Upgrade Stories May 4, 2016

iPhone-7-dual-camera-render

In a TV interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer this week, Cook said the iPhone 7 will have a killer feature that would prove to be an upgrade customers won’t be able to resist. “We are going to give you things that you can’t live without that you just don’t know you need today,” Cook teased.

Could it really be something we already know about? Could any of the rumored features for the device possibly fall under the groundbreaking or irresistible category of features Cook hinted at? Perhaps the new rumoured dual-camera system could be enough to account for Cook’s comment? Of course, it’s also possible it’s all just post-Q2 PR hype after a quarter of declines. Will Apple have something new and exciting that we don’t yet know about for the iPhone 7?

That’s the question we ask readers in today’s poll. What rumoured new feature for iPhone 7 will make it upgrade worthy for you? Or will Tim Cook and Co need something beyond what’s expected to get upgrade numbers it didn’t get in 2015 with the 6s update and this year with the iPhone SE? expand full story

Upgrade Stories April 25, 2016

Aura

As an owner of a Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, it’s slowly beginning to show its age. However, I find that this machine, an i7-powered rig with 16GB of RAM, is still plenty powerful for the applications that I run on a day-to-day basis. For example, with Final Cut Pro X, it’s not the fastest machine in the world (it lacks dedicated graphics), but it’s still plenty competent when it comes to editing and exporting 4K videos.

The biggest bottleneck that I’ve encountered with this computer is its storage capabilities, and that’s something I’ve been trying to deal with since the day I purchased it. With only 256 GB of flash storage, space has been hard to come by since day one. That wouldn’t be so bad if there was a way to upgrade the amount of internal storage, but sadly there has been no upgrade solution…until now.

Back in early March, OWC made a splash by announcing the very first flash storage upgrade solution the MacBook Pro as far back as the Late-2013 product cycle, and the MacBook Air, as far back as the Mid-2013 product cycle. Yes, finally! MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners with qualifying machines can come out of the storage dark ages with OWC’s new Aura PCIe flash storage upgrade. expand full story

Upgrade Stories March 21, 2016

5-Ways-To-Fix-Flashlight-On-IPhone-5s

Who will buy the iPhone SE? Data shows that over 35% of iPhone users are still using a 4-inch device…

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Upgrade Stories March 15, 2016

Buy Parallels ($49-$79) & get 7 Mac apps free: 1Password, Parallels Access, & more (Reg. $269)

Starting today, Parallels is offering a new bundle for a limited time that will let you get 81% off 7 great Mac apps with the purchase or upgrade of Parallels Desktop for Mac ($50-$79).

That means if you either purchase Parallels Desktop for $79.99, or upgrade to the latest version for $49.99, you’ll get the following 7 apps free: 1Password, CleanMyMac, Kaspersky for Mac, PDF Expert, PDF Office for iPad & Parallels Access.

Get the Parallels Power Bundle now

Upgrade Stories March 14, 2016

TomTom for iPhone goes free for first 50 miles per month w/ new “GO Mobile” app

TomTom used to have a handful of paid apps, each specific to a region. The app covering just the U.S., for example, was $45. But today it’s making its premium navigation services free for iPhone users everywhere for the first 50 miles or 75km of use. The new freemium model comes as the company consolidates its TomTom apps for each region under a new, redesigned app simply called TomTom Go Mobile.

Upgrade Stories March 8, 2016

Aura Pro SSD MacBook Upgrade

Today, aftermarket Mac upgrade specialists OWC announced that the long-awaited PCIe flash storage upgrades for late model Mac laptops are now available. MacBook Pro, as far back as the Late-2013 product cycle, and MacBook Air, as far back as the Mid-2013 product cycle, are eligible to upgrade. Upgrades include a 480GB or a 1TB PCIe-based flash storage solution.

Considering that many of these Macs shipped with anemic 128GB or 256GB SSDs, this can be considered a major upgrade. For instance, with MacBook Airs that featured 128GB of flash storage space, a 1TB upgrade equals 8x the storage space, a significant increase in eligible storage. expand full story

Upgrade Stories February 3, 2016

Shenzhen-market-flash-upgrade

You can get just about anything at the Shenzhen market in China, and that apparently includes an on-the-spot internal storage upgrade for your iPhone (in addition to a long list of counterfeit Apple products). It’s a service that, save for perhaps the most hardcore DIYers, is unheard of stateside. expand full story

Upgrade Stories January 29, 2016

Speck-candyshell

Apple’s Q1 2016 earnings results were historic in more ways than one. While Apple’s revenue during the holiday quarter was an all-time record for the company, Apple did indicate that iPhone unit sales would drop year-over-year for the first time next quarter. “We do think that iPhone units will decline in the quarter,” Cook told investors on this week’s call, though observers are quick to point out that this may not be a negative outcome. This simply raises the question: why?

Perhaps users are holding out for the iPhone 7 after the comparatively minor iPhone 6s launch was Apple’s sole-iPhone debut in 2015. Another possibility, however, is that people are holding on to their older devices longer because protective case accessories allow iPhones to last longer.

