Personal Hotspot will only broadcast SSID for about 5 min.

richard371

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 1, 2008
2,453
689
I notice that when I turn on the personal hotspot 4.3 ATT it works great as long as I am connected to it. Once I am no longer connected to it, it will stop broadcasting the SSID after a few minutes and I have to go into the setting again for it to start broadcasting. I do not have to switch it on to off to on just go into it. It is still set to on.

Can anyone confirm this? I assume it is by design since Apple is so strict about things running that use battery life. Its a good thing.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,906
1,186
Washington DC
I notice that when I turn on the personal hotspot 4.3 ATT it works great as long as I am connected to it. Once I am no longer connected to it, it will stop broadcasting the SSID after a few minutes and I have to go into the setting again for it to start broadcasting. I do not have to switch it on to off to on just go into it. It is still set to on.

Can anyone confirm this? I assume it is by design since Apple is so strict about things running that use battery life. Its a good thing.
That's exactly what I read in the initial reviews when it first came out.
 

ulbador

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2010
1,554
0
I assume it's just because the phone went fully to sleep. Can you just unlock the phone to get it going again?
 

Saberon

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2008
982
1
Yes it's by design. I can't find the actual quote but they said it will turn off after a few minutes with no connections to save battery.
 

richard371

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 1, 2008
2,453
689
Unlocking the phone does not bring it back. You have to go into the hotspot screen. its a nice feature because I never have to turn it off and also it will reconnect to my wifi at my home etc.
 

ulbador

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2010
1,554
0
Actually that sounds like a great way to implement it. Use it within the first couple of minutes or else it turns off. I'm testing it right now to verify.
 

CodeCavalier

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2011
14
5
I find the 5-min timeout feature VERY FRUSTRATING. I want to share my mobile WiFi with my family & friends when we're out and about, but they can't use it until I "turn it on" first. What a royal pain in the butt! Almost makes it not worth having.
 
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kre62

macrumors 68020
Jul 12, 2010
2,083
739
I find the 5-min timeout feature VERY FRUSTRATING. I want to share my mobile WiFi with my family & friends when we're out and about, but they can't use it until I "turn it on" first. What a royal pain in the butt! Almost makes it not worth having.
Stop it. Seriously, just stop.
 

Lotso

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2010
341
0
OC, California
Think about if there was no timeout. You could easily forget to turn it off and the it would drain your battery in a couple of hours. That's no bueno.
 

CodeCavalier

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2011
14
5
You all are not understanding.

Here is the scenario. I'm driving. My iPhone is plugged in and recharging. I don't care about battery drain. I have passengers with iPod touch, laptops, etc. that use WiFi, but not 3G. Now I have to show one of the passengers how to turn on Hotspot, or wait till I hit a red light and do it myself. If they close the laptop lid, then decide to open it again, we have to repeat the process. This gets old fast. If you think I'm not being serious, then you've obviously never spent all afternoon chauffeuring an SUV full of teenagers around town before.
 
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Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,532
At the iPhone hacks section.
Here is the scenario. I'm driving. My iPhone is plugged in and recharging. I don't care about battery drain. I have passengers with iPod touch, laptops, etc. that use WiFi, but not 3G. Now I have to show one of the passengers how to turn on Hotspot, or wait till I hit a red light and do it myself. If they close the laptop lid, then decide to open it again, we have to repeat the process. This gets old fast. If you think I'm not being serious, then you've obviously never spent all afternoon chauffeuring an SUV full of teenagers around town before.
If at least one connection is present then it will not turn off the hotspot feature.
If there is no connection at all for 5-10 minutes then it will stop broadcasting signal to save on battery and you will have to re-enable it later when you need it again.
That's how it works and its obviously like that for a reason. Maybe its too much work for you to unlock the phone and go thru a few menus but its there for your own good. Maybe suggest to Apple to enable a switch that gives you a choice in a future firmware update.
 

CodeCavalier

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2011
14
5
Thanks, AppleJuice, for the first real acknowledgement

Personally, I don't think the rest of you who think I'm just full of it, have actually tried using Personal Hotspot in a practical situation. On the surface, conserving battery with auto-shut-off sounds nice, but in the real world, it kinda sucks.

So, yesterday afternoon, I took the family out to a community gathering. It was a carnival theme, put on by the elementary school--the kinda thing where you walk around for a few hours trying to act like the amateur attractions put on by your neighbors have at least some entertainment value, while trying to avoid getting your face painted, then bumping into people that you'd rather not talk to.

Anyway, my daughter has her iPTouch with her, and I've got my iP4. At several times during the afternoon, she wants to Google something, or look something up in iTunes, whatever. The problem is, her iPTouch doesn't stay connected to my PH WiFi after she turns it off (or it turns itself off). So, I had to pull my phone out, swipe in, swipe over to Settings, etc., to turn the PH back on SEVERAL TIMES during the course of the afternoon. I'm telling you, after just the second time, I'm already quite annoyed with the stupid timeout "feature" and after like 5 or 6 times doing this, I'm feeling ready to hurl my phone across the schoolyard.

Yes. I would very much like it if Apple could add a custom timeout to the PH settings. Anybody know where I could submit such a request?

