iOS 8 Beta 3 brings Wi-Fi calling to T-Mobile iPhones

by tech on July 7, 2014

In June, Apple said Wi-Fi calling was coming to the iPhone and on Monday it delivered according to 9to5 Mac. That’s the good news. The bad news is you can’t use the feature unless you’re running beta 3 of iOS 8, which Apple released today. That means most iPhone users will have to wait a few months for until the official launch of iOS 8 to make calls over Wi-Fi.

Here’s a peek at the Wi-Fi calling settings in the beta software as tweeted by Matthew Miller.

wi-fi calling on iPhone

T-Mobile has long supported Wi-Fi calls on various handsets over the years to help customers that had inadequate cellular service in their homes or offices. It has never had native Wi-Fi calling on the iPhone, however, because iOS didn’t offer the feature. This fall, that changes with iOS 8. The next step would be for Apple to bring Voice over LTE to the iPhone — sending voice packets directly over an LTE data network — but we’ve asked the company previously about that and haven’t yet heard back.

The new Wi-Fi calling for iPhones could actually help T-Mobile more than it helps Apple. Our family has recently looked at switching from AT&T to T-Mobile to save some money for example, but some in-house testing with T-Mobile devices shows that the signal isn’t ideal. We do have fast home broadband however thanks to 75 Mbps FiOS service paired with a zippy 802.11ac router, so we could make the switch if our phones could use the Wi-Fi network for voice calls.

Everyone in the house currently uses an iPhone so it could work out well.  The tricky part for me: I also use Android and Windows Phone devices so I’d be stuck with traditional cellular voice calls on those phones and couldn’t take advantage of Wi-Fi calling. That’s just me though. I’m curious how many of our readers would go with a T-Mobile iPhone that supports Wi-Fi calling? You’ll have your chance in a few months; sooner if you can install the iOS 8 beta.

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