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Apple thinks motorcycle engines might be your iPhone camera's worst enemy

If you own an electric scooter or moped, you should be fine.

Published onSeptember 13, 2021

iPhone 12 Pro Max neon camera macro 3
David Imel / Android Authority
  • “Intense” vibrations, specifically from motorcycle engines, can damage iPhone camera systems over time.
  • According to an official Apple support post, these vibrations could degrade phones’ OIS and autofocus systems.

Motorcycles may not be the safest mode of travel at the best of times, and it might be treacherous for iPhones too. According to a new support post published by Apple (h/t MacRumors), the “intense high-amplitude vibrations” caused by beefy motorcycle engines may “degrade the performance” of iPhone camera systems over time.

Apple explains that long-term exposure to these vibrations may wreak havoc with the closed-loop autofocus and optical image stabilization systems (OIS). First introduced on the 2014 iPhone 6 Plus, the latter system employs a gyroscope to dampen phone movement when an image is snapped, thus improving image quality. Continuous jitters could adversely affect this mechanism. OIS has become relatively commonplace on iPhone models launched since then.

See also: iPhone 12 Pro review — All the right angles

Apple doesn’t suggest motorcycle owners swap their two wheels for four. It does, however, recommend purchasing a dampening mount for their devices. The company also notes that electric scooters or lesser-powered moped owners may need not worry about damaging vibrations.

The warning will likely affect a select group of users, but it’s worth noting how any intense vibrations can affect phone cameras. It’s unclear if phones from other brands are affected similarly, but it’s worth heeding the warning either way.

If you own an iPhone and a motorcycle, have you experienced any issues? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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