4 Things you didn’t know about Wi-Fi Assist in iOS 9

BY Killian Bell

Published 13 Oct 2015

Wi-Fi Apple

By now you’re probably familiar with Apple’s new Wi-Fi Assist feature in iOS 9, which provides with more reliable Internet connections when your Wi-Fi network becomes spotty. But here are four important pieces of information you probably don’t know about this feature.

1. Wi-Fi Assist doesn’t work on all devices

Just because your iOS device can run iOS 9, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can use Wi-Fi Assist. Apple does not offer the feature on iPhone 4s, iPad 2 Wi-Fi+Cellular, iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi+Cellular, or iPad mini (1st generation) Wi-Fi+Cellular.

2. Wi-Fi Assist doesn’t work in the background

Wi-Fi Assist can only be employed by apps you’re actually using in the foreground, and doesn’t activate with background downloading of content. So, if you’re browsing Facebook, Wi-Fi Assist will work. But if won’t be available to the App Store updates downloading in the background. So you don’t need to be worried about Wi-Fi Assist if you’ve enabled Background App Refresh (Settings > General > Background App Refresh) enabled for apps or Automatic Downloads (Settings > App and iTunes Store) using Cellular Data.

3. Wi-Fi Assist doesn’t support some third-party apps

To save you from massive data bills, Apple doesn’t allow Wi-Fi Assist to be used by some third-party apps that use large amounts of data. Those include music and video streaming services, and those that can download large attachments, such as an email app or file downloader.

4. Wi-Fi Assist doesn’t work while roaming

For the same reason as above, Wi-Fi Assist is not available while you’re data roaming, so you don’t have to worry about it being active while you’re abroad and using expensive data.

Despite all of these restrictions, Wi-Fi Assist can still use a lot of data, and that’s not good if you don’t have a large data allowance. Fortunately, it’s easy to disable the feature altogether if you’d prefer not to use it.

For more information about Wi-Fi Assist, check out Apple’s new support page.