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Businesses need to know

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicks off on Monday, June 3, at 10 a.m. PT in San Jose, with a keynote presentation from Apple executives likely announcing a number of new software and hardware updates.

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In years past, Apple has typically announced significant feature updates and new versions of its operating systems to developers at WWDC, including iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, leaving device announcements like new iPhones for its fall event. This year is expected to see much of the same, with implications for business users in the Apple ecosystem.

Here are some of the announcements businesses can expect at WWDC 2019:

  1. iOS 13

The next version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 13, will very likely be announced at WWDC. Bloomberg recently outlined many of the expected feature upgrades users can expect, including the following:

Speed upgrades and bug reductions
Tweaks to the interface for a cleaner look and easier multitasking
A Dark Mode for night viewing
A revamped Health app that better outlines daily activity
Using your iPad as a second Mac screen, with the ability to draw with the Apple Pencil and get Mac notifications
Updates to the Reminders app that break tasks down into four sections: Tasks to be done today, all tasks, scheduled tasks, and flagged tasks
iMessage upgrade that allows users to set a profile picture and display name, and choose who sees it, similar to WhatsApp.
Maps app updates that make it easier to set frequent locations, and create groups of such locations
Mail app updates to allow users to mute individual threads, block incoming email from certain contacts, and easier folder management.

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Apple is already working on iOS 14 for 2020, which is expected to support 5G wireless network speeds, Bloomberg reported.

  1. macOS 10.15

The largest announcement in the macOS realm is likely to be the project reportedly codenamed Marzipan, which aims to make it easier for app developers to create apps that run on both iOS and macOS devices. This means we can likely expect to see more iOS features like Siri Shortcuts, Screen Time, and iMessage screen effects coming to macOS.

  1. watchOS 6

Apple is expected to announce a number of upgrades with watchOS 6, according to Bloomberg, including adding the App Store onto the watch interface so users can download apps directly on the device. It will also add the Voice Memos app, Animoji and Memoji stickers, the Apple Books app for listening to audiobooks, and the Calculator app.

Apple is also expected to add more watch face “Complications” that show information including the status of audiobooks, external noise and rain data, and the battery life of hearing aids, Bloomberg reported. Several new watch faces are also expected to be announced.

  1. New devices

While Apple typically saves device announcements for its fall event, some analysts predict that the company will unveil the long-awaited Mac Pro upgrade. Apple’s flagship desktop computer has not been significantly updated since 2013, and executives had previously said that a new version would come sometime in 2019. An updated Mac Pro is rumored to have a modular design, and to be announced alongside a 6K monitor, CNET reported.

Given Apple’s lack of attention to the device, ZDNet’s David Gewirtz outlines six ways the new Mac Pro could go terribly wrong, including incompatibility and lock-in, and lack of user maintainability.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted earlier this year that Apple would introduce two new iPad Pros and a new MacBook Pro in 2019.

However, all the rumors about the potential new devices have not been confirmed.

For more on how to watch the WWDC keynote, check out Apple WWDC 2019 keynote: How to watch, start time, livestream on CNET.

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Project management experience

Without the right skills and know-how, landing a job as a project manager can be difficult. There are smart ways to get relevant project management experience.

You are looking for work in project management, but you just do not yet have enough formal knowledge or expertise to land a role as a project manager. What do you do?

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Here are four ways you can gain some relevant experience, beef up your resume, and start making more formal inroads into the field of project management.

  1. Volunteer for community projects
    Volunteer work is a great way to gain some valuable project-specific experience. There are no shortage of opportunities to volunteer on community projects. Find projects that you may be interested in and ask to join as part of the project team. Try to volunteer in a leadership role as this is the best way to gain direct project management experience. If you are unable to take on a leadership role, other roles may be available that will still allow you to be part of a project team and gain relevant experience. This demonstrates to employers that you were willing to volunteer in project management roles as a sign of your commitment to becoming a project manager at work.
  2. Ask to participate in project meetings

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Within your organization, there are likely to be multiple on-the-go projects at one time. Identify the projects that impact your area and reach out to functional leads or project managers. Ask if you can participate in any capacity on the team or attend meetings as a participant. Express your interest in a project manager career. It is important to make sure that you talk with your direct supervisor first in order to keep them in the loop and gain their approval. This will help your supervisor identify areas of interest and determine ways he or she can assist you in your career development. While participating in an informal role, you may discover aspects of project management that appeal to you and also some that do not.

