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Now is the worst time to buy any MacBook laptop from Apple

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macbook pro 2017 Apple

It is currently the worst time to buy a new MacBook laptop directly from Apple.

By MacBook laptop, I’m not just talking about the lightweight and portable MacBook. I’m referring to any model that Apple currently offers on its main website. That includes the early 2015 MacBook, the early 2015 MacBook Pro, the mid-2107 MacBook Pro, and the 2015/2017 MacBook Air.

It’s not just a question of age, even though age is a major reason why it’s not a good idea to buy some of these laptops. Some of Apple’s latest models also have unreliable keyboards, and it’s not an easy or cheap fix to get it repaired once the warranty runs out.

Check out why it’s not a good idea to buy any of the laptops you can buy directly from Apple right now:

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The current MacBook Pro models have unreliable keyboards that could cost you a lot of money to repair.

The current MacBook Pro models have unreliable keyboards that could cost you a lot of money to repair. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Just about everything about Apple’s recent crop of 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros is great. The Touch Bar might be a little divisive, but you can buy models without the Touch Bar, or ignore it altogether. And the fact these models only come with USB-C ports is also a little divisive, but Apple isn’t likely to add all the ports from older models back onto its upcoming laptops.

The major thing that’s getting a lot of negative attention is Apple’s new “butterfly”- style keyboard on the newer 2016 and 2017 models. It’s a new design that lets Apple make thinner laptops, and it supposedly offers a better typing experience.

But some users – myself included – have reported that certain keys stop becoming responsive. AppleInsider also reported that the 2016 MacBook Pro keyboards with the butterfly-style keyboards were failing twice as often as older models.

In my 2016 MacBook pro, the “G” key became unreliable and would often skip when I pressed it. I brought it to the Apple store to get repaired, and thankfully it was still under warranty. Apple couldn’t simply replace the “G” key. It had to replace the entire top portion of my MacBook Pro, including the battery. An out-of-warranty repair can cost upwards of $700, according to AppleInsider.

Hopefully Apple fixes the keyboard issues in its next MacBook Pros. There’s no way of telling if they are, but if you’re looking for a new MacBook Pro now, it’s worth waiting until Apple comes out with new models to see if Apple resolves the keyboard issues.

The older MacBook Pro model you can buy, which has a better keyboard, is too old to justify its $2,000 price tag.

The older MacBook Pro model you can buy, which has a better keyboard, is too old to justify its $2,000 price tag. Apple

You can buy an older 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro from Apple for $2,000, which still has an older-but-reliable keyboard.

The problem with the 2015 model is that it’s from 2015. That means it’s running on parts that are almost three years old.

Now, that said, the three-year-old components in the 2015 MacBook Pro will work just fine, even in 2018. It won’t be as fast or future-proof as the recent models, but it’ll handle basic tasks well. But the other problem linked to the older parts is that the 2015 model still costs a whopping $2,000, which is a poor deal for an older computer, especially if you just want to run basic apps like a web browser, or if you plan on using the laptop for several years.

The MacBook Air is also too old, and there are rumors that Apple will soon announce an updated model.

The MacBook Air is Apple’s cheapest MacBook laptop at $1,000, but it’s an old and tired laptop in 2018.

The latest model that was refreshed in 2017 doesn’t actually have 2017 parts. It’s running on a 5th-generation Intel processor from 2014. To give you an idea, Intel is currently on its eighth generation of processors in 2018.

Even for $1,000 – Apple’s cheapest MacBook computer – the MacBook Air is bad value. It has a lower resolution display that basically looks fuzzy compared to Apple’s recent laptops with the company’s “Retina” display. The MacBook Air display also has comparatively poor color and contrast compared to the Retina displays on more recent MacBook laptops.

Plus, it’s rumored that Apple will soon release a new MacBook Air sometime in 2018. So, if you’re looking for a portable and capable machine like the MacBook Air, it’s worth waiting to see if Apple comes out with a newer model with better specs.

MacBooks are extremely light and portable, but they have the unreliable keyboard, and they’re expensive for their performance.

