TechRestore Offers One on One and Group Training for Apple Devices

Yay! I got a Mac! …. Now what??

Have you ever wished you could sit down with someone and have them just show you how to use your iPhone, iPad or Mac?  Are you confused by the newest updates? Do you just know there are features you’re not taking full advantage of?

TechRestore answers the call!  We not only repair, refurbish and sell Apple products, we use them and we love them!  Now, we’re happy to offer 45 minute one-on-one instructional courses in our store.  These sessions cover basic applications and help you fully understand and efficiently use your Apple devices.

Currently we offer training for iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.  Topics range from using Touch ID to understanding iCloud to just getting started!  If you have a specific topic you want to cover that’s not on our listing, just call the store after you book your appointment.

Our trainings are available for $39.99 for one session OR you can save some and learn more with three sessions for $99.99.  We’re all about adding value, so rest assured, you won’t be left hanging.  We allow extra time for questions. Sessions can be booked here ,directly from our FaceBook page or just call or come by our store.

Groups can also take advantage of this great service!

Maybe you want to collaborate on a project, or share files and photos or get the most out of FaceTime!  Whatever your needs, you can trust TechRestore to be there with knowledge, experience and understanding. Team TechRestore has over 30 years of combined hands on Apple expertise and extensive experience in corporate and school site training.  Groups of THREE or more qualify for special discounts on in store training and larger group trainings can also be accommodated.

Recently, we added some short, focused training videos to our YouTube channel.  Head on over (and subscribe, because there are more coming soon) and check them out!  These are done right in the store (so you can hear all the life going on in the background) by our very own Daniel B. (the Bob Ross of all things Mac).  The first is a quick tutorial for Photos, the second is part 1 of understanding “Settings” in iOS 11.

We’re here to help!  Let us know what topics YOU would like to see, in person or in a video.  After all, who would we be without our awesome customers?

Don’t have an iPhone, iPad or Mac? We can help with that too!

TechRestore is a TRUE Mac specialist – we buy, sell, repair, use and LOVE Apple products. Come see our selection of Grade A devices, laptops and desktops for sale.  Of course, we don’t stop there!  We back up all our products with a full 90 day functional warranty AND we offer extended warranties that include accidental damage coverage.  See store for details.

We look forward to meeting you!

TechRestore Grand Opening Event in Louisville!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends and Family!

We are SO excited to announce that our new store is open and ready for an official celebration!

If you are in the Louisville area, you simply must come visit us on Saturday, September 23rd from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  We invite you to spend some time in our newly remodeled lounge area and preview our retail offerings, which will include:

  • TechRestore Certified Apple products
  • Matias keyboards
  • Griffin Survivor Series protective cases
  • and much more!

We will also give away some of these great products!  You don’t have to be present to win, but you DO have to come in to enter.

Guests who “check in” on FaceBook while visiting will receive a special free gift!  Our Service Department will not be open on Saturday, but you will have the chance to meet our Apple Certified Staff, with a combined experience of over 70 years!

Come see the official Ribbon Cutting ceremony at 11:00 am, with Senior Economic Development Manager of Louisville, Christy Jarboe in attendance.

techrestore logoTechRestore is an award winning Independent Repair shop that has  served customers around the country since 2004.  We were recently acquired by local Louisville businessman, Jeffrey Jewell.  Jeff has the vision to bring together the best and most experienced Mac Loving techs he’s had the pleasure to work with over the last decade and a half.

TechRestore carries on epic customer experiences in Louisville with:

  • Fast turn-around, up front repairs. Most repairs are completed on-site in one business day or sooner! We like sleeping at night! So you can trust us to be honest and upfront with you and back it up with a ONE YEAR functional warranty on all our repairs.
  • We don’t just fix Macs, we use them!  We keep up with the latest changes and we’re happy to help you get the most from your Apple product.
  • Matias keyboards and Griffin protective cases are some of the best you can buy.  Through years long partnerships, we’re able to offer these to our customers at terrific prices.  We’ll also have TechRestore Certified Apple products for sale, in the store and online.  If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask!

Check out our Yelp page as well as our FaceBook page, where we’ll be offering Grand Opening special deals all week long.  If you’re not fortunate enough to live near Louisville, you won’t miss out! We’ll have great discounts for you too!  We owe a lot to the customers and business partners who helped make it possible for TechRestore to grow into this new vision in Kentucky.

Won’t you join us?  And please, share this blog post with anyone you know who is close by! The free product giveaways are for anyone – no “Mac Lover ID” required (we may try to convert you though, fair warning!).

  

Siri and The Rock

You know we love Siri – she is at once helpful, witty, compassionate and snarky.  All the things we treasure here at TechRestore.   A sense of humor is indispensable and we just couldn’t help ourselves, we had to share this fun with you!

On a side note, we want to hang out with the people whose job it is to make these short films because they get it.  We’d all like to imagine that our favorite stars’ days are as epic as this.  We also can’t help but wonder (hope!) that there will be more along this line.  A day in the life of Samuel L Jackson or Jennifer Lawrence seem inevitable (and welcome!).

If you ask Siri “Was it was fun doing a commercial with the Rock?”, she will show her discreet side, pointing you to articles about the commercial.  A trusted friend, indeed.

