Can I turn off phone radio, but not WiFi?

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Tinman

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#1
There are times when I don't need the phone radio to be on, but I do want WiFi. An example might be late at night watching a video, listening to tunes, or just browsing the Web. No need to waste battery power on the phone radio in those cases. And where I live is in only a "moderate" coverage area (lowest level on AT&T coverage maps) so I suspect the phone radio might be using even more battery power than usual. So I'd like to turn it off occasionally--but only the phone.

I've tried turning on airplane mode and then turning forcing WiFi on. No go, as the iPhone doesn't seem to let me turn on WiFi without turning off airplane mode, thus turning the phone radio back on.

I can turn Bluetooth on and off independently, WiFi on and off independently, but not the phone. Anyone know how to do this?


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Mike
 

TrippalHealicks

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#2
Just tested, Airplane mode DOES NOT work for this situation.
You CAN NOT turn on Airplane mode, without disabling WiFi.
Which is pretty much what i expected.
 

Tinman

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#3
Huh? I know that doesn't work. If it did I wouldn't be asking a question here. I also tried enabling airplane mode and then trying to re-enable WiFi. That didn't work either and is why I wrote "no go."

I am looking for a way that does work. Anyone know?

(To be clear I want to still use WiFi, but want to turn off the phone radio.)



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Mike
 

TrippalHealicks

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#4
Huh? I know that doesn't work. If it did I wouldn't be asking a question here. I also tried enabling airplane mode and then trying to re-enable WiFi. That didn't work either and is why I wrote "no go."

I am looking for a way that does work. Anyone know?

(To be clear I want to still use WiFi, but want to turn off the phone radio.)



--
Mike
Sorry, man. Just trying to cut down your test time....
I'll be sure to avoid you in our forum, from now on. lol
 

Martlet

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Jul 11, 2007
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#5
Two ways:

1) Cancel your data package with AT&T (if they'll let you).
2) Remove the SIM card (although this will also disable the voice phone).

Otherwise, no, you can't toggle the EDGE network off like you can the wi-fi and bluetooth radios.
 

Tinman

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#6
Sorry, man. Just trying to cut down your test time....
I'll be sure to avoid you in our forum, from now on. lol
While I appreciate you trying to cut down on my test time you have to admit testing airplane mode alone is right up there with the suggestion to increase the volume level to increase volume level. ;)

That said I did try airplane mode (alone) first, knowing it wouldn't work, just to be 100% certain.

It seemed "somewhat" logical that turning on WiFi manually after airplane mode shut it down might, just might, allow WiFi with no phone radio. But I didn't really expect that to work either.

I thought perhaps this wasn't possible due to combined radio chipsets. But that doesn't make sense since you can easily turn off BT and WiFi without turning off the phone.

As a joke I tried holding down the End key during call to see if it would work like my Treo. Nope. Ditto for pressing Call when not in a call.



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Mike
 

Tinman

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#7
Two ways:

1) Cancel your data package with AT&T (if they'll let you).
2) Remove the SIM card (although this will also disable the voice phone).

Otherwise, no, you can't toggle the EDGE network off like you can the wi-fi and bluetooth radios.
Aha! I didn't think of taking out the SIM card. That indeed will work. Don't think I'll use it too much, but if I'm low on battery or something I just might.

And note that I want the phone radio off completely, voice and EDGE. Surprised you can't do this without turning off BT and WiFi too. I would have expected an option in Settings but perhaps they felt it wasn't something anyone would use (or might forget to turn back on?).

Oh well, the SIM card thing should work if there are no other options. Thanks for the suggestion.


--
Mike
 

minivini

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#8
It does seem like turning the phone on and off (airplane mode) would work independently of WiFi. What about the few airlines that allow WiFi (JetBlue?)? You have to leave your phone on to be able to use it, but then you are breaking FCC rules (and FAA, for that matter). This seems like something that should be addressed in a firmware update...
 

TrippalHealicks

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#9
While I appreciate you trying to cut down on my test time you have to admit testing airplane mode alone is right up there with the suggestion to increase the volume level to increase volume level. ;)

That said I did try airplane mode (alone) first, knowing it wouldn't work, just to be 100% certain.

It seemed "somewhat" logical that turning on WiFi manually after airplane mode shut it down might, just might, allow WiFi with no phone radio. But I didn't really expect that to work either.

I thought perhaps this wasn't possible due to combined radio chipsets. But that doesn't make sense since you can easily turn off BT and WiFi without turning off the phone.

As a joke I tried holding down the End key during call to see if it would work like my Treo. Nope. Ditto for pressing Call when not in a call.



--
Mike

Sorry, not really being one that travels on planes too much, i had a very limited understanding of the function of the "Airplane Mode". On top of that,
i don't think a lot of phones before this one have had a WiFi adapter, making it kinda uncertain whether or not the WiFi adapter falls under the category of features that are disabled when Airplane Mode is active. This is actually the first phone i've owned with a WiFi adapter. How many have you owned, prior to this?
 

Tinman

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#10
It does seem like turning the phone on and off (airplane mode) would work independently of WiFi. What about the few airlines that allow WiFi (JetBlue?)? You have to leave your phone on to be able to use it, but then you are breaking FCC rules (and FAA, for that matter). This seems like something that should be addressed in a firmware update...
Yep I thought about WiFi equipped planes too. (Haven't actually been on one yet though, and I fly quite often.)

I can understand airplane mode shutting everything down, since normally that's what you want to do. And when the door is closed and the flight attendant is heading your way as you finish a call you want that thing shut down pronto. ;)

But I still don't see why an option to turn off the phone isn't available.


