Apple Revamps Everyone Can Code Curriculum, Offers Coding Classes in Apple Stores in December

Apple today announced that it has overhauled its Everyone Can Code curriculum to bring it to more elementary and middle school students around the world.

The new curriculum includes more resources for teachers, a new guide for students, and updated Swift Coding Club materials. The refreshed materials build on existing interactive puzzles and activities to make coding more approachable and connected to students' every day lives.


Apple is adding Everyone Can Code Puzzles to the new student guide in Swift Playgrounds, and each chapter will let students build on core coding concepts and experiment with new techniques. The teacher guide will provide teachers with the tools necessary to bring coding into their classrooms.

The new curriculum includes the Everyone Can Create project guides, which Apple says will help students "express what they learn through drawing, music, videos and photos."

According to Apple, millions of students in more than 5,000 schools worldwide use the Everyone Can Code curriculum.

From December 1 to December 15, Apple is also offering free Today at Apple coding sessions that are set to be held at Apple Stores. The aim of the classes is to teach attendees to write their first lines of code in order to celebrate Computer Science Education Week.

Apple says that the sessions will provide opportunities for students of all skill levels. Those starting out will explore block-based coding with robots, while those with more experience will be able to use Swift Playgrounds to learn coding concepts or code an augmented reality experience.

Some Apple retail stores will also be offering special sessions designed for coders of all ages, including preschool-age kids, who will be able to learn pre-coding activities through the Coding Lab with "Helpsters," one of the Apple TV+ shows.

Apple is supporting Hour of Code this year with an Hour of Code Facilitator Guide that will help educators and parents host sessions using Swift Playgrounds and educational apps from the App Store.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Apple Shares 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Apple today updated its website to introduce the 2019 holiday gift guide, something that the company debuts every year ahead of the winter holidays.

The gift guide is designed to recommend Apple products for people to purchase for friends and family this holiday season. This year's version focuses on bright colors and eye-catching circular designs that resemble snowflakes or holiday ornaments.


The iPhone 11, the Apple Watch Series 5, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the AirPods Pro are Apple's top gift recommendations for 2019. Apple also highlights the iPad Pro, seventh-generation iPad, and Apple Pencil, along with the HomePod and a selection of Macs like the MacBook Air and the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.


A small selection of accessories are included in the guide, like the Beats Solo Pro, Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad, PopSockets PopGrip, DJI Mavic Mini, the DJI Osmo 3 Gimbal, and an Xbox Wireless Controller.

Apple also suggests App Store gift cards, which can be put towards Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple TV+, or Apple Music.


Along with releasing the new gift guide, Apple today also confirmed that its annual holiday return period is active. Purchases made between November 15, 2019 and December 25, 2019 can be returned until January 8, 2020 in most countries.

Apple is offering two-day shipping on all purchases, and later in December the company is likely to offer faster shipping options for last minute shoppers.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Apple Launches Extended Holiday Return Policy, Return Deadline Set for January 8, 2020

Apple today updated its website to reflect that its annual extended holiday return policy is now active. Items purchased from the Apple Online Store received between November 15, 2019 and December 25, 2019 can be returned through January 8, 2020.

These dates apply to the United States and multiple other countries, but there are some countries where the return periods are different, so it's worth looking into if you plan to buy an Apple gift during the holidays.


In Spain, for example, Apple is allowing holiday returns until January 20, 2020 for items purchased between November 15, 2019 and January 6, 2020.
Items purchased at the Apple Online Store that are received between November 15, 2019 and December 25, 2019, may be returned through January 8, 2020. Please note that all other terms and conditions provided in the Apple Online Store Sales and Refunds Policy are still applicable with respect to such items purchased. All purchases made after December 25, 2019, are subject to the Standard Return Policy.
There are some items that are excluded from the return policy, such as Apple and App Store gift cards. Aside from that, most products can be returned, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and more. Purchased devices can be opened and used prior to being returned, but they must be in their original packaging.

With holiday purchases, it's a good idea to hold on to a receipt when buying from Apple.com or an Apple retail store to make sure that your purchase falls within the timeframe of the extended holiday period.

Purchases made prior to November 15, 2019 or after December 25, 2019 will be subject to the standard 14 day return policy.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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PopSockets Announces New ‘PopGrip Slide’ Accessory in Exclusive Colors Coming to Apple’s Website and Retail Stores

Smartphone accessory maker PopSockets today announced a new version called the PopGrip Slide that will be available in exclusive colors on Apple's website and in select Apple stores around the world. This accessory is compatible with iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.


