Select Page
How to setup your Apple ID correctly

How to setup your Apple ID correctly

Setup your Apple ID correctly by signing into all of the appropriate places with the correct email address and password.

The Apple ID is becoming more and more powerful these days with the onset of new Apple services: iCloud Drive, iCloud (in general), iMessage, etc. But at the same time, it’s becoming more confusing.

Random messages pop up asking for our password, which one do you type in? iCloud password? Apple ID password? This article is designed to make that process a little bit easier to understand.

The Apple ID Wears Lots of Hats

Here are the different services that are completely interchangeable with the Apple ID:

  • iCloud
  • FaceTime
  • iMessage
  • App Store
  • iTunes

If you are prompted for one of these passwords, keep in mind that each of these are really the same account! The key is to pay attention to which email address they are prompting you for.

“But what if I have a Gmail?” you may ask. Well, your Apple ID doesn’t necessarily have to be an Apple email address (@me.com, @mac.com, or @icloud.com). If you get a prompt that shows your email address on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, it’s always your Apple ID. If it was asking for your password for your email, it would simply say, “Enter your password for the account, Gmail.”

The Five Homes of the Apple ID

I’d like to walk through all the places your Apple ID should be signed in for correct configuration. This assumes you have your own Apple ID that you aren’t sharing with anyone (that’s a whole other topic or appointment). Just know that you can technically use a different Apple ID for each of these places. If you’re not sure which Apple ID should go where for your family, that would be a fantastic appointment.

1. iCloud

On iOS: Can be found in Settings > iCloud.

On the Mac: Go to System Preferences > iCloud.

Make sure you don’t sign in with a shared family Apple ID here, or contacts and calendars could get merged together and take hours to pull apart. iCloud is a very individual service and should be used by only one person per account.

2. iTunes & App Store

On iOS: These settings are combined in one place, Settings > iTunes and App Store.

On the Mac: These are found in the individual apps for iTunes and App Store. Open iTunes and click Sign In in the top right of the window. For App Store, click on the Menu Bar item “Account”. If you see an email address there, you’re signed in already. If not, Sign In to your account here.

Note that it’s okay to use a shared/family iTunes account here, nothing bad is going to happen if a lot of people use this Apple ID. If you have kids, you may want to consider setting up Family Sharing so that your kids can take their purchases with them when they leave the nest, all while still using your payment method. That would also be a great appointment.

3. iMessage

On iOS: Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.

On the Mac: Open the Messages app and go to the Messages preferences (in the top left of your screen click on Messages > Preferences) and go to the Account section. Sign into iMessage there. You’ll be prompted to sign in if it’s your first sign-in.

4. FaceTime

On iOS: Settings > FaceTime

On the Mac: Open the FaceTime app and sign in!

Confusing, but not impossible

Even knowing where everything is supposed to go doesn’t clear up other Apple ID issues like multiple IDs per family, forgotten passwords, or having an Apple ID with an email address that doesn’t exist anymore.

We do a lot of Apple ID appointments because it’s important to have this stuff straight! The more crucial the Apple ID becomes, the more important having the right passwords and IDs becomes.

Solution for “Account Already Exists” in Mac Mail / OS X El Capitan

Solution for “Account Already Exists” in Mac Mail / OS X El Capitan

Recently in Apple Mail on Mac OS X El Capitan I received a strange error message when trying to add a Charter email account for a client: “Mail account already exists”. I followed the steps that Charter recommends but I could not get the account to add. After some troubleshooting, here’s how I finally solved it.

Before you implement this fix, verify you have the correct email and password by logging in to your email providers website (for Charter, it’s charter.net). Once you’ve done that, head to the solution below.

Solution

  1. Head to the Apple logo in the top left corner  > System Preferences
  2. Select iCloud (third row, first icon)
  3. Sign out of your iCloud account by clicking Sign Out
  4. Re-add your mail account
  5. Sign back into your iCloud account

Why this works

I believe iCloud Keychain causes the problem, which syncs lots of data, including internet accounts, across multiple devices.  The email account in question is somewhere in the iCloud data trying to sync, but it’s stuck in limbo. However, disabling iCloud Keychain by itself does not fix the problem, leaving the only solution to be to sign out altogether.

Mac OS X Versions this affects

This bug affects all versions of Mac OS X El Capitan — 10.11.0, 10.11.1, 10.11.2, 10.11.3, 10.11.4, 10.11.5, and 10.11.6.

