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The official iPhone Guide for ශ්‍රී Lankans!

The iPhone 7 is here and finally your stars have blessed you with a shiny new Apple iPhone! Or maybe you managed to sell off your little brother to the karawala wadiya in Jaffna. Now before you show off your shiny iPhone to the world here are some tips from us to keep it shiny and protected for a long time! Don’t worry it won’t blow up!

(By the way, Grade A = A replica of the original)
So here are some tips, tailored for the Sri Lankans from Apple Refresh,

Step 1 – Get an iPhone

This is the first step, if you have one already, you are leveled up for Step 2 (congratulations!).
The “official” way

Where to buy an iPhone?
Where to buy an iPhone? iPhone 7 is available now on Takas. Yes including the Jet Black!!!

What is the difference between them and the “International AppleCare Warranty”?

In short Sri Lanka does not belong to “international”. Long story is that since there are no official Apple Stores in the country, we have to get the phone repaired from authorized sellers or phone shop at the “handiya”. These sellers do not accept the “Apple Care Warranty” so you will have to sell your remaining kidney for the repairs or go back to the place where you got the phone. However the authorized sellers, when purchased through them will repair/replace your iPhone for free during the warranty period(since the phones are brought to Sri Lanka by them from Singapore, in most cases shipped back to Singapore for repairs!). The cost from an authorized reseller* would be bit extra, however in the long run, it’s worth it! (FYI, iPhone repairs are expensive! Specially for the latest models. Roughly Rs. 30,000 to replace the iPhone 7 Display).

*However if purchase from Store A, you’ll need to go to Store A to get it repaired.
The “handiye” way
This is the way to get the iPhone but from unofficial means, however even this isn’t advised, this is just to cover all the bases. We advise you to thoroughly inspect the phone before buying! However, there are 3 types of phones in the market to get through this way,
Type 1* – Brand new sealed pack – This is an original iPhone which is brand new, however it is just hand carried from another country so there is no warranty but it has  the “AppleCare” warranty. However check if there is a network lock, the network locks from carriers like Softbank is quite expensive to crack.
Type 2* – Slightly used – This is a phone used for a while but maybe selling again to get back the money .
*Be careful when buying this type because Apple has a security system in place called Find my iPhone, which basically locks your phone and can only be unlocked by logging into the initially locked Apple ID. These phones will turn out to be  paper weight if you can’t login so beware! You can check online by visiting the Apple website.
Type 3 – Brand new Grade ‘A’ – Grade A is basically a replica, this is why its cheap! And it’s running Android. Dude just avoid this!

Step 2 – Taking Care of it

Switching from Android?

No worries Apple has you covered, there is simply an app for that Move to iOS.

That data cable doesn’t last long! So get an extra data cable

The first place that comes to mind for “cable” is Pettah! If you stroll around Pettah, you can get cables from Rs. 100 to Rs. 2000, however avoid Pettah at all costs! Faulty data cables can permanently damage your shiny new phone! By damaging, I mean the battery swelling, due to uneven charging voltages from the cable and even permanent damages to the motherboard. But don’t worry, the iPhone will reject the cable after an hour or so, better off using that Rs. 100 bucks to eat some achachru.

The dreaded screen. Source: imobie.com

You can get a trustable cable from places like Takas for cheap or the branded cables such as Remax. Also get a decent powerbank, keep away from counterfeits and Grade A.

Jack where did thou go? Oh the headphone jack.

The iPhone 7 doesn’t come with an headphone jack, but it comes with the adapter so you can use the old 3.5mm headphones(phew). Oh you see the fancy EarPods inside the box? They aren’t that useful for Sri Lanka, if you are an average Sri Lankan who uses public transport. The EarPods don’t stand a chance against the noises from the bus engines and the bus songs  so get an extra set.

A  personal favorite is the Xiaomi Piston III from Geekbuying. It is dirt cheap (roughly $6) and Xiaomi is known for a good brand for best prices. You might have to use your life savings  get a decent lightning earphones so better settle for a top quality 3.5mm earphones and use the adapter. Also wireless headphones are a good option as well, but remember there are a lot of “Grade A” and counterfeits.

Get a case!

Avoid Silicone Cases – Let me first explain the story, silicone cases, even though they protect the phone, have a tendency to let small particles of dust into the case. These small particles end up scratching the metal back on the shiny iPhone.

so avoid silicone cases at all costs. Specially for the Jet Black version of the iPhone 7.

What is that grey button on the screen?

Assistive Touch. Source: 9to5Mac

That is called “Assistive Touch”, used by Sri Lankans to avoid pressing the home button because it tends to break, however iPhone 6s and 7 users don’t need this. 6s users can use 3D touch (hard press on the left corner) and 7 users, the home button isn’t mechanical so no worries about breaking it.

This is SRI LANKA!

There are some ugly facts to face, apart from Sri Lanka not belonging to “International”, there are several features not yet supported in the country. These include Apple Pay (no alternative yet!), Apple Maps (use Google Maps), and Siri (it works but not fully functional).

The selfie master!

Google Photos is for you! This is a tip for the people who are using a phone with 16GB, it is not enough to live through the daily life, but still this is a way to survive. iCloud Photo Library is cool, but it has a 5GB storage limit (for free), so enter in Google Photos. Google plays the game bit differently, they provide unlimited storage for photos and videos backup, however the uploaded content gets processed through a system from Google, they are of high quality but not the same as the raw file from the phone. However, considering cloud solutions, this is a solid option as Google supports Live Photos as well.

Local Apps

There are some local apps that are a must have on the phone, these include PickMe and Uber for getting around, Helakuru as a Sinhala keyboard, Hire1 for emergency courier and followed by a plethora of apps from Banks to Radio Stations. The App Store search is your friend, use wisely.

iPhone 7 and water resistant


Yes the new iPhone 7 is water resistant (not waterproof!) but there is a catch, after it gets thrown in water, it needs to stay away from electricity for 5 hours. Yeah that means no charging!!
That’s about it folks. Enjoy your new shiny iPhone, hopefully you didn’t drop it while reading this article. Got questions? Ask below, let’s socialize!

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The official iPhone Guide for ශ්‍රී Lankans!

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