Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming smartphone iteration, presumably dubbed the “iPhone 6,” is expected to be a major upgrade from the current model not only by virtue of a larger display, but also because of new sensors that will allow the phone to spit out atmospheric measurements.
The iPhone 6, which is expected to be released sometime in mid-September, could feature a barometer and other sensors that will help the phone measure altitude and atmospheric pressure, and provide accurate weather-related information, 9to5Mac reported, adding that the iPhone 6 could be handy for outdoor enthusiasts.
A barometer sensor, which is already present in Android devices such as the Galaxy Nexus, can also use air pressure data to measure other weather-related information like temperature and humidity, according to the 9to5Mac report, which was based on FutureTap developer Ortwin Gentz’s findings of a framework related to “altitude tracking” inside a version of Xcode 6, the latest iPhone software development kit, for iOS 8.
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
Gentz also tested the framework on an iPhone 5s and found that the device did not support it. 9to5Mac also tried to test the framework and ended up with a similar result, indicating that the new altitude-tracking feature is planned for new, unreleased Apple devices, including the iPhone 6, the new iPads and the iWatch.
There are many applications on the App Store that can track altitude by using the iOS device’s GPS and Motion chips. But, a barometer in the iPhone 6 would have its own dedicated chip to be more accurate and to more quickly load data.
Media reports surfaced in March claiming that the iPhone 6 is expected to feature different sensors to track pressure, temperature and humidity. According to 9to5Mac, these new sensors could be part of the M8 motion co-processor, a likely component of the A8 processor, which is expected to power the iPhone 6.
In addition to the new sensors, the iPhone 6 is also rumored to sport a sharper display made of sapphire glass and a slimmer design with curved edges. The new iPhone is also likely to have a bigger display, with some reports suggesting that Apple could launch two iPhones with bigger screen sizes, measuring 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches.