Traveling? Tips for Using Your Smartphone Abroad

Traveling? Tips for Using Your Smartphone Abroad

With the summer travel season about to kick in to hear gear, many people will be heading overseas for business and pleasure. Travel abroad has come a long way over the years and the advanced technology found in today’s smartphones makes it easy to keep in touch with colleagues, family, and friends while overseas as well as take some amazing photos. We have gathered some tips for using your smartphone abroad as you travel the world.

Your carrier’s overseas plan, get a budget phone, foreign SIM card . . . what to do?

When traveling abroad, you will want to do some research in advance to determine what your best bet is to keep costs under control and have a realistic expectation of the service you will be able to access. You will want to familiarize yourself with the carriers available in the country you will be visiting and the frequency bands the carriers use to make sure the phone you plan to use during your trip is compatible. There are a few options to consider.

  • Contact your current carrier and ask about their overseas options. This will obviously vary by carrier, by plan, and by country/region. Explain what kind of access you will need to have during your trip and how much time you will be there. Depending on your carrier, you may have the option to upgrade or add additional features for the duration of your trip.
  • Check your current phone for compatibility. When determining if your phone can be used overseas, you need to check the specific model number for your phone as most phones come in carrier-specific If you determine using your phone is not an option because it is not compatible, consider purchasing a budget phone that will work overseas. You can purchase this in advance of your trip or do a little research and purchase in the country you will be visiting. You may even be able to do this at the airport upon your arrival.
  • Purchase a foreign SIM card. Whether you decide to use your existing phone or purchase a budget phone for use during your trip, you should keep in mind the option to insert a foreign SIM card into the phone. This can also likely be purchased right in the airport.
  • Turn off data. Use Wi-Fi only. The most budget-friendly option, yet possibly the most inconvenient, would be to turn off the data on your phone and only use it while connected to Wi-Fi. Depending on where you are going and how frequently you will need to be “connected,” this may or may not work for you.

Back up the data on your phone, laptop, etc. BEFORE your trip. Whether you decide to do this using an external drive or a cloud-based service is personal preference but this is a good idea before heading overseas. Should you lose your phone, laptop or any other device you will be taking with you, it would be devastating to lose photos, text messages, etc. that are only saved on this device. As a result, this should definitely be on your to-do list before flying out.

 Verify the availability of Wi-Fi at your destination. Before heading out, check to make sure your hotel or resort will have Wi-Fi available and what the cost is, if any. This will not likely be a concern is major cities but some more remote areas may have fewer options.

Pack your chargers, power adapters, and headphones. This may seem obvious but a lot of people find themselves purchasing a set of headphones or even a charger at an airport when they have perfectly good options at home because they simply forgot to toss them in their bag. Headphones can be a lifesaver during long trips. We recommend a quick Internet search will help you determine if you will need power adapters at your destination and if so, what kind. Purchase these before you leave to find the best price.

Did you consider travel insurance? There are many options and some Internet research will help you find the best option for your trip depending on the duration of your trip, destination, and number of people in your group. Should you become ill or the victim of theft overseas, travel insurance can protect you. Do your research and make an informed decision.

Snapping the perfect photos? Back them up! There is no doubt you will find yourself taking photos of unique sites, great looking food and other special moments with your phone. Back up these once-in-a-lifetime photos and videos forever by setting up your phone to do this every time you snap a photo. The cloud-based options are endless (and probably the best choice) so ask some friends what they have found works best and do a little research to figure out what will work best for you.

If your travel plans this summer have you heading abroad, consider yourself lucky and get ready in advance to make the most of your trip. Should you need any assistance with setting up your iPhone® device or MacBook® laptop for use overseas, pay a quick visit to our techs at your local Experimac store.

