Worried that the new Wi-Fi Assist feature in iOS 9 will cause your cellular data usage to skyrocket? You’re not alone, but Apple wants to assuage those fears.
The Cupertino tech giant this week updated its About Wi-Fi Assist page to specify that the feature will not automatically switch to cellular if you’re data roaming. It only works when you have apps running in the foreground, and won’t activate with content downloading in the background, Apple added.
Finally, Wi-Fi Assist won’t activate with certain data-hogging, third-party apps. That includes apps that stream audio or video or download attachments, like email services.
The feature, which on by default within iOS 9, is meant to ensure app usability when you have a weak Wi-Fi signal.
“With Wi-Fi Assist, you can stay connected to the Internet even if you have a poor Wi-Fi connection,” Apple explains. “For example, if you’re using Safari with a poor Wi-Fi connection and a webpage doesn’t load, Wi-Fi Assist will activate and automatically switch to cellular so that the webpage continues to load.”
That’s super handy and all, but ZDNet last month reported that some users are seeing a significant uptick in cellular data usage since downloading iOS 9 — andsuggested that Wi-Fi Assist was to blame.
Know that you’ll always see the cellular data icon in the status bar on your device when Wi-Fi Assist is activated.
If you’re still worried about the feature gobbling extra data despite Apple’s new assurances, you can turn it off via Settings > Cellular. Towards the bottom of the page, you’ll find the Wi-Fi Assist switch; just toggle it off.