Scorching temperatures don’t just leave people hot and bothered. They can affect our iPhone or Android phones, too.
Millions of Americans living in the Northeast faced excessive heat warnings on Sunday as temperatures jumped to near-record levels.
Both Boston and Philadelphia broke daily heat records on Sunday, as both cities reached a high of 99 degrees.
Using an iPhone or Android phone outdoors can create strain on devices forcing them to shut down if the phone gets too hot.
Obviously, you’ll feel your smartphone get warmer to the touch when using it. But what can lead to smartphones heating up more quickly in hot weather? And what can you do to cool your phone down?
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What causes your phone to warm up?
Both the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones are built to operate at temperatures ranging from 32º to 95º Fahrenheit.
Apple notes using your iPhone in very hot conditions “can permanently shorten battery life.”
No surprise here, but hot weather plays a significant role in how warm your phone gets. Whether it’s sitting in your pocket, in your car, or somewhere near direct sunlight, the higher temperatures cause your phone to heat up more quickly than usual.
Charging your device can cause it to heat up a bit, too, whether it’s wirelessly or directly connected via a cord.
Apps or games that hog the graphics or processing capabilities of your phone causes it to heat up, as it does certain features like GPS or streaming high-quality video.
How do I know if my smartphone is heating up?
Your iPhone or Galaxy phone will give away signals that it’s starting to reach a point where they’re getting too hot.
Samsung notes that “access to certain features/functions may temporarily freeze as a mean to protect the device” when it crosses heat thresholds.
On the iPhone, Apple said the device will make several adjustments, including slower charging, dimmer displays, and the flashlight and flash for photos are disabled.
Once your phone gets too hot, it will display warnings that the device needs to cool down before you can use it again. Both iPhones and Galaxy models will still allow you to make emergency calls during that time.
How to cool down your phone
If you find yourself with an overheated phone, take these steps to cool it down so it works again:
- Turn your phone off. Not exactly the most convenient solution, especially if you need your phone at that moment. But giving your phone a power break can help it cool.
- Get it away from the heat. If your phone is in direct sunlight, move it into the shade. If it’s in your car, take it out since the temperature inside a hot car can climb quickly.
- Take the case off. Removing the case on your phone might help in cooling down your phone more quickly.
- Avoid tasks that turn up the heat. Certain activities will cause your phone to warm up more quickly, including streaming video, playing graphics-heavy games or using navigation apps that lean on GPS.
- Take a break from charging. Unplug your phone or remove it from a wireless charging hub while it attempts to cool.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @BrettMolina.