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Iphone Bug Cellphones Apple

Proximity Sensor Presents Latest iPhone 4 Issue 446

tekgoblin sends news of the latest iPhone 4 glitch being reported in user forums and elsewhere: the phone's proximity sensor seems not to be detecting nearby faces, as it is designed to do, in order to deactivate the screen during a call. The result is often unintended input. "On the iPhone 3GS, the proximity sensor was located to the left of the earpiece speaker. But that space on iPhone 4 is now occupied by the front-facing camera, and the proximity sensor is above the earpiece. What's not clear is whether the iPhone 4 screen's misbehavior is due to the new location of the sensor, or it's because Apple tweaked the sensor's responses in [some] way."
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Proximity Sensor Presents Latest iPhone 4 Issue

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  • by PatHMV ( 701344 ) <> on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:07PM (#32805540) Homepage
    The antenna issue hasn't bothered me a bit. But this problem affects me every day. Since I got my iPhone, I haven't had one day where at least one call wasn't accidentally disconnected, muted, or interrupted by touchtones as my ear hit various buttons on the keypad. There are a couple of workarounds (use the earphones, or lock the keyboard), but those take time to establish at the beginning of the call.

    My bet is that this can be fixed with a simple software update, but I really don't see how Apple could possibly not have found this issue in their testing. Some reports I've seen suggest that the problem goes away if you put it in a case of some sort, so maybe Apple only tested it with those silly cases that made it look like a 3G when they sent it out in the wild for testing, and the case kept it from having the problem.

    And it seems to me that they could combine the proximity sensor input with the accelerometer and gyroscope inputs. When you hold the phone within a certain range of angles AND the proximity sensor reads X, then turn off the touchscreen.
  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:30PM (#32805722) Homepage

    I now have an iPhone 4. Before that, I was a 3GS user. Before that, Palm Centro, Treo 680, and Treo 650.

    All I can say is that I have absolutely no complaints. Phone gives better audio quality and apparently better signal strength than my 3GS, which also rarely dropped calls and generally had little trouble accessing the 'net even though I live in NYC and supposedly ought not to have even been able to place a call, period.

    I haven't had any issues with the proximity sensor, any issues with signal loss/degredation, etc. No yellow spots, beautiful screen. The device works better than just about any other electronics device (save the 3GS) that I've bought in the last few years. It seems to me that people hold Apple to impossibly high standards compared to other electronics vendors. Few devices or even major computer items (printers, laptops, monitors) I've bought over the last few years have been defect free. Every single one of them has had issues. Many I've exchanged several times trying to get a "good one" (for example, Kensington Expert Mouse with misaligned laser so that motion isn't properly detected, or AOC LCD monitor with control panel buttons that don't register presses).

    People only get into "OMIGODSCANDAL" mode when it's Apple for some reason.

    I'm happy to say that the two Apple devices I've bought (iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4) have satisfied me enough that I'm seriously thinking of getting an iPad (despite previously thinking I wouldn't) and making my next computer a Mac rather than a Thinkpad.

  • Re:Next please! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Monday July 05, 2010 @11:08PM (#32805962)
    Actually, if you are fine with the slowdown apparently there is a way to enable iPhone OS 4 features restricted for the 3Gs on a 3G (see [] ) now I haven't used them so I can't vouch for if they work or not so your results may vary, but if you are looking for a way to enable them while waiting for a new phone, that might be a way. I think on that same site there is a link that tells how to downgrade to 3.X also if you want to go that route.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 05, 2010 @11:47PM (#32806148)
    i think that's why poster said "if".
  • Re:Next please! (Score:3, Informative)

    by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:12AM (#32806336) Journal

    I have tried the jailbreak route. Even enabling the features through activating Apple's own implementations (the .plist edit to enable multitasking and wallpaper) left my phone running unacceptably slow, compared to just acceptably slow with non-jailbroken iOS 4. It also killed my battery life, and the funny thing was it wasn't even the multitasking doing it. I tried just enabling the wallpaper and I had a good 30-40% reduction in battery life while using the phone. Standby time seemed to be unaffected.

