Is It Worth Repairing a Broken MacBook, or Should You Sell It?

Whether we’re talking about the MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, one thing’s for sure — anyone who’s used any of them long enough has experienced a problem or two, such as a cracked LCD, a bad battery, or some other hardware issue. 

MacBooks are expensive and generally perform better than other computers. It’s this reason that MacBooks are generally used more than PCs. In a recent study, a tech firm gathered information on the preference of 2,200 college students that year. They made these correspondents choose between Macs and PCs. The study revealed that 40% of the students prefer the MacBook, as they use them as daily drivers. 31% use PCs but actually prefer Macs, and 29% use PCs and prefer them as well.

Macs are indeed popular, but just like PCs, they are prone to wear and tear. This brings us down to the most common MacBook problems these users face. If you are a MacBook user, you’re probably all too familiar with the following list.

The most common MacBook problems

RAM – RAM becomes a problem for MacBook users today because of the increasing RAM power demand to run software. This is especially true for users who use their Macs for hardware-intensive software such as ones for video and photo editing. 

Remember that RAM stores the information it needs to access and run things quickly. So if you don’t have enough, you’re probably in for extra hours on top of the work.

Charging Ports – As a MacBook user, it’s easy to accidentally misplug. Sometimes, it’s easy to unintentionally snag it out of the plug because you forgot that you’re still charging. These small mishaps always lead to faulty charging ports. 

Dead Battery – The eventual result of a faulty charging port and an aging Mac is a dead battery. A dead MacBook battery means you’d have to constantly search for a place to plug in, which is not ideal for the busy on-the-go student or business professional. 

Backlight – Backlight helps illuminate the screen, allowing you to see items in the Mac’s display better. A broken backlight means you won’t be able to distinguish things like text and icons from the background.

There are hundreds of MacBook issues experienced by everyone, but the big question is, are MacBooks worth getting repairs for?

Should I get my MacBook repaired or buy a replacement?

Now that you know the most common issues you’ll face, or have faced with MacBooks, you’re wondering how much you should expect to pay for getting a MacBook repaired. You’re probably even asking yourself if getting a repair is even worth it. We’re going to help you decide.

When considering a MacBook repair for any problem, one of the first few things to consider is the price. The price depends on the damage and the model of the MacBook. We do offer free repair quotes, so if you’re in trouble, please bring your MacBook in directly to us and we’ll give you a free quote.

Repair prices are always based on the service, labor prices, the area where you’re getting repairs from, and the model of your MacBook. But with AppleCare+, your repair may cost a little less — it’s like a discount you have to pay for.

We Have Both Options!

Fortunately, we have you covered no matter what you do. We do offer used and refurbished MacBooks, but before you browse our selection, bring in your old MacBook and we’ll give you a free repair quote. If it makes more sense to repair it, we can do that. 

Before coming into our store, click here for an instant quote on MacBook repairs!

Top 5 Phone Accessories You Should Seriously Consider Purchasing

High megapixel cameras, big touchscreens, thumping loudspeakers, and the likes aren’t just enough to satisfy the needs of today’s phone users. Some want more battery juice without the need for a wall socket, some need extra protection for their phones, while some love the convenience of wireless earphones and headphones. 

There are so many phone accessories available in the market that it’s getting harder to pick the ones that we want and the ones that are of high quality. Feel the same? You can use our list of hand-picked phone accessories you should get:

1. Phone Cases

More often than not, when we get a new phone, the store selling it to us offers us a selection of phone cases. Some are fancy and over the top, while some are humble and do what they’re supposed to without being loud. If you’re prone to accidentally losing your grip on your phone, you know the necessity of having a sturdy phone case.

When in the market for a phone case or two, make sure to pick according to how you handle your phone. Is it always in your hand? Get a thick one that’ll protect its housing from falls. Always in your bag? Get a phone case that also covers the screen. The number of choices can be overwhelming, so make sure to gather a quick list of what you want your phone case to do for you.

