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  • Apple Rejects App That Monitors Cell Radiation


    Apple has rejected an app that allows users to determine the radio frequency energy emitted by the iPhone on the grounds that the information would "create confusion with iPhone owners from a usability perspective." The Tawkon app was developed by a team of Israeli engineers over 18 months, and figures the amount of energy your head absorbs by estimating the power output of the iPhone's radio.

    Cell phone radiation is the subject of considerable debate, with manufacturers (predictably) on one side, consumer groups on the other, and scientists somewhere in the middle. The World Health Organization has stated, based on the consensus view of scientists studying the issue, that it is unlikely that cancer could be caused by cell phone use. However, some studies have shown an increased risk of a benign tumor of the auditory nerve, and many countries have recommended specific limits on the amount of energy that is safe for your head to absorb. The specific absorption rate (SAR) metric is used to measure of the rate at which energy is absorbed by the body, in watts per kilogram. The US has set a SAR limit of 1.6 W/kg for cell phone use. The iPhone 3GS maxes out at a SAR of 0.79 W/kg, while the older 3G puts out 1.38 W/kg.

    The amount of power the phone's radio puts out at any given moment obviously affects the SAR, and different things will cause the radio to work harder. For example, if you're holding your phone in a way that covers the antenna, the phone will have to boost the radio to compensate. Likewise, if you're deep inside a building as opposed to being out in the open, or if weather conditions limit the radio signal, the cellular base station will instruct the phone to transmit at a higher level. But there's no way to know what power level your phone's radio is using at a particular time, so you might be exposing yourself to more energy than you're expecting.

    This is where Tawkon comes in… or came in, before the ban hammer dropped. According to the company website, Tawkon uses your phone's GPS and compass as well as the accelerometer and proximity sensor to determine the distance from cellular towers, the speed you're moving at, the weather, terrain, how close the antenna’s is from your body, and whether the antenna is vertical or horizontal. It uses all these factors to calculate a prediction of how much energy your body is absorbing at a particular moment.

    In order to monitor your exposure in real time, Tawkon allows you to access your address book from inside the app so you can make a call. It monitors the "radiation levels" with an intuitive green-yellow-red display, and warns you with a vibration and a tone if you get too close to the "red zone." Using the phone's proximity sensor, Tawkon also makes suggestions like recommending a better location, using a headset or changing the iPhone’s orientation relative to your face.

    Tawkon had been languishing in the approval process for a couple of weeks, the company told TechCrunch's Roi Carthy, and ultimately Apple denied approval on the grounds that the information Tawkon provided would create confusion with iPhone owners from a usability perspective. Use of the term "radiation" is a bit scary: emissions at the frequencies that cell phones use are not ionizing, and are far, far below levels used to create dielectric heating in a microwave oven. However, the idea that the way to prevent "confusion" is to keep users from getting information about their exposure seems specious reasoning at best.

    Tawkon told Carthy that they hope Apple will eventually approve the app, and that they intend to sell it for between $5 and $10 US. They are working on Blackberry and Android versions, so hopefully mere competitive pressures will encourage Apple to do the right thing here.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Rejects App That Monitors Cell Radiation started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. pyromcr's Avatar
      pyromcr -
      I heard that the iphone gives off the most radiation of any other smart phone. that it probably why they rejected it. wait for it to show up on cydia and see how much radiation you are getting!
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      lol. Apple is so stupid. I can't wait for lawsuits over their heavy-handed way of doing things.
    1. iBwizzle's Avatar
      iBwizzle -
      iPhone - Jailbreak = Dumb-phone!
    1. equazian's Avatar
      equazian -
      well it's official: apple wants their customers to have cancer D:
    1. leftcoast1's Avatar
      leftcoast1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by pyromcr View Post
      I heard that the iphone gives off the most radiation of any other smart phone. that it probably why they rejected it. wait for it to show up on cydia and see how much radiation you are getting!
      compared to what? have you done any investigating or do you just like saying arbitrary statements? frankly, i don't think any phone manufacturer wants to acknowledge radiation. once there's definitive proof, the class action lawsuits will come pouring in and no manufacturer would willingly give plaintiffs ammunition to support their cause.

      this would be akin to having a carcinogen monitor on your cigarettes in the 80s.
    1. Kroo's Avatar
      Kroo -
      If you're not already aware of the risk, with all phones, then you're an idiot. Do cigarette smokers need to be told of the dangers, or alcoholics, or potheads? This is why we have to put "contents hot" on a freakin cup of coffee, coz people choose to be sooo stupid and ignore what is plain common sense. If you're not using an earpiece (which comes with most new phones) then you're stupid enough to need something like a radiation meter. By the time you power up the app, you could have put the damn earpiece in your ear. Are people really that dumb??
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      To hell with the crap store, bring it to Cydia, we'll take this fine product.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by iBwizzle View Post
      iPhone - Jailbreak = Dumb-phone!
      Huh, What are you trying to say

      Quote Originally Posted by Kroo View Post
      If you're not already aware of the risk, with all phones, then you're an idiot. Do cigarette smokers need to be told of the dangers, or alcoholics, or potheads? This is why we have to put "contents hot" on a freakin cup of coffee, coz people choose to be sooo stupid and ignore what is plain common sense. If you're not using an earpiece (which comes with most new phones) then you're stupid enough to need something like a radiation meter. By the time you power up the app, you could have put the damn earpiece in your ear. Are people really that dumb??

