“Merry `Cliff-Mas'”? ;-) Why Apple Hardware Support Rocks, Some tablet & mobilty diversions…
In the words of Stephen Colbert from a few days ago, “Merry Cliff-mas!” 😉
That, of course, referring to the upcoming “fiscal cliff” potentially facing the country. While that topic in and of itself could warrant quite a ranting, we’re here to talk more about items of broader interest than the usual Washington, DC-area political dysfunctions. Such as, what’s going on in the Tablet and mobility world.
Which brings me to our first topic – “Why Apple Hardware Support Rocks”. Blog followers will remember the dilemma that I had earlier this year regarding “which iPhone to upgrade to” – e.g. the iPhone 5, or the iPhone 4S. I ended up getting the 4S (even after the 5 was released). Won’t rehash the reasons here – there’s an older blog entry for that.
Said iPhone, unfortunately, started having an odd problem a few days ago. Audio stopped working out of one of the channels (the left channel) – this was for music, as well as phone calls (headset). At first, Apple tech’s thought it may have been the headphones (reasonable first suspicion), but it turned out to be the unit itself. So, here’s an example of just how positive and efficient a retail computer/hardware tech support experience can be:
– I scheduled a Genius Bar appointment at the local Apple Store to have the continuing problem diagnosed (after receiving replacement headphones via FedEx and that not solving the issue)
– Within about 20-30 minutes of arriving for said appointment, a tech ran some diagnostics on the phone right there in the store
– He quickly determined that there was something wrong with the phone itself
– Within another 20 minutes, I was out the door with a replacement, identical phone
Of course, I had backed up all of the phone’s data, apps, etc. before going to the appointment – on the suspicion that an exchange was likely. But, this is a very good example of how (and why) Apple does such a good job with customer service at the retail level. While there are some aspects of the Apple retail experience that I find a bit quirky (I still don’t like the whole “no designated cash register or line for checkout” thing – it reminds me too much of the free-for-all, Lord of the Flies-esque behavior that happens when renting a car from National Car Rental – where you “get to pick your own car” out of the rental car lot – which means, of course, the slower and clumsier travelers loaded down with way too much electronic equipment, like me – will always end up with the suckiest vehicles in such a competition) – this vignette I think very nicely illustrates a lot of the things that the Apple retail and support experience does well.
Now, in respect to Microsoft – we’ve also have very good retail (and repair) experiences at their Microsoft Store, as well. It’s just that we’ve had to use Apple’s more often, because we have more Apple devices for a longer period of time – as opposed to only having gotten one PC (a laptop) from the Microsoft Store to date. That laptop, incidentally, was/is a Sony VAIO VPCSA that is probably my favorite computer for routine use right now – whereas I use a MacBook Pro for Apple-related and other creative assignments (movies, video production). That said, it’s just so happened that we’ve had multiple MacBooks and Mac Air’s both repaired and evaluated at Apple stores over the past 3 years. Each time, it was always a very positive, efficient, and straightforward process.
So, that brings us to “what’s going on” with tablets this year. As mentioned before, I’m still a huge fan of the Google Nexus 7 tablet. You may recall that I purchased it a few months back after selling my original iPad. It’s small and light (more so than an iPad mini), affordable, and the screen is gorgeous. While it doesn’t run iOS (which is what I would say is its biggest “shortcoming”), for what I need to do with a tablet – which is mainly e-mail and web browsing – and some occasional device remote control – it’s perfect. I had expected that by the time the holidays came around, that I probably would have gotten around to getting an iPad mini to replace the original iPad that I sold earlier this year – however, surprisingly, I’m still just not too impressed by the mini. The screen (Retina) on the “full” iPad is notably better, and when you hold up the Google Nexus compared to an iPad mini, it’s an amazing contrast – in terms of how much nicer the screen on the Nexus is.
At this point, I think I’ll hold off on my replacement iPad until a good special comes along, most likely from the Apple refurbished store, or possibly from eBay. I don’t “need” to have a new iPad as opposed to a refurbished one- I just want one to help further support and practice RiteTech’s clients.
We’ll have more to say about Apple-related stuff, including an exciting announcement, soon… Until then, happy and safe computing – regardless of what device or OS you’re using… 😉