Apple now hiring for its first Singapore retail store

Apple’s first brick-and-mortar retail store in Singapore is one step closer, with Cupertino hiring staff to man its next Apple Store expansion. The company’s website lists 14 job postings for the store, with positions including business manager, business specialist, and Apple Store leader. The retail store itself is expected to open in 2016. At present, the […]

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


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Eddy Cue, Tim Cook and Adobe Discuss iPad Pro Ahead of November 11 Launch

Following today’s announcement that iPad Pro online orders begin November 11, with in-store availability later this week, CNNMoney and The Independent have published interviews with Apple executives Eddy Cue and Tim Cook respectively about the new 12.9-inch tablet.

Cue described the iPad Pro as great for consuming content, such as emails, news and websites, and spoke in general terms about how Apple pushes itself to „create tools that let people solve incredible problems.“ He also praised the tablet’s new four-speaker design that delivers stereo sound.

„One of the things with the iPad Pro that’s amazing is the sound — it’s got four speakers on it,“ said Cue. „And so the first time – even myself as we were developing it – I got my hands on it and I heard it, it changed the way I thought of the product even. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it was going to make that you have stereo sound coming out of a device like this.“

Cook also said the iPad Pro delivers a „first-class audio experience,“ and called the tablet a capable „laptop replacement“ when used with a Smart Keyboard. The chief executive further emphasized that the Apple Pencil is not a stylus, but rather a sketching tool that complements the iPad Pro’s traditional multi-touch input.

“Well, we didn’t really do a stylus, we did a Pencil. The traditional stylus is fat, it has really bad latency so you’re sketching here and it’s filling the line in somewhere behind. You can’t sketch with something like that, you need something that mimics the look and feel of the pencil itself or you’re not going to replace it. We’re not trying to replace finger touch, we’re complementing it with the Pencil.”

Cook believes the iPad Pro’s target market will consist of a lot of PC users, customers without Apple products and existing iPad users looking to upgrade to a „very different“ device. The tablet also has value for creative companies like Touchpress, the makers of several interactive musical apps for Apple devices.

Where the iPad Pro is concerned, Alex Johnston, Chief Marketing Officer, told me: “For a business like Touchpress with the kind of content we like to produce, we value the more beautiful screen, the better audio. We re-imagine familiar music or text in a way to give you fresh perspectives on it. So having more screen real estate allows us to do that a lot.

“The thing that struck me the most,” Johnston went on, “is that it completely transformed the iPad experience when you use the Pencil or the Keyboard with it. It’s not just that I want it because it’s the best iPad, it’s that the tools that go with it allow me to do things that my finger won’t allow me to do.”

Adobe has also shared a video where visual designers, illustrators, educators and other creative professionals offer positive first impressions of the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, with a focus on Creative Cloud apps including Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Sketch and Photoshop Fix.

iPad Pro pricing starts at $799 for the entry-level 32GB Wi-Fi only model. A 128GB Wi-Fi only model is available for $949, and a 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model is available for $1,079. The 12.9-inch tablet is available in the three signature iPad colors: Space Gray, Silver, and Gold.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tags: Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, Adobe, Adobe Creative Cloud
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Pro (Don’t Buy)
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iOS 9.1 update is breaking Touch ID for some users

iOS 9.1 brought a whole lot of new emojis, but some users are complaining that it had another unintended consequence too — breaking their Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Posts on Apple’s Support Communities website claim that the recent update either slows down their Touch ID, or in some cases means it even fails to recognize […]

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


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IBM Providing Employees With Free or Reduced Cost Apple Watch as Part of Health Insurance Plan

Extending its partnership with Apple, IBM is now planning to provide its employees with free or discounted Apple Watch models as part of a „Commit to Health“ initiative that will see the Apple Watch distributed to employees under their health insurance plans.

