Buying the iPhone 3GS just for the magnetometer!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Kepesk, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Kepesk macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Okay, you all may think I'm crazy, or just another iPhone fanboy, but I think that the magnetometer, added to the current iPhone functionality, makes it well worth the early upgrade price. It's the most overlooked new feature, and it's definitely going to take this thing to the next level, and here's why:

    - The obvious reasons: use for navigation, such as in turn-by-turn software or as a simple directional guide. Heck, if it weren't for the battery requirements, this would make the iPhone a great survival tool. And hey, if you get one of those solar chargers for it, you even have that problem licked.

    - Even more advanced navigation. Imagine holding your iPhone up with the view from its camera on the display, and directions to a specific location overlaid on top of it. This will happen, along with other potential HUD-like applications.

    - Absolute Location: The magnetometer, combined with the accelerometer and GPS, allows the iPhone to determine its exact location and orientation in space. This allows for some very cool software possibilities, like an app that could label astronomical objects when you hold the phone up to the sky.

    - AR (Augmented Reality) games: We've all seen the video with the dog bouncing around on cards that have been laid on the ground, overlaid on the view from the iPhone's camera. Adding an accelerometer will make for even cooler possibilities, such as giving the iPhone the capacity to keep track of the locations of virtual objects no matter where they are with respect to the iPhone.

    The magnetometer is definitely going to enable some extremely cool possibilities for the iPhone in the very near future. Can you think of any that I haven't?
  2. Ferris23 macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2007
    Does the magnetometer mean that I no longer have to flip my Iphone around while I follow the blue dot on the GPS, it will now follow where I go and orient itself?
  3. Revelation78 macrumors 68000


    Dec 18, 2008
    North Carolina
    It will properly orient itself to the direct you're facing/going.
  4. hefeglass macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009

    and also..with the magnetometer with the accelerometer...the phone has most of the capabilities of a wii are going to be really will AR like you said
  5. Abcmsaj macrumors member


    Jun 9, 2009
    Oh of course! I think this is the 2nd best feature next to the improved camera.

    Google Maps can show you the direction you're traveling. That's amazing. And AR games have been rumoured for a while, but now they can happen :)
  6. bjquach macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2008
    Heck, I'm buying it just for the improved google maps function to tell me the actual direction I am heading.

    When you're on a motorcycle, you can't carry a full GPS on you so the iPhone works fine
  7. 226896 Guest

    Sep 13, 2008
    Great... I can't wait to see a load of cool apps in the App Store saying iPhone 3GS only, which won't be a lot of people consideirng the number of people still in current iPhone contracts.
  8. iphonerain macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2009

    I thought I was the only one who had a problem with having to rotate my phone trying to follow my little blue dot (I admit - I am directionally challenged...). I don't know if it's worth $400 just for this update, but it will definitely be on my mind when one side of me is telling me to wait until the price goes down for 3gs while the other side of me is urging me to just get it when it comes out.
  9. Rat-Boy macrumors 65816


    Jul 28, 2008
    Considering the TomTom app will work on a current 3G without the compass, why can't Google Maps also work without the compass as far as rotating to the direction you are going?
  10. canyonblue737 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2005
    The Tom-Tom app and Google Maps uses GPS *motion* to orient the map. the problem is when you AREN'T moving! Let's say you open the map while on foot. with the current 3G the map or apps have no way to know which way you are facing until you move, and if you move and stop then pivot it won't show it. with the 3GS in real time the map will pivet and move. you can bet the tom-tom app will use the 3GS enhancements to allow for instant updating during turns while on the 3G you have to wait a few seconds for the map to catch up to the fact you turned due to motion.
  11. beamer8912 macrumors 65816

    May 30, 2009
    if you're not moving, you have time to look at the street signs around you. ;)
  12. FunkyTang macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    It's not like it's a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time...
  13. .Andy macrumors 68030


    Jul 18, 2004
    The Mergui Archipelago
    I think this is the coolest feature of the 3GS as well. Looking forward to seeing how it's implemented in apps. For the time being it's great just being able to use in maps and as a compass. It's the feature that will probably make me jump on the bandwagon in the new year :).
  14. Damitri macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    New York, NY

    Yes it is my fav feature as well. All the times I have come up from the subway in NYC and wondered which way is north. Sure you can walk a block and you will know but having a compass in maps will surely help.

