How to keep your smartphone cool during the hot summer months
Summer is all about streaming the hits of year's past and shooting a bounty of selfies. But while you're out doing that, remember to keep tabs on how hot your smartphone becomes while you're having fun.
The warmer weather months don't offer a friendly climate for electronics, and the heat can actually be hazardous to overall device health. Here are a few tips to keep your smartphone cool for the summer.
Don't leave the phone in the car
There's a reason why it's illegal in some areas to leave your child or a pet behind in a hot car (I mean, it should be illegal everywhere). Even with the windows cracked a bit, cars are effectively giant metal and glass incubators. It's also why you shouldn't leave your smartphone behind.
Overall, it's best to pre-plan where you'll put things before you get into the vehicle. If you're driving long distances, for example, grab a magnetic car mount to keep the phone affixed to the air conditioning vent as you're using turn-by-turn directions. If you have to leave the phone in the car for safety reasons, try storing it in the trunk instead. That's the part of the car with the least "greenhouse gas" effect (link is a PDF), and believe it or not it's generally one of the coolest spots in a parked vehicle.
Another rule I abide by is to never leave any gadgets in the glove compartment, even if I'm streaming music, and my phone is connected to the auxiliary cable located inside. Glove boxes are hot enough to melt the cassette tapes of yore, and unless you've got an air conditioning vent located inside, it's definitely hot enough to toast your newer electronic devices.
Turn off what you don't need
Bluetooth, LTE, Wi-Fi, and GPS — if you don't need these things while you're out and about, turn them off. That will ensure your phone isn't working in overtime in your purse or pocket while you're out gallivanting in sun-stroked gardens. It'll also be a boon for battery life, which you'll want considering how much warmer a smartphone gets when it's plugged in for a charge.
Take off the case
You wouldn't wear layers in the hot summer heat, right? There is no need to pile them on top of your smartphone, either. If you're in need of a case because you're engaging in outdoor activities, put the phone inside an Otterbox (opens in new tab) or similarly rugged case and keep the screen off during your excursion.
Keep devices separate
I don't live in a humid climate or the desert, so I've never had this sort of issue. But if you're walking around with several devices clustered in a bag or backpack and the air is positively thick with heat, be sure that they're powered off and kept in separate compartments. This gives all the metal things on your shoulder a little room to breathe as the world outside bakes everything else.
Don't put it in the fridge
I used to do this with my MacBook Air until I was scolded for doing so. According to Gazelle (opens in new tab), a site where you can sell your old gadgets, cooling your gadgets too rapidly could actually damage the inside components.
Whoa! The best thing to do if you feel like your device is too hot is to slowly cool it down by turning it off completely and leaving it alone for a while. You should also unseat the battery pack, if it's removable, and definitely place the phone away from direct sunlight.
What are your tricks?
We all have our own tricks for dealing with the heat. What are some of your methods for cooling your smartphone down when the world outside is burning up? Let us know!
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Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.
Before this, in the Texas heat, the phone would switch to slow charging instead of quick charging due to heat. Now it will run Spotify, Waze and quick charge. When I take it off the mount and put it in my pocket, the phone is cooler than I am.