Apple inviting employees to march in annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade

SF Pride

Apple has invited its employees through an internal memo to participate and represent the company together next month at San Francisco’s annual LGBT pride parade. Apple will host a base camp for registered attendees made up of Apple employees and their families and will supply entertainment and breakfast as well as T-shirts for participants. This year’s Pride Celebration and Parade marks the 44th annual gathering and has been host to the likes of Apple, Google, and Facebook (including CEO Mark Zuckerberg) in recent years. Read more

San Francisco gives final approval for brand-new Union Square Apple Retail Store

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Re/code reports that the city of San Francisco has finally granted Apple permission to begin work on its iconic new Union Square retail center, which the company has said will be “more iconic than the glass cube in New York City.” The store, pictured in the rendering above, has been in the works for almost a year as the city insisted upon various changes to preserve historic elements and allow for improved accessibility.

The store will replace Apple’s existing Stockton Street location, adding about fifty new jobs in the process. Apple’s new building will feature a two-floor design with 23-foot glass sliding doors and a plaza behind the store that will be shared with the hotel next door with free Wi-Fi to visitors.

The iconic Ruth Asawa fountain behind the store will be relocated (slightly) to accommodate the design of the plaza, which caused some concern among members of the city’s planning commission, though Apple has assured the city that the fountain will be entirely preserved during the process.

More renderings of the gorgeous new store can be found below:

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New renderings show proposed Union Square Apple Store with 23-foot sliding glass doors

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A set of new renderings of the proposed Union Square Apple retail location was presented to the San Francisco Planning Department this week that show an updated design for the store’s entrance. The new renders depict the store with massive 23-foot wide sliding glass doors (which measure nearly 45 feet tall each) that a large section of the storefront to open to the street.

Regular-sized doors on either side of the larger ones will allow customers to come and go if the main doors are closed.

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Apple presents updated 3D model of upcoming Downtown San Francisco store to city’s Historical Preservation Commission

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Earlier this year, Apple announced that it would be relocating its flagship Downtown San Francisco to the Union Square District. The new store, with a fully glass front, would be larger, and it would be able to serve more customers and employee more workers. Since then, the new store design came under scrutiny from San Francisco officials because it would remove a famous fountain designed by Ruth Asawa.

In late August, Apple submitted redesigned renderings of the upcoming store that retain the historical fountain. The new renderings also showed a tweaked front glass panel that would relocate the iconic Apple logo to the brushed metal, street-facing side of the store. Now, we’ve learned that Apple has presented a 3D model of the upcoming store’s design to the City of San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission…

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Apple to hold London satellite stream of Oct. 22 event, private stream for employees

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Earlier today, Apple announced that it will be holding its fall event on October 22nd. The event will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. However, like in some past years, Apple will hold a simultaneous event to cater to media not located in the United States.

For its September 10 iPhone event, Apple held simultaneous satellite streams in Berlin, Tokyo, and Beijing. For the upcoming event, the stream will be held in London, according to members of international media invited to the stream. The London-based event will begin at 6PM local time and it will be held at the Kings Place Hall. This hall fits a few hundred people.

It is likely that the London stream will also offer an opportunity for local journalists to try out the new devices. We’re expecting an iPad mini with Retina display, redesigned full-sized iPad, new Macs, and talk of OS X Mavericks, so there will be plenty in store for the demo area…

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Apple announces Tech Talks for 2013, focus on iOS 7

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In April 2013, when WWDC sold out in a matter of minutes, Apple said that they would hold tech talks later in the year. Apple has now sent out the details for these events, with a clear focus on getting developers up to speed with iOS 7.

The talks are going to be held in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin and London. Unusually, Apple is holding two events in each city this year, one for app development and one dedicated to game development. Topics revolve around the new API’s in iOS 7, to further encourage developer adoption of the new technologies. The talks are being held across October, November and December.

Registered developers must apply by September 27th 2013, if they want to attend. Developers can attend either the app developer day or the game developer day, not both.

China Mobile said to be ‘keen’ on selling iPhone, issues that remain are ‘commercial and technical’

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China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua

China Mobile, the world’s largest Telecom with close to 700M subscribers, reported mixed earnings today on slow growth of its smartphone business relative to its competitors which both carry the iPhone. Chairman Xi Guohua noted this and said that talks with Apple on carrying the iPhone were progressing.

