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The Red Apple iPhone 7 And Other Updates



Within the past few days, Apple has announced a bunch of updates and products. Some of the updates are minor but others are pretty major and looks to potentially shake up social media stalwarts Snapchat and Instagram. Let’s get started:

Product (RED) iPhone 7/7 Plus

red iphone

Apple has released a new red color variant of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The update continues Apple’s tradition of offering red versions of their products to support Product (RED), a global initiative to fund AIDS research. Part of every Product (RED) sale goes to fund the initiative. Previously, Apple made red versions of their phone cases but this is the first time that the actual product itself is red. Per Apple CEO Tim Cook, “Since we began working with (RED) 10 years ago, our customers have made a significant impact in fighting the spread of AIDS through the purchase of our products, from the original iPod nano (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition all the way to today’s lineup of Beats products and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.” The red iPhone 7/7 Plus was available on March 24th starting at $749 for the 128GB model.


iphone clips

Do you enjoy sharing videos and photos on social media? Do you spend half of your day on Instagram and/or Snapchat? If you answered yes to any of those then Apple has something for you. The company also released a new app called Clips, which allows you to create short videos with text, pictures, emoji, and music. It’s Apple’s attempt to make it easier to create video clips that can be shared on various social media outlets. The concept is quite simple. You press a button to start recording and then release your finger to stop recording. You can do this several times to make various video snippets. Those snippets can then be edited together with music, pictures, shapes, emoji, and more. The most intriguing feature of Clips is called Live Titles. According to Ars Technica, “You can record what you want to say, and Live Titles will translate it into text that appears over the video. It’s almost like an easier way to close-caption a video, and it’s certainly a quicker way to add a lot of text over a video clip than typing it out yourself.” Clips will be available to download in April and will work on all iPhones from the iPhone 5s on up, the iPad Air/Pro, iPad mini 2 and later, and iPod Touch 6th generation. It requires iOS 10.3 to run which leads me into the next new announcement…..

iOS 10.3

….a new iOS update! This is likely the last major update for iOS 10 but includes a few new interesting features. The update is available now for any device that can run iOS 10. One of the more noticeable changes is surprisingly in the Settings app. To start, the iCloud settings are now at the very top. Tap that and you’ll get a list of every single device that you’ve signed in using your Apple ID. This allows easier access to device specific information such as serial numbers, IMEI numbers, and device backup status. There’s also a “Password & Security” that allows users to easily change their iCloud password and set up two factor authentication (which I highly recommend using). The other major feature is the new Apple File System (AFPS) which is more under the hood but still very important. Previous iOS and macOS versions used the HFS+ file system which wasn’t made specifically for mobile devices with flash storage. Most people won’t see that much day to day changes while using their iDevice but the new file system seems to calculate disk space differently which can result in users having slightly more space to use.

There are other minor changes in iOS 10.3 such as Find My AirPods, additional Siri support for payment apps and support for automobile apps such as checking fuel level, turning on lights, and locks. There is support searching for your parked car in Maps. There are also improvements for VoiceOver, Maps, and Location and Privacy.

New Apple Watch bands and new iPad (kinda)

apple watch

For the Apple Watch owners, Apple announced new watch bands which include:

  • Striped Woven Nylon in Berry, Tahoe Blue, Orange, Red, Pollen, and Midnight Blue colors
  • Sport Bands in Pebble, Azure, and Camellia colors
  • Hermes bands in Blue Zephyr Epsom leather, Fauve Barenia leather, Lime Epsom, and Colvert Swift leather.
  • Nike Sport bands in Anthracite/Black, Pure Platinum/White, and Black/Volt

There was also a very mild iPad update. Apple has dropped the iPad Air line and just renamed simply “iPad”. It includes the Apple A9 chip (not A9X) and starts around $329, which is $70 less than the previous starting price. According to Ars Technica, the LCD is no longer laminated and also lacks the anti-glare coating that the Air 1, Mini 4, and iPad Pros have. Outside of that, the primary specs seem to be the same as the iPad Air 2.

