Welcome to Our WirelessAdvisor Community!

You are viewing our forums as a GUEST. Please join us so you can post and view all the pictures.
Registration is easy, fast and FREE!

How does the iPhone know when you have it in your ear?

Discussion in 'APPLE iPhone, iPad Tablets and all iOS Devices' started by bobolito, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    50
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    My Phone:
    iPhone SE
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    When you're talking on the iPhone the screen turns off immediately to prevent accidental touching the screen buttons with your face. As soon as you remove it from your ear, the screen comes back on. So I though it was the accelerometer detecting movement. Then I noticed I was wrong. There's an actual sensor in the iPhone's earpiece. If you put your finger in the earpiece while on a phone call, the screen will power off. The screen comes back on as you remove your finger from the earpiece. But what kind of sensor is this? I thought it might be a light sensor, so I tried to fool it by going into total darkness so that it can't detect when my finger was near, but still I was not able to fool it. Anyone know what kind of sensor this is? maybe infrared? It's not even a touch sensor because even within an inch away from the earpiece it will detect my finger. I also tried to test for a heat sensor but it is not. It will detect any object that goes near the earpiece, like metal, cloth, paper, plastic or glass (even transparent), etc. It did seem to be extra sensitive when approaching it to a mirror. Within 3 or 4 inches from the mirror it will detect it. However, other objects are detected within one inch.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #1 bobolito, Oct 26, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  2. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    12,400
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    158
    Likes Received:
    430
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    My Phone:
    Pixel 4a 5G
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&Tingular 310-410
    Its probably an infared LED/sensor combination. Its measuring the infared light being reflected back to calculate distance. When the distance sensed is less than a couple of inches it turns off the screen. That's my guess. Take a picture of the phone in a dark room with a digital camera while the screen is lit and in a call. I'd bet that you'll see a light at the sensor.

    -Jay
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    851
    My Phone:
    iPhone XS Space Grey
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T; Tmobile SIM only
    Yep, it's infrared. It doesn't measure distance I'm pretty sure, only the intensity of light returned, and some threshold is crossed.

    There are 3 little buttons to the left of the speaker. Two are probably for the proximity sensor ( light source and detector), one the screen brigthness monitor.

    Probably if you block one of the pairs, the proximity will not work. I took care in choosing a case that does not block these sensors.

    When did you get the iphone??
     
  4. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    50
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    My Phone:
    iPhone SE
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    I got it this past wednesday at the new Apple store in Willowbrook Mall here in NJ. I was surprised how advanced the technology they use to make the transaction. I was in and out of there in like 10 minutes. All the sales people are just roaming around the store floor with these little wireless gadgets where they input all your information and make the activation and everything right there without having to go behind any desks. I even signed the 2-yr agreement right on the built-in touch screen. In my case, I had made the reservation online and went to the store at the time I selected.

    About the sensor, I put my camcorder in night mode and I could clearly see the blinking infrared LED to the left of the earpiece. Pretty clever stuff!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    851
    My Phone:
    iPhone XS Space Grey
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T; Tmobile SIM only
    I'm sorry bobolito. I reread the title of your post and I answered the wrong question.

    "Hows does the iPhone know when you have it in your ear?"

    I don't know how the iPhone knows, but my ear usually hurts a lot...:rolleyes: JK

    viewfly.

    P.S. Looking forward to your impressions. Yep, the Apple store is pretty slick with the wireless sales equipment. BTW, congrats, looks like you went full bore in white and 16Gb. Do you plan to jailbreak it???
     
  6. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    50
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    My Phone:
    iPhone SE
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    Jailbreaking it? LOL! I couldn't wait more than 24 hours to do that. Took only 10 minutes using QuickPwn. I now enjoy stuff in Cydia and Installer already.

    Among the most useful "unofficial" apps I have installed are:

    - WifiToggle: Allows me to turn on/off WiFi with just one touch rather than digging through the settings menus.

    - VolumeBoost: Gives the weak speakerphone a nice boost.

    - PDANet: Turns your iPhone into a Wifi router so you can connect your laptop to the internet using your iPhone's 3G connection. I got a nice 1.8mbps download speed on my laptop with this. This is a battery drainer though, so they recommend to keep your iPhone connected to the charger while using this.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    851
    My Phone:
    iPhone XS Space Grey
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T; Tmobile SIM only
    LOL, I didn't think you would wait long to jailbreak...but a bit longer than 24 hours. I'm still have no strong need to jailbreak. Most of the appl people rave about aren't that exciting to me; but to each his own.

    I have little need for 2 or 3. Number 1, the wifi toggle, would be useful, but since it is on the first pages of the settings menu, I don't find it too bad. I've run into some official itunes appls with bugs in them...I can only imagine what variety of bugs appear in the jailbreak appl store.

    Enjoy you iphone, it is the most useful and fun device I've had in a long time. And I love the engineering details.

    How do you find the comparison in 3G between the iphone and your moto 3G?
     
  8. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    50
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    My Phone:
    iPhone SE
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    Actually, I don't think being official or unofficial is a measurement of how reliable these apps are. I've found more unstable official apps than jailbroken apps. In my search for a good Shoutcast streaming app I ran into Flycast and FStream. These are both available through the App store. Flycast loves to crash frequently (I ended up removing it) while FStream sometimes needs a few tries before it starts buffering audio as it likes to get stuck in "connecting" status and sometimes it will abruptly disconnect the stream for no apparent reason. Though these don't occur frequently. Weatherbug is another official app that can hang or crash especially when using the radar map. And speaking of maps, Google Earth just came out through the App store and I've found I can't navigate the earth for too long otherwise it starts freezing and crashing. Palringo, AIM and AOL Radio have crashed a couple of times too. And speaking of crashing, contrary to what many have posted, I have found no problems with Safari.

