All posts by Renkman

iPhone App of the Week: Apple Support


Who doesn’t like great iPhone apps? At iPhone Insight we definitely do. With that in mind, we offer up a quick review of an excellent iPhone app published here each week.  Check out all out picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite phone.

This week’s pick is Apple Support, by Apple .  In this day and age it’s all about customer service–especially after the sale.  Up till now Apple has been the king of the hill in this category, with more satisfied Apple customers than the competition.  So how do you improve on an already excellent brand name?  You add accountability and convenience for the customers when they have concerns or questions about your product.  Apple knows that the relationship with their customers is an ongoing partnership that doesn’t end when you buy one of their products.

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iPhone App of the Week: Living Earth – Clock & Weather

Living Earth for iPhone

Who doesn’t like great iPhone apps? At iPhone Insight we definitely do. With that in mind, we offer up a quick review of an excellent iPhone app published here each week.  Check out all out picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite phone.

This week’s pick is Living Earth – Clock & Weather, by Radiantlabs, LLC  Living Earth is a completely new perspective on time and weather. Living Earth presents a stunning live 3D simulation of our planet with weather, forecasts and world clock for cities all around the world. In addition to your location, you can view the Earth from any perspective using a variety of different real time weather maps of current and forecasted conditions.

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Quick Look: Martian Notifier Smartwatch

Martian Notifier Smartwatch

So this caught me by surprise.  A few weeks ago on our sister site–iPad Insight, we ran a promo deal for a smart watch called the Martian Notifier.  Weird name, I know, but something about it caught my eye.  It was a good looking, sporty watch, and is still on sale for 76% off.  Even if it wasn’t a smart watch, $30 is not a bad price for a respectable time piece.  It comes in 3 colors–black, white and red.  In addition, you can also choose from an assortment of replacement bands to swap out–also on sale ($10).  It took a little over a week for it to be delivered, and to my amazement, I was counting down every day until it arrived.  I haven’t worn a watch in well over 5 years.  However, with the release of the Apple Watch, especially the Series 2 version, I was seriously considering expanding my collection of Apple products to include a smart watch in the very near future.  This Martian Notifier seemed like the perfect test case.

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Review: SurfacePad for iPhone 6S Plus

SurfacePad for iPhone

One of the most appealing characteristics of iPhones in general has been their design.  They are crafted with the utmost attention to detail and precision, using materials and design techniques that further solidify their distinction as beautiful industrial art.  For most, all this changes the moment they open their new iPhone box and slap a, protective case on it.  That’s not for me–but to each their own.  It makes perfect sense to want to protect your investment and keep it safe from the accidents that can occur throughout an average day.  Phones fall out of pockets, and they can become scratched and damaged from your keys  and and other items they come into contact with.  In addition, not everyone wants to pay extra for the additional Apple Care+ like my colleague, Thomas thoughtfully chose to do, and many people keep their phones for 2+ years and want to make them last.

For those of us that want a solution that falls somewhere in between, there is The SurfacePad for iPhone from the awesome folks at Twelve South.  The SurfacePad is a great solution for the problem of having to choose between a thick bulky protective case, and nothing at all.  With the SurfacePad you get the convenience and protection of a minimal, traditional folio case without all the bulk.

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How to check iPhone 7 Availability where you live

iPhone 7-Jet Black

See if this sounds familiar to you?  You heard that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were going to look the same as the last two iPhones Apple released.  There aren’t going to be any great new features released, because the 10 year anniversary of the iPhone is next year, and they are saving all the best to celebrate the big day.  So, then why were pre-orders slipping weeks after launch day 15 minutes after pre-orders began?  It couldn’t be because people were actually buying the new iPhones?  Maybe Apple just didn’t make enough on purpose?  Believe what you’d like, but from what the carriers have been reporting, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were a big hit, and broke many launch day records.

So where does that leave you if you were hoping to secure a new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus ASAP?  That depends on which iPhone you were looking to purchase.  Just like it is every year that a new color option is offered, the Matte Black and Jet Black versions are in high demand–especially the Jet Black, do to the extensive and meticulous  process used to create the glossy finish.

