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Old Jan 14, 2013, 06:38 PM   #1
kas23
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Almost 6 Years Now & iPhone Still Can't Gracefully Transition from WiFi to Cell

What gives? Why must my iPhone be completely inoperative from sitting in my driveway to driving halfway down the street? Is this a technological limitation, do other non-iPhones have the same problem?
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 06:46 PM   #2
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This is one of my biggest annoyances while walking around campus, but to be fair, Android doesn't do this either.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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The iOS 6.0 betas from this summer had a 'Wi-Fi + Cellular' feature that would have fixed this problem but for some reason, Apple opted to remove it in the final iOS 6 release.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 09:11 PM   #4
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What do you mean by non operative? That the phone won't let you do anything? or that internet connection stuff drops? Android phones can be kinda quick switching from cellular to wifi, but aren't any better at switching from wifi to cell, wanna know why?

It's kinda hard to guess when you're about to drop out of the wi-fi signal. Sure, the phone could keep track and turn on the wifi whenever the signal gets low, but that would probably be a waste of battery life.

So here's where it gets funny: On my phones, if you turn on wifi calling as well, then the cell modem turns off entirely when you're on a wifi net.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 09:32 PM   #5
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What do you mean by non operative? That the phone won't let you do anything? or that internet connection stuff drops? Android phones can be kinda quick switching from cellular to wifi, but aren't any better at switching from wifi to cell, wanna know why?

It's kinda hard to guess when you're about to drop out of the wi-fi signal. Sure, the phone could keep track and turn on the wifi whenever the signal gets low, but that would probably be a waste of battery life.

So here's where it gets funny: On my phones, if you turn on wifi calling as well, then the cell modem turns off entirely when you're on a wifi net.
Non-operative meaning that all apps that require cell or WiFi (texts, Safari, weather, GPS, ect) cease to work. You knew that though. I can never even put in an address into my GPS in my own driveway. I have to drive a block or 2 down the street and pull over. I guess if the iPhone had an easy way to toggle WiFi on/off this would be less of any issue.

Before anyone else writes it, I will: first-world problems.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 10:17 PM   #6
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Non-operative meaning that all apps that require cell or WiFi (texts, Safari, weather, GPS, ect) cease to work. You knew that though. I can never even put in an address into my GPS in my own driveway. I have to drive a block or 2 down the street and pull over. I guess if the iPhone had an easy way to toggle WiFi on/off this would be less of any issue.

Before anyone else writes it, I will: first-world problems.
It's literally for like a second or two. And the latency for 4G and LTE is so low that it picks up pretty quickly.

Frustrating? Yes. Worth a technology leap or worsened battery life? No.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 05:05 AM   #7
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So what you're saying is that when your wifi signal is bad, instead of switching over to cellular it just sits there messing around with the wifi instead? That's pretty annoying!
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 06:24 AM   #8
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My Cisco router connect to the IP5 five storeys down in a elevator as well .. only when I have exit out of the elevator on floor 1 does it actually go off wifi and instantly to LTE ...

In the driveway should have good signal not on the borderline unless your router is at the other end of a mansion

A word of advice, move your router to a part of your house which is nearer to the driveway and problem solved !
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 06:43 AM   #9
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most likely explanation is that iphone team does not use iPhone! no way power users could tolerate this and numerous other horrible flaws
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 08:58 AM   #10
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I have the same issue, complicated by my ISP's providers way of providing WiFI roaming throughout the UK. Basically one can download their app, BT Wi-fi and theoretically one can log on to any BT WiFi router.

The problem is that the app is a smelly, smoldering pile of manure because it requires one to open the app and log in manually each time: Imagine that you walk from your house to a bus stop and want to check the bus schedule. At your house your on your own internet, then 3G as you go out of range, but then right in the middle of downloading the bus schedule you come into range of another BT WiFi router. Now 3G stops and then the WiFi networks waits for your manual login via BT's accursed app. So you press the button. And then walk further to the stop only to find your out of range of the previous WiFi but in range of another BT router. Go back to the ^&$%!&^%$& BT app and log in manually ... again. Repeat endlessly. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.

