TikTokker: My iPhone is too dim at the beach. This quirky solution appears to fix it.


Man holding phone at beach

A TikTok creator pleaded with Apple to add a new feature to the iPhone: beach mode.

“Like nothing is more annoying than not being able to see your phone at the beach,” the caption on larissadomingueti’s video said. “Also why does it automatically dim? And overheats so easily. Apple, please fix this.”

Some commenters dismissed the TikTokker’s claims, declaring that it’s common knowledge that smartphone displays appear to be dimmer while being drowned in sunlight. However, other replies pushed back, correctly pointing out that it’s safety feature to protect the phone from overheating. As a result, users are experiencing a dimmer-than-usual display — so much so that it appears to be unreadable.

Solutions you’ll find for this issue include turning off True Tone and auto-brightness. However, some iPhone users have reported this doesn’t work for them. This is because heat-induced auto-dimming is not a user-configurable feature. As CNET pointed out, according to Apple, you should keep your iPhone cooler than 95 degrees. Otherwise, if your phone gets too hot, the auto-dimming feature will kick in before it eventually shuts down. (Of course, when it cools down, it will become usable again.)

So the question is, what is the solution for beachgoers? iPhone umbrellas, apparently.

‘iPhone umbrellas’ as a solution for beach auto-dimming?

The TikTok video, which attracted 21 million views and 3.2 million likes, had a top comment that caught our eye.

“You need to order a phone umbrella. It changed my life,” kaylie said. Several other users suggested the same. “Portable fan and phone umbrella babes,” izzy added. “Get a phone umbrella they help so much,” Addi replied. “My aunt got me a phone umbrella and it works wonders on the beach,” Gianna Dietitian said.

Woman holding two iPhones and two iPhone umbrellas

Credit: Amazon

A quick check on Amazon shows that iPhone umbrellas indeed exist. The highest-rated one at 4.3 out of 5 stars is this Kiorafoto Magnetic Phone Umbrella. It comes Black, Blue, Pink, and Yellow. The first three cost $19.99, but the yellow model is slightly more expensive at $21.99. (Of course, black attracts heat, so you’ll be better off with the yellow variant.)

This iPhone umbrella utilizes the MagSafe, the magnetic tech on the back of the iPhone, to remain attached to your advice. This mean it’s most compatible with MagSafe-supported iPhones, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 15. (However, you can use older phones if you have a case with a built-in magnetic metal ring.)

Mashable hasn’t tested iPhone umbrellas for their effectiveness, but according to Amazon reviewers, it does help to block the sun and prevents their iPhone from overheating. However, some buyers wished the umbrella had better quality.

Until Apple gifts us with a, er, “beach mode” (or if owners can stop shining their hunk of metal under the bright sun and sit under a proper beach umbrella), an iPhone umbrella seems like it could be a decent solution.

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