Apple to Add Auto Wi-Fi / Cellular Switching with iOS 6

WiFi

How many times has it happened to you that your first indication that your home or office Wi-Fi network is down comes from the fact that your iPhone or iPad hasn’t picked up an email or instant message in a curiously long time? Almost as many times as you have hopped on to a free Wi-Fi hotspot in your favorite coffee shop only to find out that it is so slow that it barely functions? To all of our relief, Apple heard our cries and made a few changes in iOS 6 to help ease our pain.

Now, with iOS 6 installed on you Wi-Fi and Cellular equipped iPhone or iPad the option exists to land your connection back on a cellular signal when Wi-Fi starts acting up –and back again once the issues clear up. Using the feature that Apple has called ‘Wi-Fi Plus Cellular’ there isn’t anymore waiting for ages to see if an e-mail arrives only to find out that Wi-Fi isn’t working anyway; now your critical applications will keep syncing regardless.

According to AppleInsider, an additional function of this new iOS feature is that “you’ll be able to tell your iPhone to automatically revert back to cellular data to keep your iCloud Documents, iTunes purchases, Passbook and Reading Lists up to date.”

This may also be a way to keep FaceTime calls from dropping under these circumstances, though this is difficult to predict with cellular carriers yet to weigh-in on how they will be supporting / charging for FaceTime usage over their networks.

Unless you are one of the lucky developers test-driving the iOS 6 beta, you will have to wait a while to enjoy this feature. For those that do have the new operating system installed already, you can find ‘Wi-Fi Plus Cellular’ under General->Cellular in the systems setting pane.

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