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Brrr,it's too cold even for your smartphone

Jan. 25, 2013

You’re careful enough to protect yourself with coats, gloves and scarves, but what about your smartphone, tablet and notebook? It requires a few special precautions to keep it safe from winter weather too. Exposing your devices to extreme cold temperatures for extended periods of time may:

• Cause your battery to drain faster

• With prolonged exposure, make the phone’s hardware more brittle and can lead to cracked screens, especially on devices with glass screens

• Cause condensation to form inside your screen if you turn it on while it is still cold

• Increase potential for permanent damage if you leave your device in “sleep mode” for an extended period of time, especially with netbooks.

So here are some AT&T tips for protecting your devices in extreme cold weather:

• The biggest and most obvious – don’t take your device out in extreme temperatures. When you’re outside in weather like this, keep it in your purse, bag or pocket. Keep it protected.

• Don’t leave it in your car or trunk for extended periods of time –definitely not if you’re driving all day or overnight.

• Don’t take your phone outside to shovel snow or sled with your kids because not only do you expose it to the cold, but you have the chance of getting it wet.

• Keep your phone or device in a protective case. We recommend something like the Lifeproof or OtterBox case. These are waterproof, drop resistant and dirt proof.

• Your phone probably isn’t going to stop ringing just because it’s cold out, so if you expect to be out in the cold for a while and want to heed our advice about keeping it in your pocket, invest in a Bluetooth device/earbud with mic and call answer buttons such as the BlueAnt Q2 so you can leave the device in your pocket while talking.

• If you know for some reason that you just have to expose your device to the cold for an extended period of time, turn it off and don’t turn it back on until it has warmed up (this helps to keep condensation from forming.)

• Finally, for protecting yourself, if you’re going to use your device outside or in cold temps, get yourself a pair of touchscreen gloves that you can leave on while using your device. We recommend Sensor Touch gloves.

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"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.

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