      Read more about ipad by modmyi.com
      the phone is still near you with a head set unless you have bluetooth and take all your calls in another room, what do you do as soon as the phone rings and you have hold of it do you put it down and run away from it

      Edit: yes pot heads, smokers and alcoholics do need to be told, cigarettes come with warnings, and doctors offices, hospitals and clinics have signs for drinking and general drug abuse

      anyway It looks like a cool app
    1. Kroo's Avatar
      Kroo -
      Quote Originally Posted by dsg View Post
      Huh, What are you trying to say



      the phone is still near you with a head set unless you have bluetooth and take all your calls in another room, what do you do as soon as the phone rings and you have hold of it do you put it down and run away from it

      Edit: yes pot heads, smokers and alcoholics do need to be told, cigarettes come with warnings, and doctors offices, hospitals and clinics have signs for drinking and general drug abuse

      anyway It looks like a cool app
      Even though smart people know of the dangers, the'll buy an app, open it up, answer the phone and watch how much radiation is being pumped into their heads??? Wot are you smokin dude? I'd rather have my earpiece in my ear, and my phone in my pocket. My legs not gunna get brain damage is it?? If my call is going to be longer than 1 minute, then the earpiece goes on, not that hard really. In the car, where I live, you HAVE to have a remote device because it's illegal to touch the phone whilst driving. I don't smoke, I know the dangers, I don't do drugs, I know the dangers, I don't use excessive amounts of alcohol, I know the dangers, I don't go out into the sun without factor 30+, coz I know the dangers, and I don't stick a microwave transmitter (my phone) next to my head, longer than a minute, because I know the dangers. Maybe we need an app to measure how dumb some people are, I bet it'll make a squillion!!

      BTW, how does this app measure the microwaves anyway??? Scam I rekon.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      I'd rather have my earpiece in my ear, and my phone in my pocket
      close to your nuts and get testicle cancer yeah, what I'm saying is this app might just help to avoid the high risk.

      where I live, you HAVE to have a remote device because it's illegal to touch the phone whilst driving
      same here in the uk

      Maybe we need an app to measure how dumb some people are
      It's been done, there called internet forums!!!!

      Edit:
      BTW, how does this app measure the microwaves anyway??? Scam I rekon
      I don't know, through the mic maybe????? edit:< thats BS
    1. iPhone3G[S]'s Avatar
      iPhone3G[S] -
      As if the iPhone had the proper hardware to detect radiation.. LOL
    1. Kroo's Avatar
      Kroo -
      Quote Originally Posted by dsg View Post
      close to your nuts and get testicle cancer yeah, what I'm saying is this app might just help to avoid the high risk.



      Edit: I don't know, through the mic maybe?????
      This has to be a fake. How can a software app measure incoming microwave transmission? Through the mic? Get real. Internet forums seem to be a good measure of gullibility as well as stupidity ay dsg??

      FAIL
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Edit: I'm not thinking right, it's more likely the app measures the radiation through the radio receiver of the iPhone, the one that lets you hear the person on the other end of the phone line it would be very accurate. read this

      Quote Originally Posted by iPhone3G[S] View Post
      As if the iPhone had the proper hardware to detect radiation.. LOL
      All phones have the ideal equipment to detect the radiation, even a mobile phone from the 90's or earlier. correct me if I'm wrong
    1. Kroo's Avatar
      Kroo -
      Quote Originally Posted by dsg View Post
      I'll try not to hurt your brain but have a read of this, i'll presume you read it microphones pick up sound the sound is measured in herts, hrmm wasn't that in the document you read from my link, most mics can't even get anywhere near the frequencies of the carrier signal a mobile phone uses(being more precise there not able to at all), but there are ripples though sound call harmonics, these in theory could be detected with a microphone. I'm not stating this as fact just saying it might be possible.....
      Perhaps yours has had too much EMF pumped through it, and you still believe in fairytales. I'll need more than just a theory, considering the mic is a good 3-4 inches from the transmitter at the top, rear of the phone, and any interference would pollute any reading, if your theory is true. Again, an app wouldn't protected you, but as much distance from the head to the phone is the only real measure, aside from not using the phone at all.

      When you're dealing with such a real and present danger here, I wouldn't be putting my trust in an app that may just be a toy. Perhaps it was removed because it has no measuring qualities at all. Would you stake your reputation on it?
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      I edited that post as I was been stupid

      Edit: I'm not thinking right, it's more likely the app measures the radiation through the radio receiver of the iPhone, the one that lets you hear the person on the other end of the phone line it would be very accurate. read this

      Quote Originally Posted by iPhone3G[S] View Post
      As if the iPhone had the proper hardware to detect radiation.. LOL
      All phones have the ideal equipment to detect the radiation, even a mobile phone from the 90's or earlier. correct me if I'm wrong
    1. Plotkin35's Avatar
      Plotkin35 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kroo View Post
      If you're not already aware of the risk, with all phones, then you're an idiot. Do cigarette smokers need to be told of the dangers, or alcoholics, or potheads? This is why we have to put "contents hot" on a freakin cup of coffee, coz people choose to be sooo stupid and ignore what is plain common sense. If you're not using an earpiece (which comes with most new phones) then you're stupid enough to need something like a radiation meter. By the time you power up the app, you could have put the damn earpiece in your ear. Are people really that dumb??
      Potheads? What do they have to do with things? You don't hear them complaining about cancer......we just chill and enjoy our JB iPhones :-)
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      i like radioactive waves.
    1. iMack007's Avatar
      iMack007 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Plotkin35 View Post
      Potheads? What do they have to do with things? You don't hear them complaining about cancer......we just chill and enjoy our JB iPhones :-)
      Right on
    1. redcard's Avatar
      redcard -
      This is about as useful as those lie detector apps.

      18 months to develop this? Pretty sure someone could've done it in a day.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Just another app to spread FUD.
      If you think phones are bad for you then don't use them.
      I think this is one of the most stupid scare stories of recent years but some people just look for trouble and will believe anything.
      there is no evidence of phones causing health problems but some people take lack of evidence that they don't as proof that they *might*.
      I really don't understand that "logic".