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The iPhone can lose battery life quickly in cold temperatures. This article provides tips to keep your iPhone operational during cold weather.
It’s been a cold winter for many people across the globe. Extreme weather seems to be the new normal. Unfortunately, electronic gadgets, particularly those powered by lithium-ion batteries, are not suited for temperature extremes. The iPhone is no exception. According to Apple, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can operate at temperatures between 0° to 35° C. When turned off, these devices are a bit more robust and can withstand temperatures from -20° to 45° C.
Those living in cold climates may be familiar with this situation. If one takes out an iPhone on a cold day, the battery life diminishes quickly. Within a few minutes, the battery can lose enough power to shut down the device. It’s not actually discharging. Instead, the lithium-ion battery simply cannot function at extremely cold temperatures. The lithium ions slow down under cold temperatures, diminishing the flow of electricity.
This is not a flaw with Apple products. This happens with any lithium-ion battery-powered device. There are a few things you can do to keep your iPhone working and protect it from permanent damage.
Turn Off Your iPhone
If you are walking (or riding your snowmobile) outside and don’t need your iPhone, turn it off. As mentioned previously, when turned off, the iPhone can withstand a much greater temperature range. Make sure to turn it off, and not just put it to sleep. Hold the sleep/wake button and then swipe the “slide to power off” switch to turn off your device.
When you return to a warmer environment, don’t turn on your iPhone right away. This is true of every electronic device, and also some forms of media, such as video and audio cassettes. Turning on a cold device can warm it quickly. The rapid change in temperature can expand components too quickly, causing damage. Furthermore, your device is at risk for condensation to form. Any moisture inside the device can cause electronic components to fail. Simply wait for your device to come up to room temperature. With the new, metal-encased iPhones, this should happen within a few minutes. Just make sure it doesn’t feel cold to the touch.
Keep Your iPhone Warm
If it’s cold outside, chances are you are wearing warm clothing. You may have a thick, down-filled parka. If so, put the iPhone in an inside pocket. Between your body heat and the jacket’s insulation, your phone should remain within operational temperatures. If you can’t do that, try to put the device as close to your body as possible.
Of course, this limits the use of your iPhone. The buttons on Apple’s headphones actually allow users to control some iPhone functions. For example, one can invoke Siri simply by pressing and holding the center button on the headphones. I wouldn’t advise taking the phone out and returning it to its warm location repeatedly. It will present the same problem of expansion, contraction and condensation.
There are some cases that may provide adequate insulation for your iPhone. Neoprene seems like a good option. It is inexpensive and is the same material used in wet suits. You could probably even make one out of a mouse pad, since most are constructed from neoprene. Neoprene is also a great shock absorber. For those with the financial resources, a new, high-tech thermal protection case is coming soon…
Use a High-Tech Thermal Protection Case
Optimal is an active, electronic thermal protection case that is currently in development. It promises to be the high-end solution to using an iPhone in extreme temperatures. This high-tech case will help maintain the temperature of your iPhone in hot or cold weather. The case will have fans and heating elements to keep your iPhone at the optimal operating temperature. It will also ensure that your iPhone won’t overheat when gaming or engaging in other resource-intensive activities.
The Optimal case will only be 5 mm thick and constructed of anodized aluminum. The case has its own battery and must be charged, so as not to drain the iPhone’s battery. This is a high-tech case with active electronic components to monitor and maintain the optimal temperature. It will even work with Touch ID and will not obscure the camera lens. The case is currently under development, however, it is being crowd funded on Indiegogo. This case is not cheap. It will sell for around $200. However, if you need to use your iPhone in extreme temperatures, there’s really nothing else like Optimal.
Don’t Leave Your iPhone in the Car
Given the operational and non-operational temperature range for the iPhone, it makes sense not to leave it in a cold car. If you do, at least make sure to turn it off and wait until it warms up before turning it on again. The most sensible thing is to take it with you. It may be colder outside your automobile, but if your iPhone is tucked in a warm pocket, it will fare better. (continue…)