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Magnetometer confirmed for iPhone 3.0?

updated 09:20 am EDT, Fri May 8, 2009

iPhone magnetometer?

Rumors of a magnetometer in the next iPhone may have been confirmed, following leaked screenshots of the new iPhone debugging menus. Posted images show a new compass option, which can be turned on and off within General Location settings. Indications of a digital compass were first reported in April, when configuration files were observed to have references such as "auto-focus camera," "Voice Control" and "magnetometer."

Apple is expected to release the final version of the iPhone 3.0 firmware this summer, and one or more matching devices shortly after June's WWDC event. An apparently accelerating schedule for beta firmware may indicate that Apple intends to release iPhone 3.0 on or around WWDC, possibly as a means of circumventing the problems experienced during the iPhone 3G launch last July. In attempting to release new hardware, firmware and the MobileMe online service simulataneously, Apple overburdened networks and left many code problems unresolved.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Mimi-mim

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    That is sweet

    Combined with the GPS option, a magnetometer would be a killer application.

    I love it.

    Microsoft sits on its laurels when it gets ahead of the pack. Apple? Not a chance.

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    magnetometer?

    This is maybe the wrong term for the possible addition. A magnetometer would allow the user to find buried shipwrecks. If this is true I'm getting one without a contract just for that feature alone. However, this is simply a compass, not a magnetometer. Jees!

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Didn't Palm have a

    magnetometer in their handsets at least five years ago?

    Every time the iPhone has some feature, some Palm fanboy says that Palm had it at least five years ago and it worked better than what the iPhone has. I wonder why Palm almost went out of business after having everything five years ago.

    Of course, everyone will be throwing their iPhones away to buy a crappy Palm Pre for it's wonderful keyboard and multi-tasking capabilities. Bite it, Pre fanboys.

  1. Gazoobee

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    compas = magnetometer

    @jdonahoe: a compass is a magnetometer in that it senses the earths magnetic field. magnetometer is the super-category of which a compass is one member.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -10

    Big deal...

    Palm had this 5 years ago!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -11

    But really...

    Is this really a surprise? I mean, I could have sworn I saw an iPhone commercial where Apple was showing off a compass app.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -13

    But really...

    Is this really a surprise? I mean, I could have sworn I saw an iPhone commercial where Apple was showing off a compass app.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -12

    But really...

    Is this really a surprise? I mean, I could have sworn I saw an iPhone commercial where Apple was showing off a compass app.

  1. akulavolk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    GPS

    Don't you get digital compass capability for free w/out having a magnetometer built in? My cheapo Garmin Etrex handheld GPS has a digital compass built-iun. The device just looks for which way is North per GPS triangulation. No need to sense magnetism...just to direct the way to the North direction via GPS.

    Since 3G iPhones have GPS, why would a magnetometer be needed for a compass?

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    A digital compass is nice

    The difference between using GPS to triangulate a north direction and having a digital compass is that the GPS only shows direction when there is constant or at least some motion. If you took a reading of north and very slowly turned on your heel, the GPS would have you still pointing the original direction, unless it also had a digital compass.

    As far as magnetometers are concerned, geophysicists cringe at the notion of digital compasses being referred to as magnetometers.

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