2. Apple AirTags

In addition to the benefits of a phone case to protect your smartphone’s body, you have Apple’s new AirTags that help you keep track of your other personal property. Just like an iPhone, the tracking is done in the Find My app, but in the case of AirTags, they’re attached to things that aren’t iPhones. Those things can be your wallet, your car keys, and other items that are prone to be misplaced. Simply add an AirTag to your personal item, and let Apple keep track of its location for you.

AirTags lets you know about the last location of your AirTagged items through the Find My app. Misplaced the keys to your house? With the AirTag as a keychain, you won’t have to scramble through every place you’ve been in the last 24 hours to find your keys.

3. Wireless Earphones and Headphones

In the era of wireless tech, tangle-free earphones and headphones are seen as basics. Having them handy means you get more freedom when it comes to movement, especially when you listen to music, podcasts, or talk to people while on the move.

Fortunately, most smartphone manufacturers produce wireless earphones and headphones dedicated to maximize Bluetooth technology and make our lives more convenient. Depending on your phone, you can choose between Apple’s AirPods, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, and other brands. You can use each with any phone, which is a good thing considering the price tag of some of the best wireless earphones and headphones in the market today.

4. External Storage

Most of today’s phones come with at least 32 gigabytes of storage. But to most people, that amount of storage isn’t enough. With high-quality media in their phones, it’s hard to contain one’s files in 32 gigabytes. That’s why external storage devices and cards are necessary.

Most Android phones allow users to purchase additional storage through memory cards, but this isn’t the case for iPhones. iPhone fans will need to purchase the storage they want right off the bat because they won’t have the chance to expand unless they buy another unit. However, you generally can purchase more iCloud storage, so consider this option.

5. Fast Charging Cables

Some cables that come with our phones upon purchase usually don’t last long and don’t cover enough distance. Thankfully, we’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to third-party charging cables that span up to at least 3 meters. That should be enough to let you comfortably use your phone away from the wall.

Finding cables with varying lengths isn’t a difficult search, but make sure you search different brands and test the cable on your unit before making the purchase. Some cheap ones heat up easily, or break, and some don’t even work as they should. As with most purchases, shop around on the reviews page to see how others rate the product.

While we hope this is helpful for your next device shopping trip, we understand it’s not an exhaustive list. If you’ve got a tech question or need help searching for the next best gear for your device, stop by our shop today and get some expert advice! We’re happy to talk through some good options for you and point you in the right direction. And as always, don’t hesitate to call iCare Repair if that device is in need of a repair!

Everything You Should Know About the Latest iOS Update

From unlocking your iPhone with a face mask on to having more control in terms of app tracking, here’s everything you should know about the iOS 14.5 .

The 3rd of May 2021 saw Apple iPhone users scrambling to update their iOS versions to the tech giant’s newest firmware release. Regarded as the manufacturer’s most controversial iPhone operating system update yet, 14.5 packs new updates in user privacy, Face ID unlocking, the beloved emojis, Music app, and other security enhancements.

Why is it “controversial”?

Even before iOS 14.5 arrived on our iPhones, tabloids and news outlets left and right were already rushing to release pieces on how the new iOS firmware update will affect Facebook and other applications that rely on ads for revenue.

The part of the feature-packed update that made it controversial was the app tracking transparency (ATT) feature that gives iOS device users the option to allow or disallow applications from tracking their activities in exchange for more relevant advertisements.

Before the new Apple update, users weren’t explicitly informed about app tracking and how applications such as Facebook use their data. Most were unaware that applications can track their movements in other, non-relevant ways on their iPhone or smartphone.

The controversial part of this was Facebook and others using these divergent methods as a way to jack up their revenue. They don’t earn on subscriptions, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had already expressed (when he appeared before Congress in 2018) that Facebook relies on ads to make money.

For other applications that make money the same way, iOS 14.5 can cost these companies a vast amount of money. The update even led to a publicized fallout between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Users disabling apps from tracking means these applications won’t be able to get their usage data from the date on other applications, such as shopping apps. Advertisers, frustrated, know they wouldn’t pay the same price for less, or no data. Before the new iOS 14 update, users would generally notice that products they’d been eyeing on other applications show up on Facebook Ads – this is a specific product of app tracking.

