Your next iPhone may double as your own personal Al Roker. According to reports, the iPhone 6 will feature a built-in barometer that, among other things, will be able to track local weather patterns. But that’s not all, the barometer will also provide users with altitude data. That means climbers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts can better track their location.
According to the folks at 9to5Mac, Apple’s iOS 8 includes code that provides information about altitude tracking and ambient pressure. When they ran the new code on an iPhone 5s, however, it returned a notification indicating that the phone was unable to provide such measurements. That would seem to indicate that the iPhone 6 will include a dedicated barometer to calculate altitude and air pressure.
If the report is correct, the barometer and any information it collects would likely be incorporated into iOS 8′s new Health app. Health serves as an aggregator for all of the disparate data generated by your various fitness apps. With altitude and air pressure tracking, the app would be able to more accurately tell how hard your were working out by taking into account times you were biking or running uphill versus downhill or on a flat surface.
The inclusion of a barometer is only the latest iPhone 6 rumor to hit the Web. The handset, which will likely debut this September, is said to feature a larger 4.7-inch Retina display and sport a Liquidmetal design. In addition to the 4.7-inch model, Apple is rumored to also be prepping a phablet-style 5.5-inch handset with a 1080p screen.
There are also reports that the iPhone 6 will get a more powerful quad-core 64-bit A8 processor and include an NFC sensor, though that rumor has been circulating since before the iPhone 5 was announced. The next iPhone may also include a slick new 10-MP dual-sensor camera. Such a shooter would use one sensor to capture light data, while the second would collect color information.