If you find that this bug affects other versions of OS X or have a better workaround, please leave a comment below.

Known Mail Providers Affected

  • Comcast
  • Charter
Why it’s bad to close your iPhone apps

Why it’s bad to close your iPhone apps

Did you know that closing the apps on your iPhone can actually hurt your battery life? I mention it in my guide to solving every battery drain issue for the iPhone, but I thought I’d make it a little more direct in it’s own post.

You heard me, stop quitting those apps! Here’s why:

  1. The apps in your multitasking aren’t actually running in the background, they are frozen by the system so they are ready to go when you next need that app.
  2. When you quit an app, it unloads the app from the RAM (short term memory), and when you need it again it has to load it from scratch. All of that unloading and reloading causes more drain than simply letting the iOS system do it for you.
  3. iOS will automatically purge apps from the background if it needs more memory, so you’re doing something completely redundant.
  4. Apple has allowed certain kinds of apps to run in the background, but they did so intelligently with a setting called Background App Refresh, which you can read more about in our simple explanation of Background App Refresh.
  5. You should be the user of your device, not the janitor! Just use the dang thing, don’t worry about cleaning it up. iOS was designed with this in mind.
  6. It’s annoying as heck to close apps all the time, like a really boring game of whack-a-mole.

How do I know this? I was a Mac and iOS technician at Apple for 22 months at the Apple Store in Birmingham, AL (R225, woot!). I made it my mission to solve iPhone battery life issues and dug deep into the internal knowledge-base documents that Apple makes available to technicians. I somehow managed to figure out how to solve every iPhone battery problem.

What to do with a broken iPhone screen

What to do with a broken iPhone screen

Check your warranty, backup your device, and use Apple for your replacement screen to preserve your warranty and the quality of your iPhone or iPad screen.

Need to know what to do with a broken iPhone screen? Here is everything you need to know to get a broken screen replacement without voiding your warranty, further damaging your device, or hurting yourself. I worked at the Apple Store for almost two years and saw many people do this the wrong way and end up with a ruined iPhone and a voided warranty. Many tears were shed.

If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch screen is broken, all hope is not lost. Fortunately, Apple makes it extremely easy to get a broken iPhone screen replacement if you do it the right way. As someone who used to work for Apple but doesn’t anymore, this is the best advice on the Internet for how to get your screen repaired.

1. Check Your Warranty Status

Head over to Apple’s warranty checker to check your status. There are three possible outcomes:

  1. Out of warranty
  2. 1st year manufacturers warranty
  3. Covered by AppleCare+

Out Of Warranty

If you are out of warranty, don’t freak out. You can still get a replacement at the Apple Store, and I strongly encourage you to let Apple handle it. I’ll go into that more later.

1st Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

If you’re under the manufacturer’s warranty, you still have to pay the same replacement cost as being out of warranty, as the 1st year warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage. Listed below is the replacement cost by device model.

AppleCare+

If you have AppleCare+, go you! You payed $99 with your device and can get a replacement at an Apple Store or through AppleCare for $50-80, depending on the device. I have a full list of repair costs listed below.

Note: Apple Covers Hairline Cracks Under Warranty

One type of break is actually covered by warranty if you go to an Apple Store — a hairline crack. As of 2014, Apple considers a hairline crack to be a defect in the glass and will replace the device for free within the first year, or within the first two years if you purchased AppleCare+ (Apple’s extended warranty plan).

The way you know if you have a hairline crack is that it is a single line. If there is any other sign of damage or an obvious place of impact, the Family Room Specialist (the guys/gals who service iOS devices in Apple Stores) will not cover it under warranty.

If your device has multiple cracks or a spider web crack, you will have to pay the full replacement cost.

2. Backup Your Device (If Possible)

Make sure that you are backed up to either iTunes or iCloud so that when you take the step to get your device replaced, you are also able to get your photos and personal data back as well.

To backup to iTunes, plug in your iOS device to a PC or Mac with iTunes installed and press “Backup” on the device summary screen.

Tip: If you encrypt your backup, you do not have to enter your passwords again. Just don’t forget your encryption password, or you won’t be able to get your information back!

To backup to iCloud, go to Settings > iCloud > Storage and Backup (iOS 7) or Backup(iOS 8) and press “Backup Now“. If you don’t have enough storage, you can always buy more iCloud storage, which I highly recommend doing.

Most importantly, Apple can replace your device all day long, but they can’t replace your photos or memories.

