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iPhone battery draining faster than usual? Blame the weather

There's a good chance you're already not happy about your iPhone's battery life -- especially if you upgraded to iOS 7 on an older device -- but if you live in many parts of the United States, your smartphone has probably died faster than ever this week. You see, it's been a bit chilly here in the States for the past few days, and that über-capable computer sitting in your pocket or purse definitely isn't a fan of the cold.

According to Apple's own documentation, you shouldn't be using your iPhone in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and you shouldn't even be storing the device in temperatures below minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Outside my office window here in Wisconsin, my thermometer boasts a temp of minus 15 degrees (with a wind chill of minus 22 degrees), and that's actually quite a bit warmer than it was yesterday. So, technically speaking, I shouldn't even walk outside with my iPhone in-hand, even if it's off.

The company also notes that "dramatic changes in temperature" -- like going from 72 degrees in my apartment to minus 15 degrees outside in a matter of seconds -- should be avoided. Fantastic.

So what do I (or you, if you're in one of the many areas of the US currently under a deep freeze) risk by using our iPhones in such sub-zero climates? Unspecified "damage" (tiny components and LCD screens being flash frozen isn't exactly recommended) and shortened battery life are the two possible negative outcomes, according to Apple. Yikes.

Let this be your reminder that, even though you totally accidentally dropped your iPhone in the snow that one time and it still works without issue, these gadgets just aren't made to be used at heart-stoppingly cold temperatures. If your iPhone battery dies quicker than usual this week, give it a break, and maybe a pair of mittens.

Note: The same goes for your iPad, MacBook and pretty much anything else with a rechargeable battery.

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