It’s the end of the week, but that doesn’t mean an end to learning more about your favorite Apple devices. Each week, the Friday Five takes a quick look at a Mac OS X or iOS app or tech topic to point out five things you may have overlooked before.
Yesterday morning’s outages for various Apple services reminded several of us here at The Rocket Yard that Apple has a number of webpages that are very useful for finding out everything from “Is it just me, or is everybody having problems with iTunes?” to “I wonder how much of my warranty is left on this iMac?” Today’s Friday Five looks at the top five Apple webpages you should be sure to bookmark.
Apple System Status
First, and usually the most timely when you’re trying to use an Apple service and it appears to be down, is the Apple System Status page. We tend to blame a fat-fingered password, bad cellular service or wonky Wi-Fi for not being able to get access to an app store or download music, but on occasion it can be Apple’s fault. This web page is constantly updated, showing green diamonds next to services that are working perfectly for everyone, yellow boxes for services that are down for certain users, and red boxes if services are down for everyone.
At the bottom of the System Status page is a timeline that graphically shows when an outage began and when it was resolved (see image below). The page doesn’t self-update, so you’ll need to refresh your browser every so often if you wish to see when a service comes back up.
Service and Support Coverage
Next is the answer to that question that you might ask yourself if you have an Apple device that’s a couple of years old or if you’re buying a used Apple product — is this thing covered under warranty? The Service and Support Coverage page offers a quick answer.
Enter the serial number of the device you want to check, then enter the alphanumeric code that proves that you’re really not a robot. Click the Continue button, and provided you’ve entered the code properly you’ll see a page that looks similar to this:
Whoops, it appears that I didn’t purchase AppleCare+ for my iPhone! To find the serial number of an iOS device, launch the Settings app and go to General > About. The serial number is listed well down on the list of statistics and version numbers. On a Mac, select About This Mac from the Apple menu and the serial number is shown on the Overview pane.
Apple ID Support
Now, this rarely happens to me since I own a healthy number of Apple devices that are all logged into the same Apple ID, but occasionally you may forget your Apple ID password or want to change it. That’s all done at one easy to remember place — https://appleid.apple.com. Chances are pretty good that you know what your Apple ID email address is, so if you enter that and your password into the proper fields on the page and then click or tap the arrow key, you’ll be taken to a page (see image above) that offers a wealth of information about your account, security (including two-step verification), devices that you’re logged into, the credit card you have linked to the Apple ID for purchases of apps and music, and even the newsletters you want to receive (0r not) from Apple.
What if you don’t know your password or even your Apple ID? That’s where another page comes into play — iForgot (https://iforgot.apple.com, see image above). It’s most useful when you at least have an idea of what the Apple ID is, since you can enter that information and start going down the path to resetting the password. There is a process in place for trying to determine an Apple ID if that’s unknown or forgotten.
The last webpage we’ll look at today is useful when you’ve ordered something from Apple and you’d like to know what the status of it is. The “Your Account” page can not only tell you where your Apple Pencil is or when it may arrive, but it’s also useful for a number of other things like printing an invoice, returning an item that didn’t meet your expectations, or pre-signing for a delivery.
Since my job as a tech blogger means that I order a lot of equipment and need to expense it through my business, I need dates, prices, and descriptions for that equipment every year for tax purposes. There’s a handy order history feature that can show everything you’ve purchased through Apple’s online store as far back as 18 months ago, even items that you ordered online and eventually picked up at an Apple Store.
Have a favorite Apple webpage not listed here that you’d like to share with other readers of The Rocket Yard? Tell us about it in the comments below.