Every Tuesday, right in the heat of the afternoon, I have a standing appointment in Kansas City. Recently, we've had some really hot Tuesday afternoons and a couple of weeks ago my phone got really hot and started acting up on me. So when I saw this article from The Washington Post on how to cool off your phone to keep it working I had to read it.

First, it's not that abnormal for some things like charging your phone, a misbehaving app, or a graphic-heavy game that's pushing your phone to make it hot. The Washington Post's point is, that's not a problem.

For me, the problem started when I put my phone in the bin below the radio and video screen and hooked it up to the Apple Carplay function in the vehicle I was driving. I got on the road about thirty minutes into my ride the phone just started giving me fits and I got frustrated because I needed the maps function to work.

In my case, I noticed it seemed a little warmer where I put the phone. So I held it up to the AC vent for a couple of minutes and ended up putting it on the car seat next to me where it was a little bit cooler. It was still warm, but the Apple Carplay function worked and got me where I was going.

So what does the Post article recommend?

  • Keep your phone out of direct sunlight.
  • Skip shooting video, using your phone as a hotspot, or playing graphic-rich games. The less you tax your phone, the better. Skip picture taking if you can.
  • Your phone case could be trapping heat, pull it off the phone.
  • Put your phone in low power mode, this will limit what your phone can do and keep it from overheating.

The Post says cell phones cool off rather quickly, but if it is overheating and you need to use it now they recommend grabbing a bag of frozen vegetables or an ice pack. Wrap it in a small towel and put your phone on it for a minute. Then take it off the cooling source for a minute. And repeat until the phone cools down enough to use it.

Sticking your cell phone in the fridge or running it under cold water isn't recommended because, in the case of the fridge, that could cause condensation and short the phone. In the case of cool running water, even if your cell phone is waterproof, manufacturers mean if you drop it in the water you can retrieve it and it'll probably be OK. They're not talking about running water under a faucet.

So there you have it, some quick tips to keep your phone a little cooler and working while we all try to make it through this current hot spell. Stay cool.

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