Costume Institute Previews Apple-Sponsored ‘Manus x Machina’ Met Gala Exhibition

Following the launch of its first wearable device, the Apple Watch, Apple has been making a name for itself in the fashion world. As part of its efforts, Apple is sponsoring the 2016 Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala and Costume Institute Exhibition, where Jony Ive will be serving as a co-chair alongside pop star Taylor Swift and actor Idris Elba.

The Met Gala, held each year, is a fund raising event that benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. The theme chosen for the gala each year reflects the theme of the Costume Institute exhibition and dictates what Met Gala attendees should wear. Last year’s theme was „China: Through the Looking Glass.“

The theme for the 2016 event, which will take place on May 2, is „Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.“ The show will focus on the dichotomy between handmade haute couture and machine-made fashion, featuring pieces that juxtapose traditional hand techniques like embroidery, pleating, and lacework with technologies like laser cutting and thermo shaping.

This 1994 „Flying Saucer“ dress by Issey Miyake will be featured in the 2016 Met Gala. Image via The Verge.

The Costume Institute hosted a preview of the exhibition this morning, with details shared by The Verge. According to Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton, the theme of the gala was inspired by the 1927 sci-fi drama Metropolis by Fritz Lang, a movie that focuses on the struggle between man and machine. Apple design chief Jony Ive gave a statement on the event, saying Apple believes technology and craft „go hand in hand.“

„More than ever, we believe that it is fundamentally important to personally work with materials as a means to truly understand their physical nature and to design authentic objects. Far from being mutually exclusive notions, we believe that technology and craft go hand in hand – much like beauty and utility – and become all the more powerful in combination.“

Designers like Iris van Herpen, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Chanel will have pieces on display at the event that show off the melding of technology and fashion. One dress by Iris van Herpen, for example, will include laser-cut silicon feathers and silicone coated gull skulls, while a second van Herpen display piece features a white polyamide 3D printed dress with acrylic fringe and white goat leather.

The 2016 Met Gala is set to take place on May 2, 2016. In addition to being sponsored by Apple and co-chaired by Jony Ive, it will feature honorary chairs Anna Wintour, Nicolas Ghesquiére, Karl Lagerfeld, and Miuccia Prada.
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Costume Institute Previews Apple-Sponsored ‘Manus x Machina’ Met Gala Exhibition

Zagg Aims to Expand Into Battery Cases With Mophie Acquisition

Accessory maker Zagg, known for its InvisibleShield screen protectors and other Apple-related accessories, today announced an acquisition of mophie, a company that makes external battery packs and battery cases for Apple’s iOS devices.

According to a press release from Zagg, its acquisition of mophie will allow it to be the market share leader when it comes to battery cases, external batteries, screen protection, and tablet keyboards. Zagg has paid $100 million at deal closing for mophie, with a caveat that additional money may be paid out based on earnings over a 12 month period from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

„This strategic combination of two industry innovators with complementary product, brand and distribution platforms will enable us to deliver increased value for our customers and shareholders,“ said Randy Hales, President and Chief Executive Officer of ZAGG. „We see numerous opportunities to drive revenue growth and increase profitability by leveraging the strengths of both organizations to strengthen product development, improve brand presence, and expand distribution.“

Going forward, Zagg will keep the mophie brand intact, continuing to sell mophie products under the mophie brand name. Zagg says mophie will retain its identity, messaging, and strategy, but cross-branded protects, like a Zagg tablet keyboard powered by a mophie battery, are possible in the future.

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Zagg Aims to Expand Into Battery Cases With Mophie Acquisition

Apple to Open Yet Another Two Chinese Stores in Guangzhou and Nanjing

Apple has announced that its 31st and 32nd retail stores in China will open in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu, and Guangzhou on Saturday, January 16 and Thursday, January 28 respectively. Both stores will open at 10:00 a.m. local time.

The first store will be located in the IST shopping mall at 100 Zhongshan Road in Nanjing’s Xuanwu District, while the Guangzhou store will open at the Parc Central retail development at 218 Tianhe Road in the city’s Tianhe District.

