Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Workarounds for Ricoh Theta wireless connectivity problems




One of the few complaints I have about the Ricoh Theta S (reviewed here), besides the low-resolution video, is the temperamental wireless connection.  Occasionally, I'll connect to my Theta's Wi-Fi signal, and the Theta will show that it's connected, but the Theta app will act as if there's no Theta connected.  Here are some solutions.

Here is a sample complaint from another user:


The official Ricoh solution is to forget the network and reconnect.  But in my experience, once it happens, the app won't connect for a long time, even if I go so far as to reinstall the app.

Here are a couple of ways of working around this problem.

PREVENTING THE PROBLEM
To prevent the problem, I follow a specific procedure:

1. Make sure the Theta is off and the Theta S app is closed. (To close an app, double click the home button and drag off the Theta S app to close it.)
2. Turn on the Theta, and make sure its Wi-Fi is on (there should be a blue Wi-Fi sign).
3. On your phone, connect to the Theta's Wi-Fi network.
4. Wait at least 15 seconds.
5. Start the Theta S app.

If I wait at least 15 seconds, the chance of connecting seems to be very high. 

WORKAROUNDS WHEN THE PROBLEM OCCURS
If the app doesn't connect, sometimes I try to go to an area where I don't have any Wi-Fi access (or there's a Wi-Fi network but I don't have access to it).  In that kind of environment, I follow the procedures again.  Sometimes I'm able to connect.

If the app still won't connect, it is still possible to trigger the Theta S wirelessly with third-party apps, even if the Theta S app can't see the Theta S.  Some apps I've used that have worked include: Spinnable, ThetaS-HDR (by Tequnique), and Theta HDR (by Panolife).

It's strange that third party apps don't have this problem. Hopefully Ricoh can fix it.