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Old 31-07-2018, 13:44   #1
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A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

As I know many other folks here do, I often use my iPhone running Navionics as a secondary chart plotter in addition to my main Raymarine unit.

I bought a magnetic wallet case for the phone a few months ago. It uses a skinny magnetic case to hold the phone in place in the larger wallet case. I bought it because it had excellent reviews on Amazon, despite a little voice in the back of my head asking, "Isn't placing magnets near sensitive electronics is a bad idea?"

Recently, Navionics started displaying my position as somewhere usually due North of my actual position. And it eventually stopped being able to detect my SOG. This same thing started to happen in Waze, Google Maps, and Apple maps.

Well, I just returned from the Apple store Genius Bar with the confirmation that my phone's GPS and/or compass hardware is royally screwed up. I now need to buy a new phone. The tech's best guess was that it was the magnetic case.
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Old 31-07-2018, 13:57   #2
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

That's the tech's best guess?
I thought they were called geniuses. Ferrous metal is a common albeit minor component of these sleeves.
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Old 31-07-2018, 14:03   #3
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

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That's the tech's best guess?
I thought they were called geniuses. Ferrous metal is a common albeit minor component of these sleeves.
So... you're saying you don't think it was the magnetic case? I'd love to hear reasons why this theory could be wrong as I really like the case.
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Old 31-07-2018, 14:42   #4
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

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So... you're saying you don't think it was the magnetic case? I'd love to hear reasons why this theory could be wrong as I really like the case.
It's pretty clear that I implied it's the case. Rather than play guessing games, remove the case and you'll answer your own question.
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:01   #5
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

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It's pretty clear that I implied it's the case. Rather than play guessing games, remove the case and you'll answer your own question.


Anyhow... I guess I should clarify that I have removed the case several times, restarted the phone several times without the case, toggled location services, and even did a clean wipe and reinstall of the iOS without the case, and the problem persists... without the case.
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:15   #6
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

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Anyhow... I guess I should clarify that I have removed the case several times, restarted the phone several times without the case, toggled location services, and even did a clean wipe and reinstall of the iOS without the case, and the problem persists... without the case.
And you omitted any of that relevant info until now?

I don't like guessing games. Hopefully, someone else can help you.
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:19   #7
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

Sorry bud, I thought that removing the case would have been an obvious first step and was trying to keep my post short.

J'abandonne.
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:20   #8
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

I think you need a new genius. I doubt very much the case can screw up the GPS receiver permanently. There is no connection between the compass and GPS functions of an iPhone.
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:28   #9
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

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I think you need a new genius. I doubt very much the case can screw up the GPS receiver permanently. There is no connection between the compass and GPS functions of an iPhone.
Interesting. Any other ideas as to what would cause the phone to consistently show my position as a few miles North-ish then?

Edit: And more importantly... any ideas on how to remedy it?
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:28   #10
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

A magnet in the case is bound to interfere with the magnetic sensors used by the phone to detect orientation. But I don't see how it would interfere with the GPS or actually damage the magnetometers or GPS hardware.


If this were a problem, I'm sure we'd hear a lot about it, given the number of of cases with magnets out there for phones/tablets. Uncle Google doesn't think it's a problem.
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:30   #11
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

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Interesting. Any other ideas as to what would cause the phone to consistently show my position as a few miles North-ish then?


Northish of where exactly?
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:37   #12
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

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Northish of where exactly?
My actual current position. Navionics also appears to "lag" behind on my actual position E and W.

For example, I sailed from Montauk to NYC last week overnight on the South Shore of Long Island. Navionics contued to show my position as in Fort Pond Bay (where I had anchored the night prior) until I was a few miles directly South and offshore of Westhampton. At which point it started to show my position as being on land, near Riverhead... and so on until I reached NYC.

So, it appears the GPS isn't updating my position, and when it does, it's consistently off by several miles.

Edit: This was after I had removed the case from the phone.
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:53   #13
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

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For example, I sailed from Montauk to NYC last week overnight on the South Shore of Long Island. Navionics contued to show my position as in Fort Pond Bay (where I had anchored the night prior) until I was a few miles directly South and offshore of Westhampton. At which point it started to show my position as being on land, near Riverhead... and so on until I reached NYC.
Forgive me for making a suggestion that's even more "obvious" than removing the case ... but this behaviour sounds typical of a phone with the GPS turned off ... the location will default to its current favourite cell tower ... you said that you did a complete factory reset ... are you sure that you turned the GPS function back on?
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:56   #14
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

Yes, try under settings->privacy->location services and set you navionics app to Always.
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Old 31-07-2018, 16:01   #15
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Re: A warning about magnetic iphone/ipad cases

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Forgive me for making a suggestion that's even more "obvious" than removing the case ... but this behaviour sounds typical of a phone with the GPS turned off ... the location will default to its current favourite cell tower ... you said that you did a complete factory reset ... are you sure that you turned the GPS function back on?


You’re forgiven. Yes. Several times it’s been toggled. Location services, carrier settings, app cellular data settings, airplane mode etc etc, were all reset and/or toggled before the full wipe and iOS reinstall. The phone has the same abnormal GPS issues with the apps freshly installed on the new iOS.

Edit: All this was done before the Apple tech concluded that my GPS receiver hardware is fubar. He attributed it to the magnets in the case. I should note that the case has three strong magnets - one to hold the phone to the case and two to close the clasp that holds it shut.
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