Here is the film.  We hope you enjoy it and that your day is epic too!

Cool and Interesting on FaceBook This Week

Ok, so we’re going to go a little further back than “this week” because we have been posting some weird and wonderful things  on FaceBook! Here are the highlights, in case you don’t follow us on FB.  If you don’t, you really should – we don’t always do a recap of postings on our blog, but we post fun facts, useful tips, new and weird tech from all over the web on our page everyday.

Leading the top 5 weirdest things we’ve ever posted: The Third Thumb.  Please, please watch the video and see if you can stop thinking about how helpful this could be!  I mean, some of those people don’t look too coordinated and they were doing just fine.  Coming in at honorable mention in the weird things category, the “10 Weirdest Emoji”, unraveling the mystery of the enigmatic emoji. (Que dramatic music.)

If you are looking for cool things to do with the incredible camera in your pocket, you may get some inspiration from Burton Rast. His 100 photos in 100 days were taken on his iPhone 6s.  He used an app to edit them to draw your eye to what he wants you to see – with incredible results.  If you have your own gang of photographers, put together an amazing project without a third party app, using Photos’ Shared Albums feature.  It’s the best reason yet to scatter and reassemble (and you may learn some things about your friends, families or co-workers, too).

Apple’s HomeKit is now available to try at select Apple stores in an unexpected way.  It goes way beyond “Why can’t you just get up and switch off the lights?”.  With the advances in Augmented Reality, we imagine it won’t be long before you can see it “work” in your home using just your phone.

With all this talk of photo taking and editing, the possibilities of AR, your iPhone battery may be feeling faint! Fear not, here are 10 in depth, pro-level tips to fix battery drain (some you may not know about, we didn’t!).

Speaking of Pro-Level .. Bill Nye the Science Guy.  The coolest things he’s ever done, well, only a few people really know that.  But for the vast majority, who have kindled or rekindled a curiosity of the sciences, engineering, life on earth – these are 11 OF the coolest things.  We feel like any one of us could increase this list to infinity (and BeYOND .. c’mon, you know you said it too).

If you’ve enjoyed the drone footage of Apple Park coming together like we have, well, it will soon be over.  For good reason, of course.  If you do a search for “drone footage of Apple Park”, there are approximately a gajillion. A nuisance at best and a real security risk at worst, especially as employees begin moving in to the massive new digs.

There were more tips and a “Happy Birthday App Store”!

If you have ideas or fun, weird, interesting facts to share, please comment!  If you dig what we’re doing and want the undying thanks of all your closest family and friends, please share us!  And be sure to follow along on FaceBook.

Have a great weekend!

Your friends at TechRestore

 

 

A Big Award and a Big Announcement

A few weekends ago, in the East Bay Times here in California, TechRestore received an East Bay Times Reader’s Choice Award for the Best Computer Repair & Service in the San Francisco East Bay.  Wow!  We have always felt that a referral is the highest compliment we can receive.  These past 13+ years have really been an incredible journey.  Award or not, we feel blessed by the incredible support of our customers, many of whom have been coming back and referring us for a long time.  If there was an award for awesome customers, we would be handing them out left and right!

Not every journey has a final destination, and in the analysis we often find that the journey itself is the point.  That being said, there are many forks in the road and we have come to one now.

TechRestore is proud to announce we are moving our repair facilities to Louisville, Kentucky in July.  Our last day in Concord, California will be July 7th.  This is extremely exciting for us!   With Louisville’s central location and being the home of UPS, our move will allow us to better serve our growing national customer base and continue to deliver exceptional service. Now, if you’re not a local customer, you shouldn’t even notice the change (except where you ship your repair and where it comes from).

The TechRestore philosophy of honesty,  fairness, integrity and promptness will not change.  We will still put our customers first, be up front with repair costs, turn around times and recommendations, and we’ll still be here to answer your call or email in a timely manner.

For our local customers, we’ve got your existing TechRestore warranty covered! (You didn’t think we’d leave you hanging on that, did you? C’mon!)  In the unlikely event that your handheld device repair needs a warranty service, please contact us in the usual way and we’ll get you all set up with a trusted local business partner.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We’re here to help!

As bittersweet as this award is, coming just as we are moving locations, we think it’s the perfect end to this chapter and the perfect way to start the next leg of the journey.  We sincerely hope you will join us and again, we thank you!

There will be a special blog post soon with pictures and more information about the new digs.

 

iPhone 6, 6s and 7 Screen Repair Price Drops

techrestore repair price dropsHappy Friday!  As summer approaches, we always see an uptake in iPhone screen repairs.  Is it because the kids are coming home from college with their broken devices?  Maybe it’s the upcoming vacation that makes the broken screen more noticeable.  Whatever the case, TechRestore is here to help!  Our normal turn around for an iPhone screen repair is 1.5 hours, no appointment needed!

If you’re not local, most repairs are completed and shipped same or next business day.

Because we build value into our repair prices, a good percentage of our business includes repeat customers and referrals.  We wouldn’t have it any other way!  We would never wish a broken device on anyone, but we’re so happy to be the “go-to” repair center when these things happen. 

All our repairs come with a 1 year functional warranty.  We stand behind our work and we want you to feel good about referring your friends to us.

