Glossary

Sensors

Modern mobile phones come with a variety of sensors that automate or easy many of our daily tasks. This field takes into account the presence of an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a compass, and a barometer.

Accelerometer and gyroscope

Accelerometers in mobile phones are used to detect the orientation of the phone. The gyroscope, or gyro for short, adds an additional dimension to the information supplied by the accelerometer by tracking rotation or twist.

An accelerometer measures linear acceleration of movement, while a gyro on the other hand measures the angular rotational velocity. Both sensors measure rate of change; they just measure the rate of change for different things.

In practice, that means that an accelerometer will measure the directional movement of a device but will not be able to resolve its lateral orientation or tilt during that movement accurately unless a gyro is there to fill in that info.

With an accelerometer you can either get a really "noisy" info output that is responsive, or you can get a "clean" output that's sluggish. But when you combine the 3-axis accelerometer with a 3-axis gyro, you get an output that is both clean and responsive in the same time."

Digital compass

The digital compass that's usually based on a sensor called magnetometer provides mobile phones with a simple orientation in relation to the Earth's magnetic field. As a result, your phone always knows which way is North so it can auto rotate your digital maps depending on your physical orientation.

Barometer

And finally, you may see a device sporting a barometer in its specs sheet. Contrary to what you may suggest, it has nothing to do with weather. Instead, the barometer is there to help the GPS chip inside the device get a faster lock by instantly delivering altitude data.

Related terms:

0 - 9

2G | 3G | 802.11

A

A-GPS (Assisted GPS) | A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) | AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) | Accelerometer | Airplane mode | Alarm Clock | Alphanumeric | AMOLED display (Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) | Analog | Android | ANT+ | Antenna | APN (Access Point Name) | Apple iOS | Audio jack | Auto-focus | AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile)

B

Bada OS | Band | Bandwidth | Bar | Base Station | Bit | BlackBerry OS | BlackBerry Playbook OS | Bluetooth | bps (Bits per Second) | Brand | Broadband | Browser | Byte

C

Calculator | Calendar | Call alerts | Calling Plan | Camera | Capacitive Touchscreen | Car Kit | Carrier | CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) | CDMA2000 | Cell | Chipset | cHTML (Compact HyperText Markup Language) | CIF (Common Intermediate Format) | Clamshell | CMOS (Complementary metal-oxidesemiconductor) | Color depth | Concatenated SMS | Corning Gorillla Glass | CPU (Central Processing Unit) | Crosstalk | CSTN (Color Super Twisted Nematic) | CTIA | Custom ringtones

D

D-Pad (Direction Pad) | DC-HSDPA (Dual Carrier or Dual Cell High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) | Digital Zoom | Display type | DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) | DNSe (Digital Natural Sound engine) | Downlink | DRM (Digital Rights Management) | Dual-band | Dual-Mode | Dual-SIM | DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) | Dynamic Memory

E

EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) | EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) | EGPRS | EGSM (Extended GSM) | Email client | EMS (Enhanced Message Service) | EV-DO | EV-DV | Exchangeable covers | External Antenna Jack | External Display

F

FCC (Federal Communications Commission) | Feature Phone | Femtocell | Firefox OS | Firmware | Fixed-focus | Flash Memory | Flight mode | Flip-down phone | FM Radio | FM Transmitter | Form factor | FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air) | FPS (Frames Per Second) | Frame Error Rate | Frequency | FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

G

GB (Gigabyte) | Gbps (Gigabits per second) | Geo-tag | GPRS | GPS (Global Positioning System) | gpsONE | gpsOneXTRA Assistance technology | GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)

H

H.263 | Half-QWERTY keyboard layout | Handwriting recognition | Haptics | Hot Spot | Hot Swap | HSCSD (High-Speed Circuit Switched Data) | HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) | HSDPA+ (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access Plus) | HSP (Headset Profile) | HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access) | HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) | Hz (Hertz)

