Finding help on your own–Support Communities

Have you run into a problem with your computer, tablet or smartphone?

Chances are, somebody else has had the exact same problem and it has been discussed, and solved, in a support community forum accessible on the Internet.

Remember my problem with my iPad battery draining after installing iOS7? I found the solution, in that case, in a conversation in the Apple Support Communities.

How I Use Support Communities (Apple example)

ScreenShot Apple Support Communities Front Page

Apple Support Communities Front Page

Once I have opened the Apple Support Communities Front Page, I usually Sign-in (see 1 in Figure: Apple Support Communities Front Page). Use your AppleID to sign in. Note: this step is optional if you just want to look around, but you need to sign in to receive notifications and updates regarding conversations in the community).

Next, I Search the communities for a conversation relevant to my current issue (see 2 in Figure: Apple Support Communities Front Page). To date, I have always found an existing conversation that solves my issue.

If you don’t find a solution, then you can pose your own question (see 3 in Figure: Apple Support Communities Front Page) and wait for the community to respond (you will receive email notifications when your question receives a response if you have signed in).

Support Communities for key technologies

Upgrading to iOS7—Is it a good idea for older (supported) devices?

Yup, just do it. Here’s my story…

I am an advocate of keeping all operating system and app software up-to-date, but I was leery about upgrading my iPhone 4 and iPad 2 to iOS7. You see, I remember what happened to my iPhone 3 when I upgraded it to iOSv (v=I forget the version). In that case, my phone essentially froze and I went in search of a downgrade as quickly as I could.

When iOS7 came out this fall, I waited. I researched. I stalked the Apple Support Communities (more about that in a later post). I was cautious. Around me, friends’ iPhones were running iOS7. I started feeling like a dinosaur (not a good feeling when I spend a good deal of my time helping those same friends with their technology).

I finally bit the bullet after an update to iOS7 was released that addressed early problems.

I upgraded the iPad 2 first. The upgrade went smoothly—I started the upgrade and wandered off to do other stuff, so I am not sure how long it took to complete; probably in the range of 15-30 minutes. A bit of time going through the iOS7 setup screens and I was in business. Same experience on the iPhone.

Did I run into problems? Yes, but only one.

The iPad battery drained incredibly quickly after the upgrade. I found a post in the Apple Support Community that told me I would improve battery life by doing the following:

    1. Turn on Airplane Mode
    2. Turn off the iPad (fully off, not just the screen)
    3. Restart the iPad
    4. Turn off Airplane Mode

Did it work? Yes, it did. Do I have any idea why or how this worked? Sorry, I don’t.

Bottom line: I am running iOS7 on the oldest devices that Apple says will run iOS7. I have not experienced any performance degradation (over several weeks now). I am enjoying the iOS7 experience and new features (more about the features I like best in an upcoming post). Don’t hesitate. Upgrade your supported device. You will be glad you did.