Why the iPhone has a mysterious little hole next to its camera

You may never have noticed it before, but it serves a very important purpose

Aatif Sulleyman
Friday 14 July 2017 10:28 BST
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A customer views the new iPhone 7 smartphone inside an Apple Inc. store in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 16, 2016
A customer views the new iPhone 7 smartphone inside an Apple Inc. store in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 16, 2016

The iPhone has a hole next to its rear camera lens.

It’s easy to miss because it’s so small, and you might never have noticed it before, let alone wondered what it’s for.

However, the hole actually serves a very important purpose. It is, in fact, a microphone, one of three on the device.

Another is hidden under the speaker grill on the front, and another sits on the phone’s bottom edge.

The triple microphone configuration was introduced with the launch of the iPhone 5, back in 2012.

The third microphone is, naturally, there to help the phone pick up all of the sounds around you, no matter how you decide hold it.

It also helps with voice recognition, which is becoming increasingly important with the rise in popularity of virtual assistants like Siri and Google Assistant.

You can actually test your handset’s microphones if you don’t think they’re performing as well as they should be.

As Apple explains: “To test the primary microphone on the bottom of your iPhone, open Voice Memos and tap the record icon. Then speak into the microphone and tap the play icon to play back the recording. You should be able to hear your voice clearly.

“If your voice sounds faint when you’re using the speakerphone on a phone call, make sure that your iPhone receiver isn’t blocked or covered.

“If audio from video recordings sounds faint, or Siri can’t hear you, make sure that the microphone near the iSight camera—on the top, back corner of your iPhone—and the receiver isn’t blocked or covered.”

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