When we were all sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting for iOS 4 on our iPads for most of November, rumours were flying that the release was delayed because of Wi-Fi issues in the software. When that release finally occurred on 23 November, and the iPad skipped iOS 4.2 for 4.2.1, it was assumed that the Wi-Fi problems were resolved.
But that may not be the case, with a number of readers reporting degraded Wi-Fi performance since upgrading. There’s also a pretty substantial thread on Apple’s support discussion forum where people are airing their grievances about the upgrade. According to one reader, Apple is removing posts from the forum that refer to downgrading to iOS 3.2.2 – which is apparently the only fix for those having issues – or suggest emailing Steve Jobs directly. While the latter is probably pointless and reasonable for Apple to remove, it is disappointing to see a possible fix being taken down because Apple doesn’t officially support downgrading the iPad’s operating system.
That support thread alone (there are a few others with similar issues) has chalked up over 55,000 views and more than 500 replies, suggesting the issue could be widespread – though let’s not go calling it Wi-Fi-gate just yet.
To save you reading through the entire thread for the typical symptoms, here is a description from a concerned reader:
Basically, Wi-Fi performance after upgrading to 4.2.1 is awful. Web speeds are at best half of what they were on 3.2.2, YouTube streaming is hit and miss, and sometimes even 10 second videos will stall 30 percent in. No problems maintaining a network connection – it just seems the internet doesn’t work. Most of the time web browsing in Safari won’t even load pages. The only remedy is to turn off the Wi-Fi and restart it, or switch to airplane mode and then off again, though this might only get you a half hour before needing it again. The problem arises after waking the iPad from standby, but even when resetting the device completely the network web performance is pretty terrible.
We’ve been testing iPads around the office, and have experienced a slowdown, but it seems to only occur intermittently. We asked on Twitter earlier today, and had a few more confirmations of problems, but few solutions.
Now it’s your turn. Have you had issues with your iPad’s internet speed (or indeed iPhone or Apple TV) since updating to the latest iOS? What are the symptoms, and have you managed to fix or alleviate the issue? Let us know in the comments!
We’ve also asked Apple Australia whether the company is looking into the issue, but have not yet received a response.
UPDATE: Reader Mike Halladay filmed a side-by-side speed test on his two iPads running iOS 4.2 and iOS 3.2. The difference is pretty clear: