Sell Your Mac Experience

The other day I wrote that I was selling my old iMac and that I was selling it to Sell Your Mac.

At first, I was a bit apprehensive to sell it to someone other than Gazelle but since they are no longer buying Macs I had no choice.

Selling my iMac to Sell Your Mac was simple and payment was fast. I got a quote, shipped my iMac to them, and had a check for the amount quoted within a few days.

If you’re looking to sell Apple hardware be sure to get a quote from Sell Your Mac. And, don’t let the name fool you. They buy all of Apples hardware Mac, iPhone, iPad and more.

Rain Design mStand for my MacBook Pro

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that I recently sold my old iMac to Sell Your Mac and am now using my 2015 MacBook Pro (MBP) as my primary computer.

To make my MBP more like a desktop computer, while working at my desk, I purchased the Rain Design mStand. It raises the screen height to eye level and the tilt design brings the screen closer and improves airflow around my MBP. The cable organizer behind routes my wires neatly. It’s sand-blasted and silver anodized finish matches my MBP perfectly.

I also kept my Magic Keyboard, Mouse, and Trackpad 2.

mstand_specs1The mStand is compatible with Apple MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook and other laptops with depths less than 10.4 inches. And as a side note, Wirecutter rated the mStand the best budget laptop stand of 2019.

Selling my iMac

I’m selling my late 2013 21.5” non-retina iMac. It’s getting old and tired, lots of beach balls these days. I’m also having some issues with Bluetooth. At times the keyboard and mouse get all wonky since upgrading too Mojave.

My early 2015 13” MacBook Pro is in great shape and way faster than the old iMac. The only thing I think I’ll miss is the extra screen space of the iMac. But, I figure I can use my iPad as a second screen in the event I need more screen space.

I usually sell my stuff to Gazelle but as of the first of July, they are no longer buying Macs. That was actually quite a surprise since I had just gotten a quote for my iMac from them in June. So instead, I’m selling it to Sell Your Mac. They are actually paying a little more than what Gazelle offered me back in June.

I’m looking forward to not having to keep 2 Macs up to date and in sync any longer.

2018 and newer MacBook Pro and MacBook Air now included in Apple’s Keyboard Service Program

I meant to write about the changes to Apple’s Keyboard Service Program a few weeks ago but I never got around to it. So, here it is now.

These changes were particularly good news for me because I bought my wife a 2018 MacBook Air for Christmas and I have been hearing rumbles that some folks are having problems with the keyboard.

Here’s the good news. As of May 21, 2019, Apple extended the Keyboard Service Program for MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro to include the 2018 MacBook Air and the 2018 and 2019 MacBook Pro. I have also heard that in order to speed up the repair process the repairs are now being made in Apple Stores with next day turnaround.

This is Apple’s statement about the keyboards:

Apple has determined that a small percentage of the keyboards in certain MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors:

Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
Letters or characters do not appear
Key(s) feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will service eligible MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro keyboards, free of charge. The type of service will be determined after the keyboard is examined and may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard.

Why I now have an Apple Watch Series 4

I’ve been wearing a sports activity watch for several years. My main use case is to track my runs and to make sure that I meet my personal goal of 10,000 steps per day. I’ve been doing this with a Garmin Forerunner 35 and the Garmin Connect iOS app.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were in our local Apple Store to have the contents on her old MacBook Pro migrated to her new MacBook Air. While we were there I spent a few minutes checking out the new Series 4 Apple Watch.

I was interested in the Apple Watch because I had just read Joe Cieplinski article about the Apple Watch detecting an irregular heartbeat. If I’m not mistaken he discovered that he had A-Fib using the ECG feature. Then within a few days, Stephen Hackett on Connected Episode 238 talked about a fall he had taken on his bike and how the Apple Watch Fall Detection worked. Now, these are both areas that are of interest to me. I have a history of heart problems and as I’ve gotten older I find that I’m more prone to losing my balance and possibly taking a tumble.

The heart features of the Apple Watch and Fall Detection are why I now own one. Because the Apple Watch also has wonderful activity tracking I now use it to also track my runs and step count. So, what did I do with my Forerunner 35? I gave it to my wife since her Fitbit was about to die.

Apple Now Providing Free Data Migration for Mac

Apple is now offering data migration services for free when you purchase a new Mac or need to have a Mac replaced or repaired. Until now data migration was $99.

Tidbits heard about the policy change from a reader and confirmed the change with an Apple Store Operations Specialist.

Beginning April 2, there will be no cost for Data Migrations with the purchase of a new Mac or Data Transfers with a repair.

Apple products are getting more expensive

I’ve been thinking about Apple’s pricing a lot lately. It’s reached a point where I’m not going to be able to afford to update my Apple hardware as often as I would like.

My Apple devices are getting dated but for now, I won’t be upgrading to any new devices. I’m going to have to use my existing hardware until it becomes unusable. Instead of having an iMac, MacBook, iPad, and iPhone as I do now I’ll be more selective in the future. For example, my iMac is a late 2013 non-retina. It’s getting dated. It’s stuck on Sierra. I love it but when it fails I won’t be replacing it. Instead, I’ll use my 2015 MacBook for all my computing needs. I just can’t justify the cost of owning two macs anymore.

I’ll also be sticking with my iPhone 7 Plus for now. It works great and does everything that I need for it to do. At a $1,000 plus a new iPhone Xs model isn’t in my budget.

I’ve got a feeling I’m not the only one feeling this way. Here’s a Washington Post article that does a nice job of laying Apple’s price hikes and what you should do if the price of Apple loyalty is getting hard for you to swallow.

Geoffrey A. Fowler and Andrew Van Dam, writing for the Washington Post

Apple has never made cheap stuff. But this fall many of its prices increased 20 percent or more. The MacBook Air went from $1,000 to $1,200. A Mac Mini leaped from $500 to $800. It felt as though the value proposition that has made Apple products no-brainers might unravel.

What we learned: Being loyal to Apple is getting expensive. Many Apple product prices are rising faster than inflation — faster, even, than the price of prescription drugs or going to college. Yet when Apple offers cheaper options for its most important product, the iPhone, Americans tend to take the more expensive choice. So while Apple isn’t charging all customers more, it’s definitely extracting more money from frequent upgraders.

What we see is a reflection of a new reality for consumer tech. Most Americans who want a smartphone, tablet or laptop already have one and aren’t interested in changing to a new system. Without big subsidies from phone carriers and as product innovation slows, we also don’t mind holding on to these products for three or more years. Apple, hoping to charge more every time we do buy, is changing how it gets money from us. So we need to change how we think about its value.

But the specs hardly matter. As any member of the Apple tribe will profess, it’s selling far more than sexy hardware. It’s an Apple-only operating system that works with all its other Apple-only stuff, like iMessage and iCloud — a (mostly) happy trap that’s hard to leave. You’re buying access to all those Apple Stores and customer service, not to mention Apple’s aggressive stance on privacy.

The paradox is that many Apple customers think they must have the latest, trained by Apple marketing to future-proof ourselves. So this year, instead of buying a year-old iPhone 8 at a discount or an iPhone XR (a much less expensive compromise to the top iPhone XS), many customers are skipping out on an upgrade altogether.

The question is: How far can Apple’s latest and greatest prices stretch? “Apple is becoming aggressive, perhaps overly so, in pricing the top- of-the-line models of its products,” says Rafi Mohammed, a pricing strategy consultant. And that is “putting its loyal relationship with its core customers at risk.”

In 2014, Americans waited about 24 months to upgrade their phones at national carriers, according to BayStreet. Now we’re waiting almost 36 months. People will ride their iPhone 6S until its wheels come off.

“I could see it going to four years” for phones, says industry analyst Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies.

So what should you do if the price of Apple loyalty is getting hard to swallow?

Instead, you might ask: How many Apple products do you really need?

Beyond that, it’s about recalibrating our upgrade urge. Apple devices really do last a long time, all the more so with the inexpensive battery replacements Apple is offering through the end of the year. If your iPhone breaks, used ones available on eBay can still work great for far less money.

Or: Before buying the new thing following one of Apple’s launch events, wait a month until the buzz settles. If the product doesn’t still seem very revolutionary, it’s a safe bet to save your money by holding on for another year. Or four.