The Galaxy S8 won’t be Samsung’s only phone this year

 

Samsung appears to have another smartphone on the way after its next Tizen OS based offering was spotted in the wild.

A device sporting the model number SM-Z400F turned up in the FCC online database (source), and rumour has it that it is the Samsung Z4. This is entirely separate from the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S8 we’re expecting to see announced later this month.

Unfortunately, there’s not much else we know about the Samsung Z4, other than the fact that it will be the successor to the Samsung Z3 – and one of the first devices to run on Samsung’s custom-built Tizen version 3.0 OS.Galaxy S7

The Samsung Z3 was very much aimed at the budget end of the smartphone market, and hit the shops in 2015. It packed a 5-inch Super AMOLED display, a quad-core Spreadtrum chip, 1GB of RAM, and a reasonable 8-megapixel snapper on the back.

India’s growing smartphone market was the primary target for the Z3, and it would be surprising to see anything change with the Z4.

Tizen, the OS behind the smartphone, is better known on these shores for powering Samsung’s smartwatch range headed by the Gear S3. Where smartphones are concerned, the open source OS basically looks like a slightly different version of Android skinned with TouchWiz. The OS is here to stay on its smartwatches and smart TVs, however, so don’t completely rule out its arrival on its flagship smartphones in the very distant future.

However, considering that the Galaxy S8 will run on Android 7.0 Nougat, it’s unlikely that Samsung will decide to scrap Google’s OS on its flagships anytime soon.

 

BlackBerry admits dying BB10 is in pain

 

BlackBerry has finally acknowledged problems with the much-delayed 10.3.3 update to BlackBerry 10 that users began to receive late last year.

In September 2015, as it announced the company’s first Android device, BlackBerry CEO John Chen promised that its home grown BB10 platform wasn’t dead. It had last received an update with new features in February 2015. Chen explained that BB10 users would receive two two further “platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements”, the first coming in March 2016.

That was a way of saying that the BB10 platform was going into maintenance mode, and users shouldn’t expect any new features. As we explained, the Qt-based Cascades development environment needed significant investment to bring it up to date, and BB10 devices sales didn’t justify it. Since then BlackBerry Mobile has been created as a software and licensing unit, with partners, principally TCL, handling the design, marketing and logistics of selling BlackBerry-branded phones.Gold Plate My BlackBerry Passport

The promised update, which qualified for US National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) certification, only rolled out in December, and only initially for US users. (UK devices began to receive 10.3.3 last month.)

But even though 10.3.3 didn’t contain any new features*, it has caused users problems, BlackBerry acknowledges in a release note. These include:

  • Slow/poor performance
  • Menu items missing or slow to respond
  • Device temperature warmer than usual
  • Applications not opening
  • [The device being] unable to connect to wireless networks

The advice?

Walk away from your BlackBerry for 24 hours.

Users aren’t impressed, partly because it was typical for users to expect a “settling in” period after a fresh install, and partly because doesn’t acknowledge that 10.3.3 has brought new problems. See the comments under this story for a typical selection.

(Your reporter has updated two devices to 10.3.3, without experiencing the worst problems, but both were given a clean install.)

Alas, the problems are compounded by other evidence of decay in the BB10 world. For users to backup their mission critical phone logs, or migrate them to another device, BlackBerry’s desktop software Link needs to be used. But the combination of BlackBerry Link and 10.3.3 works only erratically, or not at all, with Windows 10 and Mac OS Sierra, and there’s no indication it will ever receive an update. To keep backing up that vital data, users need to keep their phone on 10.3.2 and an older version of Mac or Windows: preferably both.

Two years ago BlackBerry’s enterprise chief told us the company had “left people behind” in its migration to BB10 in 2013. Internal network data showed that millions were clinging to their older BlackBerry devices. Now it’s BB10 user’s turn to be left behind, too. ®

*For those who haven’t yet received it, some networks such as the UK’s EE have yet to authorise it.

LG releases first G6 TV commercial on eve of Samsung’s big event

LG has to be hoping that come tomorrow, its brand new G6 smartphone won’t be immediately overshadowed in the minds of consumers by Samsung’s Galaxy S8. The two phones are similar in that they’re both all screen with a tiny surrounding bezel. Each has its own advantages; in the case of LG, that’s really the wide-angle camera lens on the back (and a flat display, if you’re a traditionalist like me).

