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Now that it is starting to get cold it is more difficult to use touchscreens while outdoors. I use both an iPhone and a Garmin GPS to geocache and both have touchscreens that require me to take my gloves off to use.

I used to have and pair of gloves with the tops cut off that might work. Do they have gloves with just the fingertips missing? I think there are also gloves that are supposed to work with touchscreens. Do they actually work?

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Doesn't the screen itself die when it's cold? The screen the odometer on my bicycle becomes blank when it's very cold outside. –  gerrit Dec 13 '12 at 9:57
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yes - the touchscreen gloves work very well. –  Rory Alsop Dec 13 '12 at 10:21
    
@Brad Patton: what cold temperatures are you talking about ? –  Amine Dec 13 '12 at 14:55
    
@gerrit I have the devices in my pocket when not in use so they don't get as cold as something on the front of a bicycle. –  Brad Patton Dec 13 '12 at 15:46
    
@Amine I live in NE and visit Canada sometimes in the winter. Around 32F/0C is when I am most likely thinking. Anything much colder and I will probably not be caching :). –  Brad Patton Dec 13 '12 at 15:47
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7 Answers

You need a capacitive stylus. See this Wikipedia article for a description of the technology.

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From the wikipedia article: "capacitive sensing is a technology based on capacitive coupling which takes human body capacitance as input". Sounds like it just conducts the charge from your body. Will that work thru gloves? –  Brad Patton Dec 13 '12 at 3:14
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I think capacitive gloves are your best bet. Basically, they are gloves with something that allows the screen to close a circuit with your body (your hands) and that makes the screen work. I've provided some links to reviews, but the bottom line is this: at the temperature you're describing (around 0 degrees Celsius) they will probably do the job reasonably well.

Both "Capacitive Gloves That Don’t Suck" and "Best touchscreen winter gloves" are fairly critical (which makes them trustworthy in my eyes).

This link to an early Engadget article is a little old, but it seems to capture the impression that such gloves made when they first arrived on the market.

And if you want to go the do-it-yourself way, here's a link to a video/description of how to modify existing gloves to work with a touch screen.

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At my local army shop they sell neoprene gloves with detachable finger ends for the index and middle finger ends. Something like the picture below, but without the thumb, and the ends are not cut out but foldable.

I have ones without this feature. They are not too warm (good maybe down to -5C), but are very comfortable - I cant type and call on the phone with them on.

enter image description here

I live in Bulgaria. The shop's website is arstar.bg. They claim to import directly from Germany.

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I would probably combine a pair of glove with a pair of mitt:

  • A pair of glove allowing me to use a touch screen equipment. Unfortunately, those are not than warm (Could be fine for some people)
  • A pair of mitt with a fingerless feature like this one providing you with the extra warmth

Given the temperature provided in your comment, you could start with the pair of glove and buy the mitt if you are too cold.

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Two suggestions. You can get fingerless gloves that also are mittens. Here's a child version so you can see how they work:

mittens and fingerless gloves

Second, you can try to get a touchscreen that works with gloves. For example the Nokia Lumia made quite a big deal out of this at their launch.

lumia 920 with gloves

It makes sense that people in Finland would consider cold weather use for their phones...

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I know it might sound crazy, but (if you don't have those capacitive gloves) you can always touch screen with your nose ;)

worked for me just fine this winter.

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The new Galaxy S4 active has a menu option to use the touch display with gloves, but I did not test it, yet.

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