A new nifty piece of code discovered in the iOS 4.3 beta firmware has revealed that the next generation of iPad could come with a proximity sensor. Traditionally, proximity sensors have been employed on touchscreen phones to disable multitouch functions while making a phone call. Not surprisingly, the availability of a proximity sensor on an iPad has caused a number of speculations about possible phone-capabilities.
Apparently, the proximity sensor is going to be provided in iPad 2 for an entirely different reason – case lock. The proximity sensor could possibly help the iPad automatically lock itself when an iPad casing is closed and then unlock when opened.
Some users also speculate that such a feature could be useful in future variants of the iPad that may come without the Home button and Sleep/Wake buttons. That however, is purely speculation at this point.
What do you think of this feature? Do you see other use-case scenarios for a proximity sensor on an iPad? Tell us in the comments.
It looks like Gray Powell (that same Apple engineer who lost his iPhone in a bar) lost the only handset Apple had for testing prior to its launch. Otherwise, it is difficult to believe that the new iPhone has so many flaws that are becoming apparent with every passing day.
First, users complained about noticing yellow or brown splotches on the much-touted retina display of the new iPhone 4. The issue was dismissed as a “residue from manufacturing” that should resolve with usage. There were a few reported scratches on the glass casing that appeared to be an anomaly.
This was followed by reports that suggested that the positioning of the antenna band resulted in poor signal reception on iPhone 4. The news was followed by a controversial statement from Steve Jobs who remarked that users were holding their device the wrong way.
The troubles seem to be far from over. Users are now reporting that the extra-sensitive proximity sensor on the new iPhone could be unintentionally meddling with user-input. Users note that their calls have been hung-up or muted without their consent. Other users have also noted frequent “cheek dialing” and migration to FaceTime because of the super-sensitive nature of the iPhone’s proximity sensor.
Here’s a quote from a user on the Apple support forums
“1st call I made I kept hearing as if someone was dialing a number…only later did I realize it was me hitting it with my cheek over and over again.
2nd call later that night i looked up my contacts and called a friend. Was talking with him and then when I was talking to him it started dialing somone in my contacts that is the least person I would want to call right now and made a three way call! I couldn’t believe it.
Basically I can’t risk this and can’t keep ending calls or dialing numbers or hitting buttons….if there is no software fix for this….I may actually need to return this within the 30 day period. I’m not going to risk this potentially being a massive hardware issue and not software.”
Are you facing these issues? Tell us your problem in the comments.