Apple iOS 11 will finally free people's iPhones from terrible WiFi networks

No more struggling with slow internet and then being forced to turn WiFi off

Andrew Griffin
Monday 24 July 2017 11:07

Apple is finally fixing the worst thing about WiFi.

It's an experience all too well known to anyone who uses the internet in public: you connect once to the WiFi at a coffee shop or somewhere else, your phone learns the network, and then attempts to connect you to it every time. But usually you're not in good distance of the network or it requires a login that you no longer have.

iOS 11 attempts to fix that problem by spotting WiFi networks that are proving troublesome and stopping phones automatically connecting to them.

If a phone learns that a certain network doesn't tend to work, it will disable auto-join. That will mean that you'll have to click to join automatically – but given that the phone has spotted the WiFi doesn't work properly, you're probably not going to want to.

The potential problem with the feature is that it appears only the phone can decide if a network is bad or not. That means that networks that are actually fine could be turned off, and vice versa.

Apple has been looking to reduce problems with WiFi in recent years, with each new update to iOS. In iOS 9, for instance, it added WiFi Assist, which spotted slow network connections and switched users instead to their 3G or 4G data.

But that too ran into problems, with users complaining that they were unwittingly using their data allowance while they thought they were on Wifi

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