Parc Central retail development render in Guangzhou, China (Image: Benoy)

The new stores will be open Monday to Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time, and each will offer a Genius Bar and other traditional Apple Store services. Apple is quickly approaching its goal of opening 40 new retail stores in China. The locations will mark Apple’s 27th and 28th retail stores in mainland China, while the company also operates four retail stores in Hong Kong.

Apple has aggressively expanded its footprint in China under the leadership of retail chief Angela Ahrendts, with new stores in Xiamen on January 14, Shenyang on January 9, Nanning on December 12, Beijing on November 28 and Chengdu on November 21. Apple opened its first retail store in Nanjing, alongside new stores in Chongqing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and Tianjin, throughout 2015.

Tags: China, Nanjing, Apple retail, Guangzhou
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CES 2016: Olloclip Debuts ‘Studio’ Mobile Photo System for Latest iPhones

Olloclip’s line of Studio accessories designed to improve mobile photography on Apple’s iPhones debuted in mid-2015 on Kickstarter, where the project was successfully funded. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Olloclip is ready to show off its completed Studio mobile photography system and has announced a January launch date for the product.

Created to work alongside Olloclip’s line of iPhone lenses, the Studio combines an iPhone 6/6s or 6/6s Plus case with an integrated rail-mounting solution and a selection of mountable accessories.

„When designing the Studio system, we realized the user experience and application needed to be as simple and efficient as our lenses. The end result is the most intuitive and effortless way to grip an iPhone while filming and shooting photos, enabling users to be more immersed in the capture process than ever before,“ said Patrick O’Neill, founder and chief design officer of olloclip. „The new set of accessories and mounts are not only great for taking photos and shooting video, but also for new broadcasting applications like Twitter’s Periscope and social media favorites like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.“

The main component of the Studio system is the Studio Case, which can be used with the Studio accessories or as a standalone case. It’s Olloclip’s most protective case, designed to protect the iPhone from accidental drops. On the back of the case, there’s an integrated rail mount for attaching accessory pieces, cold-shoe adapters, a finger grip, mounts, and a kickstand.

Finger Grip – Olloclip’s Studio finger grip is deal for improving stability when taking photos or capturing video. It fits over two fingers and lets the user quickly switch between portrait and orientation landscape.

1/4-20 Mounts – The Studio system comes with two standard 1/4-20 mounts, ideal for attaching the iPhone (in the Studio Case) to a tripod, a grip, or a handle. There’s one mount for portrait mode and one mount for landscape mode.

Cold-Shoe Adapters – The two included cold-shoe adapters can be used to attach lightweight accessories like a microphone or a light to the iPhone.

Kickstand – The Kickstand is useful for watching a movie, editing a video, or reading a website.

Olloclip’s Studio for the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, and 6s Plus will be available from the Olloclip website in January of 2016. It will retail for $89.99.

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CES 2016: Olloclip Debuts ‘Studio’ Mobile Photo System for Latest iPhones

Apple’s New Hardware Chief Johny Srouji Awarded Nearly $10 Million in Stock

Apple’s newly promoted Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji was awarded 90,270 restricted stock units on October 5, 2015, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The RSUs awarded vest 12.5% in semi-annual installments over a four year period ending October 2019.

Srouji now has a total of 217,305 RSUs and 101,881 common stock units, which together amount to just over $34 million at AAPL’s current trading price of around $107 per share. The latest batch of 90,270 RSUs are currently valued at approximately $9.6 million.

Apple often rewards high-level executives with RSUs based on their performance. In August, for example, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue received 560,000 and 350,000 RSUs respectively worth over $97 million combined. Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts also received 113,334 RSUs as a signing bonus upon joining Apple in May 2014.

Srouji was promoted to Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies on December 17, as part of a larger executive team makeover that saw Jeff Williams promoted to COO and marketing chief Phil Schiller take over App Store leadership across all Apple platforms. Tor Myhren, chief creative officer at ad agency Grey, will also join Apple in early 2016 as Vice President of Marketing Communications.

Srouji joined Apple in 2008 to lead development of the A4 chip for iPhone 4, and he now oversees silicon and hardware technologies, including batteries, application processors, storage controllers, sensors silicon, display silicon and other chipsets across Apple’s entire product line. Prior to Apple, he held senior positions at Intel and IBM in the areas of processor development and design.

