Anyone who has stepped out of their house for more than 3 seconds knows it's pretty darn cold out there. If you step outside and notice your cellphone acting a little weird; it's because your phone is cold too. Apple says it's iPhone's are made to operate in temperatures above 32 degrees and when it's below that temperature you may start experiencing problems like the device shutting off on its own, shortened battery life, display problems, or even the screen shattering. But we all know that, while your best friend slipping on the ice and falling on their butt is hilarious, it didn't really happen unless you got video to post on Instgram and Facebook so here are some tips on how to use your phone in the cold.
Obviously, our number 1 priority in the cold is to keep ourselves warm. But a close second is being able to send that text. If you have ever tried to send a text or use your phone at all while wearing gloves, you know it doesn't work. These screens depend on your body's ability to conduct electricity to work, and a thick insulating layer of wool prevents the screen from registering your taps and pokes. Luckily, there are pretty inexpensive gloves that you can purchase that have a special material at the fingertips to allow you to use your phone. If you're handy, you can actually make your own gloves. Follow the tutorial HERE. Using a stylus is always an option as well. When all else fails, you can use your nose. But that requires a bit of coordination.
WHEN YOUR PHONE GETS COLD
Some smartphones list the optimum range of temperatures in their technical specs. For example, when it's turned off, the iPhone 5S can withstand temperatures between -4° and 113° Fahrenheit. When it's turned on, the range is much more narrow. Apple suggests 32° Fahrenheit as the lowest operating ambient temperature. Other phones are rated for much lower temperatures, and some can go as low as -4° Fahrenheit while in operation. When lithium-ion batteries are exposed to cold temperatures, their performance suffers. When cold, a phone battery can drain faster than normal, or it might say it has ample power remaining and then suddenly go dead. The problems are only temporary and the battery should behave normally when the device is brought back up to warmer temperatures.
If your phone does shut down in the cold, do not restart it until you're inside and it's had a chance to warm up. Restarting when it's cold could be harmful to your phone and your battery life. And it's not just the battery. Smartphones are made up of other delicate electronic parts, like their LCD screens, that can malfunction in extreme temperatures. Freezing temperatures can also make a phone's glass surfaces more sensitive to cracks and breaks, especially if there's already a flaw or nick in any of the glass. There have been reports of the glass on the back of the iPhone shattering in extreme cold temperatures.
The best advice for keeping your phone safe when it's cold is to not let it get cold. Don't leave it in a cold car for extended periods of time. Keep it in a pocket close to you.