Most of us have a beloved smartphone that we keep with us at all times, tucked away in our pockets or our handbags. But carrying a phone around with us all day doesn’t mean that we actually fully understand them.
If we drop it or it falls in water or gets very warm in our pockets, we flock to the internet to find out why, so today we’re answering some of those common questions for you.
Why is my phone so hot?
Electronic items tend to heat up but your phone has a problem if it feels like a volcanic rock.
Your phone doesn’t have the ability to sweat so it tends to overheat when it’s asked to do too much. Processors are heat sensitive so the hotter the phone, the slower it runs. To make matters worse, it tries to compensate for this by drawing more power from the battery and generating even more heat.
If it’s overheating, put it down and give it a chance to cool off. Disable all unnecessary battery-draining apps or functions like Wi-Fi, GPS or Bluetooth.
You should also check if there’s an install or other process stuck in a loop by reviewing the running applications. This could be what’s causing your phone’s temporary meltdown.
Protective cases are a good idea but they can act like lagging jackets for hot phones so remove any unnecessary covers if it’s heating up. Some more tips to look out for if your phone feels very warm:
· Putting a hot phone into a hot pocket near a warm body isn’t going to cool it down. Leave it out of sunlight on an open surface to cool.
· If it’s overheating when it charges, the problem could be the battery or the charger. Check if the battery is warped (your phone will seem bloated) or misshapen and try a different charger to see if this helps.
· Always try and charge it in a cool, ventilated area and avoid leaving it on the plug overnight. Obviously, doing intensive activities like playing games when it’s charging can put additional pressure on your phone so don’t be surprised if it starts to get hot to touch.
· One problem with overheating is that it can seriously damage your battery, especially if it is exposed to excessive heat for long periods. Try following the above tips but get it checked if it becomes a persistent problem or if your phone starts shutting down when it overheats.
Tip: if you sleep with your phone under or beside your pillow, make sure all your apps and processes are shut down. Leave one on and fall asleep on your phone and it’ll heat up so much it may even short-circuit and go on fire.
What do I do if my phone gets wet?
We all know someone who dropped their phone into their cuppa, spilled a drink all over it or let it fall into a toilet. You may even be that person.
The first thing to do is to react quickly and not stare at your fully submerged phone in a kind of panic. Fish it out!
The chances are that your warranty doesn’t cover water damage so you’re basically in DIY territory. Get the battery and SIM card out ASAP, or turn it off immediately if the battery can’t be removed. Your first job is to dry the phone with an absorbent cloth as quickly as you can.
Some people recommend using a hairdryer or putting it in an oven but the heat can fry your phone’s delicate parts. If there is trapped water in hard to reach places, you can try and blow it out but don’t blow water further into the phone.
The next step is to draw the moisture out of your phone. Put the phone and the battery into an air-locked bag that is filled with uncooked rice and leave it in a warm place for at least 24 to 36 hours. Leaving it up to 72 hours can only increase the chances of success so try and avoid the temptation to keep checking it every few hours.
Even if you follow these instructions, the fate of your phone is essentially in the lap of the gods. Still, you might be able to salvage it from a watery grave so sit tight and hope the rice works!
Why isn’t my phone charging?
Nobody wants a mobile phone that needs to be constantly plugged in to work. It’s no fun to jump from plug socket to plug socket in a desperate attempt to stay connected.
Maybe you plug it in for hours but it still doesn’t charge. Or else it charges to 100% but it won’t hold a charge for longer than an hour.
Try cleaning the phone’s USB port to make sure it isn’t clogged up with a ball of pocket lint. If there are small children in the house, you’d be amazed what they could have crammed into your phone. Plan B is to try a different charger or USB to eliminate an obvious culprit for the charging issues.
Unfortunately, batteries don’t last forever. A sure warning sign is if your battery is bulging or warped. If your phone’s creaking at the edges, or looks like it’s putting on weight, a dying battery could be the problem. If you can remove the battery, try spinning it on a flat surface. If it spins easily, you need a replacement.
Another issue could be with the calibration of the battery, which sounds complicated but basically means your device can’t tell if the battery’s charged or not. Go right ahead and check the calibration on your Android or iOS device.
If your iPhone screen is black or frozen and it won’t restart, the problem may not be related to charging. You can force a restart by holding down the Home and the Sleep buttons for at least 10 seconds.
Try and eliminate all the possibilities but you may need to take it to a phone doctor if the problem persists.
How do I find a lost phone?
You’ve turned your house upside down and there’s still no sign of your phone. Maybe you were out on the town last night and you left it in a taxi. Luckily, there are phone-finding options out there but only if you installed them before you ended up searching under the sofa.
For Android, Android Device Manager is an app that helps you locate, lock or to wipe all the data on your phone. You’ll need the location access turned on and access to mobile data or Wi-Fi. You can also add a contact number to the lock screen to tell any good Samaritans who find the phone how to contact you.
Other apps include PlanB, which uses mobile towers and GPS to send you email updates on your lost phone’s location every 10 minutes. The Norton Security and Antivirus app will also pinpoint your phone’s location.
iPhone owners can use Apple’s Find My iPhone to show a lost phone’s location as long as it is powered on. You can also send a message, play a sound or delete the contents of the phone. Windows has a similar Find My Phone option on their website which will let you trace your phone’s location.
Alternatively, you can try the low tech option of calling your phone, retracing your steps or calling around to police stations on the off chance that a good citizen dropped it in.
However, you could also get clues to your phone’s whereabouts if the person who finds/steals it is not very tech-savvy.
A tourist who had her phone taken in Ibiza discovered new photos being automatically uploaded to her Dropbox from her phone after the alleged thief forgot to disable the camera’s upload function. She started the Tumblr blog, Life of a Stranger Who Stole My Phone, and posted the pictures taken by her phone’s new owner along with captions.
She didn’t get her phone back but at least she got revenge.
How vulnerable is my smartphone to attack?
Your smartphone is definitely not the most secure piece of tech you’ll ever have. Mobile phones are full of sensitive information and access various online accounts through private and public networks—yet most people are way too relaxed about security.
One expert recently claimed that 95% of Android phones were vulnerable to a single multimedia text that could let hackers access private data. And iOS phones have also had security problems in the past.
Unsurprisingly, smartphones are seen as an easy target for hackers, and not just because of the ready access to financial or personal details. The lack of security and high connection speeds make them ideal pawns for use in a DDOS attacks.
Essentially, your smartphone contains your life in a pocket-sized piece of tech so it’s worth beefing up your security options or investing in an antivirus program or app.
This lax attitude to smartphone security can be summed up by the amount of people who don’t even lock their phone, leaving their information freely accessible if it’s misplaced. It’s like leaving all your personal and financial papers on your kitchen table and walking out without locking the door.
You wouldn’t do that either, would you?