Apple Stores recruiting fashion/luxury experts ahead of Apple Watch debut

Apple Watch at Colette

Apple Watch at Colette

We’ve already seen how Apple is presenting the upcoming Apple Watch, which it calls its most personal device yet, as not just another technology device but also a piece of jewelry that the fashion world will be proud to embrace.

9to5Mac has now learned from internal hiring documents that Apple is recruiting retail candidates this month with “a fashion or luxury background” suggesting Apple is preparing to deliver some changes to its retail stores in time for the Apple Watch’s early 2015 debut. With former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts leading Apple’s retail efforts and the Apple Watch set to transform the Apple Store into a jewelry store, what could a potential Apple Store makeover include? Read more

Jeremy’s holiday gift guide: Mac, iPhone & iPad gear you can trust

Holiday Gift Guide 5My first post for 9to5Mac is on a topic near and dear to my heart: best-of-breed Apple products and accessories. Why should you trust me? I’ve been a professional product reviewer for 23 years and an Apple user for 28 years. Last week, I finished an 11-year stint running the editorial side of iLounge, the leading Apple product review site, where I tested literally thousands of Apple accessories from every major company on the planet. Readers have praised my reviews as accurate and insightful, and I always put my readers’ needs first when testing new products.

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Apple recruits ‘Head of Social Media’, will be stationed out of Beats’ West Los Angeles HQ

Tim Cook iPhone 6 tweet

Apple is looking to hire a new Head of Social Media and Content that will lead and expand on its current social media strategy. The job will be based out of Culver City, which could hint at Apple’s plans to align its overall social media strategy closer with its recently acquired Beats Electronics division which is located there. The West LA office is also in close proximity to its lead global Ad/Marketing agency Media Arts Lab. Read more

MasterCard debuts new ad spot starring Apple Pay and Gwen Stefani

Apple Pay MasterCard adMasterCard is out with its latest “Priceless Surprises” ad featuring Apple Pay with the help of artist Gwen Stefani. Like its previous World Series promotions, which put Apple Pay front and center, the new 30-second spot shows cardholders using the iPhone 6 and Apple Pay to checkout for purchases and being rewarded with various offers like golf trips, handbags, and concert tickets. The chance to meet Stefani is also on offer with her latest single, “Spark The Fire”, set as the ad’s soundtrack. Read more

Tim Cook demoed Apple Watch for Chinese officials on recent US visit

Tim-Cook-china-meeting-02Tim Cook shows China’s top internet regulator Lu Wei the Apple Watch

Apple CEO Tim Cook alongside Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and other tech executives recently met with China’s Cyberspace Administration ministerLu Wei while the government official was in the US, according to a report from China’s government-run china.com.cn (via Bloomberg). Read more

Apple announces iTunes Best of 2014: apps, music, movies, TV shows and books

best-of-2014

Apple has announced its favorite apps, music, movies, TV shows and books of the year, with Elevate – Brain Training declared iPhone App of the Year while number puzzle game Threes! won iPhone Game of the Year.

For the iPad, ‘desktop-class’ image editor Pixelmator took the top slot, with the gorgeous Monument Valley winning best game. Both Threes! and Monument Valley previously won Apple Design Awards at WWDC back in June …  Read more

Former Apple Global Supply Manager Paul Devine sentenced to a year in prison and $4.5M fine

Paul-shin-devine

A former Apple Global Supply Manager was sentenced in a San Jose federal court earlier this week nearly 3 years after being convicted of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in relation to selling Apple iPhone and component secrets to Apple’s suppliers. AP notes that Paul Shin Devine was up to no good:

“The scheme funneled millions in kickbacks to Devine for passing along confidential information to Apple Inc. suppliers and manufacturers who used the secrets to negotiate more favorable deals.”

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Apple’s new ‘Change is in the Air’ ads show novel uses for the iPad Air 2

ipad-air-2-ad

Apple released a new iPad Air 2 campaign during Sunday football today showcasing various unique physical and software applications for the iPad Air 2.

Featuring the song “Who Needs You” by The Orwells [iTunes Store, YouTube], the ad is a departure from last year’s iPad Air which were focused on a single user.

iPad Air 2 isn’t just the thinnest and lightest iPad we’ve ever created. It’s the most powerful. From the studio to the classroom, the field to the garage, it’s helping people discover new and better ways to do the things they love. Imagine what you’ll do with it.

Microsite embedded below: Read more

Review: Harman Kardon Esquire Mini is the best iPhone speakerphone you can fit in your pocket

Harman Kardon Esquire Mini - Lifestyle (2)not me

I reviewed two portable Bluetooth speakerphone options earlier this year: The Philips WeCall ($145) vs. Logitech P710e ($125) . Both are square and have internal batteries and make conference calling easy. But for their ~$150 price tag, I wondered if you could get more portability and style without sacrificing sound quality.

Harman Kardon Esquire Mini Black (3D View) 02

The answer to those questions is the Harman Kardon Esquire line of portable speakerphones. Below, I take a look at the Esquire Mini which retails for $149.99 and can be found as low as $145 at Amazon or $135 at World Wide StereoRead more

Steve Jobs deposition reveals details of Apple’s contracts with record labels, requirements for DRM on music

iPod classic (four-up)

The videotaped deposition of Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs was played in court today as part of the ongoing antitrust lawsuit involving the iPod, iTunes, and digital rights management. As CNET reports, the video revealed new details of Apple’s deals with record labels and why the FairPlay DRM was created.

Jobs said in his statement that because the record labels were afraid that a store like iTunes could lead to music piracy, they required Apple to create and implement a digital rights management system—which would become the FairPlay system—in order to gain the rights to distribute music. DRM wasn’t something that Apple wanted to do, but had to do.

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Gift guide: The best leather cases & wallets for iPhone 6/6Plus

iPhone-leather-cases-01

I prefer leather, wallet-style iPhone cases, and if you’re reading this you’re likely on the hunt for one as well. I’ve had a lot of cases arriving for review this time of the year following the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch, so below I’ve put together my thoughts on the best leather wallet cases around (and in some cases vegan leather), to guide you through your purchase and show you some of my favorites after going hands-on.  Read more