There have been a few posts recently about problems about using phones as a Wi-Fi hot spot, and it’s not something that I had tested before, so I thought I’d give it a try with my iPhone 6 Plus. Answer: In the my default configuration, it did not work, but I know why, and it can be worked around.
The problem I ran into is often the default phone name is: name’s iPhone. This is also the phone Wi-Fi hotspot SSID. The problem is that the apostrophe is a typographic apostrophe ’ not the garden-variety 7-bit ASCII apostrophe ‘.
This causes problems, and all of the problems go away if you remove or replace that character. So that’s the workaround #1.
The special character in the SSID problem affects both the normal Particle app process (at least on the iPhone) and also the CLI, though the problem manifests itself in slightly different ways.
In the iPhone Particle app, if you go through the process you’ll eventually get to the screen where it’s trying to set the Wi-Fi credentials and you can see it renders the name incorrectly. The wrong special character is displayed instead of the typographic apostrophe.
In the Particle CLI (tested with 1.11.0), the problem is slightly different. If you scan for Wi-Fi networks the apostrophe is correct but there’s an extra space and two characters (“ea”) in the name list. Selecting this will not allow the device to be successfully configured.
If you rename the iPhone without a special character in the name the CLI works properly.
Workaround #2, however, allows you to keep the name of the iPhone with the typographic apostrophe. If you say N to scanning Wi-Fi networks, and manually enter the name (with the typographic apostrophe) it works! Well, at least on the Mac it works, I won’t guarantee it works everywhere.