Besides the value we offer in customer care and warranty, when our part price goes down, we adjust our repair prices accordingly.  This is great news for you!  Especially if you own an iPhone 7 or 7 plus that has been broken, as those have come down dramatically in recent weeks.

Here are the latest flat rate repair prices on the newer model iPhones, as well as some other flat rates you may not know about AND a special offer for our blog reading customers.  For a complete list of our flat rate repair prices, visit our website.

  • iPhone 6 or 6 Plus screen repair is now $99  (down $10 for 6 Plus).
  • iPhone 6s screen repair is now $119 (down $20).
  • iPhone 6s Plus screen repair is now $129 (down $50!)
  • iPhone 7 screen repair is now $139 (down $160!)
  • iPhone 7 Plus screen repair is now $149 (down $200 since January!)

Start your iPhone repair order here

We also offer battery replacement service for iPhones and Mac laptops.  For iPhones, it’s $79 for all models up the the 6s Plus.  If we’re doing a screen repair already, we can replace the battery for $49. We replace MacBook Air, Pro and Pro retina batteries for $199, call for details on that service.

Mention this blog post and we’ll put a tempered glass screen protector on your iPhone 6 series or iPhone 7 at no additional charge (a $20 value!).


If you haven’t already, be sure to follow us on FaceBook, Twitter, and Google+ .   We share Apple news, history and updates and we feature helpful tutorials on #HowToTuesday.  It’s a lot of fun and we love sharing with everyone there!

Here’s to a happy and safe Summer season, from your friends at TechRestore.

Those Annoying “Infected” Pop-Ups are Fake 100% of the Time

Say you’re casually surfing the web and suddenly there’s a pop-up window in the middle of your screen stating “Your computer is infected! Download this NOW! or call us NOW!”.  Even if you’re savvy enough to know it’s fake, you may still get an instant headache at the thought of detecting and removing this annoying message.  If it’s the first time this has happened or if you’ve been through a virus nightmare before, your reaction may be more dramatic.

Rest assured, those annoying pop-ups are fake – 100% of the time.

The pop-up is really there, but the service they are basically demanding you download and pay for is malicious and will not solve any problems.  In fact, in most cases, it will make the problem a million times worse.  Now, Macs are not immune to malware but the operating system is less vulnerable.  Sometimes, that makes Mac users more susceptible because they are not accustomed to seeing these fake warnings.  MOST malware (viruses, adware, spyware, ransomware, etc) targeted at Macs require you to take some action to allow it first.  Even if you don’t download it, or call, many times the pop-ups will continue and you will need to take some action to remove it from your system.

So where does this malware come from and how can you tell what it is?  Simply put, malware is any program whose purpose is to cause harm to your system.  There are subsets of malware, with varying degrees of harm.

  • A virus is a contagious code that infects other software and spreads itself through a system and to other computers.
  • Adware, while not malicious itself, can affect overall performance and be super annoying.  It’s basically uninvited commercials.
  • Spyware is malicious, in that it does what the name suggests: it spies on you.  It tracks activity and is usually difficult to detect, it also can cause unwanted pop-ups.
  • A worm is an attack that replicates itself and destroys user files and system files, disabling a computer or a network.
  • Trojans disguise themselves as harmless programs, but once opened unleash viruses and attack systems.
  • Ransomware is less common but has been in the news more lately, it gains access to a system and encrypts data files, demanding the user pay to have them decrypted.  This type is particularly dangerous and authorities should be notified immediately.
  • Scareware is that pop-up with an ominous warning. “Call now” or “Download Immediately”, IF you do call or download, there will always be future problems.

Most browsers (Safari, etc) and Mac OS will warn you if you’re opening a program from the internet (as opposed to the App Store).  If you visit sites where there is a lot of peer-to-peer networking or file sharing going on, you may consider an anti-malware that runs real time scans on your system.  If you don’t download from the internet, click unknown links in email and verify requests for personal information before giving it out, you may still want to install a “clean up” tool instead. You would run a program like this if you suspect malware.

Be sure you do your homework and read reviews from non-biased sources prior to paying for any anti-malware software.  For example, go to PC Magazine or MacWorld and then search from their site. Our techs install a free program called Malwarebytes when they clear malware from a computer to help you stay “clean” in the future.

If you have or suspect you have malware, TechRestore is here to help.  Our techs are pros at getting your computer in tip top shape, in case you’ve fallen into one of the traps listed above.

Silencing Your Apple iOS or OS Device

There are so many sounds coming from your iPhone and Mac: mail notification, camera shutter, lock sound, plugged in sound, volume up and down quack – the list goes on.  You may not consider these particularly bothersome, but there’s a chance that sometime you may want extra quiet.  Besides the physical “mute” button on the phone and going into system preferences on your OS desk or laptop, how can you do it?

For iPhone and iPad, you can quickly and easily disable the “plugged in” chime or vibration by swiping your locked screen left to activate the camera.  Then plug in silently, press the home button to get back to your lock screen and check the upper right corner to make sure the lightning bolt charge indicator is on.

Have you ever felt like “If I hear one more quack today, I’m going to SNAP!”?  Well, on those days, you may have avoided listening to music or relaxing to YouTube videos, because when you adjust the volume – QUACK!  Fear not!  Simply press the “Shift” key at the same time as the volume up or down and enjoy the unaccompanied adjustment.  This is only a temporary mute.  If you want to mute your volume controls long term, go into System Preferences >Sound and uncheck the “play feedback sound when volume is changed” >Exit.  Now, if you press “Shift” while adjusting the volume you will hear the “quack”.

Now, of course, there are some notifications you actually want to get all the time.  Good news! There are endless ways to customize when and how you hear (or don’t hear) these sounds.  If you click this link, you’ll learn how to quiet the new mail notification on iPhone/iPad. If you have time, read the “Related Articles” at the bottom – there’s a rabbit hole of all the customizing you could ever want to do.  We’re grateful to the good folks at OSXDaily for offering up all these tutorials.

Here’s to a weekend filled with as much quiet or sound as you wish for, and to making your iPhone, iPad or Mac the quiet minion it’s meant to be!  Happy Friday!

From your friends at TechRestore.

Apple’s Job Creation & Q2 announcements

Tim Cook, Apple CEO did an interview this week on “Mad Money” on CNBC.  If you’d like to see the whole thing, you can watch it on their website.  He was there to talk about Apple’s Q2 earnings call and what the company plans to do with those mountains of cash.

We liked it because a wide range of topics were covered that we can look forward to hearing about in more detail in the near future.  Some felt Tim “dumbed it down“, but the context of the show, by nature, is not optimal for serious, in depth interviews.  If you want to know how Apple’s CEO feels about something, he does speak often in appropriate venues.

On Apple’s website, you can see a comprehensive breakdown of their job creation numbers.  You can even look state by state to see how many employees, manufacturers and app creators are represented.  Tim Cook also spoke briefly of a $1Billion fund created to invest in promoting advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S.  More on that later this month.

TechCrunch did a great job of breaking down and comparing numbers both from the website and the interview.  One point Tim Cook made during his talk, was that the jobs created by Apple products don’t stop with employees, manufacturers and app developers.  Apple is creating a ripple that expands outward with support jobs and even whole industries.  TechRestore is part of that ripple effect, and has been for over a decade.  Our repair business has relied a lot on our specialty in Apple products and their ecosystem.

We also appreciate that Apple, as a company has values that go far beyond compensating their investors.  Along with the myriad ways they conserve, they innovate and they don’t wait for government regulations or social pressure to make changes that make a positive difference.

Possibly my personal favorite quote (I’m considering making it my ringtone, but don’t mind me) was this:   “A company should have values, because a company is a collection of people.  And people should have values, so by extension, a company should.” 

He went on to talk about ways they give back, just because it’s the right and wise thing to do.  It feels like the culture Apple is fostering is one we could all do well to adopt or to use as encouragement to go a little further with our own current efforts.

Read the full transcript of the “Mad Money” interview here and be sure to watch for updates and announcements from Apple coming later this year.

 

 

Setup Emergency Contact (ICE) on Your iPhone

Most people know about ICE (in case of emergency) contacts in their phone.  But what if your phone is locked?  While you may never need it, having your emergency contact information available for anyone to find could come in handy.  If you have a medical condition or severe allergies, it could save your life! In the latest Apple Watch OS, you can call emergency services and text your emergency contacts just by pressing and holding the side button .

Setting up Medical ID on your iOS device is simple.  You can add as much information as you like (just remember, it’ll be visible to anyone who knows how to access it without unlocking the screen).

First, open the “Health” app (it should be on your iPhone iOS 8 and newer and you can’t delete it).   If you can’t find the icon on screen, swipe down and search for it.

Now in the bottom right corner, select “Medical ID” and then “Create Medical ID”.  Be sure to allow “Show When Locked”.

              

Now you will have the option to add all sorts of useful information, which emergency personnel may need to know, especially blood type, allergies, existing conditions, etc.

 

                                     

Scroll down to “Emergency Conctacts” and choose “add emergency contact”.  You can add as many people as you like from your contacts here, and designate their relationship to you.

Now, when your phone is locked, press the home button, and instead of entering your passcode, choose “Emergency” and on the bottom left corner, you will see “Medical ID” in red. When you choose it, it will show all your emergency contacts and allow you to call by pressing their name.  If you use the SOS feature on Apple Watch, it will text them your location after you contact emergency personnel.

                    

Here is a helpful guide to setting up the SOS feature on your Watch.   How to set up SOS on Apple Watch

And, if you’re still not convinced, here’s a story of the Medical ID/SOS in action!  College student credits Apple Watch with saving his life.

We hope you never have to use it, but being informed can make a difference.  Be sure your loved ones have this useful feature enabled, too!

Be careful out there.  From your friends at TechRestore.

Be on Guard Against Mac Malware OSX/Dok

Macs are less vulnerable, by nature, to viruses and malware, but they are not impervious.  There is a real threat right now, that we feel compelled to share with you, so you can be on guard and spread the news to other Mac users.   It takes over the system, but it starts with a phishing email, hoping you will let it in.

Now, most of us know by now about phishing and how to check for fake emails.  Many companies have a dedicated link on their website to report suspicious emails, in fact.  Bad guys are bad, though, and they spend their time making it harder and harder to tell the true from the false (seriously, can we give them some better project to spend their time on?).

Please read and share this blog and the links below, which have some very helpful tips about how to educate yourself and hopefully avoid falling victim to these malicious attacks.

From the good folks at 9to5 Mac:

Nasty Mac malware bypasses Gatekeeper, undetectable by most antivirus apps

PSA: Now is a good time to educate your less-techy friends about ‘Apple’ phishing emails

A great article to not only remove, but to protect against in the first place, from MacWorld:

The best free methods for removing Mac malware, viruses and ransomware

And another, which goes into a bit more detail about this new threat, from Cult of Mac:

Gatekeeper won’t stop this ‘major scale’ Mac malware

And finally, a good overview of Mac general security tips from noodlemac:

My Favorite Mac Security Tips

Of course, if you don’t have time or don’t feel comfortable removing malicious programs yourself, we’re here to help!

PS – If you’ve been a subscriber for any length of time, you know we don’t usually post two blogs in one day.  We really feel like this is important and didn’t want to wait to pass it along.  Please share as you see fit and we’ll be back on our regular schedule next week!

Apple’s Ecosystem is by Design

It always surprises us when people talk about Apple’s ecosystem and how brilliant it is, like it’s a new thing.  We know that we are now, and have always been, passengers on Apple’s train.  Yes, we can each have our own room, or we can go into the club car, or we can invite other people into our room, but we are still not driving the train.

Some people don’t like giving up that ‘control’, but people who are immersed in the Apple ecosystem are really happy they don’t have to lay the tracks or pay for the gas.  All you have to do is maintain and manage your own little space.

Maybe Apple isn’t really worried about being “the top selling” laptop/desktop/phone.  The changes they have made through the years (which are often criticized at first) have proven to be beneficial to their users.  Long before SuperDrives were removed from MacBooks and iMacs, there was a gentle incentive to ditch physical media (and who doesn’t love the extra closet space CD’s used). Apple didn’t respond to that market, they created it.  So if you miss multiple ports and resist USB-C, you can be sure that soon you’ll think it’s the best thing ever.

Is it any wonder, then, that Apple appears to be bringing a lot of its component tech development in-house?  It’s an iceberg – this has been going on for years already, right under our noses.  They are not suddenly leaping into new business ventures.  Take a look at the massive Apple Park that’s near completion after years of construction.  Just like their devices, it seemed uncalled for when we first heard about it.  Who needs that much space?!  But now … ooohhh, it all makes sense.  They have also expanded their Seattle center and other satellite offices, even in China.

We do love the Apple Ecosystem.  It has existed – by design – from the start and has expanded and evolved, and continues to grow in unexpected ways.  Like Legos, Apple devices just fit together and work (mostly) seamlessly.  And if Mac users sometimes seem fanatical, it’s just because they enjoy knowing that if there is some adjustment to make in using a new product, it will be short and well worth it.

We completely agree with AppleHolic on this: Apple has a big picture in mind.  Apple’s secrecy doesn’t mean they are stagnant and with an entire industry built on Apple rumors, it’s nice to seem them all come “magically” together sometimes.

So, whether you’re only plugged in using an iPod nano or your house, car, tv and communications are all aboard the train, we’re glad you’re here with us!  We do have a passion for Apple products and have dedicated ourselves to helping the people who use them any way we can.

 

TechRestore FaceBook Fun Weekly Roundup

Greetings from your friends at TechRestore!  We hope you are enjoying this Spring season and all the wonders that it brings (baseball, tulips, Spring break, to name a few, if you need a list).  If you missed our FaceBook posts this week (let’s face it, FaceBook is a bit overwhelming sometimes, we don’t expect you to see everything we post!), here is a brief recap.  We really enjoy staying up to speed on Apple and tech news and we hope you enjoy what we share.

On Monday, we shared about the new Apple app “Clips”.  Clearly, you already know about it!  It’s been breaking records for downloads numbers all week long.  We also shared a tip about organizing your email like a BOSS.  After you read that, you may want to join those of us here who have taken on the massive task of putting this to practice in our own lives.

#HowToTuesday covered having “the talk” with the significant senior in your life and an early Throw Back Thursday post about the Apple I that was so good, we couldn’t wait two more days to share!   We also published a blog (which you obviously saw or you wouldn’t be reading this either!).

Wednesday, we shared a parents’ nightmare and how Apple stepped in to help out.  This story about the Apple I in the Living Computers: Museum + Lab revealed not only a fascinating exhibit and perspective on Apple’s place in computer history, but a look into the mindset of the man many credit with its success.

#TBT again visited 1976 and the 3rd Apple founder’s early exit, leaving us to wonder what the shape of Apple would be if he had stayed on.  Surely, he’s tired of hearing it, but we couldn’t help wonder if he might be related to Batman.  If you have an older iPhone, don’t worry about the newest iOS update, you’re still covered.

Finally Friday!  If you have upgraded, you’re likely to have lots more room on your iPhone or iPad now.  Well, fill it up with pictures!  Here we shared some great tips for photos.

Are you looking for some common ground with your teen?  This “Taking Stock with Teens” report may give you an idea, at least in terms of what the stock market can measure. (Hint: they want a new iPhone.)

If you haven’t already, please “Like” and “Follow” us on FaceBook. Yes, it’s a big playground, but we’d love to see you there and if you have some comments or ideas or news you’d like to hear, please share!

We’ll be publishing another blog soon with our thoughts and musings on the Apple ecosystem and why it’s not new.

Spending Less Time with Your Phone and Why It Matters

These days, our phones tell us everything.  We can see what everyone’s having for lunch via Instagram, check the news and the weather, map our bike rides, reserve parking, order coffee, transfer money, lock the door, turn on the lights, turn off the coffeepot .. you get the idea.  Hey, we can even make a phone call!

Mobile phone addiction is practically built in.  You may have an idea sometimes that you are spending too much time on your device.  Maybe the third time you have to charge it each day is a clue.  So what?  Is a digital detox the answer?  Sweat it out and break the cycle?  Sure, that’s one way – likely to lead to a social media binge trying to catch up on everything.  There has to be some comfortable middle ground, right?

They say knowledge is power. A good place to start to see where you’re spending your time is right in the settings on your iPhone.  Go to Settings >Battery and scroll down to where it displays the usage.  Right at the top you’ll see what your phone is working hardest at.  Sometimes that’s all you need – knowledge.  If you’re a will-powered person, you can apply it simply by consciously decreasing the time you spend on those top activities.

What if there’s no clear leader? What if your display uses the most battery?  Well, that means your phone is on, it’s just not powering a specific app most of the time.  In this case, try adjusting your notifications settings.  You can adjust each app individually by going to Settings >Notifications and clicking on each one to customize the type and frequency of notifications.  An easy tweak to your Do Not Disturb configuration.  You can schedule times where your phone is quiet or customize the behavior whenever you choose the feature (the crescent moon shaped icon in your control center – a swipe up from the bottom on iPhones – is your Do Not Disturb switch).

One super fix is to turn off your Background App Refresh.  This will not only save your battery, but will reduce your notifications as well.  Disabling the background refresh will also help you set aside a clear time to check important apps, like mail.  (If you’re into serious organizing of your mail, check out this boss tip.)  You can also make adjustments in other apps.  FaceBook allows you to put your friends in “lists” so you can see just the updates of people in that category.  Read this helpful tutorial to find out how to set that up.

There is also the issue of perception.  How many times do you open your phone each day?  60 – 100?  More?  What’s measured, improves, as they say.  There aren’t a lot of apps for iOS that track usage.  We found one that seems hopeful called RealizD.  It tracks: screen time, pickups, time between pickups, times of day pickups occur, tells you your busiest day of the week and allows you to set goals for yourself (then reminds you when you’re getting close).  It’s a free app, with options to pay for “family tracking” and some other advanced features.  For getting a reality check, the free version works just fine.

So, why is it important to have this information?  If everyone else is hunched over their phones, who cares if you are too?  Well, it matters.  As my gramma used to say “Because. That’s why.”  Even if you haven’t walked into a lamp post yet, you’re still missing out.  You can’t smell a cool spring breeze, pet your dog or feel the sun on your face through your phone.  Even though Siri can tell you a joke, or get you directions or remember your mom’s birthday, she is not your friend.

Spending less time on your phone hopefully translates to spending more time doing the things you used to just monitor.  Meet up with friends (or at least talk instead of read updates).  Your phone is a tool.  An amazing, useful, helpful tool and that’s all.  Learn how to use it to make your life more full by making it work for you.  And every so often, turn it off (or at least, let it rest).

 

This Week on the TechRestore FaceBook Page

Hello! It’s been a minute since our last blog post, but we have been busy, busy on the FaceBook page.  If you have not already, please “Like” and follow us.  You will find lots of useful tips, interesting articles and history in our posts.  Here are the highlights from last week.

On Monday, we shared 10 iPhone tips you’ll use everyday (not that we need another excuse to touch our phones each day).  We also tipped our hats to companies who are doing right by our planet and pledging to continue their green policies, even though some regulations have been rolled back.

#HowToTuesday is one of our favorite FaceBook days! This week we shared a video about making ringtones from music on your iPhone using Garage Band (warning, this is so fun it may cost you an entire weekend day!).  A second article we shared was about the free space that Apple’s new file system magically creates on your iOS device in the latest update.  One of our techs updated and gained over 2 GB of free space! That is a huge difference!

Wednesday, we were excited to share some interesting take-aways from the small Tuesday press meeting Apple held.  They talked a lot about the future of the Mac Pro and where they might be going with ARM chips as companion processors in their desktop and laptop units (and no touch screen for the MacBook, at least, not soon). 

#TBT (Throw Back Thursday) is another favorite day!  We love looking back on Apple and tech history.  This week we talked about Apple vs the Beatles, the first cell phone call and John Sculley’s birthday (though not everyone agrees on his legacy, he was a key player in Apple’s success).

Friday, the best comprehensive review we’ve read so far about the new iPad.  This article goes deep into the specs and practical analysis of the mid range offering and what it means to us and to Apple.  Speaking of new things – iOS 10.3 is officially launched and Apple has a fun new app called “Clips” to add to your iOS device right away! If you love making movies and compilations, this takes it to the next level.

Saturday rhymes with shortcuts! (Well, not technically, but they do seem to go hand in hand, don’t they?) We found a cheat sheet of Mac keyboard shortcuts to make your life simpler and practically mouse-free.

We hope you find these articles helpful and even thought provoking.  TechRestore is all about Apple and the people who love them like we do (even if you love them a little less, we still welcome you!).  We’d love to hear your thoughts and if you come across something interesting, please, share with us!

