The New iPod Touch Has No Ambient Light Sensor Or Auto-Brightness

The New iPod Touch Has No Ambient Light Sensor Or Auto-Brightness

The new fifth-generation iPod touch is the thinnest, most advanced iPod touch yet, boasting a 4-inch display, an A5 chip and an incredibly small form factor, but it’s not an upgrade in every way from the models that preceded it.

In fact, in one key way, it’s a serious downgrade from previous iPod touches: the new iPo touch no longer has an ambient light sensor, meaning that it can’t adjust screen brightness depending upon the brightness in the room around you. That could mean you’ll spend a lot more time manually juggling brightness in the new iPod touch.

GigaOm reports on the lack of ambient light sensor, noting that on the new iPod touch, there’s no auto-brightness setting under “Brightness & Wallpaper” in iOS 6.

Apple’s own iPod touch product specs page seems to confirm the problem: Apple did not pack an ambient light sensor into their new iPod touch, presumbly to save space and cut costs.

That’s a bummer. iOS 6 finally fixed Apple’s kind-of-broken auto-brightness algorithm so that user settings for different brightness levels were saved, which to me has made the setting a lot more useful than ever. If the iPod touch doesn’t support that, it means a lot of manually juggling brightness to be better for battery life and to be less of a strain on the eyes. It must be an issue of keeping the form factor svelte, because ambient light sensors cost mere pennies.

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  • Shaun Green

    Form over function.

  • FriarNurgle

    It’s funny based on spec & price that it is debatable between getting a new iPod touch and an older iPhone (to use without a contract)… and with the new iPad mini coming out, the waters all all grey at this point.

  • Tkf530
  • poorexplorer

    who cares? I’ve had several apple iOS devices and I’ve always disabled the ambient light sensor anyway. Who spends that much time juggling? How lazy can you get?

  • John Rarick

    I’m glad they got rid of it. I hate it when a device changes its screen brightness on me. I keep my screen on full brightness all the time and I don’t want my device to tell me otherwise. Thank you Apple!

  • Waddle80457

    Okay, maybe you will have to manually change the lighting, but once again, this complaint sounds like a perfect example for another SNL skit.

  • bdkennedy

    I guess the wrist strap was more important?

  • dsuden

    You can put me in the “who cares” department too. Some things are just better done manually, and this is one of them.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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