MacBooks are extremely light and portable, but they have the unreliable keyboard, and they're expensive for their performance. Apple

Apple’s MacBooks are incredibly light and portable, even more so than the MacBook Air. And that extra portability is reflected in its relatively high price tag.

But MacBooks also come with Apple’s butterfly-design keyboards and could potentially face the same issues as the butterfly-design keyboards on the recent MacBook Pros. Hopefully, Apple will redesign the butterfly-style keyboard to be more reliable.

For the price and despite their portability, MacBooks are also relatively underpowered and are only suited for basic productivity. They should only really be an option if you highly value their ultimate light weight and portability.

So what do you do if you need a new MacBook laptop right now?

So what do you do if you need a new MacBook laptop right now?
My refurbished 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

You can still buy Apple’s latest MacBook Pros, but you should go into the purchase knowing that several users have reported problems with the new butterfly-style keyboard. You may find that you’re one of the lucky ones that don’t encounter a problem.

Either way, I’d suggest you look at Apple’s refurbished laptops. They come in pristine condition and you can get a few hundred dollars knocked off the price of a new laptop.

As for the older 2015 15-inch models, I’d only recommend buying them from Apple’s refurbished Mac store, as you can get them at a better price that reflects their older innards than buying them new.

Same thing goes for the MacBook Air: Check out the refurbished Mac store. Better yet, wait until Apple releases a new model.

MacBooks? As I mentioned earlier, you could face similar issues that others faced with Apple’s butterfly-style keyboard. MacBooks are also expensive relative to their performance. But if you prize portability over everything else, MacBooks are the Apple laptops of choice. Again, I’d check out the refurbished Mac store to get a little discount.

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People using their phones while driving is a huge problem, but a new iPhone feature is helping

Phone while driving Getty
  • 37% of trips include at least some significant phone usage while the car is moving, according to a new study.
  • But features like Apple’s “Do Not Disturb While Driving” can reduce phone use by as much as 8%.
  • The results show that small software changes on big platforms like Apple’s can nudge people to make safer decisions.

It shouldn’t be surprising that people love to use their phones while driving — if you commute in a car, you see it every day, either in your car or other people’s.

But it’s somewhat surprising how many people drive while distracted: there’s significant phone use during as many as 37% of trips logged by Everdrive, an app developed by car insurance company Everquote.

During those trips, people were using their phones for as much as 11% of the time, or about 3 minutes during a 29 minute drive on average, according to the Everdrive study released on Wednesday, which examined 781 million miles of driving data from sensors like your phone’s GPS and accelerometer.

But there is one silver lining to the study: Apple’s new “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature designed to reduce distracted driving is working. Basically, if your iPhone detects you’re in a moving car, it will turn off all notifications and you can set an automatic text response to tell your friends and family you can’t respond because you’re behind the wheel.

Everquote found that 70% of people in its study kept the DND While Driving feature turned on after Apple released it last September. And between September 19 and October 25 last year, people with DND on used their phones 8% less, according to the study.

So it’s not a silver bullet, but it turns out a software update can reduce distracted driving.

Other interesting stats from the study:

  • States with laws prohibiting phone use while driving showed the least phone use while driving.
  • Drivers tend to make a hard brake on 25% of trips.
  • The states with the worst driving scores are Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
  • The states with the best driving scores are Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, and Idaho.

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New leaked images claim to show the screen of a massive ‘iPhone X Plus’

iPhone X Hollis Johnson
  • New leaked images claim to show parts from a 2018 iPhone.
  • The photos show a large notched display that would reportedly be for an “iPhone X Plus,” a massive 6.5-inch phone said to be coming later this year.
  • The parts may not be for an Apple phone however, since the original post claims they were manufactured by LG rather than Samsung.

New leaked photos claim to show the screen of an “iPhone X Plus,” a 6.5-inch iPhone said to be coming in 2018.

The photos first showed up on the MacX forums, although the post has since been taken down. MacRumors saved the images and said the original post claims the parts are from an LG facility in Vietnam, and are part of a “trial run of production equipment.”

