Apple’s free Summer Camp teaches kids to code

Summer camp is coming to an Apple Store near you.

Parents looking for a cool summer activity for kids will soon be able to drop their youngsters off at the Genius Bar for a programming upgrade.

Apple opened registration for its annual summer Camps this morning which give children 8 to 12 the opportunity to come into the Apple Store to learn coding, robotics, moviemaking and storytelling using iPads and Macs. Best of all, the three day camp is totally free.

The summer camp sessions are scheduled between 10:30 a.m. – 3:30PM local time from July 11 until August 12. You don’t even have to live in the US to get in on the action, with stores in countries like the UK, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, and more participating.

Apple’s Summer Camp offers three different sessions: Coding Games and Programming Robots, Interactive Storytelling with iBooks and Stories in Motion with iMovie.

Spots are pretty limited so you should get a jump on the free three-day program before your local store is booked.

Here’s what the kids will be doing:

Coding Games:

Kids will learn visual block-based coding for games, applying logic skills such as pattern recognition and problem solving. Then they’ll use what they’ve learned to program their own robots to perform tasks, challenges, and much more.

Create epic movies:

Campers will learn everything they need to create their own movies. They’ll storyboard ideas, shoot video, and delve into other aspects of the filmmaking process. Then they’ll edit their new epics in iMovie on a Mac

U.S. Apple Stores offer machine-applied protectors for iPhone

Belkin-ScreenCare-applicator

Apple Stores in the U.S. are now offering machine-applied screen protectors for iPhone. The service, which uses a Belkin protectors and the ScreenCare+ applicator tool, starts at $18 and is available for iPhone 6 and up.

Apple Stores in Japan first began using Belkin’s tool to apply screen protectors last week, and now the service is available in the U.S.

Thanks to the ScreenCare+ applicator, you get a flawless finish that’s free from air bumps and dust particles. The standard protector applied is made using “InvisiGlass,” which is a flexible glass technology that absorbs impact and scratches without breaking.

There’s also an anti-glare option made out of scratch-resistant PET material that “enhances visibility by reducing glare from bright sunlight and artificial lighting,” according to Belkin’s ScreenCare+ webpage.

Here’s a video that showcases the ScreenCare+ tool, and how it works.

Belkin claims its protectors are so clear and so precise that you’ll hardly notice they are there. To get yours, simply pop into your local Apple Store.

Select Apple Stores offering $50 discount on iPhone + Apple Watch purchases

Apple seems to be trialling small discounts on Apple Watches purchased with iPhones in certain stores. Through a store-only deal running today through November 15th, Apple is knocking $50 off the price of Apple Watches and Apple Watch Sports when bought with new iPhones. Not only is the promo not available online but it’s also being offered in select stores in just two states: California and Massachusetts.

Apple Creates Massive Floral Window Installation at Selfridges to Promote Apple Watch.

Apple today launched a new Apple Watch advertising effort in London, decorating the 24 windows of the Selfridges department store with a massive floral installation. Each window has flowers that were inspired by the flowers that can be found within the “Motion” face on the Apple Watch.

Design magazine Wallpaper has shared photos and details on the installation, which uses 3D flowers created through a range of methods from resin casting to 3D printing. Each window also displays an Apple Watch with a watch face that matches the flowers.

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There are eight different flower variations decorating the windows, each of which was scaled, sculpted, and hand-painted by artists, a process Wallpaper describes as “painstaking and meticulous as the original photography.”

Earlier this year, Apple Human Interface Chief Alan Dye explained the effort that went into each of Apple’s “Motion” watch faces. Apple shot all of the animated flower, butterfly, and jellyfish photos used in the watch face. For the flowers in particular, Apple shot photos as they bloomed, with one single flower taking 285 hours and more than 24,000 shots.

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For the window installation, artists created 24 large, 50 medium, 240 “small plus” and 5,525 small flowers, split across the aforementioned eight varieties. Paul Deneve, formerly the CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, had a hand in the window designs and gave a statement to Wallpaper.

We are thrilled that the flowers of the Apple Watch face have inspired such a beautiful design and to see it come to life in this amazing installation, reflected in all 24 of Selfridges’ historic windows,’ says Paul Deneve, Apple’s vice president of special projects.

Apple’s flower installation follows two other installations that have been used to decorate the Selfridges department store, including “Chromosphere,” which displayed the Apple Watch in colored orbs of light, and “Butterflies,” featuring a huge kaleidoscope of fluttering butterflies.

applewatchbutterflies

Selfridges in London is the home of the iconic Wonder Room, a section of the department store that sells luxury jewelry and watches. The Apple Watch is sold from a pop-up shoplocated towards the entrance of the Wonder Room, with all models from Sport to Edition available for purchase.

