From shattered screens to drowned devices, Gravity has your Apple tech covered

The Apple-authorized service provider fixes a wide scope of issues on Apple devices.

Many of us have experienced an unfortunate situation when life’s abrasiveness clashed with our device and ended in a shattered screen, lost data or the death of a gadget completely. Columbia does not have an Apple Store, but it does have Gravity, an Apple-authorized service provider in full that repairs exclusively Apple devices from phones, computers and tablets to Beats and watches.

The most common technological tragedy is a shattered screen. This common predicament cannot be fixed on-site; Kyle Huebotter, a technician at Gravity, said phones and other iOS devices must be shipped out for repair because they require special tools, such as a screen calibrator, that is not used in-store.

Another quandary many tech owners run into at some point is water damage. Instead of sticking your device in a bowl of white rice and hoping for the best, immediately turn it off and head over to a store that can fix it.

“The longer [the phone] is on with liquid damage, more problems will be caused,” Kyle said.

This is because liquid damage corrodes the logic board, or the main circuit of the device, and subsequently causes more circuit shorts. At the store, a technician can open up your phone and assess the extent of the liquid damage, but it will likely need to be sent out for repair. This is because Apple Store will likely want to replace the phone, rather than attempt to repair it. A computer that has succumbed to liquid damage can be fixed on-site, however.

If you can’t get to a store quickly after your device becomes water-damaged, put your phone in an enclosed space with silica gel packets. According to Kyle, “rice works sometimes,” but silica gel packets are better for keeping moisture out. According to Pinterest, removing any cases, drying off the phone and removing SIM cards and the battery may save your device. If you’re comfortable trying less conventional methods, use a vacuum to remove liquid or spray the inside of the phone with 99 percent isopropyl alcohol to disperse liquid.

Perhaps the worst experience you can face as a technology owner is losing your data. All of your photos, contacts and notes are suddenly lost and can’t be retrieved. But this problem can be prevented by simply backing up your data. Kyle “highly suggests iCloud” because nothing will be lost, but an old-school flash drive will also do the trick.

“A screen can be fixed,” he said, “but photos and memories can’t be replaced.”

As far as general device care goes, Kyle recommends always keeping a case and using a screen protector if your device is super susceptible to scratches — like the new iPhone 7.

Another helpful tip that many times is unknown or overlooked is that “Apple is not allowed to touch the device” after it is illegally repaired through a third party. Many times customers turn to third parties for a cheaper repair, but this practice violates the user agreement and prevents Apple or any Apple authorized service providers from helping you with your damaged device.

Gravity is located at 810 E. Walnut St., and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The store is closed on Sundays.

Edited by Katie Rosso | krosso@themaneater.com

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