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Apple’s New Hardware Chief Johny Srouji Awarded Nearly $10 Million in Stock

iOS and Mac attacks will rise in 2016, but Apple still No. 1 for security

Security firms Symantec and FireEye say that 2016 is set to usher in an increase in the number of attacks on Apple systems — following a rise in the quantity of threats to Mac computers, and the more-than-doubling of iOS malware in 2015. Dick O’Brien, a researcher at Symantec, says the increasing number of attacks is part […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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iOS and Mac attacks will rise in 2016, but Apple still No. 1 for security

MacRumors Gift Guide by Juli: Philips Hue, UE Roll Speaker, Canvas Smart Desk, and More

We’re going to be sharing a selection of gift guides on MacRumors over the next two weeks, featuring items hand-picked by our team of editors and writers along with a master gift list curated from the suggestions of our forum members.

Our first gift guide was written by me, Juli Clover, and features a list of items that I own and love, would love to receive, or would love to gift to someone. There is no theme here, but as I’ll explain along with each suggestion, all of these items are things that I own personally or have done a lot of research on.

Philips Hue HomeKit-Enabled Starter Kit ($194)

I’ve been using the Philips Hue line of lights since they first came out in 2012 and I have nothing but good things to say about these bulbs, which can be set to a whole range of different colors or various shades of white. The most recent Hue Starter Kit includes HomeKit integration and features brighter 800 lumen bulbs. HomeKit integration isn’t a must, but it is simpler than opening the app and you can ask Siri to do things like turn all your lights cerulean or hot pink.

If you know someone who already has a Hue setup, an extra light is a fun gift to give. I’d recommend the $90 Hue Go portable light or the $90 LightStrip Plus, good for ambient lighting anywhere. A $60 Hue Tap for activating four different scenes from a single switch is also a useful accessory.

Pressed Flower iPhone Case ($40)

With the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, I opted to get a rose gold iPhone. It’s a gorgeous color that I want to show off, so I’ve been looking into case options that let the color peek through. Searching through cases on the Internet, I found these lovely dried flower and leaf cases, a nice alternative to a traditional case. I’ve also see similar cases on Etsy that are priced more affordably, around $18.

Alternatively, Casetify is also a good site to visit for case designs that go well with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. There are dozens of community-created clear-style cases that showcase the iPhone’s design, priced at $40.

UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker ($99)

Lately I’ve been lusting over a waterproof Bluetooth speaker so I can listen to music and audiobooks in the shower, and I think this compact speaker from Ultimate Ears hits a sweet spot between price, design, and sound quality. It has a strap so it can hang up and it’s flat enough to comfortably fit into a bag so it can come along to the beach or the pool.

For louder sound, there’s also the UE Boom 2 ($199), which we actually reviewed earlier this year. We haven’t tested the UE Roll, but we were fans of the UE Boom.

Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack ($60 to $100)

I bought a Kanken laptop backpack from Fjallraven just before CES last year to a comfortable, not-too-large solution for toting my Retina MacBook Pro around, and it’s turned into one of my favorite bags. Different versions of the Kanken hold up to a 17-inch laptop, and my version for the 15-inch RMBP is impressively compact for all that it can hold.

It has a separate zip compartment for my laptop (excellent for airport security), along with a front pocket, two side water bottle pockets, and an inner pocket that holds my iPad Pro. The internal space is big enough to hold all the accessories I use, including hard drives, over-ear headphones, a purse, and more, and the straps are padded so it’s comfortable even when weighted down. Mine’s purple, but it comes in a bunch of colors, all made from water resistant fabric. I liked it so much that I bought another mini Kanken (~$60) for hiking and day trips. The mini is big enough for an iPhone or an iPad mini, but nothing larger.

Knomo Elektronista iPad Purse ($295)

The Knomo Elektronista is one of my favorite products I reviewed this year. It functions as either a purse or an electronics organizer with a ton of pockets and an included battery pack. It has dedicated inner pockets for an iPad, an iPhone, credit cards, cables, and other odds and ends, plus two outer pockets and a removable strap.

