Another reason to hate humidity: It may be slowing down your phone

Another reason to hate humidity: It may be slowing down your phone
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

It's not like we needed another reason to hide in our air-conditioned rooms at the peak of summer — but here's another one anyway! 

Summer weather may be slowing down your phone. 

Apteligent released a report in April 2016 that stated that "on average, your apps will run about 15% slower in the summer," according to IEEE Spectrum. The report points a finger at an increase in water vapor as leading to a more sluggish signal.

"Increases in water vapor cause attenuation of the waves, especially at higher frequency bands," the report stated. "This means that the humid summer months will cause degradation in signal strength, and slight delays in data delivered to the handsets of your customer base."

Earlier research confirms that humidity — as well as rain, sleet and snow — can reduce the strength of radio signals. When it's humid, water molecules in the air absorb part of the radio waves' energy as they travel through the air, "weakening the signal or causing data packets to be lost altogether," Milda Tamoši?nait? of the Center for Physical Sciences and Technology in Vilnius, Lithuania, told IEEE Spectrum.

In Apteligent's research, the company looked at thousands of its clients' apps, which include Hilton, Groupon, Netflix and Pokémon Go, to compare the average latency across all of them in the summer of 2015 versus the following winter, IEEE Spectrum reported. That is how it determined that service is about 15% slower in the summertime, with an average delay of about 60 milliseconds worse. An infinitesimal difference you're unlikely to notice. But with Americans checking their social media accounts 17 times a day, every millisecond counts.  

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Melanie Ehrenkranz

Melanie is a writer covering technology and the future. She can be reached at melanie@mic.com.

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