iPhone & iPad Technician

iPhone & iPad Technician

I Favor the iPad

Boulder, CO

Female, 42

I have been fixing and playing with mobile devices for many years. I have to say my favorites are the most recent Apple creations of the iPhone and the iPad. Though not perfect (who is?), Apple has done a lot of right things with these two products. I.E. Using the same operating system makes it easy for a user to go from an iPhone to an iPad with a very small learning curve. I know these devices well, so ask me any questions!

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Last Answer on January 21, 2016

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What's something you think Apple does surprisingly POORLY compared to its competitors?

Asked by dday13 over 8 years ago

Hi dday13,

I have been thinking about your question for a couple of days now. And there are two things that comes to mind:

(1) The settings application is pretty good, however I do find a couple of things about it surprisingly disorganized. For example, to get to the cellular settings you have to go into general first and then tap on cellular. Personally, I would have made cellular a top menu item.

(2) Battery drain. When you take the iPhone out-of-the-box it has just about everything turned on. When you have lots of things turned on such as all of your notifications, Wi-Fi, cellular and so on at the same time, the battery drains pretty fast.  The two main things I did to drastically improve my battery's life time was turn off most notifications and made sure the Siri setting "raise to speak" was turned off. What surprised me was that Apple shipped their iPhones this way in the first place. 

The above are the two main things I noticed when I first started playing with the iPhone 5 that I thought Apple did poorly.

Do you think tablets are a fad and will be gone in a few years, like the Blackberry CEO came out and said this week? It IS kind of interesting that every tablet until the iPad flopped horribly...

Asked by Dallas2 over 8 years ago

Hi Dallas2,

Here is my prediction:  In 6-8 years from now the laptop as we know it will no longer exist.  6-8 years from now the iPad (or a really excellent competitor) will be as powerful and capable as todays laptop, but in the form factor, lightness, and excellent user interface of an iPad.  Here are the clues I see that make me believe this:

1. Apple and others are spending a ton of money on the hardware that goes into these tablets that allow them to have faster and better processors, to be capable of holding more memory, to be lighter and more ergonomic, and other improvements.  This kind of spending usually leads to a product that can do more and be tons more useful for consumer and business use over a few years of time.

2. Current laptop manufactors are trying to make todays laptop a bit more like all these touch screen devices however they can.  Why?  Because, consumer demand is pointing away from todays laptops and running towards iPads, Samsung smart phones, Androids and other touch screen devices that are light weight yet has a better user interface.

3.  Star Trek.  Yup, I am going there.  The advanced technology on Star Trek has inspired thousands of engineers, scientists, developers and others involved in making better products and toys.  That touch pads on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, for example, is a shinning example of people in the real world making Star Trek techology come true.  Another example is cell phones.  On the original Star Trek series (back in the 1960's) Captain Kirk was using a communciation device that happens to look a lot like a cell phone.  Coincident?  I think not.  :)

4. The iPad has a good screen size.  A programmer has a lot of room to develop many useful and fun apps, and there are some very excellent apps coming out that take advantage of this screen size.  This will make the iPad more useful for consumers, thus keeping the demand for them coming year after year.

5. There are a lot of good acccessories coming out, such as a keyboard that you can roll up, that make having an iPad more useful for Human touch and efficiency.

6. The technical community does not support a product that plain out sucks.  But, the technical community will support a product that is being done well.  So, does the iPad have the technical community support?  Yes! To see that there are so many software developers developing better and more useful apps for the iPad,  and the hardware manufacturers that are creating useful accessories just for the iPad shows the iPad has this support.

In short, the future of computing is the iPad or something very similiar.  All we have to do is keep buying them today, so the manufacturers can develop the technology to make this all come true.

Do you think Apple intentionally withholds some features from new product releases so that they can add them to a newer version the following year and upsell all the buyers of the first version?

Asked by dan79 over 8 years ago

Hi Dan,

I suppose that is always possible.  But, I'll give Apple the benefit of the doubt and say there are other, good reasons, why it takes longer then us customers think it should take for a feature to come out.  It could be their developers had limited time to get a long list of features done, thus due to time constraints had to pick which features to do now and which featues they will have time for later.  It could also be that the feature requires hardware that is not ready yet, thus the feature will have to wait. Or it could be what you are asking and with a feature or two Apple waits for the next product release to really encourage customers to get the newest model.  But, in all honestly, since I am not part of that decision making process, I really do not know for sure. However, I am guessing their reasoning is usually ligit. 

