Apple Orchard Road in Singapore Officially Opens to the Public

Apple today officially opened up its first retail location in Southeast Asia, Apple Orchard Road in Singapore, to the public at 10:00 a.m. local time. The store marks the newest addition to Apple's next-generation retail rollout, following similar design principles and community-focused values seen at Apple Union Square in New York and Apple Dubai Mall.


As the first Apple retail store in Southeast Asia, Apple Orchard Road has received a lot of attention over the past few weeks leading up to its grand opening. Reports began to ramp up in early May when Apple put up a mural in front of the store that displayed large "Apple Loves Singapore" artwork in various places. Upon closer inspection, the details of the artwork represented different "Creative Pros" who will now help run Apple Orchard Road's "Today at Apple" programs.


After the opening date was announced, Apple removed the barricades from the storefront, unveiling the design of the inside of the store for the first time. Earlier this week, the Cupertino company then allowed members of the press to visit the store and take pictures of its next-generation design, which included a curved staircase inspired by Apple Park and an upstairs "town hall" gathering space for Today at Apple sessions.

Apple Orchard Road is the newest step in the company's plan to eschew more traditional retail establishment principals where the only purpose is to visit the store to buy something, and encourage customers to be inspired by the products through Today at Apple. When the company announced the new sessions would begin expanding worldwide in May, Apple senior vice president of retail, Angela Ahrendts, said that Today at Apple was catalyzed by Apple's "desire to educate and inspire the communities we serve."


Ultimately, Ahrendts hopes that the next generation refers to Apple as a meeting spot similar to the communal nature of a place like Starbucks. "Starbucks figured it out, you know? Being a gathering place for – right? 'Meet me at Starbucks,'" Ahrendts said. "And you know, I've told the teams, 'I'll know we've done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, "Meet me at Apple. Did you see what's going on at Apple today?"'"


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New Images Provide Detailed Glimpse Into Apple Orchard Road in Singapore

After removing the barricades from its brand new retail location in Singapore, Apple this week has allowed a few reporters to tour the inside of Apple Orchard Road ahead of its grand opening this Saturday, May 27 (via Mashable). The location marks Apple's first store in Southeast Asia.


The outside of the store features an all-glass design that spans 120 feet, allowing anyone passing by to glimpse into the two-story location. The bottom level of the store houses the traditional retail aspect of Apple locations, letting customers browse and purchase products like iPhone, Apple Watch, and MacBook.


A curved staircase inspired by Apple Park leads up to the second story where customers will find a large grove of trees that was specially brought in from Malaysia, and that Apple hopes gives off a "modern-day town square" vibe. Next to the trees sit a collection of cubes and a large screen -- an area specifically designed for "Today at Apple" events.


In one moment during the media's tour through Apple Orchard Road, an illustrator was seen drawing on iPad with Apple Pencil, and the store was displaying her progress on the screen. Like all Today at Apple events, the company wants customers to be able to walk into Apple at any time of the day and find inspiration.

"You can see an illustrator just sitting over there and we're air-playing her illustration on the video wall — that's the real goal at Apple. You can come come in and be inspired or buy an iPhone, but we wanna show people what they can create with our products."

"You can see an illustrator just sitting over there and we're air-playing her illustration on the video wall — that's the real goal at Apple. You can come come in and be inspired or buy an iPhone, but we wanna show people what they can create with our products."
Apple Orchard Road represents one of nine major next-generation Apple Store redesigns, which also includes its spots at Union Square in New York, Dubai, Ginza, and more. The major changes began last summer when Apple dropped "Store" from its retail branding, signifying its shift to a communal gathering place over a purely merchandise purchasing experience.

After a year and a half, Apple Orchard Road will finally open to the public on May 27 at 10:00 a.m. local time. Check out more photos of the store taken by Mashable and CNET, including the location's boardroom that has murals of Apple Park hanging on the walls and Designed by Apple in California sitting on a few tables.


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Interior of ‘Apple Orchard Road’ in Singapore Unveiled Ahead of Grand Opening

Apple last night removed the blockades previously obscuring the inside of its new retail location in Singapore, which will officially be called Apple Orchard Road when it opens this Saturday, May 27 (via The Straits Times).


After the "Apple Loves Singapore" artwork was removed from the location, people passing by have gotten the chance to take a glimpse inside the two levels of the store. The bottom level is said to be the place where customers will browse and purchase iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, Macs, and various accessories, while the top floor will be home to "Today at Apple" classes.


Work on opening the first official Apple retail location in Singapore has been ongoing for well over a year, with Apple confirming the store's existence in November 2015, the same month it began hiring for the new location. Once it opens on May 27, the store will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time.


Apple Orchard Road's grand opening coincides with the beginning of the company's new Today at Apple initiative, which kicked off this past weekend. Apple recently celebrated the launch of the educational classes by sharing a collection of photos that show its visitors learning to code, taking pictures, creating illustrations, and producing music all on iOS and macOS devices.


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Singapore’s First Apple Store Opens May 27

Apple's first retail store in both Singapore and Southeast Asia will open Saturday, May 27 at 10:00 a.m. local time, according to an official opening date recently added to the white facade covering the long-awaited Orchard Road location.


As noted by The Straits Times, workers were seen adding the opening date on the white facade that covers the front of the store at the Knightsbridge shopping complex in downtown Singapore close to midnight on Tuesday night local time. Apple has yet to list the store on its website, but it likely will soon.

Earlier this month, Apple began removing construction barriers around the store, revealing a large mural and 12 smaller pieces of artwork that showcase the Apple logo, a heart, and a little red dot, referencing Apple's love for Singapore. "Little red dot" is a widely known nickname for Singapore, home to over 5 million people.

