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Apple Daily: Latest on Apple Watch and MacBook at Retail; Maps Update Coming?

With all eyes on Friday’s launch of the Apple Watch, it’s not surprising that much of this edition of the Apple Daily is focused squarely on Cupertino’s first wearable. We’ve got updates on new product availability, developers being offered a chance to buy a Watch this week, and potentially good news for Maps fans looking forward to the return of public transit directions.

Retail Boss Updates Employees on Watch, MacBook Launches

French website Mac4Ever (via Google Translate) today shared a video intended for Apple employees around the world in which senior vice president of retail and online stores Angela Ahrendts updates her staff on what’s going on with product launches for the Apple Watch and the slim new MacBook, both of which have frustrated early adopters with limited availability.

Angela Ahrendts video

In a nearly five-minute video shot near Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, Ahrendts praises retail staffers for the way they’ve handled in-store Apple Watch demos, which require prospective customers to order online and potentially wait weeks or months to actually receive one.

“It was not an easy decision, and I think it’s really important to remind every single customer that this is not just a new product for us, this is an entirely new category. And the first time we’ve ever previewed a product two weeks before availability,” Ahrendts explained. “The great news is from anyone who did preorder, they’ll start getting their orders this Friday.”

Ahrendts promises to provide retail employees with weekly reports on supply constraints, pledging a return to the days of huge crowds outside Apple Stores for future product launches. The executive also confirmed “overwhelming” response for the new MacBook, with many retail outlets still missing demo units, let alone actual inventory to sell.

Select Developers Offered Watch Sport with Expedited Delivery

Although iOS developers have been working on WatchKit updates for weeks now, few have been able to properly test those apps on an actual Apple Watch. On Tuesday, some were offered the incentive to do so, courtesy of a “special opportunity” emailed to select developers offering the chance to purchase one (and only one) Apple Watch Sport with 42mm Silver Aluminum Case and Blue Sport Band with guaranteed shipping by April 28.

Apple Watch Sport developer email

According to a screenshot of the email obtained by MacRumors from Twitter user Kevin Chen, quantities are limited and developers must register before 10AM PST Thursday to take advantage of the offer. The real question is, where are they getting these extra Apple Watches when preorders have been sold out since minutes after they kicked off on April 10…?

Apple Job Opening Confirms Public Transit Plans for Maps App

AppleInsider today reported that public transit directions appear to be on their way back to iOS and OS X after a nearly three-year absence. The confirmation comes by way of an official job posting in search of a software engineer for the built-in Maps app with the Routing division, and more specifically requests “in-depth knowledge about public transit, both as a consumer of those services and the technical aspects.” With WWDC 2015 fast approaching, it’s entirely possible Apple could announce the return of public transit directions with the forthcoming iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 updates expected later this year.

Apple Maps public transit directions

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Images courtesy of Mac4Ever and Kevin Chen)

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