Feeds

iPhone 5S autopsy shows WHY it can't tell which end is up – dev

How faulty levelling caused Jesus phone to lose its balance

Reducing security risks from open source software

Balance problems plaguing the iPhone 5S popped up with the first reviews. But a teardown by Chipworks and the musings of an iOS dev have isolated a likely reason why the steering on that motor racing app is about 5 degrees off.

It's all down to a replacement accelerometer which lacks the accuracy of its forebear.

Although inaccuracies in the iPhone 5 accelerometer are not a critical issue, they have certainly annoyed some users, and have definitely irritated developers.

The problem in Apple's latest uber-phone shifts gravity by as much as five degrees, but now iOS dev RealityCap has a theory, based on the iPhone 5S teardown, which discovered that Apple has substituted the ST part used in previous models for a lower-power alternative from Bosch.

Talking in the company blog, RealityCap CEO Eagle Jones explains that the two parts are similar, and remains at a loss to explain why Apple made the switch – though he does have some suggestions for addressing the problem.

The new part, the Bosch Sensortech BMA220, does use a little less power. The consumption is roughly the same though it only requires 1.8 volts compared to the 2.5 volts consumed by the previously-favoured ST LIS331DLH, so that might explain the switch.

Jones argues that the prices are roughly the same, but component prices are very hard to judge as they're hugely dependent on scale and often vary based on what other goods one is ordering and the bragging value of one's brand.

Ask a component supplier how much something costs and they'll invariably reply "how many do you want", a statement generally followed (in your correspondent's experience) by lunch and a few drinks to narrow both numbers into something from which one can negotiate.

The Bosch part is, according to the specifications, less accurate than the ST alternative, and accounts for the variance seen by iPhone users, but Chipworks also reckons the variance on a particular device doesn't change, so the problem could be fixed with a calibration process of some sort.

Apple could do that, as part of the production process, but has shown no inclination to do so. Developers can now think about how they might implement such a thing and RealityCap promises to share some ideas on the subject in the near future. One way or another, the days when an iPhone doesn't know which way is up are probably drawing to a close. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.