But for its first TV spot meant to sell you (and millions of other people) on the G6, the company is really focused on that screen and its friendliness to one-handed use thanks to a 2:1 aspect ratio. It starts by peeling off what you’d expect a traditional phone’s bezel to look like, and the tagline is “The big screen that fits in your hand.” And yeah, it’s definitely easier to navigate around this phone than some others. Good luck reaching the back button in this Gilt example, though. Please, developers, no more hamburger menus (or any important buttons) up there.

We get a very brief look at the camera in the skydiving scene, but I expect LG will have other ads for showcasing its unique dual-lens setup. And this spot also effectively gets across the device’s water resistance. But will any amount of advertising be enough against the Samsung juggernaut? The G6 launches on March 30th on Verizon and a week later on other US carriers, so it’s got some lead time. But after tomorrow’s event, a lot of people might already have their minds set on a certain new Galaxy with its own giant, curved screen.

Galaxy Note 8 Leak Reveals Samsung’s Expensive Smartphone

Galaxy Note 8 information has spread and even Samsung is ‘accidentally’ leaking its own phone. But we might just have our best look at it yet from a good source…

Ice universe, which previously nailed the Galaxy S8 designin February, has issued a matter of fact tweet stating “Yes, this is Note8.” and attaching three detailed images of the phone’s fascia.

Galaxy Note 8 shown off in three new renders Ice universe

Galaxy Note 8 shown off in three new renders

These tie-in with claimed press renders shown off by SlashLeaks last week and reveal a smartphone with a massive Infinity Display (expected to be 6.3-inches), no physical home button and an overall design that has slightly sharper angles than the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

If Ice universe proves to be as accurate with the Galaxy Note 8 as it was with the Galaxy S8, I suspect users are going to be very happy indeed.

The only downside? These shots don’t show the most controversial part of the Galaxy Note 8: its back.

Popular case maker Olixar is already selling Galaxy Note 8 cases which show Samsung failed to integrate the fingerprint reader into its display as expected, instead placing it in a position only slightly less silly than the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

Olixar's retail Galaxy Note 8 cases all clearly show the fingerprint sensor beside the cameraOlixar

Olixar’s retail Galaxy Note 8 cases all clearly show the fingerprint sensor beside the camera

Ice universe’s images also don’t answer the question about whether Samsung will remove the headphone jack from the Galaxy Note 8, but thankfully other sources have cleared this up.

But I do have one concern: the renders Ice universe has depict a battery percentage sitting between 14 and 15%. Official Samsung renders would never (and have never) shown the battery being so low. That said this likely means Ice universe is rendering the shots from information it has and it makes no claim the images are directly from Samsung.

With time running out before release, Samsung will be hoping Apple’s iPhone 8 problems are as big as feared and Google’s Pixel 2 XL doesn’t look as great as leaks suggest. But regardless (and despite its extreme pricing), the Galaxy Note 8 appears destined to be one of the best phones of 2017.

 

New Nokia Smartphones Will Be Sold in U.S. Market

 

With excitement building among rabid Nokia phones fans for the brand’s imminent global revival as an Android smartphone maker, there’s a bit of confusion about just where the new line of devices will be sold.

But U.S. fans should not fret. The new line will be available here soon.

HMD Global, the Finnish start up that licensed the brand, last month unveiled three new, low-cost smartphone models and a modernized candy bar phone—a reprise of famous Nokia 3310—with a promise to start selling them in 120 markets in the second quarter. After questions about which countries would be included and when—and with some low-end phone maker forsaking the U.S. market—the company said last week in a brief statement that the phones would be sold worldwide all at once.

At the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona last month, some HMD officials were even clearer that the U.S. market was on their list for immediate sales. Although the startup has been in business for less than a year, it’s filled with longtime Nokia veterans from the decades when the company was the top phone brand in the world.

“The U.S. is a very important market for us, so when we say that we’ll go worldwide, we’ll go in more than 120 markets including of course also U.S.,” Pekka Rantala, HMD’s chief marketing officer, told Fortune at MWC.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.Image result for New Nokia Smartphones Will Be Sold in U.S. Market

Rantala spent 17 years at Nokia, rising to head of marketing. He left when the business was sold to Microsoft (MSFT, +0.23%) and then ran Rovio Entertainment, creator of the popular Angry Birds mobile game, before joining HMD last August.

There’s a lot of excitement for the Nokia revival in the United States, according to tracking of mentions on social media and other indicators, Rantala said. And when Nokia made its old school Snake video game available to play via Facebook Messenger, the largest number of players were from the United States, he added.

The startup can pull off the simultaneous global rollout because HMD has so many experienced people on staff from the old Nokia (NOK, +1.69%) days, he said.

“They have the relationships when it comes to both a professional and also personal level in many parts of the world,” Rantala said. “Many people are asking at which countries do you start. I think we start everywhere, because we have the readiness and we have partners who can supply us.”

The new phone line, which is manufactured by a unit of iPhone-maker Foxconn, starts with the Nokia 6 with a 5.5-inch screen and selling for 229 euros, or about $242. A slightly smaller Nokia 5, with a 5.2-inch screen, will go for 189 euros, or $200, and 5-inch model called the Nokia 3 will sell for just 139 euros or under $150. All three models rely on Google’s (GOOGL, -0.20%) Android software.

Nokia Smartphones Primed for a Smartphone Comeback
Nokia may be making a comeback in 2017!

More models at higher and lower prices will be forthcoming eventually, Rantala said. “I’m not saying when, but it’s clear that we are going to evolve the portfolio downwards and upwards because the brand gives is permission to be present in all the price points,” he said.

To HTC’s new shiny expensive U Ultra no

 

If HTC wants to get back to its former days of glory, the U Ultra flagship smartphone is probably not the way to do it. Beloved to many long-time users of Android like me, HTC is a company we’d all like to see back on top of its game. This Taiwanese company put Android on the map and then went on to make some fabulously built can’t-go-wrong smartphones. But that was then. And the U Ultra is now — and the verdict is no.

The one thought that dominates the minds of anyone who’s encountered or considered the HTC U Ultra is the ultra price. ₹59,990 is as unrealistic as it can get given where HTC is with market share today and the competition, which comes in the form of the iPhone, the Galaxy S8s and the LG G6. In fact, phone makers are bringing out similar specs at half the price. Even in the US and other places outside India, the reaction to HTC’s pricing is pure outrage. Now it’s possible that at one point the price may drop, but by then, in my opinion, HTC will have done itself enough damage. And let’s call a spade a spade, the price is no less than ₹60,000 at which point most Indians will say — why shouldn’t I just buy an iPhone? But let’s move on to the device itself.

There are a few schemes including an exchange but that would have worked in the absence of competition.

Quite a beauty

When and if you get past the price, you can stop to admire the brilliant reflective silky glass back of the U Ultra. It’s swanky and trippy, specially in the blue it comes in — availability for which one will need to check. But if you do get a blue unit, few around you will have a phone to match so you’re bound to get enough attention wielding this very eye catching device.

But what you will also get is an exhibition of fingerprint smudges so prominent that HTC is actually providing a soft cloth you should carry along with the phone. This is a first — and one hopes, a last. Put it in a case and it loses one of its main attractions — its looks. Take it out, and it will probably get scratched. So too will the really protruding camera lens. Sure, we have Gorilla Glass 5 protection etc, but I’ll believe it when I see a used unscratched Ultra some months down the line. Until then, you can comb your hair using the Ultra’s back panel.

The shiny back of this phone does make it very slippery. Grip it with one hand and you can feel its slow elegant slide downward. I can’t be sure that it was the right decision to combine the Ultra’s large 5.7-inch size with that much slipperiness. Overall, the phone may be just too big for most people. There have been 5.7-inch phones around, of course, but this one is also broad, compromising the ergonomics.

A strip of screen

Much like the LG V20 — in fact very much like the V20 — the HTC U Ultra has a strip of space on top of the primary screen. It’s exactly the same execution as LG has done and is a place to pin your most frequently used apps and to get notifications.

It’s useful, but by no means a killer feature and one that you can simulate with certain apps, although this would not be an additional screen space but take up place on the main and only screen. Interestingly, the Ultra doesn’t have an always-on display, which is more common these days. Of course, if it had, the 3,000mAh battery would have had more to struggle with, already being too little for this large phone.Image result for To HTC’s new shiny expensive U Ultra — no

Other than this, the 1440×2560 pixels screen is very nice. Unfortunately, at a time when bezels are diminishing, the Ultra’s are a bit too much. Why go in for such a large screen only to have it eaten by broad bezels?

