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iPhone 6 Has Super Accurate Local Weather

Jun 20 2014, 5:43am CDT | by , in News | Apple

iPhone 6 Has Super Accurate Local Weather
 
 

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iPhone 6 Has Super Accurate Local Weather

All talk of the iPhone 6 has centred around one thing: size (and Taiwanese pop stars). But a close look at iOS 8 code shows it will be far from the only talking point when Apple launches the biggest iPhone redesign to date.

In fact one of the biggest looks set to be an integrated barometer after 9toMac5 discovered reference to it in multiple lines of iOS 8 code.

Barometers measure air pressure and are a staple part of meteorology, being the most accurate way to determine local weather. With Apple’s growing focus on health and sport, being able to analyse microclimates quickly would have major benefits to runners, cyclists, hikers and even those just walking to the shops.

Smart Home And Wearables Revolution?

Furthermore the barometer looks set to have a far bigger role in iOS 8 than just giving granular weather predictions. 9to5Mac finds the functionality is tied into updated CoreMotion APIs which would open it up to app developers – notably for smart home integration.

This opens up a number of intriguing scenarios. For example, do you ask / check your phone if it is going to rain before you leave the house? With this API your smart home could warn you when you open the front door. It would also tie to calendar events and be a natural fit with wearables – like the much rumoured iWatch – as it could deliver fast, accurate climate information almost instantaneously.

That isn’t all. Using air pressure barometers can track altitude with greater speed, accuracy and less drain on system resources than the existing method of combining GPS and Motion chips in the iPhone 5/5S.

Tests Backup Code Discovery

But could it all be coincidence? It looks unlikely.

9to5Mac was also able to test the new code framework on an iPhone 5S using existing altitude apps within the App Store to see if it was just an elaborate way of referring to existing functionality. It got the message that the handset did not have the functionality required and the same results were found by Ortwin Gentz, developer of the Where To and Streets location apps on iOS. All of which strongly suggests this is new functionality reserved for a new handset.

Even the iPhone 5s returns NO to [CMAltimeter isRelativeAltitudeAvailable]. So I assume the iPhone 6 will come with a barometer.

— Ortwin Gentz (@ortwingentz) June 18, 2014

Interestingly, should the iPhone 6 indeed sport a barometer, it won’t be the first handset on the market to do so. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S3, S4 and S5 all feature barometers but since this is not a standard for every Android phone third party developer support has been patchy – something that wouldn’t be a problem if Apple does integrate it into every iPhone going forward.

Signs are it will.

More on Forbes

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