The iPhone includes a variety of sensors like the camera, compass, gyroscope and accelerometer that let the device become aware of its surroundings. The iPhone 6 will become more capable on this front with new built-in barometer.
A barometer measures atmospheric pressure at a point, and equipped with this information, it could further derive current altitude and weather data. Many Android phones including the Galaxy Nexus had a barometer, whose main purpose was to make GPS location fetches faster.
Evidence of a barometer sensor were found in the iOS 8 SDK, that includes new methods to get altitude data. The methods are a part of the CoreMotion framework, which also includes a check to determine if the device supports getting altitude data. As you’d expect, the iPhone 5s isn’t compatible, further hinting that this new functionality will be available in a newer iPhone, or even in the much-rumored iWatch.
9to5Mac also found references to ambient pressure tracking:
We’ve located references to ambient pressure tracking in iOS 8. This plays into determining weather in addition to altitude. For instance, a barometer can analyze air pressure to determine incoming rain or sunshine, and this also could open up a new ecosystem of App Store applications for professionals like pilots and enthusiasts like mountain climbers. This weather functionality could potentially even connect to some sort of crowd-sourced weather project. The barometer will also extensively integrate with iOS 8′s new location tracking capabilities for indoor-mapping and determining what floor of a building a user is on.
We had previously reported about iOS 8’s new ability to detect not just location, but even floor number, along with other improvements to the Location framework. A previous rumor claimed that Apple will add pressure, temperature and humidity sensors to the iPhone 6.
The Compass app on the iPhone 6 will reportedly also include altitude tracking, that would utilise these new sensors under-the-hood.
Apple is widely expected to launch the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models later this fall. iPhone 6 is also expected to include Apple’s new A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and an improved 8-megapixel camera.
Let us know what you think about these new features that will reportedly be a part of iPhone 6.