Why MacBook screens must be angled at 76 degrees in Apple Stores

Researchers have created the first undetectable firmware worm for Mac.

Have you ever noticed that the MacBooks are positioned at a slightly awkward angle whenever you visit an Apple Store?

As it turns out, there’s method to Apple’s madness — and it’s all about getting customers to adjust the screens, thereby giving them a taste of just how gorgeously tactile the company’s MacBooks really are.

But things don’t stay the same for long in Cupertino. According to Business Insider, a recent instruction to Apple Store employees mandates that instead of being angled at 70 degrees as they have been previously, now MacBooks must be positioned at exactly 76 degrees.

Apple Store employees measure these angles using the Simply Angle app on their iPhones. Interestingly enough, the app recently disappeared from the App Store — presumably forcing Apple Store competitors to resort to good old-fashioned plastic protractors if they want to borrow Apple’s cunning strategy.

As to where the 76 degree angle comes from, sadly there’s no explanation.

From speaking with many Apple employees over the years, however, I do know that Apple was one of the first tech companies to rely on the cutting-edge findings of retail psychologists to give it the edge, however subliminally, when it comes to winning customers.

No doubt the exact origin of 76 degree MacBooks will one day pop up as an anecdote in Tim Cook or Angela Ahrendts’ memoirs.

For your interest, here’s a comparison of the two distinct MacBook angles. Which one would get you to part with your cash?

macbook-angle-2

This rapper recorded his entire album at the Apple Store.

Prince Harvey in his studio, aka the Apple Stpre

Recording a rap album is tough, expensive work. Sure, you can bust out a crappy demo on computer if you can’t afford studio sessions, but when Brooklyn rapper Prince Harvey’s laptop got stolen, he found the next best thing to busting out beats at the library: The Apple Store in SoHo.

 After Prince’s second computer failure left him without a way to record his album, a report from the Daily Beast claims the rapper spent the next four months inside the Apple Store, laying down vocals and creating backing instrumentals.

Everyday for four months, Price rapped, hummed, and spat fire into an iMac on display at the SoHo Apple Store. By befriending a pair of employees, and learning a few tricks to save his work, Prince made the store his home, visiting it every weekday to finish his masterpiece aptly titled PHATASS — an acronym for Prince Harvey At The Apple Store: SoHo.

“It wasn’t my plan to record this at the Apple Store,” Prince Harvey told the Daily Beast. “First, my computer died. Then my external [hard drive] died,” he says. “New York is expensive. I couldn’t just buy another laptop. I just thought, ‘I’m going to die before anyone knows I’m hot.’”

To save his work from getting deleted by the store’s memory wipe every night, Prince discovered he could hide files in the trash and come back to work on them the next day. He also could email them or put them on a thumb drive, but unforeseen obstacles like fire drills caused some of his work to get lost in the process.

“I’m just a creator,” says Prince. “I want to inspire other people to create—show them that you don’t need all these things to be successful.”

His album all about his hard, fastpaced lifestyle in Brooklyn is set to be released on July 26th. Here’s a little sampling of his beats and flow:

Apple Watch Edition is totally untouchable in 38 states.

Apple Watch Edition

Want to try on the super-fancy $10,000 Apple Watch Edition? You might have to do a bit of driving, because in a whopping 75 percent of the United States, it’s totally impossible to demo the solid gold Apple smartwatch.

Only 12 states (and the District of Columbia) have Apple Stores taking appointments to check out the Apple Watch Edition. That leaves 38 states that are apparently not fancy or fashionable enough to offer demos of the schmanciest Apple Watch of all. To see if you live in one of them, check out Cult of Mac’s handy map below, but be prepared to weep.

Apple Watch Edition

Assuming you’re in one of the lucky golden spots, you can try to nab an appointment on Apple’s Concierge site.

Even the stores that are selling Apple Watch Editions have been filling up all available demo times, but hey. Maybe you’ll luck out and stumble onto a cancelation.

Seeing is believing

If not, all is not lost. If you live in one of those blue states, you can still schedule an appointment to check out the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport at the nearest Apple Store in an attempt to figure out which wrist gizmo is right for you. You can try them on and get your sizing figured out — and even if you’re a skeptic, you’ll likely walk out an Apple Watch believer.

But what if you live in one of those gray states in the map of shame above? In that case, you’re screwed if you want to try on an Apple Watch at all, gold or otherwise. But at least you still have that augmented-reality version. And your dreams.