Testing Finds Inaccurate Touch Sensing on iPhone 5s/5c, But Neglects Perspective Compensation

New touch screen testing conducted by Finnish technology company OptoFidelity has suggested [PDF] the touch displays of Apple's iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are less accurate than the display of the Samsung Galaxy S3, but the testing has failed to take into account that Apple has designed its iPhones to compensate for different usage angles.

Using its proprietary OptoFidelity Touch Panel Performance Tester, which compares the coordinates of touches by a robot with an artificial finger to coordinates from a touch device, the company measured the accuracy of both the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 5c, and the Galaxy S3. The video below demonstrates how the testing was carried out.


The test assigned a PASS/FAIL score when the actual touch position registered greater than ±1 mm off from the reported coordinates from the artificial finger, marking passes with green dots and fails with red dots. According to the test, both of Apple's iPhones demonstrated "extremely bad" performance near the edges and the top of the screen.

touchscreenaccuracy
OptoFidelity suggests that this impacts both top and edge screen functionality, making it more difficult to perform tasks like accessing the Q and P keys on the virtual keyboard as they are located towards the edges of the display, but machine testing does not replicate real world usage, where the phone is held at and viewed from various angles.

iOS is designed to compensate for the angle that it expects a phone to be held at, which suggests that some of the discrepancies between screen accuracy between the iPhone 5s/5c and the Galaxy S3 may be intentional on Apple's part, in order to provide a better experience for users that are not holding their phones in static positions.

In addition to testing touch screen accuracy, OptoFidelity also took a look at touch screen latency, which was previously examined by Agawi. As with those initial tests that showed the iPhone 5 to be far more accurate than its Android counterparts, OptoFidelity had similar results with the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.

Testing functionality such as web browsing opening time and camera application opening time revealed that the iPhones were more responsive than the Galaxy S3, with the iPhone 5s registering slightly faster response times.

optolatency

Popular Stories

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
apple watch series 9 display

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 10 to Get Larger Screen and Thinner Design

Monday June 17, 2024 1:20 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 10 will be thinner and come in larger screen sizes than previous models, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest industry note -10-and-98075c44ce92">shared on Medium, Kuo said the screen size options on the next-generation Apple Watch will increase from 41mm to 45mm, and from 45mm to 49mm, while being encased in a thinner design. For reference,...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
Apple Pay Later feature 1

Apple Discontinuing Apple Pay Later

Monday June 17, 2024 11:44 am PDT by
Apple is discontinuing Apple Pay Later, the buy now, pay later feature that it just launched last October. Apple Pay Later is being discontinued as of today, but people who have existing Apple Pay Later loans will be able to continue to pay them off and manage them through the Wallet app. Apple announced plans to end the feature in a statement provided to 9to5Mac, which also notes that...
iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
iPod Nano vs iPod Pro Ad Feature 1

Apple Developing Thinner MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone

Monday June 17, 2024 2:22 am PDT by
Apple intends to slim down the MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone, with the new ultra-thin M4 iPad Pro a sign of the company's new design trajectory, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. When the M4 iPad Pro was unveiled last month, Apple touted it as the company's thinnest product ever, and even compared it to the 2012 iPod nano to emphasize its slim dimensions. Writing in the latest ...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...

Top Rated Comments

iSee Avatar
139 months ago
Once again Apple thumbs its nose at the robot market :mad: ;)
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H2SO4 Avatar
139 months ago
Shouldn't they be testing against a GS4?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
atzeX Avatar
139 months ago
It is intentional by Apple.

Try to touch some buttons if the UI is upside down... difficult, isn’t it?

Guess why ;)

(Apple offsets the touch so that your eye-finger-button line is straight on the target)
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
204353 Avatar
139 months ago
These tests mean nothing because the iPhone actually registers touches slightly above the centre of where you put your fingertip, an intentional compensation to make it prefer the 'tip' of your finger, rather than the middle of the contact area.

Try tapping buttons with your iOS upside-down (with orientation lock on) and you'll see how different it is. I know the article kinda mentions this feature, but I thought I'd make it clear how it actually works.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
polterbyte Avatar
139 months ago
Yes, because that's EXACTLY how everybody uses their phones: with an artificial finger dangling from a robot arm. /s

Prepare for touchscreenprecisiongate, about which absolutely nobody is complaining.

Obligatory endnote: Apple is doomed. DOOMED!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Carlanga Avatar
139 months ago
Just an observation: There is a thread here in the forum since A.M. about it (not mine), maybe ~4 hours before this front page post. Lately MR keeps taking thread subjects from the sub forums and then making it a new rumor w/out mentions.

Either way, the test is interesting.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)