Visit to Apple Regent Street


On Friday 31st March, lucky Digital Ambassadors (including myself!) were invited to take part at an event at Apple Regent Street (yes, it’s no longer officially called “Apple Store”). Although Apple have done this before, this was the first time Westminster collaborated with them.

In case you didn’t know, the redesigned store has been visioned by Jony Ive, who designs nearly all of Apples latest devices, including iOS. We also got to see a room very little people get to see; the new board room!

The day lasted 3 hours and was packed with talks by Apple members of staff including Creatives who talked about Apple awareness. A video at the start talked about how iPad is enabling people to get things done from anywhere – including the top of a mountain where there may or may not be 4G…

After a lengthy talk about how to help people through effective questioning, we were shown how to use iMovie, Slide-over, the Camera app, and Keynote. This was a really useful section of the event as I picked up some new skills.

They explained how these tools can be used together to create content. I had never used the ‘instant alpha’ feature in Keynote before, and I suggest you try it out too – it eliminates colours in an image to make them transparent. I know I will be using it more often!

We were then tasked to create our own presentations on a topic of our choice, related to our course.


After presentations, we were given a store tour which included lots of interesting facts such as:

  • Apple moved the pillars on the top floors of the store to be in line with the ones at the bottom floor of the store – the attention to detail
  • Apple Regent Street was the first Apple Store in Europe
  • It was also the largest store in Europe
  • The walls are covered in marble and use Jony Ive’s idea for the design of the stair bannisters.

An amazing day with lots of information taken away, including new skills picked up by tutors, who are already using their newly learned skills. One tutor has experimented (successfully) with Keynote Live in the lecture:



iPad As A Supplementary Display

I have found one of the best uses of the iPad in a workflow – using it as another display which can display lecture slides, codes and other useful information while you get work done on a laptop.


I find it particularly useful for iOS programming where I can have Xcode open on the Mac, with the lecture notes open on the iPad. Sure I can open the notes on the Mac, but having it on the side makes the workflow less cumbersome. Just a few glances and its done.

Still trying to work out how to use Core Data though 🙂


iPad vs Laptop 

Since we have been given iPads this year, I wanted to use it to it’s full potential.

So far, I have made the following changes compared to last year:

  • Using the iPad for note taking 

I think it’s great to be able to take digital notes in the lectures. It’s quicker than that old technology called “pen and paper” that I used in previous years.  It’s nice to be able to lookup definitions for words used in the lectures.  I also love the fact that I can take notes on my iPad, and then pick up where I left off from my MacBook or phone without messing about with cables and email.

  • Getting resources 

So far it’s has been very useful to be able to access the Blackboard to get at resources from anywhere without having to lug a laptop around. And the fact that I get a notification from the Blackboard app when something new is added means that I don’t miss a beat. I don’t like to mix my uni stuff with my personal stuff, which is why I never opted to install the Blackboard app on my phone.

  • Creating work

I think the days of using PowerPoint to create presentations is officially behind me. Since using the iPad, I have created a few presentations using the Keynote app – which I otherwise wouldn’t ever use. For the Professional Practice module, we have created a presentation (as a group) that I hope we will use on the actual day of presenting. It looks really clean, the animations are so eye catching and the app easy to use. It literally took 5 minutes to learn. Again – it’s very useful to start it on my iPad and continue on my Mac.


In contrast to the above, the FST iPad is able to do some tasks better, but the laptop is MUCH more capable. For example: I can’t code on an iPad or create a website. So having to carry 2 devices around is quite cumbersome.

After updating to iOS 9, the gap between iPad and laptop has become smaller as you can now do more advanced multitasking on the iPad than ever before. As a student,it’s really useful to be able to do 2 things at once on a mobile device – but still no coding.

For the days I don’t have a lot of work to do, I carry the iPad, and other days I carry the MacBook. As a student it’s difficult to carry both around, even if the iPad is light, the weight seems to become heavier at the end of the day. We will see how this turns out.