Apple's plans to open its first retail store in Singapore were revealed by gym chain Pure Fitness, which closed in December 2015 to make space for the Apple Store in its exact location. Apple confirmed the store and began hiring retail employees in November 2015, and construction has been underway over the past year.

The store will open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. The location will likely feature Apple's next-generation retail design.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Tag: Singapore

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Apple Maps Transit Directions Now Available in Singapore

As Apple prepares to open its first retail store in Singapore, the company has also expanded Apple Maps feature availability in the city-state, enabling transit directions.

Transit information may still be in the process of rolling out to all customers, but according to the iOS section of Apple's Singaporean website, and a feature availability list, transit directions are live in Singapore.


Apple Maps now allows users to get directions for the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system that spans across most of Singapore using the "Transport" tab within the app. Each MRT line is color-coded for simple navigation.

Along with transit directions, Apple Maps in Singapore is also gaining points of interest, a feature designed to highlight notable buildings, parks, and other landmarks.

Transit directions have been available since iOS 9 launched in 2015, and while availability was limited at launch, Apple has been slowly expanding transit information to various countries around the world.

More than 10 countries now have access to transit directions, and the feature has also expanded to many locations in the United States. A full list of where Transit directions are available can be found on Apple's website.


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Apple’s First Retail Location in Singapore Close to Opening as ‘Apple Loves Singapore’ Mural Revealed

Construction barricades have recently begun disappearing around Apple's first retail location in Singapore, revealing a large mural and 12 smaller pieces of artwork that showcase the Apple logo, a heart, and a little red dot, referencing Apple's love for Singapore.

Inside each of the little red dots Apple has personalized the barricades further, changing the artwork to represent illustrator Kristal Melson, photographer Aik Beng Chia, app developer Hon Cheng Muh, and more creatives.


The company has also listed quotes under each Apple Loves Singapore sign, with Muh's reading: "It's crazy that what I'm doing now did not exist 10 years ago. It took a lot of patience getting past the steep learning curve. But change is possible when there's passion."

According to The Straits Times, these 12 pieces of art represent 12 Creative Pros -- or "Red Dot Heroes" -- hired by Apple who will work at the store to be the "liberal arts equivalent of Apple technical geniuses." The workers will be part of Apple's just-announced Today at Apple retail initiative, which is expanding worldwide this month.


The Apple retail store will be located on Orchard Road, an entertainment and shopping hub of Singapore, and officially be known as Apple Orchard Road. The location has been talked about since the fall of 2015, but Apple never gave a clear timetable for the store's opening once it missed its original late 2016 debut.


It remains unclear exactly when Apple Orchard Road will open, but progress on the store appears to be nearing completion. The retail location will be run on 100 percent renewable energy, as does all of Apple's operations and facilities within Singapore.

(Thanks, Kenneth!)


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Apple Expands Carrier Billing to Italy, Singapore, and Austria

Apple has enabled carrier billing in Austria for Drei customers, Italy for Three customers, and Singapore for M1 Limited customers, expanding upon the feature's existing availability among select carriers in Belgium, Germany, Japan, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.


The payment method enables customers to pay for iTunes content, App Store apps, iBooks, and Apple Music subscriptions without needing a credit or debit card, or even a bank account. Instead, purchases are added to a customer's mobile phone bill and paid off at the end of the month.

Apple has a support document explaining how to set up carrier billing on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and Mac or PC.


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The 3D-modeling software shaping Singapore’s future is straight out of a sci-fi film

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When you envision three-dimensional city models that you can navigate, explore and alter in virtual reality, there’s a good chance the first thing that comes to mind is a video game, or a sci-fi movie that takes place many years in the future.

These technologies are hardly far-fetched, however. Today, there’s real, practical application for such 3D-modeling software — and it’s helping shape our cities.   

Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform, for example, is just such an innovative tool. The technology influences how urban planners, architects and government officials plan for the future.

Singapore is one of the forward-thinking cities using the technology in innovative ways. A compact island state, Singapore faces numerous challenges as its population expands. The city-state’s temperatures, for example, can be unbearably hot during certain times of year — but designing for improved wind flow throughout the city can help keep residents comfortable.   Read more…

More about Supported, Modern Cities, City Planning, Urban Planning, and Singapore

This is possibly the cutest military blimp ever

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People have been spotting a military blimp up in the sky that the Singapore Air Force just started testing.

The blimp, made by U.S. manufacturer TCOM, is radar-equipped and is meant to add an extra set of eyes to alert the military to possible threats, the Straits Times reported.

The 55m (180 ft) helium-filled aircraft can see up to 200km (124 miles) away, and will eventually operate 24/7.

People have been surprised to see it in the skies, and some have pointed out how cute the roundish balloon looks, compared with other sharper-edged compatriots.

Look at how cute our military blimp is pic.twitter.com/5upbW6S26H

— Jiayuan (@kosherjellyfish) December 5, 2016 Read more…

More about Air Force, Military, Surveillance, Singapore, and World

HSBC Now Accepts Apple Pay in Singapore

HSBC has announced it now accepts Apple Pay in Singapore as of December 1. Visa and MasterCard credit cards issued by the bank can now be used with Apple Pay wherever contactless payments are accepted in the country.

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Between now and January 15, 2017, the first 8,000 HSBC customers will receive $5 off every Apple Pay transaction with their HSBC credit cards, with a minimum spend of $10 per transaction. The cash back promotion is capped at $20 per customer.

Eligible cards can be added to Apple Pay by tapping "Add Credit or Debit Card" in the Wallet app on an iPhone 5 or newer. iOS 8.1 or later is required.

Apple Pay launched in Singapore in April 2016. Other participating banks in the country include DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, POSB Bank, Standard Chartered, and UOB. Non-bank-issued American Express cards are also supported.

Apple Pay also launched in Spain earlier today.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: HSBC, Singapore

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