Here’s how to operate an iPhone while submerged.
It’s advisable to avoid using your phone in the rain. Not because it’s likely to do harm—the finest phones have great water resistance—but because it’s a complete and utter waste of time and energy.
It appears that Apple is working on a patent that could address the issue. It was first spotted by Forbes(opens in new tab) in a patent entitled “Modifying functionality of an electronic device when exposed to moisture” that describes how the iPhone’s built-in pressure and moisture sensors can detect water and adapt the software to make it easier to use in difficult conditions.
There are two ways to accomplish this in light rain. Firstly, the actual layout of the buttons might be changed, making them larger or more widely separated, hence lowering the likelihood of accidentally striking the wrong one.
The 26-letter keyboard doesn’t make this possible, so Apple offers a back-up plan: the ability to alter pressure sensitivity. There may be an iPhone that can change the amount of force required for touch detection, such that drops of rain do not register but finger pushes do.
The patent describes a “underwater mode” that is completely submerged, which is more ambitious than just dealing with a little rain. Additionally, it might display your current depth to show you how close you are to surpassing the phone’s water-resistance limit.
There are occasions when you simply have no choice but to use your phone in the rain, and I appreciate the effort that went into making this possible. Even if it’s not raining, there are occasions when you need to deliver an urgent message, and these are the periods when you have the best photographic opportunity. The effects of sweat on screens after a workout aren’t even considered yet.
Keep in mind that this is simply a patent, and while some do make it into commercially accessible items, there are many more that do not.
While rain can be frustrating when you need your iPhone quickly, it’s comforting to know that Apple is aware of this and is doing all it can to alleviate it.