Digital Crave

Five things you shouldn’t do with your iPhone

Digital Crave

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There's no shortage of articles on how to best use your iPhone — including Yahoo! Digital Crave's 50 iPhone tips and tricks to mastering your smartphone — but why aren't there suggestions on what you shouldn't do with your iPhone?

Maybe you're doing something with your iPhone that's potentially damaging it or unnecessarily costing you battery life or money.

And so the following are a few suggestions on what not to do with your iPhone, and why. Feel free to share your own recommendations below in the Comments section (horror stories welcome).

Don't assume that app is closed

iPhone users know how to close an open app: simply press the Home button, right? Nope. Sure, that tucks it away out of sight, but in most cases it's still running in the background — and could be one of the main reasons your iPhone battery is draining so quickly. For example, if you close a GPS navigation app, iPhone thinks you still want it running -- so you'll hear turn-by-turn directions. Ditto for playing music and then minimizing it to read your email, browse the web or look at photos.

Instead, to properly close your open iPhone apps and save on battery life, double-tap the Home button and you'll see a multitasking bar appear at the bottom of the screen. Now press and hold an open (but minimized) app and all the icons will start jiggling. Tap the small red "minus" tab to close down the app properly.

Don't expose your iPhone to the sun

Another sure way to affect battery performance — even long term — is for the iPhone to get too hot. And with the record-breaking heat we've experienced this summer, it doesn't take much to see this "Temperature warning" icon on your iPhone screen (see screen shot from a recent trip to Las Vegas).

Yes, we like to bring our iPhones everywhere — such as taking pictures at the beach or perhaps mounted to our car's dashboard for directions — but that excess heat due to the sun's rays likely means you won't be able to use your smartphone temporarily, as it'll shut down until cooled off, plus exposure to a hot sun will also diminish the battery performance (both short- and long-term).

Instead, your iPhone works best from 32 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit — but keeping your iPhone as near room temperature as possible is ideal.

Don't jailbreak your iPhone

While it might be tempting because you can get free apps or find ones not available at App Store, resist "jailbreaking" your iPhone, which allows you to gain root access to the iOS.

Why, you ask? While not illegal, jailbreaking your iPhone will void its warranty (as confirmed by Apple), plus your iPhone might become buggy, slow and even crash when some applications are launched via Cydia (an unofficial App Store to download new apps).

Also, updating a jailbroken iPhone can be a pain. And once you get an update to your device, you might need to reinstall the jailbreak and all of the apps downloaded from Cydia.

With more than 800,000 official apps available — many of them completely free or close to it — there's very little reason to jailbreak an iPhone.

Don't turn on a wet iPhone

Uh oh, your iPhone landed in the toilet or sink. Don't worry — it's happened to the best of us.

Your iPhone might have water damage (duh), but there are a few things that can make it worse: turning it on to see if it's ok (which could cause a short) and using a hairdryer to dry it out (even on a cool setting, you could blow water into iPhone areas not even wet).

Instead, right after you recover your smartphone from the water — and do it as quickly as possible -- submerge it in a bowl of white rice and leave it overnight. It's also a good idea to take out the SIM card (and if it's another kind of smartphone, remove the battery, too), and bury it in the rice, too. The moisture should be sucked out of the iPhone and components within a number of hours.

While water damage isn't covered by an iPhone warranty, take it to an Apple Store and explain what happened; they'll likely start by looking to see if the Liquid Contact Indicator has been triggered before helping you.

Don't roam (stupidly) with your iPhone

iPhone users know they pay a fixed monthly price to use data on the device — but traveling your phone overseas without taking any precautions is a sure way to come home to a ridiculous roaming charge on your wireless bill. That's because you're no longer using your carrier's network but a local one — and you'll have to pay for each and every megabyte used for email, web browsing, media streaming or app downloading.

To avoid many hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on your wireless bill, take these precautions when traveling overseas with your iPhone: turn off "data roaming" in the Settings menu (General>Cellular>Data Roaming); only connect to the Internet via free Wi-Fi, such as those offered at wireless hotspots (including cafés, hotels, airports, and so on); or contact your carrier before you go and pick up an international data plan.

Alternatively, some travelers buy a prepaid SIM card online or in the country they're visiting, and pop that in an iPhone while away.

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