bad level

Heads up iPhone 5s owners: have you noticed that your Compass app readings are a little bit off? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It seems a number of users are complaining of inaccurate sensors on Apple’s latest handset.

More specifically, users have noticed that both their compass and inclinometers on their 5s devices are consistently off by a noticeable margin. The latter appears to be incorrect by 2 degrees, while the former is off by 8-10…

Gizmodo reports:

“Since the iPhone 5S landed in the hands of new owners a few weeks ago, there have been reports that on-board sensors like the gyroscope, compass, and accelerometer haven’t been working properly on some devices. We’ve confirmed the new iPhone’s failings on our own. It’s not just off. It’s embarrassing. 

We tested two iPhone 5S units running the latest version of iOS 7 against the iPhone 5, as well as against real-world measuring tools to find out if the new iPhone’s sensors are off, and if they are, by how much. In most cases, we used the iPhone’s built-in iOS 7 apps for measurements, working under the assumption that Apple would properly calibrate its hardware to work with the software of its own design. We were wrong.”

MacRumors adds to the narrative, noting that a twenty-page thread has popped up on its forums full of similar reports claiming that the compass and level are off. And there are also several threads on Apple’s Support website.

So what next? Well, that depends on if this is a hardware or software issue. If it’s a software issue, then Apple could simply fix things with a future firmware release. But if it’s hardware, that would be significantly harder to correct.

Either way it’s a problem—and one that doesn’t just affect folks looking to hang a picture or shelf. Think about all of the different apps and games there are that use the iPhone’s accelerometer and some of its other sensors.

Have you noticed any issues with the sensors on your iPhone 5s?