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T-Mobile iPhones to pick up Wi-Fi calling, thanks to iOS 8

iOS 8's support for Wi-Fi calling means that iPhone owners will finally get in on a feature that Android and Windows Phone owners have had for years.

This story is part of WWDC 2020. All the latest coverage from Apple's WWDC annual developers conference.
iOS 8 will give the iPhone newfound calling support through the Wi-Fi network. Screenshot by Nate Ralph/CNET

Newfound support in iOS 8 for Wi-Fi calling means that T-Mobile will finally be able to offer the service to its iPhone-toting customers, which Android and Windows Phone owners have had for years.

In the carrier context, Wi-Fi calling connects calls using your Wi-Fi network in times of weak signal on T-Mobile's own voice network. As long as it's turned on in the settings, the switchover is automatic and free, and calls over Wi-Fi naturally count as talk time, not as data usage.

T-Mobile says that once iOS 8 makes its way onto iPhones, Wi-Fi calling will blanket 90 percent of the phones on the company's network. The carrier hasn't said how many phones are compatible with the service now.

For existing customers, Wi-Fi calling is essential in making calls in areas short on signal strength, like rural locations. Sprint, too, switched on Wi-Fi calling in February of this year, extending it to five handsets, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One Max .