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This weekend’s positive Apple Store experience

We hear a lot in the tech press and on personal blogs about bad experiences with Apple’s support of it’s products, so I thought I would offer a positive experience my family had this past weekend.

A couple of days ago, our teenager’s iPhone 7—my old iPhone, and more on that another time—started losing its cellular connection. We could restart the phone, and after a couple of restarts, it would come back up for a few hours before disappearing again. It worked fine on Wi-Fi. When it became apparent that no amount of restarting and resetting networks was going to fix the issue, I made a Genius Bar appointment at one of the DFW metroplex Apple Stores, Willow Bend in Plano. I arrived on time for the appointment, and was seen within about three minutes of my arrival by the technician.

I explained to her all the troubleshooting steps we had taken. She ran diagnostics on the phone, then checked the model and serial numbers. This is when she informed me that Apple had become aware of an issue with this particular model of the iPhone 7 a couple of months ago. She shared there was a specific batch from a specific factory that suffered from the cellular modem failing.

Our iPhone 7 is still covered under AppleCare through May. The way she talked about it, however, led me to believe this would be a free repair even if it was not. A $319 repair Apple was eating the cost of for a new logic board, plus labor. When I had the opportunity to ask, I verified this was indeed the case. No matter when one bought the iPhone 7, if it was within this particular batch from that particular factory, you could get a new logic board installed, gratis. The only hitch is that it gets send to one of the repair depots, it’s not done in store.

So we were given a loaner iPhone 7. The SIM card was swapped from ours to the loaner, we started an iCloud backup there in the store on Apple’s wifi, and that was it. I will get emails about the repair status, plus a call when our iPhone 7 arrives back in the store and is available for pickup. All in all, we were in the Apple Store 45 minutes, and over half of that was spent waiting on the iCloud backup restoration. Kudos to Apple for a job well done in this particular situation.

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I’d rather have 80% of Google’s features along with 100% of Apple’s interest in protecting my privacy than 100% of Google’s features with 0% of that privacy protection.

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ifo Apple Store shutting down

The site isn’t going away, but Gary Allen is ceasing new updates on the best tracking site of Apple retail sites outside (and possibly inside) Apple itself:

After following Apple retail for 14 years, I’ve reached a happy ending, and am gracefully backing away from the crazy world of following the company and its stores. No more stories or analysis, or flying out to far-flung locations to join overnight crowds,waiting for the excitement of new store opening (NSO). I began this Web site as simply a way of celebrating the fun of grand openings and the close friendship of the people I met when I arrived in a new country or city.

Gary was kind enough to include this shot of mine, of the original Knox Street (Dallas) storefront, on the store’s original page on the site.

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Gary still links to my full photo album of the Knox Street opening in the store’s listing (#52), and for that, I remain humbled and grateful for the inclusion of my photos in his grand work.

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PEBKAC: The Normals’ View of Apple and the iPhone

This column originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of About This Particular Macintosh.

The last Macworld Expo I attended was in January 2009. This also happened to be the last Macworld Expo Apple attended. While in the Bay Area, I and some friends took advantage of the location and made the short trip to Cupertino, and the Apple Company Store. For those who’ve never been, the Company Store differs from your average Apple retail store in that it offers a variety of Apple-branded items such as clothing, hats, and paper and office products, in addition to the hardware and software you’d expect to see. I left with a black fleece pullover with a silver Apple logo on the left breast (on clearance, no less).

By now you’re wondering why this is at all important, and after all, aren’t I simply bragging? The Apple fleece has become my go-to sweatshirt. It’s comfortable and as we fashionistas all know, black goes with everything. So it’s not uncommon during the two or three days of winter we have here in north Texas to see me sporting the Apple fleece. It’s also a mainstay when I take our oldest son to the rink for hockey.

At a recent practice, a pair of fellow hockey dads were standing by the glass a few feet from me, discussing the iPhone, Apple the company, and Steve Jobs. One of them had obviously recently finished Walter Isaacson’s biography on Jobs, given some of the material he was regurgitating. This led to more material on Apple as a company, both under Jobs and without him at the helm, and about the iPhone and iPad. As I watched our sons practice and half-listened to their conversation, I was struck yet again at how differently I view the technology world, and specifically Apple and its products, than normal people.

Please understand when I say “normal” people, it is not a term of derision, like, say, muggle. I worked in IT for a decade and a half, nearly ten of those years exclusively on Macs. You wanted to know why Mac OS 8 wasn’t behaving properly once the Finder appeared on screen after boot? Why, you may well have a rogue extension or control panel installed, let’s take a look. What’s this, Mac OS X is actually based on UNIX and there’s now a command line? Oh, goody, something new to learn so we can better exploit the ease with which things can get done and we can get back to our game of Doom 3. Or Modern Warfare 3. Or whatever game’s the latest and greatest. (Because that last part is what normal people think IT people are really doing when we’re not actually working on a computer.)

As I said, I see these sort of things differently, as do many of my friends, including colleagues on this very publication. Normal people don’t buy black Apple fleece sweatshirts. And if they happen to, normal people usually don’t make a special trip out of their way to do so.

What I have noticed about wearing the fleece in the three years I’ve had it, is that fewer and fewer people will ask if I work for Apple. Or used to, if they know what my current occupation is. The why is easy to answer: today, more than ever, Apple is such an important part of people’s daily lives, it’s not an oddity any more. Apple is no longer the alternative-to-Windows company. Apple is now the iPhone company. And it seems every where I look, someone’s using an iPhone.

And interacting with normal people who use iPhones, I’ve quickly learned they use their iPhone much differently than we more-plugged-in techie types do. For instance, they usually only have one Twitter client, the official one from Twitter–if they have a Twitter client at all! <gasps, shock, horror> They don’t spend a lot of time obsessing over the latest and greatest apps, and most of the time what they have installed beyond Apple’s default apps are recommendations from friends. From my own random, completely unscientific observations of the iPhone-using normal masses, the non-Apple app I see in use the most is Facebook.

I realize that a lot of this sounds like common sense, but it’s hard for us techie types to sometimes understand how differently we see the technology world versus normal folks. Those people who just want stuff to work, just want to get stuff done so they can get on with their lives. For us, the tech stuff is our life. Those who can make the transition back and forth easily are the ones who do very well in the IT consulting arena. And normal folks, it’s always great to have someone like that in your corner.

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Steve Jobs narrates The Crazy Ones – The Loop

Steve Jobs narrates The Crazy Ones – The Loop

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tbridge:

thenextweb:

Jobs&Woz with Apple1 (by MischaSprecher)

I sorta want the belt that Woz is wearing.

Somewhere, in a box, I have the signature of one of these gentlemen…

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parislemon:

Apple’s vision for the future of computing versus Microsoft’s vision for the future of computing.

Any questions?

Looks about right to me.

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Selling PCs is not the business to be in, the margins are thin and the competition is abundant. Unless you are Apple there is no real way to differentiate one computer from the next and thus you must compete on price and blue LEDs.

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Apple iPad

On the iPad

Robert Leitao:

The iPad is to the handheld device market what the home theatre concept was to the marketers of TVs and related products. The Apple iPad provides an immersive experience that can’t be rivaled by today’s smartphones or netbooks. The revenue streams the iPad will create for app developers and publishers of content for consumer consumption may eventually dwarf the revenue to Apple from iPad hardware device sales. Further, due to the nature of the iTunes sales environment, Apple will be increasing the flow of dollars to its own coffers from distribution fees.