Testing performed on the Iridium GO! on August 9th, 2014, showed some techniques used that make the connectivity process on the Iridium GO! passable for a low-speed internet connection on our iPhone. This page shows how that optimization process was performed, and the results.
This instruction will be for an iPhone (which is nearly identical for the iPad), It does not cover the installation of the Android devices.
Connect your iPhone to a normal internet connection (or cellular network) for downloading the three main apps that are:
You can simply search the app store for each of the above applications. All of these apps are free.
The mail and web app is the application that lets you start a data connection to the Iridium GO! for both email and web browsing. Email is done through their email server, and you are setting up a new email account that has the name @myiridium.net
To Register Iridium mail and web, go to this address: www.iridium.com/mailandweb
You will need to have the Iridium GO! phone number to set up this account. It is a 12-digit number that looks like 881622446073
Choose any email name that you wish. This is the address that can be used for sending and receiving all of your email over the GO!
After registering, you will be given three items that are needed when you open the Mail and Web app for the first time. They are:
You can take your GO! outside at this point for the paring. For optimal results, it’s best to have the GO! under a very big sky. The Wi-Fi connection to the GO! does have a range of 100 feet and it does work through walls pretty well, so place it as high as you can and still be able to connect to it from your working location. To turn on the GO!, simply flip up the antenna.
Open up the Wi-Fi setting from your iPhone settings icon and click on ‘Wi-Fi’. Choose the Iridium-06088 Wi-Fi connection. You may also want to turn off ‘Cellular’ data on your iPhone so that you are only communicating with the GO!, and not with your cellular provider.
Next step is open the Iridium GO! app on your iPhone and click on the large login button to login to the GO! device. The admin login and password for the GO! is ‘guest’ and ‘guest’. You can update the security on the GO! to change the password at your convenience. It will ask you to configure your SOS button and a few other features, which can be done easily.
Now press the home button on the iPhone and open up the mail and web app. It will ask for for the three items you received from your mail and web registration. Once entered, this application is ready to use.
Finally, open up the Opera Mini browser, and configure it with these settings. Press the large ‘O’ at the bottom of the screen to open up the setting options. From the settings window, select the ‘Savings Enabled’ screen, which brings up another menu. Click on the ‘Opera Mini’ circle on the top left, and the scroll down to the bottom and ‘Turn off images’. This is the single most important thing you can do to improve you internet connection using the GO!. If you had images on, using the browser would be impossible. Good news, you can still download individual images by selecting the image placeholder on that page.
Finally, click on the iPhone Setting icon, and scroll down to the bottom to find the Opera Mini option. If you click on this, you will see a ‘Google Analytics’ button that you should switch off to limit the amount of data that you are transmitting.
While this is not internet connectivity, we wanted to touch on using phone and messaging since that is now active.
The Iridium GO! terminal will connect automatically to the Iridium satellites. Pair your iPhone again to the Iridium GO! making sure to turn off cellular data on your iPhone settings. Open up the Iridium GO! app on your iPhone and you can now start using the phone and SMS instant messaging service. Make sure to write down your Iridium phone number somewhere so that you can receive calls to your iPhone when you’re out of range (your existing phone number to your iPhone will not work when you’re out of cellular range – only the GO! satellite phone number will.)
To make a call, enter the full dialing sequence: 00 or + [country code] [phone number] using the country/flag drop-down if required, or select a contact. For example, calling a US-based number will look like 001-805-783-4600. Press the green key to initiate the call and press the red key to end the call.
The instant messaging or ‘Message’ option on the Iridium GO! terminal is also available to send and receive instant texts from anyone. You’ll have a new text number that you will need to give out to receive text messages. Like using the phone service, you’ll need to put the country code in front of the text number you wish to reach. For example, if someone’s texting number in the United States is 805-783-4600, you would need to enter 001-805-783-4600 for the text to reach the correct party. You would use the international code for other countries if texting someone in that country.
An email address is also permitted in messaging.
The mail and web app is pretty powerful with an outstanding and fairly reliable mail program. And while you are limited to using @myiridium.net email address, it’s functional for most email use. You can create email offline and then use the ‘Send/Receive Mail’ button on the mail screen at any time.
Web browsing is the most complicated procedure with the Iridium GO! features. It’s a multi-part dance of actions necessary to make a connection, and then a watchful eye to make sure that the connection has not dropped.
To start a web session, open up the mail and web app and select the ‘Web’ icon on the bottom. This is the way you will initialize all of your browsing sessions using the Iridium GO!. Click on ‘Connect’ at the top-left side of the white screen. The GO! will open up a data session over the Iridium GO! and automatically open up the Opera Mini web browser. Please make sure the Opera Mini browser is optimized for web browsing (as shown in step four) or web pages will not load properly.
You are now online. The first web page loaded will be the Iridium mobile website page, which has a number of useful links at the bottom of the page.
The key to using the Opera Mini browser successfully in by looking at the green progress bar at the top of the screen. If you don’t see this green bar, then you need to perform an action again.
There is also the spinning circle at the top of the Opera screen that is also a progress bar, but this one is not as important as the green bar, which shows the progress over the GO! connection.