"Today at Apple"

Apple today announced plans to launch dozens of new educational sessions next month in all 495 Apple stores ranging in topics from photo and video to music, coding, art and design and more. The hands-on sessions, collectively called “Today at Apple,” will be led by highly-trained team members, and in select cities world-class artists, photographers and musicians, teaching sessions from basics and how-to lessons to professional-level programs…

“At the heart of every Apple Store is the desire to educate and inspire the communities we serve,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president, Retail. “‘Today at Apple’ is one of the ways we’re evolving our experience to better serve local customers and entrepreneurs. We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins.”

Ahrendts has already made clear Apple’s vision to make Apple Stores more than just a place to purchase Apple devices and accessories. I see this as the logical next step towards realizing that vision. Sure, they’ve been offering workshops at their stores for a long time now, but “Today at Apple” seems to be a doubling down on making those workshops better and available to more users.

I don’t think it’s just that, though. I’ve noted before how communication is an area Apple was sorely lacking in. Seeing how these programs cater to a wide range of users – aspiring photographers to programmers to teachers – this seems to be a major way that Apple wants to show users the use cases their products are best suited for.

Perhaps a better way to have gone about this (or rather, a way this could be improved or taken to another level) is to take advantage of the internet and bring these programs online. While a retail presence of 495 stores worldwide is impressive, the amount of people who can attend “Today at Apple” programs at these stores is a blip compared to Apple’s user base of millions upon millions.