    Of the Jailbreak apps that have some bugs I've found SwirlyMMS has a mild bug where sometimes it will refuse to download an MMS, although a couple of re-tries usually yields success. SpoofApp which can be used to spoof calls can crash sometimes while in use.

    The rest of my unofficial apps all work as advertised without any problems, such as Cycorder (to record video), Chronus (to backup all your unofficial apps), BossPrefs (to change hidden settings), PDANet (turns your iPhone into a WiFi router for your laptop), swapBT (to toggle Bluetooth on/off), and those mentioned before, WiFitoggle, and VolumeBoost.

    Official apps that run without any problems are WiFinder, ZipCoder, Dynolicious, Converter, fring, WebMsgr, Shazam, Last.fm, Pandora and MobileCast.

    As for 3G it works great on the iPhone. It is noticeably faster than on the V9. Of course, the iPhone has a much faster processor which might be the reason. Tethering the V9 to a laptop is also a bit slower than tethering the iPhone though not by much.

    The only thing I do miss is Copy and Paste. I recenly had to enter a few shoutcast Radio URLs into FStream which done manually can be tedious and time consuming. I had to use Veency which is a jailbroken app that allows you to connect from your PC to your iPhone via WiFi so you can remotely control your iPhone, like a Remote Desktop application. This way, I was able to quickly enter all those URLs into FStream using my computer keyboard instead of the iPhone keyboard. There is just no way to email those URLs or to somehow import them into FStream. The only way is to type them manually. So if copy and paste were available on the iPhone, it would be much better.

    My other thing is the screen can be sometimes either irresponsive or too sensitive. Sometimes I have to tap a button a couple of times before it responds, but that might be the condition of my hand is either too humid or too dry sometimes, and I don't know if that can cause the touch screen to misbehave. Unlike most touch screens, the iPhone only responds to human touch, not objects. There are times, however, when my finger will accidentally launch apps if I touch it by accident.

    I also love the sound quality on calls. Way better than the V9. Same people now sound clearer and just as loud, and with the VolumeBoost installed the speakerphone mode is now amazing. I used to have to get close to the phone to be able to hear others because it was so quiet, but with the VolumeBoost it works great. People don't have trouble understanding what I say. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the iPhone knows when you connect a regular headset or its own headset. If you connect a regular 3.5mm stereo headset (or an audio cable going to your stereo system) the microphone built-in the iPhone will still work for calls, so if I get a call while listening to music I don't have to disconnect the audio cable and the call is heard through my stereo and they can hear me just fine. They really put a lot of thought into how this device works. In terms of sound quality, it is much better than the 1st generation iPhone which had a poor cheap/tinny speakerphone and a microphone that made people sound horrible.

    But you're right, this is probably the most useful and fun device I've owned. It's efficient, intuitive, and just gets the job done! The more I use it, the more I realize how Windows mobile sucks! LOL!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #8 bobolito, Oct 29, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
    1 person likes this.
  9. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    851
    My Phone:
    iPhone XS Space Grey
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T; Tmobile SIM only

    You'll get use to the keyboard over time. I find the shield protectors give a more tacile feel also.

    I like Tuner Internet Radio. I listen to FM radio that way.
    I haven't tried your other appls though.

    Yep, I agree on cut and paste. I wonder if something fundamental is the problem there. I could use that some times.

    I didn't know about the headset thing. Thanks. I may consider a better headset now.

    I agree the audio quality is great. So what is your opinion on the 3G reception in dbm vs the V9? Do you think they display the same numbers AND do they mean the same?
     
    #9 viewfly, Oct 30, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  10. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    50
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    My Phone:
    iPhone SE
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    Yeah, I'm sure I'll get used to the keyboard. I've been making improvements already.

    I think with the signal indicator update the iPhone now resembles the V9's great reception. The signal bars on both phones behave exactly the same in every location I've been, so I take it that they mean the same. I think previously the iPhone signal indicator on 3G was displaying signal strength, now it was updated to indicate signal quality.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. lucia0833

    lucia0833 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow that´s so interesting,

    I have my new IPhone since 2 weeks and I always wondering again :rolleyes:

    There are so many features I don´t understand and which are so complex.
    But I think it´s a great handy. I love it. It´s a bit heavy but it´s okay..

    Hope you are also satisfied . :wink:

    Have fun, Lucia
     
  12. spleck

    spleck Tool
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Messages:
    805
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    18
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Middle GA
    My Phone:
    iPhone 5 VZW
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    I've also seen the sensors when I have the phone out in the sun. I'm curious, with night mode could you see the barcode on the side of the phone?
     
  13. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    50
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    My Phone:
    iPhone SE
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    There's a barcode on the side of the phone? I have to check that out.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page

Copyright 1997-2022 Wireless Advisor™, LLC. All rights reserved. All registered and unregistered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
WirelessAdvisor.com is not associated by ownership or membership with any cellular, PCS or wireless service provider companies and is not meant to be an endorsement of any company or service. Some links on these pages may be paid advertising or paid affiliate programs.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice