Wouldn’t it be great if your iPhone automatically increased its speaker volume when you pulled it away from your ear, or decreased it as you moved it closer? According to a new Apple patent recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, this could be a feature of future iPhones.
Apple previously claimed the flaky proximity sensor in the iPhone 4 had been fixed by the iOS 4.1 update. But there was mounting evidence that the proximity sensor wasn’t fixed at all.
Shortly after the release of iOS 4.1 iPhone user Ryan Bell performed a series of comprehensive tests using Apple’s iPhone configuration utility, and came to the conclusion that iOS 4.1 doesn’t fix the proximity sensor.
The proximity sensor problems were being blamed on software bugs, relocation of the proximity sensor due to the addition of the front facing camera, or greasy ear canals.
Apple appears to have fixed the widely-reported iPhone 4 proximity sensor issue in the latest iOS 4.1 beta 2 update.
The latest beta also includes a baseband update (AT&T 7.1), which seems to fix HSUPA upload speed issues, which slowed video and photo uploads to a crawl.
Despite reports to the contrary, our tests show that the proximity sensor issue appears to be have been fixed. (MacRumors says the issue hasn’t been addressed).
In numerous tests, I couldn’t get my iPhone 4 to hang up a call. Previously, the iPhone was plagued with proximity sensor issues. It would constantly hang up calls when I held the phone next to my cheek.
But after installing the iOS 4.1 beta 2 update this afternoon, I couldn’t force the iPhone to hang up calls when lifting it up to my face, no matter how hard I tried.
I stress that the issue only seems to have been fixed. I could of course be wrong. Apple hasn’t yet documented what is in the latest beta update.