How much profit do repair shops make from fixing a cracked iPhone screen? They charge $150+, which makes it almost worth it to buy a new phone. (or maybe that's Apple's strategy: make crappy expensive screens so people have to buy new phones...)

Asked by Rose over 8 years ago

Hi Rose,

Good question.  We have all been ripped off by the promise of good technology that  turned out to be bad quality.  The iPhone is not one of 'em. Lucky for us (and Apple) there is nothing cheap about the iPhone.  It is truly a good quality product with a ton of research and development behind it.  However, the iPhone is not indestructable, which is why you should buy a case for it incase it gets accidently dropped on a cement floor...or hit with a hammer :)  Either case could cause the screen to crack.  Because simply holding the iPhone in your hand and staring at it does not usually damage the device.

I'll see if I can find you an exact figure of how much a new screen costs.  However, I suspect a fair amount of the cost a repair shop is charging you is labor and probably shipping costs. After all a repair shop is a business that needs to make a profit.

thanks for the question!

Many of the iPhone and iPad protective cases are really expensive. Do you think they're worth the money and provide worthy protection, or would device owners be just fine without them?

Asked by Bruins67 over 8 years ago

Hi Bruins67,

I completely recommend that every iPhone and iPad owner get a protective case. Why, you ask? Because, accidents happen and these devices are not indestructible. The iPhone and iPad are pretty tough in some ways, yet pretty fragile in other ways. When you pick up these devices and handle them you can squeeze them, tap on them, swipe and press the buttons a million times to your hearts content and the devices handle this constant abuse without any problem. However, if you drop it on cement or other hard flooring, or something heavy gets accidently dropped on top of it, or it gets drowned in liquid the device will more then likely break (if you do not have a good protective case).  Now, protective cases have their breaking and melting points too, but takes some effort to reach these points.

Cases come in a range of prices and protective capabilities.  For instance, you can get a plastic case that is designed to only protect against being dropped, or you can get a case that protects not only against drops but allows you to submerge the device in water.  My best advice for picking out a protective case is to figure out what you can spend, go to amazon.com and look at reviews for the various cases that you can buy, and then go to the store and check out the product.  Like every product, you have your good quality items and your cheaper quality items that don't do the job right.

The bottom line is a good protective case is worth the money. But, do your research first as to what protective case you should get yourself. Happy shopping!

Do you repair other brands and if so, which one do you think has the POOREST workmanship / quality?

Asked by igim111 over 8 years ago

Hi igim111,

For the past couple of years I have mainly been dealing with iPhones, iPads and Blackberry's.  Whenever I am hanging out with friends or family and they have a new mobile device (such as a Galaxy) I always play with it. Or when I'm in a store that is selling a variety of mobile devices I will spend some time handling them.  On the surface, all the mobile devices I have handled, are of at least good quality structural wise (such as the outer casing).  Some of them (such as some of the Windows mobile devices) have disapointing touch screens because they are hard to get a feel for or require a lot of pressure to make them work.  I found the latest Galaxy to be a good phone...though, I am very disappointed with the user interface flow as I find it messy\unorganized which makes it hard to find your way around the device. 

The Blackberry's have always been a pretty good device except for one thing that, for some reason, RIM has not resolved in over 10 years.  The Blackberry will freeze on you.  And when it does the only resolution is to take out the battery and put the battery back in.  This has been a problem with the Blackberry's for a good 10 years.  Why RIM has not resolved this really annoying issue I have no idea.  For many years Blackberry's had the corporate market. Sadly , since RIM has failed to stay up to date with consumer wants and demands over the past few years, I am seeing more and more companies dump their Blackberry's and go to either the iPhone or an Android phone.

I have heard that mobile devices in other countries are not always of the best quality (probably to make the phones more affordable for that market). Right now, my main complaint with some of the mobile devices out there is either their touch screen or the lack of good user interface with the operating system the mobile device has.

Do you know ANY apps that make typing on a touch-screen viable? I haven't found one that comes close to matching the blackberry's QWERTY pad.

Asked by ANR over 8 years ago

Hi ANR,

for apps you can go to the app store and do a search on "keyboards".  One of the best alternatives to the keyboard that comes with your iPhone is an app called "Flesky - Happy Typing".  Another pretty good alternative is called "Fast Keyboard".

Personally, I love using Siri when I can. You can not use Siri in very noisy places yet. But it is my favorite alternative to the keyboard.

