Future iPhones could be a lot less annoying to use in the rain

Most high-end smartphones these days have a fair amount of water resistance – enough that you can confidently use them in the rain. Except, if you’ve ever tried to interact with a smartphone screen in a heavy rain, you know what a lost cause can be, with moisture leading to false taps. Apple might have a solution for this.

On a patent (opens in new tab) discovered by Forbes (opens in new tab) and strikingly titled ‘Modifying an Electronic Device’s Functionality During a Moisture Exposure Event’, the company details ways an iPhone can use pressure and humidity sensors to detect ‘humidity events’ – which can range from a small amount of water on the screen, when the phone is fully submerged in water.

Once a humidity event has been detected – and the iPhone has figured out how much humidity it is dealing with – the device will try to adapt to this to prevent false touches from being registered.

(Image credit: USPTO/Apple)

To help with this, the layout of the buttons on the screen can be changed, making them bigger, for example, so that they are easier to hit, or moving them apart. Some controls can even be removed completely, leading to a streamlined interface with just a few large buttons to press.

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