iOS 7 makes sure you're always connected with Multipath TCP

It appears that iOS 7 includes some new networking capabilities, with Multipath TCP now part of how iOS devices connect to networks. Multipath TCP allows a device to maintain multiple connections, like Wi-Fi and cellular, so that if one connection is lost, the other immediately takes up the slack. A download started over Wi-Fi could continue over an LTE connection if the Wi-Fi connection was lost, says 9to5Mac:

With MCTCP your iOS 7 device will be able to stay connected over both LTE and Wi-Fi at once. If your Wi-Fi connection fails, the LTE connection would continue downloading the data uninterrupted. You would likely never even know the difference unless you tapped the screen and checked your signal indicator.

So if you're downloading, for instance, a few app updates and you lose Wi-Fi, your apps should still update just fine if your connected to your cellular network. iOS 7 is the first piece of consumer software to utilize MPTCP. Since it does not require new hardware, MPTCP can be utilized on any device running iOS 7.

Source: Olivier Bonaventure, via 9to5Mac

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

14 Comments
  • Awesome!
  • Say No More! Sent from the iMore App
  • Will this adversely affect battery life? As both connections are maintained simultaneously to enable 'hot-swapping'.
  • thank God i'm still on an unlimited data plan, i imagine people, if they aren't careful, will be getting a surprise.
  • Exactly! Even more critical now that certain cellular downloads are disabled! Sadly, that won't cover everything, but it's all we have this point. Holding onto my unlimited for dear life!
  • I just turn off cellular data. There's really no use for it if you have a decent wifi connection.
  • Does it include 3G? I try this most days as I'm walking out of work. My Siri command to "Call my wife" usually never works if it happens around the moment of switching to 3G. Then again, my experience has always been tested with the iOS 7 betas.
  • According to this article, it's supposed to only work when talking to Apple services. http://m.networkworld.com/news/2013/091913-ios7-multipath-273995.html#mo...
    This is actually a really big deal for mobile devices!
  • Very nice. I never had cause to do much research into the network side of things, but this is the way i always figured it 'should' work.
  • This is actually a really cool piece of tech. You have to remember that much of the protocols that internet-based communication work through were developed quite some time ago, before mainstream "wireless network" communication existed. The TCP/IP protocol that we use today (TCP v4) has been largely unchanged since its release in 1983. It's great to see companies trying to bring it up to date with the requirements of modern mobile, wireless connections.
  • This makes me quite nervous because I am constantly having to turn off my cellular access to force my iPhone to pull data via WiFi... I will never forget the night I was watching one if Mr Leo Laport's Tech Week videos via the iMore app on my iPhone when after 45 minutes of being on "WiFi" (which conveniently handed the data streaming over to the pathetic cellular reception at my home - even though I was sitting 10-12 feet away from my "trusty" AT
  • Interesting technology. Since it appears to be software based, I assume there's a chance other platforms will adopt it soon too?
  • Some of us on limited data plans may be in for a not so pleasant surprise.
  • My iTunes App Store isn't working from I update to iOS 7 Sent from the iMore App