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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Wu-Tang Clan Frontman RZA to Lead Music Lab Session at San Francisco Apple Store

Wu-Tang Clan lead member and acclaimed American rapper RZA will host a Music Lab session at Apple's Union Square store in San Francisco later this month. First spotted by AppleInsider, the the free-to-attend session called "Developing Your Sound with RZA" will reveal a number of techniques the hip-hop artist uses to produce his music.


Attendees at the January 22 session will begin by brainstorming and sketching out ideas to create their music story and sound profile. Then they'll get to grips with GarageBand for iPad Pro and ROLI Blocks, which will help them learn how RZA developed his trademark beats, which revolutionized hip-hop in the 1990s.

Sadly, the session at Union Square is all booked up, but anyone interested will have other opportunities to attend the same course with a video introduction by RZA. The sessions will be offered at all Apple stores as part of the company's new "Today at Apple" retail program, which involves locations hosting community-building workshop events. Check the link for details on upcoming events in your area.


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Apple Retail Stores Offering iPad Pro ‘Sketch Walks’ in Celebration of Urban Sketchers 10th Anniversary

Apple is offering a series of "sketch walks" hosted by well-known artists to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Urban Sketchers, a global community of artists that are dedicated to on-location drawing.

Many artists who are members of Urban Sketchers have adopted the iPad Pro as a drawing tool of choice, including Uma Kelkar from San Francisco, Rob Sketcherman from Hong Kong, Don Low from Singapore, and Omar Jamarillo from Berlin, all of whom will be teaching the sketching classes.

A member of Urban Sketchers for over four years, Rob has been creating artwork exclusively on iPad for just as long, and began drawing on iPad Pro in 2015 when it was introduced.

Rob says, "the flexibility [iPad Pro] offers fuels experimentation with line, texture and look, allowing any number of iterations. It's also very forgiving, expelling all fear of the dreaded blank page and of potentially 'ruining sketchbooks' in case an experiment goes awry."
All of the 10th anniversary sketch walks hosted by Urban Sketchers artists will take place on Thursday, November 30 at Apple retail locations around the world. Don Low will teach in Singapore, Rob Sketcherman will teach in Hong Kong, Uma Kelkar will teach in San Francisco, and Omar Jaramillo will teach in Berlin.

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Urban Sketchers with artist Uma Kelkar, and explore how to free yourself from the notion of art as an exact science. She'll demo her free-flowing process, which sets aside space, proportion, and even gravity to tell a complex story in unexpected ways. And you'll practice sketching overlapping vignettes to tell your own unique story with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.
Each class requires customers to bring an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil, along with comfortable shoes. Walks range from 0.5km to 2km.

Apple also offers several other classes dedicated to drawing and sketching on Apple devices, all of which are part of its "Today" program. The Today program allows Apple retail stores to offer classes on a wide range of subjects, providing help and instruction for customers of all skill levels.

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