Wednesday, September 23, 2015

iOS 9 Facedown Detection Feature Specs Info


Going through release notes, you may notice new iOS 9 Facedown detection feature that Apple quipped it latest software update version. The feature together other refinements helps to extend the battery runtime.

When you put your iPhone facedown, the device will no longer light up the display when you receive a notification, which in turn helps to improve your device’s battery life. In order to do this, Apple makes use of a wide variety of sensors located in the iPhone, including the ambient light sensor and proximity sensors. This allows the feature to work on all surfaces, including glass.


One of the common question that users ask is does Facedown detection work on all iPhones. Unfortunately, such iOS devices as iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, all iPads and iPod Touches do not support the Facedown detection feature, despite being compatible with iOS 9.

Facedown detection requires the proximity and ambient light sensors, in addition to the motion co-processors (M7, M8 or M9) which are used in the following iOS devices:

  • M7— iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini 3
  • M8— iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4
  • M9— iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro

Given the lack of one or more of the aforementioned requirements, the Facedown feature is unsupported on iPhone 4s (lacks motion coprocessor), iPhone 5 (lacks motion coprocessor), iPads (lacks proximity sensors) and iPod Touch (lacks both ambient light and proximity sensors).

The last thing you need to know about iOS 9 Facedown detection feature is that can’t disable it, but there is a way to turn it off. If Fitness tracking is turned off in the Settings app then it disables the facedown detection feature. So you’ve a device with this supported feature, but it doesn't work, then ensure that Fitness Tracking is enabled by navigating to Privacy > Motion & Fitness in the Settings app.

In addition to the Facedown detection feature, iOS 9 brought a handful of other power-saving options such as the new Low Power Mode, core OS optimisations and the ability to turn off display or disable Lock Screen notification alerts, when the device is facing down on the table.

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