Skip to main content

Wi-Fi Assist Is A Pointless Complication To iOS

Wi-Fi Assist was a tool introduced by Apple in iOS 9 designed to take away the pain of slow Wi-Fi connections. Instead it has just added a different level of pain and complexity and has now landed Apple a $5m lawsuit.
That's such a small amount that Apple could probably fund it by hunting for loose change down the back of the sofa in Tim Cook's office.
It does highlight an increasing frustration with iOS though. By picking up features that weren't invented in-house, Apple is unnecessarily complicating its mobile OS.
Wi-Fi Assist is a riff on Samsung's Download Booster technology. Whereas Samsung offered it as a performance booster, turned it off by default and told people how it can improve the speed of large downloads by using multiple connections, Apple saw things in a different way.
Wi-Fi Assist will drop off a Wi-Fi network and onto a mobile connection if it determines the Wi-Fi performance to be poor. This is typical Apple. It's turned on by default, users aren't given a choice of what constitutes poor network performance and are left to blow through their data caps if they don't notice the mobile data connection icon in the notification area..
Apple defended itself by saying that data usage would be minimal - a small amount more than normal. If that's the case why include the feature? Why make it default?
On occasion Apple makes decisions on behalf of its customers, sometimes when it does it gets things very wrong. This is one of those times.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…