Thank You, Apple Support!

It's been a rough year for me and iPhones. I'm usually very careful with my stuff, but a couple months ago I destroyed an iPhone in an epic rain storm on my motorcycle. Over the weekend I actually dropped my new iPhone 5s. Twice. That's about two more times than I usually ever drop delicate electronic equipment. I didn't notice for a while, but one of the drops put a nice little hairline crack across the botton of the screen. Sigh...

I made an appointment at my local Genius Bar for this afternoon at 2:30 PM. I showed up a couple minutes early and settled in for the wait. Well, I tried to settle in but an "Apple Genius" grabbed me about 2 seconds after I checked in. He said they don't have replacement screens for the 5s yet (they only got the iPhone 5 replacement screens this past summer) so he would have to replace the phone. Because it was a hairline crack without an obvious impact point he replaced it for free! (OK, he saw where it impacted but it was so subtle he pushed the free replacement through for me.)

I was out of the store and back in my car with my new phone by 2:50 PM. And most of that time was waiting for the phone to restore itself from the latest iCloud backup. I was probably with the Apple Genius for less than 10 minutes.

Again, thank you Apple for the fantastic customer service! And I promise to take better care of my stuff. In fact, a new case I had recently purchased had been delivered while I was out getting the new phone. Too bad I didn't have that a couple days ago.

 

Make Money by Upgrading to the iPhone 5s

Apple released the iPhone 5s and 5c last week and now of course the big question is "should I upgrade?" Depending on where you are in your upgrade eligibility cycle the answer might surprise you at how obvious it is. I know some people with very old iPhones who have not upgraded in a few years. If that's you you're wasting money, not saving it. Let me explain. My wife and I are on AT&T and each have an iPhone. Every year I get the new one and she gets my old one (she doesn't really care that her phone is a year old.) And we make $50-$80 on the deal by selling her now 2-year-old iPhone. Read on to find out how.

This year I picked up an iPhone 5c in Space Gray. My iPhone 5 went to my wife and her iPhone 4S went on Craigslist. I put it for sale yesterday for $285 and already have 4 or 5 people interested. It will be gone today or tomorrow, netting me at least $50-$65 over the cost of the new phone. One of the reasons this works is that iPhones, along with all Apple products, maintain a high resale value. Especially if you keep them in perfect shape with skins and cases. Sure, you can get a new iPhone 4S for free from the carriers but you have to sign a 2 year contract. Buying a used phone gets you an unlocked phone off-contract, which has a lot of value. I'm also throwing in an extra skin I have, a case and an extra cable I don't need any more. It's a great deal for someone who wants an iPhone without a contract.

So there you have it - if you have an iPhone 4S it doesn't make sense NOT to upgrade, assuming you can get the new iPhone 5s for the $200 upgrade price. There are other places you can get money or credit for it but your best bet to maximize what you get is Craigslist. If you need help selling your old phone on Craigslist let me know.

New iPhone 5S!

So, yeah, I happened to be awake at 3 AM this morning so I hopped onto the Apple Store and ordered myself a 32 GB black (uh, excuse me - Space Gray) iPhone 5s. Apple has perfected the art of taking your money and the transaction was complete within seconds, charged to my iTunes account. The phone was schedule to ship in a day or two and should arrive Sept 30-Oct 2.

But I'm not the most patient guy and waiting over a week for this didn't sit well. So at 7:30 this morning I jumped into the car and headed over to the Natick Mall's Apple Store just to scout out the lines. It's kind of strange being in the mall when it's closed - quiet and eerie. Until I rounded the corner and saw the huge line snaking around in front of the Apple Store. Yeah, that was an easy decision - buh bye. But I noticed less than a dozen people hanging around outside the AT&T store. That seemed a lot more promising, so at 7:45 I waited there. I think waiting for less than 15 minutes doesn't count, right? Before they opened someone said they had only black (uh, Space Gray) but that's fine with me.

Right on the dot of 8 AM the doors opened and there were enough salespeople to talk to everyone. Unfortunately the guy I got didn't know what would happen if I cancelled my order with Apple. Would my upgrade eligibility update right away so I could buy a phone in the store? They had 40 of the model I wanted and I was the first to ask for that one so there didn't seem to be any danger of them selling out of what I wanted if it wasn't instantaneous but I didn't really want to hang around there too long and I knew the online orders were selling out. I rolled the dice and cancelled my online order, then we went over to check the computer. No luck... then he checked again and it had gone through. Whew! Twenty minutes later I walked out with my new 32 GB iPhone 5s.

iOS 7 Has Been Released!

Apple has finally released the long-awaited iOS 7, the biggest change in iOS since the iPhone was first released. The Apple servers are slammed now but on your iOS device go to Settings > General > Software Update to get the upgrade. As always it's best to back up your phone before doing a major upgrade like this. Go git it!

iOS 7 Beta

So, in an epic rain storm on my motorcycle last month I destroyed my iPhone. My wife and I were on a motorcycle camping trip with friends at Bentley's Saloon (don't ask why - it seemed like a good idea at the time!) I don't know how it got wet enough inside my leather jacket under my rain gear, but the pocket was wet and the phone was completely dead by the time we got to Maine. $240 later at a local Apple Store at the Maine Mall I was in business with a brand new (refurbished?) iPhone 5. The tragedy is that it was running iOS 6.1.4, which is not jail breakable, which means all my modifications and extras were gone forever. After you get used to all the updates it's hard to go back to a stock phone. Sigh...

I'm a terrible cook, but when life hands you lemons you make lemonade, right? I used this as an excuse to check out the latest iOS 7 Beta. It's mostly limited to registered developers, but there are ways around everything. Anyway, I've been up on iOS 7 now and I'm trying to be objective about it. The problem is that I've read so much stuff, good and bad, that it's hard to be completely objective. I think I like just about everything though. The new Control Center is terrific for accessing settings that you use all the time (and replaces the jailbreak apps SBSettings or NCSettings.) The new interface as a whole is... well, different. Mostly it works the same but there are some key differences. Deleting an email is a right to left swipe (backwards from previous.) I'm not sure if this new "flat" interface is better or not, but picking up a device on iOS 6 kind of feels older and stale now. One really nice new feature is automatic app updates - no more red badge on the App Store (I always hated those and am obsessive about keeping my apps up to date.) Eventually I decided that I DO like iOS 7 enough to upgrade Cida's iPad 2 along with my iPad Mini and a friends iPhone 5.

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