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How to Take Care of Your Phone in the Cold
Smartphones are valuable tools for dealing with the hassles of modern life, especially in harsh winter conditions. Unfortunately the cold winter weather also makes it difficult to use smartphones effectively. No matter how great an app may be it will not be helpful if your phone is freezing along with you in the cold. Here are a few tips and tricks which will help you ensure your smartphone is ready to face the challenges of winter.
Take Care of Your Phone's Battery
The first step to proper smartphone care in the winter is paying attention to battery life. There is nothing worse than wandering around a foreign city without directions, or worse, finding yourself in an emergency and reaching for your phone only to find the battery depleted. There are a few measures you can take to increase battery life and avoid the potential problems. Think about how you are storing your phone. When you carry it around, around are you leaving it in a bag at your periphery or keeping it in a pocket close to the heat of your body? Do you ever leave it in the car or forget to bring it into the house overnight? It is important to pay attention to such details because cell phone batteries function differently depending on the temperature. In a cold environment batteries generate less current, often far less than is required to sustain the power demands of a smartphone. The colder it is the faster the battery will drain during use. To combat this effect always keep the phone warm by keeping it close to your body or even buying some heat packs to share a pocket with the device. In a pinch you could even rub the phone vigorously between your hands to generate some heat through friction. Not only will the battery drain faster in the cold but it will actually work less efficiently. The performance of lithium-ion batteries, commonly found in Apple products and other electronics, drops by up to 40% efficiency in cold weather, meaning it is all the more crucial to keep devices warm if you want to take advantage of as much battery life as possible. To ensure a nearly constant supply of battery life on long trips away from AC power outlets you can buy a solar powered cell phone charger. Light and portable, these devices are relatively inexpensive and indispensable in emergency situations.
Use Public Charging Stations
If you find yourself in a populated area without a charger, consider asking someone for directions to a public charging station or a café where you can charge your phone. Cafés and restaurants often have chargers on hand for customers to use. Many municipalities are establishing public charging centers which come equipped with various cables to support nearly any type of electronic device, from digital cameras to smartphones. For example, Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario has several new charging stations to the public in an effort to promote sustainability.
Get the Right Gear
Capacitive Touch screen Gloves Aside from battery concerns there are several obstacles to using smartphones effectively. For example, not being able to operate a touchscreen while wearing winter gloves is a common problem. Touch screen technology tracks your swipes and pokes on the screen through your body's ability to conduct electricity. If your fingers are covered in protective fabric, as they often are in inclement weather, it is impossible to take advantage of the benefits of a touchscreen without resorting to using your nose. If you aren't keen on nasal navigation you can invest in conductive gloves made especially for smartphones users trying to stay warm. Buying a stylus is an alternative and although it may not be in vogue it will definitely work no matter how thick your gloves are.