Where’s that jack?

HTC decided to do an Apple with the headphone jack and scrapped it on the Ultra. While Apple supplied an adaptor with its lightning port cable so that you could at least use any existing headphones, HTC didn’t, annoying fans deeply. The sound on the Ultra is great, though not what it used to be long ago, and the earphones supplied are supposed to adjust to you over time, but the omission of the 3.5mm jack is unforgivable. Also missing is a host of other things such as wireless charging (particularly beloved to US users, actually), water resistance, infrared blaster, — and a truly brilliant camera.

From the people who put together Google’s Pixel, still debatably being referred to as the best camera phone, the Ultra’s 12MP camera should have been a deal maker. It’s certainly nice and has the requisite optical image stabilisation, phase detection auto focus and plenty of control over settings, Daylight photographs are good and reproduce colour very well but low light photography still has flaws and can lead to fuzzy, noisy and blurry images in many situations. In any round ups of the top camera phones, the U Ultra doesn’t feature and at this price, it should have.

Smooth and fluid

The U Ultra is however, a very very fast performer and shows no hiccups or hesitations in anything you do with it. It works on a 2.15GHz quad-core Qualcomm 821 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and Android 7.0 with upgrades hopefully on the way. HTC’s interface, Sense UI, has evolved into a very polished execution causing no impediments to functioning. It’s fast and fluid all the way and with the loud BoomSound speaker and large screen can be a treat for watching videos and movies or gaming.

At the open: TSX slips; BlackBerry surges after arbitration win

 

Canada’s main stock index opened slightly lower on Wednesday, while BlackBerry Ltd shares received a sharp boost after an arbitration panel ruled that chipmaker Qualcomm Inc must refund it $814.9-million in royalty payments.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 27.92 points, or 0.18 percent, at 15,69919 shortly after the open, as its heavyweight financial, energy and materials sectors all lost ground.

Blackberry shares were up 16.85 per cent to $12 in early trading.

The Canadian dollar strengthened on Wednesday to a nine-day high against its U.S. counterpart ahead of a Bank of Canada interest rate decision, supported by higher prices of oil, one of the country’s major exports.

 The Bank of Canada is widely expected to hold rates at 0.50 per cent when it releases its interest rate decision and Monetary Policy Report at 10 a.m. ET.

The strength of recent domestic data has pointed to a pickup in Canada’s economy. But the central bank has been skeptical about the sustainability of the improvement and has worried about “significant uncertainties” that weigh on the outlook.

“We expect that concern about possible protectionist trade measures from the U.S. will continue to be highlighted as a key near-term risk to growth,” said RBC Capital Markets in a research note this morning.

The Canadian dollar was trading at $1.3314 to the greenback, or 75.11 U.S. cents, stronger than Tuesday’s close of $1.3332, or 75.01 U.S. cents.

The currency’s weakest level of the session was $1.3339, while it touched its strongest since April 3 at $1.3307.

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Wednesday amid lingering fears of geopolitical risks and as investors prepared for the first rush of corporate earnings on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 20.84 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 20,630.46, the S&P 500 was down 2.93 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 2,350.85 and the Nasdaq composite was down 2.88 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 5,863.89.

The United States launched missiles at a Syrian airfield last week to retaliate a deadly chemical attack on civilians. The strikes pushed President Donald Trump, who came to power in January calling for warmer ties with Syria’s ally Russia, and his administration into confrontation with Moscow.TMX Group Inc. signage is seen at the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) in this file photo. (Pawel Dwulit/Bloomberg)

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the U.S. for a peaceful resolution with North Korea, which has warned it would launch a nuclear attack if provoked by the United States, as a U.S. Navy strike group headed toward the western Pacific.

Investors are closely watching the quarterly earnings to support lofty valuations on Wall Street following a rally fueled by bets on Trump’s pro-growth agenda. The big banks unofficially kick-off the season on Thursday, with results due from JPMorgan , Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

“It would be very important what they (banks) offer as forecast because stock prices imply better times ahead and investors are looking for assurances and positive forecasts to be issued,” said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Gold prices were flat but remained close to the highest level hit in November. The dollar index was also little changed, while oil prices edged up slightly.