Enjoy your week!  If you’re not on Spring Break yourself, you are probably enjoying the traffic benefits of all those people who are.  We’ll be on the job, so be sure to stop by our FaceBook page and see what’s circulating out there this week.

 

Time to upgrade the storage on your Mac?

Spring cleaning is in the air!  We have been reading a lot lately about increasing storage space by deleting files or changing settings on Macs.  Some articles are posted on our FaceBook page (please come follow us if you haven’t already!).  It’s a question we get a lot from customers, “How can I increase the speed of my computer?  Or what can I do to ‘clean it up’ so I have more storage?”.

There are lots and lots of great, helpful tutorials on this subject.  Do a Google search (not right now, in a minute) and you’ll likely get thousands of results.  We think it’s great to make the most of the storage you have and it’s important to know how to maximize performance by managing files efficiently.

It has been our experience that getting too close to full capacity on your drive (SATA or SSD) will also cause performance issues and even system crashes.  In some cases, the data may not be readable (by traditional means) and could require data recovery services to get it back (which are very expensive).  If your storage is 10% or less of full capacity (for example, if you have 20GB left on a 500GB drive), it may be time to upgrade to a larger drive.

The great thing is, if you have an older SATA (disc type) drive and you upgrade to an SSD, you are going to feel like you have a whole new computer!  The speed difference is that noticeable.  You also don’t need as much space on a SSD, because the storage is more efficient than SATA. To see this speed upgrade in action, check out the video below:

MacBook SSD Solid State Drive Upgrade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have plenty of space, but you’d like to have more or get rid of files you no longer use, check out some articles online, like this one from MacWorld.  If you think it may be time for a larger drive or a speedy SSD, let us help!  You can check out the services we offer here, or call us if you’re not sure.  Heck, we’ll even install a drive you purchase yourself if you prefer!  All these include data transfer, as long as the existing drive is readable.  If it’s not, we’ll install a fresh OS, and we always return your old drive to you.

 

Remember to set your clocks ahead next weekend, and “Happy Spring” from your friends at TechRestore.  We’re here to help!

TechRestore Education Repair Program

core-valuesAs we wrap up 2016, our repair labs are stuffed full of iPads and Macs from schools all over the country. We love being the heroes that keep these products working for school IT departments everywhere! Reflecting on 2016 got us thinking about what you do must reflect what you believe.

We believe that every transaction – from the first phone call or email to the after repair support – reflects who we are as a company.  The front office, technicians, parts, shipping, and accounting departments here at TechRestore work well together.  We are a cohesive and effective team that has fun working hard! The support we offer to all our valued  customers – individuals, corporations and schools – is heartfelt.

Whether it’s 15,000 or 15, managing the demands of school iPad and Mac users on a daily basis can be a real headache!  Our Service Team takes the pain out of it by customizing a program to best fit your needs.  TechRestore’s EDU program offers affordable, reliable, experienced service to schools around the country.

To make your job easier, our repairs are fast, shipping is free and we offer a one year functional warranty.  We stand behind our work and we stand with educators.  eduOur focus is to make your side of every repair as easy and seamless as possible.

Contact us today.  Talk to (or email with) one of our friendly humans and find out why we have been thrilling customers for over 12 years.

 

 

 

 

To Cloud or Not to Cloud?

Do you use the cloud to backup your personal photos, documents, contacts, music and video? Is your data safe?  How does it work?  Is it worth it?

If you’ve ever lost a hard drive, or a phone you know – the pain is real.  Even worse, if you do have a physical backup you count on to restore your data, only to find out it’s been corrupted and you didn’t even know it.  Your precious data is gone and unless you have a small fortune to invest in getting it back, all you have are your memories.

So what is the cloud, exactly? Cloud storage refers to services that question-mark-cloudoperate large physical facilities full of servers.  The data you send to them is encrypted and only accessible by you (they cannot get it) using a password that you set.  You can sync automatically from nearly any electronic device (phone, desktop, etc). Most providers have multiple locations around the world and backup data in more than one physical place.  You can access your stored data from anywhere, by logging in to your cloud account.

You may feel like putting your data backup in someone else’s hands is just a way to have someone to blame if it gets lost.  That really couldn’t be further from the truth.  So what keeps some of us from getting on board with cloud storage?  With a cloud service, you can set up automatic backups of your data.  On your phone, you can even set it to back up every time you take a picture.  So what’s the hold up?

Here are a few common objections:

“I don’t have time.”  A lot of people feel this way.  The bad news is, if you have a TON of data, it will take a long time for that initial back up.  The good news, though, is that subsequent back ups will be very quick, mostly seamless.  You may also take into account how much time would be saved in the event of total data loss.

“I don’t know how to do it.”  Cloud computing has been around for a very long time now.  Before it became mainstream to offer it to the general public, large corporations and even governments were using cloud storage for their data (usually as a back up to a physical copy). Now that Amazon, Apple,Google, Dropbox, Box and many others are offering – even aggressively marketing – their storage services for free and for subscription, the interfaces are incredibly easy to use and setting up your backup schedule is easier than setting your DVR.