It unzips at the sides so everything inside can be accessed quickly, and my favorite part – it’s slim enough that it can fit inside a larger backpack or purse when you need more carrying space. I’d also like to point out the accessories from Intrepid Bag Co. to anyone looking for a laptop/ipad bag. We’ve partnered up with Intrepid on some giveaways and response has been super positive – they make some gorgeous (but expensive) bags. I can also recommend bags from Chrome Industries – they’re rugged, have tons of pockets, and are good for people who commute but need to carry a laptop or iPad.

Cable organizing solutions

I’ve been working on keeping my office more organized, and one step towards that has been implementing some useful cable management solutions. I bought the $27 CableBox from BlueLounge after it was suggested to me by a co-worker to hide my power strip and all attached cords, and I loved it so much I bought one for my mom right afterwards.

Cable storage may be an unconventional gift, but if you know someone who has an uncontrollably messy desk (like our editor-in-chief Eric Slivka), it’ll definitely be appreciated. Paired with the CableBox, I like the CableDrops ($10), which keep cords on desks, and Cable Turtles ($25) for winding up excess cord. If you want to get fancy, there’s the Griffin Guide Magnetic Cable Management set I reviewed last month, but it’s on the pricy side at $40.

For travel, something like the Cordito ($38) or the Cord Taco ($32 for 5) is ideal because they keep all those pesky iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch cables from getting tangled. For organizing both cords and small accessories, I use a Grid-It from Cocoon ($15) in my backpack, and it’s also been a popular gift I’ve given in the past.

Anova Precision Cooker ($199)

I haven’t used an Anova Precision Cooker for sous vide before, but when we posted about Apple selling it recently, our forum members were quick to chime in about how awesome it is. A couple of my co-workers are also big fans, so this seems like an ideal gift for a cooking enthusiast. The newest version includes Wi-Fi so you can keep an eye on your food from the iPhone, but there are older, less expensive versions that are Bluetooth only.

iSkelter Canvas Smart Desk for iPad Pro ($68)

iSkelter makes traditional desks and lap desks for Apple accessories by hand, and the Canvas Smart Desk is its newest product, designed for the iPad Pro. I have one of these on hand to test ahead of an upcoming giveaway, and it’s one of my favorite iPad Pro accessories so far because it’s perfect for working away from my desk.

There’s a cutout for the iPad Pro itself, where the iPad Pro lays flat for drawing or playing games, but it also fits the Smart Keyboard when propped up, giving me a stable surface for typing. There’s a cutout for the Apple Pencil at the side, and another cutout for an iPhone or another iPad. A larger Canvas Pro edition is also available for $68 and includes extra space for holding something like a coffee cup. These are on Kickstarter, but will ship before Christmas.

Apple Pencil ($99)

If you can get your hands on one, an Apple Pencil also makes for an awesome gift for a new iPad Pro owner. Apple Pencils are out of stock, so the only way to get one ahead of Christmas is to check your local Apple Store repeatedly. Apple Pencils aren’t just good for artists – they’re fun for everyone. Paired with some simple doodle drawing books (some of my favorites are by Sachiko Umoto), an Apple Pencil is a good way to unwind and pick up a new hobby.

We’re going to be sharing additional gift guides over the next two weeks, so make sure to keep an eye out for them. If you have a favorite product, feel free to add it to our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide Master List, which is going to be turned into a gift guide culled from our forum members’ most loved items.

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MacRumors Gift Guide by Juli: Philips Hue, UE Roll Speaker, Canvas Smart Desk, and More

Samsung on the up again as iPhone’s share falls in key markets

Samsung saw its market share grow last quarter for the first time in 2015, as Android continues to dominate the market worldwide. Google’s platform also saw growth throughout Europe’s “big five” markets, while Apple’s fell for the first time in over a year. Android’s market share has been declining in Europe’s top five markets — that’s Great […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Samsung on the up again as iPhone’s share falls in key markets

Apple’s iPhone battery case isn’t the first time it’s ‘bumped’ a thin design

To the derision of the entire internet, Apple’s new Smart Battery Case for the iPhone has an inelegant hump on the back. Turns out, this isn’t the first time Apple design chief Jony Ive and his team have “humped” a thin design. The Twentieth Anniversary Mac, released in January 1997, was one of the first major projects given to […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple’s iPhone battery case isn’t the first time it’s ‘bumped’ a thin design