The iPod Touch Doesn’t Have a Proximity Sensor

DF reader Mark Handel, via email:

I can’t remember — does the iPod Touch have a proximity sensor? If it does not, that’s probably the reason that the proximity sensor is undocumented: Apple is trying to keep a very common “reference” hardware platform in the API. I think it was you who mentioned the problem with Android being that there was not a common hardware model: some have only touch screens, some have keyboards, etc.

The iPod Touch does not have a proximity sensor. The primary — and perhaps only — reason the iPhone does is so the screen can turn off and stop accepting touch input when you’re holding it to your ear for a call. I’m not sure this explains why the more useful proximity sensor APIs are undocumented, but it’s an interesting theory. And, clearly, some of the iPhone-only hardware features — the camera and microphone come to mind — are very much documented in the public APIs.

Thursday, 20 November 2008