Yesterday we told you that in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, Apple updated the support page that deals with how its customers should clean its products including the iPhone. Where previously Apple had warned owners of its smartphones not to use cleaning agents, the company updated the page to add that it is now okay to use Clorox disinfecting wipes or wipes containing 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Today, T-Mobile released a timely video titled "Device Hygiene: How To Clean Your Phone & Keep it Sanitized." It is worth noting that the video's host, the carrier's head of creative content Desmond Smith, never mentions the COVID-19 disease by name. Instead, he says that "it's that time of the year" possibly referring to the flu. As he correctly points out, you don't touch any other surface more than your smartphone; the video, he says, provides tips to keep your handset "clean and relatively germ-free."
Ruling by Santa Clara County puts WWDC 2020 in jeopardy
How many of you use a bathroom break to check up on social media, read the latest news or check last night's late sports scores? This is a huge no-no according to T-Mobile because "when toilets flush they can spread germs all over the place including the surface of our phones." And speaking of the bathroom, T-Mobile reminds everyone to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. This is the same thing that the CDC in the U.S. recommends to stop the spreading of the coronavirus. If you don't feel like counting to 20 seconds, singing the "Happy Birthday" song to yourself twice will do the trick.
While T-Mobile suggests the use of hand sanitizer for twenty seconds throughout the day, the odds are that you won't be able to find a bottle of hand sanitizer anywhere. That is unless you're willing to pay $100 for a small bottle of Purell on eBay. And instead of infecting yourself by touching your face with your phone, T-Mobile recommends using earbuds or turning on the speakerphone.
The last tip is to clean your phone. Each phone manufacturer has different guidelines so you need to check the website of the manufacturer who made your device. Ultraviolet sanitizers cost as much as $80 and some promise to kill 99.99% of germs and viruses. Put your phone inside the special case for one minute (each side takes 30 seconds) and UV lights kill the bugs (not the electronic kind, though). Or, you might try special wipes designed for use on mobile phones and tablets. You can find a package of 100 wipes priced in the range of $5 to $10. If you don't have acceptable wipes, T-Mobile suggests the use of a micro-fiber cloth. Do not use alcohol-based wipes since they can damage your phone.
COVID-19 has already hurt the mobile industry as it has shut down assembly lines and retail stores in China (both of which are still weeks away from returning to normal). And it has impacted the supplies of certain models in large American cities like New York City. Because of the coronavirus, annual events that enthusiasts take for granted such as Mobile World Congress (MWC) and the Google I/O developer conference have been canceled. Events where mobile technology is often found, such as SXSW, have also been 86'd. Right now, the odds are increasingly likely that Apple's WWDC developer conference will also meet the same fate. Santa Clara County has banned large gatherings following a coronavirus death, and that is where WWDC is held.
During normal times, toting around a dirty phone is gross; these days, it could be the difference between life and death. Make sure that your handset is clean.