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It IS communicated.

If you just pull up control center and tap the button is says “Disconnected from ‘WiFiNetwork’”.

If you expand the panel with 3D Touch or a long press under the WiFi icon it either says WiFiName or Not Connected.

On the other hand the cellular radio says Off if you toggle it.

This isn’t completely hidden. The information is there. And I agree with the other posters that this is a far better setting considering how many people have run up ridiculous cellular bills because of bad Wi-Fi and forgetting about the setting.

At this point I’m not sure there’s a need for normal users to actually turn off Wi-Fi. The only real case would be something like airplane mode which already has its own setting.

A hidden feature isn't communicated. I don't know why features are going to do something weird if I short click vs long click. There's simply no communication. Maybe some shadow (3D) effect on something which you can 3D touch would make a huge difference. (It's probably ugly, but the feature itself is ugly, so you'd expect the UI should reflect that.) A right click menu was considered a hidden feature by Apple in the olden days, but at least you knew there was a right mouse button to click. Nowadays you don't know whether a feature exists or whether you just haven't clicked long enough.

I appreciate the feature is a nice one, that the wifi will turn back on sometimes. I've been caught out. But I can't know what hidden features exist and how to distinguish them.

Moreover, "Disconnected from WifiNetwork" only communicates what you say it does once you know what the feature does. Until then, you don't know. There's also nothing that says "the network has been disabled until you go home" or whenever it's going to turn back on.

Apple used to care about their products being useful to power uses and beginners alike. Now they care about their products being useful to beginners and capable of letting the elite know who they are — the power users who are not amongst the elite know that too. It's really not very nice.

I was really happy with it when I first got my iPhone. It was awesome. I'd never used one, and it kept telling me what to do next. If I guessed wrong, it was like "haha, no you've gotta do this instead". But it is not going to be replaced with another iPhone. I just can't stand it any more.

My thought was the WiFi icon should turn into a progress indicator to show that its snoozing, maybe like how apps show they are installing by graying it out in a circular sweep.

That would make me think it's trying to connect. I don't think motion would be appropriate for the intermediate state of a tri-state indicator.

Maybe a lighter shade of blue? Or a white background with the icon colored vivid blue?

They actually have a way to show this. If you play around with the other buttons and modes they seem to use colored for on/connected, grey for on/disconnected, and grey with a line through it for radio off.

If you put your iPhone in "Airplane" mode, the wifi shows "OFF" (with a slash through it) vs toggling the wifi button just grays it out and shows "not connected"

Seems fine for me /shrug

Grey out the icon, and add a "zzz" indicator to it?

It's more than a hidden feature though. Pressing the wifi button (where you would normally expect it to turn the radio off) literally brings up a text saying "Disconnected from {SSID}"

And if I turned off wifi, I'd expect the device to disconnect from amy networks, so that messaage doesn't really tell me much if I don't already know its significance.

I'm sure many people would think that message confirms they turned off the WiFi.

So all these years when Apple showed basically the same visual cues triggered by the same action they were miscommunications to us?

You can’t have it both ways. Apple either miscommunicated this ever since Control center was added till today or they are miscommunication pang today.

I would lean in the direction of miscommunicating today because Apple has spent years teaching its customers that this behavior means X and now it’s been changed to Y.

I believe when they changed the behaviour from turning off WiFi to disconnecting from WiFi, they added the text "Disconnected from networkname". But I don't entirely disagree they should communicate the change better

That only tells me I'm no longer connected to the wifi-network I used to be.

And that's the expected outcome of me turning off wifi. Something I deliberately tried to do through clicking the on/off toggle.

I agree with parent poster: Either apple has been miscommunication the whole time, or they are miscommunication now. You can't have it both ways.

This is not communicated and is completely bogus, do you expect users to "expand" the panel and read carefully the small text under which says "Not connected" and map it to, "hey this is me Apple, royally screwing with you, even though you wanted to turn off Wifi, and you just did that, I won't turn it off, I am gonna lie to you and keep eating your battery till your phone die"

That's exactly what happened to me when I was desperately trying to save battery and turn off services.

You don't have to expand the panel or 3d touch or anything.


I'll admit that this behavior is what I want 99% of the time, so it also doesn't bother me.

Ehhhhh, so now "disconnected from ssid" + gray wifi-button means "wifi temporarily turned off"? That is not clearly communicated. At all.

I do think the new behavior is better for me as a user 99% of the time, but at the same time i also want to know what is happening and how to override it.

