In keeping with tradition, this year’s WWDC keynote presented a massive amount of new information about the future of Apple’s products. So much information is shared at WWDC that to catch it all, you’ve got to pay close attention to each and every slide available. One of this years quietest announcements was the inclusion of Hotspot 2.0 support for the upcoming iOS 7. It’s okay if you missed it; no one commented on it, the news was simply included in a slide during the presentation.
So why does Hotspot 2.0 matter to you? In short it could help save heavy data users in metropolitan areas a lot of money. Hotspot 2.0 is form of public access Wi-Fi that automatically connects your phone to a Wi-Fi network when you enter its range. The project is an extension of the nonprofit Wi-Fi Alliance’s Certified Passpoint system. Connections made via this system have WPA2 security protection, meaning your information is safe from other users. Hotspot 2.0 connections are made without users having to search for a network, figure out a login, and other modern Wi-Fi hassles.
Users who find themselves in public areas with a weak signal would still have access to online services thanks to these hotspots. As the implementation becomes more widespread users will find the added benefit of what the Wi-Fi Alliance called “Wi-Fi Roaming,” moving about and connecting to different supported networks as you move from location to location.
Its success will depend on how widespread Hotspot 2.0 access points can become, but as a heavy data user whose mobile carrier is constantly trying to limit data use, a future where we’re more reliant on open secure Wi-Fi is a beautiful dream. We’ll let you know more about Apple’s service details at they become available. Samsung’s Galazy S4 currently has Hotspot 2.0 access, but you’ve got time before it’s going to be useful. It will still be a year or two before the necessary tech is widespread enough to be of any real use.