AirDrop not available for devices hotspotted to iPhone

Several years ago I raised concerns about iPads automatically turning on hotspot on an iPhone, if previously linked to that iPhone.
This still happens and today it became a real nuisance because I was trying to Airdrop several photos from an iPhone to an iPad. Airdrop will not work if the iPad is hotspotting from the iPhone. I turn hotspot off on the iPhone in order to Airdrop and a minute or so later the iPad turns it back on.
I tried turning Auto-join off on the iPad but this did not change things. The iPad attempts to join when its wifi is turned on.
There doesn’t seem a way to avoid this nuisance behaviour.

Never observed anything close to this between my 10.5" iPad Pro and my iPhone 7. In fact, it’s always a drill to get the iPad to auto-hotspot to my iPhone when I want it to during Internet outages. I have it all setup to do that automatically, but always seem to have to turn hotspot to on instead of auto before I can get either the iPad or iMac to connect.

Have you tried Forget this network ?

“Forget this network” sort of defeats the purpose of using a hotspot when there is no wifi.
This is happening while we are travelling. It is convenient to automatically connect but I need to temporarily disable hotspot in order to Airdrop photos. I prefer to do this by turning hotspot “off” on the iPhone, since that is where the photos are. The problem I have is that the iPad (with same iCloud sign-in) turns it back on!

Very strange, because I just tried this, and as long as the iPhone had its display on and unlocked, I was able to AirDrop from my iPad connected through the phone’s hotspot to the iPhone, and from the phone to the iPad.

Actually, don’t forget the network. Turn off the Auto Join. That will do the trick. You can do this when you’re connected to the iPhone’s hotspot, but not when it’s just in the list of WiFi options. Press the i in the circle on the right.

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Thanks David but this was what I tried first and led to this thread as the iPad still forced the hotspot connection. It has a mind of its own!
I haven’t tried rebooting the iPad since turning off auto-join but I doubt if that will fix it. It is clearly an oversight in iPadOS.

I have an iPad. It’s setup to use my iPhone as a hotspot, but it don’t join automatically.

However, it could be because I have a WiFi network that I can connect to. I wonder what would happen if I was somewhere without a hotspot.

There’s another setting on the bottom of the Wifi list. There are two settings, Ask to Join Networks and Auto-join Hotspots. I have these off. What are these settings?

Ask to Join Networks determines what iOS does if none of your favorite access points (that is, those you have previously connected to and did not turn off auto-join and did not forget). In iOS 15, there are three options (description from my phone’s help text):

  • Off: Known networks will be joined automatically. If no known networks are available, you will have to manually select a network.

    In other words, if there are no known networks available, the phone will do nothing and you will not be connected to any Wi-Fi network.

  • Notify: Known networks will be joined automatically. If no known networks are available, you will be notified of available networks.

    In other words, if there are no known networks available, the phone will present you a list of available networks. You can then select one in order to join it.

  • Ask: Known networks will be joined automatically. If no known networks are available, you will be asked before joining a new network.

    In other words, if there are no known networks, the phone will select an available network and ask you if you want to join it.

I’m unfamiliar with Auto-Join Hotspot, but the on-device help text says:

Alow this device to automatically discover nearby personal hotspots when no Wi-Fi network is available

I assume this is talking about hot-spots created by iPhones and Macs for network sharing. It has three options. Here’s my understanding about the behavior:

  • Never: If there is no available Wi-Fi, do nothing. If you want to connect to a hotspot, you will have to manually select it from the list of available Wi-Fi networks.
  • Ask to Join: If there is no available Wi-Fi, but an avalable hotspot is nearby, iOS will ask you if you want to connect to it.
  • Automatic: If there is no available Wi-Fi, but an available hotspot nearby, iOS will automatically try to connect to it.

FWIW, on my devices I have these settings set to Off and Never. I don’t want my devices ever trying to connect to a network if I didn’t explicitly tell it to do so.

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FWIW, on my devices I have these settings set to Off and Never. I don’t want my devices ever trying to connect to a network if I didn’t explicitly tell it to do so.

The same result can be achieved by setting them to “Ask” and “Ask to Join” with the advantage of knowing if you have lost local network WiFi connectivity.

-Al-

That is the point of my original gripe with Apple - away from wifi the iPad turns the iPhone hotspot “on” and remains on until I turn it off (meaning the hotspot is visible to nearby iOS devices - not withstanding it is password protected). i realise there are settings to prevent this but they are a nuisance to use. I simply want hotspot to stay off if I turn it off.