Silent mode on android shows how to do it correctly, there you get a popup when activating it asking for how long you want it to be silent. It has a few presets so you just need one extra tap. That is the correct behaviour, if that's to much for an Apple mind to handle, the very least they should do is to inform of the actual state with a more descriptive label.

The communication isn't great, but the "off-ish" setting is visually distinct from the true off setting (the latter showing a struck-through icon.)

While I agree that the UI is a bit subtle in the difference, Apple isn't trying to screw anyone. If you're really trying to save battery life, Airplane mode is the way to go. It totally turns off the wifi and the LTE radio (which is very battery draining).

I like this change because when I turn just wifi off it was always because of an acting up network. Now that I don't have to remember to turn it back on is a good thing. My guess is that Apple has a lot of data, and found that this behavior is what most people want.

> At this point I’m not sure there’s a need for normal users to actually turn off Wi-Fi.

Or anyone who doesn’t want to be tracked by random retailers. I worked for one such company, so I know intimately how it works, including how MAC address randomization doesn’t actually work in the real world at completely obscuring your device.

Would you mind sharing the details of how MAC address randomization is being defeated in the real world?

@pmontra already provided you with one good link, let me know if you'd like more info. Happy to share peer reviewed articles as well as what I can from the work I did.

Does this work even if my device newer connects to the retailer's "free" WiFi?

It makes it trivially simple if you did connect, but even if you don’t, just having the Wi-Fi radio on is enough.

As long as the wifi radio is enabled, yes.

I’m completely flummoxed as to why you believe the phrase “Disconnected from {A WiFi}” communicates the complex idea that it’s only partially and temporarily disabled?

This really sounds like members of my dev team trying to explain why their terrible UX is actually quite clever.

>At this point I’m not sure there’s a need for normal users to actually turn off Wi-Fi. The only real case would be something like airplane mode which already has its own setting.

I ran into a use case for turning off wifi the other day. My ISP was having problems and the wifi network could not reach the internet. Turning off wifi saved me the trouble of forgetting my wifi network, and then looking up / typing in the password when I rejoined.

The current behavior would do the same thing for you. You didn’t have to turn WiFi off, you just needed to do on next from the flaky WiFi.

This happened to me the other day as well. I’m using an 8 Plus, and it worked exactly as I would hope, too.

Having WiFi greatly increases the battery drain on my iPhone 5C, so I always turn it off when I'm not using it. I'm not using the phone all the time so there are long periods where it doesn't need to be on, but I still want to receive messages etc (and hence can't use Airplane mode).

Edit: I originally said that having wifi on "at least doubles" the power drain on my phone but since I haven't actually taken hard stats on that, I'll just say "greatly increases."

The WiFi radio uses less power than the LTE one, so if you’re in range of WiFi you save battery by leaving it on.

Not on my Android phone, a Motorola Moto X Play. Wifi is by far the largest battery hog.

lol man. thats because it is used the most. in order to determine which uses more energy you would need to run a series of controlled tests where you transfer specific amounts of data over time with one radio or the other.

I did do that. Using my phone normally, it uses a lot more battery to have wifi on.

I have a generous data plan, so I don't need to use wifi to preserve it.

I don't have a data plan so I always have mobile data off.

That's a pretty rare use case, and not one that I expect most smartphone makers to optimize for.

That doesn't turn off your LTE radio though...

But djrogers was saying that if I had WiFi on it'd save power because LTE would be off. Surely they only mean the data component?

I thought the basic mobile connection was active all the time (unless there was no signal). Are you saying if I turn WiFi on, and I receive an SMS (not through iMessage) or a phone call, it's actually coming through WiFi and the mobile connection is totally off? Surely not.

It’s possible, depending on your carrier, that it uses Wi-Fi for calls, but doubt that’s what he meant. Either way, in your specific use case, I agree, turning off Wi-Fi would save power, I just don’t believe it’s 2x difference though.

I just looked it up and found the official page on Wifi calling[1], but yeah, that option isn't there on my phone.


I have a phone that is 3D Touch capable and I never use 3D Touch at all. In fact I mostly avoid using it; it's Those Useless Options That Sometimes Pop Up If I Press Too hard On A Thing.

It's on par with OSX's "some menu items change if you hold down alt while they're open" behavior. Aggressively obscured.

Then turn it off (Settings, General, Accessibility)

Although lacking discoverability, I personally find it very quick, useful and natural in a couple of use cases: acting on notifications, keyboard cursor movement and selection, (sadly defunct) app switching, on Apple Music track listings.

Oh right, I use the keyboard cursor movement all the time.

Haven't found a single other place where it does anything I find useful.

You're missing out. 3D Touch is pretty powerful and provides access to more than "Useless Options" now.

