What the Tech? Airplane mode - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? Airplane mode

Posted: Updated:

If you've ever lost a strong signal on a smartphone, this trick may get you back online in 2 seconds. The last time my family went on a fairly long trip by car we drove through a rural part of the country. I heard a simultaneous "I don't have internet!" I've been on that stretch of I-65 before and I should have known it was coming. One kid had no service, another's signal dropped to the dreaded 1x and my wife had only a 3G signal. So what happened?

In those rural areas there aren't as many cell towers as there are in cities. That might not always cause huge delays for residents there but if you're moving quickly, like down an interstate it can leave your phone in a 'no-cell land'. Here's what happens behind the scenes or under the hood:

When a cellphone connects to a tower it stays connected as long as there's a good signal. If a better signal is detected, as when you're traveling, the phone will automatically switch to the nearest tower or strongest signal. We never notice that's going on until there's a lapse. Sometimes the phone can connect to the stronger signal quickly but sometimes the hand-off takes a minute because the good signals are far apart. That's why you hit those dead zones. 

To speed up the process just turn on Airplane Mode for a few seconds then turn it on again. By turning on Airplane Mode you're turning off all of the phone's radio signals. When you turn it on again it will ignore the tower it was connected to previously and connect to the strongest signal.

This won't remedy the issue when you're in the middle of nowhere and there's no signal for your carrier but that rarely happens now that wireless carriers have largely spaced out towers to cover most of the country.

WEEKLY CIRCULARS
  • NewsMore>>

  • Chattanooga Trees: The Bonnie Oaks Willow Oak

    Chattanooga Trees: The Bonnie Oaks Willow Oak

    Monday, April 23 2018 9:28 AM EDT2018-04-23 13:28:23 GMT
    Bonnie Oak Willow OakBonnie Oak Willow Oak
    Bonnie Oak Willow OakBonnie Oak Willow Oak
    After the Civil War, it was reported that fewer than 60 trees were left in Chattanooga.More
    After the Civil War, it was reported that fewer than 60 trees were left in Chattanooga.More
  • Man who snatched AR-15 from gunman: 'It was life or death'

    Man who snatched AR-15 from gunman: 'It was life or death'

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:15 PM EDT2018-04-23 03:15:12 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 9:28 AM EDT2018-04-23 13:28:09 GMT
    (Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via AP). James Shaw Jr., shows his hand that was injured when he disarmed a shooter inside a Waffle House on Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.   A gunman stormed the Waffle House restaurant and shot several peo...(Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via AP). James Shaw Jr., shows his hand that was injured when he disarmed a shooter inside a Waffle House on Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. A gunman stormed the Waffle House restaurant and shot several peo...
    The man who wrestled the gun away from the Nashville's Waffle House shooting suspect says he decided if he was to die, gunman would "have to work to kill me.".More
    The man who wrestled the gun away from the Nashville's Waffle House shooting suspect says he decided if he was to die, gunman would "have to work to kill me.".More
  • Georgia county gets no proposals for Confederate monument

    Georgia county gets no proposals for Confederate monument

    Monday, April 23 2018 8:49 AM EDT2018-04-23 12:49:54 GMT
    The "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONSThe "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
    The "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONSThe "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
    Georgia law doesn't allow the county to conceal the monument.More
    Georgia law doesn't allow the county to conceal the monument.More

Weather

Powered by Frankly