Poor cell reception

Annie_M

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I finally had a chance to go to Apple and get my phone checked. And, sure enough, I'm even more baffled now.

The "genius" ran diagnostics and showed me where all the communication components (cell modem, wifi, etc.) are working perfectly. Here's where it gets weird. As is protocol, she checked to make sure the phone is running the latest software, and promptly announced, "Here is the problem - at some point you have been running beta software. We find that 99% of the time there is a cell or wifi problem, it is due to either beta software or a VPN."

I swear I have NEVER installed beta software. EVER! How could that happen?!? So, I said, can I just wipe the phone and restore from my iCloud backup. Her answer, "No, because whatever is causing the problem will be in the backup. Your only solution is to erase all content and settings and set up the phone from scratch." I.E., re-download every app, put them where I want them, reprogram any customizations (e.g., Focus), etc. Needless to say, that is a LONG task I DO not look forward to!!! Unless someone here is another idea, I guess that is what I'll be doing tomorrow. 😠😠😠😠😠
I am so sorry that you are going through this. One thing that you might wanna do is to take screenshots of all of your screens so that you can remember all the apps that you want to reinstall.
 
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Just_Me_D

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I finally had a chance to go to Apple and get my phone checked. And, sure enough, I'm even more baffled now.

The "genius" ran diagnostics and showed me where all the communication components (cell modem, wifi, etc.) are working perfectly. Here's where it gets weird. As is protocol, she checked to make sure the phone is running the latest software, and promptly announced, "Here is the problem - at some point you have been running beta software. We find that 99% of the time there is a cell or wifi problem, it is due to either beta software or a VPN."

I swear I have NEVER installed beta software. EVER! How could that happen?!? So, I said, can I just wipe the phone and restore from my iCloud backup. Her answer, "No, because whatever is causing the problem will be in the backup. Your only solution is to erase all content and settings and set up the phone from scratch." I.E., re-download every app, put them where I want them, reprogram any customizations (e.g., Focus), etc. Needless to say, that is a LONG task I DO not look forward to!!! Unless someone here is another idea, I guess that is what I'll be doing tomorrow.

I have always been a huge fan of wiping the device and setting it up as new and I still do it at least 3 times a year. The next time I plan on doing it is when the initial developer beta of iOS 18 drops presumably in June.

Having said that, I’m curious to see whether or not setting your device as new will fix the problem. Will doing so force a carrier update that could probably be the remedy? Please keep us updated, if you don’t mind sir.
 

tcuprof

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I am so sorry that you are going through this. One thing that you might wanna do is to take screenshots of all of your screens so that you can remember all the apps that you want to reinstall.
Thanks Annie, that‘s a good idea. I’m sufficiently OCD that if the apps were in a different location, it would drive me crazy.
 
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tcuprof

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I have always been a huge fan of wiping the device and setting it up as new and I still do it at least 3 times a year. The next time I plan on doing it is when the initial developer beta of iOS 18 drops presumably in June.

Having said that, I’m curious to see whether or not setting your device as new will fix the problem. Will doing so force a carrier update that could probably be the remedy? Please keep us updated, if you don’t mind sir.
You wipe three times a year? Yikes!! I’m dreading it like a root canal. I think my biggest fear is that my phone is also my car key, and I dread setting that up again. I will definitely post results.
 
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FFR

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You could always wait a week or two and install the next software update.

Just make sure you’re out of the beta program in the software update settings.
 
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doogald

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I finally had a chance to go to Apple and get my phone checked. And, sure enough, I'm even more baffled now.

The "genius" ran diagnostics and showed me where all the communication components (cell modem, wifi, etc.) are working perfectly. Here's where it gets weird. As is protocol, she checked to make sure the phone is running the latest software, and promptly announced, "Here is the problem - at some point you have been running beta software. We find that 99% of the time there is a cell or wifi problem, it is due to either beta software or a VPN."

I swear I have NEVER installed beta software. EVER! How could that happen?!? So, I said, can I just wipe the phone and restore from my iCloud backup. Her answer, "No, because whatever is causing the problem will be in the backup. Your only solution is to erase all content and settings and set up the phone from scratch." I.E., re-download every app, put them where I want them, reprogram any customizations (e.g., Focus), etc. Needless to say, that is a LONG task I DO not look forward to!!! Unless someone here is another idea, I guess that is what I'll be doing tomorrow. 😠😠😠😠😠
This sounds a little iffy but I understand the idea - it's impossible to tell what gets carried over from a backup, so it's maybe not such a bad idea.

