I’ve experienced this same problem several times since the release of iOS 8.0, but as the problem persists in 8.1 I thought it worthy of an article.
The setup is as follows:
- Unlocked iPhone 5s running iOS 8.1
- iPad Air (Wifi) running iOS 8.1
- Bluetooth enabled on both devices
- Same Apple ID used on both devices
The above results in iOS showing the iPhone’s personal hotspot availability, even when Personal Hotspot mode is disabled on the iPhone. This is expected, and is a feature of iOS 8’s Continuity functionality.
The problem occurs when the iPhone has no reception at all – it shows ‘No Service’, but the iPad reports that a connection is available over LTE with one bar of signal strength. I never have an LTE option on the phone because it’s not available in the region I live in, and I think Vodafone’s LTE support is limited in the UK.
If you attempt to selected the Personal Hotspot from the iPad it fails to establish a connection, which is expected when there is no cellular service.
This seems to be an anomaly and the iPad should not be reporting Personal Hotspot availability.
I am not aware of any workaround, the iPad reports the correct signal availability from the iPhone whenever it has coverage, but never reports ‘No Signal’ when the iPhone has none.