What The Tech: Summer Heat and Smartphones

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Don’t be surprised if your phone suddenly plays Kool and the Gang’s Too Hot, or Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer”. Nothing damages the phone like hot weather and water.

“It’s too hot. Too hot baby. Gotta run for shelter, gotta run for shade”. “It’s a cruel, cruel summer. Leaving me here all along it’s a cruel (cruel) summer, now you’re gone.”

It’s like the iPhone wrote those lyrics.

You may have forgotten your phone in the car before. In normal weather that might not be a problem but in the summer when temperatures can rise to over 100 degrees in minutes, it can permanently damage the phone’s battery.

I purposely left an old iPhone in the car for just 45 minutes and came back to a scary warning on the screen that the phone is too hot to be operational.

So what do you do? Better yet, what should you not do?

First, get it out of the heat of course. Bring it inside and set it aside. Don’t try to use it. Apple warns you shouldn’t put it on charge as that will add even more heat to the phone’s working parts. Even when the warning screen disappears, don’t use the phone. Don’t play games or call someone asking what to do about your overheated phone. Remove the case and turn it off for an hour or so.

Unlike extremely cold temperatures which can cause your phone’s battery to die faster. Heat permanently damages the phone’s battery. A cold phone battery will warm up and won’t cause any permanent damage like the heat can.

How hot is too hot?

Apple says the operating temperature for its devices is between 32 and 95 degrees. Samsung, Google, and OnePlus phones are similar. So just using the phone outside can create problems. If you’re going to be outside for a while, turn off notifications and location services. Wait to post photos or play games. Keep it away from direct sunlight.

A water splash from the pool can also damage the phone if water gets inside. If a drop passes through the speaker there’s a quick trick to eject it. Just ask Siri. You’ll first need to add the iPhone shortcut “Water Eject” which you can find here: Water Eject Shortcut

Once installed you can ask Siri “Water Eject” and it will prompt you to run the shortcut. Follow the prompts and the speakers will play a tone that’s strong enough to eject any drops. It’s similar to how the Apple Watch ejects water when you take it swimming.

All of the rules apply to Android phones as well though there is no Android shortcut to eject water. There is a website however that will play a similar tone on an Android phone. You’ll find it at www.fixmyspeakers.com