3. Use Apple for your replacement

Take your iPhone to Apple for repair, it will be

Do not take it to the mall kiosk guy, the iRepairFixBreakYouFixit place, your local gas station that does iPhone repairs, or some whizz-kid that can do it in his lair. Here’s why:

Apple will replace your device for a reasonable cost — while maintaining your current warranty status. If you are out of warranty, Apple will actually give you a 90 day warranty on the new device.

Tip — Mixed Warranty Repair

If you are still under AppleCare, AppleCare+, or the 1 year manufacturer’s warranty and you have a broken screen AND another issue that is covered under warranty, Apple will actually replace your device for free — IF the other issue is not in any way connected to the screen break.

For example, if your lock button is jammed (top of device) and the bottom of your screen is cracked, it’s up to the Family Room Specialist to make the call on whether or not the lock button issue is or is not related to the screen break. A good FRS likes to make customers happy, and will actually look for opportunities to do this. It’s really fun to make someone’s day. They just need to justify it.

There is no use in trying to push through to management or by throwing a fit and being a jerk to get your way. In a well-run Genius Bar, the management will always take the side of the technician unless the technician is acting outside of the spirit of Apple service, which is to do the best thing for the customer at all times.

 

Apple Washes Their Hands Of Your Device If You Go Somewhere Else

Apple recognizes this as taking service into your own hands and voids your warranty. Your only option, if anything else goes wrong, is to go back to the person who fixed it on the cheap, buy a brand new device (for $500-700 — ouch!), or buy a used one on eBay.

As a result, I saw countless customers who had their screen replaced somewhere else come in because it wouldn’t turn on anymore, and had to tell them that we wouldn’t repair it.

Furthermore, on the iPhone 5 and newer Apple performs a semi-complex calibration process that must occur on the MultiTouch, Proximity Sensor, and Display that uses a special machine built by Apple. Therefore, using a third party vendor hinders your iPhone’s functionality.

Apple will void your warranty

You may think, “Oh, they’ll never know I got it done somewhere else.” Kindly, you are wrong 🙂

The Apple Store iOS technicians see hundreds of devices every week and sniff out third-party screen replacements like a blood hound.

Realistically, I’d say about 1 in every 1,000 would get through. Realistically.

Please do not repair your device anywhere else. Pony up and let Apple handle it. You will be much better off for it.

Don’t Do It Yourself

You can literally die if you try to replace the screen of an iPhone or iPad yourself and you don’t know what you’re doing. I’m not kidding.

Apple created the battery without a protective shell to save room inside, because of this, if you so much as barely dent the battery or puncture it, it will burst into flames and spew poisonous gas into the room. Lithium-Ion batteries are extremely volatile when disturbed.

You can burn down your house, injure yourself, and/or die. You know how those Samsung Galaxy 7’s are exploding in peoples’ pants? Yeah, that’s what will happen.

Don’t do it.

4. Mail it in to AppleCare if you live far from an Apple Retail Store

In addition to taking your iPhone into a store, if you are far away from an Apple Store, help is still available. You can set up a mail-in repair through AppleCare by calling 1-800-APL-CARE (1-800-275-2273) or go to getsupport.apple.com.

Apple’s GetSupport site is amazing. I highly recommend going there for more information.

One thing to note is that if AppleCare sends you the device first, they will charge you the full cost of the device as collateral until they receive your broken device in return. It’s kind of a bummer, but it’s the way the world works.

Broken iPhone Screen Replacement Cost

Finally, here are the prices that apply if you replace your device through an Apple Retail Store or mail it in through AppleCare. These prices are competitive with what the guy on the street does it for.

Here’s a breakdown of each device replacement cost.

As of October 2016.

iPhone ModelWhole DeviceScreen OnlyAppleCare+ Replacement
Original$149NANA
3G$149NANA
3GS$149NANA
4$149NA$49
4S$199NA$49
5$269$129$49
5C$269$129$79
5s$269$129$79
6$299$129$79
6 Plus$329$149$79
6s$299$129$99
6s Plus$329$149$99
7$319$129$99

If I’m a little slow on updating my chart here, here is Apple’s nice chart for iPhone replacement costs.

iPad Screen and Device Replacement Costs

 iPad Model Replace Device AppleCare+ Replacement
Original$249 $49
2 $249 $49
 3 $299 $49
 4 $299 $49
Air $299 $49
Air 2 $379 $49
9.7″ Pro $379 $49
12.9″ Pro $599 $49
Mini $199 $49
Mini 2 $249 $49
Mini 3 $299 $49
Mini 4 $299 $49

Here is Apple’s iPad replacement cost chart if I’m behind on updating mine.

