Apple announced this week that both of the new iPhones have barometers! This has been rumoured for months, maybe even years, but this week Apple made the announcement on stage. Similar to the strategies employed by Google, Motorola, Samsung, et al., the barometer is included in the phone to improve altitude measurements. This aids GPS locations as well as providing a high-resolution elevation reading for the user. In building barometer apps for Android devices, weve found the sensors to be extremely sensitive to small altitude changes.
When the first barometers appeared in Android devices in 2011, we started making PressureNet to crowdsource all of the available weather data that these devices could record. Weve collected more than 300 million atmospheric pressure measurements so far, which are delivered to researchers like Cliff Mass (and to you, if you sign up), who is testing our data in experiments to improve weather forecasts.
Were excited to start including iPhones in our study of the atmosphere! Weve been hearing from iOS users for months that they wish they could contribute to PressureNet, and soon youll be able to! Stay tuned - were bringing crowdsourced weather data to iPhones!