Apple preparing iPad patch to tackle ongoing Wi-Fi woes


Apple has confirmed plans to release a software patch to fix persistent Wi-Fi connectivity problems on the iPad.

The company has received hundreds of complaints from US consumers frustrated by problems with their iPad's wireless connection since the tablet went on sale a month ago.

Issues have been varied, ranging from being unable to connect at all and only getting a weak signal that keeps dropping in and out, to forgotten passwords and sluggish download speeds.

Apple has already posted a support article suggesting a variety of workarounds to potentially tackle an issue that was affecting "a very small number of iPad users", but has now updated it to add that it would "address remaining Wi-Fi connectivity issues with a future iPad software update".

No further details were given, nor was a date confirmed as to when the patch would appear, though UK consumers having placed their iPad pre-orders will no doubt be hoping it comes before 28 May, the day the Apple tablet goes on sale internationally.

In the meantime, the support article has a number of suggested for affected iPad users in the US, ranging from update their router's firmware, switching encryption to WPA or WPA2, trying to renew their IP address, and even adjusting screen brightness.

The Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad went on sale in the US on 3 April, but it didn't take long for the first Wi-Fi issues to be reported on Apple's forums. In fact, the longest thread of all on Apple's iPad support board is titled "Weak wifi" and has been drawn more than 750 comments and been viewed in excess of 100,000 times since it first appeared on launch day afternoon.

"Wifi [sic] reception seems weak with slow downloads," the original post reads ominously.

Despite its wireless gremlins, the iPad has outperformed expectations by shifting in excess of a million units in its first month on sale in the US. The Wi-Fi-only version has now been joined by its pricier 3G-enabled sibling, with both set to launch simultaneously in the UK in just over a fortnight's time.