More on the big features

Unlocking iPhone With Face Mask On

Another iOS 14.5 feature that made headlines was that users can now unlock their iPhones even with a face mask. This feature came to the rescue, albeit a bit late, of iPhone users struggling to put their masks down to unlock their iPhone using Face ID.

Some headlines, however, can be a tad misleading. What Apple might not tell you from the start is that this feature requires one to have an Apple Watch. The Apple Watch will let you bypass Face ID and unlock your phone. This requires both the iPhone and Watch to be close to each other, or else you’d have to put your mask down for a Face ID unlock or type your PIN.

Apple Maps crowdsourcing

iOS 14.5’s new Apple Maps adapts a key feature from Waze. The latter is the most popular one of its kind to allow real drivers to crowdsource accidents, speed traps, and other hazards on the road. The new iOS update saw Apple’s native map app allowing users to do the same.

You can now report accidents, hazards, and speed traps you encounter yourself with your voice and Siri, allowing you to report these things without having to take your eyes off the road.

Other feature updates

A lot came with the new iPhone update. Aside from the ATT updates and face mask unlocks, none of the updates were landscape-changing. But iPhone users did receive 200 new emojis, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, new Siri voices, battery health calibration, PS5 and Xbox controller support, dual-sim 5G support, and many others.

What do these features mean for consumers like me?

The ATT update would change your experience on the internet by a lot, and you probably won’t even notice it. You’ll see fewer ads that seem all too familiar, and if you’re one of those users who are heavily aware and conscious about their data, you’re probably happy about this ATT update.

Another thing, the face mask unlock feature would only benefit you if you own an Apple Watch and have it paired with your iPhone, which isn’t the case for every iPhone user enjoying the new update.

As for maintaining your iPhone’s performance, you can rely on this iOS update to patch a few things up for you software-wise, but if you have problems with your hardware, you’re better off reaching out to repair stores that specialize in iPhone repair. If this is where you’re at, call or visit us at iCare Repair today!

Sorting Through Old Photos and Contacts – Do You Need Them All?

We’ve all been there before — taking multiple photos from different angles just to make sure you get the best shot possible (even though most of them aren’t worth sharing). Or taking a hundred selfies with a hundred different faces only to just post one on Instagram. And if you’ve really gotten into phone photography after reading our iPhone 12 camera blog, you probably have a camera roll full of test shots that you’ll never edit or upload. And remember adding that one “friend” into your contacts but then never messaging them? So what should you do with all of those photos and contacts you no longer need?

In this blog, we’ll cover a couple of reasons why you should consider sorting through your old photos and contacts. After all, 2021 could be your year of productivity and efficiency (check out our 2 cents on that topic)!

How Should You Clean Out Your Photos and Contacts?

1. Organization

If you’re anything like us, your phone’s camera roll is probably anything but organized. And you probably don’t want to waste a ton of space on photos and videos you will never use or upload to social media. But with our tips in hand, you’ll have an organized camera roll before you know it!

For your first step in the organization process, we recommend creating albums for your photos and categorizing them that way. You can organize by timeline, by people, by events, or any category you want! That way, the next time you’re looking for a specific photo, it will be at the tip of your fingers.

And if you’re overwhelmed by the mass of photos in your camera roll, you can select photos in bulk and transfer them to a specific album as well. It’s quick and organized!

2. Save on the Cloud

Not quite sure if you’re ready to part with all of those photos just yet? Upload them to the Cloud! This option is for iPhone users only, of course, but it allows you to store your images elsewhere and free up some space on your phone in the process. As long as you have internet access, you’ll be able to transfer your photos from your phone to the Cloud.

3. Delete, Delete!

This is the not-so-fun part — we know. But just remember that the best part of a moment captured in a photo is the moment itself. Just think about how many duplicate, blurry, and screenshotted images are just sitting on your phone! Delete any photos that just don’t stand out to you, because that probably means you’ll never use them for anything. And in the end, decluttering will feel good — trust us.

