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Apple to issue software fix for lingering iPad Wi-Fi problems

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
iPad owners who have been plagued by Wi-Fi connectivity issues could have the problem resolved with a forthcoming software fix from Apple.

A newly updated support document from Apple explicitly states that the iPad maker will issue a software update to address the issues. It does not, however, provide a timeline for the planned fix.

"A very small number of iPad users have experienced issues with Wi-Fi connectivity," the document reads. "This article outlines workarounds for these issues. Apple will also address remaining Wi-Fi connectivity issues with a future iPad software update."

In the interim, Apple offers a number of potential fixes for the issue:

Verify your Wi-Fi router firmware is up to date.
If your router's security encryption is WEP, try WPA or WPA2, as WEP can cause intermittent disconnects with the iPad which requires retyping a password.
Make sure the iPad screen brightness is not at the lowest level.
Obtain a new IP address by going into Settings, Wi-Fi, accessing the settings of the current network, and choosing "Renew Lease."
Finally, if these steps do not work, users are recommended to try turning Wi-Fi off and back on.
If none of the above methods address connectivity issues, users are asked to contact Apple support.

Just days after the iPad launched, AppleInsider noted the Wi-Fi issues reported by numerous users. Problems have occurred with a variety of routers, including Apple's own AirPort Extreme, and range from a weak signal to an inability to connect to a network.

Apple quickly set up a support document for users who have problems getting their iPad to rejoin known Wi-Fi networks after a restart or waking from sleep. The company said issues were known to occur with some third-party Wi-Fi routers that are dual-band capable. Apple recommended creating separate Wi-Fi network names to identify each band, such as adding 'G' to the 802.11g network name, and 'N' to the 802.11n network. It also recommended using the same security type, such as WPA, for both bands.

The iPad's Wi-Fi issues were pegged as a software problem by Princeton University last month. The school's Office of Information Technology reported that a software glitch in the device causes it to use a network-assigned IP address after its lease has expired.

Princeton suggested that the problem comes from within iPhone OS 3.2, as the iPad will incorrectly continue using an IP address without renewing its lease, usually for hours. The issue is resolved when the iPad asks for a new DHCP lease, or the device disconnects from the network. The university found that more than half of all iPads on the campus demonstrated the malfunction.

The university offered a cumbersome temporary workaround until Apple issues a software update: reconfigure the iPad's settings so that the screen never locks. This can be done by going to Settings, General, Auto-Lock and choosing "Never." Users must also turn off Wi-Fi before they manually lock the screen. Other options were to turn the iPad completely off, rather than just locking it, or to simply leave the iPad on without locking the screen.

"We recognize that this workaround represents some inconvenience to the iPad customer," the documentation from Princeton's IT office read. "We view the workaround as a temporary workaround to allow these customers the opportunity to use their devices on the campus network until there is a fix from Apple."
post #2 of 30
Yes! I love my iPad, but occasionally I have Wi-Fi- problems. This is fantastic news.
post #3 of 30
There are actually more than one WiFi problem for the iPad.

Besides the expiring DHCP, the WiFi will not automatically re-connect after wake up if the brightness is set to the lowest level. Also, the reception is bad if you are holding the iPad only one hand (with your palm covering the Apple logo)
post #4 of 30
Good news - hopefully sooner than later.
post #5 of 30
Are you fscking kidding me!? This is their solution? It is bad enough that the brightness doesn't go any lower, but they suggest burning your eyes more?! They can't support wep?

The solutions sound like they need to offer springboard settings as a native app!
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Are you fscking kidding me!? This is their solution? It is bad enough that the brightness doesn't go any lower, but they suggest burning your eyes more?! They can't support wep?

The solutions sound like they need to offer springboard settings as a native app!

WEP has been cracked for the past 5 years. I actively tell people to use WPA or WPA2 rather than WEP, and most devices support WPA/WPA2 now anyway. The Nintendo DS (not DSi or later) doesn't support them, but it was also made well before WPA took hold as a better form of encryption.

Besides, they will be offering a software update, just not yet. My guess is they will be rolling it up with a software update around the time OS4 come out for the iPhone and iPod Touch, which will also plug up the Spirit Jailbreak.
post #7 of 30
I haven't had any wifi issues at home. Sometimes my signal bars decrease, and rarely I will get lag while surfing. I've used a few other wifi connections outside of my home and had trouble reconnecting to them after successfully connecting initially.
iPad News, App Reviews, and More: iPadNewsUpdates.com
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iPad News, App Reviews, and More: iPadNewsUpdates.com
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post #8 of 30
A solution could not come soon enough. I can barely get a signal when using the iPad in some areas in my house. This in places where my iPhone, etc, get a full signal.

Fix this, pronto.
post #9 of 30
I never had any problems since day 1. That's because all my networked computers, devices are set using Static IPs.
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Are you fscking kidding me!? This is their solution? It is bad enough that the brightness doesn't go any lower, but they suggest burning your eyes more?! They can't support wep?

