4 Tips for Safely Using an iPhone in the Snow

shoveling snow with iPod?
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Last Updated: May 18, 2015

The iPhone and iPod make terrific companions during chores, sports, and hikes. Having a little music along helps improve fun times and make boring tasks a bit better. No one stops to question whether it's safe to bring an iPhone or iPod along for a run or when cleaning the house, but what about for winter activities like shoveling snow, skiing, or snowshoeing? With the cold and the wet, is it safe to use an iPhone or iPod in the snow?

It’s going to be safe the user of the iPhone or iPod—unless you get in the way of a snow plow that you don't hear because your music is up so loud, that is. For your portable device, though, it can sometimes be another matter, depending on the temperature and where you store it while you use it.

iPhone Temperature Guidelines

Apple says that iOS devices and iPods operate best in temperatures between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 35 degrees C). Ideally, the company recommends that they ​be kept as close to room temperature (72 degrees F) as possible.

Obviously, that’s easier said than done when you're out in winter weather and, depending on the temperature of a given day, you may be heading out into temperatures much less 32 degrees F.

Even if that's your situation, you don’t have to go without tunes (which, if you’ve got a lot of snow to shovel or a long route planned for snowshoeing, can make the experience kind of boring).

Instead, try these three things:

1. Make Sure Your Device Is In a Case

Snowy days are often moist, especially if snow is melting on your body or you're working up a sweat moving around a lot. Make sure you're using a good case with comprehensive protection to keep potentially damaging moisture off your iPhone.

2. Store Your iPod Close to Your Body

Since an iPod or iPhone needs warmth, don’t wear it on an armband or other exterior places when enjoying the snow. That will leave it too exposed to cold temperatures. Instead, try to store it as close to your warm, heat-generating body as possible. This could mean keeping it in an inner pocket of your jacket or even inside your clothes, right next to your body. As you build body heat by exercising, you'll be able to keep your device closer to its ideal temperature range.

3. Use Your Normal Headphones

You shouldn’t run into any problems related to headphones or earbuds, so use those as you normally would (but, as your mom would say, remember to wear a hat and keep your ears warm!). You may even prefer over-ear headphones since they'll provide a little extra warmth for your ears.

4. What To Do If Your iPhone Gets Wet

Despite our best intentions and precautions, sometimes our devices get wet. Whether they fall in a snowbank or get a drink spilled on them in the ski lodge, you can end up with a moisture-damaged iPhone or iPod in a split second.

But if your device gets wet, that's not necessarily the end of the world. In that situation, follow the steps laid out in this article to save a wet iPhone.

The Bottom Line

As long as you keep your iPhone or iPod dry and warm, using it while you ski, snowboard, or shovel snow ought to make fun activities even better and dreary chores a little more bearable.

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