  • Re:Next please! (Score:2, Informative)

    by neight108 ( 974915 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:21AM (#32806406)
    Not sure if its Honda, but there's a debate that 9-3 is safer if the air bag deploys: []
  • Re:Next please! (Score:4, Informative)

    by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:30AM (#32806506) Journal
    In pretty much every country that I know of, Honda cannot revoke the warranty on my car if I install an espresso machine, or use Goodyear tires. My engine and suspension are still under warranty as long as I use tires of the correct size...
  • Re:Next please! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Nysul ( 1816168 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:05AM (#32806734)
    Except the iphone 4 drops less calls than the 3GS. [] I have no reception issues with my iphone, and I am not an apple apologist. Yes they should test better, yes they should have added non-conductive coating, yes itunes felches, but in actual use it works better than the 3GS as from the article: "There's no doubt in my mind this iPhone gets the best cellular reception yet, even though measured signal is lower than the 3GS."
  • by mikeskup ( 1337 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:25AM (#32807228) Homepage Journal

    this seems to be an issue with ios4 (happens on 3gs also) to do with importing from old phone sensor settings on restore...

    after some searching found that

      the fix was to go into settings/general/reset all/ then it recalibrated the sensor....

    have had zero issues since

  • Re:Next please! (Score:3, Informative)

    by yabos ( 719499 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @07:10AM (#32808626)
    I think the RAM is the biggest issue on the 3G. If you plug it into XCode while using it, you can view the console log and apps are getting memory warnings almost non stop. I sometimes can't even listen to the iPod while opening another application and having the iPod quit. I used iOS4 since the first beta and actually beta 1 and 2 were even slower than beta 3 and the final version. Every time the iPhone 3G hits the memory limit, it slows down until it purges things from memory. This is happening a lot more often with iOS4 than it was with 3.x.x
  • Re:Next please! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Eunuchswear ( 210685 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:50AM (#32810078) Journal

    It's because they *did* reinvent the smartphone industry.

    Sez you.

    When before the iPhone were large, mobile touchscreens in vogue?

    Sony Ericson p800, p900.

    Which phone before the iPhone had as much social cache?

    "cache"? "cachet" maybe. Do you really think having a particular brand of mobile phone gives you "cachet". How sad.

    Who before the iPhone had an ecosystem as vibrant as the current App Store?

    You've got a buzzing ecosystem? Call rentokil.

    No phone/mobile computing device before the iPhone had "tricorder-like" qualities.


    Bugger, I've been trolled.

  • Re:Next please! (Score:3, Informative)

    by DaFallus ( 805248 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @11:52AM (#32812000)
    Exactly. The iPhone 4 is only marginally better, from a technical standpoint, than the Nexus One:

    iPhone 4
    • Processor: 1 GHz
    • Storage: 16 or 32 GB
    • Battery: built in 3.7 V 1420 mAh
    • Memory: 512 MB eDRAM
    • Display: LED backlit IPS LCD, 3.5-inch screen (diagonally), 640-by-960-pixel resolution at 326 ppi, 800:1 contrast ratio
    • Camera: Rear 5 MP, HD video (720p) at 30 fps, 1.75 m size pixels, 5× digital zoom, LED flash; Front VGA 0.3MP SD video (480p) at 30 fps 25.17 s size pixels

    Nexus One

    • Processor: 1 GHz
    • Storage: 512 MB onboard, expandable to 32 GB microSDHC
    • Battery: Removable 1400mAh
    • Memory: 512 MB DRAM
    • Display: 480 x 800 px (PenTile RGBG), 3.7 in (94 mm), 254 ppi, 3:5 aspect ratio, WVGA, 24-bit color AMOLED with 100,000:1 contrast ratio and 1 ms response rate
    • Camera: 5.0 megapixel with video (720 x 480 px at 20 fps or higher), LED flash and auto focus.

