Upgrade or Replace your Mac® Computer? How do you know which?

Upgrade or replace? Is it time for a new Mac computer or time to make your old Mac computer work like new? This can be a difficult distinction to make for Mac computer users given the outstanding lifespan of these machines.

Food for Thought – Upgrade or Replace?

Upgrading your Mac computer is often times the least expensive way to get that wonderful new computer feeling. If you are experiencing a shortage of disk space or if your computer is taking a long time to boot up and complete simple tasks, you may want to consider simply upgrading your hard drive to a Solid-State Drive (SSD). You can also consider purchasing an external hard drive to keep all your media files on – i.e., movies, photos, music, and games. Lastly, if you find your Mac computer’s performance has become sluggish, it may be a sign that it’s time to upgrade the random-access memory (RAM).

Although upgrades can take care of some problems, there are some issues that just cannot be remedied by hardware upgrades. Sometimes a replacement is the necessary upgrade to a time-ravaged Mac computer. Depending on how old your Mac computer is, you may find yourself unable to upgrade to the latest macOS® software. Should you find yourself in this situation, it may be time to consider a replacement. Software issues can be a huge detriment to your productivity. If you find that your computer is constantly freezing and experiencing performance issues, it may be a sign that the hardware on your current Mac computer just isn’t cutting it anymore and maybe it’s time to replace it.

If you still have questions about whether an upgrade or a full replacement are best for you and your needs (as well as your budget), we encourage you to bring your Mac computer to your local Experimac store. We can run a full diagnostic check and help you determine the best plan of action for your computer.

Experience the Experimac difference. Call or stop by today!

New Year, New You? Grab a Friend and Crush your Goals

With the start of every new year, most people find themselves reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to the new year – goals set, accomplishments, adventures, risks taken, failures, travel plans, relationships, personal health and fitness, etc.

Starting a fitness journey can seem like a daunting task at the onset. However, having a strong support system can sometimes make all the difference. Did you know that your Apple Watch® device has developed a feature that allows users to interact with friends and family while working out throughout the day? Reaching your new year’s goals has never been easier!

Take a look at how you can share your Apple® watch activity progress with friends and family.

  • The first step to sharing your activity progress is by adding friends to share your activity progress with. You can add up to 25 friends to join you on your fitness journey. This includes family members, friends, and even co-workers who are on a similar journey to good health.
  • Once they accept your invite, they can view your progress and more importantly, you can view their progress. This brings a little bit of friendly competition and can serve as a great motivational tool to keep you on point past the first few weeks into the new year. Activity data you can share includes calories burned, minutes exercised, hours stood, steps taken and even distance traveled.
  • Best part? You can also message your friends from the Apple Watch interface. See your friends struggling to close their rings or notice that your dad has skipped the gym for a few days? Send them a message to motivate them!

Want to know more about how to get the most out of your Apple Watch device in 2018? Call us or stop by your local Experimac location today to speak to one of our specialists.

In Case You Missed It: The Coolest Apple® Product Releases and the Weirdest Bugs of 2017

2017 was an exciting year for Apple product fans that featured some great software improvements along with some impressive hardware upgrades. There were, however, a few bumps along the road with some weird bugs here and there, but overall, we received some amazing new features and upgrades on some of our favorite products from Apple, Inc.

Take a look back on 2017 . . . the best of Apple Inc.’s releases for the year . . .

  • The iPhone X® device was definitely the upgrade Apple fans have been waiting for. From the addition of augmented reality through its powerful camera, to the implementation of facial recognition technology to unlock your phone, the iPhone X device delivers an impressive entry to the iPhone® device
  • Apple Watch Series 3® device introduced a GPS feature to the Apple Watch® device line allowing users to access navigation without having their iPhone device on them. They also released an LTE version which adds cellular connectivity to your Apple Watch
  • The iMac Pro® computer is a powerhouse, all-in-one computer that brings the power of virtual reality to the iMac® computer product

. . . As well as the weirdest bugs of the year . . .

  • The “A ?” bug was likely one of the more frustrating bugs of 2017.  While typing on their iPhone devices, users experienced an issue where “I” auto corrected into “A ?”. A patch was later released and this issue has thankfully been resolved but while it lasted, it managed to drive everyone nuts.
  • The macOS® High Sierra launched with a bug that allowed any user to create an administrative account on a Mac computer without a password. This issue posed a serious security threat; however, everyone was grateful that it was patched within 24 hours of its release.

