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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001


With the iPad's U.S. release to the masses on Saturday, several complaints have arisen from users experiencing difficulties with their new devices. Two of the highest-profile complaints in the early days have been weak Wi-Fi signals and confusion over USB charging of the device.

Apple's discussion forums have received a significant amount of activity regarding the Wi-Fi issue, which typically results in users receiving a significantly lower signal than computers or iPhones held in the same location relative to the access point. The reduced signal is resulting in slower performance and smaller range for many of these users. Users have also reported seeing significant fluctuations in signal.

Speculation has centered around the iPad's external shell and power-saving measures as possible reasons for the Wi-Fi performance issues. While Apple has strategically placed the iPad's Wi-Fi antennas to provide optimal reception, the device's aluminum rear enclosure almost certainly shields reception to some degree. Additionally, some users have wondered whether Apple is supplying reduced power to the Wi-Fi hardware as part of its power-saving techniques that have enabled the iPad to meet or exceed its stated 10-hour battery life in many cases. Regardless of the cause, Apple has yet to comment on the Wi-Fi situation, although it has in the past quietly addressed similar issues through software updates when possible.

A second issue experienced by users has been difficulty with charging the iPad via USB. A number of users have discovered that their iPads refuse to charge when connected to USB ports on some computers, an issue that Apple has stated is due to the required power draw for the device. In a support document posted on the issue, Apple recommends that users charge their iPads by using either the included power outlet adapter or high-power USB 2.0 ports.
When attached to a computer via a standard USB port (most PCs or older Mac computers) iPad will charge, but only when it's in sleep mode. Make sure your computer is on while charging iPad via USB. If iPad is connected to a computer that’s turned off or is in sleep or standby mode, the iPad battery will continue to drain.
The iPad's charging demand stems from its large battery that drives a significantly hungrier device than most mobile handhelds users are accustomed to charging via USB. Consequently, lower-power USB ports have difficulty keeping up with the iPad's draw, especially when the device is not in sleep mode.

Article Link: Early iPad User Complaints: Weak Wi-Fi, Charging Issues


macrumors demi-god
Apr 11, 2005
Older Macs? Pray tell which Macs have low power vs. high power usb ports. What point in time is the cut off.

2007 Rev. A Aluminum iMac?
2008 Rev A. Aluminum MacBook 13.3" no FW.


macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2010
For what it's worth, I've had no WiFi issues at all. WiFi works fast and reliably for me at all times. So it's not a universal problem, although I don't doubt that some users are having a problem. But it's important to note that there are others with no issues.

The USB charging thing is something I noticed. It doesn't charge while syncing, but it tells you that in the message bar. Then when it is done syncing, and it is in sleep mode, it charges just fine. So for overnight topping off, no problems. This is with my late 2006 MacBook Pro.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2008
This is just one of the reasons why you never buy a Rev A product.

Good luck to all of those who just couldn't wait to get this big ipod touch. Hopefully yours are okay.


macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2009
I havent had any wifi issues with mine. Why are people complaining about charging the ipad? Just hook it up to the wall, problem solved.


macrumors 68000
Aug 28, 2003
My wifi never goes below full strength. It also charges no problem on ma i7 iMac.


macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
I guess amazing battery life isn't the be-all-end-all of mobile devices... particularly when the wi-fi and charging capabilities are gimped.

magical... wonderful... remarkable... far better... pretty amazing... incredible... larger... beautiful... amazing... better... bigger... terrific... awesome... revolutionary... extraordinary... phenomenal... unbelievably great... gorgeous... exciting... super responsive...

:D :D :D


macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2006
New York, NY
I haven't had too many problems with WiFi, but I do notice that the signal is weaker when I am in my bedroom upstairs compared to my netbook.

As for charging it, that has not been a problem on my iMac, but I have noticed that it takes a while to charge connected via USB. I assume it would charge faster connected to the wall adapter but I have not tried this yet. All in all, a very small complaint for a device that keeps going and going and going and going.

and going and going. :)


macrumors demi-god
Apr 11, 2005
gotta say. Saturday was how long ago. And this is a Rev. A product. Anyone remember the first black MacBook. Which week is yours? Which week is yours?


macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2010

magical... wonderful... remarkable... far better... pretty amazing... incredible... larger... beautiful... amazing... better... bigger... terrific... awesome... revolutionary... extraordinary... phenomenal... unbelievably great... gorgeous... exciting... super responsive...

Ah, but those are all true descriptions of most iPads. It's important to remember that the cases we hear about are the exceptions. Most people are having no problems.


macrumors 603
The iPad has two batteries. If they used a battery management scheme like those spare battery dongles use to charge and discharge the batteries in sequential order, then when the device senses a lower power USB charging source it could only charge one battery. When it senses a high power USB charging source it could charge two. Further it could discharge off one and charge the other.

The wifi reception issue is a critical issue and needs to be addressed.

Other styles of user feedback have been very good, but since it is almost entirely dependent on wifi, except on games, or when docked, I'd say we might see some action on this one.



macrumors member
Mar 26, 2010
Wi-fi utility

No WiFi issues here. I can consistently pull down 17mbps from my home router. No signal degradation, no dropped connections.

Out of curiousity, what utility do you use to measure your wireless bandwidth on your iPad?

edit: I should have added that I have noticed an occasional drop in wireless signal strength on my iPad, but I have no charging issues.


macrumors 68030
Sep 24, 2008
Blazer town!
Occasionally wi-fi connection drops and need to connect through settings section again, not a big issue, signal strength is fine but i am using Airport extreme

other might have issue with different brand router (not a good job apple)

not a show stopper

i am not sure about the charging issue it charges with my iMac


macrumors newbie
Aug 15, 2007
My WiFI connection drops out, and it seems to forget my password. This morning I was browsing the web then backed out of Safari to go into Weatherbug. After checking the Weather, I went back into Safari and it asked me to connect to a network. I chose my network, then it asked for the password. I didn't move around and normally my signal strength is fine. This has happened to me several times. I have my network password sitting in notes so I can copy it back in when the iPad forgets it.

I hope it's an easy software fix.


macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2007
Dallas, Texas
This is just one of the reasons why you never buy a Rev A product. Good luck to all of those who just couldn't wait to get this big ipod touch. Hopefully yours are okay.

Here's a tip for you -- it's sometimes FUN to be bleeding edge, warts and all. My iPad so far hasn't had any issues. Go play with your JooJoo and pretend to like it, you're harshing the iPad mellow. :D


macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
Wi-fi issues are so skewed as most of the time it is environmental. I am sure if there are issues, it is a software fix. Very slim chance that it is a hardware issue, but who knows.

As for the charging, I do think Apple should have put some kind of disclaimer about this as people will sync with computer and assume it works just like an iPod/iPhone. When in fact it sounds more like a computer and has a good chance of not charging. I see this more in the crappy windows machines (netbooks and the like) or old macs (3+ years old).

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
Washington DC
The USB thing is funny to me.

This thing is honestly much closer to a Macbook than an iPod. Who really expects a computer's USB port to be able to charge a laptop?

Bear in mind that many of the ports that people say "can't" charge it actually are charging, but only when the device is asleep. It can power or charge, but not both at once.

And, of course, some ports can do both at once and some can't do either. So it's a wide range of options which is confusing and confused people complain.

So it's a shame it had to be complicated. People would actually complain less if it just didn't charge in ANY USB ports because then at least they'd know how it worked. It really is the confusion that's the problem, I think.

But I think complaining if your computer won't charge the iPad is a bit silly. It's not Apple's fault that the USB specs don't require that level of power on every port.


macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2005

Yeah, I got that too... goes full signal, then nearly off, all while sitting right next to my router...

Only functional issue is that some apps try to phone home and give an error message that there is no connectivity. Apparently the app calls are not enough to get it out of low power state (?).. I have to exit the app, open safari or something, then go back into the app so it can phone home....

Regardless, pretty amazing for a "Rev a" device...

PS, there's a few iphone os things that are clunky like moving app icons, but not specific to the pad.
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