Apple's latest 'Wi-Fi Assist' feature | ACMA


19 November, 2015 10:35 AM


Apple's latest 'Wi-Fi Assist' feature

By Editor


If you’re an iPhone or iPad user and have recently updated to iOS 9 software, then you may be interested to know how the new Wi-Fi Assist feature affects your mobile internet settings. 

Apple’s iOS 9 update

On Wednesday 16 September 2015, Apple released its latest iOS 9 software update in Australia. Almost every Apple product, including the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2, was expected to receive this update.

In fact, 66 per cent of all Apple iOS devices worldwide are currently using iOS 9[1]. So there’s a very good chance that if you’re an iPhone user, you’re one of 7.05 million Australians[2] who’ve already been updated to the iOS 9 software.

Among the many new features released, the iOS 9 update includes a feature called Wi-Fi Assist, which is automatically enabled (turned on) with the iOS 9 update.

How it works

If you’re using a Wi-Fi internet connection on your Apple iOS device and your signal becomes weak, Wi-Fi Assist will detect this and automatically switch over to your mobile network (if available).

But, be aware …

While the automatic Wi-Fi Assist feature can be very useful in avoiding slow buffering and internet drop outs, there is a risk of unexpectedly high mobile phone bills (otherwise known as bill shock) from increased mobile data usage.

Our advice

If you don’t want to run the risk of bill shock, you can always disable the Wi-Fi Assist feature on your Apple iOS device. You can do this by navigating to:

Wi-Fi Assist on IOS jpg 

Settings > Mobile > Wi-Fi Assist (de-select to turn this feature off)

And remember, you can always turn it back on if you need some assistance later on.

Note: you can use Wi-Fi Assist with any iOS device with iOS 9 or later, except for these models: iPhone 4s, iPad 2 Wi-Fi+Cellular, iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi+Cellular, and iPad mini (1st generation) Wi-Fi+Cellular

Further information

To read up about Apple’s Wi-Fi Assist, visit the Apple website.

And for general tips and tricks on accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots, see our recent guide Public Wi-Fi hotspots: food for thought!

[2] At September 2015, 17.2 million Australians owned a smartphone with Apple’s iPhone having a 41% share of all smartphone sales. Source: