Smartphones aren’t cheap. So when you hear tips and tricks about fixing them or prolonging their lifespan, you’d readily give them a try. Unfortunately, not everything you read on the internet is true. Here are the most common smartphone myths and the truth behind them.
Your phone has more bacteria than a toilet seat
Cellphones can carry more than ten times the bacteria in toilet seats, like group A strep, E. coli, and MRSA. If you haven’t cleaned your phone yet, now is probably the right time to do so.
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To prevent tracking, you should remove your sim card
To really prevent tracking, turn on the airplane mode on your phone. Then, disable the GPS, shut down your phone and take off the battery. Remember to do the steps in that particular order.
Batteries cannot be “conditioned” to prolong battery life
Batteries don’t have memories for your charging patterns.
In reality, Lithium-ion batteries degrade over time. Eventually, a full charge won’t last as long as it did when your phone was new. Older NiCads are an exception to this as they could develop what you could call a “memory” — fully draining the battery before each recharge could recharge those batteries.
Those batteries. Not today’s.
So, you should never let your phone battery drop to zero before recharging. Letting your battery drop to zero actually wears out Lithium-ion batteries faster.
Putting your phone in the freezer can extend battery life
Lithium-ion batteries aren’t designed for extreme temperatures such as extreme heat or extreme cold. Doing so will degrade the battery even faster. If your phone is exposed to temperature extremes, ensure it’s returned to room temperature before charging to minimize the damage.
Wipe your phone with a magnet
Magnets can do permanent damage to your phone. Magnets can wipe data from magnetically recorded data, like tapes and floppy disks. Modern solid-state drives, however, aren’t affected by static fields.
A strong magnet can magnetize the steel components of your device, creating a magnetic field that interferes with your phone’s compass.
Why do we care about that?
Well, without a working compass, navigation apps can’t determine your position and games can’t determine the phone’s orientation.
To wipe your phone, don’t reach the handy-dandy magnet. Delete any sensitive data, log out of all your accounts, and complete a factory reset — in that order.
Dry your phone in rice
Rice can only absorb moisture it comes in direct contact with. And if this method works, the starch can gum up your phone’s delicate electronics.
Instead of doing that, just remove your phone from the water as quickly as possible. Put it in an airtight bag with synthetic desiccant. It’s used to remove humidity that would normally degrade or even destroy products sensitive to moisture. Small desiccant packets can be purchased at your local shop.
Modern smartphones have scratch-resistant glass. They are more durable and effective than screen protectors.
Taking a knife to a Gorilla Glass won’t scratch the surface. But, a few materials like sand, rocks, and concrete, do pose a risk.
If you are someone who frequently goes on a hike or if you like going to the beach, you may want to put a screen protector on your phone. Otherwise, it’s just pointless.
Turn off your phone during flights/Avoid using your phone at the gas stations to prevent explosions
Instead, the FAA doesn’t want to be exposed for still allowing active cell signals in certain establishments — some schools included. Some hospitals, however, find phones do more good than harm. One study found that smartphones can help enhance patient care.
Despite warnings to never use your cell phone at the pump, cell signals cannot spark a gasoline explosion. There have been no documented cases of phone-related fires. News outlets will often blame phone use when fires occur, but later investigations have always found a different cause.
The complete breakdown of the initially mentioned myths about smart-phones continue below.