How to enable Wi-Fi Calling in iOS 9.3 for Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile iPhones

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2016
With Monday's release of iOS 9.3, all four major U.S. cellular carriers -- including the latest addition, Verizon -- now support Wi-Fi Calling on Apple devices. Here's how to activate the feature on supporting networks.




For an iPhone, the process is relatively simple: a Wi-Fi Calling toggle is located under the Phone menu in the iOS Settings app. After flipping it on, iOS will prompt you to supply an emergency address, since Wi-Fi can make it difficult or impossible for responders to narrow down your location. Whenever it can, in fact, an iPhone will try to make emergency calls over cellular.

Enabling Wi-Fi Calling offers another perk though, which is the ability to make or receive calls from other Apple devices linked to an iPhone's Apple ID -- including Macs, iPads, iPods, and the Apple Watch. To do this, you need to go into the Phone menu's Calls on Other Devices section, and then tap Add Wi-Fi Calling For Other Devices.

While the feature will automatically be activated for a paired Apple Watch, iPad and iPod owners must open the Settings app, select Calls from iPhone under the FaceTime menu, then tap Upgrade to Wi-Fi Calling. Mac owners are expected to follow a similar path, but begin by opening FaceTime.

For any of those three platforms, devices must be signed into FaceTime and iCloud using the right Apple ID, and when prompted people must enter a six-digit passcode on their iPhone.

From there, an iPhone's Calls on Other Devices panel makes it easy to enable or disable devices individually.

For AT&T subscribers, iOS 9.3 enabled international Wi-Fi Calling, potentially handy for avoiding roaming charges when travelling.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    I'm wondering what the reliability of this is. Also, is call quality improved? Thinking about switching over so I can hear people on the phone better.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    kkerstkkerst Posts: 330member
    This does not work on an iPhone 5S. .

    I'm still waiting on HD audio. What happened to that? Maybe that's what Facetime audio is for ;-)
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 3 of 27
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,461member
    Call quality should basically be as good as Voice Over LTE (or Wifi Calling within the U.S.) between iPhone 6(s) devices, which is far better than earlier technology. It's HD.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 4 of 27
    These articles never seem to mention that with ATT, Wi-Fi calling cannot be enabled on iPhones 5s end earlier models.
  • Reply 5 of 27
    kkerstkkerst Posts: 330member
    These articles never seem to mention that with ATT, Wi-Fi calling cannot be enabled on iPhones 5s end earlier models.
    I think the iPhone 5S will work with T-Mobile's or Sprint's WiFi calling. But, really I guess the only thing you're getting here is that you can call someone without an iPhone using WiFi and not using your minutes.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 6 of 27
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,789member
    kkerst said:

    I'm still waiting on HD audio. What happened to that? Maybe that's what Facetime audio is for ;-)
    Facetime is so much clearer than cellular voice. Crystal clear even in poor signal conditions. And it is encrypted too. Fortunately for me, everyone I talk to regularly is on Apple devices. I would encourage everyone to use Facetime audio whenever possible.
    RacerhomieX
  • Reply 7 of 27
    Is this feature available for the iPhone 5S? I can't find the option under the Phone settings.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Oh, I see the answer above. No. :-(
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 9 of 27
    Is this feature available for the iPhone 5S? I can't find the option under the Phone settings.
    I am on T-Mobile with an iPhone 5s. Option was shown and I just turned it on. I was totally expecting it to be a 6-and-beyond only option. Awesome!
  • Reply 10 of 27
    kenbokenbo Posts: 4member
    I purchased a 6s from the Apple Store for use with AT&T, only to find out that AT&T won't "support/enable" WiFi calling on this unlocked phone. This was prior to 9.3. Will AT&T enable it now with 9.3?
  • Reply 11 of 27
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,789member
    kenbo said:
    I purchased a 6s from the Apple Store for use with AT&T, only to find out that AT&T won't "support/enable" WiFi calling on this unlocked phone. This was prior to 9.3. Will AT&T enable it now with 9.3?
    Yes, it works with iPhone 6 and 6s on AT&T
  • Reply 12 of 27
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    cwingrav said:
    I'm wondering what the reliability of this is. Also, is call quality improved? Thinking about switching over so I can hear people on the phone better.
    it sucks. I had 30 mbps internet and got choppy sounds. I disabled and stayed with ATT Microcell. 
  • Reply 13 of 27
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member

