On Monday, it came to light that Tawkon was having a problem getting its radiation app approved by Apple for the App Store. One of the questions that’s been raised is how the app works and whether it provides a useful function. Tawkon has responded to TMO.
The Mac Observer was contacted by Josh Winter, a Tawkon media relations representative, who pointed us to this detailed explanation of the app.
As we have all learned from Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna issues, the cellular network is complex. So are the methods for determining radiation risk. One may wish to have a thorough understanding of how the iPhone operates under various conditions.
For example, internal information about the radiation level is maintained in the iPhone and is accessible. “This information is required by the phone for its normal operation as it needs to know how much power to transmit in order to keep the voice or data connection while the user is talking or on an active data session (browsing, VOIP, etc).” The upshot is that based on various paramaters, the output of the smartphone is constantly changing and can be monitored.
Mr. Winter continued:
“The amount of mobile phone non-ionizing radiation we are exposed to is measured in units called SAR (Specific Absorption Rate). Each mobile phone vendor has to comply with the FCC regulations of maximum SAR levels of 1.6 Watts/kg. You can see what your device’s SAR level is here.
What most people do not know is that SAR levels of mobile phones are dynamic and change constantly (from zero to the max SAR values of the specific phone model) based on the factors we mentioned above.”
The essay by Tawkon fills in many of the details that allow us to understand better how our smartphones work. There is also a YouTube video that shows the app in operation, but on a BlackBerry — pending App Store approval. It shows how the local environment can affect the output of the phone as it struggles to maintain the connection. That, in turn, could suggest when it might be appropriate to switch to a Bluetooth headset in order to maintain a safer distance from the handset.
All these variables are complex, and while the phone is never allowed to exceed the SAR level of 1.6 Watts/kg, some customers may want to know more about the operation of their phone. Understanding the basics, some intelligent study and the Tawkon app may assist with that process and help minimize one’s overall exposure. That is, if it’s of any concern.