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  • Tests Show Motion Sensors in iPhone 5S May be Calibrated Incorrectly


    When people think of the iPhone, many associate features such as build quality and reliability with the device lineup. A recent examination appears to show otherwise though with sensors in at least some models of the iPhone 5S being noticeably miscalibrated. Developers of many apps seem to have taken advantage of the sensors that Apple builds into its handsets, using the technology for games, measurements, navigation and more. The folks over at Gizmodo ran a series of tests which were conducted on two separate iPhone 5S units showing that these units give inaccurate measures for the device’s level, accelerometer, compass and gyroscope.

    The tests compared the iPhone 5S’ results against those of the iPhone 5 and a number of dedicated physical measuring tools. In testing the device’s leveling calibration, the iPhone 5S’ readout was 2-3 degrees when compared against a Stanley spirit level. Other users reported that 5S’ readout was off by 4-6 degrees. The iPhone 5 gave a reading nearly identical to the physical level, indicating that hardware could be the issue.

    It appears that the gyroscopic function in the iPhone 5S, which relies on the same hardware as the inclinometer, fared a little better. The iPhone 5 showed the expected 0-degree readout when set on a level table. The iPhone 5S however, showed -3 degrees off level. In additional tests, the compass app on the iPhone 5 showed a more accurate reading for magnetic north when compared against a real compass than it did on the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5 and 5S were consistently measured at 8-10 degrees apart. The accelerometer on the newer iPhone also seems to be reliably registered more latent motion than did the one in the iPhone 5.

    The folks conducting the test noted that it is far from conclusive but that it appears to be in line with what has been seen in other tests of the device’s sensors. It is unclear to what extent the flawed readings stem from hardware but the report expresses confidence that at least some of the problems could be mitigated with a software update. Several users have reportedly taken their devices back to have them exchanged with some reporting that the problem has disappeared.

    Source: Gizmodo
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Tests Show Motion Sensors in iPhone 5S May be Calibrated Incorrectly started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. iNfEk's Avatar
      iNfEk -
      Great. 😑 Now how do we correct the suspected problem.
    1. kosher1's Avatar
      kosher1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iNfEk View Post
      Great. 😑 Now how do we correct the suspected problem.
      Ohhhh don't worry. Tim will say its fixable via a software update I'm sure.
    1. i113's Avatar
      i113 -
      Or warranty, they're only a few days old.
    1. MattKemp27's Avatar
      MattKemp27 -
      I noticed this playing a game. Hopefully they fix it
    1. kalpesh78's Avatar
      kalpesh78 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iNfEk View Post
      Great.  Now how do we correct the suspected problem.
      duct tape and hardware patch.
    1. towboattrash34's Avatar
      towboattrash34 -
      I've noticed it last week. I thought there might be a setting off but I recon not.
      Even the wall paper is jumpy and moves when you tilt the ph
    1. Jato_BZ's Avatar
      Jato_BZ -
      Quote Originally Posted by iNfEk View Post
      Great. 😑 Now how do we correct the suspected problem.
      Recall? :-/
    1. AlinBoy's Avatar
      AlinBoy -
      I have same problem on iphone 4s after I installed ios7..
    1. PokemonDesigner's Avatar
      PokemonDesigner -
      I honestly think it's software because pretty much everything on my 4s 7.0.2 has been jacked up because of it.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      I'm not too bothered by this as I don't use those kinda gimmicky tools, but it is annoying and hopefully will be fixed in short order like the other glitches already have been.

      Quote Originally Posted by kosher1 View Post
      Ohhhh don't worry. Tim will say its fixable via a software update I'm sure.
      It's just a calibration issue. Why wouldn't be possible to fix with a software update?
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      A serious problem if you're a pilot using these sensors in a flight app as backup to your primary flight instruments.
    1. Greatbiguns's Avatar
      Greatbiguns -
      Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
      A serious problem if you're a pilot using these sensors in a flight app as backup to your primary flight instruments.
      Great, now I'm going to be totally lost...
      ...Where am I?
    1. spectrum's Avatar
      spectrum -
      Shut er down oh my goodness I can't do carpentry anymore. Good thing my car is perfect with the direction. Ya right. I guess I will have have to continue playing games on my xbox with a 39 inch screen instead of this 4 inch. How awful.
    1. oneduality's Avatar
      oneduality -
      I'd definitely say it could be fixed in software, even if it's a hardware problem they can just offset it in the API that returns the values to the apps I'm sure .. value = value minus offset =)
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by oneduality View Post
      I'd definitely say it could be fixed in software, even if it's a hardware problem they can just offset it in the API that returns the values to the apps I'm sure .. value = value minus offset =)
      If it's a constant error, sure. If it's even a linear error, or worse, nonlinear, good luck with a software fix.

      I wonder if the problem is not the sensors themselves, but the now-separate sensor-cpu that uses less power?
    1. Rescuer's Avatar
      Rescuer -
      you're holding it wrong
    1. JeffJ's Avatar
      JeffJ -
      This does not state if the Iphones calibrated were both using magnetic or true north at same time. You can not use magnetic compasses in close proximity to each other, the magnets will cancel out a true reading. A compass next to a metal object (Iphone) also is not accurate. Depending on where the tests were conducted there can be a 6 degree difference in magnetic and true north within the U.S. Close proximity to plumbing, wiring, and metal support structures within a building can also skew results
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rescuer View Post
      you're holding it wrong
      +1
    1. FireSpyder's Avatar
      FireSpyder -
      Quote Originally Posted by JeffJ View Post
      This does not state if the Iphones calibrated were both using magnetic or true north at same time. You can not use magnetic compasses in close proximity to each other, the magnets will cancel out a true reading. A compass next to a metal object (Iphone) also is not accurate. Depending on where the tests were conducted there can be a 6 degree difference in magnetic and true north within the U.S. Close proximity to plumbing, wiring, and metal support structures within a building can also skew results
      There is much more than 6 degrees difference. Magnetic can be off of true by up to 16° west on the east coast and almost 25° in Alaska. Still a valid point though.
    1. iH85CH001's Avatar
      iH85CH001 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rescuer View Post
      you're holding it wrong
      lol