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Heatwave causes iPhone handsets to display temperature warning screen

A safety measure built into Apple’s iOS operating system stops users accessing their phone when it gets too hot.

The iPhone overheating message (Natalie Dewhurst/PA)
The iPhone overheating message (Natalie Dewhurst/PA)

As the UK set a new record temperature for July, it’s not just people who are feeling the heat but electronic devices too, with some iPhone users reporting their handsets struggling to deal with the weather.

With the mercury reaching 36.9C (98.4F) at Heathrow Airport on Thursday afternoon, some iPhone owners have been taking to social media to report their encounters with a safety measure built into Apple’s iOS operating system.

This stops users accessing their phone when it gets too hot.

Natalie Dewhurst, from Camberley, Surrey, said her iPhone had displayed a temperature warning message when she left it out in the sun on Wednesday.

She told the PA news agency: “That’s my work mobile and if I position it near a window in my home office I often get reception … I got up to check it and it was so hot to touch so I put it near a fan and won’t be doing that again today!

“The warning has gone. It probably lasted about a half-hour until it cooled down … At the time it was around 34C (93.2F) but the phone was in direct sunlight.”

On its support pages, Apple warns iPhone handsets can become overheated if left in direct sunlight or in a car on a hot day.

Apple explains that if users see the temperature warning message, they should: “Turn it (the handset) off, move it to a cooler environment, and allow it to cool down.”

The warning message appears when the iPhone’s operating temperature is exceeded, which Apple says is an ambient temperature of between 0C (32F) and 35C (95F).

Users are encouraged to store the device in temperatures between minus 20C (minus 4F) and 45C (113F) to avoid overheating or becoming too cold.

When users receive the warning message, they may be able to use the handset for emergency calls, but they will not be able to operate the phone.

Apple also warned users that using iPhones in “very hot conditions” could permanently shorten battery life.

Some iPhone devices may also cut down on some features to help regulate the temperature of a device that is starting to overheat, including slowing down or stopping charging as well as phone performance on some graphics-heavy features and disabling the camera flash.

PA

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