14 Apple life hacks

Power to the people!

Since launching sugru back in 2009, hundreds of Apple fans have been in touch to share their tips on how to perfect their gadgets. It seems surprising when iPhones, iMacs and iPads are all top of the range consumer tech that have changed the way we live. But like any mass-produced product, they come with drawbacks - cracked screens, frayed chargers, finicky plugs, and little room for DIY repairs.

Happily, sugru can save you a trip to the Genius bar by giving you the power to redesign and fix your Apple kit, as these examples from the sugru community show...

Perfect your tech

1. Make bouncy bumpers for your iPhone!

This is a classic use of sugru - and we've seen many iterations on the basic idea! Stop the glass screen of your iPhone getting scratched, chipped and cracked with these super simple sugru bumpers

You can even mix up sugru colours to find just the colour you want.


2. Replace your Macbook Pro's missing rubber feet *

Those little black dots tend to drop off after a while; prevent expensive Macbook motor burnout by building sugru versions that allow air to circulate.


3. Put your iMac's fiddly USB ports within reach

iMac USB ports are tucked away out of sight...and reach. Here's how sugru user Aron solved the problem.

My iMac's in a setup where it's nearly impossible to look behind it to access the ports when I need to plug something in and due to it's slightly unusual placement it's not very easy to rotate either. So I tried something out with my first pack of Sugru to add 'braille' coded bumps over the ports so I can tell which is which purely by touch.

Or you could skip the 'pin the cable to the port' step entirely, by putting two small magnets and a USB extension lead to good use!


4. Fix Macbook cracks

The old Macbook design has held up well - there are still plenty in circulation despite the line being discontinued in July 2011. Naturally, wear and tear has an impact on the white polycarbonate casing, but there is a solution. Matt in Manchester sums it up: Old cracked Mac. sugru. Win! I like the fact the orange sugru highlights the design fault. Most satisfying.


5. Hang your iPad anywhere you like

This mount can hold your ipad in place on your kitchen wall or cupboard whilst you browse through recipes or watch movies whilst cooking. We've seen this project done over a bathtub too - nice!

Or, if you have an unloved lampstand, use it to make an awesome DIY iPad stand for your bed


6. Fix iPhone 3G volume buttons

This problem crops up a fair bit with this model - solve it like Brock, who used two screws and a little sugru to recreate the buttons himself.

Sort out your Apple accessories

7. Repair, protect and evolve those cables *

Broken cables happen, but you can keep your Apple juice flowing and avoid chucking fraying wires into landfill by fixing them up with sugru. It makes cable repairs a breeze because it's strong, flexible and electrically insulating :)

And why stop there? Prevention is better than cure, and you can make the lack of a standard-issue strain relief into an opportunity for awesomeness!


8. Improve the design of the Apple keyboard

Whenever I needed to change the batteries on my Apple keyboard it was a right fiddle - you need either strong nails or a coin to hand! I tend to have neither. So I stuck a little white sugru on the battery chamber's screw cover to create an easy-turn knob - problem solved :)


9. Make plugs easier to remove

Apple plugs can be tricky to pull out, as this viral clip demonstrates [facebook link]! The solution is pretty stylish: just sugru a door/drawer knob to the back and you've got an instant handle (excuse the pun) on this design niggle. It's also a popular use for people with limited hand mobility.

Or you can make a simple handle out of sugru like this - click the Vine to watch:


10. Adapt older chargers that no longer fit current models

All credit to sugruer Maarten for thinking up this one. He came up with the super clever idea of attaching his magsafe2 adapter to a magsafe1 cable.

Now the cable will work with both older and newer laptops. We loved it so much we made our own - click the Vine to see how :)


11. Make an in-car phone mount hold an encased iPhone

A smart idea demonstrated here by Quentin in Cambridge!


12. Improve the fit of Apple earbuds

Ears come in unique shapes and earbuds can be pretty uncomfortable when there's no give in the design. Prevent them from falling out or digging in by customising them with a little sugru, like Alan from Lifehacker who reshaped his new apple earpods.

You can do this to refresh that old pair you have in a drawer somewhere too...


13. Make a plug hub for your Macbook

Laptops are meant to be portable, but detaching all your cables each time you leave your desk means more fiddling about when you return to plug them in. Here's a super smart solution to this from Johan, who created a sugru USB hub for all his desk cables. Problem solved!


14. Get creative with sugru + LEGO

When you combine a little Lego and sugru you'll see the world with new eyes - everything becomes a building block!

Like making this USB desk tidy for your cables. It's a super easy project - perfect for any sugru you have leftover from other Apple hacks :)

What are your creative Apple workarounds? Email your tips + pics over to [email protected] and you could win a prize...

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* Take Care: we recommend sugru as an alternative to insulating tape to make safer, more permanent repairs to low voltage items such as phone and laptop cables (maximum 24v). We don't recommend it for DIY electrical work on items with higher voltage.