Bloody annoying. I wish either BT woudl configure its roaming WiFi with a more conventional way of logging in (like a user-unique ID and password like any other WiFi network), or that Apple would work on switching seamlessly between 3G/LTE and WiFi.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:03 AM   #11
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most likely explanation is that iphone team does not use iPhone! no way power users could tolerate this and numerous other horrible flaws
Yeah. This does seem most likely. I'm sure Apple doesn't mind the employees rolling around the Cupertino campus with Android and Windows Mobile phones.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:08 AM   #12
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So what you're saying is that when your wifi signal is bad, instead of switching over to cellular it just sits there messing around with the wifi instead? That's pretty annoying!
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Originally Posted by solace View Post
This is one of my biggest annoyances while walking around campus, but to be fair, Android doesn't do this either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kas23 View Post
What gives? Why must my iPhone be completely inoperative from sitting in my driveway to driving halfway down the street? Is this a technological limitation, do other non-iPhones have the same problem?
Even low bandwidth apps such as twitter won't load when it's in this inbetween state across wifi and 3G! But as someone said, it's the same on Android.

Fix this Apple ASAP

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Yeah. This does seem most likely. I'm sure Apple doesn't mind the employees rolling around the Cupertino campus with Android and Windows Mobile phones.
More likely their wifi is infallible on Cupertino campus
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by heyyoudvd View Post
The iOS 6.0 betas from this summer had a 'Wi-Fi + Cellular' feature that would have fixed this problem but for some reason, Apple opted to remove it in the final iOS 6 release.
Maybe it wasn't ready for live use. Could be an iOS 7 feature?

Last edited by madsci954; Jan 15, 2013 at 09:40 AM.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:02 AM   #14
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It's literally for like a second or two. And the latency for 4G and LTE is so low that it picks up pretty quickly.

Frustrating? Yes. Worth a technology leap or worsened battery life? No.
Sounds like you don't understand the problem, but congrats on demonstrating your ignorance.

It isn't "like a second or two", it is for as long as you are there. If I try and bring something up in my parking spot it flat out doesn't work. The iphone won't drop my wifi and switch to cellular, but it won't pull data from wifi either. The only choice is to drive a few hundred feet and pull over on the shoulder, or turn off wifi.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:41 AM   #15
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It's literally for like a second or two. And the latency for 4G and LTE is so low that it picks up pretty quickly.

Frustrating? Yes. Worth a technology leap or worsened battery life? No.
No way is it a "second or two". If I sat in my car in front of my house for an hour, this problem would persist for an hour. When I go out and walk my dogs, this problem persists until I'm at least 100 yards away from my house. Walking at 5 mi/hr, that's about 40 seconds of useless iPhone.

Is it such a Herculean task to kill WiFi once it's signal gets to a certain low threshold?
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 11:47 AM   #16
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Why are you getting into your car then using your phone? You shouldn't be using it while in your car anyways. That said, sounds like either your car is parked several hundred feet from your house, or your router sucks. My AirPort Extreme is accessible with full connection from my driveway and its 50 yards from the house. This isn't something easily fixable by apple without killing battery life because the phone would have to constantly be evaluating cellular vs wifi strength. The solution is upgrade your router for a hundred dollars.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 11:51 AM   #17
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Interesting. When I'm doing a download and walk out of the range of my office Wi-Fi, the download keeps going on LTE. This is on a Verizon iPhone 5.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 11:58 AM   #18
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I've never had this problem
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 01:21 PM   #19
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It's literally for like a second or two. And the latency for 4G and LTE is so low that it picks up pretty quickly.

Frustrating? Yes. Worth a technology leap or worsened battery life? No.
Unless you're on sprint... and don't have 4G or LTE...
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 03:06 PM   #20
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Interesting. When I'm doing a download and walk out of the range of my office Wi-Fi, the download keeps going on LTE. This is on a Verizon iPhone 5.
He's not talking about switching between networks when the iPhone connects (or disconnects) from WiFi -- I have no problem with that either.

It's when the WiFi is connected, but not actually downloading anything (bad/weak connection, router isn't connected to the internet, etc, etc). The iPhone just sits there stuck until you either go out of range or turn off WiFi.