With every new, exciting development, there sometimes comes a bug, something that’s just not working as it should. Thankfully, Apple product fans know that Apple is always looking to make things better. Should you still be struggling with one of these bugs or if you’re interested in certified pre-owned products, end the year on a high note and stop by you local Experimac store today.

Getting the Most out of Using the Microsoft Edge Browser on Your iPhone® Device

Microsoft Edge is an Internet browser alternative to Safari which can be downloaded from the App Store. It provides an exciting suite of features that make for an excellent browsing experience on a mobile device.

Below are some tips for using the Microsoft Edge browser on your iPhone device:

  1. Surf your way! Microsoft Edge offers users several bowser customization options. By going into the browser settings, you can choose whether you want to browse in standard light mode or dark mode. By turning on dark mode, it changes the user interface to black. You can also choose your default search engine. Bing is an amazing search engine, but it’s nice to know that users have the ability to choose Yahoo or Google as alternatives if they prefer one of those.
  2. When browsing the Internet, you may come across some information that you may want to view on a larger screen. While using Microsoft Edge, you can link multiple devices through your Microsoft account and seamlessly transfer webpages to other devices making
  3. For users that want to stay current with the latest news, Microsoft Edge offers a dedicated news feed on the home page. Stories update automatically so all you need to do is scroll through for the most recent headlines.
  4. The Microsoft Edge browser also offers voice search and a barcode scanner for times when a standard keyboard input is not optimal.
  5. Shopping for that perfect gift can sometimes be a difficult secret to keep from our loved ones. Not to worry, Microsoft Edge offers an InPrivate browsing option to help keep certain tidbits of information top secret.

If you haven’t given Microsoft Edge a try on your iPhone device, we think you’ll like what you find so give it a try today. Should you run into any issues with it on your iPhone device, don’t hesitate to stop by your local Experimac store. Our techs are ready to help!

How much Faster will Upgrading your Hard Drive to an SSD make your Mac® Computer?

Are you frustrated with your Mac computer because of a slow hard drive? Has it frozen on you multiple times? It always seems to happen when you’re in a rush or trying to meet a deadline.

Consider updating your Mac computer with a Solid State Drive (SSD). This easy upgrade offers users a much faster computing experience as SSDs are more energy efficient, more reliable and even quieter than other hard drives.

Upgrading your Mac computer’s hard drive to an SSD can make one of the most drastic differences to your Mac computer’s performance.

But how much difference, really?

Take a look at how much of a difference upgrading to an SSD can make in even the slowest Mac computer:

Upgrading your hard drive to an SSD can greatly improve the speed of your computer’s hard drive in many ways, particularly when completing everyday tasks. Perhaps the most drastic change users notice is the improved time it takes the computer to reach the login screen. Booting the system can be up to 61% faster when using an SSD as compared to using the older standard hard drives.

Reaching your favorites on Safari will also be faster by upgrading to an SSD. How much faster? Up to 51% faster! Even surfing the web can be up to 8% faster by upgrading your current hard drive to an SSD. Bring new life to your Mac computer by investing in an SSD upgrade!

Not sure if upgrading your hard drive to an SSD is right for you? Stop by your local Experimac store today to find out more. Our experienced techs are available to answer all of your hard drive and SSD related questions today.

5 Tips for Increasing Security on your iPhone® Device

5 Tips for Increasing Security on your iPhone Device

Can you even imagine getting through the day without using your iPhone device? Probably not.

iPhone devices are wonderful tools for accessing and managing a variety of private information: emails, credit cards, social media accounts and much more. Don’t fall victim to unwelcome users, here are our top five tips for increasing your iPhone device’s security.

  1. Change passcode to password

    The iPhone device comes with the standard option of creating a 4-digit passcode. However, creating a longer password provides more security. By having a password that incorporates letters instead of a passcode, you instantly add more possible combinations making it more difficult for anyone to guess your password.

  2. Turn off Wi-Fi in insecure locations

    Keep your information as safe as possible by only connecting to Wi-Fi in secure locations. By turning off your Wi-Fi in locations that do not seem to have a secure network, you limit the chance of hackers getting to your private information.

  3. Enable Touch ID

    The Touch ID® function is a great iPhone feature in recent models that allows users to access their iPhone by scanning their registered finger print. Not only does Touch ID keep your information safe from those looking to gain unauthorized access to your phone, it also makes logging into your phone a lot easier than entering a password.

