Where’s my iOS Wi-Fi Plus Cellular toggle?

Apple in early-August seeded iOS 6 Beta 4 to its registered developers. With it came a new feature in Settings, called Wi-Fi Plus Cellular. As Jeff explained in a lengthy post the following day, this toggle basically ensures that apps having trouble with WiFi can automatically switch over to cellular data. But why go implement and then remove this handy capability from iOS 6?

Apple has removed this switch from iOS 6 GM.

We were recently reminded about the removal (thanks, Maciek!) and today TUAW notes that Wi-Fi Plus Cellular is nowhere to be found under Settings > General > Cellular.

Some people took to Apple’s discussion forums to complain about the removal.

This is what it used to look like.

The way it was, the toggle was useful if you experienced flaky WiFi connections.

Using Wi-Fi Plus Cellular, you could tell the device to fall back to your carrier’s cellular data if WiFi started acting up. You no doubt are familiar with how WiFi connections in hotel rooms, web caffes and even certain home setups can crawl to a halt due to a bunch of reasons, ranging from issues with the router to high load to the Internet connection itself being really slow.

Maybe Apple figured this useful feature wasn’t up to its exacting standards of quality?

Perhaps Scott Forstall thought this capability needed more work, in which case a future software update should bring it back. Whatever Apple’s thinking might be, I’m sad to see the feature no longer available to the masses.

Or, as commenters noted, Apple may have been afraid that people might get confused. Someone could easily misunderstand how the toggle works, flip it on and wonder why their cell phone bill was ginormous.

Another example: some people may not even be aware that Apple Maps require network connectivity. With Wi-Fi Plus Cellular turned on and Flyover in Maps enabled, enjoying a 3D view of New York on a flaky WiFi connection could easily burn through one’s monthly cellular data allowance.

Be that as it may, Wi-Fi Plus Cellular was typical Apple: a handy addition to the strong iOS feature set which effectively solved a real problem.

It’s worth remembering that Apple often pulls features last minute, a good example being a hidden panorama mode in the iOS Camera, discovered last November.

Changing a few settings allowed owners of jailbroken devices to enable the panorama functionality ahead of its official iOS 6 debut.

This could be a similar case: I bet Apple just disabled the Wi-Fi Plus Cellular feature, leaving the code in place.

And now the ball is on our court.

What do you think, how long until a jailbreak tweak brings back this toggle?