“It’s too expensive for the amount of space I need.”  Realistically, most of us need more than what the top companies are offering for free. Most services start off with 5GB for free and go up to 1TB, 2TB or even unlimited for a monthly or yearly subscription.  Depending on what you’re backing up (movies, for example, need a lot more space) you may be able to get by on 5GB.  Prices for subscription range from .99 per month (Apple for 50GB) up to $60 per year (Amazon unlimited).

“It’s not safe.”  Actually, it is safer than locally stored data.  The service where your data is stored cloud-storage-lockdoesn’t have access to your data, they only provide the space (be sure to read the privacy policy no matter what).  The real vulnerability to your data is the security you provide.  Use a rock solid password and change it regularly.  Use physical back up in addition to the cloud and use several cloud services (OneDrive for your documents, iCloud for contacts and photos, for example). The most valuable benefit is that your data is safe from malware and ransomware in the cloud. As the use of cloud storage rises in popularity, you can expect that optimization and security will also improve.

At the end of the day, each person has to decide how important their data is and what’s the best way to protect and preserve it.  The best advice you can take is your own!  Make a list of what’s important to you, what your concerns are and shop for a cloud service that fits the bill.

 

Holiday Weekend Musings and TechRestore Weekly FaceBook Recap

As we pause midway through the long holiday weekend, we are again faced with the realization that saying “Thank you” to our many customers, friends and business partners does not properly convey the sentiment we feel.  We sleep well each night, knowing we have provided honest repairs and excellent customer care.  Each day we come in looking for opportunities to thrill our customers! All feedback is valued (and welcome!) and we know that every problem is actually an opportunity.  This is all  possible because of you and it is our living “thank you” each day.

Ok, now the mushy stuff is out of the way! 🙂

Here is what was offered on our FaceBook page this week.  If you have not already, please join us!  We love finding interesting and informative articles around the web and sharing them with you.all-american-iphone

Monday: There has been a lot of talk in recent times about bringing more traditionally outsourced jobs back into the US. Is it realistic to make iPhone in the USA? This article from June of this year offers 3 scenarios where it might be possible.

Tuesday:  Amid the underwhelming reception the new MacBook Pros seem to be getting, there is a lot of technology that is being overlooked (or not fully understood).  Here’s an example.  And speaking of perspective ..

Wednesday:  Apple is cleaning house big time in the App store! With removals up over 200% this month, they’re making way for just the several million you really need.  While you’re thinking of what App you might write, be sure to reserve your free Hour of Code workshop at your local Apple store the week of December 5 – December 11.

Thursday:  We hope you were able to enjoy some mind blowing Thankfulness, no matter who you spent the day with or how you spent it.

Friday: Do you think this ultra fast, ultra electric car would make the holiday crowds any more nio-ep9bearable? At $1M a pop, where would you even park it at the mall?? It is a great advance in electric powered car potential, and NIO’s Chinese name is Weilai, which translates as “Blue Sky Coming”, which we think is a pretty cool company name.

If you didn’t see our fantastic Small Business Saturday offer already, here it is again!  Bring your perfectly good (just broken) iPhone, iPad, MacBook or iMac in for a discounted repair all next week.  $5, $10 and $20 off (respectively) any repair service (not applicable to diagnosis only fees).

Once again, thank you for being a valuable part of our TechRestore “family”.  We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon!

What to do after Thanksgiving day

We hope you’ll all be happily stuffed and rested on Thanksgiving day.  For many people, the weekend following Thanksgiving is a reason to get out and take advantage of major discounts at retail outlets (“Black Friday”), small local businesses (“Small Business Saturday”) and online (“Cyber Monday”).  It seems that none of these days ever remain confined to its designated day, which is a win as far as shopping goes, but it can be tiring to be bombarded with ads. discount cialis get viagra prescription uk

Apple is jumping back in to the Black Friday fracas.  Last year they remained closed to allow employees to spend the extra holiday time with their families (or shop for themselves, who knows?).  Although there is no word on what exactly will be on sale Friday, there are some interesting categories on the Apple website. compra cialis generico italia

playdoh-touch-shape-to-life-studioHere is one we didn’t know about:  Play-Doy TOUCH Shape to Life Studio. It brings Play-Doh to the digital world, but in the best way! Kids play with and shape the Doh, then put it on the Studio platform and scan it with an iOS device (iPhone or iPad).  The shape then springs to life in the App and away they go.  I think a lot of adults will remember playing with Play-Doh and wishing they had something like this.  You know, the kids are going to need some *ahem* guidance to play with this correctly, so be sure to practice a lot before wrapping it!

thanksgivingcardAs for TechRestore, we will be closing early on Wednesday, November 23rd and returning on Monday the 28th at 8 a.m.  Since we will be closed for Small Business Saturday, we have an offer that’s good all next week! cialis pills for sale

Most of you will be buying new products to give as holiday gifts, but what about that perfectly good Apple device that just needs a repair to be like new again?  Bring it in next week (November 28 to December 2).  When you mention this offer, iPhone repairs will be $5 off, iPad repairs will be $10 off and MacBook, MacBook Pro and iMac repairs will be $20 off!  This is for repairs only, of course.  Our fast and trusted diagnosis fees are not available for discount.

Here’s wishing you a safe, happy and savings savvy Holiday kickoff weekend, however you wish to spend it! get viagra uk nhs