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

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.