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iOS Tip: How to Get Better iPhone Reception

Imagine this scene: you’re stranded in the middle of a desert, or worse, at a friend-of-a-friend’s party where you only know your friend, who conveniently forgot to tell you they weren’t going to be able to make it anyway. You pull out your iPhone to tweet something succinct but pointed to your so-called friend, but your reception’s terrible. You hold the phone high, you walk around the room, but that frustrating row of tiny white bars just won’t increase. The ire directed at your friend for leaving you high-and-dry now courses through your fingertips in the vain hope that willpower alone will cause the 3G gods to smile upon your plight.
Maybe this hasn’t been your specific experience, but I’m willing to bet you’ve had moments where you know your signal should be a lot better than it appears to be. There’s one very simple trick I’ve used over and over that’s helped me receive better iPhone reception.

When you think your iPhone’s connection should have more bars, go into Settings and turn on Airplane Mode. It’s the very first option within Settings. Allow the airplane to fly in over your reception bars, then turn Airplane Mode back off. The small plane in the upper left corner will fly away, hopefully taking away your connectivity issues in the process.

Airplane Mode disables your iPhone’s cellular voice and data, wi-fi, bluetooth, GPS, and location services. By turning it off, you’re telling your phone to forget the last cell tower it was connected to. By turning it back on, your iPhone then looks for the nearest, strongest signal, thus (we hope) increasing your reception. This is my understanding of the process at least, and I’ve used this trick enough times to know that it’s worked for me. Then again, I’m still using the iPhone 4, so your mileage may vary depending on which model you own.

If that doesn’t work, maybe you ought to try this incredibly weird but apparently effective trick.

What ridiculous (or not) steps have you taken to increase your iPhone’s reception?

About Matthew Snider

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