Planning a Vacation? Ditch the DSLR and Upgrade your iPhone® Device Instead with These

iPhone accessories for taking the very best vacation photos on your iPhone

Taking the trip of a lifetime this summer? Will you be visiting the exotic beaches of Tahiti, indulging in the Italian meals only your dreams could imagine, or will you be going on safari in Africa? No matter where you’re going this summer, you’ve undoubtedly worked hard to earn this vacation and planning this dream trip may have taken months. Make sure you come home with the photos to prove how amazing your trip truly was – this doesn’t mean carrying around a huge DSLR camera. Your iPhone device and a few well-chosen accessories are all you need.

Some research has helped us narrow down the essential accessories for taking the very best vacation photos on your iPhone device.

  • DJI Osmo 2 stabilizer offers unbelievable stabilization for hand-held shots (no more blurry photos), a joystick for tilting and panning like a pro and controls for zooming and capturing photos. The price has come down significantly from the original DJI Osmo.
  • Joby Gorillapod is lightweight and allows you to attach your phone to railings and other unique items in your surroundings for memorable shots that are steady.
  • Add-on lenses provide choices including macro and wide-angle options not otherwise available when using an iPhone device. Aukey has a phone lens kit that allows you to clip the lenses on to your phone easily. The Moment New Telephoto lens, a popular choice, requires a phone case that allows you to use the Moment mount.
  • Yoozon selfie stick doubles as a tripod and has a remote. Affordable and versatile, you would be surprised to see some of the amazing photos taken using selfie sticks. Though not seen as very professional, selfie sticks allow you to see high above crowds and other landmarks.
  • Xuma mobile LED light brings a few mounting options for added versatility. This is a great option in low-light situations, especially when shooting a video.
  • USB battery packs have become a pretty common sight today. A battery pack will not improve the quality of your photos but it will allow you to continue taking photos when your phone is dead. Packing one or two of these is definitely a good idea.

Need help deciding which accessories to purchase for taking the best possible vacation photos? Or, do you need help setting up your phone so that it automatically saves a backup of your photos on the Cloud® service? Don’t lug that huge DSLR around on your next trip when there are so many ways to maximize getting really nice shots. Either way, pop in your local Experimac store today and talk to one of our dedicated experts.

iPhone Disabled? Here’s What You Need to Know

iPhone Disabled? Here's What You Need to Know

Has this message ever appeared on the screen of your iPhone® device? “iPhone is disabled. Try again in X minutes”

If so, you know how frustrating this can be and you’ve probably asked yourself, “But, why?” or better yet, “Now what?”.

Disabled iPhone Device Error Messages

Depending on the exact wording of the message, you may or may not have something to worry about.

Best case scenario, you get this: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 1 minute.

Not as great, you may get this or a different wait time: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 15 minutes. Or some other amount of time up to 60 minutes.

Worst case scenario, you get this: iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes.

As you see, these error messages can vary and although slightly inconvenient, the first message is not really a big deal. However, if you get the last message, the only method for unlocking your iPhone device at that point will be to connect it to the iTunes® service. Sounds simple enough but you need to be careful when you get to this point. Always try clicking on “Update” first. If that fails, you will have no other option but to click on “Restore” which will cause all of the data on the phone to be wiped. This is part of the recovery process and there’s really no way around it.

What causes these error messages?

These error messages usually mean you have used the wrong passcode too many times and your iPhone device is locking itself down to protect itself from what it perceives as a possible hacking attempt. One of the reasons to love your iPhone device is the built-in security measures but these can also work against you if you are not careful. Many people have had this happen after an eager toddler has played with their phone or even while their phone is sitting at the bottom of a purse.

You’re allowed up to 5 incorrect attempts but on attempt number 6, you will start to see the dreaded “iPhone is disabled” messages. Ten incorrect attempts at your passcode will lead to the gut-wrenching “iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes.” message on your screen. Your phone, although very smart, will assume the worst and lockdown your phone to protect you and your personal information.

