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Apple To Improve Wi-Fi Tech With New iOS 9 Beta

Apple has released several iOS 9 betas over the past few months, with updates ranging from font changes and a larger wallpaper library, to an improved Siri and better maps.

In their latest update, iOS 9 beta 3, Apple appears to be taking of advantage of Wi-Fi in order to improve the quality of voice calls when your reception is bad. Conversely, Apple is also improving their technology to recognize when the Wi-Fi signal is weak, to prevent those moments when your connection is barely capable of opening one website in five minutes.

So, depending on which connection is best — your cell phone or your Wi-Fi internet — if you have iOS 9, the iPhone will automatically utilize the better choice to improve your overall experience.

According to tech site 9to5Mac, Wi-Fi calling will be available to T-Mobile and AT&T users, and possibly others, though AT&T does not currently support it.

In previous betas the feature was limited to T-Mobile’s network, but it appears the final version of the software will enable it on multiple carriers. (…) At the moment, AT&T doesn’t actually support Wi-Fi calling from any device, but has previously promised that the feature would eventually be made available some time this year.

This technology improvement is long overdue in the so-called “Smart” phone world.  There are third party apps available that perform this on Android devices, but none of the Smartphone operating systems have had the automatic connection-toggle feature built in.

TechCrunch pointed out a potentially serious drawback to this new feature:  What happens if your Wi-Fi connection is weak and you are streaming video?  Your data allowance could be hit very easily if you are watching Netflix or listening to music, unaware that the data isn’t being transferred over Wi-Fi because the phone automatically switched the Wi-Fi off.

Worried that you might end up gobbling up all of your cell data by accidentally Netflix-binging in one of your house’s Wi-Fi deadzones? Don’t panic: you can turn WiFi Assist off.

It’s a very valid concern, and though TechCrunch reported that the feature can be disabled, it still seems like an accident waiting to happen.

iOS 9 will remain in public beta for approximately one more month.  The operating system is expected to be released some time in September.

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