Based on the health plan an IBM employee chooses, they can either get a subsidy that covers the full cost of an Apple Watch or the option to purchase an Apple Watch at a reduced price. IBM is likely hoping its employees will take advantage of the Apple Watch’s fitness tracking capabilities, racking up steps and meeting exercise goals to stay healthy.

IBM had a similar program that saw employees provided with Fitbit activity trackers, but it is not clear if the Apple Watch is supplementing this program or replacing it. With the Fitbit program, exercising and taking steps let employees accumulate points that were able to be redeemed for merchandise or charitable donations.

Several health insurance companies and businesses have teamed up to adopt similar programs in an effort to cut down on healthcare costs, incentivizing exercise and activity with lower premiums and other rewards. Fitbit, for example, works with a large number of companies to incorporate activity tracking into corporate wellness programs.

Most of these programs existed before the Apple Watch launched, but the Apple Watch itself has proven to be a highly useful tool that motivates wearers to exercise, and it’s possible additional companies could follow in IBM’s footsteps in the future.

The Apple Watch encourages users to stand up once per hour, exercise, and burn calories to achieve goals. Many early Apple Watch adopters have said the device has motivated them to make better lifestyle choices, increasing their daily activity. Jim Dalrymple of The Loop, for example, credits HealthKit and the Apple Watch for his weight loss of 40 pounds.

(Thanks, Eric!)



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First Apple Store in Singapore set to open in 2016

Apple is set to open its debut brick-and-mortar retail store in Singapore, according to a message sent out by health and exercise chain Pure Fitness. In a message directed at patrons, Pure Fitness revealed that it is one of several tenants closing their premises in Singapore’s upscale retail building Knightsbridge, “to make way for the opening of Singapore’s […]

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


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Transit Directions for Sydney, Australia Going Live in Apple Maps

Several users are reporting seeing transit directions going live for Sydney, Australia in Apple Maps today, adding another major city for the the feature launched as part of iOS 9. Not all users are seeing transit routes for Sydney yet, but support is clearly rolling out at the moment for light rail, commuter rail, buses, and ferry service.

Apple added both Boston and Sydney to its list of supported cities for transit directions early this month, but quickly updated the listing to note coverage would be going live later in the month. Transit information for Boston went live last week alongside support for a number of Amtrak routes in the northeastern United States and nearby areas.

(Thanks, DrHampton!)



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Apple Maps Hints at Upcoming Apple Pay Support in Australia

Apple Pay badges have been added to Apple Maps listings for select Coles and Woolworths supermarket locations in Australia, as spotted by multiple users on discussion forum AppleTalk Australia. The badges are normally reserved for locations that accept Apple Pay, which is noteworthy given the mobile payments service has yet to officially launch in Australia.

Apple Pay badges added to some Apple Maps listings in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney
The badges appear in Apple Maps for select Coles and Woolworths store listings in or near large Australian cities such as Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Many other Coles and Woolworths listings do not have the badge, nor do large Australian chains such as McDonald’s, so it remains unclear if they were added by mistake, or are indicative of forthcoming Apple Pay support in Australia.

Apple Pay launched in the U.S. in October 2014 before arriving in the U.K. last July, but Apple has remained quiet about its plans to expand iPhone-based contactless payments to additional countries. In August, Fairfax Media reported that Australian banks oppose Apple sharing a portion of the $2 billion interchange fees they collect from merchants each year in return for use of payment infrastructure.

Australia is a well-prepared candidate for Apple Pay, as contactless payments technology has been widely adopted throughout the country over the past few years. Several retailers that support Apple Pay in the U.S. and U.K. also operate in Australia, including Aéropostale, Apple, Babies „R“ Us, Champs Sports, Foot Locker, GameStop, McDonald’s, Nike, OfficeMax and Subway.

Beyond Australia, The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Apple is planning a November launch of Apple Pay in Canada, which was likely prematurely leaked by TD Canada Trust last week. Apple has reportedly been in talks with Canada’s six largest banks, including the Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust.



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