Apple is said to be releasing three new iPhone models in 2018: an upgraded iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED screen, a larger model with a 6.5-inch OLED screen, and a third iPhone model with a less expensive LCD screen.

The leaked parts would seemingly be for the larger, 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus:

—MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) February 25, 2018 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js ” data-e2e-name=”embed-container” data-media-container=”embed”>

It’s clear from the photos that the screen is larger than the iPhone X but has the roughly the same size notch at the top of the screen. According to MacRumos, the part number printed on the flex cable attached to the screen is similar to Apple’s format. Still, there’s no way to verify whether these parts are legitimate and not made for an iPhone knockoff.

Plus, if the original post is to be believed, the parts were manufactured by LG in Vietnam. While Apple did reportedly invest $2.7 billion in LG Display to build the OLED displays, Samsung was Apple’s exclusive OLED supplier for the iPhone X.

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First-day preorders for the iPhone X sell out in minutes, Apple says demand is ‘off the charts’

iphone x YouTube/MKBHD

  • The iPhone X became available for preorder early Friday morning.
  • Only people who ordered in the first few minutes will get their preorder the first day it comes out, though.
  • Apple stores will also have stock next Friday, though Apple advises to get in line “early.”

Apple’s most advanced iPhone saw its shipping times slip to weeks in the minutes after it first went up for preorder on Friday morning.

The iPhone X starts at $999 and comes in two colors, with each color coming in two models with different amounts of storage.

Less than an hour after launch, models for all four US carriers on Apple’s online store were showing delivery times weeks after the device’s November 3 launch date.

In some cases, Apple’s website now says the iPhone X would be delivered in “2-3 weeks.” Other people got confirmation messages that said their iPhone X wouldn’t ship for four to five weeks.

Some people on social media reported issues with the official Apple Store app, which Apple retail officials had called the fastest way to preorder. Carriers such as AT&T also appeared to have limited inventory.

In a statement sent to media outlets, an Apple spokesperson said that demand was “off the charts.”

“We’re working hard to get this revolutionary new product into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible,” the statement continued, mentioning that Apple stores will have stock on November 3.

iPhone X preorders Screenshot

The iPhone X will be in short supply for the rest of the year, according to reports from Apple’s factories in Asia. The reason for the shortage is that several of Apple’s components, like the 3D True Depth camera, are delicate and difficult to manufacture.

One analyst predicted that only 2 million to 3 million iPhone X units would be shipped by launch time.

The iPhone X is desired by Apple fans for several reasons:

  • It’s Apple’s highest-end iPhone.
  • It features a visually different design from older iPhones.
  • The screen covers a much larger percentage of the front than that of older iPhones.
  • The screen uses a new technology called OLED that sports blacker blacks and other benefits.
  • It has a longer battery life than the iPhone 7.
  • It has a 3D depth-sensing camera on the front of the phone called TrueDepth.
  • TrueDepth is used to unlock the phone, taking the place of the fingerprint sensor.

If you weren’t lucky enough to nab a preorder, your best bet is to line up at an Apple store or another authorized retailer on Friday. Just get there early.

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Here’s everything Apple announced at its big iPhone launch event

Tim Cook Apple event iPhone XApple CEO Tim Cook and design chief Jony Ive display the new iPhone X.Justin Sullivan/Getty

Apple unveiled not one, but three new iPhones at its hardware event on Tuesday.

The iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus join a slew of new products and services from Apple, many of which are set to roll out as early as this Friday.

Along with the new phones, Apple announced its first foray into wireless charging, new facial-recognition technology, and a 4K Apple TV. Plus, Apple finally added a cellular connection to its new Apple Watch Series 3.

Here are all the things Apple announced at Tuesday’s event

Apple announced its latest and greatest iPhone, the iPhone X.

Apple announced its latest and greatest iPhone, the iPhone X.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

The new iPhone X — pronounced “iPhone ten” — features a strikingly different design from its predecessors like the iPhone 7. It has a 5.8-inch screen that Apple calls a “Super Retina Display,” which utilizes a superior screen technology called OLED. The iPhone X comes in just two colors for now: black, and white.

