Capture better videos with your iPhone & discounted battery replacements

I like to keep up with the latest Apple news (I’m really hoping for an updated iPhone SE to be released sometime soon), and while browsing one of my go-to Apple sites, I came across this article that might be useful to many people since taking videos is so easily accessible to anyone with a phone:

How to capture better videos

I wrote on this topic several months ago (here), but I’ll reiterate the most important point:  hold your phone sideways so it’s horizontal.  If you want to actually watch these videos at some point in the future, you’ll appreciate having the option to view them on a standard screen like a TV or computer monitor.  Smartphones are disposable products, and with the rapid progression of technology, we don’t know if these devices will still look like vertical glass slabs a decade or two from now.  All it takes is another Steve Jobs to come along and change the entire paradigm.  What likely won’t change though is the general manner in which we view our visual media, which is an orientation that is longer on the horizontal axis.  Looking at a screen that is longer sideways than it is up and down is more natural for humans due to the way our eyes are designed.

So future proof those videos so they don’t look awkward when you look at them as your older self.

Topic #2:  The $29 battery replacement

If you’ve owned your phone for more than a couple of years, your battery may be starting to drain quicker that it did before.  After the recent battery-related throttling fiasco (here’s a link if you’re not familiar with this story), Apple started offering $29 battery replacements for certain phones until the end of 2018.  In addition, if you have an iPhone 6S, some of the phones from the early production batches qualify for a free battery replacement due to a manufacturing defect.  Check here to see if your phone is included.

I’m still using my 2.5 year old iPhone 6S, so I decided to take advantage of the program and get a fresh battery since I may be keeping this phone for a while longer if Apple keeps trending toward monster sized phones.  I don’t live anywhere close to an Apple Store, and I do not trust the local 3rd party Mac store (Simply Mac) to do this job correctly, so I used Apple’s mail service.  It worked surprisingly well, and it was fast.

To do this, go to Apple’s support page, and click the little button to begin the battery replacement process.  Click on the “Send in for repair” option on the right side of the screen and fill out all the information.

I live near a UPS store, so I chose the drop-off option when presented with the shipping choices.  There’s nothing to package or print; simply take your phone to any UPS store, and they’ll have your information and take care of all the packaging work.

I took my phone in on a Saturday.  It arrived at Apple in California the next business day (Monday), was repaired on Tuesday, shipped out on Wednesday, and I received the phone Thursday morning before noon.  A 4 business day turnaround for something like this that required coast to coast shipping was pretty impressive.  I hear that if you go into an Apple Store for a new battery, it can take several weeks before they can do the replacement due to high demand and short supply, so if you want it done faster and you have an older spare phone you can use, consider sending your iPhone directly to Apple.  I was very pleased with the entire process.

*Word of warning:  if you send your phone to Apple, they will update your software to the latest version.  If you want to stay on an older version of iOS for whatever reason, then don’t send them your phone.

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