The PopGrip Slide attaches to the iPhone and is specifically designed to work with Apple's Silicone Cases, coming in matching Black, White, Pink Sand, Midnight Blue, and Red color options.

PopSocket accessories allow for easier one-handed control of the iPhone, and the company says that it lets users take better selfies and can even be used as a stand for watching videos. The PopGrip Slide is compatible with PopSockets swappable products so the top can be twisted off and a new design can be added.

PopGrip Slide costs $15 and will be available exclusively on Apple.com and in select Apple stores soon.


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iPhone XS Series Models Now $100 Cheaper at Apple Retail Stores

Following its iPhone 11 series announcements on Tuesday evening, Apple has shaved $100 off the price of its remaining retail stock of previous generation iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models.



Brick-and-mortar Apple stores are now offering iPhone XS models with 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage for $899, $1,049, and $1,249, respectively.

The larger iPhone XS Max now starts at $999 for the 64GB model, rising to $1,149 for 256GB storage, and $1,349 for the 512GB capacity.

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are no longer listed on Apple’s online store, having been superseded by the new iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, which are set to launch on September 20.

Out of Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup, only the iPhone XR is still available to order online, alongside its successor, the iPhone 11, which also launches September 20. Pre-orders for the all-new models begin on September 13.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone XS (Don’t Buy)

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Apple on iPhone Battery Locking Issue: We Want to Make Sure Battery Replacement is Done Properly

Last week, iPhone repair site iFixit highlighted a new iPhone feature described as a "dormant software lock" designed to prevent customers who get unauthorized battery repairs from seeing the battery health of their devices.

On an iPhone XS, XS Max, or iPhone XR, getting a repair from a non-Apple authorized source results in a message that says "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine battery," with the iPhone refusing to display battery health information.


Apple today provided a statement on the issue to iMore, confirming that it did indeed introduce "a new feature" last year that brings up the aforementioned message when a non-authorized battery repair is made, with the aim of protecting customers from "damaged, poor quality, or used batteries."
We take the safety of our customers very seriously and want to make sure any battery replacement is done properly. There are now over 1,800 Apple authorized service providers across the United States so our customers have even more convenient access to quality repairs.

Last year we introduced a new feature to notify customers if we were unable to verify that a new, genuine battery was installed by a certified technician following Apple repair processes. This information is there to help protect our customers from damaged, poor quality, or used batteries which can lead to safety or performance issues. This notification does not impact the customer's ability to use the phone after an unauthorized repair.
On an iPhone XR, XS, or XS Max that has a battery replaced outside of an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider, the iPhone will simply read "Service" and will provide the messaging about a battery that can't be verified.

The battery health feature that lets customers see the health of their batteries is blocked and not available, with no measurement of maximum capacity or peak performance capacity.

iFixit discovered that this message pops up regardless of the battery being used. An unauthorized repair from a shop using a genuine Apple battery from another iPhone displays the warning message just as a third-party non-Apple battery does.

According to Apple, the notification about the non-genuine battery does not affect a customer's ability to use the phone after the repair, but it is of course going to make customers wary of third-party repair shops that are not authorized by Apple.

The only way to avoid the messaging when getting a battery replacement on an iPhone XS, XS Max, XR (and presumably future iPhones) is to get that repair done through Apple. Apple charges $69 for an out-of-warranty replacement battery in its newest iPhones, which is more expensive than many third-party repair shops.

Repairs are free with AppleCare+ and when iPhones are under the one-year standard warranty, but as these iPhones age and are no longer covered, customers will need to shell out more money for an Apple-certified repair or live with a non-functioning battery health feature.


Research from YouTube channel The Art of Repair suggests that Apple's newest iPhones use a Texas Instruments microcontroller on the battery, which is designed to authenticate the battery.

Repairs from Apple and Apple Authorized Service Providers likely use Apple's proprietary RepairCal diagnostics software to reset the "Service" status when doing a battery replacement, something that can't be replicated by non-Apple repair shops without the required equipment.


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Apple Updates Retail Jobs Site to Highlight Creative Employees Who Bring Outside Passions to Their Roles

Apple has updated its jobs website with a new page detailing jobs at its retail stores, focusing on how workers can bring outside passions into positions like the Creative Pro, Specialist, and Technical Specialist.


For each role, Apple has highlighted a few people who work at its retail locations, accompanied by short videos related to the work each person does at their Apple store. The page is mainly focused on ways that workers can bring passions that they have in their daily lives to roles at Apple retail.

For example, one section focuses on a woman named Sujin, who is a photographer outside of Apple, and uses her skills to help teach various photography-related Today at Apple sessions as an Expert. "Apple really brings out the best in people" Sujin said, "And I want to give back to the community that uses these devices every single day."


