Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Using an iPhone As Bike Computer

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Using an iPhone As Bike Computer

Old 04-05-22, 01:32 PM
  #1  
newbert
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 90
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Using an iPhone As Bike Computer

I'm using my iPhone along with my Varia Radar on my recumbent trike. While the radar and app work well together regarding audible warnings, I have a very hard time reading the iPhone screen in sunlight as a visual aid.

Does anyone know of a screen film that would make the iPhone's screen more visible in sunlight while not adversely affecting using the touchscreen? Or perhaps a specific type of sunglasses that might do the trick?

FWIW, my iPhone is in an Otterbox case and held to the trike using a RAM X-Grip.

Thanks!
Bert
newbert is offline  
Old 04-05-22, 01:54 PM
  #2  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,404
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3603 Post(s)
Liked 983 Times in 687 Posts
Originally Posted by newbert View Post
I'm using my iPhone along with my Varia Radar on my recumbent trike. While the radar and app work well together regarding audible warnings, I have a very hard time reading the iPhone screen in sunlight as a visual aid.

Does anyone know of a screen film that would make the iPhone's screen more visible in sunlight while not adversely affecting using the touchscreen? Or perhaps a specific type of sunglasses that might do the trick?
Simple answer: no (I'm pretty sure).

The problem is that phone screens work by emitting light and they aren't powerful enough to compete with the sun. Any filter you use will just mean blocking light being emitted by the phone (making the problem worse).

Cycle computers have screens that actually reflect sunlight back through the LCD elements. That is, they don't rely on the anemic light generated by the device.

The phone screen would be easier to see in a shadow.

Last edited by njkayaker; 04-05-22 at 01:59 PM.
njkayaker is offline  
Old 04-05-22, 03:06 PM
  #3  
Kedosto
Callipygian Connoisseur
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,383
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 564 Post(s)
Liked 348 Times in 189 Posts
You’re not trying to use the phone outdoors while wearing polarized sunglasses, right? Phone screens are difficult to see in bright sunlight. They’re almost impossible to see through polarized lenses in the sun.
Kedosto is offline  
Likes For Kedosto:
Old 04-05-22, 04:26 PM
  #4  
spelger
Senior Member
 
spelger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: reno, nv
Posts: 1,575

Bikes: yes, i have one

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 768 Post(s)
Liked 795 Times in 467 Posts
I can read my Samsung phone just fine in the sun, but while riding I do have to remove my prescription transition glasses off.
spelger is offline  
Old 04-06-22, 05:02 PM
  #5  
50PlusCycling
Senior Member
 
50PlusCycling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 703
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 330 Post(s)
Liked 312 Times in 184 Posts
You can see it better if you change the angle. I use a Topeak case and bar mount, which is stable and solid, and I don’t have any issues with visibility.
50PlusCycling is offline  
Old 04-06-22, 07:41 PM
  #6  
slowpacer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: SoCal
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 17 Posts
I used white text over dark background in cycling app, but i use a smartwatch now instead. Riding is more enjoyable for me when not looking at a computer or phone constantly.
slowpacer is offline  
Old 04-09-22, 04:08 AM
  #7  
Ironfish653
Dirty Heathen
 
Ironfish653's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: MC-778, 6250 fsw
Posts: 1,858

Bikes: 1997 Cannondale, 1976 Bridgestone, 1998 SoftRide, 1989 Klein

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 710 Post(s)
Liked 586 Times in 364 Posts
You can get screen protectors with anti-reflective (AR) coatings that can reduce / eliminate the glare and reflections caused by bright sunlight.
​I'm not a big fan of the built-in screen protectors on the OtterBox case anyway, it seems a little bit hazy to me, and I don't like the touch feel of it.
Someone mentioned polarized sunglasses, and they do funny things with phone screens, so check what kind of lenses you've got.
Changing text size /color, backlight and brightness settings may help too.
Also, everyone's vision is a little different, so what works for some may not work for you.
Ironfish653 is offline  
Old 04-09-22, 07:22 AM
  #8  
newbert
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 90
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
You’re not trying to use the phone outdoors while wearing polarized sunglasses, right? Phone screens are difficult to see in bright sunlight. They’re almost impossible to see through polarized lenses in the sun.
No, I'm not wearing sunglasses of any kind. It sounds like my only option is to play with the angle that the phone is displayed at.

Thanks.
newbert is offline  
Old 04-09-22, 09:04 PM
  #9  
biker128pedal
Senior Member
 
biker128pedal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern VA
Posts: 1,443

Bikes: 2021 Domane SL6, Black Beta (Nashbar frame), 2004 Trek 1000C being made an all arounder.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 201 Post(s)
Liked 286 Times in 179 Posts
Make or find an anti glare cover/shade.


biker128pedal is offline  
Old 04-10-22, 06:25 AM
  #10  
Mark Stone
Tractorlegs
 
Mark Stone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 3,185

Bikes: Schwinn Meridian Single-Speed Tricycle

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by newbert View Post
I'm using my iPhone along with my Varia Radar on my recumbent trike. While the radar and app work well together regarding audible warnings, I have a very hard time reading the iPhone screen in sunlight as a visual aid.

Does anyone know of a screen film that would make the iPhone's screen more visible in sunlight while not adversely affecting using the touchscreen? Or perhaps a specific type of sunglasses that might do the trick?

FWIW, my iPhone is in an Otterbox case and held to the trike using a RAM X-Grip.

Thanks!
Bert
Hi Bert -- My suggestion may be a little expensive, so hold on to your hat! I use an Apple Watch series 5 in conjunction with my Eye Phone and it is nice and readable in direct sunlight. But, like I said, they ain't cheap. Apple watches are da bomb!
__________________
********************************
Trikeman
Mark Stone is offline  
Old 04-10-22, 06:35 AM
  #11  
newbert
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 90
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by Mark Stone View Post
Hi Bert -- My suggestion may be a little expensive, so hold on to your hat! I use an Apple Watch series 5 in conjunction with my Eye Phone and it is nice and readable in direct sunlight. But, like I said, they ain't cheap. Apple watches are da bomb!
I already have an Apple watch (SE). But, as far as I know, there is no Varia Radar app for the watch, only for the phone. Is there any way to have the watch display an app that is only native to the phone?

Thanks!
newbert is offline  
Old 04-10-22, 07:12 AM
  #12  
Get.Schwifty
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Simple answer: no (I'm pretty sure).

The problem is that phone screens work by emitting light and they aren't powerful enough to compete with the sun. Any filter you use will just mean blocking light being emitted by the phone (making the problem worse).
100% While smartphone screens are art among light-emitting displays, that makes them near worthless in direct sun, and why even a black-and-gray LCD from 30 years ago looks better in sunlight.
(You should study engineering and go past LCD/LED to the next generation – Light Absorbing Display or something, for use in daylight &#128513

I think I get OP's point...why can't I mount my already very advanced cycle computer on my handlebar? I'm the same – not going to buy one. I keep my phone in my pocket, silently computing and judging me.
Get.Schwifty is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.