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iPhone sale at Best Buy stores through Sun 11 May

— CORRECTION:  the sale goes until Sunday May 11, evidently —

Best Buy is running a promotion on iPhones in their stores, and it looks like, online as well.

These promos look to be only on iPhones activated on Verizon and Sprint networks, with 2 year contracts. They seem to be offering the iPhone 5s for a $100 discount as compared to regular prices, and the iPhone 5c at a $50 discount. Check physical Best Buy stores in case they are offering other options as well.

Do remember that Apple and certified retailers are putting these phones on sale ahead of the launch of the new and improved iPhone 6, which we expect will be released in late Summer 2014. This will be a larger phone with a larger display, thinner, and faster. If you can wait to upgrade, we would suggest you consider waiting!

Promos for iPhone 5s online:

  • iPhone 5s 16GB on Verizon or Sprint is advertised now for $99 (as opposed to full price at $199)
  • iPhone 5s 32GB on Verizon or Sprint is advertised now for $199 (as opposed to full price at $299)
  • iPhone 5s 64GB on Verizon or Sprint is advertised now for $299 (as opposed to full price at $399)

 

 

Promos for iPhone 5c:

  • iPhone 5s 16GB on Verizon or Sprint is advertised now for $49 (as opposed to full price at $99)
  • iPhone 5s 32GB on Verizon or Sprint is advertised now for $149 (as opposed to full price at $199)

iPhone upgrade event starting today in US Apple retail stores

For those of you looking to upgrade your phone, Apple is doing a iPhone upgrade event starting today at retail stores to bump up sales before the iPhone 6 is released later this year, maybe in September?  For those of you who can’t wait for the iPhone 6, this could be an interesting opportunity. Click here for information from apple.com, and check here for iDownloadBlog’s coverage.

iphone upgrade 2014.05.08

Guide to the stock iOS Music app via @idownloadblog

Here is a nice guide to the stock iOS Music application by idownloadblog.com’s Jeff Benjamin.  Those who are interested in getting more mileage out of their iPhone or iPad as a music player should give this article a read.  Below is an excerpt.  Click HERE for the full article.

The Music app is a stock application that comes preinstalled on all iOS devices. It’s the primary way for playing music on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. With iOS 7.0, a new feature was baked into the stock Music app called iTunes Radio. iTunes Radio is an ad-supported service that allows users to browse more than 250 curated stations. Users can also create and build their own stations, which feature Pandora-like customization over time.

The stock Music app has endured significant changes over the past few years. The Music app was once exclusively relegated to the iPod touch, with iPhone models offering an “iPod” app as a means to play music and watch videos. Eventually, with the advent of iOS 5, the iPod app was broken-up into separate Music and Video apps for the iPhone line, unifying the stock Music app presence across all iOS hardware.

While there are many ways to play music via third-party apps on iOS, the stock Music app is the only music application that’s closely integrated with iTunes and allows you to use the iTunes Match iCloud-hosting service. There may be benefits to other apps like Spotify, but no app is as tightly intertwined with the rest of iOS as the stock Music app. With that in mind, please take a look inside, as we break down the many facets of this ever-growing and ever-changing stock application…

Jeff Benjamin,  idownloadblog.com

The Apps the Pros Use

The Sweet Setup has posted is an awesome rundown of their favorite applications for Mac, iPad and iPhone.  These are apps they use themselves.  Powerusers will find many familiar apps, as well as a few new ones in the list.  Casual users will learn a lot about the possibilities for enhanced productivity.  Click here for the full article.

 

iPhone 5s in the US

If you are considering purchasing or upgrading your iPhone this season, there is only really one good option — that is, the iPhone 5s. With it’s improved camera and lens, it’s faster processor and it’s enhanced security features, if you are upgrading, you really must consider the iPhone 5s. One saves $100 by going with the iPhone 5c, and in my opinion, that cost savings pales in front of the 5s’ advantages.

If you want to get an iPhone and are on a budget and want to consider buying an older/used/discounted iPhone, check Craigslist or eBay or Amazon or any of the other myriad old/used hardware resellers, but be very careful! It’s best to buy hardware still covered under AppleCare, that gives you some recourse if you get a lemon. Always correspond with a  potential seller and ask them to send a screen-shot (picture) of the phone’s serial number from the Settings > General > About menu on the iPhone, by pressing the Home Button and the Sleep Button at the same time. The image appears in Photos > Cameral Roll, and have them message or email you the picture. Then, check here on Apple’s AppleCare Check Your Service and Support Coverage page to figure out if the phone is still under AppleCare warranty or not. You can check any Apple product’s coverage on this page — it’s quite useful for computers and iPads as well — a good page to bookmark.

