While there's 4G/LTE now, a lot of people still rely on slow, old 2G/EDGE. In iOS 8, Apple forgot to add a toggle that would let users switch between 2G and 3G / LTE. This meant that if you couldn't switch between LTE and 2G.
This is okay for a lot of people (especially in the first world) but for others who only have 2G plans, this can be a problem. Once Mobile Data (Cellular data) was switched on, it would default to 3G or LTE and that would mean more charges. Fortunately, iOS 8.1 fixes this. Here's how to switch off LTE and use 2G on an iPhone/iPad that runs iOS 8.1.
How to Turn off LTE and Use 2G on iPhone in iOS 8.x
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap on Mobile (in some cases, Cellular.)
- If you’ve enabled Mobile Data, you should see another toggle under it labeled Enable LTE.
- Switch the Enable LTE toggle OFF to disable 3G/LTE on your device.
Once you do this, your iPhone/iPad will only use 2G to connect to the internet. Note that this will be drastically slower than 3G/LTE.
In countries like the US, Canada, Australia etc., 3G and 4G have become the norm. However, in many countries, 3G is only now being introduced to the mainstream. And it’s costlier than normal 2G data packs so people still stick to them.
The lack of a toggle doesn't bother much but when you've enabled 3G for a short time and then have to go back to 2G, it becomes a problem. This was not possible in iOS 8 or 8.0.2. With iOS 8.1, the “Enable LTE” switch allows you to do that.
If you've updated to iOS 8.1, you should be able to see this toggle. But note that it is visible only when you turn on Mobile Data.
In some cases, the switch from 3G to 2G doesn’t happen even when the toggle is switched off. This is mostly a case of the carrier forcing network profiles on your iPhone/SIM. You will have to manually disable 3G on the network (call your carrier) in such cases.