  4. Avoid untrustworthy sites

    It’s true that Apple devices do not suffer from viruses or other malware as often as other devices, however, they still can fall victim. Because of this, do not trust unworthy sites, even when on your iPhone device.

  5. Keep up with recent updates

    Apple, Inc.’s® noteworthy safety from viruses is due to their OS® software. In order for your iPhone device to take advantage of this, be sure to keep up with all updates. Not applying the updates may leave your phone vulnerable.

Looking for ways to keep your personal information personal? Your local Experimac store can help make sure you are doing everything possible. Stop by today!

Save Money on Holiday Travel Planning with our Favorite Apps

Making plans for your holiday travel? Are you off to visit family and friends in your childhood hometown or will you be visiting somewhere new and exotic? Are you on a budget?

It can take a lot of coordination to make sure the kids are out of school and vacation days are approved by your boss. Finding a good deal on flights and hotels can make it a stressful and costly time of year.

Our advice? Plan ahead and take a look at our top app picks to help you save on travel this upcoming holiday season.

  • Kayak

    When it comes to planning an expensive holiday trip, Kayak is the best app to start with. This app allows you to choose a destination and date, and provides you with competitive prices on airfare, hotels and rental cars from bargain-finding apps such as Priceline and Expedia.

  • Hopper

    Traveling for the holidays can be tricky when trying to find inexpensive airfare. Hopper is an app that allows you to compare flight prices by date, and it color codes prices to specified cities over a variety of dates.

  • Uber

    If you don’t plan on using a rental car for your vacation, consider using Uber for getting around town, or even for getting to and from the airport. Uber rides are cheaper than taxi rides and are usually available much faster than taxis. It also takes the stress out of navigating a city you’re not familiar with.

  • AirBnB

    AirBnB allows homeowners to list their home or a room in their home for rent to travelers for discounted rates. The less privacy you need, the cheaper your stay can be. What’s great about AirBnB is the ability to stay in locations that may not be as public and may offer challenges in finding hotels or inns.

  • Yelp

    When in a new city, finding inexpensive restaurants and activities can be difficult, but not with Yelp. This app not only tells you about nearby places to eat and things to do, but will also categorize local places by how expensive they are through the use of dollar signs. Places listed with one or two dollar signs signify less expensive options versus places listed with three or four dollar signs.

Whether your dream is to spend the holidays on an exotic beach or surrounded by loved ones in your childhood home, planning ahead can make a world of difference in what it will all cost you.

If you’re having trouble installing these apps or want to make sure your devices are ready for your upcoming travels, stop by your local Experimac store today. We’re here to help!

Textiquette: Experimac’s Top 10 Tips for Texting with Manners

In the modern world, we can’t imagine how we ever lived without text messages. Texting can be very convenient and quick, just make sure you mind your manners if you want the recipient to respect you and your messages.

Here are our top 10 tips for using your manners when texting:

  1. Never text and drive: The most important texting manner is to not text and drive. Nothing good comes from not paying attention to the road nor the conversation you are trying to have. Both deserve your undivided attention, don’t do both at the same time.
  2. Give others your full attention: Whether it is during a date, a business meeting, or any social event, don’t text when engaged in social interaction or when your attention should be on others. Texting distracts you and others, preventing clear, open and trusting communication. Don’t text and talk, give others your full attention.
  3. Proofread: A text full of mistakes can leave a horrible impression on the recipient, Though the idea behind texting is the ability to send a quick message, not taking the extra minute, it takes to proofread could be detrimental to how your text’s reader understands you and your priorities. Using too many emojis should also be avoided for the reader’s benefit.
  4. Avoid abbreviating and over-shortening words or phrases: Though abbreviations can be fun and useful, they can also be confusing and even seem lazy. Take the extra moment to spell out words and phrases properly, particularly with business texts and when texting those you don’t personally know very well.
  5. Be mindful of length: There are few things more frustrating than a long text, as it is easy to miss important details. Limit longer messages to emails or phone calls.
  6. Avoid group texts: Group texts are another way that texts can become confusing and even annoying rather quickly. Often times, those in the group text aren’t sure when responses are directed at the group or them specifically, and several responses coming from several people can be overwhelming and even annoying.
  7. Do conclude text conversations: Concluding text conversations is frequently overlooked, and it shouldn’t be. Providing finality to text conversations is satisfying and more straight forward. The only exception to this may be if you text a friend on a daily, or more regular, basis.
  8. Be sensitive to privacy: We are never certain who has access to texts we send to others. Avoid including private information in texts in order to prevent privacy disasters.
  9. Don’t text bad news: Whether it is a break-up, a death in the family or losing a job, sad news should never be texted. Give the person the respect of telling them in person. If you can’t see them in person, telling them over a phone call is the least you can do.
  10. Be patient: Because you are not in front of the person you are texting; you can never be sure of what they are doing when you send them a message. Don’t grow impatient if someone doesn’t respond right away. If you believe you’ve been unclear in previous texts, perhaps clarify. However, don’t rush the person to respond to you.

At Experimac, we understand better than most how much you rely on your phone, not just for calls but also for text messages. If your iPhone® device is giving you trouble, bring it in and we’ll take a look at it so you never miss a text message again.

Data Recovery – What’s Possible and What’s Not

Data Recovery - What's Possible and What's Not

Losing data is the most devastating thing that can happen when working with technology. If you have ever experienced this, you’ll know the pain we’re talking about. Whether it’s deleting a file, forgetting a password or the aftermath of a destroyed device, you know the agony this can cause.

However, not all hope is lost. In some instances, your data can be saved. So, what’s possible and what’s not when trying to recover data on your Mac® laptop or computer?

The first and most critical thing you should do once you realize you have lost data is: stop using the device. By continuing to use the device, you hurt the chances of recovering lost data. As frustrating as it may be to sit back and not use it, it can make the difference between what’s possible and what’s not.

There are several reasons why devices can lose data and the cause for the data loss may determine whether your data can be recovered or not.

Sometimes, lost data is a result of storage cloud issues. Some Mac users depend on cloud storage; however, some erroneously believe their data is instantly backed up. This isn’t always the case as most storage services typically synchronize with a folder instead of the computer’s hard drive. As a result, users sometimes cause damage to their own device when trying to find problems with their hard drive or software that do not exist. Making sure this is setup properly can make all the difference in the world.

When data is impossible to recover, it usually comes from a physical problem with the device involving the hardware. Due to their unique design, Mac devices can be difficult to fix. Some circumstances have easier solutions than others, making it best to leave data recovery to trained professionals who can properly diagnose the problem and do their best to recover missing information. Surprisingly, data can sometimes be recovered even after floods, fires, or other extreme situations.

Don’t risk permanently losing precious data. Stop by Experimac to see how we can help you avoid the need for emergency data recovery on any of your Apple® devices!

How Much Time Spent on Your Phone May Surprise You

How much time do we spend on our phones and doing what?

The answer might surprise you!

How much time?

A mobile research report conducted by eMarketer shows total time spent by mobile users as 4 hours, 5 minutes per day. Some studies have found that smart phone use may make up as much as five hours of use daily in adults, and even more than that from users aged 18-24. In other words, we are spending about 17-20% of our lives on our phones. You could have an additional part time job with all of that time!

Doing what?

So, we may spend a lot of time on our phones, but that doesn’t make us bad or negligent people. Smart phones have several practical uses, making them highly functional, partially justifying our amount of use. Whether for communicating, conducting business, using a calculator or just waking up to a morning alarm, our dependence on smart phones as a society is undeniable.

What started as a trendy device has now become an essential tool in American culture. The website Hackernoon said it best, “The amount of time people spend on their mobile phones is less representative of addictive behavior today, and more representative of a massive cultural shift.” The smartphone has revolutionized human behaviors and challenges and has set a new precedent for how we conduct communication, business and ourselves going forward.

You may be wondering, what could anyone do on a phone for five hours a day? Well, user-time adds up quick, and according to MediaKix, we spend an average of 1 hour, 56 minutes on the top 5 social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. eMarketer found that 22% of mobile phone time is taken up by texting, 22% by phone calls, and 10% by email. Most of our phone use is devoted to apps, while a small 8% of our average use relies on browsers.

Smart device use, whether it be an iPhone® device, iPad® tablet or an Apple Watch® device, has consumed our modern American culture and has created a new frontier for business, communication and leisure. If you are an avid smart device user, don’t feel bad as you are clearly not alone. Our reliance on smart devices as a society is simply a reflection of the ever-changing world we live in.

Has reading this made you realize your iPhone device or iPad tablet needs a repair or its time for a trade in? If so, stop by your local Experimac store and we’ll gladly help you get back to your favorite apps, text messages, phone calls, and of course, social media.