There is good news though – if you have a little patience and wait out the delay times calmly, your iPhone device will begin to work as it should again once you enter the correct passcode. These wait times are automatically activated and can’t be turned off. We recommend being more mindful of entering the correct passcode to avoid these annoying delays or using the TouchID® feature if your phone supports it.

What’s the lesson here? A few things.

  1. Give your passcode to someone you trust or write it down somewhere safe where you can access it in case you forget your passcode.
  2. Do not ignore these messages, especially those that include a wait time because they can escalate and lead to receiving the worst-case scenario message and consequently, your phone getting wiped.
  3. Back up your iPhone device. Always.

Do you need any help with setting up the TouchID feature or using your iPhone device? Experimac’s experienced techs are able to help you. No appointment necessary. Stop by your local Experimac location today!

Earn Cash for Your Used Apple® Devices – Here’s How

How to earn cash for your used apple devices

Did you recently upgrade to a newer model Apple device? Are you thinking it’s time for an upgrade? If so, you may be wondering what to do with your current iPhone® device or MacBook® laptop. Like many people, you can let it collect dust in a closet, but the techs at Experimac understand the value of your used devices and will give you money on the spot for those devices. It’s really that easy.

Experimac will show you the money

Although the experienced techs at Experimac are ready to assist you with any of your Apple device repair and upgrade needs, they can offer you so much more. At Experimac, you are welcome to bring in your used Apple devices to sell them to us. We will eagerly look at any of your devices –  phones, tablets, laptops, computers, etc. It’s so easy . . . our techs will inspect and evaluate your device and make you an offer. If you agree, you walk out with money in your hand. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure so don’t think your device is worthless without giving us a chance to look at it. Some businesses will offer you store credit for your used Apple devices. Experimac offers you money on the spot.

Would you rather trade in your device?

If you prefer, you also have the option to trade in your used Apple device and put the value of your current iPhone device or MacBook laptop toward the purchase of a certified pre-owned device in our inventory. If you know what you’re looking for, we can help you make the trade happen all in one stop, no appointment necessary.

When the time comes to upgrade your iPhone device, MacBook laptop or even your iMac® computer, look no further than your local Experimac store for money on the spot or an easy trade to a newer or better model. We are committed to providing the best customer service in the industry; stop by and experience the Experimac difference.

How to Choose a Laptop Repair Company

How to Choose a Laptop Repair Company

Have you ever had issues with your laptop? Does it freeze when you try to load certain applications? We’ve all been there at one point in time and nothing is more frustrating than thinking about your quickly approaching deadline when your laptop has decided to stop working properly. Finding a reliable laptop repair company you can trust with your valuable piece of tech and all your saved documents can be stressful and frustrating if you don’t know what to look for.

We have gathered some characteristics to look for in a laptop repair company, consider these:

  1. Customer Service

Determining the quality of customer service you are likely to receive from a company you are considering should be pretty easy. Before taking your laptop anywhere, walk into the location and observe what’s going on around you. Were you acknowledged when you entered? Were others? Are the techs thoroughly explaining issues to other customers in the store? Are the customers able to understand the explanations or do they seem more confused by the terminology? Do they have a long wait and if so, how is that handled? Does the store seem like it’s being run in an efficient and organized manner?

  1. Warranty

    Reputable laptop repair companies will offer a warranty on their repairs. If they provide quality service, there is no reason why they wouldn’t. Offering their customers a guarantee shows they stand by their work and should give you the confidence to trust them with your laptop repair because if something were to need a second look, they will not give you a hard time.

  2. Reasonable Cost

    The truth is, everyone has a budget and you have to consider the cost of the repair and whether or not it is affordable for you. Either in person or on the phone, ask about how they charge – by the hour or by repair? Is there a price list? Are there any hidden service fees?

  3. Reviews from Other Customers

    When you have a positive experience at a restaurant, you probably wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to family and friends. The same should hold true for laptop repair companies. Ask around and see if anyone you know has a solid recommendation for someone they have had experience with. Online reviews can sometimes be overwhelming to sift through but can also be very informative.

