With iOS 16, Apple enables all iPhones to perform iCloud data backups even when away from a WLAN. This can prevent data loss.
Apple gives More and more iPhone data traffic is freed up via the cellular connection: With iOS 16, owners of older iPhones and iPads are able for the first time to alternatively carry out the iCloud backup via a cellular connection – instead of requiring a WLAN. iOS and iPadOS 16 customers can now back up their devices over an LTE connection as well as 5G or Wi-Fi, as Apple notes in the iOS 16 second beta release notes.
iCloud backup even without Wi-Fi
For users, this means more flexibility for their backups: If there is no Wi-Fi access when traveling or on vacation, it can happen that iPhones do not automatically back up data every 24 hours as usual. At the same time, this could mean the loss of holiday photos and other data if the device is lost on the trip.
Depending on the new amount of data, the iCloud backups can be just a few MB or several GB in size. Accordingly, Apple warns that the data tariff can be exceeded when backing up via mobile data. Cellular backup seems to be enabled by default, at least in beta, according to developers with access to the pre-release report.
iOS no longer restricts cellular data connections
Apple has long restricted iOS various functions in order to unsurprisingly use up the possibly scarce data quota of users. The fixed, non-adjustable limits also annoyed users with a mobile data flat rate or a high data limit. It has only been possible to load larger apps from the App Store via the mobile connection since 2019. In the meantime, users still have the option of downloading iOS updates via the mobile network, which was impossible for a long time. For other functions such as app data access and iCloud photos, Apple lets the user decide whether they also want to use them via mobile data.
With the first 5G devices, Apple opened the operating system to other mobile data connections, but only on the new devices: iPhones with a 5G connection (iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone SE 3) have been able to perform iCloud backups via the mobile network since iOS 15 – whether via LTE or 5G.