The mysterious black circle on the back of your iPhone hides THREE amazing secrets

On newer iPhone models, you’ll notice a strange black circle on the back.

It sits right next to the camera – but it doesn’t look like any of the other lenses.

The black circle is a LiDAR scanner


The black circle is a LiDAR scannerCredit: apple

There are four iPhone models with this circle on the back.

These include the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

And it’s likely that the upcoming iPhone 14 will include one as well.

But what is it and why is it there? There are three things you need to know.

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Secret #1 – It’s a LiDAR scanner!

The black circle is actually a LiDAR scanner.

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging and is used to measure distances.

It works by emitting beams of light at the person in question and timing how long it takes for them to return.

The phone can map what it’s focusing on and measure what’s in front of it.

This means an iPhone can create an accurate 3D map of the space in front of the sensor.

This can be used for photography, enhancing augmented reality in apps, and some other clever features.

Secret #2 – The Little-Known Apple App

Apple ships iPhones with a preinstalled app that uses the LiDAR scanner in a very clever way.

Just swipe down from the top of the screen to bring up the search bar, then type measure.

Open the Measure app and you’ll get a camera viewfinder.

You can use it to measure any real-world object with amazing accuracy and precision.

Try it!

Secret #3 – Lots of apps use it!

But that’s not all: many apps use LiDAR to enhance augmented reality capabilities.

The Ikea Place app allows you to place furniture in your home to scale so you can see how it would look.

Then there’s Canvas, which lets you take a 3D image of an entire room that you can use for virtual tours.

And don’t forget Playground AR, which lets you play with virtual blocks, cars, and cubes on a real-world view of your tabletop or floor to experiment with physics.

Keep in mind that LiDAR-friendly apps have only recently been created for the iPhone.

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So we can expect to see many more in the coming months and years.

Keep an eye on the App Store for the latest LiDAR apps.

The best tips and hacks for phones and gadgets


Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find these secret features in social media apps? We’ve got you covered…

Get the latest news about WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and other tech gadgets here.

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Fry Electronics Team

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