Startup Central

Lane Petrauskas Is Switching Up Your Saturdays With Skorch




Picture this. It’s a Saturday night. You finally have a day off and you’re ready to let your hair down and release the tension of the week. Your friends shoot you text asking where is the best club or bar to go to and you are stuck. There are so many places to go to on the weekend and you are not particularly sure where to go for the night. This issue is why Lane Petrauskas took her background in advertising and designed Skorch, the new app taking review sites out of the equation with millennials in mind. Rather than aimlessly scrolling through geotags on social networks, Skorch is a curated heat map to show you what’s hot, in real time. Skorch functions both as a foodie finder and a social networking site, where users can follow friends, influencers, and add hotspots and so much more! Skorch has now launched in 14 cities across the United States and has more to come in the future. With such a promising future ahead, its time to get some insight on the company that solves the debate on “where to go tonight?”.

Tell me about yourself! What is your background?

Lane Petrauskas

I began my career in advertising as a Writer, creating ads and campaigns for major brands like Patrón Tequila, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Zappos, JetBlue, and more. I had the opportunity to work at several world-renowned agencies in LA, Chicago and Boston, and learned a lot from working with some of the brightest minds in the ad industry. From pitching my ideas to the CMOs of major brands, to bringing those ideas to life, my career as a Creative in advertising really helped groom me for my entrepreneurial pursuit.

What attracted you to creating Skorch?

Finding great places to go was too much work! For too long, people have been forced to comb through pages of years-old, subjective reviews, skim lengthy articles, and scour social media for the geo-tags of friends and influencers. Plus, let’s be honest, we are all super skeptical of strangers’ opinions on the Internet. With Skorch, you won’t have to read someone’s long-winded rant just to discover they rated a place 1 star because they had to wait too long for the bathroom.


Is Skorch different from its competitors?

Absolutely. Skorch is a super-selective, curated database. If a place isn’t awesome, it’s not on Skorch. The app is also inherently social. You can follow friends and influencers, post to Skorch while you’re out, submit locations for inclusion on the app, and create your own hotlist of your favorite #SkorchWorthy places. Finding somewhere to have fun should BE fun.

What is a major goal Skorch has this year?

This year, we’re looking forward to hosting events for our most active users in their cities. Skorch users are a group of people who love to have fun at the best and buzziest places, and it’s a priority for us to continue that sense of community off the app.

Who would benefit from using Skorch? Describe your customers.

Anyone who likes going to great places would benefit, i.e. everyone! Skorch was built with Millennials in mind, but turns out, it has broad appeal. My grandmother even once said “Honey, that’s nice.” In all seriousness, our users are a good time. They have discerning taste, they enjoy discovering new spots, and they love to share their experiences.

Lane Petrauskas

Who has inspired you in business?

I’m inspired by Whitney Wolfe Herd, the Founder and CEO of Bumble. As a fellow female app Founder, I admire the success she’s achieved while empowering Bumble’s user base. I believe that she has revolutionized that category of apps, and her brand is one to watch.

What advice would you give young entrepreneurs stepping out on their own?

Spend like a startup. I’ve seen too many young entrepreneurs secure early investments, and then exhaust the capital quickly. As a founder, you will grow with your business. Give yourself and your budget time to do that.

Where do you see Skorch in the next five years?

I see Skorch becoming the go-to source for discovering places to go and sharing your experiences. In five years, we will have expanded to several new markets, both nationally and internationally. What’s more, I see the brand growing beyond the app. This would be the perfect time to say something cliché like “stay tuned!” But really, stay tuned!

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Why Amazon’s Second Headquarters Should Choose Northern Virginia



Amazon’s second headquarters

Among the top 20 shortlist for Amazon’s second headquarters, Northern, Virginia is not a stranger to the massive tech company. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have frequently conducted business in the region. Bezos is known to own The Washington Post and Amazon’s cloud service AWS is situated in a huge data center in the northern Virginia region. It is no surprise that Northern, VA is listed on the list. This region proved to be a safe home for Bezos’ businesses, it would only make sense that Northern, VA is the next home for HQ2.

