Feeling fried? Android app warns how much radiation your phone is blasting into you (but Apple won’t allow it for iPhone)


  • App monitors radiation from Android handsets
  • Warns you of high levels – and says to switch to speakerphone
  • Lets you monitor family radiation levels as well
  • Not allowed on iPhone after personal rejection by Steve Jobs

By Rob Waugh

PUBLISHED: 11:48 EST, 30 April 2012 | UPDATED: 13:39 EST, 30 April 2012

Worriers rejoice – a new Android app tells you exactly how much electromagnetic radiation your handset is blasting into your brain, and even tells you when to hold it away from your head.

But iPhone owners aren’t so lucky – the app isn’t available for Apple’s handsets, after it was personally turned down by late CEO Steve Jobs in a terse email that simply said, ‘No interest.’

The app warns when radiation levels from a phone are high – taking into account the model, and what is transmitting through its aerials, and even offers tips on how to lower your radiation levels.

‘Tawkon is a free app that alerts you when your phone radiation level spikes, and offers tips to help you lower it,’ say its creators.

The phone senses the activities of components inside the handset that lead to radiation ‘spikes’, and suggest you hold the phone away from your head – or even hang up.

The app has been downloaded 10,000 times in less than a week.

It looks unlikely, however, that Apple users will be able to enjoy Tawkon.

Apple’s Steve Jobs was well known for personally responding to numerous emails from the public.

But some of his replies were a little more terse than others, as the bosses of Tawkon discovered.

The CEO, in response to a politely worded email asking for assistance to get their app off the ground, simply said ‘no interest’ (sent from his iPhone, naturally).

The app senses when components are about to release high levels of radiation, and warns users to switch to a headset or speakerphone The app senses when components are about to release high levels of radiation, and warns users to switch to a headset or speakerphone

Your phone is already equipped with what you need to protect yourself. You just don’t have access to that information.

Deep in the guts of a phone’s circuitry, we found that components actually gather radiation-related data.

We learned how to gather this information and we built tawkon: our app tracks the contributing factors to rises in radiation and simply suggests you to make a quick change — as you begin a call or while you are in the middle of one,’ say the app’s creators.

‘In 2010, tawkon launched a jailbroken iPhone app (Steve Jobs told us personally Apple wasn’t interested in it; we assume he wasn’t keen on discussing radiation in relation to the iPhone), as well as a Blackberry app.

‘In 2011, we successfully launched our Beta Android app, which is now where the core development focus lies. In April 2012 we launched our native Android App.’

radiation-reading app
radiation-reading app

Steve Jobs rejected the app, which tells users how much radiation is absorbed. It’s calculated by using the location to phone masts and how the phone is held

No convincing evidence has been revealed that mobile phones damage human health in spite of an ‘explosion’ in research into the issue over the past decade, according to a review of scientific studies billed as the most comprehensive yet.

Driving while using a mobile phone remains the one established health risk of mobile phones, a leading scientist said as a report on exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields emitted by devices such as mobile phones was published.

The review found that a large number of studies have been published on cancer risks in relation to mobile phone use but overall the results have not demonstrated that the use of mobile phones causes brain tumours or any other type of cancer.

Steve Jobs is known for responding to numerous emails from the public. Some responses are more terse than others, as Tawkon bosses found out

But the report, from the Health Protection Agency’s (HPA) independent advisory group on non-ionising radiation (AGNIR), warned that it was ‘important’ to continue to monitor all the evidence as there was little information on the risks beyond 15 years from first exposure.

This monitoring should include monitoring national brain tumour trends which have so far given ‘no indication’ of any risk, the report recommended.

The HPA said it would continue to advise a ‘precautionary’ approach and keep the science under close review.

The agency recommends that ‘excessive’ use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged while adults should make their own choices as to whether they wish to reduce their own exposure.


Posted on April 30, 2012, in Health / Medicine, Science / Technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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