“Both sides sounded keen (during recent talks),” Xi told a news conference after announcing the company’s first-half results.

“Good progress was made in preparing for the commercialization of TD-LTE,” Xi said, referring to 4G “long-term evolution” network technology that may support newer iPhone models.

Dow Jones’ Paul Mozur noted the remaining issues to be worked out:

Working out the hurdles and signing up the world’s largest telecom would obviously be a big win for Apple and CEO Tim Cook, who would probably love to announce the carrier relationship at the upcoming September 10th iPhone event in San Francisco.   Read more

Google previews upcoming iOS features in Google Maps app

Google-maps-explore-iosAs reported on 9to5Google last night, Google is rolling out a huge update to its maps app for Android but they are also promising the updates will hit iOS ‘soon’.

  • Designed for tablets: A dedicated tablet design brings all the features of this new app to Android tablets and iPads, which makes exploring the world from the comfort of your living room much more fluid, smooth and fun.
  • Enhanced navigation: In addition to current traffic conditions, we’ve added two new features to help you navigate around traffic. You can now see reports of problems on the road that you can tap to see incident details [Hello Waze]. While on the road, Google Maps will also alert you if a better route becomes available and reroute you to your destination faster. This feature is available only on Android and is coming soon to iOS.
  • Reviews, Zagat and Offers: There’s a new 5.0 star rating system that gives you a quick read on how your friends and others rate places like restaurants, bars and cafes. For an expert’s opinion, the Zagat badge of excellence and curated lists are integrated into search results so you can quickly spot the very best places. From “Best Restaurants to meet for a drink in NYC” to “Best Restaurants in the Mission” in San Francisco, Zagat’s there to help you uncover the local gems.

There’s also a lot of housecleaning, including retiring Latitude (another one bites the dust!) and some changes to offline and My Maps.

The updated Android app looks a lot like the Maps app Google released for iOS at the end of last year (prominent reviewers called the iOS Maps app much better than Android’s Maps app). Another interesting fun fact: Because carriers and manufacturers are so slow to update Android, only 60% of Android users will be able to use the new maps (Android 4.03+ only), while over 90% of iOS users are on iOS 6+, which will get the new features. Read more

Traveling to San Francisco for WWDC [Gear Guide]

I had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco this year for WWDC and experience the City by the Bay for my first time. Though I wasn’t among the lucky few to attend the keynote this year, that hardly robbed me of any adventure in the journey. Because this was my first time making the trek (and I was technically covering a portion of the event for work), I deliberately planned what gear was most appropriate for trip and sort of compiled a list of recommendations based on my experience below. Read more

Government officials call on Apple, Google & others to secure smartphones following increasing thefts

Apple police

After sending a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google, and others questioning if the companies could be doing more to prevent increasing thefts of smartphones, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has now scheduled a face to face meeting with the companies to discuss the issue.

NYDailyNews reports Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon will meet with representatives from Apple, Google, Motorola, Samsung and Microsoft at a June 13 “smartphone summit” in New York.

Schneiderman wants the same thing that San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has been pushing device makers on in recent months– a ‘kill switch’ that would render a device inoperable and discourage thefts of devices:

Letting customers shut down their phones would make them worthless on the black market and reduce so-called “Apple picking” — the fastest-growing street crime in New York City. Schneiderman cited statistics that show a 40% jump in the theft of mobile devices in New York City in 2012.

Back in December, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed thefts of iPhones and iPads were the cause of the increase in the city’s annual crime index and the NYPD’s most recent report showed crimes involving Apple products in the city had increased 40 percent. Read more

Apple confirms WWDC keynote address scheduled for Monday, June 10th

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Apple has confirmed to AllThingsD that this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will kickoff with a keynote address on Monday, June 10th. Apple typically kicks off its WWDCs with keynotes.

Apple previously said that it would debut new versions of iOS and OS X at WWDC. The conference runs from June 10th until June 15th. We’re expecting Apple to debut a redesigned iOS 7 with improved in-car integration, more social network connectivity and OS X 10.9 with an improved Finder and power-user features.

We will have live coverage from Moscone in San Francisco during the keynote.

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