There are also a few musicians who have found work at Apple retail. Chris is a Creative Pro for Apple, while Santa is a Specialist, and both workers help customers create music using Macs and iOS devices. The last section highlights an artist named Harriet who guides customers through live art demonstrations on an iPad.

At the bottom of the page Apple has more detailed explanations for its full-time and part-time roles, and provides links to find open positions near you. Of course, this is just a small slice of the overall Apple jobs website, which also provides information about Apple's internal teams structure, more information on retail work, and internships for undergrads and grad students.

(Thanks, Jack!)


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Apple Announces ‘Up Next Live’ Concerts for its Retail Stores, Featuring Artists Like Khalid and Lewis Capaldi

Apple recently announced a new series of live concerts that will be held in retail locations around the world this summer, under a new initiative called "Up Next Live." All of the artists playing concerts are alumni of Apple Music's Up Next program, which highlights up-and-coming musicians.

For Up Next Live, this includes Khalid, Bad Bunny, Jessie Reyez, King Princess, Lewis Capaldi, Daniel Caesar, and Ashley McBryde (via MacGeneration).


The concerts will be held at places including Apple Union Square in San Francisco, Apple Champs-Élysés in Paris, Apple Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C., and Apple Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The event kicks off with Bad Bunny's performance at Apple Piazza Liberty on July 9, and then one concert will be held each week through Khalid's performance in Washington, D.C. on August 23.
This summer, seven of music’s brightest rising stars will play intimate after‑hours concerts at seven marquee Apple Store locations around the world. All of the artists are alumni of Apple Music’s Up Next program; some are on the brink of massive success, while others have already achieved it. Either way, you’ll never see them perform like this again.
To get into each concert, you'll have to be 16 years of age or older, and register for tickets on Apple's website. Tickets will be free but are subject to a random draw; those who win will gain one ticket for themselves and one for a guest. All ticket registration closes on July 3, so those interested should check out Apple's ticketing site soon.


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Apple to Open Second Singapore Store at Jewel Changi Airport on July 13

Apple has announced that its second Singapore store is set to open at Jewel Changi Airport on Saturday, July 13 at 10.00 a.m.

Photo: Apple

The store has a prime location in Jewel, a new nature-themed entertainment and retail complex on the landside of Changi Airport, which is Singapore's main airport.

Linked to three of its passenger terminals, Jewel features more than 280 shops across five stories, and boasts as its centerpiece the world's tallest indoor waterfall – the 40-meter-tall Rain Vortex – cascading from a vaulted glass roof and surrounded by terraced gardens.

No other information, such the size of the Jewel store, has been provided by Apple. However, the company did reveal to Singapore-based The Straits Times that some brand new programming will be developed exclusively for visitors to the new Jewel store, such as The Magic of Jewel Changi Airport Photo Walk.
This photo walk is said to be around 500m and will allow attendees to explore Jewel's attractions, such as its modern architecture, indoor gardens and its 40m waterfall. Attendees will learn how take photos or videos of these attractions using an iPhone or iPad.

Apple is said to be close to opening another new store in the country, at the Marina Bay Sands resort next to Singapore's central business district. The dome-shaped store will be situated over water, connected to the luxurious resort with a walkway nestled amid palm trees. The site was previously occupied by night club Avalon.

Apple opened its first Singapore store in May 2017 at Knightsbridge mall in Orchard Road. Apple Orchard Road was also the first Apple store to open its doors in South-east Asia.

(Thanks, Chris!)

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Apple Retail Stores Now Selling One Drop Blood Glucose Monitor

A selection of Apple retail locations are now selling the One Drop Blood Glucose Monitor, reports CNBC. The One Drop Blood Glucose Monitor is designed to give people with diabetes a way to track blood sugar through the Health app.

Apple has long offered One Drop glucose monitoring products through its online store, but has recently transitioned to offering them up in some retail locations as part of what CNBC calls an expanded focus on the health space.

The introduction of OneDrop is a prime example of how Apple is breaking into the health space by selling consumer-oriented products and integrating the data from them in its Health app, making the iPhone and Apple Watch hubs for people's personal health.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said multiple times that he believes one of Apple's major contributions to the world will be in the health space. "Apple's most important contribution to mankind has been in health," he said earlier this year.

Available for $70, the FDA-approved One Drop includes a Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter, a chrome lancing device, test strips, and a carrying case.

The blood glucose monitor can read results in approximately five seconds, transmitting the information to the One Drop app and the Apple Health app.

A limited number of Apple Stores are carrying the One Drop at the current time, but availability is going to expand to most Apple retail stores across the United States in July.


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