Apple’s release of iOS 8.3 yesterday may have initially wowed with a whole bunch of new emojis, but it’s the spread of WiFi calling that could have longer-term appeal for iPhone users. Until now only supported on T-Mobile USA, the functionality means that even when you have no carrier network connection, an iPhone on WiFi will still be able to make voice calls. That is, assuming you’re with one of the carriers for whom iOS 8.3 activated the tech this week.
Once you’ve got iOS 8.3 installed – which you can do either through iTunes or on your iPhone directly, by jumping into the Settings, choosing General, and then Software Update – it’s simply a case of switching WiFi Calling on.
EE and Sprint subscribers can find that option in Settings > Phone > WiFi Calls. You may need to wait for the latest carrier settings to be pushed to your device before that option actually shows up, post-iOS 8.3 install.
WiFi calling being activated won’t be an instantaneous thing, since the network needs to provision your account and device, but once that’s done it should mean liberation from patchy network coverage. It doesn’t count against a voice minute bundle, either, and on Sprint any WiFi calls made abroad back to US, US Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico numbers are free, too.
Interestingly, Sprint also points out that if you’re traveling to Australia, China, Cuba, North Korea, India, Iran, Singapore, Sudan, or Syria, you won’t be able to access WiFi calling there.
The functionality is compatible with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s.