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iOS 11 preview: new feature prevents device connecting to bad Wi-Fi

The latest version of the iOS 11 beta has revealed a small but useful new feature that should please anyone who uses their iPhone or iPad on the go.

In iOS 11, devices will detect patchy Wi-Fi connections and prevent your device from automatically connecting to them. Currently, open public networks are automatically joined when within range, although in practice this can cause a lot of headaches. Unreliable Wi-Fi hotspots are rife in public places, so if you frequent coffee shops or airports or the subway, this could help avoid a host of automated connections that you don’t really want.

Now, though, the auto-join functionality is disabled when iOS detects a poor connection. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as though there’s a way to manually tell iOS to stop auto-joining a network, but this is a good start.

Back in iOS 9, Apple unveiled a similar feature called Wi-Fi Assist, which would supplement a poor Wi-Fi connection with cellular data from a 3G or 4G connection. However, this wasn’t without its own share of problems as some users racked up unexpected phone bills by inadvertently using mobile data when they thought Wi-Fi was enabled.