Apple issues important coronavirus update to millions of iPhone owners

Apple issues important coronavirus update to millions of iPhone owners


Apple has updated its website to inform iPhone, iPad and Mac owners that it’s safe to use anti-bacterial and disinfectant wipes to clean their devices. Until now, Apple had warned iPhone owners to only use water to clean its products. However, it has changed this advice during the current outbreaks of the COVID-19. Apple previously cautioned customers to only use water because other substances can strip away the oleophobic coating on the glass. 

Oleophobic coatings are designed to provide a certain amount of resistance to finger smudges on the touchscreen. Clearly, given the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Apple has decided that a certain amount of wearing down of the oleophobic coating is a price worth paying to try and stop the spread of the disease, which has killed more than 4,000 people worldwide.

According to the World Health Organisation, coronaviruses can survive on hard surfaces between a few hours or several days

According to the new information on the Apple website, “Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces.” However, the Cupertino-based company warns iPhone owners – “Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents.”

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If you own a leather or fabric protective case or accessory from Apple, it advises not to use cleaning agents on that material as it could result in permanent damage.

If you’re looking to clean your iPhone, iPad or Mac, never spray anything directly onto the display itself. Instead, apply the cleaning agent to a soft microfibre cloth. Apple includes a small black cloth with its MacBook notebooks which can be used on any of its devices. If you’re looking to clean an iPhone, it’s worth buying a cloth online.

Avoid paper towels as these can cause micro-abrasions in the glass display. After you’ve cleaned your device, wash your hands.

iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus have a rating of IP67, which means the handsets are able to withstands a maximum depth of one metre of fresh water for 30 minutes. iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone 11 have a rating of IP68 and can withstands two metres for half an hour.

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Meanwhile, iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max can be held under four metres for 30 minutes. Apple says it extensively tested these handsets under different liquids, including coffee, beer, and a number of other common drinks. So there should be no worries running your smartphone under the tap.

Britain is still in the containment phase of its four-step plan to combat the spread of the virus, although preparations are underway to gear-up for the second phase – known as “delay”. The latter could involve shuttering schools nationwide and encouraging people to work from home.

As it stands, the advice from medical official remains to wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds or more with soap and hot water. The average person touches their face around 23 times an hour. This is one of the easiest ways to get the virus, so the Government avoid is to avoid touching your face and eyes.

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