That's what the "WiFi + Cellular" setting was supposed to solve.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 03:10 PM   #21
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Why are you getting into your car then using your phone? You shouldn't be using it while in your car anyways. That said, sounds like either your car is parked several hundred feet from your house, or your router sucks. My AirPort Extreme is accessible with full connection from my driveway and its 50 yards from the house. This isn't something easily fixable by apple without killing battery life because the phone would have to constantly be evaluating cellular vs wifi strength. The solution is upgrade your router for a hundred dollars.
Huh? I'm using it wrong? Here on Earth, sometimes people get in their car and then enter an address into their GPS or surf the Internet while their car warms up. Should I be doing these activities out of the confines of my car? No, it's too cold.

I use the router Verizon gave to me with Fios, which gives me balls to the wall speed, but strangely enough doesn't give me a strong enough signal 15 feet away in my car.

And who says that evaluating signal strength of WiFi versus LTE drains excessive battery life. I'm all open to the idea, but would appreciate a link.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 03:11 PM   #22
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But as someone said, it's the same on Android.

Fix this Apple ASAP
I don't think Apple can fix Android.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 03:19 PM   #23
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I use the router Verizon gave to me with Fios, which gives me balls to the wall speed, but strangely enough doesn't give me a strong enough signal 15 feet away in my car.

And who says that evaluating signal strength of WiFi versus LTE drains excessive battery life. I'm all open to the idea, but would appreciate a link.
I stopped reading where I have bolded above. You can't use an entry level, free, router and complain about the radius of coverage. Our 1st generation time capsule (from 2008) could reach many of our neighbors home. The problem is your router.

No one "says" evaluating the strength of signal of WiFi vs. cellular would drain battery, it's common sense. The more background action you are assigning to your mobile device, the more processing power it requires at all times. Little by little, this whittle downs battery. Essentially, the phone would CONSTANTLY have to compare the signal strength of cellular versus wifi. According to you, since you want it instantly, this would require this action to take place about every second.

Apple meant to implement something similar to this in the iOS 6 betas, dubbed "Wifi + Cellular". Essentially, if WiFi wasn't connecting properly, the connection was slow, or signal strength was weak, it would default to cellular. This feature was subsequently removed before the release of iOS 6 GM, and I would bet part of the reason is in response to poor battery life.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 03:29 PM   #24
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i had this same problem the other night. went out for a walk and opened up my music app, selected a play list that is in iCloud and started walking. I got about 20 yards from my house and the music stopped. Looked at my phone and it showed one bar of wifi, so I kept walking and figured it will switch to 3g soon. Got about another 20 yards and still nothing, was still stuck on 1 bar of wifi. Finally after about 50-60 yards from my house it switched to 3G and a couple seconds later the music started playing again.

The dreaded wifi-cellular limbo area. Has happened a few times previous to that as well.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 04:02 PM   #25
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I stopped reading where I have bolded above. You can't use an entry level, free, router and complain about the radius of coverage. Our 1st generation time capsule (from 2008) could reach many of our neighbors home. The problem is your router.

No one "says" evaluating the strength of signal of WiFi vs. cellular would drain battery, it's common sense. The more background action you are assigning to your mobile device, the more processing power it requires at all times. Little by little, this whittle downs battery. Essentially, the phone would CONSTANTLY have to compare the signal strength of cellular versus wifi. According to you, since you want it instantly, this would require this action to take place about every second.

Apple meant to implement something similar to this in the iOS 6 betas, dubbed "Wifi + Cellular". Essentially, if WiFi wasn't connecting properly, the connection was slow, or signal strength was weak, it would default to cellular. This feature was subsequently removed before the release of iOS 6 GM, and I would bet part of the reason is in response to poor battery life.
Sorry, it's not the router. The same thing happens when I leave my building at work and walk to the parking garage. As soon as I leave the building until I get the garage's elevator (3-4 minute walk) I'm stuck on 1 WiFi bar and I can't connect to anything. Makes for a boring walk to my car. Plus, I had the same problem back before Fios when I used my 2011 AEBS. And to save you writing, it's not my iPhone. I've had this same problem with my 3G, 4, and 4S.
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