Apple Store Insider Guide (Part 2)

11/13/2012 9:41:27 AM

Even while they’re out of the store, One to One members can keep learning. Apple provides an exclusive website ( where members can see their store’s current trainers, change the primary stores they attend and make or edit reservations. Additionally, Apple offers a breakdown of every available session members can take, along with basic task checklists, a place for notes and related tips.

As a One to One member, you can book one Personal Training, one Group Training and one Open Training session simultaneously, but you can’t schedule more than one of each kind at a time. That means you can have both a Personal Training and a Group Training session on the books, but you can’t make two appointments for Personal Training at once.

As soon as your appointments ends, you’re once again allowed to book another session of that same type. Store employees also frown upon ‘double sessions’ – using two One to One memberships to book a trainer’s time from 9am to 10.50am, for instance.


Available to both One to One members and casual customers, Apple’s workshops are for those users who don’t necessarily need personalized training, but who want to know more about a specific subject.

Description: Learning something new by taking free workshops at an Apple Store

Learning something new by taking free workshops at an Apple Store

Workshops are limited to 12 people and topics vary by store, as the staff select them. (If you and your 11 friends want to petition your local store for a monthly workshop on Logic, for example, it’s certainly possible to do so.)

Like One to One training sessions, workshops run for an hour, although they’re not as personalized; usually they revolve around several features within a program or the operating system, with a short question-and-answer session afterwards.

Troubleshooting and rescues

Description: Tales from the Genius Bar

Tales from the Genius Bar

It’s all well and good to be excited about your new Mac or iOS device when you’re taking it home for the first time or about learning something new. But when it breaks, you don’t have to throw up your hands in despair.

Apple first created the Genius Bar as a place for Mac users to ask questions about their computers; if you stumped the Geniuses on duty, they could even reportedly call Cupertino for an answer, using a red emergency phone. As time progressed, the Genius Bar became the home for many things: iOS device resets, stories about water damage, Mac repair central and, yes - still a place to get reliable Mac hardware information.

Making an appointment.

You can’t just walk up to the Genius Bar anymore and you haven’t been able to for a while. As is the case for the other non-sales services Apple provides, you need to make an appointment, which you can book through the Apple Store, through Apple’s website or on the Apple Store iOS app (see ‘Book Early and Often’)

Description: Before you confirm your appointment, you’ll see a place to put additional information

Before you confirm your appointment, you’ll see a place to put additional information

Apple divides the troubleshooting of its products into four categories: Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. (If you’re having trouble with software or an accessory, choose the hardware it runs on.)

Each product has a different queue, so you may see an iPad appointment available at 3.15pm, whereas no Mac appointments will be free until 5pm.

Do not schedule an appointment for the wrong category. Some Geniuses are only certified for iOS devices and can’t help you with a Mac hardware or software problem; if you waste their time, they’re likely to send you away and get you to rebook for another day.

Once you’ve selected your category and appointment time, you’ll be asked to either sign in with your Apple ID or fill in a form. Whenever possible, sign in with your Apple ID; doing so ties your case records to it, so if you’re visiting a different store with a recurring problem, they’ll easily be able to see what’s wrong.

Before you confirm your appointment, you’ll see a place to put additional information. This is shown directly to the Geniuses on deck when you check in and can often help them diagnose your problem in advance. As such, we recommend that you fill this out your device’s basic symptoms.

If you know the problem and just need a part – if, for example, you have a broken CD drive – noting it in this field is a good way to speed things up.

Book early and often

You need to schedule One to One training sessions, Personal Projects, workshops and Genius Bar appointments in advance. You can do so on Apple’s retail website ( after selecting your store or through the Apple Store iOS app. One to One members can also do so on their personal portal (

If you plan to stop by the Apple Store for any of these services, it’s advisable to make your appointments at least a day in advance for workshops and one to two weeks ahead for One to One sessions. There are only so many knowledgeable people who work at the stores and their time fills up quickly.

If you’re looking to make an appointment on short notice, we’ve found that sessions and Genius Bar appointments are usually emptiest midweek, around mid-afternoon – most people are at work and the stores also tend to have the fewest customers then. On the flip side, the worst time to try to schedule an appointment is in the evenings, especially on the weekends – if you need to see someone at those times, be sure to book well in advance.

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