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Have you ever heard that you can cook an egg by leaving it between two smartphones for long enough? Or have you ever tried the widely-known hack of leaving a wet phone in rice to dry out overnight?
There is a lot of information out there about smartphones, a lot of it untrue. While most of them have been debunked, some actually hold true.
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1. Wet phone? Just dry it in rice
Almost all of us have had that nightmare moment where we've dropped one of our devices in water, or spilled a drink on our smartphone. The first thing many of us do is grab another device and quickly Google what to do.
For some reason, drying our electronics in rice is a widely shared hack, even though it might actually be damaging our electronics.
As per USA Today, putting a smartphone in rice is just as effective as simply leaving it on the counter. What's more, it can actually introduce starch and dust to your smartphone, meaning that, at best, the method is ineffective. At worst it will actually damage your phone.
2. Smartphone battery myths
The "memory effect" was a problem in the nickel-cadmium years in the 70s and 80s. These types of batteries would essentially remember how large previous charges were and would not deliver energy than was previously used. This caused a lot of problems in early battery usage.
While some believe that lithium-ion batteries have a memory, this isn't true; they simply degrade over time meaning they store less energy.
Similarly, it is not good to let your battery drop to zero. With lithium-ion batteries, this only serves to speed up the degradation process.
3. It's ok to charge overnight
Though overcharging used to be a problem, smartphones today contain protection chips that prevent overcharging from damaging your battery's lifespan.
However, this can cause overheating. These protection chips essentially make your phone stop charging when the phone hits 100%. When it drops to 99% though, it charges up again, meaning your phone is constantly going on and off charging. A WiFi smart plug can help you to charge with complete safety overnight.
4. Don't use third-party knock-off charging cables
Knock-off cables can cause damage to your phone's battery if the cord doesn't match your device's specifications.
This is very decidedly not a myth. It is best to keep to certified products, as you simply can't verify the quality of what you are buying, or whether it could cause long-lasting damage to your battery.
5. Your smartphone is filthy
You might have heard that smartphones are dirty, but did you know they've been shown to be dirtier than an average toilet seat?
As The New York Post points out, the average smartphone is seven times dirtier than a toilet seat.
Despite this Professor Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, to the Mail Online that the filth will “probably be people’s own bacteria so the likelihood of passing on disease is low.”
6. Screen protectors are so 2001
As How-to Geek points out, screen protectors are nowhere near as necessary as they used to be. Today's smartphones are made using advanced scratch-resistant glass.
Gorilla glass, for example, is a chemically strengthened glass used in many smartphones.
Despite this, smartphones aren't completely scratch resistant. Small materials, such as sand, can still pose a risk. Screen protectors might still be useful when going to the beach, on a mountain trek, or anywhere else where it might come into contact with small rocks or sand.
7. Remove your sim card to prevent tracking
We've all seen it in spy movies. The protagonist, who's being tracked by a government organization, removes the sim card from his phone and snaps it.
In this case, Hollywood isn't telling us the truth — surprise surprise. Only removing your sim card isn't enough. If your phone is powered on, it can be tracked even without a sim card.
The best way to prevent tracking, UBREAKIFIXIT says, is to turn airplane mode on, shut down your phone, disable the GPS signal, or remove the device's battery.
8. Wipe data from your smartphone using a magnet
Magnets can wipe some devices of media, as they can wipe data from magnetically recorded media. However, this simply isn't the case with modern smartphones.
Don't go leaving magnets around your phone though, as they can seriously damage your phone's navigation capabilities.
9. Phone signals interfere with airplanes and hospitals
Smartphones must be put on airplane mode when on a plane. This is because the signals from a mobile phone could interfere with signals sent from an aircraft — or so we're told.
The truth is that phone signals are very unlikely to really have an effect.
However, as Patrick Smith, a pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel, says, it's better to err on the side of caution:
“Can cellular communications really disrupt cockpit equipment? The answer is potential yes,” he told The Telegraph. “But in all likelihood, no. Aircraft electronics are designed and shielded with interference in mind. This should mitigate any ill effects, and to date, there are no proven cases of a phone adversely affecting the outcome of a flight. But you never know.”
What do you think? Are there any other smartphone myths you have heard of that simply aren't true? We spend a huge amount of time on our phones every day. Let's help each other by promoting smart smartphone use.