4. Establish a “Cleaning Out Routine”

Get into the habit of cleaning out your photos by setting a weekly or monthly reminder to do so. Or you could even set a weekly reminder to organize them and a monthly reminder to delete the ones you no longer need/want!

Don’t put it off any longer; now that you have the tips and tricks to sort through your phone’s photos and contacts, go ahead and go for it! And if you need any assistance along the way, don’t hesitate to give iCare Repair a call.

Repair Technician

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Job Details

Part-time – $12 – $15 / hour
101 Brookside Lane, Brighton, MI 48116
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Job Description

Do you love doing something different every day? Are you someone that is curious “how it was made”? Well you may be just who we are looking for.

You will learn how to repair smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, and so much more! All the while helping to make the customers day!

Working an average of 30 hours per week, you can receive 75% company paid health, dental, and vision.

Contact us today to schedule an interview! Or share if you know someone perfect for this experience!

Productivity in 2021: Apps That Work on Mobile and PC

Need to boost your productivity this year, but you’re not sure what tools to start with? We understand! There are seemingly endless productivity apps available, with almost all of them offering you the latest and greatest tools. If you’re already struggling with getting all of your work done, you definitely don’t have time to sift through each and every productivity app and find one that suits you.

Luckily, in this blog, we will cover what we consider to be some of the best workplace productivity apps out there! We’ll discuss the benefits of each app so you can quickly and efficiently decide which app(s) will assist you the most.

1. Slack

Function: Slack is a communication and messaging tool that allows both in-office teams and global, remote teams to communicate, collaborate, share files, and more all in one place. Slack is a wonderful alternative to emails because it allows real-time responses and conversations. If you’re looking for a productivity app that will bring your team together and produce successful outcomes more efficiently, then Slack is the way to go!

Benefits: Perhaps the largest benefit Slack offers is streamlined, simplified lines of communication. It offers three basic communication features: open channels (visible to everyone), private channels (visible to select team members), and direct messages (visible to one coworker). Another benefit is Slack’s ability to easily integrate with other apps (Google Drive, MailChimp, the list goes on). When you keep everything in sync with Slack, it becomes a one-stop platform for all of your productivity, communication, and sharing needs. You can also drop and share all kinds of files within your Slack conversations (images, PDFs, Word Docs, Google Docs, etc.).

Mobile vs. PC: Slack has released updated versions of both its desktop and mobile apps this year, and the apps complement each other quite well. The mobile app is simple, organized, and easy to navigate. It can also be downloaded on both iPhones and Androids. Like the desktop app, it offers a “Mentions & reactions” screen, where users can quickly find Slack messages that mention them and/or reactions to their messages.

2. Airtable

Function: Airtable is a platform that allows you and your team to create and share databases. You don’t have to be a database expert to use it, either! Other than creating databases, the platform also lets you store, organize, and collaborate/communicate on tasks within the database. 

Benefits: Airtable is a lot like a spreadsheet, except simpler and more user-friendly. With Airtable, you can organize a large amount of information as well as the relationships between that information, which means you can better categorize your information as well. Additionally, Airtable has an Import feature, which allows you to upload existing data from other apps. The true beauty of Airtable lies in its flexibility—it will adapt to whatever organizational tasks you need it to.

Mobile vs. PC: Airtable’s mobile app has a few functionality limits. For example, you cannot create new fields in mobile; you can only view existing fields. You also can’t create or view Forms or Apps in mobile. That being said, navigating Airtable is equally as simple in mobile as it is in desktop.

3. Microsoft Teams

Function: Microsoft Teams is another collaboration platform that offers chat channels, document storage and sharing, online meetings and video calling, and more. These features make it quite similar to Slack, except Microsoft Teams is free with Microsoft365 and Office365.

