Apple Unveils new Tysons Corner Store →

Apple Tysons Corner in Virginia was one of the first two Apple Stores to open back in May 2001. This week, it is reopening in a new location and features a new design that brings back an old friend. Michael Steeber has details:

Today, Apple revealed its most comprehensive redesign of the Apple Store experience in nearly a decade. The Genius Bar is returning with a reimagined design. There’s an all-new space for more immersive product discovery. Store accessibility has been improved, and new design elements emphasize sustainability. It was 22 years ago at Tysons Corner that Steve Jobs showed the world how to “Shop Different.” Now Apple is back in the mall where it all began to start a new chapter.

Genius Bar support has been fundamental to the Apple Store experience since day one, and now Apple is once again creating a dedicated, identifiable space within the store for customers to find solutions. At the new Apple Tysons Corner, the Genius Bar is located exactly where it was in the first Apple Store — the far right corner. The new bar is built into an alcove lined with wood credenzas attached to backstage. Sitting and standing counters enhance accessibility.

Just look at this thing; I love how this looks:

Genuis Bar at Apple Tysons Corner

As Steeber points out, Apple hasn’t built a new Genius Bar since The Great Apple Store Redesign of 2015. I am glad it’s back, and I hope it’s more than a one-off for this special retail location.

Kbase Article of the Week: Update your iMac Pro for Improved Compatibility in Boot Camp →

Apple Support:

iMac Pro Update for Boot Camp improves the compatibility of iMac Pro with Apple mice, keyboards, and trackpads when running Windows 10 through Boot Camp.

Additionally, iMac Pro Update for Boot Camp addresses these compatibility issues on iMac Pro computers running macOS High Sierra 10.13.6:

  • Problems switching from Windows to macOS using the Apple System Tray
  • Apple Control Panel not launching from the Apple System Tray
  • Custom keys for adjusting brightness, volume, and media playback not working
  • Missing indicators when pairing Bluetooth devices

Start your iMac Pro in Windows, then use Apple Software Update to install iMac Pro Update for Boot Camp and any other available updates.

I find it hard to believe the iMac Pro was announced almost six years ago.

The End of Drobo →

Kevin Purdy at Ars Technica:

You don’t hear nearly as much about Drobo boxes as you used to, especially on sites like Ars Technica. We now have some news, but it isn’t good.

StorCentric, the holding company for the Drobo and Retrospect brands, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late June 2022. Now, AppleInsider reports that, based on an email sent by StorCentric, the bankruptcy shifted from reorganization-minded Chapter 11 to liquidation-focused Chapter 7 in late April.

The writing for Drobo was on the wall, or at least on its website. Text at the top of the homepage notes that, as of January 27, 2023, Drobo products and support for them are no longer available. “Drobo support has transitioned to a self-service model,” the site reads. “We thank you for being a Drobo customer and entrusting us with your data.”

I used a Drobo for years, as it was a great way to hook up a whole lot of storage to a Mac. It’ll be missed.

Apple Announces New Accessibility Features →

Apple Newsroom:

Apple today previewed software features for cognitive, vision, hearing, and mobility accessibility, along with innovative tools for individuals who are nonspeaking or at risk of losing their ability to speak. These updates draw on advances in hardware and software, include on-device machine learning to ensure user privacy, and expand on Apple’s long-standing commitment to making products for everyone.

John Voorhees has a post on MacStories going through all of the new features that are coming later this year, as does Shelly Brisbin on Six Colors. She writes:

This year’s preview also includes a grab bag of nice updates to existing accessibility features, including updated text size adjustments in macOS and tweaks to Siri voices for VoiceOver users who want to listen at extremely high speaking rates. Voice Control will add phonetic suggestions when editing text.

Several of the preview features clearly benefit from machine learning, and Personal Voice might be touted as an AI-based tool if it came from another company. It feels like an application of the technology that’s both entirely positive for the community it’s meant to serve, and reflective of a pretty nuanced understanding of what that community might want.

Skylab at 50 →

William Graham:

On May 14, 1973, the final Saturn V rocket lifted off to deploy Skylab, America’s first space station. Despite a troubled start to its life, Skylab pioneered long-duration spaceflight, and fifty years later lessons learned in this program are still contributing to the success of the International Space Station.

Grateful Geek →

Jean-Louis Gassée has a new book coming out on May 16:

For the past 20+ years, everyone has been waiting for the story to be told. What really happened at Apple when Jobs returned and Gassée was out? In this first ever comprehensive memoir, Gassée doesn’t hold anything back. From his stellar career to his deepest moments of doubts to his new calling as a grand-father, Gassée dispenses his legendary witty advises and shares some very important moments of the tech world.

When most people talk about Apple history, they’re drawn to the two Jobs eras. The years in the middle are just as interesting, but are often glossed over. I am excited to read this.