Why your phone gets so hot during calls, and how to prevent it

Hoping to make a long phone call or video chat, but afraid your iPhone will overheat? Kurt "CyberGuy" Knutsson can help you prevent your phone from getting too hot.

Why your phone gets so hot during calls, and how to prevent it

I recently received an email from Gordie about an issue he was having with his iPhone. 

He wrote, "Kurt: got an interesting iPhone question for you…. I have a base model IPhone 11…, & I use Google Meet to vid chat with a buddy of mine (he has an Android phone), and after about 20-25 minutes, my phone gets very hot… But I can talk to another person (who has an iPhone (so I use FaceTime) & I’ll talk with her for the same amount of time (90 minutes), and the phone doesn’t get hot at all. Any ideas???!!! - GORDIE

Hey Gordie, there are several answers to your question.

Let's start with the fact that you are using the Google Meet app to conduct your video chat. Google Meet may be using more processing power, memory, and network resources compared to FaceTime, leading to higher heat generation.

So, it's no surprise that your iPhone gets very hot because you're using an app that uses many of the device's resources, including the processor and graphics processor, which handle the video and audio streams - not to mention memory and data.

When these processors are too overworked by running demanding apps like Google Meet for an extended period, your phone is guaranteed to heat up after a while. 

Also, if other apps are running in the background, they could be using resources and draining the battery, also causing your phone to get hot.

Video calls consume a lot of battery power, causing your phone to get hot. Also, a low phone battery can cause it to heat up as it struggles to keep your device powered. If your battery is older, it may not be able to handle the high usage and could cause your phone to get hot.

It is recommended that those of you with an iPhone replace your batteries once they are below 80% battery health. This means that at a full charge, your iPhone is holding less than 80% of the charge that it held when it was new, which could cause various issues in the device's performance.

To check if your phone needs a new battery, perform the following steps: 

If the network connection where you're using your iPhone is weak or unstable, it can cause an app that you're using to use more resources to maintain a good connection, causing it to get hot.

Google Meet may be using higher quality video and audio settings compared to FaceTime, leading to increased heat generation. 

Simply using your iPhone for an extended period of time can also cause it to get warm.

Close out your apps: If you have a lot of apps open, close out of them fully by swiping upward from the bottom of the screen and pausing in the middle of the screen. Swipe right or left to find the app that you want to close. Then swipe up on the app's preview to close the app. This will help reduce the workload on your phone. 

Turn off unnecessary features: Turn off features such as background app refresh and location services when not in use. 

Check your connection: Try connecting to a stronger Wi-Fi network if you’re using a cellular connection. You can check your modem or router if you believe you're having a poor connection at home or call your internet provider.

Charge your phone: Before using a high-resource app, plug your phone in and don't use it until it has charged fully. Also, avoid charging your phone in direct sunlight, and do not overcharge your iPhone. Limit charging time to prevent overheating. 

Update your software: Keep your iPhone updated to the latest version of iOS to ensure optimal performance. 

Use a case: Using a case can help to dissipate heat, such as those made of silicone or leather. 

Reduce screen brightness: Reducing screen brightness can help to reduce the heat generated by your iPhone as it requires less power to run the screen at lower brightness levels. Also, a darker screen will also reduce the overall load on the phone's processor, which is another source of heat. 

Keep it clean: Clean the vents and charging port of your iPhone to ensure proper airflow. 

Give it a break: Finally, if your iPhone feels hot, give it a break, and stop using it until it cools down. 

Do you have any other suggestions for how to keep your phone from overheating? Let us know. 

For more of my tips, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by clicking the "Free newsletter" link at the top of my website. 

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