iOS 9 Compass, Gyroscope Issue Affecting Augmented Reality Apps For iPhone 6s


Apple is facing new issues involving the iPhone's highly developed sensor suite following a report from AppleInsider reader Frank who recalled his first-hand experience while using the stargazing app Sky Guide.

Based on the report, the latest iOS 9 update seemed to have brought with it some issues with the new iPhone 6s which may be explained by the OS' defective API.

According to Frank, using Sky Guide on the iPhone 6s showed the map to be drifting uncontrollably, contradicting the standard condition where users would have a clear view of the stars, planets and constellations on their iPhones while pointing their devices up toward the sky.

Sky Guide relies on the iPhone's highly developed sensor suite to deliver augmented reality capabilities which allow the user to view an nteractive map of the dark evening sky using his device. By simply pointing the iPhone up toward the sky, the user can see an onscreen view of the stars, constellations, planets and other heavenly bodies.

"Quick update to the update: iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users are reporting problems with the way the Sky Guide compass is functioning. We're aware of it and are quickly working on a fix. Thanks for your patience and sorry for the inconvenience," stated in the iTunes page of Apple.

Sky Guide developer Fifth Star Labs confirmed that the issues found on the app's Compass feature seemed to be limited to the latest Apple devices and showed no effect on the older models. Apart from Sky Guide, there are other augmented reality titles that are also showing problems. Such titles all rely on information gathered by the iPhone's digital compass, accelerometer and three-axis gyroscope. A fix is currently being developed to resolve the issue.

Incidentally, some apps such as Apple Maps don't seem to show any issues as compared with other augmented reality-focused services.

In 2013, Apple received the same sensor issues from iPhone 5s users who reported that the Compass app of their iOS 7 device was giving faulty readings. Studies show that the issue may have resulted from Apple's failure to use an appropriate firmware calibration bias after the company switched from STMicroelectronics to Bosch as its accelerometer supplier.

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