Category: Health

05/18/22 – What Is The Apple Card?

I paid $4.59 for gas yesterday.  According to a major bank, the average may be $6.20 by summer.  A discount grocer I shop at used to sell eggs for $1.19.  They are now $2.45.  I don’t think these issues are going away any time soon.  The valleys of life sometimes entail living with the consequences of others’ (poor) decisions.  2022 is going to be one of those times.

but there are — Stories of Hope

My 89 year old great aunt and 94 year old grandmother recently have recovered from Covid 19 after getting infected about 1 month ago.  Recovery is possible, common, and likely.  Both took the new anti-viral medications.  I believe early treatment is essential, whether you take conventional or unconventional paths.  Once again you are able to order 8 free tests for your household. It takes a minute to fill out the form.  Here is another tool for your tool bag.  

COVID.gov/tests – Free at-home COVID-19 tests

Computer Speed Up Specialist

Do you have a 3 to 7 year old Windows computer that is starting to get a little slow?   Are you put off by the supply shortages and the cost of buying a new computer?   I think I may have an answer for you.   Unlike modern Macs, that have all soldered in unremovable parts — most Windows systems have a replaceable hard drive.  If your system seems that slow, you can likely benefit from a replacement with a solid state drive (SSD).  I make sure your files are backed up and then re-install Windows and your essential programs and copy your files back on to the computer.  This is a real jolt in the arm for your PC and it likely feels faster than when the computer was new.  These jobs can take as  little as 2 hours.  I just did one last week for a client that was 3 hours.   When choosing your next computer, only get one with an SSD in the future.  The Windows and Mac operating systems are meant for SSDs, in fact it is not possible to buy a Mac without one. 

Apple Card

Welcome to the world of high tech finance, I suppose.  For years, customers have always been able to finance an Apple product and get a certain number of interest free payments, at least on their first purchase.  Most recently, shoppers were offered a Barclays Apple Rewards Visa.  However, in 2019 Apple decided to take things in house and offer their own Mastercard called the Apple Card.  Apple is putting their name on it and demanding certain standards, but the banking back end is provided by the consumer division of Goldman Sachs. 

Why might someone want the Apple Card?

Well you get a card made out of titanium that is heavy and makes you feel important.  (Come on, that’s not a valid reason!) OK, getting serious here — the Apple Card seems like a valid choice for customers that regularly shop from Apple.  There is 3% cash back on all Apple purchases.  Interest free financing can also be used with all Apple purchases.  Furthermore, the card is automatically added to the Wallet app on the iPhone.   For any “tap to pay” situation, there is 2% cash back.   (There is also 1% cash back whenever you use the physical card).  The card can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted.  The full card number is not printed on your card.  It can be looked up in the Wallet app and a new number can be issued in the event of a security issue.

How to apply?

You apply using the Wallet app on your iPhone.  It’s very simple and takes about 5 minutes.

Who is this not for?

The Apple Card is not for someone who wants paper statements or to send in a check every month.  You really need an iPhone to be a card member.  You will make your payments through the Wallet app or by logging on to a website on the computer with your Apple ID and password. 

Who Builds Our Gadgets?

Technology Built with Slave Labor?

https://apnews.com/3f9a92b8dfd3cae379b57622dd801dd5

I only read this one story by the Associated Press so far and I am looking to confirm this against other sources.  However, if it is really true that gadgets made by Lenovo, Apple and other companies are being made with forced Muslim slave labor — I think we need to change how we shop for technology.  It’s a sickening feeling.  Do we really know what it takes to make our high tech gadgets?   I will report back when I know more.

Expected Delays

There are some products relevant to many of you — such as a low cost iPhone and new Mac Books with the GOOD 2015-style keyboards — that were expected to come out as early as the end of this month.  Given the disruption to the Chinese supply chain, it is now expected that you will have to wait a little bit longer.   If you wanted one of these items, try to hold out a little bit longer.  If your tech goes kaput before then, you will just have to choose from a product currently available. 

