in Tech

iOS 8 won’t let me stay in 2G network

Apple is officially rolling out the latest version of their mobile OS today, the iOS 8. The latest iteration of their mobile device OS that was claimed as “the most advanced mobile OS ever” brings various improvements to the one year old iOS 7. This update supports various Apple devices with iPhone 4S, iPad 2nd generation and iPod touch 5th generation being the oldest models from each line that are compatible with.

I won’t talk what improvements it brings, as there are already various articles from respectable websites that discuss this matter (like the one that recode.net wrote). I’m writing this to share my one discovery after jumping into iOS 8 wagon this morning: its inability to stay on 2G network.

I like to make my iPhone to connect to 2G network only whenever I’m not browsing or watching streaming videos from it. I find that my phone battery could last longer than when I enable the 3G network. After all, doing basic stuffs like texting on whatsapp or reading incoming e-mails do not require fast connection as the data transmitted from these forms of communication are fairly small (assuming that I’m not downloading any attachments, that is). Doing these things on 3G network do speed the process faster. However, the speed difference are hardly noticable as, again, the data size is small.

This boost of speed from 2G to 3G data connection comes at the price of battery life. 3G network requires more juice than the older 2G network. I don’t have the exact number how much they differ, but I can tell you from my own experience.

Worse, the cellular network from the provider I use is far from stable (well, at least in my neighborhood, or even city). When the 3G network is activated on iPhone, it automatically connects to the network when it is available. When it isn’t, it will reconnect to 2G network instead. The phone will go back and forth connecting between these two networks when the 3G network isn’t stable. Sadly, this is the current state of my problematic cellular network state. By repeatedly attempting to connect to the 3G network, the battery life gets even shorter as it requires even more juice to search and then connect to the network.

The only option currently available in my iPhone running iOS 8 is to switch LTE network on or off. Currently there is no point in activating the LTE network since my provider hasn’t implemented the technology yet in Indonesia. I also haven’t gotten clear understanding on what should be done so the option to select only 2G network will become available in the future. Some say Apple has to include this option in further version of iOS 8, but I also read people telling that the one who has to make this option available is the provider.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Overall I’m satisfied with the performance of iOS 8. Apple has done another great job in improving their mobile OS. So far I love the QuickType feature that can also predict Bahasa and the responsiveness of face detection algorithm that makes taking selfies much easier. I’ll maybe write my take on the new OS later after I have the time to play with all of its features.

Whichever the case is, I hope I could select my preferred 2G network soon. My phone only lasts 8 to 10 hours in 3G network versus 12 to 14 hours in 2G. Otherwise, I have to stay aware of nearby power outlets, or buy one of those powerbanks to charge my iPhone on the go (T_T’)

UPDATE 25 Oct 2014: Apple has released iOS 8.1 a few days ago. The ability to choose preferred network has been restored along with it! Now I can choose to use LTE, 3G or 2G for my cellular network.