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.
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. For example, our family has recently looked at switching from AT&T to T-Mobile to save some money, but some in-house testing with T-Mobile devices showed that the signal isn’t ideal. We do have fast home broadband, however, thanks to our 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. 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.
This article was updated on 7/8/2014 to remove an incorrect statement. I originally noted that I also use Android and Windows Phone handsets, so Wi-Fi calling might not be available for my phones. As several commenters have pointed out, many T-Mobile phones on various software platforms do support Wi-Fi calling.