Wifi Assist is an iOS 9 feature that automatically shifts from a poor Wifi connection to your cellular network to give you uninterrupted internet access. It promised to be one of those small but significant things that only Apple thinks about.
However, the real world experiences are telling a different story with many people complaining about increased cellular data consumption. Apple has finally come out and cleared the air about the functionalities and implications of this feature.
Good, but a Flawed Idea
While the idea of seamlessly moving to a stronger network is great, allowing your phone to shift from Wifi to cellular data without any warning is definitely a concern.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you’re downloading a 1GB game update. The moment you move to a weaker Wifi zone inside your house, the download will drain your cellular data without you being none the wiser. Many people have found themselves in similar predicament and they’re (quite rightly) hopping mad!
Apple’s Side of the Story
As expected, Apple is defending the feature by claiming only a ‘small percentage’ of increase in cellular data consumption. They have also added the following clarifications on their support page:
We are tempted to give Apple some leverage but the thought of accidentally draining our entire month’s cellular data at one go is just too worrisome. We have decided not to take any chances and have turned off the feature. We suggest you also do the same by going to Settings > Mobile Data / Cellular. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and toggle off Wifi Assist.
Truth is we like the idea, but feel it has to be executed better. For now, we prefer living without this convenience rather than living under the threat of receiving bloated cellular bills every month.