Carrier Cell Phone Stores – Shopping Advice

I think I may have shared on this before, but I promised to touch on it again.  There is nothing wrong with shopping at an ATT or Verizon store to buy your new smartphone.  However, if you choose to go this route as opposed to buying online or buying at the Apple store, make sure you buy a couple of accessories from your salesperson.   Some customers will go into the store and be insistent on just buying the phone only.  Also, they may “shop” in store, buy online and then come into the store and expect the salesperson to set up the phone.  I used to think it was no big deal, but then I heard from some real in-store sales staff.  If a customer comes in a store and buys a phone without accessories, the sales rep can get fired for that. It’s a reality. These sales jobs are good middle class jobs.  With this said, I offer you the option of buying your online with me and let me set up your phone for you.  However, I know that you may ultimately want that in-store, hands on experience.  If so, try to make it a sustainable transaction for all parties involved.

Special Review of Apple’s Sept 10 Event

I wanted to give you a special review of Apple’s Big Event on Tuesday September 10 and make you aware of their new products and services.

As a reminder, I am ready to be your iPhone upgrade specialist. I can help you order your iPhone 11 model and help you get set up – as I have done for years. I will ensure data isn’t lost in the transfer by doing a FULL ENCRYPTED BACKUP via iTunes and restore to your new iPhone. No shortcuts here.

Apple Arcade: Apple is launching a video game service with unique titles – aimed at all ages. Games can be played across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. $4.99 / month for the whole family.

Apple TV Plus: This is Apple’s answer to Netflix and Hulu (for now and may become bigger). Apple will have original shows and movies. There will be add-ons available. This service will not include free access to the thousands upon thoughts of titles available in the iTunes Store already. It launches in November – at a very friendly $4.99 / month for a family subscription.

iPad: Apple’s basic iPad is still $329 and it is getting a bump up in screen size to 10.2 inches. If it’s been 3 or 4 years since your last iPad – you may really want to consider it. It’s better than ever and if needed it supports the Smart Keyboard for the first time.

Apple Watch: The Apple Watch 5 may have been the star of the show. It is getting more sophisticated at tracking our health and helping us improve our lives. An emphasis was really made on older adults in the presentation and how the heart rate monitor and EKG feature can help save lives. Pricing starts at $399, if you don’t mind the rubber strap (I don’t). Apple also wants to make sure that Apple Watch technology is available to all. Therefore they are selling the Apple Watch 3 for $199, a great alternative to the Fit Bit Versa. However, just remember – you will need the Apple Watch 4 and later to get the EKG feature. Perhaps a deal may be available on the Apple Watch 4 – where models are still available.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE — HERE ARE YOUR NEW IPHONES

iPhones: Apple really wowed on their base iPhone – the iPhone 11 – which is a replacement for the iPhone XR. Not only does it have 2 cameras and come in more color options – but they dropped the price from $749 to $699. Way to go Apple! This the iPhone that most customers will be buying and will be the one most appropriate for my clients.

However, there are 2 super premium Pro level iPhones also coming out – the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. They are priced at $999 and $1099 respectively (same as last year. A common thought is – the Pro is for users who want a PRO CAMERA. This is true. I really think if you learn to use one of these Pro iPhones– they can be as good as a $400-500 camera. Truth be told, I can think of 2 other reasons for the Pro. You would want the 11 Pro if you absolutely want the SMALLEST new iPhone. The 11 Pro is 5.8 inches diagonally vs 6.1 inches for the iPhone 11. Also, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the one for you if you want the LARGEST new iPhone – clocking in at 6.5 inches diagonally. Keep in mind, you will pay $300 to $400 more for these size preferences.

Personally, speaking I am doing my best effort to get my pre order in for a regular iPhone 11 this morning. Pre-orders start today and shipments begin on September 20th.

Conclusion: I watched the whole event live. I think it was Apple’s best product / service event since the passing of Steve Jobs in 2011.