    The iPhone 4 came out almost seven months after the Nexus One and is only marginally (technically) better. Either the GP is a troll or they simply have no idea what they're talking about.

    All of the specs used for comparison were taking from each device's Wikipedia article.

  • I cannot reproduce the signal-loss issue. I am plagued by the proximity sensor issue. And just an FYI- after the phone hangs up, it takes you back to your contacts; if the call is dropped, it tells you "call failed" and gives you a redial button.

    I hear "It's not the sensor it's ATT, lolz!!1" all the time from people who don't use iphones but feel the need to comment on them.

    So let's be clear about this: I can tell the difference between a dropped call and a call that has been ended inadvertently.

    Don't take this as a personal attack, since I'm addressing all of /.


  • by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:44PM (#32815984) Journal

    Between iPhone / Android, no I can't provide any meaningful experience as I've already stated, and I have no strong opinions either way. I can tell you from other comments on slashdot that people say that iPhone is more responsive and smoother scrolling than Android, but I can't vouch for that.

    Between OSX and Windows I can definitely provide some examples.

    In 6 years of using a Mac laptop I have had to download and install *one* driver (for a generic brand USB->Serial dongle). I can't say the same even for Windows7 (and certainly not Vista). Worrying about hardware and driver revisions and all is just not an issue. (see for instance the recent Nvidia driver overheating issue on PC)

    Easy to install programs. You just drag them to the Application folder. No packages, no dependencies, no installers. When you want to uninstall, just delete the program from the Applications folder. Logical and easy to use.

    System maintenance is just about non-existent. Windows has gotten a lot better over the years, but I still find more maintenance tasks on w7 than I've ever had to do in OSX. At my office the OSX computers are pretty much install and forget. Windows computer less so (though again, I like w7 a lot).

    Time Machine -- a builtin backup program that's technically elegant and has an easy to use UI as well. Provides one level of easy backup for people who might not otherwise be backing up.

    Malware/etc is still virtually non-existent for OSX and the security model follows much more closely the Unix model (generally considered a good thing).

    Things like sharing files between computers just works. Have you tried to share files on a home network between two XP computers? Or between an XP computer and a Windows7 computer? It's frequently very aggravating! On Mac it's point and click, whether you have a dhcpd server or are just on a network with 169 addresses.

    Zeroconf/Bonjour is built into the system for things like accessing network printers, file sharing, etc. This is a technologically that for what it does, just works. Windows7 (and probably Vista) made adding network printers a lot easier, but it's still not nearly as easy.

    System Preferences are generally considered to be laid out well and for several revisions easy to search. Windows is now searchable too, but has a confusing plethora of configuration pages.

    Expose (wikipedia it if you don't know what I mean) is another feature that "switchers" have cited to me as a feature of polish.

    Applescript would be another example -- a totally pervasive system of scripting that's built into the entire OS and most 3rd party apps. Most OSX users probably have never heard of it, but for power users it's very powerful.

    A lot of the polish does come from 3rd party apps. For whatever reason, 3rd party OSX developers do seem to stick more to the HIG (more than Apple at times!) and write quality programs.

    And the one point that Apple haters frequently love to deride is the design aspect. Button spacing, HIG issues, etc. Another thing I've personally had multiple converted Apple users mention to me is how much nicer the fonts are. (personal opinion sure) Hardware design--things like the Magsafe. Read the universal laptop power brick thread and see how many people rave about their Dell powerbrick vs their Apple brick.

    Command line tools are topnotch (well duh, a lot of them are bsd or gnu!). But beyond that, there are command line tools to interface with many higher level parts of the OS. I for instance just learned about the "security" command today which is a program which allows you to update / access the password Keychain for use with other command line programs (or whatever else you might need it for)

    Now please note that I'm NOT saying OSX is perfect nor that I like everything about it! It definitely has issues, but you specifically asked for examples of the user experience and "polish." I'm sure you (or others) could (and probably will!) argue about many of these points, but these were just the first off the top of my head.

Variables don't; constants aren't.