The Big-Program Edition Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Apple Is Launching A Big, Celeb-filled Program To Get You To Hang Out In Their Stores, by Patrick Kulp, Mashable

Each of its stores will offer their inaugural "Photo Walk," an educational tour led by a well-known local photographer, and "Kids Hour" session this Saturday along with a host of other special events.

From Illustrations To iPhone Photography: Apple’s Red Dot Heroes To Host Workshops, by Trevor Tan, Straits Times

Mr Aik Beng Chia, 50, started his working life 27 years ago as a display artist for the Esprit store at the exact location where Apple Orchard Road now stands.

Now, he will be back, but teaching others about iPhone photography as one of Apple's Red Dot Heroes.

Apple Orchard Road Opening On May 27, by Trevor Tan, Straits Times

The wait for Apple fans will be over soon. Apple Orchard Road - the official name of the Apple retail store here - will be opening its doors on May 27 at 10am.

Close to midnight last night, workers were seen pasting the opening date on the white facade covering the front of the store at Knightsbridge mall.

It is not only the first Apple retail store in Singapore, but also the first one in South-east Asia. The store will open daily from 10am to 10pm.

Should D.C's Historic Carnegie Library Be Turned Into An Apple Store?, by Kriston Capps, CityLab

Arts organizations can’t compete in D.C.’s real-estate market. At the end of the day, the city could get a second Apple store and a homegrown cultural center, answering the demand for Insta-artworks and the iPhones with which to photograph them. Or whatever: Something worthy should benefit from the massive public subsidy of the Carnegie Library and its attendant urban park. An Apple store can go anywhere else.

Global Accessibility

The Incredible Ways People With Disabilities Customize Their Tech To Thrive, by Katie Dupere, Mashable

Meera is nonverbal, living with a rare condition called schizencephaly that impacts her ability to speak. But with the help of her iPad and text-to-speech technology, she can make her thoughts and opinions known — and she sure does. From her love of Katy Perry to her passion for soccer, Meera will let you know exactly what's on her mind. All it takes is a few taps of her tablet, and with a specialized app stringing letters into words, and words into phrases, her thoughts are played out loud.

Meera's relationship with tech is just one of seven stories featured in a powerful video series created by Apple to spotlight the company's dedication to accessible technology. The videos were released in celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 18, a day emphasizing the importance of accessible tech and design.

Apple’s New ‘Designed For’ Videos Highlight Accessibility Features With Personal Stories, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple tonight has shared a series of new videos on its YouTube channel. These videos are part of a new “Designed for” series that highlights people who are using Apple’s Accessibility features to change the way they face life day in and day out.

The Challenges Of Using Technology When You're Blind, by Bruce Maguire, Sydney Morning Herald

Unless designers, developers and manufacturers start including accessibility as a priority – and policy makers and legislators enforce this – then those of us who are blind or have low vision will be locked out of everyday life. We will struggle to do the most basic things like cooking on an electrical cooktop, cooling our homes in summer and making financial transactions with confidence.

Rumors of the Day

Apple Plans Laptop Upgrades To Take On Microsoft, by Mark Gurman and Alex Webb, Bloomberg

Apple is planning three new laptops, according to people familiar with the matter. The MacBook Pro will get a faster Kaby Lake processor from Intel Corp., said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal planning. Apple is also working on a new version of the 12-inch MacBook with a faster Intel chip. The company has also considered updating the aging 13-inch MacBook Air with a new processor as sales of the laptop, Apple’s cheapest, remain surprisingly strong, one of the people said.

iOS 10.3.3 Beta Brings Three New Wallpapers To 12.9″ iPad Pro, Download Here, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

It’s possible that the new wallpapers being limited to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro hints at the unveil of a new model next month at WWDC. These wallpapers would be perfect for marketing shots of a new 12.9-inch model, as well as the rumored 10.5-inch variant.


Apple's Latest Beats Ad Uses NBA Stars LeBron James, James Harden & Others, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple on Tuesday released a new Beats ad in its "Be Heard" series, this time featuring four NBA stars: LeBron James, James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green.

In Encryption Push, Senate Staff Can Now Use Signal For Secure Messaging, by Zack Whittaker, ZDNet

Without any fanfare, the Senate Sergeant at Arms recently told Senate staffers that Signal, widely considered by security researchers and experts to be the most secure encrypted messaging app, has been approved for use.


TidBITS News Shows How An Old 32-bit iOS App Becomes 64-bit, by Matt Neuburg, TidBITS

True, it’s usually trivial to turn on 64-bitness and recompile the app. But when an app project is opened and compiled with the latest version of Xcode, it is linked against Apple’s most recent system software development kit (SDK). That changes everything. The most recent system is iOS 10, and the app may not be ready for iOS 10.

Apple Promoting Developer Community Events In San Jose During WWDC Week, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Now, in the lead up to WWDC 2017, Apple has started promoting a variety of developer community events that will be taking place during the week.


Apple’s Top Suppliers Dragged Into Qualcomm Legal Battle, by Tim Bradshaw, Financial Times

Qualcomm is suing four of Apple’s top suppliers for refusing to pay royalties at the iPhone maker’s request, adding a new twist to the two companies’ already complex legal battle.


Because Qualcomm’s licensing deals relating to the iPhone and iPad are not with Apple itself but with the contract manufacturers that produce the devices, the maker of Snapdragon processors and wireless modems cannot sue Apple directly for withholding those royalties. Qualcomm has already filed a separate claim against what it describes as Apple’s “interference”.

Bottom of the Page

Remember how you can switch between different playlists just by using the buttons on the iPod earbuds? (This was the iPod Shuffle, which, at one time, featured a no-buttons design.)

I wish I can do something similar on the iPhone, but rather than simply switching between playlists in the Music app, I'm looking at switching between different audio apps. (The three 'playlists' that I listen to daily are my audiobooks, podcasts, and, of course, music.)


I will be quite surprised if there are new updates to the MacBook Air, which will put the MacBook line in a very awkward position: an entry-level laptop that is too expensive?

I will be quite sad if there are no more updates to the iPad Mini, because I really want my backpack to be as light as possible. Unless the new iPhone Pro features a screen -- perhaps foldable? -- that can be as large as an iPad mini?


Thanks for reading.