We mentioned earlier that some new iPad owners were reporting issues with Wi-Fi. The problem seems to affect all models of the new device with both users of the 4G LTE model and the Wi-Fi-only model experiencing poor Wi-Fi reception. Many forum posters compared Wi-Fi reception with their other iOS devices and MacBooks on the same network:
“My iPad 3rd generation has much worse range than my iPad 1. Two places I use it most My Driveway, and “down the hall at work” iPad 1 (iPhone 4s, and Macbook) all have solid connections. New iPad nothing. not a thing.”
One user reports only receiving good reception within six feet of a router while another claims to have had issues with four different third-generation iPads. The good news is that the fix is likely software related, as many in the forums pointed to temporary fixes like rebooting the device or toggling Wi-Fi on and off. OS X Daily confirmed resetting Wi-Fi and network settings seems to fix the issue for some and provided instructions. In 2010, the first generation iPad had Wi-Fi connectivity issues for some users and Apple eventually issued a software update to fix the problem, which is detailed in this support document. According to Apple, only “a very small number of iPad users” experienced the issue and that seems to be the case with the new iPad as well.
If the issue is software related and the fix above does not work for all users, Apple could likely address it in a future software update.
A settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit targeting the iPhone 4′s antenna and reception problems, reports CNET. U.S. residents who bought the handset will be offered either $15 or a free bumper case, however the offer is only valid for those individuals who did not take advantage of Apple’s previous offer. The settlement comes from 18 separate lawsuits that were consolidated into one, all claiming that Apple was “misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4–particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.” Original buyers will be notified via email before April 30th, or they can visit www.iPhone4Settlement.com, although the site is not yet live. After the notifications are sent, the claims period will last for 120 days.
In other words, even the newer samples of the iPhone 4 (perhaps even that one for Sprint?) continue to have antenna quirks, but at least the latest and greatest seems to have addressed 'em. Hit the source link for the full report.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
"Apple's newest smart phone performed very well in our tests, and while it closely resembles the iPhone 4 in appearance, it doesn't suffer the reception problem we found in its predecessor in special tests in our labs. In special reception tests of the iPhone 4S that duplicated those we did on the iPhone 4, the newer phone did not display the same reception flaw, which involves a loss of signal strength when you touch a spot on the phone's lower left side while you're in an area with a weak signal. (The iPhone 4, which is still available, continues to exhibit that problem, we confirmed in tests of new samples of the phone. Because of the flaw, we continue to omit the iPhone 4 from our list of recommended models, despite its otherwise fine performance.)"
A new patent application published by the US Patent & Trademark Office (via Patently Apple) today reveals Apple’s possible plans to radically change the implementation of antennas in future iPhones and other small form factor devices.
The majority of the patent describes a new composite material made up of a “foam substrate formed of a plurality of foam cells”. However, possible uses for the composite, as detailed in the patent, include a possible new antenna window on mobile devices. This would mark a huge departure from the antenna design in the currently shipping iPhone 4, which still relies on the antenna baked into the stainless steel frame. The same antenna that caused so much controversy regarding reception issues.
Patently Apple explains the potential benefits of the composite:
“One of the many advantages to the composite is that there is essentially no post cure shrinkage of the composite as compared to the post cure shrinkage evident when adhesive alone is used. Therefore, the composite could provide a well controlled and easy to use approach to bonding parts together in a cosmetically appealing manner. The composite is also well suited for attaching features to small form factor electronic devices. The features could include for example, an antenna window attached to a housing of the small form factor electronic device.”
The image above shows how an antenna window could be attached to a recessed portion on the backside of an iPhone (or similar device) using the composite to create a “cosmetically appealing reveal”. Essentially, as Patently Apple puts it, creating a bond “without leaving tell tale evidence of the joining, either visual or tactile”
Patently Apple explains:
“..in order to minimize RF signal degradation caused by the presence of the metal housing, the recess could be replaced with feature 206, formed of radio transparent material, commonly referred to as an antenna window.”
There have already been reports that Apple is changing the antenna design (not so surprisingly) in a next iteration iPhone. While we don’t except to see this new antenna window design on the short-term, it will be interesting to see how the company implements this new composite material. Apple also apparently has other future plans for this new composite formula. The report notes Apple’s patent mentions using the composite in other products such as an iPhone “docking mechanism”.
This isn’t the first time Apple has detailed potential new antenna integrations in patents. This patent application from a few weeks back details an attachable antenna that could be used for future nano-like devices.
T-Mobile intends to offer cellular signal boosters to customers looking to switch carriers due to poor reception at home, according to T-Mobile watcher TmoNews. The move appears to be part of a new program intended to slow service quality-related cancellations, which are apparently a significant problem for the nation’s No. 4 carrier. Beginning on September 7th, T-Mobile will seemingly begin offering in-home signal boosters “when a customer triggers for cancellation of service due to poor in-home coverage,” according to a purported leaked internal memo to T-Mobile staff. The memo also warns that signal boosters should never be offered to customers as an incentive when closing a sale. In order to take the signal booster, which will be free of charge, customers will need to sign a new 2-year service contract and it is unclear if they will be permitted to test the level of improvement afforded by the booster before signing.