I paid a visit to the Genius Bar at an Apple Store recently. Instead of getting served a dry martini, I learned a few things about the top customer problems they see. Read about three of the biggest issues and how you can prevent or fix them yourself so you can avoid a trip there altogether.
Hard Drive Failures
The Apple Store genius I talked to said one of the biggest problems customers come into the store with (for MacBooks) is hard drive problems. A lot of this, he mentioned, is likely attributable to bad usage habits. Customers want to close their Macbook, throw it in their bag and leave — while the hard drive is still powered on and working. You should remember that a standard hard drive is a delicate and fragile piece of machinery with spinning disks and mechanical arms. Leaving it running while jostling around in a school backpack or messenger bag is a recipe for future problems. So take the time for the hard disks to power down before inverting your computer or toting it around. This problem is mitigated with newer laptops that have flash drive storage — no moving parts leads to greater reliability.
More on Hard Drives:
• How to Upgrade the Internal Hard Drive in Your Laptop
We touched on this a bit a couple of weeks ago. iPhones are svelte and sleek — perhaps too sleek, as they can easily slip out of your hand, your pocket, or your bag and fall victim to a glass shattering impact. You can choose to protect yourself with a case that covers the back and edges of your phone to prevent breakage. But if you get a cracked front screen or back glass anyway, take it to the Apple Store first and see what they can do — they may hook you up. If not, here are some ways you can fix the glass yourself for possibly less money than the Apple store will charge.
• Add a Metal Back to Your iPhone 4
• What to Do When You Crack Your iPhone's Back
• Installing iPhone 4 Front Glass Display Assembly
Another common gripe at the Apple Store is battery life. A majority of these complaints come from iPhone 4S users, and quite frankly the battery for the 4S doesn't have the same performance or juice as the iPhone 4. A more power hungry processor and GPU coupled with a 4G antenna all drain things at a quicker rate than the previous model. This came as a bit of a surprise to many customers (myself included) because every iteration of the iPhone has improved upon the others in this department. Luckily the iPhone 5 has improved upon the 4S, but only slightly. There are a few tricks you can try to get better battery performance.:
• How to Stop the iPhone 4S Battery Drain
Macbooks come in routinely with battery problems as well. Depending on your usage, after two to three years you'll likely notice a decline in your battery life. Here are some tips to maximize the lifespan so those problems come later rather than sooner:
• Extend the Lifespan of Your Mac & iOS Batteries
• Tricks for Calibrating Your MacBook's Battery
Sometimes however, the only solution is a new internal battery. This has become an increasingly complex task with unibody Macbooks and thinner devices. I recommend just taking it into the Apple store or other Apple computer servicer for these repairs.
What common issues do you have with your Apple or Mac? Did you take it to a Genius Bar, what'd did they do to fix it?