While the nation waits for the announcements of Amazon’s second headquarters, speculations rise as Amazon employees crowd The local news-source for Arlington Virginia have reported major traffic from an internal Amazon site. The article reporting the county’s green building council had received over 6,000 page views and 3,500 visitors from an Amazon web page that is only visible to Amazon employees. Amazon’s interest in the community’s dedication to sustainability is predicted to help the company’s future development of a sustainable building of their own.

The area is surrounded by copious international airports including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Richmond International Airport for Amazon’s consideration  of transportation. The bid for Amazon had reports of the Hub property as a potential site for Amazon’s second headquarters. This 85-acre undeveloped location is near the Dulles Airport, perfect for Amazon’s demands.

Amazon’s second headquarters

Amazon announced that they are developing a second headquarter of up to 8 million square feet in order to accommodate 50,000 workers. The plan to bring in 50,000 lucrative jobs to the new location will create billions of dollars in investment for the community. This opportunity for economic expansion does not come often, but neither does a perfect business location in Northern Virginia that is close to Bezos’ other businesses.

A possible site for Amazon’s second headquarters is on the border of Fairfax and Loudoun counties along Metro’s Silver Line. “We are very excited that Northern Virginia is included on the short list as a potential location for Amazon’s second headquarters,” spoke the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova. “Fairfax and Loudoun counties are able to offer a great quality of life coupled with an innovative and business friendly culture for future Amazon corporate neighbors and employees. With our highly educated and talented workforce and a location close to Dulles International Airport and a new Silver Line train station, we hope we will have the opportunity to welcome Amazon HQ2 to Virginia.”

Small businesses and agencies within Virginia are able share their professional insight to Amazon now as well. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Virginia.

If you are an agency from Virginia, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here:

*Sponsored by Penji

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Why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Chicago




Most of the cities on the top 20 shortlist for Amazon HQ2 had given some extreme proposals. The majority of the pick is located on the East Coast with an important city that is Chicago, Illinois. The city of Chicago is an important business hub that is currently attracting millennial entrepreneurs and corporate talents. The region offers a broad selection of professionals that are specialized in tech, logistics, advertising, and more. This is a huge bonus for Amazon if the tech company picks Chicago as the rightful city for HQ2.

Chicago ranks high in tech, affordability, and infrastructure. These benefits will fulfill Amazon in their search for employment, land, and logistics. The city offers the O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport to the company for traveling affairs. This is just one of the city’s proposal, the entire bid for Chicago was put together by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Bruce Rauner. There is a promising bid that if Amazon chooses Chicago, then the massive tech company will collect at least $2 billion in incentives and $1.3 billion in tax revenue back. Employees are still expected to pay the taxes, however, it would be Amazon who is receiving that money back and not Illinois.


Image From PBS

There are 10 total potential sites to situate HQ2. One includes the Sterling Bay’s 70-acre Lincoln Yards, and many more sites including the Illinois Medical District. The forefront for a new location is The River District, Riverside Investment and Development in River West. This 37-acre site connects to Chicago’s downtown, River North, Fulton Market, and more. The best deal for any other location. 

Amazon will be able to create a substantial amount of benefits from Chicago’s bid for Hq2. Illinois has given over $1.4 billion of tax money to companies like Amazon ever since 2001 when EDGE was created. The EDGE Tax Credit Program provides tax credits for businesses that make capital investments in Illinois and more. The massive tech company is more than qualified for this program and this will be deemed beneficial to Amazon if they participate. 

The Chicago metro area grew by 0.6% and it will only get better from here. The region is populated by a big number of young and educated students from the notable schools of University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The work force in Chicago are tech driven and strives for professional support, which is an attractive atmosphere for all companies. Amazon  should be using up that advantage as well. 


Proposals are still being presented to Amazon by representatives. Small businesses and agencies within Chicago are now able share their professional insight to Amazon. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Chicago.

If you are an agency from Chicago, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here:

*Sponsored by Penji

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