I had to do this in December for two reasons. First, I was having an issue if I was away from one of my two houses for several days - both are Eero networks - that my phone would not reconnect and I'd have to retype the passphrase. Nobody else, and none of my other Apple devices, had this issue - it was just my iPhone. I tried reset network settings and that didn't help. (In the past this would delete all of your stored WiFi networks, but I found out later that while it still does that, WiFi credentials are now stored in the system keychain so they get recopied back to the Settings / WiFi list.) I tried factory reset and restore - that didn't help. (With two Apple Watches connected, that meant unpairing them both and pairing them back again, so not a completely easy solution.)

The second reason for doing a factory reset and build from scratch started up with iOS 17 and tvOS 17 and the ability to use continuity camera with FaceTime on Apple TV that started with tvOS 17. As it turns out, if you, like me, ever changed the email address of your Apple ID, then continuity camera just would not work with tvOS 17. Sure enough, factory reset and build from scratch (and build two Apple Watches from scratch as well - such a pain) fixed that problem!

Going back to the first issue, factory reset and build from scratch did not fix that WiFi issue. What finally fixed that I could have done from the beginning - Settings / WiFi, tap Edit top-right, and delete all of the stored networks. Of course that meant having to type the password for all networks the first time they reappeared, but, so far (knock on wood) that has fixed the problem.

I sync almost everything with iCloud, so I really didn't lose much, and I did a share of all of my watch faces from the Watch app to a Note on my phone before I unpaired them, so rebuilding my watch didn't take as much time as it could have. The only things I lost were things I didn't care much about - stored progress in games that I hardly ever play, and (this one hurt a bit more) the RSS feeds that I followed in NetNewsWire (I forgot to save my feeds), but they were easy to reconnect to.
 
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tcuprof

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This sounds a little iffy but I understand the idea - it's impossible to tell what gets carried over from a backup, so it's maybe not such a bad idea.

I had to do this in December for two reasons. First, I was having an issue if I was away from one of my two houses for several days - both are Eero networks - that my phone would not reconnect and I'd have to retype the passphrase. Nobody else, and none of my other Apple devices, had this issue - it was just my iPhone. I tried reset network settings and that didn't help. (In the past this would delete all of your stored WiFi networks, but I found out later that while it still does that, WiFi credentials are now stored in the system keychain so they get recopied back to the Settings / WiFi list.) I tried factory reset and restore - that didn't help. (With two Apple Watches connected, that meant unpairing them both and pairing them back again, so not a completely easy solution.)

The second reason for doing a factory reset and build from scratch started up with iOS 17 and tvOS 17 and the ability to use continuity camera with FaceTime on Apple TV that started with tvOS 17. As it turns out, if you, like me, ever changed the email address of your Apple ID, then continuity camera just would not work with tvOS 17. Sure enough, factory reset and build from scratch (and build two Apple Watches from scratch as well - such a pain) fixed that problem!

Going back to the first issue, factory reset and build from scratch did not fix that WiFi issue. What finally fixed that I could have done from the beginning - Settings / WiFi, tap Edit top-right, and delete all of the stored networks. Of course that meant having to type the password for all networks the first time they reappeared, but, so far (knock on wood) that has fixed the problem.

I sync almost everything with iCloud, so I really didn't lose much, and I did a share of all of my watch faces from the Watch app to a Note on my phone before I unpaired them, so rebuilding my watch didn't take as much time as it could have. The only things I lost were things I didn't care much about - stored progress in games that I hardly ever play, and (this one hurt a bit more) the RSS feeds that I followed in NetNewsWire (I forgot to save my feeds), but they were easy to reconnect to.
I'm pretty much finished with the complete reset. I wish I'd read doogald's post first, because I forgot about having to do the watches as well. That took almost as long as the phone. Anyway, it's done and it only took all day. Now I'll see if it makes any difference. As promised, I'll report back.
 

tcuprof

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It's only been 3 days, so too early to have anything definitive, but so far I don't see any improvement. In my home, I get 1 to 2 bars on my cell service (T-Mobile), even though they have a tower about 1 mile away. WIFI is similarly flaky. I have a mesh router and you can get my wifi solidly if you're within 200-300 ft from my house. And yet, I can't use the 6g band unless I'm basically within eyesight of a router node. Of course, that may be everyone's experience with 6g.

Finally, I'm a little stressed over the fact that my Longest Move Streak is showing 195 days. It should be approx 3150 days. What's odd is that my activity calendar shows the last rings closed on August 13 (hence 195 days), BUT, if if you click on any past date, it shows the exercise that day, and each day of the past has the little green dot that indicates the rings were closed. I've read reports of others who did a complete erase and start from scratch, and they all report the same thing, saying that after a few days, the Move Streak just magically reappeared.

