The Open-For-Visitors Edition Saturday, November 18, 2017

Apple’s New Visitor Center Opens, by Seung Lee, San Jose Mercury News

In Apple Park’s newly opened Visitor Center, every little detail was scrutinized and perfected — even down to the handrails of the staircase.

Built with quartz, the handrails have no corners or dividers. Apple Park’s architects smoothed out the handrails inside the building so they feel like holding an iPhone.

“We tested out the ergonomics of the handrails over and over again,” said Ben Dobbins, an architect at Foster + Architects, which designed Apple Park. “We went through many test runs.”

Apple Park’s Visitor Center Welcomes The Public With Grand Opening Celebration, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

While the public isn’t allowed in employee areas or at the Steve Jobs Theater, the visitor center offers a rooftop observation deck overlooking the campus.


Aside from the observation deck, the visitor center contains a mini Caffè Macs that serves an assortment of coffee and tea beverages.

Here’s Everything You Can Buy At Apple Park’s Visitor Center, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Just like a normal Apple Store, the Apple Park Visitor Center has a standard selection of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches available for sale. Most visitors will be drawn to a wall-length display on the side of the store, however, where the Apple Park exclusive merchandise resides.

Apple Park offers two different t-shirt designs in variety of colors that Apple says “cannot be exactly replicated.” One features an illustration of the Apple Park campus building, and the other a simple Apple logo. There are also onesies for younger visitors.

Hands-on With Apple Park Visitor Center’s AR Campus Experience, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

By using the app, visitors can get a birds-eye glimpse of the entire campus, and even raise the roof of any building and look right inside. The app overlays foliage, lighting effects, and building details onto the plain aluminum model that respond to user important, like changing the time of day. The custom app is installed on special iPads branded with Apple Park iconography on the back instead of the traditional Apple logo.

Apple Delays

Apple Pushes HomePod Release To Early 2018, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

So much for the holiday rush. Apple announced this morning that its premium HomePod smart speaker won’t be making the company’s initial December ship date. According to a brief statement issued by the company, the production process needs “a little more time” to bake.

Apple's HomePod Stumble Isn't A Momentary Lapse, by Shira Ovide, Bloomberg

A delayed product on its own isn't necessarily a big deal. Sure, Apple misses a shot at 2017 holiday sales for the HomePod, but this is a long game and one holiday season doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things for the world's most valuable public company. The troubling thing, though, is product delays or other problems are no longer unusual for Apple.

HomePod Delay Clouds Apple’s Smart Speaker Future, by Ben Fox Rubin, CNET

Missing the critical holiday season is a blow to Apple. The company loses the opportunity to sell the HomePod to shoppers in a more buying mood and help it break into the young smart speaker market. The delay comes as both Amazon and Google roll out aggressive discounts during Black Friday and beyond for their respective family of smart speakers, potentially cutting down on prospective HomePod customers.

One Year Of No Wires

A Year With AirPods, Or, How My AirPods Fell Into The Toilet And Lived To Tell The Tale, by Stephen Coyle

Aside from some scuffs on the case, there’s pretty much no wear and tear, despite plenty of drops and near-constant usage. In the past I probably went through a pair of earphones every six-nine months; one bud would inevitably go quiet, due to a fault at either the 3.5mm jack, the inline remote, or at the connection to the bud itself. But with AirPods, no cables means virtually no points of failure. Their (apparent) water resistance helps, too.

Battery life is as good as ever, in my regular usage I pretty much never notice the AirPods charging. Usually they find their way back into the case for at least a little while every few hours, and I just plug the case in when I notice the light turn red.


Apple Launches Beats Headphone Discounts Ahead Of Black Friday Week, by Bryan M. Wolfe, AppAdvice

The BeatsX, Beats Solo3 Wireless and Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless each feature Apple’s W1 chip found on AirPods which makes instant pairing with an iPhone possible. Each also features Fast Fuel, which allows you to gain hours of playback on a five-minute charge.

Apple Extends Free Repairs Of Anti-Reflective Coating On 2013-2015 MacBook Pro, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple has authorized coverage within four years from an affected MacBook Pro's original date of purchase, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers and later obtained by MacRumors.

Both 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models released in 2013, 2014, or 2015 qualify for a free display replacement within the four-year coverage period.

iMovie 10 Review: Free Video Editing That's Elegant And Easy, by Samuel Axon, PCWorld

iMovie doesn’t offer the tutorials or wizards that some other programs for beginners do—though there is a neat movie trailer generation tool. Rather, it keeps the interface as basic as possible while guiding you with simple tooltips as you mouse over specific buttons and features. Total beginners might end up scratching their heads a little more than they would in apps with more explicit tutorials, though.

The features are also somewhat limited. There’s no 360 video, nor is there multi-cam editing. iMovie doubles down on making a very small selection of tools like transitions, backgrounds, titles, voiceover, and basic trimming and editing as straightforward as possible. It’s quality over quantity here—which is in stark contrast to many other free applications.

Bottom of the Page

Could Apple be delaying the HomePod so that they can find ways to lower the price to better compete with all the competitor's cheaper (much cheaper) smart speakers, or to find ways to increase the perceived value of the HomePod so that they can justify the higher (much higher) selling price?


Thanks for reading.