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iPhone 7 Plus First Impressions

iPhone 7 Plus-lineup

I have been an iPhone owner since the very first one was released in June of 2007.  I, like many others, was captivated by this computer in my pocket, and was extremely excited about its potential.  I have been able to finagle my way into buying an iPhone every years since than, except for the iPhone 3G–I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade since I purchased the first gen iPhone a few months before the 3G was released.  I have been an early adopter, and have either pre-ordered and picked up on launch day, or purchased a new iPhone at an Apple Store the day it went on sale.

This year, however, the planets didn’t align properly for me to make that happen on time.  I was up at 2:45 to pre-order, but both the Apple and AT&T servers were strained past their limits, pushing my delivery time out 1-2 weeks for my 128 GB 7 Plus in Black.  Between Apple’s “iconic design” being good enough for the masses and those consumers who had their upgrade cycles fall on this year, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus was still in high demand.   As I watched others cheer with delight as they tracked and received their new iPhones, all I could do was wait–until yesterday.  My new iPhone was delivered over a week ahead of schedule, and so far, I couldn’t be happier.  Let me share with you some of my initial thoughts and observations after only one day of use.

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How to watch Apple’s Live-Stream iPhone event

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.58.32 PM

The big iPhone announcement day is almost here, and just like they have in recent years, Apple will be live-streaming the Special Media Event.  If you are available, and want to catch all the action and announcements as they are being presented you can follow on any iOS device or Mac running the latest version of Safari, as well as 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TV’s.  Here are the minimum requirements for the devices that support the live-stream

  • iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later
  • Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later
  • PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10
  • Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation) with software 6.2 or later or an Apple TV (4th generation).

iPhone Special Event

The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco start will be where all the fun starts  at 1 pm EST. Be sure you’re all set up ahead time and your browser is pointed at the Apple Special Events page. 

How to sell your used iPhone ahead of the next launch

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 10.59.35 PM

With the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, or whatever they may be called, expected to be announced on Wednesday, the one thing on everyone’s mind right now is–how can I sell my current iPhone in time to make a new purchase?  If Apple follows their traditional pattern of announcement to availability cycle, we can expect the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus to go on sale in stores around 1-2 weeks after their Keynote announcement Wednesday, with pre-orders potentially starting as early as this Friday.

If you’re in the same boat as me, and you plan on purchasing the next iPhone when it’s released, what do you do with your current device?  Well, that depends on a couple of factors.  Is your current iPhone paid off, or is it part of a monthly installment plan?  If it’s already paid off, you’re in good shape.  Now you have several options on where you might want to sell your iPhone–if that’s ultimately your plan.  If you’re still on an installment plan, you need to verify your eligibility with your mobile carrier.  Of course, you can always pay full price for your new iPhone, too–but  since you’re reading this post, that’s probably not your first choice.  If the installment plan you’re on allows for a new renewal you have a many options available.

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How to Prepare your iPhone for sale


Whether you’re purchasing the next iPhone or you’re simply trading up from on older model–one of the first things you need to do before selling/trading in your current iPhone is to wipe the device clean.  Even though cellular carriers will usually boast about
providing this service to you for free, the piece of mind from performing the task yourself is invaluable.  There’s no need to trust someone else with your personal security.  Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of the trade-in/sell process, or you’ve never done this before, don’t worry–we’ve got you covered.  It’s easy to remove all your personal data and return your device to its factory settings.

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Review: Bella Fino Leather Wallet Case for the iPhone 6

Bella Fino iPhone Case

The Bella Fino Case for the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus is designed by the hard working folks over at Pad & Quill.  This slim leather wallet case will challenge any negative pre-conceived notions you might have had about wallet cases for your iPhone–I know it did for me.  The concept of a wallet case is that it can potentially replace the need for a wallet, and also double as a case for your iPhone. One of my recent goals has been to streamline my wallet needs, and find a suitable solution where I don’t need to carry one at all.  Most of the time I leave my wallet in my car, as I hate the extra lump in my back pocket.  It’s because of situations like this that I try to avoid typical wallet designs.  I find that, more often than not, using a typical wallet lends itself to carrying around more than you really need simply because you have the extra space.  With the Bella Fino Case both situations are managed simultaneously.  There are enough pockets for several credit cards and your drivers license or ID, as well as a hidden pocket for cash, without the unnecessary bulk associated with a typical wallet.

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