Extreme weather can be hard on sophisticated electronics devices, including your smartphone. So with winter placing much of the country in the deep freeze, are there things you should be doing to protect your mobile device?

Verizon Wireless has offered a few tips to help consumers use their wireless phones when it's cold outside. For starters, the carrier says, keep your phone fully charged.

Cold temperatures can run down the phone's battery charge more quickly.  Use a car charger to keep the phone's charge if you get stranded or stuck in traffic on icy or snowy roads.  Think about an extra battery as backup.

Handle your phone with extra care when the temperature falls.  The display screen can become brittle when exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time. It could be more susceptible to cracking.

When you are outside for extended periods, keep your phone in a warm place. Avoid leaving it in an outside pocket or backpack or in the car overnight.  When outside in the cold weather, carry your phone in an inside jacket pocket, keeping it close to your body for warmth.

Remember you can't dial or access the keyboard on a touch screen with gloves, so consider adding finger flip gloves to your winter holiday wish list.

Droid apps

For users of Android phones, Verizon says it offers a number of free winter apps from Android Market, such as:

  • Winter Weather Outlooks; Allows you access to the National Weather Service Winter Weather Outlooks, so you'll know what kind of winter weather is headed your way.

  • How Cold Is It? A wallpaper that changes color depending on the outside temperature; deep red when it's hot and icy white when it's freezing.

  • ShoppeHUB; This app allows you to make secure purchases on cold weather gear, including winter clothing.  
  •  Coffee Recipes; Choose from more than 90 easy coffee recipes that will be sure to keep you warm.