Just_Me_D - you've done multiple wipes. Do you experience a similar problem?

 

Just_Me_D

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It's only been 3 days, so too early to have anything definitive, but so far I don't see any improvement. In my home, I get 1 to 2 bars on my cell service (T-Mobile), even though they have a tower about 1 mile away. WIFI is similarly flaky. I have a mesh router and you can get my wifi solidly if you're within 200-300 ft from my house. And yet, I can't use the 6g band unless I'm basically within eyesight of a router node. Of course, that may be everyone's experience with 6g.

Finally, I'm a little stressed over the fact that my Longest Move Streak is showing 195 days. It should be approx 3150 days. What's odd is that my activity calendar shows the last rings closed on August 13 (hence 195 days), BUT, if if you click on any past date, it shows the exercise that day, and each day of the past has the little green dot that indicates the rings were closed. I've read reports of others who did a complete erase and start from scratch, and they all report the same thing, saying that after a few days, the Move Streak just magically reappeared.

Just_Me_D - you've done multiple wipes. Do you experience a similar problem?


When I redo my iPhone from scratch, all of my syncable data re-syncs to it either the same day or the next day. As for my watch faces, I tend to just set them up again from scratch.
 

doogald

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Finally, I'm a little stressed over the fact that my Longest Move Streak is showing 195 days. It should be approx 3150 days. What's odd is that my activity calendar shows the last rings closed on August 13 (hence 195 days), BUT, if if you click on any past date, it shows the exercise that day, and each day of the past has the little green dot that indicates the rings were closed. I've read reports of others who did a complete erase and start from scratch, and they all report the same thing, saying that after a few days, the Move Streak just magically reappeared.

I just checked Settings / General / iPhone Storage - my Health data is 4.42 GB after just over seven years of Apple Watch ownership. So (assuming that you have Settings / Apple ID / iCloud / Health set to sync with iCloud, which is the default, and which you must if you have any data at all), it can take a while for all of that data to sync down after a fresh install. Having just done this in December, I didn't look so much at move streaks, etc., but all of the rest of my data is definitely looking reasonably right - number of days that I exceeded the move goal, number of F+ workouts, number of weeks with perfect stand and exercise goals, etc.

So I'd say check again in a few days just to see if anything has updated for your move streak.
 
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EdwinG

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I just checked Settings / General / iPhone Storage - my Health data is 4.42 GB […]

So I'd say check again in a few days just to see if anything has updated for your move streak.
I would say the exact same thing.

It took iCloud over 2 days to sync about 120MB of data to my new iPhone in mid-December, breaking apps that depended on it.

What helped it is to keep the screen on overnight, by disabling screen auto-lock. Your kilometrage will vary.
 
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tcuprof

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Sadly, after the February 23rd reset, my Longest Move Streak may be gone forever. I was hoping, as doogald suggested, that it just needed more time to download the Health data. It's now been 13 days, with no change. I did try Edwin G's suggestion and kept the screen on overnight (for a couple of nights). Yesterday, I selected Unsync for iCloud/Health and had it delete all Health data from the phone. I then selected Sync. After about four hours, the Health data was back to where it was before the Unsync. As it stands, my activity calendar once again shows the last rings closed on August 13. What continues to baffle me is that every day older than August 13 shows the workouts for that day and ~3150 days have the green dot, which indicates rings closed.

Any suggestions on what else I could try? I suppose it couldn't get any worse if I just did another complete reset, though I'm doubtful that would help.
 
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FFR

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I would have waited for ios 17.4, instead of resetting the device from scratch.

Try apple support but it looks like the health data didn’t back up.
 

tcuprof

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I would have waited for ios 17.4, instead of resetting the device from scratch.

Try apple support but it looks like the health data didn’t back up.
According to the Apple "Genius," that wouldn't have fixed the problem I was having with poor cell reception because if you've ever installed a beta, the only way to fix cell problems is a complete reset. Frankly, since cell reception isn't any better and I've lost my move streak, I deeply regret ever going to Apple support.
 

FFR

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According to the Apple "Genius," that wouldn't have fixed the problem I was having with poor cell reception because if you've ever installed a beta, the only way to fix cell problems is a complete reset. Frankly, since cell reception isn't any better and I've lost my move streak, I deeply regret ever going to Apple support.

I would have waited regardless of what I would have been told. Installing an update after a beta profile usually resolves beta software issues.

However it would not fix hardware or carrier issues.
 

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