(NEXSTAR) – The hot, sunny days of summer are perfect for backyard barbecues, relaxing at the beach, or partaking in America’s current favorite pastime: snapping iPhone selfies on the back of an inflatable pool unicorn.
But please, for the sake of your phone, tuck it underneath a towel between photoshoots.
If you’ve ever left your iPhone inside a hot car, or in the sun for too long, you may have retrieved your device only to find a warning displayed across the screen.
“Temperature,” the message reads. “iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it.”
This warning, according to Apple, means your device has exceeded a “certain temperature threshold” — usually if stored in temperatures of over 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) — and is trying to protect its internal components from damage. The phone itself may still be used to make emergency calls, but ideally the device should be removed from heat or direct sunlight and switched off.
Generally, an overheated iPhone will return to normal once it reaches a regular temperature. But in some cases, the battery may suffer permanent damage, and the device will never be the same.
“It’s especially important to avoid exposing your device to ambient temperatures higher than 95 F (35 C), which can permanently damage battery capacity,” Apple writes. Once this happens, even a fully charged battery won’t power your phone for the same amount of time that it once did.
With that in mind, Apple warns users to refrain from leaving their phones in hot cars — naturally — but also to keep devices out of direct sunlight for any extended period of time. Even just charging or operating your iPhone in hot conditions or under direct sunlight, especially while using certain apps, games or navigation features, can cause it to overheat and lead to problems with performance.
In fact, iPhones shouldn’t be exposed to ambient temperatures above 95 F (35 C) or below 32 F (0 C) degrees, which is out of the device’s “comfort zone,” as Apple calls it. But colder conditions won’t permanently damage your charging capacity, and “battery life will return to normal when you bring your device back to higher ambient temperatures,” according to Apple.
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Besides, no one is snapping iPhone selfies on the back of an inflatable pool unicorn in the winter. Those are purely summertime selfies.