It still bugs me as very undiscoverable. I don’t want to press things I don’t intend to toggle just to see whats underneath them.

Maybe I’ll get used to it but right now I’m old man grumpy.

sometimes an app shows a popup, sometimes you show the delete icon for all app. wonderful interface.

It always shows a pop-up.

*depending on how hard/lightly you press you get a different interaction. nice uh? and you have to remember which is which or try both

How do I know when I can use it? and if my phone doesn't have 3D Touch, how can I access the same features? (I don't know if my phone has 3D Touch, but I guess it doesn't because I've never been able to make it do something different. Except once when I long clicked the control centre and it did something different. I don't know if that's 3D Touch though. My iPhone used to teach me how to use it, now it just hides things because it makes someone else feel like an elegant designer.)

You don’t, which is one of the two big issues. You can only try it everywhere and try to remember what happens.

(The other problem is the light touch/hard touch thing)

> At this point I’m not sure there’s a need for normal users to actually turn off Wi-Fi.

Define 'normal'. After I educated my (retired, nontechnical) mother about wifi and bluetooth tracking, she started turning them off when she left the house.

I think the folks who think this is just peachy are in their own bubble. 'Normal' (by my working definition) people do care about this stuff if they understand it. Thankfully, Apple gets this stuff right-ish more often than not, but in this case, I think they blew it.

Apple must have statistics about this (from people who opt in to it like me).

If they made this change I imagine the number of people who actually toggle the radios on and off a lot (manually, not airplane mode) must be very small.

I’m sure th know how many people have written them about the ‘I ran up my cellular bill and it’s your fault’ thing too. I know I’ve heard that from people.

It’s a change from what it’s been doing for 10 years but I think it makes sense.

You indirectly raise an interesting point - I wonder by how much Apple's feedback stats on these topics are biased.

Folks who worry about, say, wifi and bluetooth walk-buy surveillance are going to be much more likely to opt-out of just about anything they can, including usage instrumentation. So of course they'll be underrepresented in statistics generated from that data.

"At this point I’m not sure there’s a need for normal users to actually turn off Wi-Fi"

To preserve battery. I don't know about iPhones, but on my Android phone, Wi-Fi is certainly the largest battery hog, if I leave Wi-Fi location scanning on.

I would LOVE to see someone run benchmarks about how much battery WiFi and BT use on modern iPhones (when disconnected). I would be amazed if the difference was more than negligable.

It is absolutely not negligible on my Moto X Play.

I get around 1.5 days normally, less than a day if I use wifi and BT.

That's strange. I have used Nexus phones since the first one that came out and I have never experienced any significant battery drain from either wifi or bluetooth. First was always screen, second Android system.

Just checked again to make sure. Wifi 0%, Bluetooth 0%

Mine is usually wifi, then screen.

Right now wifi is at 8%, and I used it for maybe 15 minutes this morning, that's it.

Motorola Moto X Play, Android 6.0.1, for what it's worth.

As far as I know, Marshmallow has a battery drain issue, but Motorola (now Lenovo) does not seem to be interested in updating their software anymore.

I just wanted to mention that I've done a full factory reset of my phone now, and it seems that wifi is using a lot less battery, even with wifi scanning etc. switched on.

I have Verizon unlimited data and I keep wifi turned off always. Decent wifi is hard to find these days but Verizon usually works and is faster, even when they throttle me after my initial 15GB is used up.

"Decent" means easy-to-access without jumping through a ton of hoops, being reliable after you jump through those hoops, and being faster than cellular data. Yes, my own wifi at home is decent, but when I'm away from home, I just assume there's no such thing as public wifi and use cellular data. My stress is lower that way.

> At this point I’m not sure there’s a need for normal users to actually turn off Wi-Fi.

Battery life, esp. if the battery is low and you need to ensure you'll be able to use it until you can get to a charger.

I didn't know that panel expanded because Apple didn't communicate that fact either... But I just tried it with long press and still don't see what I am meant to be reading in the pop-out.

Can you take a screenshot of where this is explained?

It seems to be pretty clearly communicated to me when disconnecting...


That looks to me like it is communicating that the network was disconnected as a result of turning off the wifi.

This is backed up by people's previous experiences with the toggle, which did actually turn off the wifi.

"At this point I’m not sure there’s a need for normal users to actually turn off Wi-Fi."

I do it all the time when my home wi-fi is slow and I want to use 4G to quickly access something. My home internet is crap; my phone 4G is fast but with a low bandwidth cap.

That use case is satisfied by the iOS 11 toggle, which disconnects from the current network and disables connecting to new networks for the next few hours.

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