The solutions sound like they need to offer springboard settings as a native app!

While I agree it's not much of a solution right now I think you're a bit of a drama queen. Burning your eyes? If the iPad screen burns your eyes I don't see how you function most of the day.

Support WEP? Yeah I don't know why they don't support it either....... or hypercard for that matter.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post

I never had any problems since day 1. That's because all my networked computers, devices are set using Static IPs.

Very interesting. Do you get additional benefits using static IPs? Any disadvantages?
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

While I agree it's not much of a solution right now I think you're a bit of a drama queen. Burning your eyes? If the iPad screen burns your eyes I don't see how you function most of the day.

Support WEP? Yeah I don't know why they don't support it either....... or hypercard for that matter.

I'll get out the lux meter at the office, but the iPad seems about 50% brighter than the iPhone at the lowest brightness setting. It makes it miserable for using in bed with Safari. iBook has the supplemental dimmer setting to make it work for low-light situations, which in itself is a kludge.

I have to use wep as a few things only support it... still! Anything that actually needs security uses VPN on top of wep, but wep keeps the casual surfers out. It is stupid, but it is a functional standard they claim to support.
---------------
Results from my Lux meter at lowest brightness on white background:
iPhone - 3 Lux perpendicular, 1.8 Lux at 30° angle.
iPad - 20 Lux perpendicular, 20 Lux at 30° angle.
iPad with iBook at lowest brightness - 2.2 Lux.

The iPad is 10x brighter for my use case which results in significantly higher eye strain. They can make it less bright (as they do with iBook, but they chose not to.

BTW, why the heck does automatic light adjustment never work?

I'm complaining about it because it is something that is a pain in the ass for me every day, and something that was a pain for me with the iPhone for almost three years until I learned about SBSettings.
post #13 of 30
Inexcusable.
post #14 of 30
Apple is Domed

post #15 of 30
Nice little Photoshop work there. I would assume that is the top of the Epcot golf ball?
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Very interesting. Do you get additional benefits using static IPs? Any disadvantages?

I use Static IPs because I use certain programs/servers that require direct IP network identification. These can be remote desktop, torrent clients, ssh etc. Also there is no way I can up my port forwarding on my router to a specified computer via DHCP. I had many problems printing my wifi printers via DHCP as the router not always leasing the IP to the printers properly so I switched them to Static.

My network is partitioned for every 10s increment per device type so desktops would be X.X.X.100, laptops .110, printers .120 and smartphones .130s.

I upgraded to Airport Extreme N from my old linksys B router. Airport allowed me to use DHCP with IP reservation just like static ips so any guests can hop on to my DHCP network without me creating a static IP.

I like my configuration this way and so far it's been stable and easy to maintain.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Are you fscking kidding me!? This is their solution?

This is their suggesed solution for now, yes. Why do you ask? Didn't you read the article?
Seems they are working on a software update to fix the issues.
Quote:
The solutions sound like they need to offer springboard settings as a native app!

You can read, correct?
""This article outlines workarounds for these issues. Apple will also address remaining Wi-Fi connectivity issues with a future iPad software update.""
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post

I use Static IPs because I use certain programs/servers that require direct IP network identification. These can be remote desktop, torrent clients, ssh etc. Also there is no way I can up my port forwarding on my router to a specified computer via DHCP. I had many problems printing my wifi printers via DHCP as the router not always leasing the IP to the printers properly so I switched them to Static.

My network is partitioned for every 10s increment per device type so desktops would be X.X.X.100, laptops .110, printers .120 and smartphones .130s.

I upgraded to Airport Extreme N from my old linksys B router. Airport allowed me to use DHCP with IP reservation just like static ips so any guests can hop on to my DHCP network without me creating a static IP.

I like my configuration this way and so far it's been stable and easy to maintain.


Interesting stuff. Thanks.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

While I agree it's not much of a solution right now I think you're a bit of a drama queen. Burning your eyes? If the iPad screen burns your eyes I don't see how you function most of the day.

Support WEP? Yeah I don't know why they don't support it either....... or hypercard for that matter.

Are you suggesting my pre-ordered iPad may not support X.25? Apple are doomed. etc. etc.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichyS View Post

Are you suggesting my pre-ordered iPad may not support X.25? Apple are doomed. etc. etc.

Has anyone tried setting their router to never expire the DHCP lease? Obviously this won't work in all situations (like where a router might have to deal with more than 254 connected devices between now and Apple getting the fix out). That's if your router supports it, too.

On a related note, has anyone experienced connectivity problems with the iPod Touch/iPhone and Belkin N+ routers? They keep being asked for the WPA password, and it's driver my father (he of the Belkin router) insane!
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Nice little Photoshop work there. I would assume that is the top of the Epcot golf ball?

nah just a random google image search found a dome in the arctic or somethign lol
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

While I agree it's not much of a solution right now I think you're a bit of a drama queen. Burning your eyes? If the iPad screen burns your eyes I don't see how you function most of the day.