As someone who has taken apart plenty of iPhones and iPads, does Apple really build things that are gorgeous on the inside in addition to the outside, like the Steve Jobs biography book talked about?

Asked by blairhenner over 8 years ago

Hi BlairHenner,

You can say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  If Steve Jobs was attracted to circuit boards then well, umm... anyway.  

Apple has to squeez a lot of hardware into a small package which means the inside of an iPhone or iPad is not exactly a work of art. In fact, taking apart an iPhone and especially an iPad is a pain in the butt. However, the fact that the technology has advanced enough to fit a lot (such as more memory) in a small package is by itself beautiful (I think).  I look forward to the future when the technology gets even more advanced...imagine what we will be able to do with these devices then.

Can you really tell the difference in craftsmanship between Apple and other brands?

Asked by Bekka over 8 years ago

Hi Bekka,

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by craftsmanship.  But, if you are referring to the quality of the parts and the design of the hardward, all the top name brands (such as Samsung, Apple, LG) use very good quality parts and put a lot of thought into the design.  I wouldn't say there are big differences in craftsmanship since the phones have to be up to a certain spec anyway if they are to stay competitive and actually have the phone work well. 

Something to keep in mind: Some of the hardware parts are not made by the cell phone manufacturer, but contracted out.  For example, a chip might be created by Intel and the screen made by someone else. And since each manufacturers phones are made on production lines, each phone on that production line (whether it be Apple's production line or Samsung's production line) comes out with the same quality\workmanship which is why you can't tell one iPhone5 from another. 

There are of course differences in screen sizes, how well the touch screen works, if it has a camera or not, all of which are personal choices.  But, all and all, if you go with a major brand you will get a good quality phone that is made well. 

If I bring my iPhone to you for repair, will that void my warranty because you have to physically open it up?

Asked by Sasha over 8 years ago

Hi Sasha,

Here is how it works. If you do not have an Apple Certified Tech repair your iPhone it will void your warranty. So, yes, because Joe Schmoo is not an Apple Certified Tech and he simply opens up your phone it will void your warranty.  Why?  Because, Joe Schmoo could have accidently broken something while just trying to open up your iPhone (because he didn't know what he was doing), and then he will hope Apple will fix his mistake for free. 

So, how does one get the training and credentials to become an Apple Certified Tech? The easiest way is to become an Apple employee.  If you are not an Apple employee it is not so easy.  In either case, the process and training is said to be difficult and requires more then just passing a certification class.  

 

Based on the customers you see, do you think Apple is still the "young and hip" brand? Or is it so mainstream now, that even moms, dads, and grandparents are regular Apple consumers?

Asked by liza.dewitt over 8 years ago

Hi liza.dewitt,

I am seeing more and more people of all ages using iPhones and iPads.  Both devices, especially the iPhone, are picking up a lot of ground in Corporate America. Since "smart phones" are now the common cell phone that most people use it is just a matter of which one to get.  Do people of all ages get an Android, iPhone or other brand? 

MACs have been the computer to use in the design and film industries for years, thus have had a following of all ages for a long time now.  

I would have to say that the iPod is still mostly for the younger generation.  Though, I do see all ages with some kind of mini music box such as the iPod or a Sony, popular music is still mainly for the younger generation, just like it was when I was their age, and my parents were that young...and so on.

In short, it seems like Apple is in a transition period of going from being mainly a young and hip brand to a more broad audience thanks mainly to the iPhone and iPad.

Are all your own personal devices Apple too :) ?

Asked by KimE over 8 years ago

Hi KimE,

We have a mixture of devices in our house.  We have an 2 iPhones, 1 MacBook Air laptop, 1 iPad, two different brands of MP3 players (I have a Sony and I can't remember what my husband has), and 1 Samsung Windows 7 PC.  At some point in the future, we want to get what ever the next iPad release is.

What's the coolest hack you ever discovered?

Asked by BEATIT over 8 years ago

Well, to tell ya the truth I'm not much into hacking.  I can see where hacking can be fun, interesting, and cool. But, I really don't spend much time researching the latest and greatest hack.  Thanks for the question though.

When Apple releases a new product, is that good for YOUR business too? Like, do you notice a spike in tech service requests that coincides with Apple product releases?

Asked by Emma over 8 years ago

Hi Emma,

I work in a corporate environment, not a fixit shop.  But, people at work love to get the latest and greatest devices when they come out.  And it's bonus if they can get their boss to pay for it.  :)  So, when Apple releases a new product it helps job security for me and the other techs. 

