What that Wi-Fi label at the top of your iPhone means

Wi-Fi calling doesn’t mean you’re calling over Wi-Fi owned by the cellular carrier.

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In a recent column, I explained how to troubleshot Wi-Fi Calling, an option for placing calls over your home or office Wi-Fi network instead of relying on the cellular network. But there’s a confusing part that one reader asked for clarification about.

With Wi-Fi Calling enabled and working, a “Wi-Fi” label appears in the upper-left corner of an iPhone or iPad’s status bar. On phones with a notch, it appears when you swipe down to reveal the Control Center.

However, the label appears after the name of your cellular carrier. One Canadian reader who has cellular with one company (Telus) and pays for hotspot access with another (Shaw), was concerned that because his phone displayed “Telus Wi-Fi,” he was using the wrong network for his calls.

Never fear. As confusing as that label is, your Wi-Fi connection is determined by Settings > Wi-Fi: the network you see there is one to which you’re connected, and the Wi-Fi signal strength corresponds to that network. The “Wi-Fi” label refers solely to Wi-Fi Calling. It’s never not going to be confusing, though.

This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Murray.

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