Apple Pushes Out iOS 8.3 Update and Beats Samsung to EE's Wi-Fi Calling (Updated)

By Matt Hill on at

Apple's iOS 8.3 update has gone live to the iPhone and iPad masses from 6pm this evening. It rolls out CarPlay connectivity, more diverse emojis (check out those thumbs up top) and, most importantly, a slightly longer keyboard space bar, alongside the standard performance tweakages. Nice, but so far, so typical an OS update.

However, there is another interesting side effect to this sooner-than-expected upgrade: Apple has apparently managed to nab bragging rights to be on EE's new Wi-Fi Calling service before Samsung – or anyone, in fact – at the same time.

As we reported yesterday, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are due to get Wi-Fi Calling, which lets you make calls via your home network if your mobile signal is weak, this Friday. But we've just been informed that Apple's update means EE customers with an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5S or 5C can get on it already. A clever spoiling tactic? We can only speculate.

But regardless of the smartphone politics (the Lumia 640, which was reportedly the first handset on the service, is also not supported yet), if you have an iPhone and that sounds a bit of you, once you've updated to iOS 8.3, head to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling and tap the switch to allow Wi-Fi Calls and you'll be up and running within a couple of hours. I'm in the process of doing it and will report back tomorrow on whether it's worth it.

Update #1: Turning on Wi-Fi calls appears to knock out your ability to use iOS 8's 'Continuity' feature of making calls on other Apple devices using your iPhone. 

Obviously, you're only going to use it when you haven't got mobile reception, but it's worth pointing out that, unless this is a random error, the feature is something to turn on as an emergency measure, rather than something to have on in the background, swooping in to save you of its own free will.

Update #2: EE has confirmed that, due to how Apple has configured the service, Wi-Fi Calling does indeed disable the Continuity feature.