Will iPhone’s New iOS 12 Measure App Make Appliance Shopping Easier?

Posted in Planning & Design, Product Tips & Tricks on .

If you installed the latest iPhone iOS 12 update, you might’ve noticed a new, handy app called “Measure”. It’s a neat tool that uses your iPhone’s camera to measure surfaces and nearby objects – which might make your next appliance-shopping trip much easier. Since measurement is so important when selecting new appliances, we’re always on the lookout for ways to make that easier for our customers. We’re going to take a look at “Measure” and see how it measures up …

The most important thing you need to know when buying a new appliance is how much space you have for it. Not the size of your current appliance, but how much space you have in your cabinetry. For that, you need a few critical measurements, which we outline in this video.

So can the Measure app help you measure your available space for that new fridge, dishwasher or stove? Let’s first see how it works.

  • When you first open the app, it will direct you to move your phone around the room. This helps it calibrate, so it can gain perspective on what you’re trying to measure.
  • You then point your phone at the object or space you intend to measure and move around until a white circle appears with a dot in the middle.
  • You line up the white dot with one of your object’s corners – for example, the corner of your cabinet cut-out – then press the white button with the + sign. Once the app has identified the object, it will click into place and secure that corner as a starting point for your measurement.
  • Slowly move to the end-point where you want the measurement to end and press the button with the + sign again. The app will show the measurement on-screen.
  • Repeat to get the other measurements you need. You can tap the white camera button to take a screenshot and share with your Product Expert.


In ideal conditions, the Measure app will even tell you your object’s or space’s square footage. However, it must have certain conditions to be triggered, and there are still some kinks to work out before that part of the app is perfected.

There are pros and cons to using this app:

PROS we found:

  • If you don’t get a measurement just right, you don’t have to start over. You can either drag your start or end-point to where it needs to be, or use the ‘Undo’ button, so you can try it again.
  • There’s a feature included that lets you take a photo of what you’re measuring. Just tap on the shutter button of your camera, and it’ll take a picture that you can then show your Product Expert.
  • The app also includes a “Level” option, which allows you to see if your surfaces are level; great for things like setting the height of legs of your fridge or dishwasher.

CONS we found:

  • You will need an iPhone 7 or up. iPhone 5 or 6 does not include the ARkit (Augmented Reality) you need to run the Measure app.
  • The app can factor in an object’s shadow as part of the measurement, leading to inaccurate readings.
  • Measure works best on flat surfaces – for instance, cooktops. It doesn’t work as well for vertical spaces, such as cupboards for fridges, washers or dishwasher; you’d have to some more manual fiddling there.
  • Depth is tricky to measure, because the app relies on visual calibration from your camera. The best way to get around this if you have the open space is to measure the height and width first as you face your cut-out head on. Then, clear that and switch to a side view and measure again, this time for depth.

Now, the big question: how does the app measure up when it comes to accuracy? On average, measurements were off by about half an inch, but it can vary. During one testing of the app, we measured a yard stick and it came in 1.5″ off of the actual measurement.

So, will it make appliance-shopping easier? The Measure app is a great starting point. It can give you a rough estimate of how big or small your space is, which will help you narrow down your options for a new appliance. However, if you need the exact dimensions of something, you’re still going to have to whip out that tape measure.

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