Apple Partnering With Taylor Swift for New Music Lab Sessions in Retail Stores

Taylor Swift revealed today on Instagram that she will be the next partner in Apple's "Music Lab" sessions, which are available in Apple retail stores.


The Music Lab session will focus on learning how to remix the song "You Need to Calm Down," from Swift's upcoming album "Lover." According to Swift, these sessions will only be available in select Apple stores.

Similar to previous Music Labs, customers will be able to find out what inspired Swift to write the song, leading to the creation of their own version.

Apple in the past has partnered with Madonna and Billie Eilish on Music Lab sessions, which are available worldwide. Apple hasn't uploaded any official information on the sessions yet, but when it does the information should be available on Apple.com/today.


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Apple Announces New Music Lab Sessions Featuring Partnership With Billie Eilish

After teaming up with Madonna for new Apple Music Lab classes at its retail stores, Apple today announced a set of Music Lab classes in partnership with Billie Eilish (via Mac Otakara).


In the Music Lab, customers will have a chance to go hands-on with Eilish's song "you should see me in a crown." Participants will be able to create their own mixes of the track and find out what inspired Eilish to write the song from her latest album, "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?"
Exclusively in Apple Stores, get hands-on with tracks direct from your favorite Apple Music artists. In this session, you’ll deconstruct Billie Eilish’s song “you should see me in a crown,” find out what inspired her, and create your own version of the song using GarageBand on iPhone. Devices will be provided.
Apple announced the new Music Lab today, and sessions will begin worldwide tomorrow, August 2. Head to Apple.com to check out more information on the Billie Eilish Music Lab and find an Apple Store near you that will be hosting the session.


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Apple Stores to Offer New Augmented Reality Experiences, Including Interactive Art Walks Around Major Cities

Apple today announced it has opened registration for three new art-based augmented reality experiences at its stores around the world.


First up, select Apple stores in San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo will be hosting interactive "[AR]T Walks" featuring augmented reality works by some of the "world's premier contemporary artists."


Second, every Apple Store will be offering a 90-minute in-store "[AR]T Lab" session that teaches the basics of creating augmented reality using Swift Playgrounds. Attendees will go hands-on with "whimsical objects and immersive sounds" created by New York artist and educator Sarah Rothberg.

Third, an augmented reality art installation will be viewable in every Apple Store worldwide. Using the new "[AR]T Viewer" feature in the Apple Store app, users can initiate artist Nick Cave's interactive "Amass" piece, allowing them to experience a "universe of positive energy."


The new sessions and experiences will be available beginning Saturday, August 10, free of charge. Visit the Today at Apple website to register.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Apple Teams Up With Madonna for Today at Apple Music Lab Classes

Apple and Madonna have teamed up to launch new Today at Apple Music Lab classes where attendees will go hands-on with Crave, a track from Madonna's latest album, and will be able to remix it.

The Today at Apple session will also walk students through deconstructing the song, and there will be details on what inspired her.

Go behind the making of a hit song featuring your favorite Apple Music artists in this series of Music Lab: Remix sessions. Exclusively in Apple Stores, you'll get hands-on with a track direct from the artist. In this session, you'll deconstruct Madonna's song Crave, find out what inspired her, and create your own version of the song using GarageBand on iPhone. Devices will be provided.
Madonna shared the news on her Twitter account this morning, and Today at Apple classes for the Music Lab: Remix Madonna are now available. Attendees can book starting now, with classes kicking off a bit later in June.

The Remix Madonna classes are available at Apple Stores in the United States as well as other Apple retail locations around the world.


Apple has also teamed up with other well-known musicians to create Today at Apple Music Lab curricula. There's a Beat Making class co-created with Swizz Beatz, for example.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Apple Store App Gains Revamped Sessions Tab, Easier Access to Trade-In Values

Apple today updated its Apple Store app to version 5.3, introducing a redesigned Sessions tab at the bottom of the app that houses dozens of new Today at Apple sessions that Apple users can sign up to attend.

Apple says that it's also now easier to check the trade-in values of your devices when using the Apple Store app.


You'll see trade-in options when purchasing a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch, and Apple will give you a list of your current devices where you're signed in with your Apple ID and their trade-in value.

You can tap one, go through Apple's status checklist, and then finish the trade-in process right when checking out.

The splash screen when starting the app after installing the new update also says that returns have been streamlined with options to track the progress of your order, initiate a return, or print a return label directly from the Apple Store app.

The Apple Store app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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Apple Promotes Heart Health With Activity Challenge and Apple Store Events Throughout February

In recognition of Heart Month, Apple today announced it will offer an Activity Challenge on Apple Watch and heart health events at Apple Stores in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York throughout February.


Apple Watch users who close their exercise ring in the Activity app for seven days in a row between February 8 and February 14 will earn a special badge and iMessage stickers on Valentine's Day.

The special Today at Apple sessions will include:
  • San Francisco: Apple Union Square on February 11 at 6 p.m. with Dr. Sumbul Desai, Jeanette Jenkins, and Julz Arney
  • New York: Apple Williamsburg on February 21 at 4:30 p.m. with Dr. Sumbul Desai, Jeanette Jenkins, and Jay Blahnik
  • Chicago: Apple Michigan Avenue on February 27 at 6 p.m. with Dr. Sumbul Desai, Nancy Brown, Jeanette Jenkins, and Craig Bolton
"Apple Watch users have told us since the beginning it has motivated them with everything from Activity Sharing to Challenges to all of the different workouts available all right from the wrist," said Jay Blahnik, Apple's senior director of fitness for health technologies.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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‘Today at Apple’ Expands With 50 New Sessions Focused on Skills, Walks, and Labs

Apple Stores are getting a series of 50 new Today at Apple sessions for 2019.


