As the most valuable company that's ever existed, Apple can afford to give away stuff for free. Welcome to Today at Apple.
Whilst you won't get a free phone or iPad, you will get the undivided attention of an Apple Store expert, running curated workshops designed to teach you new life skills.
As an Apple user, I'm always surprised by how many friends insist on having Apple devices, but most never use any of the apps that come standard and for free.
Today at Apple intends on ensuring users get more out of their phone or tablet, in small fun and supportive educational sessions.
There's workshops for adults, kids and teens; creatives, coders, and fitness freaks. Some are held in-store based around a monitor, other's will have you wandering around the neighbourhood, taking photos, recording audio sounds or closing off those rings, in a motivating group session.
Free coding workshop on the latest iPad Pro, Today at Apple. Image by Jade Jackson.
I've attended four workshops so far, and for half of them, I was the only person attending, which meant I got all my questions answered and everything was tailored to me.
However a coding workshop I attended, which was aimed at adults, included two older kids, one who'd never coded before and another who had already completed many of the lessons but the facilitator ensured that every age and skill set was catered to, essentially running three workshops simultaneously.
So far I've attended:
Garageband - Creating drum beats and loops
Garageband - Creating urban soundscapes to use in songs
Art and Design - Outlining and sketching a simple app design
Coding - Introduction to Swift playgrounds
Even though some of the apps I use on a regular basis, I still walked away with new knowledge including functions and work processes I wasn't aware existed.
The groups are small enough that you can bounce ideas around, ask questions, and as the facilitator has a microphone, it's easy to drown out the cacophony of shoppers at the Apple Store and feel like you're in a classroom situation.
Free Swift Playgrounds coding workshop, Today at Apple. Image by Jade Jackson.
Depending on the workshop and activity, expect a maximum group size of 10-12, whilst 4-6 would be average size. In some workshops other Apple Store employees sat in too.
You can use your own iPad, or theirs, meaning even if you're not an Apple user, you can still benefit from the theory behind the photography, design and music workshops. They provide the latest iPads along with Beats headphones and Apple Pencils.
If there's anything you've created you wish to take home (like a sketch you've drawn or a sound you've recorded) you can send it to your phone via Airplay at the end of the session.
Every workshop is prepared and tested prior, to ensure that by the end (they run from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours) you'll walk away having learnt something new.
Today at Apple workshops are available at various times including evenings and weekends at any Apple Store. Currently, more specialised workshops are being created, with the idea being to keep people coming back.
Learning to use the drum sequencer in Garageband, Today at Apple. Screenshot of Garageband for ios.