--
Mike
 

Tinman

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#11
Sorry, not really being one that travels on planes too much, i had a very limited understanding of the function of the "Airplane Mode". On top of that, i don't think a lot of phones before this one have had a WiFi adapter, making it kinda uncertain whether or not the WiFi adapter falls under the category of features that are disabled when Airplane Mode is active. This is actually the first phone i've owned with a WiFi adapter. How many have you owned, prior to this?
This is my first phone with integrated BT and WiFi.

But I've owned a Treo 650 for several years. You turn off the phone radio by pressing and holding the End key. But it doesn't turn off Bluetooth.

I do fly a lot and guess I just made an assumption before even trying airplane mode that it would shut everything off. I actually like that feature. Really only want a way to turn the phone off independently of the other radios since my battery seems to drain quickly.


--
Mike
 

Martlet

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#13
If I recall correctly, their are 3 separate radios:

GSM (voice & EDGE data)
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth

You can turn off the two that aren't necessary for the main function of the iPhone, but I guess they assumed you'd always want the iPHONE to be functional as a phone! :)

The GSM radio shouldn't be using up all that much battery (compared to the ARM processor playing the video you're watching, or the Wi-Fi radio you're using to browse web in your examples), but like I said earlier, you can always unbend a paperclip and pop out the SIM if you're desperate.
 

minivini

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#14
If the device is still fully functional without the SIM (except the phone), then that is, at least, a workable solution.

Can anyone confirm (maybe already done) that the device is fully operational without the SIM in place?
 

Tinman

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#15
If the device is still fully functional without the SIM (except the phone), then that is, at least, a workable solution.

Can anyone confirm (maybe already done) that the device is fully operational without the SIM in place?
Yep, works just fine without SIM. Not sure I would want to do that all of the time, but it does work.

I should note that when I originally started this thread I was actually having a WiFi issue (didn't know it then). My iPhone did not play well with the AP I originally was using at home (besides the DNS issue--which I corrected--it suffered from extremely poor range, and the inability to reconnect properly). Somehow I had hoped that with the absence of EDGE, my WiFi might work better (plus the battery saving). Well it didn't help WiFi.

After swapping to a different AP my WiFi works quite well now. But I will remember the SIM trick when phone use isn't important, and battery life and WiFi are. YMMV.



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Mike
 

kdarling

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#16
... i don't think a lot of phones before this one have had a WiFi adapter, making it kinda uncertain whether or not the WiFi adapter falls under the category of features that are disabled when Airplane Mode is active. ...
Any purposeful transmitter falls under the need to be shut off in Airplane Mode.

Yes, the phones that have previously had WiFi, always had a way to turn it off. Sometimes even with a switch on the outside, to make it easier.

What the iPhone is missing, that some other phones have, is a way to individually disable each radio.
 

Spin This!

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#17
Any purposeful transmitter falls under the need to be shut off in Airplane Mode.
Which is pretty ridiculous nowadays with all the technology contained in Airplanes that doesn't interfere with any cell signal. Anyone see the Mythbusters episode where they tried to screw with the plane? (Granted this was still on the ground but still...) End result: a myriad of devices didn't phase the plane's instrumentation at all, nevermind the cables in the ****pit are all double-shielded from interference, etc. I guess the FAA doesn't want to take any chances—fair enough I guess. (There was one isolated incident that caused them to enforce this.)
 

kdarling

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#18
Which is pretty ridiculous nowadays with all the technology contained in Airplanes that doesn't interfere with any cell signal.
I assume you meant the other way around. That is, cell signals interfering with airplane radios or computers.

Anyone see the Mythbusters episode where they tried to screw with the plane? (Granted this was still on the ground but still...) End result: a myriad of devices didn't phase the plane's instrumentation at all, nevermind the cables in the ****pit are all double-shielded from interference, etc. I guess the FAA doesn't want to take any chances—fair enough I guess. (There was one isolated incident that caused them to enforce this.)
There were lots of incidents that make them enforce this. Many airliners are 10-20 years old, and the radios are not young. I don't know where you got the idea that it's "all shielded", either. Why spend the money where it's not needed.
 

Spin This!

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#19
There were lots of incidents that make them enforce this.
Really? Because I can't find a single "incident". In 1996, the FAA commissioned its own study (the original ban was actually by the FCC) and the results were interesting: they couldn't find a single incident.

Despite the current ban, many flightgoers still use cell phones anyway.

The IEEE article I found mentioned this:

There is no smoking gun to this story: there is no definitive instance of an air accident known to have been caused by a passenger's use of an electronic device. Nonetheless, although it is impossible to say that such use has contributed to air accidents in the past, the data also make it impossible to rule it out completely.
They estimate the ratio to incidents to accidents is roughly 300:1 which works out to be one accident every 12 years.

In other words, there is really no solid, conclusive evidence—a smoking gun—that cellphones or any electronic devices have contributed to any accidents.

I don't know where you got the idea that it's "all shielded", either. Why spend the money where it's not needed.
Planes are required to be shielded because they fly over hundreds of cell, tv, and radio towers—all of which put out more power than cell phone would on a plane. If cell phones were dangerous, they could be collected at the gate, before you even entered the plane.
 

Tinman

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#20
You know I would guesstimate that on nearly every flight out there, at least in the US, there are active cellphones. While they aren't likely being used for conversation (inadvertently left on) they are still transmitting, sometimes at full power if they can't find/hold a signal.

I would imagine, if this was really super-critical, that there would be some sort of check in place, as opposed to just an announcement that really relies on nothing more than an honor system.

They certainly don't just "tell" you not to come into the airport without anything "dangerous." ;)


--
Mike