Latest version of Marvel Contest of Champions causing iPhones to overheat

If you updated your Marvel Contest of Champions (MCoC) app recently, you might have noticed something -- your phone heating up to the point of not being usable.

Although version 19.0 of the game was supposed to fix some bugs, in reality, it introduced a new problem. Players noticed shortly after downloading the update that their phones started severely overheating when they tried to play the game.

The Problem

After the release of version 19.0 of MCOC in July, users began to report that the app was causing their iPhones to overheat. Some also said they had the same issue on iPads and Android devices.

This was not an issue of the phones just getting slightly hot to the touch. Users reported that their devices overheated so severely that the screens went black, as the phone shuts itself down to avoid damage. Some also said the "iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it” message appeared on their screens.

Some players said their phone starts to heat up after using the app for just a few minutes, while others said they managed to get slightly more playing time before the app crashed.

The Response

Understandably, these players were worried about potential damage to their phones and wanted to know what the issue was, so they reached out to customer support and other users on forums.

One user discussed his experience on the Contest of Champions subreddit. According to the poster, Apple Support recommended to him that he not use or uninstall the app until the developer released a fix to the issue. The user also noted that if damage to a phone could be linked to an app, the developer could potentially be on the hook for paying for the damage.

Many users have complained that Kabam, the app’s developer, knew about the issue but did little to fix it. One even claimed that Kabam knew about it since the 17.2 version came out and said moderators banned him from a forum for posting about the issue.

One action Kabam did take was to recruit players to beta test a new version of the app. Applications to join the test group have closed, and we don't know whether the developer has started testing the new version or figured out a way to fix the overheating issue.

The Potential Damage

So, what’s the big deal about an app that causes your phone or iPad to overheat? Well, for one, you can't play the game if it repeatedly overheats and crashes. It could also cause damage to your device.

Lithium-ion batteries -- the batteries in most mobile devices, including iPhones -- are exothermic, which means they give off heat when they operate. If an app causes your phone to work too hard and use too much CPU, it can cause the phone to overheat. Gaming apps are some of the most likely to do this.

iPhones have measures in place to prevent damage from overheating, such as the forced shutdown the MCOC players described. Even with these precautions though, overheating can cause problems.

Lithium-ion batteries age over time, and overheating can cause your battery to age more quickly, meaning you’ll have to replace it -- or your entire phone -- sooner. Repeated overheating may also damage your System-on-Chip.

The Outlook

It's clear what the problem with version 19.0 of MCOC is. The app is using too much CPU due to a fault in its design and is causing devices to overheat.

Unfortunately, users can't do much about it now, besides continue to ask the company to fix the problem. Until they do, users will have to leave the app unopened or delete it until the next version comes out.

Kayla Matthews is a senior writer at MakeUseOf and a freelance writer for Digital Trends. To read more from Kayla, visit her website

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