For those leaning to a new iPhone 5s, here’s the breakdown of prices in the US. I suggest dismissing the 16 GB model, and considering only the 32GB or 64GB models — we live in a age of music and photos and videos, and I would not have any of my clients restrict themselves unless absolutely necessary. Remember, you should add the cost of AppleCare to these figures, as well as sales-tax if applicable.

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2-year Contract iPhone 5s:

For those of you who prefer AT&T, Sprint or Verizon, and either have an account there (hopefully on which you have eligibility for discounted upgrades) or are ready to jump into one, here are your prices for a discounted iPhone 5s with a 2-year contract (new accounts and accounts eligible for a phone upgrade):

iPhone 5s prices USA subsidized

 

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Unlocked, Contract-Free iPhone 5s:

Carrier-unlocked, contract-free phones:  For those of you who wish to buy your phone outright without a 2-year contract, here are your prices:

iPhone 5s prices USA unlocked and contract-free

 

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 Should I consider an Unlocked Contract-Free iPhone 5s?

If you are primarily in the US, and have affiliation with one of the three contact-carriers (AT&T, Sprit or Verizon), I usually suggest my clients go with a contract option and thus receive a discount on the hardware price. The prices of contacts on these three carriers without phone subsidies are usually not much less than with phone subsidies, and if you are eligible for a phone upgrade on your current plan, it’s usually cost-effective and the least hassle to stay where you are and get a discount on the hardware, extending your contact 2 years into the future.

For those of you who travel internationally, live abroad some of the time, are not settled in the US, or who prefer T-Mobile as a carrier, then purchasing a carrier-unlocked contract-free phone is a good option. T-Mobile has great month-to-month and contract-free plans for those who need temporary US phone and data service.

If you go with an AT&T contract, you can now ask them to unlock your phone after a period of time under contract so you could use an international SIM when traveling, for instance.

Verizon runs a CDMA network in the US, but the Verizon iPhone has a GSM radio in it as well, and their phones are unlocked for international GSM use the day they are purchased. * Do note that you cannot use a Verizon phone on a GSM carrier in the US, e.g. T-Mobile or AT&T. Verizon iPhones support GSM use only on international carriers.

Sprint’s unlocking policy is unclear — it seems that they will unlock your phone if you have a normal account with them, after some time under contract. * Do note, if you plan to ask for your Sprint phone to be unlocked, make sure you don’t have an ASL (Account Spending Limit) on your account, because if you do, Sprint has evidently been difficult about unlocking.

Do note, however, that the iPhone 5s accepts only a nano-SIM, not nearly as common in far-flung locations as micro-SIMs or regular old SIMs. Carriers who support the iPhone the world over would be able to provide a nano-SIM, however, and the list of countries with iPhone-supporting carriers is long!

Here is Apple’s official blurb on unlocked iPhones:

Learn more about the unlocked iPhone:

If you buy iPhone for T-Mobile, it will arrive with a nano-SIM card already installed that you can activate by visiting an Apple Retail Store or a T-Mobile store or by calling T-Mobile. If you buy a SIM-free iPhone, you will need to purchase a GSM-compatible nano-SIM card separately. In the United States, you can purchase such a SIM from AT&T or T-Mobile. When you travel internationally, you can use a nano-SIM card for iPhone 5s from a local GSM carrier. The unlocked iPhone 5s model is A1533 (GSM). For details on LTE support, see www.apple.com/iphone/LTE.

As always, contact me if you have questions!

 

Using iOS 7: some resources

Here are some good resources for those who have just upgraded to iOS 7 and are looking to learn more about its new features.

TUAW’s Don’t Panic Guide to iOS 7. A good place to start if your first response is to panic. Don’t panic! Read this!

The Best iPad Tips and Tricks [Updated for iOS 7]. This is a good rundown of the basics, applicable to all iOS devices running iOS 7.

The best hidden features in iOS 7. Here are some very useful, little-known features of the new system. My favorite: you can now block a caller!

How to stop iOS 7 from destroying your iPhone’s battery life. If you are finding poor battery performance after upgrading, read this article!

Feel free to comment with your favorite articles about iOS 7 usage, tips and tricks! And contact us if you are having trouble.