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back to article Apple reckons light shines between iPhone customers' ears

Apple has reportedly advised iPhone 4 customers to leave off the q-tips and matches if they want to prevent the device's proximity sensor nixing their phone calls. The shocking auricular hygiene advice was apparently given to the Unofficial Apple Weblog's Aron Trimble. He had gone to his local genius bar, after noting the screen …

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Silver badge

TBB Genius

Penny: What are you doing here?

Sheldon: A reasonable question. I asked myself, what is the most mind-numbing, pedestrian job conceivable? And 3 answers came to mind: toll booth attendant, an Apple Store “Genius”, and “What Penny does”. Now, since I don’t like touching other people’s coins, and I refuse to contribute to the devaluation of the word “genius”, here I am.

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One of the things I love about BBT

The nerds don't use macs! I've always laughed at the fact that according to American TV the whole world uses macs. But this is one of the many things that make that show pretty damn credible in my eyes. That and the bit where Wollowitz sells the WoW sword within like seconds of getting it.

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Silver badge

The plot thickens..

Not only were the users holding it wrong, they're also *standing* in the wrong place.

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Anonymous Coward

Just a theory..

But Apple wouldn't happen to hold the rights to Monty Python's flying circus would they?

I can see it now;

Job; But it's not really very silly is it? You're going to have to try much harder than that to get your iPhone 4 to work, after all is really only a reverse half loop ever fourth step isn't it? Perhaps you could try and incorporate a liver transplant into it?

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FAIL

i am a mac user

and sometimes the so called Genius bar does seem to be staffed by the thickest genius' i have ever met.

Seems to me, its staffed by spotty yoofs with limited google skillz,,,

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FAIL

defective by design

With any other brand, the customer would say: Sorry, that's a load of ****, I want my money back.

Apple fanbois can take quite a bit it seems. Maybe Apple is testing to see how far it can go with selling crap before their customers actually notice?

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FAIL

RE: defective by design

"With any other brand, the customer would say: Sorry, that's a load of ****, I want my money back."

Who is to say they aren't?

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A lawsuit????

T Apple offers you 30-days to return it and 4-days after release you had a lawsuit.

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FAIL

Temporal causality

Sorry but even fanbois cant reverse cause and effect.

"T Apple offers you 30-days to return it and 4-days after release you had a lawsuit."

The lawsuit was filed on the 30th June

http://www.neowin.net/news/first-class-action-lawsuit-filed-against-apple-amp-atampt-over-iphone-4-issues

Open letter from Apple 2nd july.

http://www.tipb.com/2010/07/02/apple-posts-open-letter-iphone-4-antenna-reception-issues/

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WTF?

Not once have I had this problem

I don't get it... Ive used it in direct sunlight and everything and not once have I had issues with the sensor. Works fine for me :/

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Boffin

Re: Not once have I had this problem

At school your nickname wasn't something like "wing nut", "jug-ears", or "bugger lugs" was it?

Just a theory...

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Well

That just means you must have filthy ears

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Jobs Horns

3GS

My wife has the 3GS and has this problem constantly.

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FAIL

RE: 3GS

"My wife has the 3GS and has this problem constantly."

A faulure in the analysis of the problem there methinks.

How can a feature that's new in the iPhone4 be giving you problems on an iPhone 3GS??

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Its not new

Its not a new feature - the proximity sensor in my 3g is top left.

Its just moved and been made more/less sensitive in the 4g.

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Flame

A what?

a "faulure" to spell failure, methinks.

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Jobs Horns

Apple

Bollocks!! Just bollocks!!

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Er, what?

Are you suggesting putting the phone to your bollocks to make a call insttead?

If you do can I suggest you hold off on the video calling.

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I did this too...

... but i got a crack on my screen.

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Now it can't make calls in daylight?

Or is this because of another software cock-up in the previous iPhone.

So glad I don't own one of these!

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Badgers

Dont worry

The daywalker upgrade will be released soon.

Perhaps its more of a reflection the jobsian massive dont see much daylight so the need for outdoor environmental tests wasnt required.

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Linux

re: Dont worry

"Daywalker Upgrade"

ROFL!

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Joke

Tests

They tried to do environmental tests, but their drones kept losing the test devices.

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As an audiologist

I can safely say that explanation is a load of bullshit. Most people's ear canals have a kink in them about halfway along meaning that even when I'm using an otoscope or otolight to view someone's eardrum, I still have to angle it in a very specific way to get a good view. The notion of light being reflected off the skin of the ear canal/pinna/tympanic membrane or anything else is ridiculous, especially since most people position their phone over the concha, which would block any light from reaching the sensor.

/rant over

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well said

nuff said.....

ive played with the iplank (iphone) and the itampax (ipad) and both left me thinking whats the big deal, closed, expensive, non replacable battery, and most of all itunes (what a piece of shit that bloat ware is)

personally a mobile phone should first and foremost be a mobile phone, they should be capable of making a call above all else espeically in an emergancy. i will quiet happly stick to using my moto milestone thankyou very much, the prox sensor works 100% on that - ive yet to cut someone of and i can hold the thing how i see fit lol.

my battery last the whole week nearly unless i want to play that blooming robodefence game then i get a day, but if the worst happens and i run out of juice i open the back and pop in my spare battery - novel idea that.....

total cost - £320 sim free............

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WTF?

RE: well said

"most of all itunes (what a piece of shit that bloat ware is)"

I've only used it on OSX but it's a dream to use... much better than Windows-Media-thingy anyway!

