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Using your iPhone in high temperatures can cause permanent damage. Here’s what not to do

As climate change makes heatwaves a more common occurrence, with even the normally mild UK currently seeing temperatures soar to 40 degrees Celsius (about 104 degrees Fahrenheit), our tech gadgets aren’t used to working in these temperatures.

Yes, it can get too hot even for your gadgets.

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Take your iPhone, for example.

Apple makes it very clear that this should only be used “where the ambient temperature is between 0º and 35ºC (32º to 95ºF),” and that using it outside of this range “may cause your device to change its behavior to regulate its temperature.”

These behavior changes include:

  • Charging, including wireless charging, slows down or stops completely
  • The display dims or goes black
  • Cellular radios enter a low-power state and signal strength may decrease
  • The camera flash is temporarily disabled
  • Performance is degraded with graphics-intensive apps or features

It gets worse.

“Using an iOS or iPadOS device in very hot conditions can permanently shorten battery life.”

You read that right. Using your iPhone or iPad in heatwave temperatures can cause permanent damage.

When things get too hot, your iPhone might pop up a warning screen.

iPhone high temperature warning

iPhone high temperature warning

In this state you might still be able to make emergency calls, but it’s best to switch off your iPhone and put it somewhere cooler to prevent damage.

Apple’s offers some tips on helping to keep your iPhone cool in high temperatures:

  • Don’t leave your iPhone or iPad in a car on a hot day
  • Don’t leave your iPhone or iPad in direct sunlight for an extended period of time
  • Try to not use demanding features such as GPS tracking or navigation in a car, playing a graphics-intensive game, or using augmented-reality apps in hot conditions or direct sunlight

Another tip that I find useful is to take the iPhone out of any case.

Just try not to drop it!

And remember, while other smartphone and table manufacturers might not publish technical bulletins related to temperature like Apple does, it makes sense to keep all smartphones and tablets and other gadgets out of the burning sun.

Everything that contains a rechargeable battery can suffer damage — even permanent damage — from being exposed to high temperatures. iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones, even flashlights and other gadgets containing a rechargeable battery.

So, while you need to remember to take care of yourself in the heat — keep hydrated! — it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your gadgets too!

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