Support WEP? Yeah I don't know why they don't support it either....... or hypercard for that matter.

I agree... He is definitely drama queen, but I have been having severe eye pain after extended use too. Far beyond a feeling of strain or fatigue. I'm due for an eye exam anyway, so it could be my glasses too. However, I find it strange that it started the first day after getting the iPad.
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichyS View Post

Has anyone tried setting their router to never expire the DHCP lease? Obviously this won't work in all situations (like where a router might have to deal with more than 254 connected devices between now and Apple getting the fix out). That's if your router supports it, too.

The lease issue is mainly a problem for high-turnover locations. I notice it in airport lounges in particular. I think the router can flush information when the DHCP times out, and it reduces reliability if it can't flush the data.

Quote:
On a related note, has anyone experienced connectivity problems with the iPod Touch/iPhone and Belkin N+ routers? They keep being asked for the WPA password, and it's driver my father (he of the Belkin router) insane!

I have the issue on a Airport Extreme with WPA as well. I think the separating into two different SSIDs for 2.5 and 5GHz was Apple's attempt at a work around.

My solution is to hit cancel, then go into settings/wifi, and re-connect to the AP. It doesn't ask for a password again.
post #24 of 30
I have a dual-band AEBS that needs to be restarted once every day or so. Apple needs to unscrew their own router firmware problems as well.
post #25 of 30
I had not heard of LCD display brightness causing WiFi interference. Is this true? Is something not shielded in the iPad that should be?

My main problem with the iPad is the Mail app. I am not sure if it's a WiFi issue or what...it just spins and spins when trying to connect to two different Gmail accounts. Sometimes it works fine but other times I can wait a bit then launch another app, then I'll hear the sound that I have mail.

On the topic of brightness...I wouldn't mind seeing a setting for a gradual brightness of the display when you first turn it on. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and have to keep my eyes closed before I turn it on.
post #26 of 30
The poster using WEP clearly has reasons and seems to understand the security implications of using a cracked standard. Most people, however, don't realize how ridiculously easy it is for someone sitting in a car outside your apartment to grab your WEP password. Given that most people only have one or two passwords that they use for everything, getting hold of a person's WEP password might very well give you access to their bank account. At the very least you'll learn what type of password they use and perhaps be able to guess any others that might be in use.

If you must use WEP first open Keychain Access and use the built-in password generator to come up with something truly bizarre. Then make sure there's additional security like VPN for any wireless transmissions you don't feel like sharing with the whole world.

I actually have the opposite problem. I almost never use the same password twice and it's getting really hard to remember which one I use where. Luckily Keychain handles many of them for me and I have the rest written down in an encrypted note.
post #27 of 30
I've had connection problems from day 1.

I'll be sitting in my family room about 15 feet from my Netgear RangeMax g router. My iPad screen will dim and a dialogue box will appear on the screen saying "Connecting". Five to 10 seconds later, the screen will brighten back up and things will be back to normal. Then, a half hour later, same thing. I keep my screen on 50% brightness and have the ipad in a leather incase cover and my hands are not over the apple logo. I get perfect reception with my iPhone 3G.

I called Best Buy where I purchased the unit and they suggested I connect the ipad back to my PC and then restore the unit to factory settings. This, the guy said, will download the OS again and apply any updates that were issued. Updates? Huh?

Anyone else have this problem?

Will the forthcoming patch address this?
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post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Very interesting. Do you get additional benefits using static IPs? Any disadvantages?

It might help. Two homes, both with Extremes. Mine has static IP's and there are no wifi issues with the iPad. The other home I also setup. The setup is identical except I don't have my own IP. WiFi is nothing but one big headache.

I believe there's more issues than this as the second house, with an Extreme, is the only place I have problems. Any public WiFi networks I've been on have been fine. Who knows what routers but I certainly did not have a static IP.

While I certainly respect Princeton Univ, I think their solution is nonsense. Their approach does not work for me and I suspect it does not for most of their iPad student body.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichyS View Post

Has anyone tried setting their router to never expire the DHCP lease? Obviously this won't work in all situations (like where a router might have to deal with more than 254 connected devices between now and Apple getting the fix out). That's if your router supports it, too.

On a related note, has anyone experienced connectivity problems with the iPod Touch/iPhone and Belkin N+ routers? They keep being asked for the WPA password, and it's driver my father (he of the Belkin router) insane!

If he has a gen 2 Touch, forget about reliable wifi and forget about Apple doing anything about it. Enough time has gone by and enough people have complained that it should have already been fixed. If it's gen 3 take it back and get a replacement. Apple took all of 5 minutes to swap mine.
post #30 of 30
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