Indeed, Cook did tell investors on the call that the existing iPhone 5s “continues to do quite well” and that 60% of active iPhone users are using models older than the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which were launched in the fall of 2014. That means that only 40% of iPhone users are working with the latest form-factor found with the 6 and 6s lines.

With all that in mind, cases such as its the CandyShell Clear from Speck Products contribute to older models lasting longer, giving consumers a way to stretch their dollars until their next upgrade. Speck created a case packed with protective features and a slim design to help consumers get the most out of their iPhone. The following are the features of the CandyShell Clear that help it stand out from the competition:

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Upgrade Stories December 29, 2015

Apple Watch Tweetbot 16-9

If Apple only includes one new standout feature on its second-generation Apple Watch next year, what should it be? We already asked you if you’re still wearing your Apple Watch eight months after the device’s launch, and now we want to know what features will get you to upgrade or purchase Apple’s upcoming next-gen smartwatch.

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Upgrade Stories December 10, 2015

TarDisk-Pear-Hero

Adding extra storage to a MacBook using an SD card is easy, but it works like a thumb drive or external hard drive and not like your permanent, built-in storage. That means you’ll have to manually manage the storage, dragging files to and from the drive. But TarDisk Pear lets you add extra flash storage to your MacBook using an SD card and 1-click setup to merge the storage with your internal drive. After a quick setup, the TarDisk SD card installed in your Mac will act as one fusion drive with your built-in storage. I’ve been testing the product to see if it works like it should…

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Upgrade Stories October 16, 2015

iMac-21-retina-2015-teardown

iFixit has performed its ritual teardown of Apple’s newly refreshed 21.5-inch iMac, and while the machine might be one of Apple’s best yet for specs on the low-end desktop, it gets its worst score ever when it comes to repairability.

Earlier this week Apple officially launched the refreshed entry-level 21.5-inch iMac alongside a new Retina 4K 21.5-inch iMac after upgrading its 27-inch model with the new display tech and refreshed internals last year.

While the previous generation iMacs had many of the same issues resulting in a low repairability score, iFixit notes that the new iMac has a number of the same downsides and then some… expand full story

Upgrade Stories September 24, 2015

iPhone-6s-plus-nat-geo-01

Ahead of the launch of the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus tomorrow, National Geographic today published a set of photos shot on the new device. Apple’s SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller pointed us to the article, which follows photographer Mark Leong reflecting on his history of shooting with various devices in China over the last 25 years. Head below for a look at the photos shot on Apple’s new flagship iPhone… expand full story

Upgrade Stories September 22, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 7.45.35 PM

In an effort to compete with Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Program, T-Mobile today has announced a change to its Jump! On Demand upgrade program to make it even more affordable to get an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus this Friday. T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced the new plans in a series of tweets, taking the opportunity to also, of course, slam the upgrade offerings presented by other carriers…

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Upgrade Stories September 16, 2015

iOS 9 preview

With iOS 9 launching later today, it’s worth taking a look at how you should prepare your device for the new operating system. Before installing the update, it is recommended that you have a backup of your data. This how-to is going to walk you through backing up your iOS 8 device and transitioning it over to iOS 9:

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Upgrade Stories August 20, 2015

Update: In the year since we posted this, we’ve decided to seek out the best partner and do the trade ins ourselves. After doing a lot of research, we’ve decided to work with Myphonesunlimited who consistently offer the best prices for iPhones, iPads and other Apple, Windows and Android devices. Go check them out.

 

 

 

Apple releases new iPhones every fall, guaranteeing that a massive number of old iPhones will be traded in or sold. The rush will dramatically change the market for used iPhones, so I wanted to help you stay ahead of the curve and get the best deal possible. Having just sold my own iPhone 6 Plus to upgrade to a newer model, I have some strong opinions about your smartest options.

Below, I’ve put together a guide to some of the iPhone selling and trade-in options you should consider. There’s no single “right” answer, since some options trade greater convenience for lower prices, and others have higher prices but greater risks or hassles. You can choose the one that’s best for your needs, but whatever you do, make your choice before iPhone values begin to fall…

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Upgrade Stories August 11, 2015

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Every time Apple is expected to release an S-series iPhone — the 3GS, the 4S, the 5s, and now the 6S — pundits rush to discount the value of each anticipated new feature, claiming that it won’t be enough to boost iPhone sales. Yet historically, every prediction of iPhone sales peaks or declines has been wrong: each iPhone, whether a big “tick” or small “tock” on Apple’s upgrade schedule, has outsold its predecessors. Even without form factor or screen changes, speed sold the iPhone 3GS, Siri boosted the 4S, and Touch ID and camera improvements helped the 5s. (In S years, improved distribution, new color options, and price and capacity tweaks have made a big difference, too.)