    Anybody know if the map will be animated in real time? I mean when you turn around will the map rotate with you or does it require a tap on the orientation button every time you want to redraw the map?
  15. McDLT macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2006
    how can you not know which way is north when you get off the subway? uptown trains run on the east side of the street + traffic on the avenues tell you everything you need to know faster than you can get your phone out of our pocket. :p
  16. randfee2 macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2007

    after seing the video of the keynote I doubt that there will be a feature for maps to automatically align/rotate to north. I mean, you can hit the location icon on the lower left twice and it will rotate the map accordingly, but what I would really like would be the map CONSTANTLY rotating in the proper direction that I'm looking/holding the phone while turning around. I don't see why the performance wouldn't suffice in the new device but the way it was demoed it won't work like that...

    so: NO realtime turning of the map, you'll always have to double hit that location icon if you want the map to adjust to your viewing direction....which is too bad :( "Realtime"-rotation would have been more Apple-like and way more useful.

    I have to say though, I can read maps upside down and backwards, I don't really need it to be properly directed... it would offer loads of possibilities though!
  17. Damitri macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    New York, NY
    LOLl! I am impressed if you always remember the direction of the train in relation to the streets after running up and down stairs and through tunnels before seeing daylight. You are a magnetometer my friend! But you are right that traffic on the avenues would be useful if I could ever remember the directions. I can hardly remember the directions on 1st and 2nd and I live right between them!

    But I guess it could realtime update once the icon is activated just as your location realtime (well almost) updates if you start walking with the maps app open.
  18. Tubink macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2009
    Reading, PA
    If the iPhone could automatically adjust the blue dot's position to yours, I don't see why not. I saw the keynote, and I think it will be realtime.
  19. malch macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    Will TomTom work on the current iPhone 3G without a data plan?
    Cheers, malch
  20. Donz0r macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2006
    The WII remote just has an accelerometer. The original iPhone with accelerometer already had ALL the motion sensing capabilities of a wii remote. Now, with the magnetometer it will be true 1:1 movement and MUCH more accurate than a wii remote.
  21. randfee2 macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2007
    that also depends on the response time of the magnetometer. I don't know exactly how they gather the directional information and if it has a 3 axis magnetometer or just a planar one...
  22. hefeglass macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
    yes..i realize the wiimote doesnt have a compass..but it has the benefit of the sensor bar...which the iphone doesnt have. That is why i said most of the capabilities

    i also believe the compass will update in realtime..the setting is enabled when you click it..then you can click it again to disable. You dont click it again to readdress the is automatic
  23. Damitri macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    New York, NY
    I am pretty sure the response time is instantaneous and 3 axis. Anything else and all the cool apps possible with a magnetometer would be...well... less possible I guess. :rolleyes:
  24. randfee2 macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2007
    in the iPhone demo video at least it does not look very speedy, unlike the accelerometer (well... that is speedy by the nature of it).

    After looking at the video again, it seems like the google maps app does rotate while you do.... timecode 7:32 to 7:38 it rotates without clicking!
  25. eaha macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2010

    Heyy!!! Have u seen xprienced the Xperia X10! iphone is just a baby beside it!! The magnetometer is too much sensitive and accurate and gives precision reading in microtesla and accurate in latitudes-longitude variations, It has a extremely sensitive GPS tht has an accuracy within +- 2 metres.. It has accelerometer by which seismic (Surface wave) shocks can be detected in ground motions...

    iphone cant stand in front of it for sure!

    hav a nice time with the childish iphone!

Share This Page