San Francisco Stories May 20, 2015

Apple is currently planning to use the new system font developed for the Apple Watch to refresh the looks of iPads, iPhones, and Macs running iOS 9 “Monarch” and OS X 10.11 “Gala,” according to sources with knowledge of the preparations. Current plans call for the Apple-designed San Francisco font to replace Helvetica Neue, which came to iOS 7 in 2013 and OS X Yosemite just last year, beginning with a June debut at WWDC…

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San Francisco Stories May 6, 2015

Former Apple retail head launches Enjoy, offering home setup of your gadgets at no extra cost

Ron Johnson, who was Apple’s retail chief for almost 12 years, has finally taken the wraps off the online shopping service he teased back in October of last year. Called Enjoy, the service allows you to order products online for the same price you’d pay buying direct from the manufacturer websites – but get same-day delivery and free home setup.

Whether it’s an iPhone, Sonos speaker system, drone or electric bicycle, the company will send a “personal expert” to your home to hand-deliver the product and spend an hour setting it up and showing you how to use it. The service launches in San Francisco today, reports the WSJ, with New York next in line on 13th May.

Apple is not an official partner, but the company has a deal with AT&T, meaning that customers buying iPhones through the carrier will be offered the option of Enjoy home setup from 19th May.

Johnson acknowledges that consumers may be able to find lower pricing elsewhere, but believes that the convenience of fast delivery and personal setup will make it attractive to time-pressured gadget buyers.

San Francisco Stories April 15, 2015

Apple boosts WWDC scholarship numbers in bid to increase diversity

Apple has told Re/code that it is increasing the number of scholarship places offered at this year’s WWDC from 200 to 350 as part of its work to create greater diversity amongst developers. Those selected get a free ticket to the developer’s conference.

The Cupertino technology giant said it will extend […] scholarships to students age 13 and older and members of organizations working to promote science, technology, engineering and math education for young women, blacks and Latinos. The National Society of Black Engineers, App Camp for Girls and La TechLa are among 20 organizations whose members would be eligible for a scholarship.

The company last year published its first ever diversity report, showing that the company is fairly typical of tech companies today: 70% male, 55% white. CEO Tim Cook said then that he was not satisfied with the numbers, and was doing “meaningful and inspiring” work with women’s and minority groups to bring about change.

Let me say up front: As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page. They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them. We are making progress, and we’re committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products

Cook said during last month’s shareholder meeting that he would work on equality “until my toes point up.”

Apple has, however, refused to make its full federal workforce diversity data public, believed to be on the basis that the job classifications are a poor match for actual roles in the tech sector. Microsoft, Twitter and Amazon also refused.

San Francisco Stories April 14, 2015

Apple has just officially announced its annual Worldwide Developers Conference for this year. The conference will take place in San Francisco as usual in early June. WWDC will officially kick off on June 8th and run through June 12th. Developers interested in attending the conference can apply for tickets starting today with applications open through Friday at 10 am PT/1 pm ET.

Like last year, available tickets will be distributed at random to a portion of applicants due to size constraints of the venue, Moscone West, although Apple says select sessions will actually be streamed live while most sessions will be available online after each day. Apple will announce ticket availability after the random selection process on Monday, April 20th, at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET.

Apple’s WWDC opening keynote serves as the unveiling stage for the next versions of iOS and OS X. Apple’s press release for the conference (below) teases the announcement of “the future of iOS and OS X” as we would expect. expand full story

San Francisco Stories March 5, 2015

Render: Martin Hajek (based on our reporting)
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Tucked away at the bottom of the WSJ’s report on the often-postponed iPad Pro was a single sentence that, if correct, suggests that Apple could announce the 12-inch MacBook Air as early as Monday. Update: it did.

While suppliers are gearing up to ship the new 12-inch MacBook Air in large quantities in the second quarter, Apple’s launch schedule remains unclear, the people said.

WWDC traditionally has been the end of Q2, so unless Apple plans another event specifically for the new model (not impossible but I’d think not), the most likely time to announce it would be during Monday’s Spring Forward event, expected to major on the Apple Watch. Since this is a new product, not an upgrade of a current product, Apple could use some ramping time between the announcement and the actual launch.

We’d caution however that supply chain sources, which is apparently the kind the WSJ is using, often guess early when it comes to shipping times.

We exclusively revealed details of the radical new MacBook back in January. Sources described a markedly thinner and lighter machine squeezing a 12-inch higher resolution screen into a casing narrower than the current 11-inch MacBook Air. The machine is also said to take a minimalist approach to ports–likely even just a single USB C port for both power and data–and to be available in iOS device colors as well as plain anodized aluminum. expand full story

San Francisco Stories February 26, 2015

Apple has just invited several media outlets to a ‘Spring forward’ special event on Monday, March 9th. We’re sure to see a whole lot more of the Apple Watch at this event ahead of its April debut. The event will take place at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.

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