iPhone XS Max Can anybody explain to me why in 2018...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by eddjedi, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. eddjedi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #1
    Cell and wi-fi connectivity is still no more reliable than when I got my first mobile phone 3 decades ago?

    Everything else has improved. The screens, the designs, the storage, the battery life, the features, yet for some reason we still get the same lousy reception from the 1990s .Why is it accepted by Apple and phone companies that I can have "no service," yet simply turning Airplane mode on/off forcing the phone to search again magically gives me full strength 4G again despite standing in exactly the same space?

    Another example - every day I use the tube (subway.) Each station has wi-fi. The train stops at each station for a good 30 seconds, yet that apparently is not enough time for the phone to connect to the wi-fi signal.

    This is simply not good enough. I put up with it twenty years ago, why do we still have to put up with it now? Why can these appalling connection protocols not be improved, is there a technical reason?

    If you're wondering why I'm posting this message, it's because I just spent 25 minutes on hold, and then as soon as the advisor answered, my iPhone XS suddenly went from full strength 4G to no signal, while standing in the exact same spot. I have wi-fi calling, but apparently that didn't help. The call disconnected, I wasted 25 minutes, yet as above simply turning Airplane mode on and off suddenly gave me back full strength signal again! It's infuriating.

    It seems ludicrous that Jony Ive et al can spend billions of dollars shaving mm of thickness off each iPhone, yet don't seem to care that the devices still don't work reliably.
     
  2. tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

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    Location:
    Clearwater, FL
    #2
    Battery life.

    Your phone searches for cell towers and wifi periodically, but not constantly, to conserve battery life.

    That is the answer.
     
  3. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Sure, so that may explain why when in standby mode 30 seconds is not enough time to connect to a network, I can appreciate that. But while you are actually on a call, or manually searching for wi-fi networks, why does it still take so long? I'm sure many of you remember the minute-long dial tone > beeps > white noise etc we used to have to tolerate connecting to a dial-up network, how is it possible that manually requested wi-fi or cell connection time has not improved in TWENTY YEARS?
     
  4. Wyckham macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    #4
    Are you in USA?

    I was in Florida for 3 weeks recently, all in central and high wage areas. Reception was a Joke and I travel over the world. USA has one of the worst mobile networks in the world I have used. Never had to toggle airplane mode etc until trying to play Pokemon go in Florida.

    I notice from friends in the USA that you are paying 3 times more than what I would pay in Ireland for the same plan.
     
  5. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I'm in the UK, working between London and Brighton. Both 4G areas with plenty of coverage.
     
  6. balaplus macrumors 6502

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    Oct 23, 2017
    #6
    True
    It feels like the common cold
    Will never be fixed :)
     
  7. Wyckham macrumors regular

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    Dec 5, 2017
    #7
    UK has poor reception as well for some reason:)

    I think its to do with USA and UK having celular tech for a long time. Countries that came to the game later got newer tech from the start whereas UK and USA install patch tech over legacy tech..,..
     
  8. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    That could be true for cell reception, but surely wi-fi should be pretty standard across countries? These aren't cheap old routers I'm trying to connect to.
     
  9. Ralfi macrumors 68030

    Ralfi

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    Dec 22, 2016
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    Australia
    #9
    Ahh something Australia did right - decent 4G network in major cities & many rural towns.

    Wifi is hit & miss though - many major shopping centres with free wifi are pretty ordinary, but they're improving.

    I was in Singapore earlier this year...a place that's nailed wifi just about everywhere.
     
  10. seinman macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #10
    The laws of physics are a real bitch sometimes. Anything wireless is going to be inherently unreliable, mainly due to the fact that the airwaves are a shared resource that now has millions of people sharing it in any metropolitan area. Cellular and wifi technology themselves have had vast improvements over the last few decades. However, over that same time, the number of users sharing the limited available airwaves have exploded. The technology can't keep up with the ever-growing demands of the user base. If only 5% of people had cell phones (as was the case in the early to mid 90s), but modern wireless technology was still the same, those few users would have an incredible, reliable experience.

    I think a point will come that everyone has all their devices, and the technology levels off, and bandwidth demands level off, and the technology (and the technology's implementation at the carrier level) will catch up to demand. I don't see that happening for at least 25 years, though.
     
  11. tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

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    #11
    Well, someone needs to tell them it's 2018.
     
  12. Thai macrumors 65816

    Thai

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    Colorado
  13. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #13
    I think this is the correct answer.

    Being first on this case wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Networks in the US and UK sprang up organically, where as other parts of the world saw what was happening in those countries and were able to improve on the method for creating infrastructure and do it more deliberately.
     
  14. Joe h macrumors regular

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    Sep 22, 2017
    #14
    In the US this problem seems to occur when you’re with company A, but their signal is weak, so your phone is trying to push its way onto carrier B.
     
  15. tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

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    #15
    Somewhat related, the US also has vast areas that are sparsely populated and therefore under-served.
     
  16. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #16
    You had a phone with wifi connectivity 30 years ago?
     
  17. Ffosse macrumors 68000

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    Nov 5, 2012
    #17
    I've never had reception/connectivity issues on any phone but can see how frustrating they must be for those that do.
     
  18. seinman macrumors 6502

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    Philadelphia
    #18
    No need to nitpick. He/she obviously meant that modern cellular technology, COMBINED with wifi that was not available then, should mean an overall more reliable connection than one would expect 30 years ago.
     
  19. tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

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    #19
    30 years ago we had static IP addresses over hardwired lines for data; now data is transmitted wirelessly over dynamically assigned IP addresses as we move from one tower to the next.
     
  20. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 7, 2011
    #20
    three decades is not thirty years. Wi-fi was around in the late 90s, and from memory it took just as long to connect to a network as it does now on a phone or computer.
     
  21. eddjedi, Oct 22, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018

    eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I have "good" wi-fi and cell coverage too. Most people seem to be completely missing the point of this thread. I know what is considered good coverage, I just don't agree that it is good. The fact joining a wi-fi network takes 10+ seconds, probably the same amount of time it took 20+ years ago, is not due to saving battery life. Likewise the fact my phone can have no signal one minute, and then full strength the next in the exact same spot simply by toggling airplane mode is not isolated to the UK, I have experienced it in every country I have travelled to. The best explanation I've had so far is "Physics", yet most people are more concerned about two different (and completely acceptable) definitions of a decade.
     
  22. PBz macrumors 68020

    PBz

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    #22
    I remember when I could stream music and browser the web on EDGE/3G/4G.
     
  23. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

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    Mar 10, 2016
    #23

    It’s not the correct answer.

    The current networks have been ripped and replaced several times over the last few years with the generation upgrades. It’s not like you’re connecting to the same tower equipment you did 10 years ago.
     
  24. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    Sep 15, 2013
    Location:
    Lot 23E. Somewhere in Georgia.
    #24
    I was conflating WiFi and cell service together. My bad.

    Yes, that’s true for cellular but WiFi is a different story. Much of the country still gets internet through copper and coax lines and it’s expensive to replace.
     
  25. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #25

    No, not really.

    1) It’s irrelevant to wifi connection speed.
    2) Many places still have copper into the buildings, but the immediate aggregation layers have been substantially upgraded.

    The wifi connection time is based on the protocols and the current usage of the spectrum.
     

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51 October 22, 2018