Tag - Minnesota
After a contract with Dell failed to live up to expectations, a school district in Minnesota has pulled the plug and turned to Apple devices for their students. The St. Paul school district had sought to roll out a new technology initiative with Dell devices for its schools in the 2014-15 school year, but now won't see a full iPad program rollout until 2015-16.
Minnesota's Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill yesterday that would require all cell phones sold within the state to have a "kill switch" starting July 1, 2015. By signing SF1740 legislation into law, the state beats California to the punch in mandating the theft countermeasure. California's bill was only recently passed by its Senate, but still requires approval by Governor Jerry Brown before becoming law.
The world's first Apple reseller, Minneapolis' FirstTech, will be closing down both of its locations on March 30, reports say. Although it first began its life as Team Electronics in 1941, selling more general products, it started carrying Apple products in 1977 and then switched into its current specialization. The second outlet opened just last year in a bid to pick up sales in an area outside of the reach of Apple Stores.
AT&T has continued its ongoing LTE deployment, bringing the 4G service to 14 new markets across the US. The expansion includes Fairbanks Metropolitan Area, Arkansas; Galesburg, Macomb and Peoria, Illinois; Des Moines, Iowa; Maysville and Madisonville, Kentucky; Cumberland, Maryland; St. Cloud, Minnesota; St. Joseph, Missouri; Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Big Spring, Texas and Winchester, Virginia.
On Saturday morning, Apple opened up its new Southdale Center store in Edina, Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis. A long lineup is reported to have formed outside the shop, which is replacing a smaller outlet Apple ran in the Edina mall. During the past couple of years the company has been upgrading a number of stores that are overcrowded or don't match its current preferred aesthetics.
Sprint has expanded its LTE 4G coverage to 28 more towns in the US, according an announcement. The new locations are spread out across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri, Mississippi, Minnesota, Washington, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and Massachusetts. Most of them are relatively minor; some notable names include Branson, Missouri, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Apple is set to launch two more US retail stores this weekend. The most important of these may be the Georgetown location, the company's first in the Washington, DC area. The outlet has had a troubled history, due to Apple plans not matching the look of surrounding historical buildings. It will finally open its doors at 5PM on Friday, June 18th. Regular hours will run from 10AM to 9PM most days, and 11AM to 7PM on Sunday. The shop is at 1229 Wisconsin Avenue NW.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE