Much has been said about the larger screen and the redesigned chassis expected from the iPhone 6 but Apple’s upcoming flagship may arrive with a couple of features that nobody saw coming. Recent analysis of some code in iOS 8 suggests the new devices will include a built-in barometer, opening up a wealth of possibilities.
As 9to5Mac points out, the sensor – commonly found in Android-based handsets – would allow the iPhone to more accurately track altitude. It’s a feat already possible using an iOS device’s GPS and motion chips but a dedicated barometer would offer faster and more accurate data.
Aside from altitude information, the sensor could also provide insight on current and future weather trends via air pressure data. Such information could be valuable to outdoor types like hikers, bike riders, mountain climbers and the like, especially considering Apple’s focus on health monitoring in iOS 8. It could equally be useful for amateur pilots, we’re told.
Taking it a step further, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Apple use this weather functionality to feed some type of crowd-sourced weather project to build hyper-accurate, real-time weather reports. Maybe we’re dreaming here but it could be possible.
In addition to the iPhone 6, the new sensors could show up in refreshed iPads as well as the long-rumored iWatch. Earlier reports suggested we may also see humidity, temperature and pressure sensors in upcoming iDevices later this year.