BTW, I'm not an expert UI engineer like the folks at Apple, but doesn't it seem a little odd to you that when you go into PH Settings, it says PH is ON, when really, it wasn't?
 

err404

macrumors 68030
Mar 4, 2007
2,515
616
Unlocking the phone does not bring it back. You have to go into the hotspot screen. its a nice feature because I never have to turn it off and also it will reconnect to my wifi at my home etc.
I have tried this repeatedly and come to the opposite conclusion. After unlocking my iPhone, my iPad automatically sees the hotspot. I do not need to re-enable the hotspot.

BTW - I leave the hotspot on all the time and it has little to no impact on my battery life. It appears to be essentially idle so long as there are no connections.
The 5 mins idle appears to simply be the wifi antenna turning off if the phone is sleeping and while there are no connections.

One other thing that I have noticed that may affect your testing; if the phone is in range of a wifi network that it is able to connect to, the hotspot is not reliable. In practice this does not cause me any problems because the iPad is also configured to connect to the same wifi networks.
 

err404

macrumors 68030
Mar 4, 2007
2,515
616
@CodeCavalier -
From what I have seen, the Hotspot does not stop so long as the phone is awake (or there are active connections). In your car scenario you could try running a GPS app (MapQuest is free) to keep the phone awake. There are other apps that may work better to hold your phone awake while also turning the screen off (Sleep Cycle does this, but it consumes a lot of power anyway).
 

msb3079

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2010
736
16
collingswood. nj
I'm with CodeCavalier on this one.

It's EXTREMELY frustrating. It should not be a pain like it is. It's almost making me wish I just got 3G built into the iPad. Apple is all about making things work EASY. This is a pain.

I can see the other point of view.. but there has to be a way around this. Maybe have the iPad be able to send some sort of "message" to the iPhone that it's looking for it, so the iPhone knows to turn the HotSpot back on.

At minimum, at least have the iPhone switch the HotSpot toggle to "off" when it switches off.
 

MaxBurn

macrumors 65816
Nov 25, 2010
1,315
1
Sounds like the combination of a good feature and a bug. They did just get this out the door so i expect it will be looked into just like the ipad switch if comments start coming in.
 

Orion126

macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2010
194
1
While I agree it does sound frustrating it does serve the purpose of conserving your battery. Imagine having your WiFi broadcast all the time and you forget about it? I can see the forums with complaints about battery life and "why didn't they institute a 5 min max on this".

Perhaps they should allow WiFi to stay on when plugged in and charging.
 
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Jimmy James

macrumors 603
Oct 26, 2008
5,036
3,423
Magicland
Here is the scenario. I'm driving. My iPhone is plugged in and recharging. I don't care about battery drain. I have passengers with iPod touch, laptops, etc. that use WiFi, but not 3G. Now I have to show one of the passengers how to turn on Hotspot, or wait till I hit a red light and do it myself. If they close the laptop lid, then decide to open it again, we have to repeat the process. This gets old fast. If you think I'm not being serious, then you've obviously never spent all afternoon chauffeuring an SUV full of teenagers around town before.
Your problem here is that you appear to be a mature adult that has other people to think about. It's likely that most of the people dismissing you are singles who's only implementation of this feature is to use their own laptop/ipad. Therefore, they don't run into the same shortcomings.
 

err404

macrumors 68030
Mar 4, 2007
2,515
616
I just tried to test this on 4.3.1 and it does appear that a bug has been introduced since 4.3.
Under 4.3 the SSID would begin broadcasting as soon as I unlocked my phone. Under 4.3.1 tethering appears to stall out and not return until I toggle the hotspot setting off and then on again.
 

bidwalj

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2007
1,036
112
I suggest those using iPads or iPod touches connect via Bluetooth. This way, the iPad or iPod will not disconnect when the iPad or iPod sleeps
 

err404

macrumors 68030
Mar 4, 2007
2,515
616
I suggest those using iPads or iPod touches connect via Bluetooth. This way, the iPad or iPod will not disconnect when the iPad or iPod sleeps
Under 4.3.1, BT seams to have the same bug. Once the connection becomes idle, the hotspot will no longer connect.
 

err404

macrumors 68030
Mar 4, 2007
2,515
616
Under 4.3.1, BT seams to have the same bug. Once the connection becomes idle, the hotspot will no longer connect.
The recent 4.3.2 has improved things slightly. Tethering sometimes returns after unlocking, but not always. Simply opening the "Settings" app seems to reliably restart it w/o needing to toggle the hotstop off and on.
 

CodeCavalier

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2011
14
5
Status Update: Personal Hotspot relegated to "Nice, but unreliable"

After having my Personal Hotspot enabled for a month now, I've decided it's not a reliable connection source. In real-life, this means we've stopped expecting it to be useful. We got tired of having to turn it on all the time, and my kids have stopped asking. What we thought was going to be the turn of a new card that allows us to enjoy new connectivity freedom while on-the-go has turned out to be a dud.

I'll probably keep paying for it, because I can turn it on and use it myself, particularly for business, ie: showing online presentations during a lunch meeting. But, it's not the panacea my family and I were hoping for.
 
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