Apple Retail Stores are going to start training America’s next generation of coders by offering a one hour course to get them started. On Monday, Apple announced it will be offering an “Hour of Code” development class this Wednesday to introduce some students to programming. The free workshops will be held at all of the company’s retail stores during the 5:00-6:00 PM hour. Students cannot just walk in and take the workshop like some of the other workshops that Apple offers, but must make reservations prior to Wednesday.
With Apple’s iOS 7 adoption increasing 74% in recent weeks, it is not surprising that app usage also increased increased in the United States. According to analytics firm Flurry Analytics, iOS app usage increased during Thanksgiving with a whopping 1.2 billion app starts as opposed to roughly 800 million in 2012. This measures every time an app was opened on an iOS device, which can be an awful lot, as you would expect.
The last time I saw Apple.com change its main home screen to honor someone was when Apple’s co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs, passed away. Steve gave much to the world through his leadership and vision, releasing revolutionary products such as the Macintosh, iPod and iPhone. Apple has now updated its homepage to honor another person: Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, a day after he passed away at the age of 95.
Apple has released an updated version of its Apple Store app with support for iBeacon Systems. The OTA update allows customers to receive location based information about Apple’s products when they are in close proximity to or inside of one of the company’s retail stores. The app utilizes the Bluetooth Low Energy profile on all of the new iOS devices and then connects with physical transmitters that are placed inside of the store.
According to an App Store Support Page, Apple’s iOS 7 adoption rate is at 74% about three months after the company released the redesigned software to the public. Apple depicts the adoption in the form of a pie chart, and shows iOS 6 at 22% and anything prior to iOS 5 at 4%. It isn’t altogether surprising iOS 7 is at 74%, especially with the speed improvements, redesigned applications, and new security features the update brings to iOS devices.
There always seems to be problems with the new features Apple introduces, and even though the company usually manages to get past it, it does cause some amount of buzz before going away. The latest issue appears to be with the Touch ID feature in the iPhone 5s, with many users complaining that the accuracy of the fingerprint sensor reportedly decreases over time.
Through the Apple Store iOS app, customers can purchase new products, check for upgrades on their iPhone and essentially browse the Online Apple Store in the mobile form. Apple has offered many free items to customers as an incentive to use it, and today they began giving away free Christmas music through the Apple Store iOS application.
Apple’s iPad Air is no doubt one of the best products the company offers to its customers, and CEO Tim Cook seemed very enthusiastic about how the device would hold up during the holiday season. Cook called this year an “iPad Christmas,” and he seems to be right. According to analytics firm Localytics, Apple’s iPad Air activations increased by 51% during this past Black Friday weekend.
On Tuesday, Apple seeded a new OS X Mavericks beta with a build number of 13B40 to developers. Apple has not yet specified exactly what it wants developers to focus on, though it is likely any new issues will receive the most attention, including some of the issues in the past such as Gmail in OS X, VoiceOver, and the Shared Links tab.
Refurbished versions of Apple’s newest products are now being sold in the company’s online store, including the 11-inch and 13-inch Macbook Airs. The new Macbook Air models were introduced in June this year and Apple is already offering them at a discount. On Monday, Apple’s late 2013 27-inch iMac appeared in the refurbished store, bringing the price of several models down by more than $200.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has acquired a Twitter analytics firm called Topsy for $200 million. Topsy is a a social search and analytics company that works with Twitter to keep an index of Tweets from as far back as 2006. With the acquisition of Topsy, Apple will now be in control of one of the only full collections of Tweets (called a “firehose”) Twitter allows companies to access.
OregonLive has reported that Consumer Cellular, an Oregon-based post-paid carrier, will begin offering the iPhone starting on December 13th. Consumer Cellular is a private mobile operator that has a majority customer base of senior citizens and serves them with a range of options that suit them. Consumer Cellular went ahead with a deal with Apple, primarily because its senior citizen base requested they be able to access their emails and the Internet on their mobile devices.