Does Your iPhone 5 Qualify for a Free Battery?

I have great news for some owners of the iPhone 5, which includes me! Apple is replacing the battery in some iPhone’s – if they qualify.

Apparently Apple has found that a small number of iPhone 5’s (not the newer 5C or 5S) are experiencing a shorter battery life. I’ve had my iPhone 5 almost two years and just this summer noticed that my battery life was getting bad. 

If your battery life is noticeably worse lately, you can check to see if your iPhone 5 might qualify for replacement by going to this Apple site and entering your serial number.

To find your serial number on your iPhone 5:

  • Touch Settings > General > About.
  • Scroll down to Serial Number.

If you receive “The iPhone 5 serial number you entered is eligible for this program,” congratulations, you’ve reached first base! You’ll understand why it’s just first base in a minute.

The next step is to decide whether you want to take your iPhone into an Apple store, authorized service provider or ship it to Apple.

I don’t have an Apple store near me and I certainly don’t want to ship it off, but I called my closest Apple service provider to ask about bringing my iPhone in for my battery replacement. He told me that passing the serial number test is just the first step. 

Next, you have to have the phone inspected and tested by Apple or the service provider. This involves leaving your iPhone with them for about 3 hours. If you pass that you’ve reached second base.

To advance to third base, the store or service provider must have a battery replacement in stock so that you don’t have to make another trip to the store.

Important Tip: Call the Apple store or service provider you’re going to use and ask if they have a replacement battery in stock before you take them your iPhone 5.

Just to recap the steps for getting your battery replaced IF your serial number qualifies AND you have experienced poor battery life:

  1. Call your Apple store or service provider to ask if replacement batteries are in stock and set appointment.
  2. Back up your iPhone 5. I recommend both to iCloud and iTunes (click here for instructions).
  3. Turn off Find My iPhone at Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Find My iPhone > OFF (not green).
  4. Follow Apple’s instructions and erase your iPhone. If that’s too scary, wait and let the Apple store/provider help you, but backup to iCloud and iTunes before you go!

Assuming your 1) serial number qualifies, 2) your phone passes the store’s bad battery test and 3) the store has a battery replacement in stock, you (and I) will score a home run!

How to Organize Your Family Vacation

Ahhh, summertime in the South. For many of us, that means multi-generational, family beach trips. And that means divvying up who’s bringing what and who’s cooking when.

My family’s annual beach trip is in its 75th year this summer. It began two decades before I was born. I guess we could it call the Diamond Anniversary Beach Trip.

This year, we will have fourteen adults and five children between two houses. That’s a lot of mouths to feed and food to coordinate!

Thankfully the internet and particularly Google Drive is making the back and forth tweaking of “the beach list” easy. Google Drive is an amazing free service for anyone with a Gmail address or a Google account.

It’s cloud storage, a word processing program, a spreadsheet program and more, all rolled into one.

The way we use Google Drive for our beach trip is that one person creates a document or spreadsheet with columns which list the items each attendee has agreed to bring. On a second page, the daily mealtime cooks are listed.

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Is Your iPhone Ready In Case of Emergency?

Back in the mid-2000s when we were all using flip phones and Blackberries, a British paramedic conceived of a universal emergency contact system for all cellphones.

It was genius in its simplicity: enter an emergency contact in your cell phone’s address book under the name ICE. First responders would know who to contact In Case of Emergency (ICE) should you be injured or incapacitated.

The idea spread quickly across Europe, Australia and eventually North America.

As smart phones have replaced those “dumber” phones, the new phones have extra security that can prevent an emergency responder from finding your ICE contact. With the iPhone in particular, the additional security feature is the 4-digit passcode or fingerprint depending on your model.

I had completely forgotten what a good idea this is for everyone until a client recently asked me about entering an ICE contact in her iPhone. The dilemma was how to make your emergency contact available when you use passcode or fingerprint security for your iPhone.

I can think of three ways to have an accessible ICE contact on your iPhone.

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My Latest STSM&D (Save Time, Save Money & Delight) Tips!

This summer is flying by and, not to be corny, if you’re making reservations involving flying, be sure to see my tip below. There’s also an awesome trivia game that you play with Google Maps, a citizen science site where you help with real research projects and beautiful backgrounds to customize your Gmail page.

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