Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021, 08:36 iOS: Hardware

Apple Warns That iPhone Cameras Can Be Damaged During Motorcycle Riding

Most iPhone users always have their smartphone within arms reach. For exactly this reason, modern iterations have been developed to withstand quite a few external conditions including quick dips in water or even exposure to unusually high levels of dust. However, today's iPhones still contain very sensitive components requiring special protection. Now, Apple is issuing a warning to motorcycle riders – certain components of the camera can be damaged by strong vibrations.

Apple Warns Against Damage To Camera System
Most smartphone users nowadays use their smartphone as a navigation system, or even to stream music while driving. They get in their car, connect their phone, and then place it in a holder or somewhere where it is easily accessible and visible. This is also the case with many other motor vehicles, even motorcycles – many motorcycle riders also use their smartphone as a navigation system. However, there is a significant difference between the forces that an iPhone inside a car and an iPhone attached to a device holder on a motorcycle is exposed to. On even reasonably well-conditioned roads, motorcycle riders are exposed to much more shaking and vibration than car drivers.

Apple has now released a statement in reaction to this circumstance and published a new support document. In the document, Apple explains that the iPhone's camera lenses are quite susceptible to damage from the stresses exposed during motorcycle riding when used in a holder on the bike's handlebars. The devices gyroscopes and magnetic sensors could also be damaged, according to Cupertino.

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iPhone Shouldn't Be Placed On Motorcycles' Handlebars
Apple advises motorcycle riders against exposing iPhone models with "optical image stabilization" and "closed loop" autofocus to large vibrations over extended periods of time – as these vibrations could damage the system's performance and significantly impair the quality of captured photos and recorded videos. Thus, users should not place their iPhones on the handlebars of any high-powered motorcycle. However, iPhones still shouldn't be attached to less powerful devices such as mopeds or automatic scooters – although, if users are still set upon doing so, Apple advises them to purchase a device holder that dampens vibrations.

Advertisement Videos Don't Account For The Warning
Given the recent support document and advice from Apple, Apple's 2019 "Shot on iPhone" video appears to be a little odd. In the minute-long clip, quads and motorcycles are seen driving in the desert of Saudi Arabia, where the iPhone 11 is all but free from vibration:



Optical image stabilization is present in the iPhone 6 Plus and 6S Plus, along with the iPhone 7 and newer. Closed loop autofocus is present in the iPhone XS and newer. It's likely that this warning is likely to apply not only to the iPhone but also to smartphones from other manufacturers.

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