You can preorder the iPhone X on October 27. It ships on November 3, and has a starting price of $999 for 64GB of storage.

There are also two more new iPhones: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

There are also two more new iPhones: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple

Like its predecessor the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 comes in two varieties: a standard 4.7-inch model, and a larger 5.5-inch “Plus” model. Apple is offering the two iPhone 8 models in three colors: silver, matte black, and a new gold color. Both the iPhone 8 and the 8 Plus have a glass back and both support the Qi wireless charging standard.

The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus start at $699 and arrive on September 22.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is Apple’s third-generation smartwatch.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is Apple's third-generation smartwatch.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Apple Watch Series 3 is the first Apple Watch, and the first Watch with cellular built in. The watch can make and receive calls allowing you to leave your phone at home, and will have the same number as your iPhone. The new watch comes in three colors: a new gold aluminum finish, silver, and space gray.

Apple Watch Series 3 will be available to order on Friday and will start at $329 — the watch with cellular will cost $399. It will be available a week later, on September 22.

Apple is launching its own heart rate study for Apple Watch users.

Apple is launching its own heart rate study for Apple Watch users.

Apple

The new Apple Watch Series 3 will feature an enhanced heart rate app, watch will notify you when it detects an elevated heart rate specifically when you’re not active. The sensor will also be able to analyze heart rhythm, so Apple is launching the Apple Heart Study in partnership with Stanford University. The study will use data from Apple Watch to analyze cardiac arrhythmia and will be available on the App Store later this year.

There’s a new Apple TV that will stream video in ultra-sharp 4K resolution.

There's a new Apple TV that will stream video in ultra-sharp 4K resolution.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

The new Apple TV 4K will be able to stream 4K – or UHD (ultra high-definition) – resolution video, which is sharper than the full-HD 1080p resolution from previous Apple TV models. It will also support HDR (high dynamic range) to produce better colors and contrast between light and dark areas of a scene.

The Apple TV 4K will be able to stream live video, like sports, in 4K HDR from Apple TV apps. It will be available to buy for $179 and you can pre-order it starting on September 15 — it ships a week later.

Apple made its first wireless charging pad called AirPower.

Apple made its first wireless charging pad called AirPower.

Apple

AirPower is a wireless charging pad that will be large and powerful enough to charge your new iPhone — either the new iPhone 8 or the high-end iPhone X — as well as your Apple Watch Series 3 and AirPods at the same time.

Unfortunately, it sounds like AirPower won’t arrive until 2018. Apple must first work with the regulatory committee that oversees the Qi wireless charging standard to implement a new standard it developed for AirPower. Apple didn’t say how much AirPower would cost or when it will be available.

iOS 11 will arrive on your iPhone and iPad September 19.

iOS 11 will arrive on your iPhone and iPad September 19.

Apple

Apple’s smartphone operating system, iOS 11, will arrive on phones September 19. The new OS features person-to-person payments in Apple Pay, a refreshed Control Center, a revamped Apple Maps, support for augmented reality (AR) applications, and much more.

Apple’s smartwatch operating system, WatchOS 4, will also launch on the September 19.

MacOS High Sierra will be available to download on September 25.

MacOS High Sierra will be available to download on September 25.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Apple’s latest operating system for Mac laptops and desktops, MacOS High Sierra, will be available to download on Monday, September 25.

MacOS High Sierra will include “Autoplay Blocking,” which stops media from autoplaying across the internet; an improved Photos app; an overhauled core file system, support for high-end virtual reality; and more.

There’s a new system to unlock your iPhone X called FaceID.

There's a new system to unlock your iPhone X called FaceID.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Face ID is the new way to unlock your phone on the iPhone X. Face ID replaces Touch ID, which scans your fingerprint to unlock the iPhone. Since the new iPhone X doesn’t have a physical home button or a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, Face ID will be the only way to securely lock and unlock the iPhone X.

