Today, iPhones are IP68 water and dust resistant-rating meaning they can withstand a few meters depth in water and for a few minutes. However, the iPhone isn’t completely waterproof and so is any other smartphone you can come across. However, things could change in the future as Apple just received a patent exploring ‘waterproof’ iPhones with a simplified user interface.
IP68 rating on the iPhone 15 series gives the device water resistance up to 6 meters of depth of water for 30 minutes. However, jet spray coming from the shower or a bath could defeat the rating causing more damage to the phone than you can think. Similarly, using the iPhone when swimming is another grey area where you might not be able to operate the iOS while keeping the water out of the body.
The latest patent awarded to Apple last week, but filed in April 2021, explores an ‘Underwater User Interface’ that adjusts iOS to be efficient and usable when underwater. It is because the Cupertino-based giant understands using an iPhone with iOS underwater is cumbersome and inefficient. It would require a few taps to get around a task or function making it obsolete to use your iPhone when underwater.
With the patent in place, users will be able to use a simplified version of iOS enabling pressing volume rockers to zoom in and out instead of using the pinch-in and out gesture. The sketches accompanied by the patent show a working model of the iOS for underwater usage that you can likely use with the hardware buttons.
Apple will have to improve its navigation on iOS for underwater usage. The patent shows a list of all tasks such as Camera, Flashlight, Timer, etc, that can be hailed using either the power button or volume rocker.
At the moment, the patent is likely the simplified iOS since there’s no update on any hardware for waterproof iPhones in the works. The patent carries number 11,875,021 at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).