You're holding it wrong!
Apple has advised motorcycle-riding iPhone owners that their metal steeds might damage their smartphones after prolonged exposure to engine vibration – but users report total dysfunction after even less frenetic vibrations. "The advanced camera systems in some iPhone models include technology like optical image stabilization ( …
NOT the BACK pocket - I have actually seen people do this with phones. Cracked screens and butt-dialing frequently occur, no doubt.
iPhone in back pocket on a chopper, large 2 cylinder engine, no shocks, seat bolted to the frame. That'd do it, yeah.
Use FRONT pocket, or some kind of handlebar or gas tank shock mount for the phone.
/me thinks ape-hangers with a phone mount. heh.
(alternate concept, phone inside helmet)
My jacket has a liner with a phone pocket inside, but it's a liner so I remove it to prevent boiling in this lovely British weather. Instead it's 4 pockets which I then use as a memory aid of "did I remember to bring...?"
Top left, phone, bottom left, mask for when I go into a shop/station (not to rob, honest), top right, wallet, bottom right front door keys and bike keys.
Soon as I go out the door, or even before, I can tap each pocket and if something isn't there, I know I've forgot something and know what it is I've forgotten. As the phone is top pocket I can wear in ear buds for long distance rides and if I need GPS, I stick on my old Nokia (Windows phone) onto a handlebar mount
This type of argument always confuses me. It's as if you don't understand how anyone could want something to tell you how to go somewhere. First, you might have trouble memorizing a longer route. Second, if the route changes, for example your map had you going through a road which has been closed, you might like something which can quickly calculate a new route rather than stumbling on it yourself. Third, if you change your plans while out, you might have a destination you didn't have when you left and hence can't look up the route in order to memorize it. For example, if you've really gotten lost and you now want to go home quickly or if someone asked you to meet them in a place you're unfamiliar with.
Perhaps you've never needed one, but there are plenty of reasons that others do.
I'm not arguing anything, I'm just stating what works for me.
Try to remember, I've been exploring the world with nothing more than maps (and sometimes a compass), on wheels, hulls and foot, for over 60 years. I've tried fiddling about with GPS, but frankly it doesn't help me much in anything but accuracy ... and let's be honest here, if you're not aiming missiles, getting to within a hundred yards or so after a couple thousand miles is plenty accurate. I think my track record of arriving in the right place at the right time speaks for itself, at least to those who matter.
As another poster pointed out above, maps in the tank bag, with a PostIt in the clear plastic window containing notes sometimes comes in handy ... I can drive from here in Sonoma to Wrigley Field in Chicago without looking at any paper, but never having been to Yankee Stadium, before leaving home I'd probably make a couple notes to myself for the last couple miles. (I can get to the Bronx from here just by going ... it's hardly rocket surgery, even though it is ~2,900 road miles away. Just take Hwy. 80 East, cross the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson river, then over the Harlem River, and there you are. I believe Yankee Stadium will be just to your right, but you might want to check a map before heading out. I would.)
I do use GPS in the air, but for me it's mostly just backup for the primary tools of charts and attendant kit.
Obviously YMMV, and very probably does. Who am I to tell you that your way is wrong?
The biggest advantage of satnav/mapping software is when it gets traffic updates and re-routes you. Not such a big issue on a motorbike, of course, but still helpful.
I tend to look at a map to decide what route to take, but then have the satnav on to help me follow the intended route. It's a lot easier not to have to memorise the last few turnings when you get to your destination, or that little wiggly bit in the middle where you're going through a town/village.
while helping brother move house about 5 miles across London, I noticed he ALWAYS entered the destination into the satnav, despite doing the same route almost daily for around a month, but after a couple of miles he then proceeded to ignore the satnav and take a 'short cut'!
That poor satnav must have had a nervous breakdown after spending half the time suggesting ignored turns and 'recalculating'
That's exactly what I do. Satnav routes around traffic, but gets confused by urban a/b roads - which are often local high streets, and not really the best roads for traffic.
Every now and again I look at its suggested route, think that it's completely daft, and then end up stuck in the traffic jam it was trying to take me around.
I find a small zip-lock bag keeps the phone away from rain or sweat. Won't survive a swim for very long, but if you fish it out in a hurry it's (usually) salvageable. If you pick your phone carefully, it'll be fully usable without removing the bag.
