Upcoming iOS update: Just Undoing 2.1?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Slip Jigs, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Slip Jigs macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    This whole launch of the iPhone 4 and it's signal reception issues has sounded eerily familiar ever since it popped. So I did some searching, and sure enough, the 3G launch was plagued with similar problems. Not exactly the same of course, but similar.

    The forums were abuzz with reports of low signal and dropped calls, some related to the phone being held.

    Update 2.0.1 addressed an issue with how the phone connected to cell towers, and 2.1 addressed an issue with signal bar display. General consensus was those who were showing 1-2 bars now showed 4-5 bars after the 2.1 update. Discussions talked about whether this was purely cosmetic, an actual signal boost, and whether the display was actually more accurate.

    Here's an example of an article the came out at the time:


    As far as I know, subsequent updates did not include any further changes to signal strength or signal bar display. This upcoming update is said to be for not only the iPhone 4' but for both 3G models.

    Does this mean Apple is actually saying that the 2.1 update all along was merely a cosmetic fix and it's been incorrectly reporting signal strength all along? It certainly appears that way, and the update will just reverse 2.1.
  2. Slip Jigs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
  3. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    Very interesting. I had forgotten about the whole reception issue with the 3G. Maybe this whole reception thing will be forgotten in a few months.
  4. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    I had forgotten about this. I guess that that is exactly what 4.0.1 does.
  5. nitemare macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    i dont think its so much going to reverse what they did in the 3G with the 2.0.1 and 2.1 update as much as its to fix the formula in 4.0. ios 4 seems like it couldve undone the fix the 2.0.1 and 2.1 corrected in the 3G
  6. Peabody macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    Portland, OR
    You're close, but missing the key step. Please see my original post here http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=952756 taking a guess at what's going on.

    Long story short: They're not undoing 2.1, they're undoing the new algorithm in 4.0 that was introduced. From 2.1 - 3.1.3 iOS behaved properly in determining what it's signal strength was and it's ability to place/receive calls using 3G networks.

    The key in this mess: They just can't get the 3G baseband right...even in the iPhone 4 mess users have reported no problems where EDGE is still in use. That was the same story for the initial iPhone 3G release. :)
  7. AustinSTI macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2007
    That's exactly right man. The 2.1 update did in fact remap the bars. Interestingly I remember checking the signal strength before and after that update. All the update did was remap the bars to tighten up the 1st 3 so the range was significantly tighter than bars 4 and 5...
  8. Slip Jigs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    I remember that discussion, seemed to get takin over by the "defective by design" mantra. I didn't remember however that you did make some callbacks to 2.1.

    I understand what you're saying, that if iOS4 or any other update in between addressed signalmreception, connection or display, then yes, that would be key. I wasn't aware that 4 used a different process than previous versions.

    Aside from the actual hardware antenna, wouldn't then a 3G or 3GS behave exactly the same if it were running ios4? What would any 3G with ios4 work any differently except for the actual antenna?

    Furthermore, what does this say about the Anandtech data, where essentially they were using OS 3 on iPhone 4 hardware?

    Just questions and thoughts. I'm still leaning towards the software update being able to resolve these issues entirely, but I don't think I can make a convincing case for that position just yet.
  9. Peabody macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I doubt it, but haven't checked facts to say with certainty. iFixit teardowns should reveal different 3G hardware components between 3G(s) and 4 hardware. Programming the two chips has the potential to be entirely different even with a common operating system.

    That's where the study is not telling the full truth...if they did get dB readings from iPhone 4 hardware it was via the field test mode used in 3.1.3 and then applied via jailbreak and a restore. 3.1.3 has no concept of the potentially updated 3G hardware in iPhone 4 and could have been misinterpreting output from iPhone 4. Again, iFixit teardowns and further research on the chips used would prove the theory. Hopefully I'll have a chance to look this weekend...

    It's tough, but after untold times of software updates from Apple "magically" curing hardware issues (in my personal experience over the last 14 years) everything will be fine in time. Such is the nature of technology and the blend of hardware and it's supporting software. I don't ever admit to understanding the inner complexities, but I do appreciate they exist and most of us wouldn't understand a presser from Apple that fully discussed those complexities.

    Hiding the complex and presenting the consumer with simple is why Apple has made it to the forefront of all things technology (and ensuing drama) in the last decade.

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