iOS9’s WiFi Assist Racks Up Mobile Internet Bills

While there are many advantages to Apple’s latest iPhone software update, iOS9, one feature in particular has been wreaking havoc on users’ mobile internet bills. WiFi Assist, a feature that automatically switches your phone to use cellular data when connectivity to a wireless network is poor, has the potential to cost users hundreds of dollars. Extra mobile data charges on monthly bills are always a surprise, and unsuspecting iPhone users excited about the new update may be in for a rude awakening.

The feature isn’t mandatory for users, though. iPhone users can disable the feature easily in the settings of their iPhone; however, for those who do not realize the danger it poses to bills, it has the potential to cause serious problems. Many individuals have already begun reporting bigger mobile data bills, even from inside their homes, when WiFi connectivity decreased in signal strength.

Image credit: NDTV
Image credit: NDTV

Apple’s feature is not meant to raise data charges, though. In fact, for users who consistently get frustrated at slower internet speeds in spotty WiFi networks, this feature may seem like a godsend. Even so, with many users already reporting massive price hikes on their data plan when their phone switches from WiFi, which incurs no data charges, to mobile data, which does, the feature may be cause for concern.

What this means for many people who are concerned about the price of their bill is that once they update to iOS9, they should turn the feature off in settings. This is also important for iPhone users who have a limited data plan or who pay a premium on overcharges for data. Especially with the proliferation of shared data plans, WiFi Assist can quickly cause concerns if multiple family members have the feature turned on and have a limited amount of data to share.

Apple may be known for innovation and pushing the bar; however, it may be prudent to disable the new WiFi Assist feature after updating to iOS9. While it is a hassle to manually switch the WiFi network on instead of relying on an external piece of software, it may save you money on your phone bill.

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