How can I calibrate my 2G iPod Touch accelerometer?
October 20, 2010 8:42 PM   Subscribe

Sure there is a way I can calibrate my 2G iPod Touch accelerometer. It is off, big time. No matter the angle, it thinks I'm tilting it way far left. The accelerometer still works, as individual apps with calibration functions allow for recalibration, and those apps work beautifully. More inside.

So, my accelerometer on my ipod touch is on the fritz. Its been getting worse and worse over the last few months.

It is to the point now where it goes automatically into landscape mode in apps and utilities that allow such - for example, the music player is unusable since it goes automatically into the album view screen. The browser is always in landscape mode. There is no angle I can move it to fix it.

The accelerometer is clearly still functional - for example, in Labyrinth 2, it defaulted as if I was tilting the screen far to the left. But once I use the built-in calibration function, it works perfectly.

I have tried:

1) AppBox - an app with a bunch of tools, including a clinometer with a calibration tool that a google search suggested might work. It didn't and in fact made it worse. Might be a coincidence.
2) Updating my ipod's software.
3) Shaking the hell out of it.
4) Consulting google extensively - this is a problem that has been around since the first ipod touch. Most of the answers provided are of the "If Apple thought it was a problem, they would provide an app to calibrate it" variety. That is not helpful.

It is not under warranty anymore.

Any ideas? Anyone aware of a fix, or an app that will calibrate the accelerometer globally, not just for an individual app? Am I screwed? Because without the ability to do much of anything with my music, this device is largely useless to me.
posted by neksys to Technology (4 answers total)
Have you thought about bringing it in to an Apple store for a genius appointment? The appointment is free, and it's possible that they will have a free solution to offer you, although since it's not under warranty you probably won't want to pay for a repair. I've had success in the past with getting computer problems fixed by Apple (for free) on an out of warranty repair, although I've never had an ipod problem so I don't know how helpful they will be.
posted by andoatnp at 8:49 PM on October 20, 2010

Response by poster: I should add that as well - there is no Apple Store anywhere near me. I am on Vancouver Island. The nearest Apple Stores are in Vancouver. I would have to take a day off work and probably pay $150 for a ferry there and back. If I'm going to lose that kind of cash, I'll just buy a new ipod.
posted by neksys at 11:30 PM on October 20, 2010

You're almost certainly SOL. The actual physical accelerometer is physically messed up and there is no system-level way to recalibrate it.

You might try a hard reset (press the sleep/wake button and the Home button at the same time and hold for at least 10 seconds) but I wouldn't hold much hope.
posted by Ookseer at 12:19 AM on October 21, 2010

Response by poster: Oh well. I will leave the question open for now.

It seems downright offensive to me that the accelerometer can be recalibrated at the app-level - and work flawlessly - but that such a thing is not possible at the system level. I am playing a tilt game as we speak, so physically the accelerometer is working exactly as it should - it is reporting data to the system in a way that is useable, once calibrated for. The data are just somehow shifted.

Maybe thats what bothers me about Apple - that the default solution is "buy a new one" when it is an apparently simple software fix.
posted by neksys at 12:11 PM on October 21, 2010

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