It’s no secret that winter isn’t the most fun time of the year to be in Montreal. Even though we make the most of it through events like Igloo Fest, and with the help of the satisfaction you can only get from a 3 a.m. poutine after trekking through frigid temperatures, there’s no avoiding the fact that winter here sucks.

When you’re walking alone and attempting to survive the cold, sometimes all you want to do is text your friends and complain about the awful weather. Winter in the city being the cruel mistress that it is, Montrealers have, particularly recently, had a plethora of problems using their phones outdoors.

Cold-induced temperature technology problems around the city have led to batteries draining, sluggish tactile reaction, and screens shattering. As bad it is in Montreal, you don’t even need to be using your phone in a city this cold to have weather-related struggles: Apple claims that iPhones aren’t meant to operate in temperatures below 0°.

There are several reasons for the problems. For one, the electric currents in batteries get slowed down, causing the sudden drops in charge levels. The cold can also create condensation, which has the potential to permanently damage devices. Last, but certainly not least disruptive, phones can have difficulty with reading SIM cards or executing certain processing functions.

Luckily, there are a few ways you can fight back against the phone-killing weather. Protecting your phone in a heavy-duty case and putting it in a pocket near your body heat helps it to stay as warm as possible. In order to avoid taking your phone away from the heat you generate, you can talk via headphones or a Bluetooth system and leave the device in your pocket. Finally, the more you charge your battery before you leave the house, the less likely you are to be faced with a surprise power drain.    

If your preventive efforts fail and you do end up with cold-related phone problems, your best bet is to turn the device off. Once you’re inside, you can wait for it to get to room temperature before you turn it on again.

Unfortunately, you might have to cope with not being able to tweet your rant about how cold it is, or at least wait until you get home to do so.

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