Why I think iPhone 4's Reception Issue is Software Based

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Err0xx, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Err0xx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #1
    Apple introduced a new software algorithm into the iPhone 4 that makes the phone search for the fastest, most efficient signal and not necessarily the strongest signal, if the strongest signal is more cluttered with usage, etc. When I am at work, in the city, I cannot make my phone lose reception, however when I'm at my house, I can make it do so. My house is in the country, with 3 bars of 3G service. There is also an old tower that provides EDGE connection within a few miles of my house as well. When I "death grip" the phone, the 3G bars go down and the signal changes from 3 bars of 3G to 5 bars of EDGE. I think the issue is in the phones algorithm that involves tower switching. I think the attenuation caused by touching this antenna is enough to make the phone start "tower searching." The error in the algorithm is that the phone disconnects from the current tower-source before it has found a new one to connect to. So those of you that lose signal completely are seeing your phones disconnect from your current cell source, searching for another one that might not be there. If there isn't another good cell signal within range, the phone would disconnect from it's current cell service and the algorithm error would prevent it from reconnecting, hence why speedtest.net reports 0 down/up speeds, and searching for another cell connection that it can't find: this results in the phone disconnecting and reconnecting when the grip is released. If I am at my brother's house (also in the country but not near a good secondary tower), death gripping my phone makes it just drop to one bar of 3G from 5; however, I can still make calls and use data/internet, but I don't switch over to EDGE. This is owing to the fact that his 3G reception is enough to make the phone not search for another cell connection, yet also goes back to Apple's claim that the reported bars are actually higher than they are. Perhaps those people that lose connection completely are experiencing this algorithm problem with cell-tower reconnects and perhaps this software update will fix the manner in which the phone searches for other cell connections as well as accurately displaying the number of service bars.

    Sorry if this is a repost. I searched the forums but could not find any posts about the phone's newly-introduced connection changing. Let me know what you think; I'm not saying one thing or another, just posting possibilities in which I haven't found to have already been discussed. Thanks for reading.

    Err0xx
     
  2. celticpride678

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #2
    Apple already stated that it is a software issue today and that a fix will be coming in a few weeks.
     
  3. Err0xx thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #3
    Yah, but the only "software issue" they verbally announced was displaying more bars of signal than the phone actually had. They didn't offer any information as to the software algorithm involved with the signal-switching.
     
  4. iPadThai macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
  5. Err0xx thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #5
    Right. It's my understanding that this algorithm to search for the "best tower" was actually in iOS 3.x but it was modified and completely "revamped" for iOS 4. This seems to support this theory of the tower searching algorithm being to blame as well.
     
  6. swoods93631 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #6
    I have been saying this from day 1. I assure you this is the problem. I am sure Apple did not admit to that in their statement because they could not blame ATT as readily as they did. They will fix this with the software update and the world will be right as rain again.
     
  7. corrado007 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #7
    I agree, they did not address/admit to any issues with respect to their software causing dropped calls or loss of service. Err0xx, I certainly hope you are correct. What you said does seem to make sense and is at least a sound theory as far as I, with my limited technical knowledge, am concerned. Whether or not it is correct is anyone's guess. If they issue a software update that displays a lower number of bars but also puts an end to the dropped calls (at least in my case) then we know that they are trying to sneak in a fix to the very real reception issue that many of us are experiencing.
     
  8. corrado007 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #8
    Man, I really hope you are right. A little light at the end of the tunnel is all we're asking for. I don't mind the wait as long as this issue gets resolved.
     
  9. yodaxl7 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #9
    I suspect the formula used is not linear. Otherwise, it just does not make sense. It would be nice to know the parameters involved in the calculation. Having a false five bar in a weak phone reception area may be more prone to attenuate with the death grip. The sensitivity is high. In areas where there are a high reception, the attenuation sensitivity is low.
     
  10. celticpride678

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    That's not true. Apple specifically mentioned that the software algorithm was incorrect and will be fixed.
     
  11. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #11
    Here's my guess on the breakdown of the problem:

    * Hardware Design: 25%
    * Software that can actually make a difference if changed 35%
    * The whole bars-are-wrong thing: 40%

    I really think everyone is right (it's hardware and it's software and it can be fixed and it can't).

    The question is, are my percentages right? If I'm right, Apple's fix will make about 3/4 of the complainers perfectly happy. If I'm wrong and the hardware design % is bigger than only a small percentage will be happy with the fix.

    We'll have to wait and see...
     
  12. Err0xx thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #12
    Sorry, didn't see your posts on the matter. But I totally agree that they are trying to sneak in a fix to this tower searching issue. It wouldn't take "weeks" to implement a new way to calculate bars, considering AT&T already has the calculation algorithm, and all they would have to do is give it to apple to write it into the software. Apple has many of the best software writers in the world, and this simple task wouldn't take weeks. Something else, much bigger, is being addressed in a software update that takes Apple weeks to release.

    The algorithm for bar calculations is the only algorithm I saw that was publicly said to be addressed.


    "To address the issue, Apple will be issuing a software update "within a few weeks" that will adjust how signal strength bars are calculated and displayed. The change will adopt a recently recommended formula from AT&T that will more accurately display actual signal strength at any given time. The update will also increase the size of the smaller bars (1, 2, and 3) to make them easier to see."
     
  13. swoods93631 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #13

    No worries, I am glad you posted this thread. I am glad I am not the only taking notice to the "Smart Channel Switching".
     

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