I said "phone", not "PIM, babysitter, gaming machine and pR0n viewer".
My bike jacket is waterproof, even after 20+ years of use. Downpour grade waterproof, so my phone in the breast pocket is very well protected (necessary in this climate - lots of rain and snow). I guess it depends where you live and what you use your bike for (daily commute or just pleasure rides).
Once upon a past life I went river rafting with a Motorola candybar in a ziplock style bag.
It got soaked through the heat sealed seam on the side that wasn't able to stand the wiggling in a pocket.
Popped battery out, dried it overnight, still worked fine after that.
I recently switched to a watch with LTE number sharing, and that links to a waterproof bluetooth headset.
Works well for getting a call out on the boat/etc, and the secret agent vibe is strong.
You strap your phone to a giant vibrator & wonder why it gets all squirrely? =-)p
In all seriousness, it's not surprising that getting strapped to the handlebars of your (mountain/motor) bike causes the camera to fail. It's designed to handle the occaisional mild quirks of a Human, not the constant & violent actions of the bike. Your mountain bike may not have the constant rumble of an engine, but then your motor bike probably doesn't get taken for off road BMX style runs through countryside that slams the phone with a thousand times the force of your typical pothole. Either way, just don't strap your tool to the handlebars - the vibrations might be nice in theory, but in practice they can really shake things up.
Sorry for all the bad puns, I'm trying to type this with the song "Good Vibrations" scampering through my head. =-)p
Whilst I completely agree that this would seam to be obvious it doesn't help that Apple use navigation apps as part of their marketing for their fruity phones.
If you are going to suggest a 'lifestyle' which involves 2 wheels, then be sure that your product can handle it...
Either way a motorbike isn't very mobile-phone friendly. For GPS I've always used a dedicated unit. It's properly waterproof, can be read in pretty much all visibility conditions from dark to direct sunlight, and, rather importantly, has a touchscreen that works with gloves and an interface that assumes wearing gloves and therefore has giant virtual buttons not the itty bitty ones a mobile interface have.
Not to mention that Apple's reputation as a mapping provider isn't exactly stellar*.
If being used as a camera to record rides, a gopro or similair would surely be a superior option.
*not sure if that's changed in recent years
They didn't have tanks.
But my VFR and Bandit both did.
I used to regularly tour through Europe. 4 Post-Its got me from Southampton in the UK to Sederon in Provence and 5 got me from Southampton to Sillian in Austria.
I did drive over to Plzen in the Czech Republic and there was sever flooding, so I did relent and buy a map from a petrol station to work out a way around the mountains and back down to the border.
I used to use dedicated GPS units like Garmin or TomTom, but then I decided I wanted something that had been updated this decade, and that "lifetime updates" didn't mean "2 updates and now you're no longer supported"
Also, my Moto G6 is readable in sunlight, unlike the last 2 TomTom units I had.
I try to use the newer gloves that have the touchscreen compatible fingertips.
I tell everyone that, if you are using your cell phone on your motorcycle as a GPS and you are happy doing so...you aren't traveling far enough. After my first 5,000 mile trip with a borrowed GPS I realized that I wanted one permanently, and the 3 days I spent without cell service only confirmed the choice of a dedicated one, if only for durability and touchscreen sake.
> the 3 days I spent without cell service only confirmed the choice of a dedicated one
There are phone navigation apps which work offline. I always have one (CoPilot) on mine, with maps for the whole continent downloaded on the phone, no internet required. Comes handy, given it takes no space and thus is always available, especially in those situations when you didn't expect to need one...
(YMMV obviously, depending how much you're traveling and if you visit a lot of new places.)
Most brands of phone use digital zoom or fairly limited optical zoom. I suspect that with the iPhone it's a combination of lenses in a housing that give a large optical zoom, but are also much more delicate and prone to vibration. I would have thought it's something to warn users of beforehand, though, rather than find out years after the fact!
There are only a few mobile OS options. There are lots of mobile hardware options. Since we're talking about hardware damage from vibration, we're clearly referring to hardware options. I can think of at least fifteen brands, though a few are owned by the same company.