"personally a mobile phone should first and foremost be a mobile phone, they should be capable of making a call above all else espeically in an emergancy"

I can only reply to that with: personally "espeically" a spelling "emergancy" or "espeically" a grammar "emergancy"?

"i will quiet happly stick to using my moto milestone thankyou very much, the prox sensor works 100% on that - ive yet to cut someone of and i can hold the thing how i see fit lol."

I'll stick to my iPhone, it doesn't have a proximity sensor and has never cut off yet.

My old Motorola on the other hand, well, let's just say there's a reason I no longer use it...

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Badgers

Well said - BOLLOCKS

What car do you drive - the lowest level and cheapest of what ever is available? Cause you just want a car, right?

What clothes do you wear? The cheapest you can get at the local yard sale? Cause you just want clothes, right?

What food do you eat? Cheapest grub you can get? Cause you just want food, right?

Why is it that people who can't afford something always tries to put it down?

If you want a phone - then buy a phone. The rest of us doesn't care!

What a plank!

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Jobs Horns

Ear?

I thought the light shone out of Steves backside not the users ears?

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Anonymous Coward

User Manual

Wow Apple will be the first company that has to include in it's user manual the way you have to hold its phone along with what environmental factors are required to use it.

...not forgetting of course, what size SIM you must use

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FAIL

As predicted

As predicted - Apple are suffering from not doing enough end user testing.

Registered Apple developers have been asking for years for early access to hardware for development testing reasons. Had apple been more open to such things, then this type of massive FAIL wouldn't have happened.

It's time Apple re-called the iPhone 4 and resolved the problems. They could easily manufacture a small polythene wrap to go around the antenna, and an attenuator for the ambient light detector. It wouldn't cost much and would demonstrate openness and ownership of the problem.

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Coffee/keyboard

Not enough end user testing ...

They did try it though and some idiot lost it in the local bar!

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Paris Hilton

Bwahahahaha, Apple and openness in one sentence?

Surely owning the problem and recalling the 4G to make it work properly will kill the 4GS revenue stream in six months won't it?

Ahh, my bad, I forgot, it's Apple we're talking about isn't it, the fanbois will squeeee over the 4GS and buy it regardless.

Paris, she knows how to hold things for maximum performance

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Jobs Horns

Genius ?

If the problem happens again, rather than demand another 'genius' why not demand a refund and buy a device that works ?

Nokia, HTC, Ericsson, Motorola, even the Koreans have all managed to build devices that stay switched on when in use.......

P.

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Anonymous Coward

Also explains...

... why the fanbois rave so much about Apple's poor quality mp3 playback in more recent models (thanks to inferior chippery than in their early days) - the optimal user is evidently half deaf.

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Joke

For years

For years Apple have been saying, "Yeah, just get rid of your Windows and everything will be fine".

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Cleanliness is next to connectionless?

::heh::

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Joke

A tiny matter of glowing brain...

Eh, no worries. I imagine it'll all come out in the wash when those mini microwave transmitters everyone is holding up to their brains finishes the job of making everyone equal. ( -_^)

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Light bouncing around the ear canal?

No problem.

Stick your finger in the other ear.

Sorted.

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Coffee/keyboard

New keyboard please

Wots the bets Apples forthcoming jedi-mind-trick-in-software (aka "signal bar fix") steathily manages to detune the sensitivity of the sensor at the same time?

Seriously though - this whole iphone4 business has more comedy value than standup night at the Palladium.

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Happy

Look its simple

I think this problem is confined to Apple users and all they have to do is put their finger in the other ear to stop the light getting through.

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WTF?

RE: Look its simple

"I think this problem is confined to Apple users"

You mean the people who own iPhones are Apple users?

FFS!

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Paris Hilton

I don't know which is funnier...

...the story itself or that TUAW and El Reg fell for it.

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I once used an optomechanical mouse...

...that didn't work iunder direct sunlight because the light shone through the shell of the thing and into the optical works.

Remedy, buy a mouse cover... furry, with eyes and a little tail. That did the job!

iPhone... sorry, can't help you. Well. You could disguise it as a piece of crap.

So if someone finds it in a bar they won't take it home and post a video of it on their web site...

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Go

Patented

Rubber band with a cape!

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Close the windows?

Close the windows? Its a mobile phone.. I use it when Im outside...

Perhaps apple will be selling Umbrella attachments for the phone to cast a shaddow over the sensor while in use?

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Good Advice

Regardless of the iPhone angle it's good advice not to use q-tips on your ears. All ENT doctors tell you not to use them as they can cause damage to the ear and a certain amount of wax is required by the ear anyway.

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WTF?

Get a grip!

This is not how the iPhone proximity sensor works (or doesn't work). It has an infrared light and sensor placed next to each other to the left** of the ear piece.

When the light bounces off something (such as your pinna) and is reflected into the sensor, then the phone assumes it's next to your head. The IR source is coded so that ambient light won't affect it.

**The iphone 4 has its video camera in the space to the left of the earpiece so perhaps in moving the sensor, they've cocked it up.

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Joke

A small suggestion...

Perhaps iPhone4 users could put a bucket over their heads whilst using the phone.

I'm sure this would help!

[Runs away...]

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Paris Hilton

Come back...

Now now.. we all know that would never do, Apple users are meant to be the beautiful people.

And besides, they'd never wear it unless it was sold by the iTunes store..

Now there's an idea, the iBucket...

Paris.. There's a hole in that bucket...

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Anonymous Coward

Or...

All the iPhone4 users could only use their phones in the dark. Might be a bit rubbish in the Summer months though.

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