This is why we need more transparency when new features are released people, THIS IS WHY! In a shocking news story surfacing today, Apple’s WiFi Assist feature originally introduced with iOS 9 has cost a family $2,000 on their monthly phone bill. You read that correctly, over $2K was spent on a single phone bill. How did this happen you might ask? To answer that we first need to go over briefly what WiFi Assist does.
WiFi Assist is a service on Apple’s iPhones running iOS 9 or above that “intelligently” chooses your phone’s connection path. When on WiFi, your phone uses your WiFi connection to transmit and receive all of it’s data. WiFi Assist will then determine if your WiFi signal is strong enough to maintain a connection. If WiFi Assist determines that it is not strong enough, it will automatically switch your device from WiFi to 4G LTE without warning or consent.
In theory this is a good thing because it keeps your device from being disconnected. However, for those customers with limited quantities of data per month, this is very, very bad! Mostly because, with most companies, you have what are called overage charges. Overage charges happen when a customer exceeds their allotted data amount as that customer is said to be going over their data limit. This results in, often times, large sums of charges added on to your account.
Situations like this are rare but can happen with services like WiFi Assist. So what is the moral of the story here? For now anyway, turn off WiFi Assist. You can turn off WiFi assist by going to Settings >> Cellular Data then scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the screen and un-toggle WiFi assist. Don’t let this happen to you folks.