    kenbo said:
    I purchased a 6s from the Apple Store for use with AT&T, only to find out that AT&T won't "support/enable" WiFi calling on this unlocked phone. This was prior to 9.3. Will AT&T enable it now with 9.3?
    ATT enabled Wifi calling months ago. I have been having it on my wife's phone.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    iPhone 6 running iOS 9.3 has Wi-Fi Calling turned on.
    MacBook Pro (Retina) (Mid-2014) running OS X 10.11.4.
    Same iCloud account (current, old-style call forwarding between devices works, even when "VZW Wi-Fi" appears on my iPhone).

    Why can't I upgrade to Wi-Fi Calling on my Mac? The "Add Wi-Fi Calling for Other Devices" and "Upgrade to Wi-Fi Calling" options aren't appearing. Thoughts?




  • Reply 15 of 27
    yodaqyodaq Posts: 4member
    Same here.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    I saw on Verizon website, you have to have "HD Voice" enabled for WiFi calling. To do this, make sure you have Voice & Data checked under Settings>Cellular>Cellular Data Options>Enable LTE>(Voice & Data has check mark).

    (This was still not enough for me because my phone is on a Business plan, so HD Voice also has to be enabled by our account admin---still waiting for this to happen).
  • Reply 17 of 27
    I saw on Verizon website, you have to have "HD Voice" enabled for WiFi calling. To do this, make sure you have Voice & Data checked under Settings>Cellular>Cellular Data Options>Enable LTE>(Voice & Data has check mark).

    (This was still not enough for me because my phone is on a Business plan, so HD Voice also has to be enabled by our account admin---still waiting for this to happen).
    Interesting. I was able to make calls from my phone (and using the "old" call forwarding feature from FaceTime on my Mac on the same Wi-Fi network) with Airplane Mode on (but Wi-Fi switched back on) and my phone displaying "VZW Wi-Fi."

    I'm in a basement right now and have "VZW Wi-Fi" displayed on my iPhone. I'll try the LTE trick when I have cellular service again, but it would be strange for that to be a requirement, since Wi-Fi Calling works on the iPhone right now (I have LTE switched off entirely because of a small data plan).
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 18 of 27
    yodaqyodaq Posts: 4member
    I have Voice and Data enabled but still do not have 'Upgrade to Wi-Fi Calling' option.

    ingenious said:
    I saw on Verizon website, you have to have "HD Voice" enabled for WiFi calling. To do this, make sure you have Voice & Data checked under Settings>Cellular>Cellular Data Options>Enable LTE>(Voice & Data has check mark).

    (This was still not enough for me because my phone is on a Business plan, so HD Voice also has to be enabled by our account admin---still waiting for this to happen).
    Interesting. I was able to make calls from my phone (and using the "old" call forwarding feature from FaceTime on my Mac on the same Wi-Fi network) with Airplane Mode on (but Wi-Fi switched back on) and my phone displaying "VZW Wi-Fi."

    I'm in a basement right now and have "VZW Wi-Fi" displayed on my iPhone. I'll try the LTE trick when I have cellular service again, but it would be strange for that to be a requirement, since Wi-Fi Calling works on the iPhone right now (I have LTE switched off entirely because of a small data plan).

  • Reply 19 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,071member
    Thanks for the article! very helpful.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    These articles never seem to mention that with ATT, Wi-Fi calling cannot be enabled on iPhones 5s end earlier models.
    According to Apple's support page ( https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203032) "To use Wi-Fi Calling, you need an iPhone 5c or later on a supported carrier."

    Does not work with the iPhone 5 or earlier.

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