You Can Stop Putting Your iPhone in Rice Now

Also, don't bother closing background apps to save battery life
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2024 5:30 AM CST
Two Well-Known 'Fixes' for Smartphones Are Wrong
Sticking your phone in rice won't help dry it, says Apple.   (Getty / Marti157900)

Everybody knows what to do when their smartphone gets wet, right? Stick it in some dry rice to draw the moisture out. Turns out, it's bad advice. As is the conventional wisdom to close your background apps to save battery life. The details:

  • Rice: Apple is officially warning people to stop with the rice trick, reports the Guardian. "Don't put your iPhone in a bag of rice," reads a company post. "Doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone." What's more, it doesn't work very well anyway, adds Apple.
  • Instead: If your phone does get wet, resulting in a "liquid detected" alert, Apple suggests this instead: "Tap your iPhone gently against your hand with the connector facing down to remove excess liquid." Let it sit for at least 30 minutes and try again. If it fails, try again the next day. Also, don't use a hair dryer or a bit of paper towel to dry the connector port.

  • Background apps: Those who diligently swipe up to close unused apps because they think it will save battery life are mistaken, reports Gizmodo. The apps don't drain your battery because they aren't running, and Apple itself suggests people close their apps only if they're unresponsive. A company exec confirmed all this back in 2016, but the habit endures, perhaps "because it feels like it should be true," writes Maxwell Zeff. The same applies to Android phones.
  • Privacy concerns: Those who close the apps thinking it will cut down on tracking are similarly mistaken. As the Washington Post has explained, closing them has no impact on this front. The way to resolve that issue is to turn off "background app refresh" in Settings, under General.
(More iPhone stories.)

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