Apple rolled out its fourth developer beta of iOS 11 on Monday. The release includes a number of nice surprises, and we’re still discovering changes that weren’t immediately obvious. One of those is designed to improve Wi-Fi connectivity.
To make life easier for us all, iOS will automatically connect to open or saved Wi-Fi networks to give you the fastest possible connection and save your data allowance. But sometimes, those Wi-Fi networks don’t actually provide a fast connection, and you’re better off without them. So, Apple has designed iOS 11 to act differently.
iOS 11 will no longer allow your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to connect to weak Wi-Fi networks automatically. Poor connections will be ignored, but you can join them manually if you really need to. In addition, iOS 11 prevents Xfinity hotspots from overriding you iPhone’s network connection, and if you have “Ask to Join Networks” enabled, you’ll no longer see popups when you walk past poor connections in coffee shops and other public places.
It’s a great idea and a welcome change, but Apple certainly wasn’t the first to implement it. Rival Android devices have offered similar functionality for years, such as Smart Network Switch on Samsung devices, which automatically switches back to mobile data when Wi-Fi connectivity is weak.
Other changes in the latest iOS 11 beta include new icons for Contacts, Notes, and Reminders; bolder and cleaner icons for Wi-Fi and cellular connections; improvements to the app switcher; voice improvements for Siri; a three-second countdown for the new screen recording feature, and lots, lots more.