The new sessions, being added to the Today at Apple page alongside the announcement, relate to Skills, Walks, and Labs.
Skills are meant for those interested in learning new creative techniques to go further with our products, such as making a quick video with the Clips app or editing photos on iPhone. New Skills sessions include Notes and Chords with GarageBand, Sketching Ideas in Notes, Photo Editing Techniques and more.

Walks invite customers to venture outside of the store with a Creative Pro, where they will explore their surroundings, connect with their community and put new skills to use across passions like photography, music or health. New Walks include Capturing Cinematic Shots, Creating Soundscapes with GarageBand and a Health and Fitness Walk, Staying Motivated co-created with fitness expert Jeanette Jenkins.

Labs help customers experiment with creative techniques and complete the session with the beginning of a project. Many Labs have been co-created with world-renowned artists and makers. Building on the success of Labs with Florence Welch and photographer Chase Jarvis, skilled customers can find inspiration in new Labs like Beat Making with Swizz Beatz, Small Screen Magic with Zach King and Drawing Treehouses with Foster + Partners.
Today at Apple launched in May 2016 at Apple Union Square in San Francisco and expanded to Apple Stores worldwide a year later. The program offers free, hands-on creative and educational sessions related to topics such as photography, videography, music, coding, gaming, and art.

An example of an existing session is the Photo Walk, in which an Apple employee guides a group of people on a walk while providing iPhone photography tips. Another is the Kids Hour session Maze Challenge that tasks kids with programming Sphero robots to navigate a maze on the Apple Store floor.

Today at Apple also incorporates lessons from Apple's free Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curriculums and tools such as Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, and the Swift Playgrounds app for iPad.


Speaking at an October 2018 event in Brooklyn, Apple's retail chief Angela Ahrendts said Apple Stores have combined to host over 18,000 Today at Apple sessions per week, with the help of over 70,000 employees.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Tim Cook Highlights ‘The Big Draw’ Sketching Sessions Taking Place at Apple Stores This Month

To celebrate The Big Draw Festival, a monthlong worldwide celebration of drawing held every October, eight Apple Stores are hosting special Today at Apple sessions related to the festival throughout the month.


A total of 108 sessions will be hosted by the end of the month at Apple Regent Street in London, Apple Piazza Liberty in Milan, Apple Dubai Mall in Dubai, Apple Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Apple SoHo and Apple Williamsburg in New York, Apple Orchard Road in Singapore, and Apple Union Square in San Francisco.


Apple CEO Tim Cook today tweeted about a session hosted by artist Marcy Smith, who helped customers learn how to draw and sketch with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil at the Union Square store on Wednesday evening.


The sessions, which include Live Art and Sketch Walks, are free to attend as space permits. There are still plenty of sessions remaining through the second half of October, and those interested can browse and sign up for sessions on the Today at Apple page. Most sessions are scheduled to run 90 minutes.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Apple Offering 30-Minute One-on-One Phone Lessons on Editing Images With Photos App

Apple recently started offering customers one-on-one phone-based tutorial sessions with a "Photos expert," allowing them to receive training on using the image editing tools built into the Photos app.

According to a new support document, Apple users in the United States can sign up for a 30 minute session with an Apple Support Advisor that's an expert in "using Photos to transform pictures from good to amazing."


It's not clear how useful these sessions will be for customers as they seem to be conducted over the phone with no visual aid included.
You'll have 30 minutes one-on-one with a Photos expert who'll describe how to edit pictures from your own collection. They'll tailor the session to your skill level and show you how to get the results you want.
The support document instructs customers to update their Macs and iOS devices to the latest versions and call using speakerphone or headphones for hands-free access to editing tools while talking to an advisor.

Apple says that customers will learn about all of the editing tools that Photos offers, from Auto Enhance to detailed color and light adjustments. The lesson will also cover editing Live Photos and images taken in Portrait mode along with tools like cropping, filters, and more.

While phone-based Photos app tutorials appear to be a new offering, Apple has long offered online lessons for new device purchasers.

The Personal Setup feature, for example, lets new device owners get help from Apple in store or online, with Apple support staff helping users find apps, personalize their devices, and discover key features.

On the iPhone, for example, Personal Setup covers details like transferring contacts, setting up email accounts, and using Find My iPhone, plus it includes "handy camera tips" and App Store suggestions.

Apple also hosts many "Today at Apple" training sessions in its online stores on topics like editing videos, getting started with coding, shooting photos on iPhone, photo walks that focus on photography tips, and more.

Apple's new online Photos session appears to be something of an online extension of Today at Apple and the Personal Setup process, with Apple perhaps planning to extend these online tutorials to other topics in the future.


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Angela Ahrendts Announces New App Prototyping ‘Today at Apple’ Sessions Coming Later in June

Senior vice president of Apple Retail, Angela Ahrendts, today tweeted out an announcement for a new "Today at Apple" session focused on app prototyping for aspiring developers. News of the session arrives as Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference comes to an end today, after first kicking off with a keynote in San Jose, California on Monday.

Ahrendts describes the new program as a way to help app makers get started with prototyping, which she describes as "one of the most important steps of the design process." The session itself is based on a popular talk from WWDC, and events for the prototyping lessons will begin at Apple retail locations later in June.



Ahrendts has spearheaded Today at Apple sessions since the program expanded globally in May 2017, after originally beginning at Apple's flagship store in Union Square in San Francisco. Today at Apple offers free sessions to teach skills in photography, videography, music, coding, art, and design, all using Apple products like iPad and Mac.

You can find Today at Apple sessions near you by visiting the company's website, although it appears to be too early for the new prototyping sessions to be listed.


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