For the month of June, Apple is giving a small boost to its trade-in price values for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5S, according to Apple Store sources. Using the Reuse and Recycle program, a customer can bring in an older iPhone model and receive gift card credit toward the purchase of a newer iPhone. Likely in order to spur some new iPhone sales this month, Apple is offering the following improvements to its trade-in pricing:
Over the past two weeks, I’ve written about the (surprisingly easy) process of adding solid state drives (SSDs) to radically speed up older iMacs, and the varied challenge levels of adding SSDs to older Mac Pros, Mac minis, and non-Retina MacBooks. Today’s guide looks at the easiest SSD installations of all: the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro. A new SSD in one of these machines could have two, four, eight, or sixteen times the original storage, plus two to four times faster speeds.
Apple shipped most MacBook Airs and all Retina MacBook Pros with solid state storage, so upgrading these machines for extra capacity and speed is generally as simple as picking a new drive, then using two special screwdrivers during the installation process. Assuming your MacBook is old enough to be out of warranty — except for a few specific models — you’ll find that pretty much anyone can handle this swap with the right tools. Below, I’m going to show those tools to you, as well as the MacBook-ready SSDs that are worth considering…
After last month announcing its $70/month iPhone for Life plan that allows users to “rent” an iPhone and upgrade every two years, today Sprint announced that it will be launching a new 12-month lease option starting Nov. 14. That means that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users signing up for the iPhone for Life Plan will now be able to upgrade every year, and the old 24-month plan will become available for the iPhone 5S. Read more
To go along with the launch of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Verizon is allowing early upgrades for any customers eligible for an upgrade over the next two months. That means that customers eligible for an upgrade on or before November 15 2014 will be able to upgrade immediately to a new device, including the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Here’s details on the promo straight from Verizon:
As a special thank you to our existing customers, all Verizon customers who would be eligible to upgrade on or before November 15th have had their upgrade dates changed to become upgrade eligible immediately. These customers can now upgrade to any device currently in our lineup, with new two year contract. Customers should check My Verizon to confirm upgrade eligibility.
Sprint has debuted a new iPhone-exclusive plan that allows users to “rent” an iPhone for two years, then upgrade to the newest model for $70 a month (via Bloomberg). The plan allows users to get the latest Apple smartphone for no money down and no tax, then pay $50 a month for unlimited data, texting, and calling, plus $20 each month for the phone, for a total of $70 monthly.
After two years, users will be able to switch to the newest iPhone model. However, because the phone is only being “rented” from the carrier, it must be returned in at the time of upgrade, where customers on a typical two-year contract would be allowed to keep the device after they paid it off.
Earlier today Apple announced the next version of its iOS software, iOS 8, during the WWDC keynote today. Below you’ll find a gallery of all the new bells and whistles in the latest operating system. If you’ve got some screenshots you’d like to send us, you can send them to email@example.com.
The new software includes features like iOS-to-Mac continuity, quick-reply for first- and third-party apps, a new predictive text keyboard, changes to the Mail app, HealthKit framework and Health app, Family Sharing features, new Photos cloud storage, an updated iCloud pricing scheme, new commands for Siri, App Store changes including beta distribution, a Touch ID API, third-party keyboards, new iCloud management and development features, a home automation framework, and even support for a brand new programming language.
I’ll admit, I’ve never felt the need to purchase network-attached-storage (NAS) hardware for storing and accessing my media or backing up my files. These days most of my content, from photos and movies to back ups of important files for work, are already stored in the cloud. My photos are (supposed to) auto backup to Photostream in iCloud, iTunes has all of my music downloadable from all my devices from the cloud, and any important files and everything else go directly to Dropbox or Google Drive. Around 90% of my content is already stored and accessible from anywhere in the cloud.
That being said, for the last year or so I’ve been hearing more and more about Synology DiskStation products. Coworkers can’t stop talking about them, and the products have received a lot of praise from many other reviewers as well.
