Apple released the new operating system for their mobile devices – iOS9 – recently and many people have made the jump over the the seemingly improved software. But buried beneath the changes is a feature called “Wi-Fi Assist”, which is turned on by default and it could be doing more harm than good.

The description for Wi-Fi Assist inside of iOS 9 reads as follows: “Automatically use cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor”. Basically, when the iOS9 thinks that your Wi-Fi isn’t up to scratch, it will switch over to using your cellular data.

Chris Miller from Gizmodo brought this to our attention and claims that, since using the feature, his phone has consumed “around a third more data a month (4GB vs my regular-as-clockwork 3GB)”.

As correctly mentioned in the article, it is unclear as to whether this increase in use is directly tied to Wi-Fi Assist or some other factor(s), so we’ll need to give this some time to develop. In theory, enabling this feature will use more cellular data in exchange for either a faster and/or more stable internet connection.

Our editor Nick recently picked up a new iPhone with iOS9, so if he notices any additional data charges we’ll update this story.

If you’d like to turn Wi-Fi Assist off (which we recommend), in iOS9 go to Settings -> Cellular -> Scroll to the bottom – Tap “Wi-Fi Assist”. Here’s what your screen should look like with the feature off:

iOS9

With some South Africans reporting higher mobile data usage than usual, this may be a contributing source. It seems prophetic that we used a header image featuring an iPhone for that story.

[Source – Gizmodo]