It depends on the department and how much money they have set aside for IT spending whether a person gets the latest Apple release when it comes out or it they have to wait for either more funding or their current cellular contract to expire.

To answer your question, we do see an increase in new device tickets for the iPhones and iPads.  And I would image if I owned a business that sold Apple products, I would see a huge spike in customer spending for a month or two.

 

What is the dumbest thing any customer has ever asked you about an Apple product?

Asked by rsmith over 8 years ago

Well, to be honest, I am very patient with customers. I do not consider anything a stupid question. It is just that people do not know, whether they just don't have the mindset for it or do not want to spend the time to get the knowledge.

However, the funniest story I ever heard was this: a guy calls up tech support and tells them that he is having a problem with his computer. The tech-support person asks what the problem is. The customer says my cup holder is broken. After further questioning, the tech-support person discovered that the customer was using his CD tray as a cupholder.

If someone brings you a broken product and you can't fix it, do you charge them anyway for your time?

Asked by Lisa over 8 years ago

I work for someone else and get an hourly salary.  However, if I were to own my own mobile device repair shop, I would charge a minimal fee of $40.00 whether the device was fixable or not, because I did take some good time to take apart the device and try to fix it.  If I couldn't fix it, $40.00 is all you would owe...if I owned my own shop. 

I would love to be an old fashioned business owner and not charge a penny if I couldn't fix it, but sadly it is so expensive to live today and fixing devices doesn't really make a lot of money, I would have to charge a minimal fee.

So you don't have to answer this ..but my macbook used to shut off every time I closed it. I liked this b/c that way the battery wouldn't die every time I stopped charging it. How do I get it to do this again?

I figured you might know.

Asked by random, about my apple macbook over 8 years ago

Hi Random,

There could be a few things going on there. It could be a setting you need to change, it might be a known issue that is resolved via updating the OS, or a few other things.  It is very difficult to troubleshoot an OS issue without having the computer in front of you.

Since this is not the correct format for troubleshooting technical issues, may I suggest that you do a google search using the keywords "macbook shuts down when lid closed", or take you macbook to your nearby Apple store.

my computer (windows vista) does not recognize my iphone 5 but it does recognize my ipod touch and ipad mini?

Asked by wildor almost 8 years ago

Hi wildor,

This isn't really a troubleshooting board.  However, there is more then one possible cause to the problem you are having.  First, try updating your version of iTunes to the latest version.

Also, check out this link: http://support.apple.com/kb/ts1538

Do a google search using this phrase: "windows does not recognize my iphone"

Good luck!

hello,
can i phone 6 get hacked? if so can that person use your email connected to iPhone and send out your personal photos to others to craigslist sex ads? and if so why hacker would be doing so? husband swears his phone is hacked, hard to believe.

Asked by lana about 6 years ago

Hello Lana,

Let's take your questions one at a time:

Question 1: can i phone 6 get hacked?

Answer 1: Yes, the iPhone 6 can get hacked. Any operating system can get hacked.

Question 2: if so can that person use your email connected to iPhone and send out your personal photos to others to craigslist sex ads?

Answer 2: The last I heard Craigslist stopped doing sex ads/personals a long time ago. That doesn't mean a person can't sneak such a posting into craigslist. A persons email address can get hijacked and used by someone else, though I believe it is a pretty hard thing to do these days.

Question 3: and if so why hacker would be doing so?

Answer 3: Mainly to be hard to track down.

If your husbands email address has been hijacked and is being used by someone else then he needs to get a new email address. 

Most people who put up sex ads either want to be contacted, thus they would use an email address they can access OR they are trying to direct someone to a website where either a virus gets downloaded onto your computer or they want you to buy something. If someone wants to be hard to track down and make money illegally at the same time one technique would be to hijack someone else's email address.

Hoped that helped.

Julie

What drew you into this career path? Did you have prior experience in Apple software or any other type of software? Thanks

Asked by Freshie almost 6 years ago

I first fell into computer support back in 1997 by getting a customer service job with GTE Telecommunications (they got bought out years ago). I just stayed with it, and eventually fixing computers and mobile devices became a part of my job.

I am no longer in this career. I am switching to web development as it is better pay and way better treatment. If you are thinking about doing computer type support for more then a few years, I recommend you don't. It's a thankless job these days where you will have to take a lot of abuse from all sorts of people.