A Wi-Fi connection glitch sent a short-lived, but intense wave of alarm and outrage through the iPhone and iPad user community yesterday, after they updated to the just-released iOS 6. But apparently the problem had nothing to do with the operating system itself, and Apple fixed it within hours.
The latest version of Apple's mobile OS was released Wednesday, with more than 200 changes or additions to iOS 6. It runs on iPad 2, the new iPad, and iPhone 4, 4S and the iPhone 5, which will be released Friday, Sept. 21. Shortly after it was available, Twitter and various online forums and comment boards flared with complaints that iConic mobile devices could no longer make a connection to any kind of Wi-Fi network.
Instead, the phones and cellular-equipped iPads made a cellular connection, and users' screens showed a Web page at www.apple.com carrying the command "Login." Yet there was no form to actually do so; and beneath the prompt was the alert "Hmm, the page you're looking for can't be found." After dismissing the screen, the device simply failed to connect to the Wi-Fi access point.
The failure prompted a wave of alarm, outrage and paranoia on the Web, such as the postings at MacRumors' online forums (from which the following comments are taken) as well as Apple's own online support community.
"I try to connect my iphone and my wifes iphone to our wifi and after it connects. It opens Safari and loads Apple.com with Log In in the header?" posted dtbratt about 6 p.m. ET Wednesday. He added another post minutes later: "HUGE Problem with iOS 6!"
"Same here," posted 1984. "It keeps losing the wifi signal and switching to 3G/4G and then a weird Apple.com page comes up with 'Log In' in the title bar but no log in form. The only way to stop it is to turn of Cellular Data."
At least one user said the new OS initially worked fine but then ran into problems. "Got the same problem," wrote TheDutchGuy. "Worked fine for several hours, but now I get the same Apple 'failed' login page..."
"I think this is the worst iOS release to date," posted JS82712. "And Steve would've never allowed this."
Some saw Apple nefariousness at work.
"Of course, now I'm wondering what is it about connecting to WiFi that Apple is transmitting to itself," posted SoloStyle.
The glitch affected corporate users also. "Same problem here connecting to my work's corporate Cisco Wifi (normally a Cisco login page would come up, but I'm just getting the Apple page instead)," wrote T-Will.
A few intuited what the actual problem might be. "I'm seeing this too--iPad and iPhone. Apple seems to have removed the HTML page that they use to check if you're behind a wifi hotspot paywall," noted ejdmoo.
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