Home Remember that iPad Wi-Fi Bug? It’s Back…and Affecting iPhones, Too

Remember that iPad Wi-Fi Bug? It’s Back…and Affecting iPhones, Too

A little over a year ago, some new iPad owners found they were having issues with the device’s Wi-Fi connection. Signals were weak, or worse, dropped altogether. The only solution at the time, before Apple released a fix, was to disable and re-enable the Wi-Fi connection.

Now, that same problem has returned, and this time, other iOS devices are affected, too, including the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

Issues After 4.3.3 Upgrade

After updating my iPad to iOS version 4.3.3, I discovered this problem had again resurfaced, but it was even worse than before. My connection wouldn’t just drop after the iPad went to sleep, as it had in the past, it would lose the connection when I was actively using the device, even while surfing the Web.

I did not immediately assume this was an Apple bug, of course. I believed it was a problem affecting only my iPad. Still, I did a little research via the Apple forums to look for help and possible fixes.

And it appears I’m not alone. Several iOS owners have posted similar stories on Apple’s official online Support Communities website.

Here are a selection of the complaints I found listed:

  • iPhone 4 says it connects to the Wi-Fi network, but the Wi-Fi icon never appears
  • Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting and reconnecting on its own
  • Can no longer use Wi-Fi at all unless within close proximity to the router
  • Can’t connect to Wi-Fi at all on device running 4.3.3, but devices running 4.3.1 have no trouble on same network
  • Wi-Fi won’t work, and resetting network settings doesn’t fix
  • Wi-Fi shows signal, but device can’t connect to the Internet

The complaints continue, all variations on this same theme. There are dozens upon dozens of these. Here are a few of the relevant Apple Forum links, if you want to read through them yourself:

The Cult of Mac blog is also reporting on this issue, but notes they have not experienced the problem themselves on the iPad 2. The article suggests a few possible fixes, including doing a hard reset, “forgetting” the Wi-Fi network on the device and reseting your device’s network settings. For what it’s worth, these fixes won’t work for everyone, but they are worth trying if you have issues.

A temporary workaround is to switch off the Wi-Fi connection, then turn it back on. This will restore the connection until it drops again, but a real fix needs to come from Apple.

Wi-Fi Woes a Constant Apple Complaint

For whatever reason, networking issues seem to crop up on Apple devices on a fairly regular basis when Apple releases new software. It’s an odd miss for a company so focused on perfecting the end user experience and creating products designed for ease-of-use.

When the iPhone 3.0 software launched in 2009, Wi-Fi issues first appeared, and were later fixed by a software update. In July 2009, owners of the newest iPhone, the iPhone 3GS, began seeing the same issue. When iOS 3.1 arrived in September 2009, the issues remained. Eventually, a software update resolved the problem for me and my iPad, while others, even as late as iOS 4.2.1, have not been so lucky.

In other words, we’re not surprised to see new Wi-Fi bugs with Apple’s latest release, but we are a bit disappointed that this is one thing Apple can’t get to “just work.”

Let us know if you’re having Wi-Fi issues on 4.3.3, too, in the comments section below. And please tell us if you were able to fix it, and how!

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