Three Weeks With My iPhone 5
I thought I’d give a little update on life with my iPhone 5 since we took delivery back at the beginning of the month. I’ll preface these thoughts by saying I spend a lot of time at home these days… working, writing, editing. I get out of the house occasionally to do things with the kids, and occasionally for things like Toastmasters, appointments and meetings. But 90% of my time is spent somewhere around our suburban home.
The reason that disclosure is important, is that I am far more likely to be using my iPhone over a wireless connection than LTE. I use it while I’m watching TV to look something up, or to check Twitter while waiting for the kids to finish their baths. I used my old iPhone 3GS all the time for this type of activity, especially during baseball season, from all over my house, and it worked flawlessly.
But when I try to surf on my iPhone 5 via my wireless connection from anywhere but in my office, right next to my wireless router, it’s a crapshoot. 1 bar. Maybe two. If I have my hand anywhere on the phone, I automatically lose at least 1 bar. Often, in my living room, just 30 feet from my desk, my phone will jump back to LTE. And if it doesn’t jump back, the connection just hangs up, and the phone sits there, waiting. The LTE works great, but I don’t think I should have to use it within sight on my freaking router. The case is the same for my wife’s phone. She’s gone as far as to turn wireless off completely on her phone, and does everything via LTE.
I have chatted with Apple support, and followed all of the guidelines on their site (changing the settings on my router, resetting all the devices, etc.) For a day, maybe two, things might have been a bit better, but 90% of the time, I get little-to-no wireless service. I’ve seen on-line that this is a very common problem with the iPhone 5 since the introduction of iOS6. The forum entry regarding this problem is over 100 pages long.
As soon as I get some time, I’ll head up to the Apple store, and have them test it out. No doubt, on an Apple Router, it will work just fine. Netgear (my router manufacturer) is pointing the finger at Apple, and Apple seems to be pointing it right back. Some people have found success by switching their wi-fi network to an unsecured mode, but I’m not willing to do that—not for a phone. I’ll see if getting a different phone fixes anything.
As for the other features of the iPhone, well, I’ve found that since the phone barely works unless I’m at my desk, I don’t use it for much. I check to see if any of my email accounts have mail, and then I go to my desk to read them / respond to them. I barely look at Twitter anymore via my iPhone (the requests time out half the time). I do check LinkedIn, but that works better when I’m on LTE. I’ve spent so little time actually using the phone that I haven’t yet filled up the extra row of icons on my first screen. I still have just 16 apps there.
In short, I have nothing but buyer’s remorse regarding the iPhone 5. If the battery on my old 3GS held a charge a little better, I’d switch back to using it. There’s clearly a problem with iOS6 and iPhone5 when it comes to wireless. Hopefully Apple resolves the problem soon and blasts out a mea culpa to make their customers aware how to resolve it. If I had a chance to do this over again, I would definitely bite the bullet and transition to Android. I stayed with Apple because I wanted a hassle free upgrade. So much for that.