I’ve been putting the Synology DiskStation hardware and brand new DiskStation Manager 5.0 software to the test in recent months to see if I could really benefit from a NAS solution despite all my content already being on the cloud and backed up. With today marking the release of 5.0, the company’s biggest software update yet, I thought now would be as good a time as any to share my experience. Read more
Following the launch of Apple’s new Mac Pro earlier this month and some early deliveries arriving for customers, Other World Computing today posted a quick teardown of the machine (via MacRumors). We’ll have to wait for a full, in-depth teardown to find out specifics, but several images posted by OWC do reveal what appears to be socketed CPUs. In theory that means owners should be able to perform a DIY upgrade of the Intel Xeon E5 processors shipping with the new base configurations. Read more
Update: OS X Mavericks is available now as a free download on the Mac App Store.
Apple has done something it hasn’t done before with a major release of OS X, announcing today during its iPad event that it will release OS X Mavericks, the latest version of its desktop OS, later today for free to all users.
Mavericks is available starting today for iMac and MacBook Pros from 2007 or later, 2008 MacBook Air, MacBook, and Mac Pro or later, and the 2009 Mac mini or later.
Apple first showed off Mavericks back in June at its WWDC developer conference and has since seeded several betas as well as Golden Master release followed by silent update to the GM release that could likely be the version Apple ships later this month. Despite not receiving a radical visual overhaul like iOS 7, OS X Mavericks includes over 200 new features and many big new user facing features like iBooks, improved multiple display support, iCloud Keychain, new Finder features, Maps, quick reply and lock screen notifications, auto-updating apps, and a number of under the hood enhancements to improve battery life and performance. (Full press release below) Read more
Following announcements from Walmart, Radioshack and others, T-Mobile is the latest to announce availability of Apple’s recently unveiled iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. We already know the two devices will be landing on all of Apple’s major US carrier partners (as well as in a handful of other countries on Sept. 20, and T-Mobile confirmed today it will be kicking off preorders for the 5c on September 13, the preorder date previously announced by Apple. The real news here is that T-Mobile’s new Uncarrier plans mean that the iPhone 5c will sell for $0 down with the $528 price tag paid through 24 monthly installments of $22. It will also offer the iPhone 5s for $99 down and 24 monthly payments of $22.91 to make up the $649 retail price.
As a reminder, Apple and most of its partner will sell the new iPhone 5s for $199 on contract and the new iPhone 5c for $99 on contract (for the 16GB models). T-Mobile’s full retail price works about to around the same as Apple’s, but it’s 5c price is a little lower than the $549 Apple is listing. That doesn’t mean we won’t see lower prices on the device at launch. Walmart already announced that it will soon begin accepting preorders for the 5c at $79 on contract and the 5s at $189.
Apple’s new iPhones will also become available in Australia, China, Canada, Germany, France, Singapore, the UK, and Japan later this month on September 20.
Verizon announced a few notable changes this week, possibly in response to T-Mobile’s new ‘Uncarrier’ pricing structure.
The first change enforces 24-month contracts and restricts subsidized upgrades during that period. Customers will no longer enjoy ‘early upgrades’ after 20-months, as was previously the policy.
While the change may disappoint customers who enjoyed upgrading their devices more frequently, Verizon told The Verge that a new “Device Payment Plan” will be accompany the policy changes.
The new payment plan allows customers to upgrade their smartphone annually by paying the upgrade fee at the register and dividing the rest of the full-retail price over 12 months. This payment plan will include a $2/month finance charge through the duration of the year.
For people like us who update annually, this option is a more pragmatic approach, especially when vendors like Gazelle (as well as others) typically pay more than the subsidized cost of a new smartphone for last year’s smartphone.
Internet software firm Avast conducted a USAToday survey of Windows users to determine the number of people willing to upgrade to the latest Microsoft operating system, and the findings churned out some surprising responses.
According to USAToday, which noted the survey polled users of Avast’s anti-virus PC software on Oct. 25, the day before Windows 8 launched, nearly half of Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP users intend to switch to an Apple product rather than upgrade to Windows 8.
“Many households already have multiple PCs, and people are keeping their computers longer,” explained Avast’s Director of Strategy Jonathan Penn. “More people are going to the iPad as their second or third computing device.”