How Use Your iPhone’s Barometer Sensor to Measure Altitude and Room Temperature

The iPhone 6 series introduced a number of powerful sensors to your smartphone, including the proximity sensor, ambient light measurer, accelerometer, gyroscope, Touch ID finger print reader, and digital compass. These are highly sensitive and powerful sensors that open up your phone to all kinds of exciting new uses. The barometer sensor is one of the coolest things about iPhone 6. The barometer measures air pressure. This gives your iPhone accurate readings on altitude and changes in elevation. One significant area which will be more reliable is step counter and other physical activity measurement apps. By reading vertical activity, iPhone will more accurately count your steps when you are climbing steps, running uphill or working out on the elliptical machines.

But that’s not all the barometer sensor can do. New weather apps like Dark Sky use the barometric sensor to alert you to wether changes. Since a fluctuation in pressure precedes a shift in the weather, the phone just got a whole lot more accurate about forecasting the future.

dark sky

You can also see radar clips and push notifications, so if you are camping you will know exactly how long you have until there is torrential rain. Dark Sky also allows users to participate in crowdsourcing, so that your barometric readings are available to others. This allows people to see the local weather conditions.

Many people have asked whether iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have a sensor that allows you to measure the room temperature. The iPhone does not have such a sensor – yet. The difficulty in creating such a sensor for the phone is that the iPhone’s internal processes generate their own heat, and that heat fluctuates depending on external factors like the surface the phone is placed on, the relative battery charge, the ambient air temperature, and the temperature of the user who is carrying the phone. That means any room temperature reading would not be reliable.

However, you can transform your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to a temperature gage with an external device called Thermodo. Thermodo is described as “a sleek little thermometer for your mobile devices.”

thermodo

Thermodo is by the Robocat, the creator of Haze, a simple weather forecasting app. With Thermodo, Robocat has upped the ante on temperature forecasting. The device is designed to go on your keychain. When you want a temperature reading, the Thermodo plugs into your iPhone’s audio jack. It takes the temperature indoors or outdoors, and does not even need a network connection to give a reading.

There is a companion app available on iTunes that expands the data capabilities of Thermodo.

Thermodo2

The app can do the following:

  • Automatically save and store your measurements, which can be accessed, examined, shared and exported.
  • Save your history in iCloud so it is available on all of your iOS devices.
  • 
Support iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. iOS 6 and 7.
  • Give you the low, high and average temperature of your last measurement by swiping up
Support for both Fahrenheit & Celsius.
  • Compensate for device heat in the settings.

The standard black Thermodo is $29.99, while the premium version has anodized aluminum with electrode erosion engraved logos. It retails for $49.99.

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