Well a quick straw poll about my mates has found seven Apple owners who have had camera problems, not just with bikes but even with their phones mounted in cars and on push bikes (that's road bikes not mountain bikes). And only one who has had similar issues with another brand.
Now of course we have no evidence that any of those eight phones issues were caused by vibration. But in conjunction with Apple's announcement it seems likely. Or it may just be that the camera's in apple phones are overly sensitive to damage.
And therein lies a problem with Apple. They make a big deal of their phones' water resistance, but they are also very resistant to paying out warranty claims for water damage.
Maybe it would be better if they just put a note on their sales material - "Look these things are a bit on the delicate side which is a bit of a problem for a mobile device really, so if you're going to be doing anything more active than sitting on your arse you might want to consider a different manufacturer."
@ShadowSystems I agree why would you want to expose your smart phone to an environment it was not designed for. Most smart phones are consumer grade electronics not designed for the harsh environment of a motorcycle’s handlebars. It is not only vibration the phone will be subjected to.
I live in the UK I have often ridden in torrential rain, hail, sleet and snow. In below freezing temperatures that with the addition of wind chill factor cause ice to form on my motorcycle clothing. Smart phones are not designed for that environment.
If you need to have sat-nav or a camera then buy one designed for that environment. I keep my phones in my jacket’s top inside pocket and they have not seemed to have suffered any adverse effects.
I would have thought for something like a smart phone that is handled much more than a conventional camera, electronic image stabilisation would have been the better option, Gopro does it it and look how much abuse they withstand.
Bikes, if you aren't riding them wrong, you are buying them wrong.
My Honor 9 mounted to the handlebars of my 4 cylinder Kawasakis seems fine after many thousands of miles of use. It does sit in a rubber case and the handlebar mount is also damped, but my hands also hold those handlebars and I can't feel any vibrations. Perhaps this is mostly aimed at the big V-twin riding community who will be wanting to use their iPhones to get selfies of themselves looking tough in their Pirate uniform?
In the late 70s when the Met changed from Triumph to BMWs, a lot of the motorcycle cops complained about the vibration comparef to a Triump.
Apparently they would carry a few spare bulbs for the rear light and number plate light as the vibration kept blowing them.
I had a Meriden US spec at the time so used to get stopped a lot by cops who wanted to reminisce.
Japanese parts fit together tighter than a nun's knees. Italian machining is done after a 3 hour liquid lunch, and Harley Davidson tolerances are measured in feet. -- RyanF9
You meet the nicest people on a Honda. You meet the seemingly unhappiest most insular group of people on a Harley.
Harley Davidson -- the most efficient means of turning gasoline into noise without the unpleasant side effect of horsepower.
98% of all Harley Davidsons are still on the road, the other 2% made it home.
You'll never get lost on a Harley... you can always follow the oil trail back home
I could probably bugger an iPhone in no time flat on my RE 500 (Enfield, not Suzuki!). My fillings try to depart their housings at about 65mph...
There's also the obvious but-not-yet-mentioned: smartphones are not waterproof if they're not ruggidised for that particular application. I was on a ferry yesterday with four multis and a V-twin (Ducati) in front of me and all had various smartphones exposed on the handlebars. The sky was getting a bit black and on that route you either have to go across or around a very, very large block of granite. I did wonder how the phones would survive. As it happened, I got home across the mountains before the Gods of Water decided to take a leak, but I had also passed the Ducati rider stopped at the side of the road where she was carefully packing away the smartphone.
I would never consider doing that. A GoPro plus motorcycle-specific GPS is the only way to be sure that they will survive. Or a cheap Muvi as I found out some years back crossing the Himalayas. The two days of monsoon we hit would have killed a smartphone stone-dead within minutes.
I really miss my old Nokia 5185 ... Over 15+ years, it was stepped on by horses, gnawed on by sheep and puppies, run over by tractors, "cured" in the smokehouse overnight, left outdoors in the rain overnight a few times, dropped into toilets (three times), into a pot of boiling soup (twice) and into a bucket of used motor oil (once). When $TELCO forced me to retire it, it was still on its original battery, and didn't seem to function much different than the day it was new. I did have to replace the outer case and the "antenna" several times.
Damn, I miss that phone!
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