New iOS 11 Feature Prevents Automatic Connection to Spotty Wi-Fi


As pointed out by the folks over at Cult of Mac (via The Verge), a new feature in iOS 11 automatically disables auto-join for Wi-Fi networks with patchy connectivity. The feature should be quite handy for travelers and for those who find themselves using a lot of public Wi-Fi. 

Auto join

Apple introduced the auto-join button in an earlier version of the iOS 11 beta, which can be found by tapping on the small blue “i” icon next to any Wi-Fi network. In the most recent beta, when you’re looking to connect in a public place with a bunch of mobile hot spots, you can let the software automatically remove networks with poor connectivity from the list.

It also prevents the scourge that is an Xfinity hot spot from overriding your iPhone’s network connection without you noticing. If you have “Ask to Join Networks” turned on, the feature will put an end to those needless notifications that pop up whenever you walk by your local Starbucks.

The final version of iOS 11 will be released later this year, although you can try the beta version right now by joining Apple’s public beta program for free.


  • FragilityG4

    A new public beta was released today.

  • Riddlemethis

    Apple wifi especially public hotspots has always been flaky. Often the login page either fails to load or Disappears within seconds from view. This update doesn’t do anything to resolve this issue. While android rarely has this problem.

  • Finally!!
    I like to use ShawOpen sometimes, but when it auto connects to WiFi that’s too weak it just ends up killing my internet, music stops playing, gets really annoying to turn off wifi to fix it when I normally leave it on at all times.

  • Chrome262

    i just tell it to ask to join, that way i can chose to not to

  • Tried that too. I got tired of all the popups lol. We have LOTS of free wifi spots here.

  • Tim

    Hopefully they upgrade the cellular data assist option too to make it more clear what’s going on. I turned it off as I once found myself, seemingly downloading a 2gb file over wifi but actually mostly over my data connection even though it said wifi. Cost me about $20 in overages.

  • Dehop

    Yeah that Cellular assist feature was implemented in the worst way possible, with immediate user experience taking absolute precedence without any consideration for the real-life cost. Cost my friend $50 in overages, until I turned that feature off.

    What they needed to do was add a way to enter which day of the month your billing cycle ends, and how much data you have each month. Only after that is known, and iOS knowing you have enough data remaining that month, should cellular assist be used.

  • Apple introduced the auto-join button in an earlier version of the iOS 11 beta…

    Despite the reports elsewhere, that’s not quite correct…. The “auto-join” switch has been in iOS for quite a while now — since at least iOS 8 or iOS 9. However, in the past it only appear for “captive” networks like Starbucks Wi-Fi hotspots, where you have to authenticate or at least click on a web page before you’re actually connected.

    This was a necessary feature since it wasn’t uncommon to wander into the vicinity of a Starbucks of Timmies Wi-Fi without realizing that your iPhone would basically be disconnected from the Internet unless you actually took it out of your pocket.

    Of course, this is the same problem you can run into with “weak” networks, so it makes sense that Apple has extended the feature to all Wi-Fi networks in iOS 11, however the “auto-join” switch feature isn’t new, it’s simply more widely available.