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Apple warns users not to mount iPhones on motorcycles because vibrations damage cameras

Apple is urging users not to mount iPhones on a motorcycle because the high-amplitude vibrations can degrade the smartphone’s camera system over time.

The tech giant shared the warning on Saturday in its support forum, stating the iPhone camera lenses with optical image stabilization (OIS) or closed-loop autofocus (AF) are susceptible damage.

This is because gyroscopes and/or magnetic sensors help compensate for movement and vibration when shooting photos or video.

James Chadbourne, an iOS user, found out first-hand just how bad the vibrations are for the iPhone.

Sharing a post on Twitter earlier this month, he wrote: ‘First ride on the motorcycle and I think I toasted the camera in my iPhone. 8 miles. Crappy design.’

Apple is urging users not to mount iPhones on a motorcycle because the high-amplitude vibrations can degrade the smartphone’s camera system over time. The camera lenses with optical image stabilization (OIS) or closed-loop autofocus (AF) are susceptible damage

Apple is also owners of lower-powered vehicles, like mopeds and electric scooters, to use a vibration-dampening mount that can minimize the chances of any damage.

The issue affects a range of models, starting with the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 7 and later, along with the iPhone XS and later, including the iPhone SE 2.

‘It is not recommended to attach your iPhone to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines due to the amplitude of the vibration in certain frequency ranges that they generate,’ Apple shared in the support forum.

‘Attaching your iPhone to vehicles with small-volume or electric engines, such as mopeds and scooters, may lead to comparatively lower-amplitude vibrations, but if you do so a vibration dampening mount is recommended to lessen the risk of damage to your iPhone and its OIS and AF systems. 

James Chadbourne, an iOS user, found out first-hand just how bad the vibrations are for the iPhone. Sharing a post on Twitter earlier this month, he wrote: ¿First ride on the motorcycle and I think I toasted the camera in my iPhone. 8 miles. Crappy design'

James Chadbourne, an iOS user, found out first-hand just how bad the vibrations are for the iPhone. Sharing a post on Twitter earlier this month, he wrote: ‘First ride on the motorcycle and I think I toasted the camera in my iPhone. 8 miles. Crappy design’

‘It is also recommended to avoid regular use for prolonged periods to further lessen the risk of damage.’

The issue affects certain iPhone models equipped with optical image stabilization (OIS), which automatically adjusts focus in the camera in the event of an accidental movement to help avoid blurry or shaky pictures. 

‘If you accidentally move a camera when you take a picture, the resulting image can be blurry. To prevent this, some iPhone models have optical image stabilization (OIS),’ reads the post shared by Apple.

‘OIS lets you take sharp photos even if you accidentally move the camera. With OIS, a gyroscope senses that the camera moved.

‘To reduce image motion, and the resulting blur, the lens moves according to the angle of the gyroscope.’

The issue affects a range of models, starting with the iPhone 6 Plus (pictured), iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 7 and later, along with the iPhone XS and later, including the iPhone SE 2

The issue affects a range of models, starting with the iPhone 6 Plus (pictured), iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 7 and later, along with the iPhone XS and later, including the iPhone SE 2

It can also harm the closed-loop autofocus technology, the magnetic sensors that measure gravity and vibration effects and determine lens position to preserve sharp focus in stills, videos and panoramas, Apple said. 

As pointed out by MacRumors, which first spotted Apple’s new support post, there has been a number of posts regarding this how motorcycle vibrations can damage camera systems.

The issue is that many users attach their iPhone to the handlebars or chassis of the motorcycle, which are directly impacted by vibrations as the two-wheeled vehicle is on the move. 


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