Benefits: Because of its integration with Office365, Microsoft Teams makes it incredibly easy to collaborate on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. You can create the document in Microsoft Teams rather than having to open up a separate app. Another excellent feature is the user’s ability to follow channels that they are interested in/a participant in and hide whatever channels they do not what to see. This makes Microsoft Teams more customizable than other collaboration platforms.

Mobile vs. PC: With Microsoft Teams, you can stay connected anytime and anywhere by using the mobile smartphone app. With the app, you not only have access to all of your conversations and documents, but you can also respond to channels and join meetings as you would via desktop, PC, or laptop web browser.

There are many other productivity apps out there, of course. But we believe our top three choices will improve your overall workflow, help you get more done, and keep you self-motivated to accomplish more!

What To Do When Your Laptop Breaks

School is back in session – and you’re already exhausted. Chances are, your laptop or desktop is too. Even if you’ve invested in a MacBook 15” Pro with a packed RAM of 16 GB, that space fills up quickly with Zoom Meetings, study guides, and powerpoint slides. And when you’re not running out of storage, you’re dealing with a slowed down hard drive, maybe even apps that keep quitting on you. So what do you do when you’ve already poured your life savings into textbooks and getting the laptop in the first place? What are your most inexpensive options?

With so many Apple and other brand stores closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be challenging to find a reliable laptop repair shop to handle your repairs. However, several computer repair shops, such as iCare Repair, are still open and serving their communities as essential businesses. So when you’re looking for “MacBook Pro repair near me,” your local computer or PC repair store will likely have some prime solutions for you.

Keyboard Replacement

Keys fall out or lose small parts underneath – it happens. These kinds of repairs can sometimes be simple fixes requiring more determination and patience than tech skill. If you purchased your laptop new from the manufacturer, it should come with a service manual detailing how to replace keyboard keys. Before unscrewing everything and possibly losing small pieces, be sure to gather the parts and tools you’ll need for the repair. You’ll also want to set up a workspace in which to operate on your device. 

If you’ve taken a crack at it – or have decided that’s not for you! – and couldn’t quite figure out a solution, drop by iCare Repair’s store for professional and timely help you can count on.

New Hard Drive

Your hard drive is the warehouse of all your precious photos, files, and information. What happens when yours malfunctions? You take it to your local computer repair shop, that’s what. Whether it’s an HDD or an SSD, the drive also stores the operating system code, instructions for your internet browsers, and much more. 

Screen Replacement

A variety of mistakes can land you in need of a screen repair, or even screen replacement. For this type of repair, you’ll want to find the best local computer repair shop near you. Once you’ve had the experts fix your screen, consider investing in some screen protection. Phone cases won’t cut it; we suggest buying a screen protector as well. 

Liquid Damage Repair

When you knock your coffee over on your laptop screen, quick action is in order. First, unplug the power cord and pull out any other cords. Sending juice to a wet laptop is the last kind of problem you want on your hands. Lightly dab at the moisture on the computer, making sure none has seeped into the vent holes at the top of the keyboard. Finally, flip the laptop over and prop it up, screen facing down. 

Whether you decide to handle your repair on your own or you head to a local repair shop right away, consider stopping by iCare Repair. We’ve got the expert tech resources to fix whatever laptop issue you may have, but we’re also here to offer you quality customer service. You shouldn’t have to wait forever to get your precious device back, especially in the midst of the school semester! Drop by or give us a call today to start your essential repair.

Meet the Unbreakable Turing Phone

Move over, Superman, because we’ve found a metal stronger than steel and titanium – Liquidmorphium. And the Turing Phone is made of exactly this metal. Not only that, but the phone is also extraordinarily waterproof. (Drop it in water and shake it off.) Plus, it’s designed with heavy encryptions to secure your apps and your private data. Unbreakable and unhackable – what else could you ask for, right?

The 5.5-inch, Android 5.1 smartphone will come in three models: Pharaoh, Cardinal, and Beowulf. Besides the snappy Snapdragon processor and 16GB storage, you’ll love its 13MP rear camera and 8MP on the front for your sweet selfies.

