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Taking your iPhone for a Swim? Read this First!

October 28, 2019

Is it waterproof or is it water-resistant? What’s the difference?

How Can You Take Pictures Underwater with Your iPhone?

Ever since the release of the iPhone 7, there’s been some confusion about whether you can take your iPhone underwater, and how deep. Some people say, “the iPhone 7 has an IP67 rating, so you can’t swim deeper than 1 meter (3 feet), duh!” 

Okay… And apparently not for longer than 30 minutes, but as we are all aware, the iPhone ages so, that means that an IP67 rating will not remain the same even after 3 to 4 years.

Is your iPhone waterproof


Read: Take Perfect Underwater Pictures with Your iPhone

Is it possible to take pictures underwater with an iPhone 7?

Again we find ourselves confronted with the difference between water resistance and being waterproof. 

iPhones are water-resistant, this means that they can withstand a splash or fall into a shallow body of water — but they cannot withstand being submerged underwater without any sort of protection.

When Apple says, “water-resistant”, you have to note that saltwater from the beach or any other liquids are not included in this “resistance”... The water referred to is freshwater and water under lab conditions, and because the aforementioned resistance is provided by a rubber bumper/sealant, your iPhone will be less and less water-resistant over time.

And that’s why you are constantly being encouraged to get your iPhone a protective case.

Is your iPhone waterproof


Read: Summer Fun: The Best Waterproof iPhone Case for Swimming

Can Newer iPhones (like the Xs, Xs Max, 11 Pro etc.) Take Pictures Underwater?

Thankfully, Apple has managed to consistently keep innovating with water-resistant technology and now, you can safely take your iPhone with you to the beach without being worried that a splash of saltwater will damage it.

Apparently, the iPhone XR can survive getting dunked up to 1 meter (3 feet) for 30 minutes, which means that it meets the IP67 standard, whereas, the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max can withstand double that much punishment — 2 meters (6 feet) for 30 minutes, meeting the requirements of IP68.

But does that mean that you should be ditching protective cases? Hardly.

Why? Because water-resistant does not mean waterproof!

Waterproof iPhone

Read: The Best Protective Case for iPhone XS Max

But let’s say, hypothetically speaking, you forget that your iPhone isn’t waterproof, what do you do when your iPhone is submerged deeper than 3 meters, for longer than 30 minutes?

Drying a Wet iPhone

Well, friend, sad to hear that you somehow got your iPhone submerged to those depths, for that long, but since liquid damage isn’t covered by warranty, here’s what you can do...

Step 1: Don’t freak out, but gently remove your iPhone from that body of water, and if it’s plugged into anything, then unplug those cables and wipe your phone off with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Step 2: To remove water from the lightning connector, gently tap your phone against your hand, while your iPhone is facing down.

Step 3: While it’s going to be tempting to “check on it”, let your iPhone air dry. Apple suggests putting it in a dry spot that gets sufficient airflow, like an open window, or in front of a fan so that the cool air blows into the Lightning connector. DO NOT use compressed air or a hairdryer, and absolutely don’t stick anything in there to “wipe the area down”.

Keep waiting — at minimum for 5 hours — before even attempting to charge your iPhone. 

Step 4: Wait until your iPhone is completely dry before opening the SIM tray, and then… godspeed.


Even in 2019 it seems when you’re on the market for a new iPhone, “waterproof” is a word that tons of salespeople will still wax lyrically about, but now, as you’re aware, that’s not quite accurate. At the end of the day, “waterproof” would mean that your iPhone is impervious to water, no matter how deep it’s submerged, however, so far, that’s just not possible.

Maybe next year...

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