More Thoughts on the Apple Store

Almost two months ago, my MacBook Pro started exhibiting weird behavior. When I opened the lid, I would see a brief screen of garbled artifacts, similar to when a TV channel was having technical difficulties. I didn’t think much of it until my computer started freezing and wouldn’t recover unless I did a hard restart. This escalated until I wasn’t able to make it past the log in screen without my computer rebooting.

Screen artifacts

The first thing I did was make an appointment at the Apple Store. I described the symptoms and they did the usual and ran some diagnostics. They could not find anything hardware related so they suggested that if I ran into issues again, that I reinstall the OS. And since I was 4 days out of warranty, any hardware repairs would be paid out of pocket. I took their advice and did a clean install. Once I did that, I thought I was in the clear as I was able to make it past the log in screen and started to reinstall some apps. I didn’t get far though as my computer shut down unexpectedly.

I made another appointment at the Apple Store.

This time, another genius had me downgrade to the OS my computer originally came with, Mac OS Sierra. She said that there seems to be a bug with High Sierra that was causing these random reboots. So she downgraded my computer and I left to set up my computer on Mac OS Sierra.

Same thing happened again. Random reboot and I was unable to make it past the log in screen.

At this point, I didn’t want to make another trip to the Apple Store so I called Apple Care. At this point, I was ready to pay whatever it took to repair my laptop. I again described my symptoms to the tech on the phone. Within a few days, a box showed up at my apartment and I sent off my computer.

Almost a week later I received my laptop and was surprised to find out that Apple covered my repair costs even though my computer was technically out of warranty. I could not be more surprised.

A few thoughts:

Apple Stores get a bad rap for being crowded and a terrible experience, which is true. But when I first brought in my computer, I was watching the Genius who was helping me out multitask while he was running tests on my computer. Whatever app they use on their iPads to track and triage their customers is pretty slick. I can’t imagine what it’s like to work Apple Retail nowadays but we had nothing even close to what they use to track customers.

Apple Stores are convenient if you have an issue with your Apple device (if you live near one). But if you want to avoid the mall and the crowds at the Apple Store, call in. The Apple support over the phone is top notch. I don’t think they outsource overseas since they seem to operate around US time zones, although the last guy who helped me had a Scottish accent. Either way, the phone support is excellent and even though I described the exact same symptoms to the Apple Genius at the mall, he said my computer would be covered if any repairs had to be made. He had my model and serial and he would have been able to see that I was technically out of warranty. But I was surprised and delighted to know that the repairs to my computer were covered.

I was afraid I’d be out a couple hundred dollars to repair this computer, but I’m happily typing this on my newly repaired MacBook Pro.

Some Thoughts After Spending Over an Hour in an Apple Store

I’ve been stuck in an Apple Store for over an hour. Some observations:

  • It still boggles my mind that there are people who walk into the store not planning to buy anything, walking out with a $2,000+ laptop.
  • There are still not-nice people who give retail employees a hard time.
  • Wednesday afternoons are as busy as Saturday afternoons were for me back in 2004.
  • I haven’t had the chance to look at the iMac Pro because the same guy has been on it this entire time.
  • It takes an hour and a half to replace a cracked iPhone screen.
  • And that’s actually pretty quick.
  • Try not to crack your iPhone screen.

Homescreen 2018

On our forthcoming episode, we talked about tech resolutions we were going to do this new year. One of mine was to clean out and delete apps I no longer or rarely use. I also took this opportunity to clean up my home screen.

For reference here is my home screen from last year.

Homescreen 2017

And here is my updated home screen.

Home screen 2018

This is probably the biggest change I’ve made to my home screen since originally going to a Plus size phone back in 2015. I moved 4 apps from the home screen and the extra row that it freed up makes my phone feel less cluttered. I moved Hangouts, GroupMe, Scanbot, Apple Maps, and Simplenote. I promoted 2 apps to my first home screen. I find myself frequently opening my bank app so I moved that to the home screen. The second app, Oak, is a meditation app. I wanted to try and incorporate meditation and prayer into my daily routine and being a nerd, of course I found an app to help me do that. I also swapped the default Camera app with Halide.

Unsurprisingly, my dock stayed the same. This is a big change but I’m looking forward to see if it affects my daily phone usage for the better.

IBU 50: It’s Just Physics

On our last episode for the year, we cover our favorite beer and tech topics from 2017. It’s crazy that we’ve been doing this for an entire year (we started recording the first week of January but didn’t release until 2 weeks later). It’s been a lot of fun trying all types of beers from breweries all over the world while talking about nerdy topics.

If you’ve never listened, give us a shot and if you have, please tell someone who you think might like it.

Listen and subscribe in Apple Podcasts.