I

iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) | IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) | IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) | IP (Internet Protocol) | IrDA (Infrared Data Association)

J

Java

K

KB (Kilobyte) | Kbps (Kilobits per second) | Key Guard | Key Lock Switch

L

Land line | LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) | LED (Light-Emitting Diode) | Li-Ion (Lithium Ion) | Li-Polymer (Lithium Polymer) | LiMo OS | Linux | Location-Based Services (LBS) | Lock code | Long SMS | Long term evolution (LTE) | Loudspeaker

M

Macro | Maemo OS | mAh | Mass Storage mode | MB (Megabyte) | Mbps (Megabit per second) | MeeGo OS | Megapixel | Memory card slot | Memory effect | Messaging | MHz (Megahertz) | Micro USB | microSD | microSDHC | Microsoft Exchange (Server) | MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) | MIDP (Mobile Information Device Profile) | Mil-Spec (MIL-STD) | Mini-USB | miniSD | MMC | MMCmobile | MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) | Mobile games | Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) | Mobile IM (Instant Messaging) | Mobile WiMAX | Mobility DisplayPort (MyDP) | Modem | Monochrome | MP3 (MPEG Layer 3) | MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) | MPEG-4 video | Multitouch input method | Music playback time (battery life) | Music Player

N

NAND Memory | Network capacity | Network coverage | NFC (Near Field Communication) | NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) | NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) | NOR Memory | Numeric keypad

O

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) | OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) | Optical Zoom | OS (Operating System) | OTA (Over-The-Air)

P

Packet Data | Pager | PC Sync | PCS (Personal Communications Service) | PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) | Phone Book Access (PBA) | Phonebook | PIM (Personal Information Manager/Management) | PIN code (Personal Identification Number) | Pixel | Pixel density (PPI) | Polyphonic ringtones | POP3 (Post Office Protocol) | Port | Predictive text input | PTT (Push-To-Talk) | PUK Code (PIN UnlocK Code) | Push

Q

QCIF (Quarter Common Intermediate Format) | Quad-band | QVGA (Quarter Video Graphics Array) | QWERTY keyboard layout

R

RAM (Random-Access Memory) | RBDS (Radio Broadcast Data System) | RDS (Radio Data System) | Resistive touchscreen | Resolution | Ringer ID | Ringing profiles | Ringtone | Roaming | ROM (Read-Only Memory) | RS-MMC (Reduced-Size Multi Media Card) | RSA (Rural Service Area) | RSS (Rich Site Summary) | Ruggedized (Rugged)

S

S60 user interface | SAP (SIM Access Profile) | SAR (Specific absorption rate) | Screen protection | SD (Secure Digital) | Secondary camera | Sensors | Side Keys | SIM | SIM lock | Single-Band | Skin | Slimport | Smartphone | SMIL | SMS (Short Messaging Service) | SNS (Social network service) | Soft keys | Soft Reset | Speed Dial | Stand-by time (battery life) | Stereo Speakers | Streaming Video | Stylus | Sub-QCIF | SVGA | Symbian | SyncML

T

Talk time (battery life) | TCP/IP | TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) | TEST | Tethering | Text messaging (texting) | TFD (Thin Film Diode) | TFT (Thin Film Transistor) | Theme | To-Do list | Touchscreen | Trackball | Transflash | Transflective | Tri-band

U

UI (User Interface) | UIQ | UMA | UMTS | Unlocked phone | Upload | UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) | USB (Universal Serial Bus) | USIM

V

VGA (Video Graphics Array) | Video call | Video Codec | Voice dialing | Voice mail | Voice memo | VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) | VPN (Virtual Private Network)

W

WAP (Wireless Application protocol) | WCDMA(Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) | webOS | Wi-Fi | Windows Mobile | Windows Phone OS | Wireless email | WLAN | WMV (Windows Media Video)

X

Xenon flash