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By: Gordon Kinlaw

WiFi Calling

iphoneI am showing the WiFi calling tip below again. If you have tried to use it, you may have heard some error messages on your phone. Be sure you include the area code with your phone number.

Where has this been?? Don’t they know how bad cell signals are inside an office building in rural NC? After thousands of cellular repeaters have been installed, iOS 9.3 brought us WiFi-assisted calling. Prior to this we could only make Facetime Audio calls to another iPhone user over the WiFi network.

This means that you MAY be able to make and get calls in your office or warehouse. You must have good WiFi service. It must be included in your carrier’s service, it must be turned on in settings and not blocked on your phone plan.

It works by routing your calls via the web so some carrier’s server. By switching the setting on, you let your carrier know that you are available on WiFi for calls and then the calls are routed when your cell signal is weak. So far, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile support WiFi calling. US Cellular is not there yet. There are no additional charges unless you are being charged for using WiFi.

I have mine turned on and do not know how to determine if a WiFi call was placed vs Cellular.

Here’s how to turn it on:ipadtips1

Go to Settings/Phone/WiFi calling and toggle it on. As soon as you do that a 911 calling information screen will pop up. They want your home address for a 911 call but I’m pretty sure location data may also be provided via the local network.

When you finish, you will notice that your carrier’s name will be followed by “Wi-Fi”.ipadtips2

If you do not find this method workable for calls in your building or home, get a local computer dealer to install a cellular repeater. If you are a DIY’er, find one online. Search for your carrier and 4G cellular booster. ie “verizon 4g cellular booster”.

The southeast side of Elizabethtown near the airport has a very poor Verizon signal. Give the WiFi assist method a try in that area.

Using AirDrop

AirDrop is the Peer-to-Peer file sharing feature on iOS. You will need to have at least iOS 9 and Yosemite OS on your Mac. Files (documents, photos, videos) can be shared from iPhone to iPhone, iPhone to iPad & iPhone to Mac. It is a very quick way to exchange files with yourself, friend or random people. Here are the steps to exchange files.ipadairdrop

  1. On the iPhone/iPad home screen, swipe up from the bottom to show the control screen.

2. Make sure the WiFi and Bluetooth radios are turned on.

3. Hit the AirDrop button and when presented with choices, pick “everyone” If you are exchanging with another iPhone, do the same on that iPhone.

4. Go to your photos and select a photo to exchange and click on the share button.

5. At the top of the share menu, click on AirDrop and you will see anyone who is available for AirDrop.

6. Select their name and they will be asked if they want to receive the file. The file will move over very quickly much faster than the time it took to set it up.

On the Mac (2012 or later Macs with Yosemite or above)

  1. Open a file browser.

2. On the left side panel, look for AirDrop and click on it.

3. You will get the same select box so select “everyone.”