Apple says Face ID will be able to handle and recognize any changes to your face, like beards, different haircuts, and putting on or taking off glasses and hats. And the technology will recognize your face in the day and night time.

Animoji are animated emojis you can control with your face.

Animoji are animated emojis you can control with your face.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Animoji use Apple’s new facial recognition software to turn you into animated emojis that can make facial expressions and talk. There are a dozen different Animojis, including the monkey, panda, alien, and fox.

Changes are coming to Apple’s retail stores.

Changes are coming to Apple's retail stores.

Chris Hondros/Getty

Apple’s most famous store design feature will return late next year: The “cube” on 5th Avenue in New York City. Apple will open up its surrounding plaza and let light into the underground store. Apple is also opening a new flagship store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

Apple’s retail boss Angela Ahrendts also announced another feature coming to Apple stores called “Today at Apple,” which gives customers tips for their devices, such as how to take great photos with photo walks around the town. There are also classes where people can learn to code and teachers can learn about the latest education apps.

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Apple and Stanford team up to study how Apple Watch might detect stroke condition

Chances are, you’re probably not wearing a dedicated heart monitor capable of measuring abnormal heart rhythms. If you have an Apple Watch, you just might be.

Apple Inc. is partnering with researchers at Stanford Hospital and Boston-based telemedicine vendor American Well to launch a new study into whether the Apple Watch can accurately detect irregular heartbeats, which can be a precursor to strokes, CNBC reports, citing two unnamed sources.

One of Apple’s goals with the Apple Watch was “performing some measurements of your health that people were not measuring, at least continually,” CEO Tim Cook told Fortune in an interview published this week. “Like your heart. Very few people wore heart monitors. We’re extremely interested in this area. And yes it is a business opportunity.”

Earlier this year, San Francisco-based startup Cardiogram gathered 139 million heart rate measurements from 6,158 Apple Watch users and found they were able to detect irregular heartbeats with 97 percent accuracy.

Apple has a vested interest in turning the Apple Watch from a nice-to-have fitness gadget into a must-have health monitoring wearable. On an earnings call in August, Cook said Apple Watch sales had grown 50 percent year-over-year, but declined to provide specific numbers.

The company is also reportedly pursuing the “holy grail” of life sciences— a noninvasive blood-sugar monitor to help those suffering from diabetes. Apple reportedly has hired at least 30 biomedical engineers to work on the glucose monitoring task.

In June, Apple hired Sumbul Desai, the executive director of Stanford Medicine’s center for digital health, to help lead the company’s Health division. Part of Desai’s work at Stanford centered around the Apple Watch and how its sensors could be used to detect specific health conditions.

Apple and health insurer Aetna have also reportedly held secret meetings in an effort to bring the Apple Watch to Aetna’s more than 23 million customers, an initiative that could launch next year. Such a partnership would be another way for Apple to make its Watch a “must own” for consumers.

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Now is the best time to sell your iPhone

The iPhone 7. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Have you been thinking about selling off your iPhone for one reason or another? Maybe you plan on upgrading to that swanky iPhone 8 we’ve been hearing about, or maybe you just want to make some money off your old handset.

Whatever your situation might be, if you’re thinking about selling your iPhone, you might want to pull the trigger sooner rather than later.

Every time Apple announces new iPhones, the sellback prices of older iPhone models drop considerably — sometimes by $100 or more — across most sites, from Gazelle to eBay and the like.

If you need a good place to sell back your iPhone, you’ll find plenty of options. You’ll probably get the most money from eBay, but several other sites like Gazelle, Glyde, Swappa, buymyi, and even Amazon make it incredibly easy, as most of them will offer to send you a box and a label to ship off your iPhone for free, and either pay you via PayPal, Amazon.com gift card, or a check in the mail just a few days later.

Keep in mind: The new iPhones will likely be announced in the next few weeks, and released shortly thereafter. So if this iPhone you plan on selling is the main phone you use, make sure you’re going to be okay if you’re phone-less for awhile, or just have a backup phone ready.

 

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