Shifts some training, pre-buying questions to web site
Amid reports that Apple is looking at new ways to make the retail Apple Stores more profitable, the company has added a new "online training" feature to its store website, bringing "live chat" abilities along with a guided tour of the online store, Genius scheduling, or the ability to request a phone call from a product specialist. The program launched today in the UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil, but has not yet been rolled out in the US.
Highlights Genius help, aimed at switchers
Apple took the occasion of the Opening Ceremonies for the London Olympics to introduce a new line of TV ads, now featuring a likeable Apple Genius technician (forever in uniform at all hours of the day and night) who helps new Apple customers accomplish tasks quickly and easily. While two of the ads feature the Genius helping out in a comical "crisis" situation, a third stands out as a soft rebuke of "knock-off" Windows machines that imitate the Mac.
Genius outs wireless mouse with capacitor
Taiwanese computer peripherals maker Genius has just released its DX-ECO BlueEye Mouse. The mouse centers on a recharge time of just three minutes and will allow the mouse to last a whole day thanks to its use of a capacitor rather than a traditional battery. The gold capacitor has a quoted life of 100,000 recharges.
Catcher overtime may be iPad 3 clue
A combination of statements and rumors on Friday has hinted that Apple might be pulling out stops to get the iPad 3 released as soon as possible in 2012. With rumors circulating from Taiwan's Economic Daily News that the iPad 3 was being targeted for a wide window between mid-February and late March, Catcher mentioned that some staff would have to work overtime during the Lunar New Year holiday in and around January 23. Informal sources also had other key iPad suppliers trimming back, with Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Industry) limiting vacations to five days, battery designer Simplo, camera lens maker Genius, and connection builder Amer all having some staff work through the break.
iPhone 5 production ratios, camera tech uncovered
Two simultaneous discoveries have helped outlined the since-started production of the iPhone 5. Chinese tipsters said Monday that Apple contract partners Foxconn and Pegatron were manufacturing the devices without firmware. The step seen by MacOtakara wouldn't be surprising given the OS' uncompleted state but will leave Apple with a relatively short interval between having a finished OS and when it can ship.
Genius ships Ring Mouse for Windows computers
Genius has released its Ring Mouse in North America on Friday. The device is worn on a finger, like a ring, and allows for wireless control of presentations, web browsing, photo viewing and more. It uses a 2.4GHz wireless radio for communication and has touch-control technology for scrolling, with movement sensitivity of up to 1,000DPI.
Also features Ping summary and new controls
Apple has silently upgraded iTunes earlier today and restored the "Genius" features in a revamped fashion, renaming the sidebar (which became the "Ping" sidebar as of 10.0.1) to simply the "iTunes Sidebar." The new sidebar features Genius recommendations based on a selected song and even includes the ability to play samples of suggested songs without entering the iTunes store.
Genius' low-cost tablet tested
Genius' EasyPen i405 tablet promises to undercut the mainstream in tablets by offering a substantial number of drawing features attached to a reasonable price tag. However, can it compare to the user experience of industry titans like Wacom, whose businesses revolve almost exclusively around pen input? We take a look in our review.
Media player offers new background options
Apple on Thursday released iTunes 9.0.2, an update do its media software. The latest version adds support for Apple TV's v3.0 firmware, which features a revamped menu system and several iTunes features such as Genius Mixes, LPs and Extras. Other minor changes include a dark background option for Grid View and improved support for accessibility.
Update available for latest 160GB models
Apple has released a firmware update, v2.0.3, for the latest 160GB iPod classic. The update adds support for Genius Mixes, the iTunes feature that automatically creates playlists. Tracks are analyzed and combined into several genre-based mixes that can be listened to via iTunes or directly from the iPod.
Genius adds 14W RMS desktop speakers
Genius on Thursday announced the release of its SP-HF500A two-way high-fidelity wood-enclosed desktop speaker set. The 3-inch drivers get 14W of RMS power and include a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack on the front panel for hooking up phones, MP3 players and other source devices. A headphone output allows for private listening.
Apple intros firmware v3.1 for iPhone, iPod touch
Along with several new iPod introductions, Apple on Wednesday also announced a firmware update, v3.1, for the iPhone and iPod touch. The latest firmware brings the company's Genius technology to App Store content. The new functionality works in a similar way to the music feature, allowing users to view app suggestions based on their list of downloads and popular content from other users.
Genius steering wheel
Genius on Friday announced the upcoming release of an addition to its lineup of steering wheels with the TwinWheel FF steering wheel controller. Compatible with Sony's PS2 gaming console and PCs, the wheel has 12 programmable buttons and attaches to flat surfaces via four suction cups and a c-clamp. It connects to a PC or PS2 via a USB port.
Genius HD Cam Ships
Genius has announced its G-Shot HD520, a pocket-sized HD digital video camera it hopes will break price barriers for the class. The six-ounce camera features a 2.4-inch screen, records 11-megapixel stills and records in 5-megapixel MPEG 4/H.264 video that produces a 720p picture. The HD520 has some features reserved for higher-end cameras, such as facial detection and image stabilization, and its LCD screen rotates through 270 degrees.
iTunes video Genius live
After a brief postponement, Apple has at last enabled Genius video recommendations within iTunes. When browsing personal movie or TV show collections, the Genius Sidebar will now suggest videos to buy from the iTunes Store, based on information uploaded to Apple and compared against the purchases of others. The option can be toggled on and off, in the same manner as Genius for music recommendations.
Genius speakers, camera
Genius recently announced that it will bring two new products to add to its lineup of devices that includes speakers, headphones, digital photo frames and more. The first of the new products is a wireless stereo speaker system (actual product not pictured) that works on the 2.4GHz frequency to transmit signals from a satellite speaker that doubles as a receiver to its simpler twin and a subwoofer. Range is said to be 100 feet and while other information is not known, there is a 3.5mm audio jack that lets users connect the system to their personal multimedia players, PCs or any other source with the ubiquitous connector.
Apple Genius hiring docs
Details of Apple's hiring process and documents for Genius positions show tight control over employees, according to a leak on MacBlogz. Aviv Hadar applied for a Genius job online and was subsequently invited to the local store for an interview. After a half hour past the scheduled time, Hadar said the two managers "waltz in like they were Apple execs or something."
Apple updates Remote app
Apple has released an update to its proprietary app for iPhones and iPod touches, Remote. The program lets users control music on a computer or Apple TV through one of the handhelds, with the ability to view album art and information, and configure audio output through AirTunes. The updated version, 1.1, adds Genius support, letting users create the recommendation playlists remotely.
Genius SW-T21 Speakers
Genius today gave an advance look at a new speaker set that expands on the touch input feature of the SP-T1200 The SW-T2.1 1800 (not yet pictured) lets user adjust sound settings without the perceived visual clutter of dials but significantly improves the audio quality with a six-inch subwoofer to separate the low-end frequencies. A DRD 3D spatialization effect expands the sound field.
Genius GHP-05 headphones
Genius released a premium headphone set Tuesday which reportedly offers a more 'live' listening experience thanks to a new 3D surround technology. The GHP-05 Live features an integrated DRD True 3D surround sound system said to enhance bass and dynamic range. According to Genius, the technology allows for pronounced low bass while delivering high treble levels along with well-defined vocals.
Woman upset at treatment
Apple stores are not immune to one of the most common retail woes, after the Genius at the Bellevue Square store in Washington State alienated at least one female customer. Electronics retail locations typically exhibit a trend of believing women to be less technically competent than males. A woman identified as Anjela went into the location with the intent of buying a MacBook Air, but was received poorly when the Genius, Bill, chose to neglect her and speak with her husband.