iOS 7’s Unsung Hero: WiFi Hotspot 2.0



Apple’s WWDC 2013 Keynote presentation happened in the same fashion as any other: it only lasted two hours, 45 minutes alone devoted to the iOS 7. This year, Apple chose to go all out with its Mac Pro and Mac OS X Mavericks announcements. Jony Ive was the man responsible for iOS 7’s dramatic redesign from the skeuomorphism of iOS 6, but Ive did not introduce the new design; instead, Craig Federighi took to the stage.

Similar to WWDC 2012, Apple did not get to present all the new features present in iOS 7 but only announced the major ones: home screen, AirDrop File Share, iOS in the Car, iTunes Radio, a new Safari OS with unlimited tabs, App Store automatic updates, intelligent app scheduling, Control Center, and so on.

One unique feature, however, that Apple did not get to introduce concerns WiFi Roaming or WiFi Hotspot 2.0. Apple incorporated multitasking features known as intelligent scheduling and opportunistic updates, whereby your iPhone will upgrade apps by discerning your usage times when your iPhone is on a strong WiFi or cellular network.

To have a strong network, however, one needs to be able to roam successfully from one WiFi setup to another. Often, when individuals leave home to head to the local coffee shop, they may struggle to get onto the coffee shop’s network due to verification requirements. Apple has solved the problem with WiFi roaming in iOS 7 — through the introduction of WiFi Hotspot 2.0.

WiFi Hotspot 2.0 prevents the user from having to log onto a new network, supply a password, etc., when leaving a familiar network to log onto an unfamiliar one. Now, without the need for verification, your iPhone will log you on automatically without a hitch. It puts the “smart” in “smartphone.”

In the end, WiFi Hotspot is a great feature for iOS 7 and Apple’s iconic smartphone, but it is under the influence of other mobile operating systems. Samsung was the first to release WiFi Hotspot 2.0 in its GS4.

Source: GigaOM


About Author

Deidre is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she double majored in History (Modern Europe) and Music (Performance). She is now pursuing doctoral studies and loves doing how-to videos, tech news, and editorials. When she is not working, you can find her reading Flipboard on her iPhone 5 and watching Law and Order: Special Victims Unit reruns on her Samsung Galaxy S3.

  • alpa

    In your article, you claimed that Samsung GS4 supports Hotspot 2.0/Passpoint. Do you know which specific software version of software supports it? I have a GS4 and have access to HS2.0 enabled AP but I do not see any indication that it supports it.

  • Deidre


    According to the research I’ve done, AT&T’s GS4 runs it, so it should be capable on all GS4s.

    With that said, however, you may not be able to connect to it because you are not in an area where WiFi roaming is possible. If you live in an area with few WiFi networks, such as a rural area, or somewhere where Internet connectivity is spotty and sometimes disabled, you will likely have trouble utilizing the new feature.

    As with any feature such as WiFi Hotspot, the technology can only be utilized in areas where it is possible or enabled. While it may be enabled on your phone, your geographic location may not allow this to be possible. Beneath the function, it should say something about “other WiFi-enabled APs,” referring to your location. Your location may prohibit this feature from working properly.

    If you want further advice from me, I would recommend talking to your carrier about why the feature will not work. It is most likely due to your geographic location, or you may have to pay extra to use the service with your carrier, and so on.

    Thanks for writing and feel free to write in again.