Apple is offering free two hour delivery when customers purchase any Apple Watch, iPad, iPhone, or Mac, which is ideal for last minute shoppers.
Through December 24 at 4:00 p.m. local time, customers who live in an area where courier delivery is available can get their orders for free. Apple normally charges $9 for same-day courier delivery.
Apple says that its courier delivery is available "in most metros," and it applies to the total order whenever an Apple Watch, iPad, iPhone, or Mac is ordered. AirPods aren't available for free courier delivery on a standalone order basis, but can be included with other purchases.
For deliveries that do not include an Apple Watch, iPad, iPhone, or Mac, courier options are still available, but Apple is charging the standard $9 fee. Delivery cutoff is December 24 in most areas, but Apple says that December 25th delivery is available in New York City, Las Vegas, and Hawaii.
Those who are not in an area where courier delivery is available can still get items before Christmas by using in-store pickup options.
A media event on December 12 revealed the interior of Apple Kawasaki, a single-level store with an all-glass facade that takes the familiar layout of existing Apple stores found in shopping malls in the United States.
Inside is a large video wall at the rear of the store, a Forum area, and signature Avenue shelving. The storefront looks out onto Lufa Plaza, a green communal area inside Lazona Kawasaki Plaza shopping mall.
Available for $129.95, the Brydge keyboards are more affordable than Apple's own Smart Keyboards and offer a more traditional typing experience with 1.2mm of key travel.
Brydge keyboards, which come in gray, silver, and gold to match the colors of the available iPad models, are unique among third-party keyboards because of their tab system.
The iPad is designed to nestle into two silicone-lined tabs at the top of the keyboard, with no additional cover required for the rest of the iPad, which keeps the design more minimal. The tabs are hinged, so the keyboard can be closed over the iPad in a clamshell design.
Brydge keyboards aren't able to take advantage of the Smart Connector on Apple's iPads and instead must use Bluetooth, but Brydge says they're able to last for up to 12 months on a single charge depending on usage. There are integrated iOS battery management tools to cut down on power drain.
The keys are backlit, there's a row of function keys specific to iOS, and the keyboards use Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to the iPad. Each keyboard is made from a heavy, durable aluminum that's able to hold up to wear and tear, and it's simple to remove the iPad from the tabs that hold it in place.
The Brydge keyboards are available from the Apple online store and Apple retail stores in the United States and Canada starting today.
Apple appears to have eliminated reviews from its online Apple Store, removing the options that customers previously had for both leaving reviews and viewing reviews.
Apple made the change over the weekend, and as of now, no products on the online store have reviews, so there's no way to tell how customers liked a given product.
Items like the Apple Pencil and the Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack had hundreds of reviews at the time they were removed, as noted by AppleInsider. For example, a Wayback Machine archive of the original Apple Pencil from November 16 had more than 300 reviews, many of which were negative.
At the current time, product listings have no Ratings & Reviews section and it's not clear if Apple plans to return them, but it's looking like the change was made deliberately since it expands to the online store in multiple countries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.