It was a warm summer night and I had been leaning back in adirondack chair, enjoying a cold Samuel Adams as the warm breeze reminded me that summer was upon us. The moment was short lived. Being the parent to an active toddler, chasing her to prevent her from [jumping in pool, pulling on a dogs tail, insert any incredibly poor decision] is a common occurrence. Jumping into action, my phone slid out of my front pocket, landing flat on the pavement. Summer was here, the season responsible for the untimely deaths of so many smartphones. Smashed screens, water damage, theft and loss become commonplace during the season of summer. The cost of repairing or replacing an iPhone, even with Apple Car, can be expensive. Summer should fun, but nothing dampens good weather like ruining your $650 iPhone. Here are a few tips to help your phone survive the summer season and what to do in the event things do go bad.
Water Is A Sure Fire Way To Kill Your iPhone
There are more creative ways to inflict water damage to your iPhone, like dropping it in a toilet, but most water damaged iPhones are a result of taking it for a swim. The salt water of the ocean is worse than an pool, but neither will yield positive results. The trick here is to not pocket your iPhone before heading out to go swimming. The natural inclination is to grab your iPhone and put it in your pocket. Let’s face it, nothing beats the excitement of hitting the water on a hot day. I’m terribly forgetful and this is one instance where reminders won’t help. I suppose you could set up a location based reminder for your public beach, reminding yourself to leave your iPhone in a dry area. Even if you are not the forgetful type, friends hardly provide notice when throwing another friend in the pool. Cries of, “wait my…” will be cut short by your going under water.
Too late tip: If you’ve already taken a swim with your iPhone, check out our thorough guide on what to do if you drop your iPhone in water.
Not only is important to keep it dry, you’ll want to keep it relatively cool. This isn’t always possible, when temperatures begin soaring into the nineties. One thing you should avoid is leaving it in your glove compartment or even worse, in your console. Ever feel the scorching heat when you open up your car on a hot day? You wouldn’t put your iPhone in a frying pan and cook it on high, so definitely avoid keeping your precious locked in your car. Leaving on your console? Also a bad idea. It could be in direct sunlight and a target for theft.
Tip: Carry a beach bag with a zipped pocket. To go the extra mile, throw it in a sandwich bag, a low-cost option for water resistance. Other more costly options include picking up a LifeProof or other water proof case. This will protect your iPhone from sand and water, plus you can take cool underwater photos. It’s also less stressful, knowing that your iPhone is sufficiently protected from the elements.
Loose Or No Pockets
For dudes, the summer means packing away your jeans for a few months. Regardless of your personal style, chances are your wardrobe includes slouch shorts. Women who prefer skirts and summer dresses, they lose any pocketable options. Both sexes retire their jackets to the back of the closet. That doesn’t leave plenty of great options. Speaking from experience, those slouch shorts might as well be a slip and slide for smartphones. Suddenly a relaxing moment on an adirondack chair can quickly progress to *clack* – “Oh crap, my iPhone.” Suddenly those ridiculous iPod touch loops don’t seem like such a bad idea.
Tips: Listen, absolutely no one likes a bulky case. I understand that. But for the summer months, I cannot stress how important it is to bring to bear the protection you need against the cruel, cruel summer. Grab yourself an Otterbox, SGP Tough Armor or some case that won’t flinch when hitting a concrete patio.
Too late tip: Apple will repair your smashed screen, but it’s not inexpensive. The going rate for a screen replacement is $269. Be cautious when using fly-by-night repair shops that offer discounted screen replacements. Older iPhones including the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G are $149. If you have an older iPhone, you’re likely due for an upgrade, so use this opportunity to upgrade to a newer model.
Lost or Stolen iPhone
Apple made major changes to Find My iPhone in iOS 7, which renders iCloud locked phones useless. Despite this added protections, iPhone theft continues. While the resale value is diminished, it does exist. You can find people regularly selling locked iPhones on eBay.
Tip: If you have already, make sure you have enabled Find My iPhone. Summer means your iOS devices will be well traveled. Should you lose or have your iPhone stolen, this service will in most cases, allow you to instant access its location. If your iPhone was stolen, do not attempt to recover it yourself. Contact the appropriate authorities and provide them with all of the information. Trying to recover it on your own could put you in an unsafe situation and no piece of electronics is worth your life. Find My iPhone also lets you put your iPhone in ‘Lost’ mode.
I’m typically hyper-paranoid when it comes to my phones. It took all of one week of warm weather before my phone hit the concrete. You may know the tips outlined and if so, think of this as a reminder. Hopefully you’ll learn from my mistake and use these helpful tips to protect your iPhone from the cruel, cruel summer.
Photo credit: Matt Janson