Latest iOS 9 betas automatically detects, switches away from weak Wi-Fi signals, adds AT&T Wi-Fi callingTwo small but critical additions to the new iOS 9 betas released on Thursday include "Wi-Fi Assist," a feature built to prevent iPhones from latching onto poor Wi-Fi connections, and Wi-Fi calling for AT&T network customers.
Despite its name, the new "Wi-Fi Assist" option can be found under the "Cellular" menu in the iOS Settings app. Turning it on will force a device to switch to a 3G or 4G connection when a Wi-Fi signal falls under an unspecified quality level.
Currently an iPhone will often attempt to connect to a known Wi-Fi hotspot even when it's barely within range, even if the connection is too weak to effectively transmit data. Until iOS 9 beta, the only viable solution in such circumstances has been to disable an iPhone's Wi-Fi radio.
Accordingly, Apple has also made it clearer when Wi-Fi is being turned off. The icon now turns "inactive" gray before one of the symbols for cellular data appears.
On a related note, the latest iOS 9 beta also enables Wi-Fi calling for AT&T subscribers. Offloading incoming and outgoing calls to a local wireless network offers a more reliable connection, enhanced audio quality and better battery performance. Apple first activated Wi-Fi calling features for T-Mobile's network with an early iOS 8 beta last year.
Apple released two new iOS 9 betas earlier today, including a third public beta and a fifth developer seed. Both are effectively identical, but the company is slower to issue public betas in order to avoid causing too much aggravation with bugs or poor performance.
On Topic: iOS
- How to watch this week's NBA and NHL finals on your iPhone
- Twitter for iOS gets 'Peek and Pop' 3D Touch gesture support, Google adds AMP integration
- Samsung to bring web-based 'SamsungPay Mini' to iPhones - report
- Apple eyes Apple Pay expansion into Asia and Europe, looks to roll out in 'every significant market'
- Hyundai adds Apple CarPlay support to six models, report says