Apple iOS 4.0.1 update tinkers with signal indicators, doesn't fix iPhone 4 antenna

Apple has rolled out a firmware update that changes the way the iPhone interprets signal strength, so that it more accurately displays the signal available to the device

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway

Apple's iOS, the operating system that powers the iPhone, has been updated to help the phone more accurately display the amount of signal it's receiving -- something Apple has confessed it has been getting "totally wrong" for some time.

While iOS 4.0.1 should give iPhone owners a better idea of how much signal they have, it won't address the hardware issue that causes the iPhone 4 to drop signal when users grip it by its external antenna.

The update gives the signal bars a chunkier appearance, and re-jigs the iPhone's algorithms for displaying signal, which previously behaved in a way we can only describe as wildly optimistic.

There's no software update that could fix the 'holding it wrong' reception issues that have become so infamous, because that's a hardware problem -- the iPhone 4's external antenna functions less well when clutched in the grip of a sweaty human meatbag. Still, this update should at least give users an accurate depiction of quite how much signal they're losing. Anandtech reports this update does seem to have made some significant changes.

Apple has announced it'll be holding a press conference at 5pm BST today to address the iPhone 4 signal issue. We're not sure what to expect (though we have our crazy, crazy theories) but check back here for all the latest as it happens.