I enjoy visiting Apple stores. On one hand, there’s the bustle - of so many people buying products, waiting for service, talking to assistants - and on the other hand, its a sanctuary for exploration - as you can play all you want on the Apple TV, edit videos on the most powerful MacBook Pro, or even draw something with the Apple Pencil. Apple stores have come a long way in improving their quality, and Apple Orchard Road is a great example.
I was lucky enough to visit Apple Orchard Road, Singapore, in its opening month. The big deal about this store? It is the first official Apple store in Southeast Asia. Until now, Apple could only sell their products via resellers, but that meant less competent salesmen, added costs and possibly lower quality service. Moreover, resellers can never truly replicate the Apple store experience. Which is why I was extremely excited about it.
Apple Orchard Road
Apple Orchard Road is a very large store - especially from the outside. Plants surround the footpath in front of the store. You look into the store though the glass panels that make up most of the front. Inside, the ground floor has everything Apple has to sell - new MacBook models, 5K displays, iPhone and iPad Pro models in all colours, iMac computers and tons of headphones, drones and accessories. Castagna stone staircases take you to the upper floor - The Forum - where all the fun stuff, including Today At Apple sessions, take place. Apple employed 237 employees to manage this two floor store; overkill, but understandable.
I didn’t buy anything at the Apple store, but I really enjoyed using the 10.5” iPad Pro and the recently upgraded MacBook Pro and iMac models. Having visited so many Apple stores before, Apple Orchard Road didn't feel too new, thanks to the same colour combinations and basic design aesthetics. However, The Forum was unique, and I had never seen anything like that in an Apple (or even any other electronics) store.
The Forum makes up the entire top floor. One wall has a massive display for live art and presentations by Today At Apple presenters. There are plants scattered around, with seats beneath them. Then there are tables and chairs for smaller Today At Apple sessions. Apple employees will help you set up your devices or help you make movies on Final Cut Pro X all on this floor. According to me, this is the heart of Apple Orchard Road.
Today At Apple - Photo Walk with Jeryl (@j9ryl)
The reason I visited the Apple Store was to attend a Today At Apple event I had signed up for a few weeks back:
Being a 5:30 PM photo walk on a warm cloudy day, I expected quiet a good attendance. I was right: people of all ages turned up. The session began with a presentation from Jeryl, explaining photo composition and other tips. This would help us click better pictures during the walk. Honestly, this first half-hour was the best part of the Photo Walk experience, as Jeryl showed us his best iPhone shots and explained to us how he shot them.
After that, we went for a walk to two specific locations to photograph there. We spent about an hour walking and taking pictures. A few Apple employees walked with us to take pictures of us participating in the event. We came back to the Store and Jeryl gave us tips on editing our photos. He explained the various options on Snapseed and VSCO and how he used them. Many of us followed along.
The whole process was worth it. I would have never visited this over-bridge to take a picture of it if it weren’t for this event. I’m also happy that I got to meet a photography pro and learn meaningful tips from him through his photos. It was a great experience overall, and I totally would do a Photo Walk again - but perhaps a different one.
If well executed, Today At Apple is a really cool concept. Of course, this is a platform for Apple to promote their products. However, I’m glad that Jeryl was allowed to show us how to edit on Snapseed even though it is a Google app. In fact, you can do a Today At Apple event without even owning an Apple product… you’ll never be denied to use your Android device or your DSLR doing a photo walk.
Except if you don’t have access to Today At Apple, you should try it. Albeit short in time, it is a good experience. Plus, you learn things you may have known. You can book a Today At Apple event here.
There you go! A short account of my experience. Give it a go for yourself ?.
Follow Technonerds on Facebook and Twitter