  4. Wait Time

    When your laptop needs repairs, it’s usually not something you can wait around for days or weeks to be resolved. Consider asking what the lead time is on the repairs you need and then determine if that’s acceptable for you.

  5. Experienced Techs

    Don’t assume the repair techs have experience with your particular device, ask. It is reasonable to ask how many years of experience the tech who will be working on your laptop has and whether they are familiar with your device and/or issue, in particular.

When looking for a reputable laptop repair company, look no further than your local Experimac store. Whether you need a screen replacement or assistance with data recovery, your priority is ours. Your go-to source for Apple® device repairs, upgrades, and more, the highly-trained techs at Experimac will provide the best customer service in the industry. No appointments are necessary; we welcome walk-ins, offer same day service and guarantee our work. We will gladly help you get your laptop working like new again.

Maximize Your Tax Return with ‘New to You’ Apple® Products from Experimac®

WEST PALM BEACH, FL –April 2, 2018 – Tax season is in full swing! If you’re one of the lucky ones who will be receiving a tax return this year and are a fan Apple® products, Experimac® can help you get the most bang for your (tax) bucks! Experimac specializes in the sale of certified pre-owned Apple® computers and devices. From phones to tablets to laptops and more, you can enjoy the same high-quality devices for up to 60% off of the retail cost.

“Before we sell any of our pre-owned Apple products, we put them through a rigorous certification process to ensure that we are offering the best quality and operating devices,” said Jim Muir, President of Experimac. “We understand that many people want to treat themselves to something nice when they get a tax return. They’ve worked hard for their money and deserve it. We’re here to offer them premium Apple products without the premium price.”

All Experimac products are thoroughly cleaned, inspected and brought up to the brand’s high standards before they are made available for sale. In addition to the certified pre-owned Apple products, Experimac also offers repair and upgrade services. Technicians are available to fix cracked phone screens, recover data, improve computer performance and more. All products and services are backed by Experimac’s warranty, which, in many cases, is a year from the date of purchase.

“We firmly believe in our products and take all the necessary steps to ensure that our customers are satisfied with their purchases,” added Muir.

The team at Experimac has been specializing in Apple products for more than 20 years. For more information about Experimac, visit online at www.experimac.com.

About Experimac

Experimac is a unique franchising concept that specializes in the sale of certified pre-owned Apple products. Your Local Experimac can also repair, upgrade or buy your current device, and no appointment is ever necessary. The brand offers a 90-day guarantee, which takes the risk out of buying pre-owned. Experimac was founded by Jim Muir in 2009, and began franchising as one of United Franchise Group’s affiliated companies and brands in 2014. Today, there are more than 100 locations across the globe; Experimac stores can be found in Australia, Mexico, Chile, South Africa, France, Canada, Uruguay and Ireland. The brand has seen tremendous growth with no sign of slowing down. For more information, visit www.ExperimacFranchise.com.

About United Franchise Group

“The Global Leader for Entrepreneurs.” United Franchise Group is a group of affiliated companies and brands. Led by CEO Ray Titus, United Franchise Group is home to a variety of internationally recognized brands including Signarama, Fully Promoted, Experimac, Jon Smith Subs, Venture X, SuperGreen Solutions, Transworld Business Advisors and The Great Greek. With over three decades in the franchising industry and more than 1400 franchisees throughout the world, United Franchise Group offers unprecedented leadership and solid business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Apple Pay® is Changing Everything!

Apple Pay is changing the way consumers pay for products and services. The one-step payment process means you don’t have to dig through your wallet or purse to find credit cards or scrounge up some cash. Here’s what you need to know about Apple Pay . . .

What is it?
Apple Pay is a one-step payment feature exclusive to Apple® devices that avoids the need to carry credit cards. Long gone are the days of diving into your purse or wallet for cash or a credit card at check-out. Simply open Apple Pay while checking out, tap your phone onto any compatible pin pad, and you’re all done.

