Record-breaking heat in San Francisco earlier this week got me thinking about the effect of temperature and other external conditions on portable electronics. Most gadgets weren't designed to withstand extreme heat or cold, or to fend off excessive moisture (with some notable exceptions). With that in mind, I've compiled the following tips to help you keep your tech in good working order.
It may already be nearing the end of August, but many of us still have several warm, sunny weeks left. During that time, DON'T leave your cell phone, MP3 player, or other portable device in your car all day long--especially in direct sunlight. (In this city, doing that is just begging to have your car window smashed in, as well.) Gadgets, like prescription meds, are best kept at room temperature. Exposing them to extremes can damage the internal hardware, causing system malfunctions and general user unhappiness.
If you're wondering about the limitations of your device, DO check out the packaging; most electronics call out an appropriate temperature range in the specs. For example, the iPod Touch is guaranteed operational between 32 degrees and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can see, the upper end of that range is not all that high. From what I've been told, many parts of the country also dip well below freezing some months of the year, so heed this advice in the winter as well. (Or just spend November through March in California--it's totally affordable, I swear.)… Read more