Booking Apple’s in-store training sessions is now easier than ever

Picture: Apple

Picture: Apple

One of the best things Apple offers for newbie customers is the ability to go into brick-and-mortar retail stores for training sessions.

Looking to improve this service — or at least to speed up the ability for users to make the appropriate reservations — Apple has made changes to its “Learn” webpage, adding an interactive map of its stores along with revised session details.

The changes also integrate workshops such as Youth Programs and One to One training into the existing Concierge reservation system.

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Ported to iOS, ghostly Blackwell games will leave you yearning for more

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As someone who’s never witnessed any paranormal activity, I’d probably crap myself should I ever come across a ghost in real life. Luckily I’ve got the Blackwell adventure games to give me a tidy little taste of the supernatural.

The episodic game series introduces you to the spirit world through the eyes of Rosangela Blackwell, for whom dealing with specters comes as no surprise, thanks to her family’s long history of strange and unexplained happenings. Her story unfolds over five games that were originally released on PC (and ported to Mac). The first three games in the series, recently ported smoothly and successfully to iOS, introduce us to a brilliantly told story driven by dialogue and character interaction, with many problem-solving elements.

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The new Beats L.A. campus is pimpin’, yo!

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Beats employees, presumably chilling till the next episode. Picture: Fast Company

Beats may have been acquired by Apple for $3 billion earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean that the trendy headphone maker is ready to adopt the white Jony Ive-favored minimalism of Apple just yet.

While Apple continues to work on its Cupertino “Mothership” headquarters, an article from Fast Company sheds some light on the new Beats campus being renovated from two industrial buildings in Culver City, Los Angeles.

Featuring reception areas, conference rooms, and offices in one building, and a cafeteria, gym, and double-height workshop for R&D in the other, the article describes the design as featuring “architectural gestures that go from pop to cinematic to downright arty.”

One thing it’s not, though, is reminiscent of Apple.

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7 things copycat Xiaomi blatantly ripped off from Apple

Xiaomi-Mi41

When Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi announced the Mi 4 on Tuesday, we — and pretty much every other site that covered the news — were quick to point out that it bears a slight resemblance to the iPhone. This isn’t the first time Xiaomi has been influenced by Apple, either. In fact, the company is often referred to as the “Chinese Apple.”

And yet, despite all that, Xiaomi global vice president Hugo Barra, who used to be in charge of Google’s Android division, has dismissed any likeness to the Cupertino company, and says he’s “sick and tired” of the Xiaomi being labeled an Apple copycat.

Based on the evidence, I have to say I disagree.

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Why iPad art is more than a passing fad — though you soon might smell it

Early doodles on the iPad looked a lot like this generation’s Etch-a-Sketch.

But in just a few years, after celebrated artists such as David Hockney have shown their iPad works in galleries, Apple’s revolutionary device has come into its own as a canvas.

The eclectic group of works above are finalists in the second annual Mobile Digital Art Exhibition (aka MDAC Summit 2014), an upcoming art-packed weekend of workshops and a celebration of digital art in Palo Alto, a stone’s throw from Apple headquarters. Take a gander and vote on them by July 31 for the People’s Choice Award.

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Blizzard releases first Hearthstone expansion

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Released earlier this year, Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft manages to do what many would have thought impossible: out MtG Magic: The Gathering.

An astonishingly addictive collectible card game, Hearthstone‘s only failing, if you could call it that, is it was for all intents and purposes multiplayer-only. But today, Blizzard has rectified that by releasing its highly anticipated Curse of Naxxramas expansion for the game on both Mac and iPad.

Best of all? It’s free. Or, at least, the first taste is.

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Early reviews very chilly concerning Amazon’s Fire Phone

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos touts Fire Phone's services at the Seattle launch event. But will Amazon's first phone really deliver? Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos touts Fire Phone’s services at the Seattle launch event. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Jeff Bezos may be ready to roast the Galaxy and iPhone with his much-discussed Amazon Fire Phone, but judging from the first round of reviews, the handset is more of a damp squib than a firestarter.

Ahead of the smartphone’s launch tomorrow, and with the embargo lifted on the early review unit handsets, we’ve finally got an idea of how Bezos’ intriguing pet project has panned out.

And, unfortunately, “panned” seems to be the right word to describe it.

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Apple faces class-action suit over alleged labor violations

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A group of former retail and corporate Apple employees are suing the iPhone-maker for alleged violations of the California Labor Code, claiming Apple never granted timely meal or rest breaks, and failed to promptly send out final paychecks as well.

The case was just bumped up to class-action status yesterday, opening it up to a trial by jury as the case expands to include over 20,000 current and former Apple employees in the state who could be affected by the ruling.

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See OS X Yosemite’s latest tweaks in action in beta 4

The latest OS X Yosemite beta, pushed to developers Monday, brings a few more tweaks to Apple’s upcoming Mac operating system.

In today’s video you’ll get a quick look at the updates in OS X Yosemite beta 4, including changes to Dark Mode, a new calculator and a refreshed iTunes. With the public beta of OS X Yosemite rumored to be just around the corner, Mac fans should be getting excited about the operating system’s great looks and many functional upgrades.

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5 basic iOS tips everyone needs to know

iPhones and iPads are remarkably simple to use. And yet they are also incredibly powerful — and incredibly complicated — devices. Sometimes getting them to do exactly what you want isn’t as straightforward as you might like.

In today’s video, we show you five basic iOS tips that will make using your mobile Apple devices much easier. Edit documents, keep snoops at bay and more by using these easy and effective tips that every iOS owner should know.

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