This week, analysts and pundits have co-opted my colleague Mark Gurman’s scoop that Force Touch on the iPhone 6S will be used for shortcuts across iOS, suggesting that Force Touch isn’t going to be exciting enough to make people upgrade. That’s true, but also so obvious as to be ridiculous: Apple certainly won’t pitch a pressure-sensitive screen as the iPhone 6S’s marquee new feature. Force Touch debuted in the Apple Watch, but it’s not even mentioned on the first Apple Watch page on Apple.com, instead showing up in the fifth paragraph of the “Technology” page. It’s similarly found only paragraphs down on the page of the 12″ MacBook where it made its Mac debut.

With the notable exception of the iPad mini 3, Apple never releases new devices with only one new feature to hook customers. Even a month before it’s announced, it’s a virtual certainty that the iPhone 6S will arrive with camera improvements and faster processors, most likely a new color option, and Force Touch as one of many small but nice additions. So long as Apple gets distribution and international pricing right, the iPhone 6S is going to do just fine…

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Upgrade Stories August 10, 2015

macminiopen

When I wrote a series of How-To guides showing how easy it was to swap old Mac hard disks for new solid state drives (SSDs), I focused on raw upgrades — slow mechanical drives for fast chip-based ones. The reason was simple: put an SSD in your Mac instead of the old hard disk, and you’ll be blown away by the speed increases. But as several readers have noted, there is another way to add an SSD to your Mac: you can keep your old hard drive, and instead replace the Mac’s CD/DVD optical drive, also known as a SuperDrive.

Swapping a SuperDrive for an SSD has a mix of pros and cons. It’s typically a little easier and less expensive to replace the SuperDrive than a stock hard drive, and you’ll always wind up with more internal storage than you started with. But you also lose CD/DVD reading and writing abilities — things fewer people care about these days — and you’ll need to set up your Mac to properly take advantage of the SSD. Read on for the details…

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The iPhone 6 was the iPhone many had long been waiting for, offering a larger screen size and NFC support for Apple Pay. Unsurprisingly, it opened to record sales, and has continued to break sales records ever since.

But Apple’s ‘tick tock’ strategy –a major new iPhone one year and an updated model based on the same form factor the following year – means that the company has to work much harder to sell its S models. With little visual difference (and the average mass-market customer oblivious to processor upgrades), Apple has to rely on a headline new feature to persuade people that it’s worth the upgrade.

For the last couple of S models, Apple has offered pretty convincing reasons to buy: the 4S gave us Siri, and the 5s introduced Touch ID – both appealing features that were easy for non-tech customers to understand. But if the rumors are correct that Force Touch is the headline new feature of the iPhone 6S, this is one of five reasons I think the company’s rumored ambition to make 90M units by the end of the year could be a tough number to turn into sales …  expand full story

Upgrade Stories June 1, 2015

A man holds a new Apple iPhone 5S next to his iPhone 5 at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district

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:

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Upgrade Stories February 24, 2015

macbookairssd-4

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…

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Upgrade Stories November 4, 2014

AT&T introduces longer Next 24 monthly installment program for paying off your iPhone

AT&T on Tuesday announced that it will be introducing a longer Next 24 monthly installment program on November 9th alongside its Next 12 and Next 18 plans for financing an iPhone or other smartphone. AT&T customers on Next 24 will pay $0 down and make 30 equal monthly payments between $10 to $50 depending on the device purchased.

Upgrade Stories October 24, 2014

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. expand full story

Upgrade Stories October 23, 2014

BBEdit 11 released with updated clipping system, text extraction tool, and more

Text/HTML editor BBEdit got upgraded to version 11 this week with a huge number of new features, improvements, and fixes. The highlights include improved syntax highlighting, an updated interface for the “Find Differences” feature, and a new text extraction capability. The Clipping system has been updated to allow for the creation of snippets that can be used in any language, or just in one.

You can get BBEdit 11 for $49.99 if you don’t own a previous verison, or $29.99 if you own version 10. Upgrading from version 9 or lower is also possible, but will cost $39.99. Customers who bought BBEdit 10 on or after May 1, 2014 will get version 11 for free. The app is available from the Bare Bones Software website. Like Realmac’s RapidWeaver 6, BBEdit 11 is not available on the Mac App Store.

The full (and lengthy) change log is below and goes into very fine detail about every change in the new version.

Upgrade Stories October 17, 2014

PSA: You can still upgrade the RAM in the Retina iMac, save hundreds over Apple’s price

Yesterday Apple released a new version of the Mac Mini that no longer features user-servicable RAM, but thankfully the new iMac with Retina 5K display still allows users to upgrade memory through an access door on the back, just like previous models. The new machine houses four memory slots.

Apple’s BTO Prices

If you want to upgrade your memory, you can get 16 GB of DDR3 1600 MHz RAM for $136.50 (about $30 off) at Amazon (below). The kit comes with two 8 GB modules, meaning you can grab two of these kits for a total of 32 GB for around $270. Not a bad deal at all, given that some outlets are charging just under $400 for the same memory—never mind the comical $600 Apple is asking. (Comical in that the 1st 2x8GB kit costs $200 and the second one costs $400 more :/)

The Crucial RAM at Amazon (or other upgrade kitss that are around) will also give you 2 extra 4GB Sims which you can sell or keep in case of emergency.

 

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