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Source: http://www.wired.com/2015/07/turing-robotics-phone/

Of course, the Turing Phone is not perfect

No matter how good it sounds, the Turing Phone is still missing some important components like a USB port and a headphone jack. It does have a proprietary jack and Bluetooth.

It is not yet clear how the battery life will last, but we can expect something really good to come out in eight months. According to Turing Robotics Industries CEO Syl Chao, we can expect something that will “change the world”. There are also plans to build something like a robot butler “that will serve your day-to-day needs”, as they work on their own artificial consciousness machine.

So much buzz is building around the Turing Phone but the ultimate test will be in the hands of the consumers. Will all the hype just run flat when the phone comes out on sale?

Ready to buy a Turing Phone?

Pre-orders start on July 31, with prices from $610 for a 16GB model and are available unlocked. Check out http://www.turingphone.com to learn more about this bad-ass phone![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

What To Do If You Break Your Phone

[fusion_text]It happens to everybody at least once in their lifetime. You forget your phone in your pocket and drop it accidentally in the toilet. Or you suddenly develop butterfingers and crack your phone screen. There are many ways to mishandle even a sweet new iPhone 6 Plus suited with an Otterbox casing. So in the unfortunate event that you did, what’s the next step?

Fix the problem.

Simple issues like a busted camera or a shattered screen can still be repaired by yourself or by a technician. (If you can’t do it, then that’s what we’re here for.) There are many DIY guides and video tutorials to help you out, and many replacement parts for all kinds of cell phones are for sale online too.

Just keep in mind: Don’t buy low-quality parts or you may end up making the problem so much worse that you may not even be able to sell it. And also, your warranty and insurance may become void if you try to fix your own phone.

Get an early upgrade.

Depending on your carrier, you can be eligible for an early upgrade for anywhere from 30 days to 24 months after signing up. Just return your current device and they will waive your remaining repayments for the phone. Then sign up for an upgrade plan and receive a brand new device.

Just keep in mind: You may need to pay extra fees on top of your plan. These extra fees are like monthly payments for the new phone but are included in your phone bill.

Get a trade-in or sell your broken phone.

If your phone is not repairable, don’t despair because you can still sell it to us here at iCare Repair. No matter the condition, you can still exchange it for a few bucks especially if it’s still a popular model. Or, trade it in and get a new replacement phone.

Just keep in mind: Prices are never consistent and depends on demand. As a general rule, the best time to sell an old phone is before the release of a new model. Check out our automatic quote online and see how much your phone is worth.

Insure your next phone.

An insurance is absolutely worth it if it is a high-end smartphone that costs more than $600, or if you have an active lifestyle, which increases the chances of breaking your phone. Most carriers and third-party insurance companies offer phone insurance and will foot your bill if your phone stops working, gets damaged, or is lost or stolen.

Just keep in mind: Like any other insurance, there are high deductibles and a cap on the number of claims you can make. The cost of a screen replacement on an iPhone 6 may turn out to be cheaper than a year’s worth of insurance.[/fusion_text]

Republic Wireless will refund you for unused data

Smartphone users have always griped about the pricey monthly costs of their carriers. But this will now be a thing of the past because of the new data plan from Republic Wireless.

Introducing the Republic Refund Plan! The idea is simple: Pay what you use; get paid back for what you don’t. So how does it work? Start with the $10 base plan for unlimited talk and text. Next, add cell data depending on how much you expect to use. You can choose between $7.50 for 500MB of data, $15 for 1GB, $30 for 2 GB, and $45 for 3GB.

If you don’t spend the allotted data, you get refunded $1.50 per 100MB of unused data. Let’s say you picked the 1GB tier and only used 800MB. Instead of $25, you would pay only $22. According to Republic’s test run last April, the participants typically saved $5 per month.

Will the Refund Plan work for me?

The plan works best for people who use less than 3GB per month of data. So if you are regularly connected to WiFi or just do basic emails, then you can definitely save money with the Refund Plan. To keep track of your data usage, check it via the Republic Wireless app. You can also use this app to purchase more data.