, so if you have never used it before, you will need to start with a fresh reset. It will then begin logging your data usage and more until you reset it again, much like the trip odometer on your car.
Though this iOS 9 feature is already turned on as the default, users who are concerned about its effects can switch it off through their Settings App under “Cellular”. WiFi assist may become a handy tool once it finds its place in the iOS 9 flow, but for now, just be mindful of your tools, monitor your new features, and if you see anything of concern, share it with your tech community for the best advice and support a user could ask for. Let us know what you think.