Apple found to be using advanced Multipath TCP networking in iOS 7

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
After iOS 7 launched on Wednesday, it was discovered that Apple included a new networking protocol called Multipath TCP in the next-gen operating system, allowing devices like the iPhone to simultaneously use multiple interfaces such as cellular and Wi-Fi to transfer data.

Multipath TCP
Source: Olivier Bonaventure


As its name implies, Multipath TCP allows for a connected device, such as an iPhone or iPad, to transmit data over multiple pathways simultaneously. For example, the technology allows for compatible devices to transfer data over both 3G cellular and Wi-Fi networks. The discovery was made by Olivier Bonaventure, a computer science professor at the IP Networking Lab in Belgium, who subsequently posted the findings to his personal blog.

One of Multipath TCP's benefits over traditional TCP extensions is the protocol's ability to push data through the most efficient network, which leads to fewer dropouts. If one channel fails, another will take over.

Bonaventure explains that he made the discovery using an iPad running iOS 7. By monitoring packet traces, he was able to deduce that Multipath TCP was being used to connect to certain compatible Apple servers.

"You won?t see Multipath TCP for regular TCP connections from applications like Safari," Bonaventure writes, "but if you use SIRI, you might see that the connection with one of the apple servers runs uses Multipath TCP."

The technology comes from development rooted in a 2008 initiative funded by the European Commission called the Trilogy Project, though it has yet to see widespread adoption. It is thought that Apple's inclusion of Multipath TCP in iOS 7 is the first consumer product to ship with the technology.

Bonaventure had no guesses as to how Apple plans to implement the advanced protocol beyond its own servers, though it can be speculated that the company is looking for ways to make its iCloud-based services more reliable.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    Great.
    Lotsa stuff under the hood. No company implements new tech better than Apple.
    Watched Americas cup this am on an iPad 2 - no lags, nothing different than before the upgrade other than everything appears faster

    Have to say I'm getting more comfortable with the iOS7 now. Still think it needs some tweaks here and there - white keyboard on light grey is fine at night but needs more a darker shade in daylight.
    Overall pretty good.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    Typical of Apple. I bet they will also extend to other TCP enhancements, if I may call it that, like tcpcrypt.

    --
    WOT:
    stumbled upon:

    Acronym Definition
    APSTNDP All People Seem To Need Data Processing (mnemonic for the 7 OSI reference model layers)
    APSTNDP Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away (backwards mnemonic for the 7 OSI reference model layers)
    APSTNDP Application, Presentation, Session, Transport, Network, Data Link, Physical (OSI Reference Model layers)
    APSTNDP Aliens Probably Stole the Ninja Dew Pop (mnemonic for the 7 OSI reference model layers)
    APSTNDP All Pirate Ships Take No Darn Prisoners (mnemonic for the 7 OSI reference model layers)
    APSTNDP A Purple Snake Takes No Dead Prisoners (mnemonic for the 7 OSI reference model layers)
    APSTNDP A Powered-Down System Transmits No Data Packets (Open Systems Interconnection 7-Layer Reference Model mnemonic)
  • Reply 3 of 30
    I am very surprised, why it took such idea took this long to get into any OS. Matter of fact, most of us have laptops with two IP interfaces (Wireless and Wired) and it should be awesome that they use similar approach to maximize the pipes!
  • Reply 4 of 30
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    Off topic but io7 has dropped support for switching camera (front facing or back) in FaceTime. Very odd as it's a useful feature. Bring it back!!!!
  • Reply 5 of 30
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    no, no! this not innovation! Apple can no longer innovate - the analysts all say so. this is just ... fooling around. wifi never craps out! i say so!
  • Reply 6 of 30
    @Zaba, What are you talking about? Its right to the left of the End button, looks like a camera with a circular set of arrows. Just touch that, and it flips.
  • Reply 7 of 30

    I'm not entirely sure this is a great idea for everything. It might be good for Siri which won't use up massive amounts of bandwidth. But I would hate if when I'm on WiFi it jumps to my limited data plan to download a youtube video because my WiFi is weak.

     

    If I don't have a signal, then just say ooops cannot connect!

  • Reply 8 of 30
    OK, Apple, please bring this to Mac OS X (and OS X Server) so we can use this on our LANs
  • Reply 9 of 30

    This is great feature I want for long time.

  • Reply 10 of 30
    hydrhydr Posts: 146member

    I always wanted to be connected to several wifi networks to optimize performance and reliability. Will this eventually solve this?

  • Reply 11 of 30
    This is great feature I want for long time.

    Oh absolutely. Read RFC 6824 & 6182

    Oops, wrong button
  • Reply 12 of 30
    hydr wrote: »
    I always wanted to be connected to several wifi networks to optimize performance and reliability. Will this eventually solve this?

    See ^
  • Reply 13 of 30
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,998member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post



    no, no! this not innovation! Apple can no longer innovate - the analysts all say so. this is just ... fooling around. wifi never craps out! i say so!

     

    And besides, Android has had this for years.

  • Reply 14 of 30
    lkrupp wrote: »
    And besides, Android has had this for years.

    Then why does it always seems to be working so slow?
  • Reply 15 of 30
    Does this fix the problem I have been having since the iphone 4 of ios picking the 1 bar of cellular over the 300mbps speeds of my wifi?

    I keep having to disable cellular data to get things to go through.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

     

    And besides, Android has had this for years.


     

    Quote:


     Apple's inclusion of Multipath TCP in iOS 7 is the first consumer product to ship with the technology.


  • Reply 17 of 30
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

     

    And besides, Android has had this for years.


     

    Its only been a standard since 2013 so androids couldn't have had this for years.

     

    Also The Group responsible for multipatch tcp states Specifically that SIRI uses it in ios 7

  • Reply 18 of 30
    dugbug wrote: »
    lkrupp wrote: »
     

    And besides, Android has had this for years.
     Apple's inclusion of Multipath TCP in iOS 7 is the first consumer product to ship with the technology.

    LOL. Also, the RFC is from March 2011 (yes yes, 'years' can be two). Perhaps Android can't be considered a consumer product¿
  • Reply 19 of 30
    THE FOLLOWING IS A JOKE
    lkrupp wrote: »
    And besides, Android has had this for years.
    FFS.

    I note they now have both a Mobile and Carrier section in Settings, and with the lack of carrier customisation and built-in FaceTime calling, this says to me Dumb Pipes
  • Reply 20 of 30
    robm wrote: »
    Great.
    Lotsa stuff under the hood. No company implements new tech better than Apple.
    Watched Americas cup this am on an iPad 2 - no lags, nothing different than before the upgrade other than everything appears faster

    Have to say I'm getting more comfortable with the iOS7 now. Still think it needs some tweaks here and there - white keyboard on light grey is fine at night but needs more a darker shade in daylight.
    Overall pretty good.

    Couldn't agree more about the keyboard.,, surely Apple must change it or give us the option to have bold black font on the keys as in iOS 6....
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