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Cold Weather Can Mess With Your Phone. Here’s How to Protect It

Category: Smartphone Accessories
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A pedestrian types on her smartphone during a snowstorm on January 21, 2014 in New York City.

Apple says its iPhones are made to operate in temperatures above 32 degrees. Much of the country won’t even creep above that mark until the second week of January – and tens of millions of Americans are enduring lows in the negative double digits.

In conditions like these, many smartphones will be start experiencing problems like shutting off, shortened battery life, display problems or even the glass shattering. Most smartphone batteries are lithium-ion, which can stop discharging electricity in extremely cold temperatures, Roger Gurney, owner of Arctic Tech Solutions, explained to us. Here are a few tricks you can use to keep your phone working in Arctic temperatures.

Keep it in your your pocket

Even something as simple as keeping your phone in your pocket or bag can help shield it from icy temperatures. Keeping your phone in your pocket will also allow it to benefit from your body heat to help keep it close to optimal temperatures.

Smartphones are most vulnerable when left out in the cold or without heat for extended periods of time – so avoid leaving them in parked cars.

Use a special case

If you absolutely need to keep your phone out in the cold weather, there are a few cases that are specially designed to keep phones warm. Makers include ClimateCase, Burton Antifreeze and Salt Cases.

ClimateCase uses insulated neoprene to keep the cold out. It also comes with an extra pocket for storage and it’s machine washable. Burton’s case also uses insulation to keep phones warm and offers an extra pocket for cards or cash you may want on hand. Salt Cases are insulated against the cold, but use more traditional phone case style that can be kept on during use. They also have laptop and tablet designs.

Wait to charge your phone

While most performance issues related to cold weather are temporary, Apple warns that charging iOS devices in extreme temperatures can damage the devices further.

Turn your phone off

iPhones, iPads, iPods and Apple Watches all have a working temperature range of about 32 to 95 degrees. However, when not in use the safe range increases to -4 to 113 degrees.

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