How secure is it?
Apple Pay is very secure thanks to tokenization and Touch ID®. Tokenization is a method that replaces credit card numbers with symbols, protecting sensitive credit card information from being stolen without your authorization. The Touch ID fingerprinting feature commonly used on Apple devices is used to secure payments, minimizing undesired purchases and other cases of unauthorized use of your card.

How can I get it?
Apple Pay can be downloaded in the Wallet® app once iOS 8.1® or later is installed in any of the following Apple devices: iPhone 6®, iPhone 6s®, iPhone 6 Plus®, iPhone 6s Plus®, iPhone SE®, iPad Air 2®, iPad mini 3®, iPad mini 4®, iPad Pro® models or the Apple Watch®. You can easily add up to eight credit or debit cards to Apple Pay using your device’s camera. You can manage your Apple Pay account in Settings.

How do I use it?
When paying within other apps, tap the ‘Buy with Apple Pay’ button and then all you have to do it is check your billing, shipping, and contact information to make sure it’s all accurate. You can also choose to pay with another card. If necessary, enter your billing, shipping and other contact information and you will not need to enter it again as Apple Pay will store it for you. Then, simply put your finger on Touch ID and once the payment has been sent successfully, a checkmark and the word ‘Done’ will appear on the screen.

You can also use Apple Pay in stores that accept contactless payments. Once you are ready to pay in the store, open the Wallet app on your compatible Apple device and place your registered finger on Touch ID as you hold your device within an inch of the contactless reader until the word ‘Done’ appears. Once the payment has been accepted, you will also see a checkmark on the screen. And voila, you have just paid using Apple Pay!

Where can I use it?
Apple Pay is accepted in hundreds of stores including grocery stores, gas stations, hotels and much more. You can also easily use it to pay within a lot of other apps.

There is never a bad time for convenience. Using Apple Pay is ideal for the day-to-day rush or even while shopping online. Considering setting up your cards through Apple Pay but finding that you need an upgraded iPhone® device or a repair to your iPad® tablet? Come in to your local Experimac today and we can help you out.

Battery Not Charging? Here’s Some Help!

Is your iPhone®, iPad® or iPod® battery not holding a charge anymore? We have all become incredibly dependent on these devices and not being able to trust that it will have any battery power left when you need it, can be nerve-wracking. But don’t price out a new device just yet. This is a common problem that many face, and many times it is easy to fix.

Take a look at these possible reasons for why your device is no longer holding a charge and ways to correct these issues.

  • Faulty charger
    First things first, be sure that your charger is not broken. Look for any possible damage such as a torn or frayed cord, dirty or bent prongs or a bent USB. Make sure the USB adaptor is connected to the cord securely and be sure to try different outlets. You should also try different chargers because these are known to stop working out of the blue.
  • Dirty charging port
    Take a look at the charging port on the bottom of the device and be sure it is clean. Be sure to take great care when doing this; if handled too aggressively, the port could be damaged and you may worsen the condition of your device. Inspect your port with a flashlight, and look for buildup of debris (sand, grime, etc.). Next, try to gently sweep it out using either a SIM eject tool or a large needle. Don’t use a toothpick or a cotton swab, as these items can easily leave more debris by either breaking or falling apart. Once you’re done cleaning the port, try to charge it again. You may even notice a firmer connection between the charging cord and the device.
  • Restart your device
    Make sure you have given your device 30 minutes of uninterrupted charging before trying to restart it, even if it doesn’t appear to charge. To restart the device, hold down the power and home buttons at the same time for at least 10 seconds, then let go of the buttons once you see the Apple® logo. After this, let your device charge for another uninterrupted 30 minutes.

If your device still shows no signs of charging after trying all of these ideas, you should consider replacing the battery. Come into your local Experimac store with your device and charger; our technicians will inspect your device, replace its battery if necessary and have your device running like new, often while you wait.