How to speed up your iPhone with an old trick that always works

Modern smarptohne, including iPhone, slow down just when we ask for maximum performance: here's why and how to solve the problem with a trick "old but gold"

Today's smartphones are as powerful as yesterday's computers and, coincidentally, begin to have the same problems as computers. It's no mystery, in fact, that when you "squeeze" the phone a lot, for example with video games or very heavy apps (or too many apps open at once), after a few minutes the phone slows down noticeably. It also happens to Apple's smartphones, very often when restoring an iCloud backup, but luckily there's an easy trick to speed up iPhones.

The reason for this behavior is simple: when we restore the backup a bit all the iPhone is stressed, from the modem that has to download several GB of data to the processor that has to move them to the memory and to the memory itself, on which those GB of data have to be written. All of the iPhone's high-performance components, then, are pushed to their limits to provide maximum vlocity but, paradoxically, in these cases the most frequent result is a performance collapse. How is this possible? Also in this case the answer is simple, especially if you remember what has been happening on computers for a long time: when they are under stress, chips go into "thermal throttling".

Thermal throttling: what it means

Thermal throttling is, mainly, a safety measure: when a processor works at maximum power, for a long time, then it produces a lot of heat and heat, as you know, is dangerous for electronic components because it can burn or damage them. Especially in a small and closed device (with no cooling slots) like a smartphone, therefore, thermal throttling is practically the norm when the phone is stressed.

When a smartphone, including the iPhone, goes into thermal throttling, all it does is lower the working frequency of the main chip (which is the one that produces the most heat) to lower the internal temperature accordingly. When the internal temperature drops to safe levels, however, the processor goes back to working at full power.

The simple trick to speed up iPhones, therefore, is to cool them down when they enter thermal throttling or, even better, just before.

The trick to speed up iPhones

There's an easy trick to solve the problem of thermal throttling on iPhones, which actually works great on Android phones too: place the device on an icy, or at least very cold, surface. This causes a fast transfer of heat from the warmer object, i.e. the phone, to the colder one.

The trick in question is nothing new, it's a classic "old but gold" for computer and electronic devices geeks, and it always works but it must be put into practice with the necessary precautions.

Scott Hanselman, a veteran manager at Microsoft (a company he's been working at for a good 14 years), recently re-posted on Twitter claiming that if we place the iPhone on ice, the phone will return to full speed in much less time.

It's true, of course, but you have to be careful not to damage the phone with condensation or, even worse, with the water that will be produced when the ice has melted. It's also true that the latest iPhones are all IP68 certified, so they can withstand plenty of water, but it should be pointed out that not all iPhones, and not all Android smartphones, withstand water and condensation well.

The suggestion, then, is to use synthetic ice wrapped in a cloth: some cold will be absorbed by the cloth, of course, but the whole thing will be much safer for the smartphone.