 

Background App Refresh Explained in Layman’s Terms

Background App Refresh Explained in Layman’s Terms

Background App Refresh allows your apps to check for new information in the background in an intelligent and controlled manner. Because of Background App Refresh, apps do not get a blank check to run in the background, but instead are only able to refresh at certain times, locations, and battery levels.

I absolutely hate blogs that tell people to disable Background App Refresh. Most of these “How to Fix Battery Drain” articles are designed to get clicks and are not very concerned with accuracy. Well I’m here to set the record straight about Background App Refresh. I happened to have written an article about how to fix iPhone battery drain that has received over 2 million+ hits in the last two years.

BAR [^1] does not give any app a blank check to run whenever it wants. It actually adds a layer of _intelligence _to the way your phone handles apps in the background. I believe that in some cases, it could actually increase energy efficiency of your iOS device. To get a better understanding of what Background App Refresh adds to the iOS experience, here is Apple’s own definition of Background App Refresh.

…Apps can continue to run for a short period of time and are then set to a suspended state so they are not actively in use, open, or taking up system resources. They will instantly launch when you return to them. Certain tasks or services can continue to run in the background. To lessen the effect on battery life, normal app background refreshing is scheduled for efficient times, such as when your device is connected to Wi-Fi, plugged into a power source, or being actively used. When Background App Refresh is on, apps that take advantage of this feature can refresh themselves in the background.

For example, an app can check if new content is available and download the updates, or retrieve the updated content in the background when it receives a push notification, so the new content is ready for viewing when you launch the app. Apps can also schedule background refreshing based on your location. If you force an app to quit by dragging it up from the multitasking display, it won’t be able to do its background activities, such as tracking location or responding to VoIP calls, until you relaunch the app. iOS learns patterns based on your use of the device and tries to predict when an app should be updated in the background. It also learns when the device is typically inactive, such as during the night, to reduce update frequency when the device is not in use.

To summarize Apple’s definition, BAR adds a layer of intelligence and efficiency to the way your apps act when you are not using them. It allows apps to temporarily open in the background, receive an update, and then freeze again so it cannot use system resources or drain your battery. The cool thing is that it will plan these little update pow-wows around times you are already using your device, in good Wi-Fi, or in a location you normally check those apps, which can make your iOS experience much smoother. Instead of opening an app you use constantly and waiting for a few seconds for it to update, you open the app and it’s already ready for your eyes to feast upon. Now you have to answer two questions when enabling or disabling Background App Refresh:

  1. Do I check this app enough/is it critical for me to have this app up-to-date?
  2. (optional) Do I trust the developer of this app to implement it correctly and not abuse it?

Question 1 is pretty straightforward. Do you absolutely need or want an app to always stay refreshed with current information? If you answer yes, then enable BAR for that app. Question 2 is a little harder to determine unless you follow the current tech blogs and trends. If you have absolutely no idea how to answer question 2, forget about it. Stick with the first question. For me, question 2 eliminated any Facebook and Google-related app I have installed on my phone.

nerd-ad

I simply do not trust Facebook or Google to have my best interest in mind because I am not their customer. Both companies see me as a set of “eyeballs” to show me ads, and because our interests don’t align, I’m disabling BAR for any app written by them. Simple as that.

A good example of an app that meets both criterion is the best Twitter app for iOS, Tweetbot. I trust the developers at Tapbots, Paul Haddad and Mark Jardine, because of their track record of making fantastic apps, and I check it often enough that I would like for it to be up-to-date when I check it. I have BAR enabled for Tweetbot, and it is usually ready to go when I open it.

Background App Refresh is a great feature of iOS 7+, and I hate that fear and misinformation have caused so many people to disable it. It adds a level of efficiency that other devices or operating systems do not possess. These types of thoughtful features is what makes me love my iPhone, and Background App Refresh is a great addition to the iOS feature set.

Footnotes:

[^1] A term coined by my friend, Rick Stawarz, who founded the great Apple consultancy, Appinstructor.

Pin It on Pinterest

Get solutions to your inbox

Get solutions to your inbox

Like this article? Get more like it once a month.

Get out whenever you want.

You have Successfully Subscribed!