I have seen a lot of complaint articles and negative Twitter pile-ons about the current design and operation of Apple Stores over the past few months. Some of this was likely stirred up by the departure of Angela Ahrendts from the company. She had spent a lot of her time at Apple giving Apple Retail a new makeover, getting rid of some iconic features like the Genius Bar in favor of a more open and communal space setup.
There have been more recent comments made since the departure of Jony Ive from the company a few weeks ago. While Ahrendts was the driver behind the changes to the Apple Stores, Ive was the lead designer. As with Apple Park, his commitment to open spaces and environments is taken just about as far as it can go. Anything at the extremes like that tends to be polarizing, so most will either love it or hate it.
I wrote about Apple’s Hour of Code events a few weeks ago when they announced their expanded slate of classes in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. While coding class classes dominated the schedule during that week, including a couple geared specifically toward teachers, the Hour of Code How to Get Started with Coding and a couple of Kids Hour classes are still part of the running agenda at the Apple Store in Germantown, TN.
While I intended to take my kids to a couple of classes the weekend after I wrote that original article, the timing just didn’t work out. However, my daughter and I were able to finally able to make one yesterday. She had a friend staying over with us thanks to school being out for Christmas Break, so she came with us as well. Thanks to a heavy downpour, we ended up being the only ones in the class, which actually turned out great. I brought my current iPad Pro and my old one that my family now uses along with Swift Playgrounds loaded up in advance so the girls would be able to use them. Since there wasn’t anyone else, I was able to join in the class exercises using one of the store’s iPads.