Comments from Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan will be parsed for clues on interest rate hikes and the Fed’s plans to trim its balance sheet. Kaplan is expected to speak at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Brent oil extended gains into an eighth straight session on Wednesday, having recovered nearly all last month’s losses, after Saudi Arabia was said to be pushing its fellow OPEC members and some rivals to prolong supply cuts beyond June.

Brent crude futures were up 23 cents at $56.46 a barrel, having touched a one-month high of $56.65 earlier. If the day’s gains hold, it will be the longest winning streak for Brent since February 2012.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 18 cents at $53.58 a barrel, on track for a seventh straight session of gains.

OPEC countries cut oil output in March by more than they pledged, according to figures the group published in a monthly report on Wednesday, as it sticks to an effort to clear a supply glut that has weighed on prices.

Saudi Arabia, de-facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has told other producers that it wants to extend the coordinated production cut beyond the first half of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Given yesterday’s developments in the oil market it is rather surprising to have seen limited price gains across the board,” PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga said.

“Maybe the weekly EIA data … made buyers cautious,” Varga said. “Or maybe the sluggish stock market performance put a lid on yesterday’s price strength but we should not be surprised to see the oil market make amends today.”

OPEC and other producers, including Russia, have pledged to cut output by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of 2017 to rein in oversupply.

Fearing a loss of market share, Saudi Arabia is shielding its most important customers in Asia from the cuts, continuing to supply them with all contractual volumes.

In the United States, production and inventories are surging.

The government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday U.S. 2018 crude output <C-OUT-T-EIA> would rise to 9.9 million bpd, from 9.22 million bpd this year.

With demand expected to rise by 340,000 bpd in 2018, that would leave increasing amounts of U.S. oil for export or storage.

U.S. crude inventories hit a record 535.5 million barrels this month.

Official U.S. production and inventory data will be published later on Wednesday by the EIA.

HTC’s next flagship revealed in biggest leak yet

 

HTC released its U Ultra and U Play earlier this year, but we’ve known for some time the company still had something big in the works.

And while there’s been quite a few leaks and rumours about the upcoming flagship phone, known under the name ‘HTC U Ocean’ or HTC 11, we’re yet to see anything revelatory.

Until now, that is, Prolific tipster Evan Blass, otherwise known as @evleaks, has posted a photo which he claims shows the new HTC flagship in all its glory.

Related: HTC 11

Yes, it seems the HTC 11 will be known as the HTC U, according to Blass, who also tweeted a photo of the new phone:

 HTC logo

The image reveals what looks to be glass on the front and back, but without the screen being switched on, it’s hard to tell exactly where the display begins and ends.

That said, it does seem as though there will be significant bezels on the phone, unlike recent flagship offerings from Samsung and LG.

It also looks like there’ll be a physical home button on the front of the device – so no rear fingerprint scanner as with the Galaxy S8, then.

Blass links to a previous article which lists some specs for the phone, seemingly confirming those specs as accurate – though there’s been no official word from HTC at this point.

Among the rumoured specs are a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 display, a Snapdragon 835 chipset, 4GB RAM, and a 12-megapixel rear camera.

HTC is also said to have included pressure-sensitive edges which allow for extra control, such as taking a photo, and scrolling.

Blass is generally one of the most reliable leakers, so while there’s no way to confirm the picture and specs as accurate, we’re fairly sure Blass is on the money here – but use the usual caution as this is still an unconfirmed leak.

 

Samsung Makes Google Play Music the Default Music App and Service on Its Devices

 

Samsung and Google have jointly announced a new partnership that will make Google Play Music the default music player and streaming service on Samsung mobiles and tablets. The announcements coincides with the global retail launch of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones.

The deal also benefits Samsung users as they’ll be able to upload 100,000 of their own songs to Google Play Music for free, double the limit for owners of non-Samsung devices. Additionally, new Samsung phones and tablets will come with a free three-month trial of Google Play Music. Post the trial period, those who plan to subscribe for it will get over 40 million songs on-demand and access to YouTube Red (where available), just like other subscribers of the service.

Google in November launched a revamped Play Music service that is powered by Google’s machine learning and contextual tools. Machine learning allows the service to understand the music the user likes based on location, time, weather, and activity, to name a few.

Google’s Play Music service competes against the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora Premium, and others. The tie up with Samsung, one of the leading smartphone manufactures in the world, will help Google expand its reach and give it the right amount of boost it needs to take on other streaming giants.Samsung Makes Google Play Music the Default Music App and Service on Its Devices

Having Google Play Music as a default music player means Samsung will not have to worry about dedicating resources towards developing its own music player, though it’s still available to download from Google Play Store. Samsung has tried in the past to get into the music streaming game with Milk Music, but its attempt at competing against Spotify and Apple failed, and the company in August decided to kill off the service.

Interestingly, Google’s Play Music service will support Samsung’s own personal assistant software, Bixby. Users will be able to ask Bixby to look up a song and play it similar to how it works with Apple’s Siri. The Bixby support will kick in once the digital assistant comes out later this spring for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

Samsung’s latest flagship Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will go on sale in India from May 5.

 

Today at Apple bringing new experiences to every Apple Store

 

Cupertino, California — Apple today announced plans to launch dozens of new educational sessions next month in all 495 Apple stores ranging in topics from photo and video to music, coding, art and design and more. The hands-on sessions, collectively called “Today at Apple,” will be led by highly-trained team members, and in select cities world-class artists, photographers and musicians, teaching sessions from basics and how-to lessons to professional-level programs.
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“At the heart of every Apple Store is the desire to educate and inspire the communities we serve,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president, Retail. “‘Today at Apple’ is one of the ways we’re evolving our experience to better serve local customers and entrepreneurs. We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins.”
The free programs focus on the features of Apple products customers love most, across all skill levels and ages. For example, an iPhone user interested in photography can start with six How To sessions that cover shooting, organizing, editing and more. More advanced photographers can join experiential Photo Walks that leave the store to dive into techniques including light and shadow, portraits and storytelling. Going further, a Photo Lab features accomplished photographers on topics such as capturing candids, building a brand on social media or simply sharing their perspective.*
Apple will also offer special programs for families and educators. Teachers can come together for Teacher Tuesday to learn new ways to incorporate technology into their classrooms, or aspiring coders of all ages can learn how to code in Swift, Apple’s programming language for iOS and Mac apps. Families can join weekend Kids Hour sessions ranging from music making to coding with robots. Small business owners can engage with global and local entrepreneurs in the new Business Circuits program.**
Many sessions will be taught by new Creative Pros, the liberal arts equivalent to Apple’s technical Geniuses. Each Creative Pro is an expert in one or more areas of the arts, and highly trained to pass along their knowledge to Apple users of all levels.Image result for Today at Apple” bringing new experiences to every Apple Store

“Today at Apple” Programming

“Today at Apple” offers programs with more than 60 different sessions in creative skills, including:
  • Studio Hours are Apple’s version of a professor’s office hours. Creative Pros host 90-minute sessions on topics from art and design to documents and presentations. Anyone is welcome to bring in a personal project for advice from experts, or to use the space to work alongside others..
  • Photo or Sketch Walks help attendees go beyond capturing moments by exploring new techniques hands-on as they interact in their local community. Photo Walks include sessions such as framing architecture or capturing action on video, while Sketch Walks explore observational drawings, watercolor and brush techniques, and more.
  • Kids Hour is designed to spark imagination and creativity through fun, hands-on projects. Sessions include coding with Sphero robots, Creating Music with GarageBand and Making Movies Together with iMovie.
  • Coding sessions are meant to introduce anyone to coding through Swift Playgrounds, an iPad app designed to make coding interactive and fun for beginners. These sessions will explore coding concepts with the same code professional developers use every day.*
  • Photo Labs bring in talented photographers to experiment with new techniques and styles or uncover a new point of view in hands-on sessions. Similarly, Music Labs explore different genres and beats to introduce new tools to musicians of all levels.*
  • Pro Series take advanced users on a deep dive into Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X with sessions on color correction and grading to post production, or audio mixing to editing for emotion, and more.*
  • Perspectives and Performances, offered at select stores, feature influential artists and musicians talking about their creative process or sharing their talents live.
To deliver the new programs, each store will receive new Forum Displays, mobile screens created by Apple’s design team specifically for Today at Apple sessions, and updated seating and sound, along with wall displays to showcase the products that help customers get the most out of their Apple products.
“Today at Apple” will launch worldwide in May, with sessions in every store.