  1. Consider past jobs where you played an informal role

Although you may not have been a formal project manager, you may have been part of a project team at some point within your career. Go through your resume in more detail and think about when you were a part of projects. You may not have recognized the tasks that you worked on as formal project management activities. It is important to ensure that you recognize the difference between operational activities and formal project-specific tasks. Identify those project tasks and update your resume accordingly.

  1. Create your own project

Think about some project ideas that you can implement within your department and discuss the possibility of leading a small project with your supervisor’s permission. This does not need to be a large undertaking. It could be as simple as a project to organize a small event or improve an existing workflow. Not only does this demonstrate your interest in project management but also your willingness to show initiative. As you gain more experience with smaller projects, your supervisor is more likely to greenlight larger projects. You may even want to formalize your knowledge with some project management training as things progress.
Launching your career in project management does not need to be overwhelming, small steps can get you there. Volunteering on community projects, informally participating on project teams, updating your resume with unrecognized project tasks, and initiating small projects at work are smart ways to gain relevant project management experience.

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Typical Tourist Traps

Although the connotation for the words “tourist traps” is often times less than appealing, many of these places are actually interesting on a less than mainstream kind of way. There are people in this world that would rather enjoy quaint, off-road, eccentric places than the most popular tourist spots. Tourist traps, as a rule, are roadside or tourist attractions that have acquired bad reputations. And this reputation has been steadily drilled into public consciousness by unscrupulous individuals who are after a quick buck. Their main victims are unsuspecting out-of-town visitors or overseas tourists who would not dare raise issues for fear of upsetting the locals’ sensibilities. These days, tourist traps have become synonymous with cheesy out-of-the-way places that offer nothing more than cheaply made trinkets with exorbitant price tags. More often than not, these places are surrounded by small stores offering food, beverage and even a sampler of the local brew. Interestingly, these small stores make a substantial income from tourists who just want to get away from the madness of the place. And yes, all these places have rest rooms – the one consistent element that makes them attractive to passer-bys. Unfortunately, some of them ask for a certain fee for performing normal bodily functions.

Tourist traps originally started as innocuous roadside attractions. There was a time when long distance traveling on solid ground became all the rage among erstwhile travelers – think for one moment of pre-commercial airlines flight period. These places were (and still is) frequently advertised all throughout main thoroughfares. Huge billboards and even haphazardly staked signs were created to catch the attention of tourists without planned itineraries.

These “places of interest” were considered as brief interludes to a traveler’s journey – except that some of these places had very little to offer, or in some extreme cases, were outright shams. These places usually charged for entrance fees, but their main bulk of income was from selling merchandise promoting the place. Postcards, cheap shirts and even cheaper caps were the norm. However, there had been other unique pieces like rocks harvested from the area, beaded jewelry made by the locals and other unique curiosities that you would most likely see in another part of the country (at a fraction of the price.)

These days, tourist traps remain virtually the same. Some of them evolved from previously respectable tourist attractions which became so outdated people wonder why they still exist. Others are places specifically created to attract more visitors to a certain location; great examples of these are establishments with novelty architecture (buildings with unusual shapes like a giant tea cup house or a large doughnut-shaped bakery); and small town places with one unique product (like the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.) Others yet, are legitimate tourist attractions that are overrun by commercialism and unchecked tourist population.

Not all tourist traps are gateways to a prolonged hell, though. There are enough activities in some of these places; enough so that some of then are dubbed unofficially as “family attraction stops.” There may be services that offer arcade games, carnival rides, pony rides, thematic restaurants, and even wax museums. However, if you would rather not work the trails of the tourist traps, here are some suggestions as to how you can differentiate legit tourist attractions and tourist traps – and eventually, avoid them altogether.

There is a fine line as to what tourist attractions and what tourist traps are. Most legitimate attractions simply succumb to the call of commercialism; or rather, the entrepreneur minded individuals around the area take advantage of the glut of tourists, and inadvertently creating a tourist trap.

One great indication of a tourist trap is the price. If everything seems to be swimming in inflation, from the entrance tickets, to the merchandise and even the food offered in the place (anything at all that can be rightfully constituted to highway robbery,) then this is probably one heck of a tourist trap. If a specific location is just too much for your wallet, then it would be better to try your luck somewhere else and the first thing to do would be to lookup phone numbers of other feasible packages. This is probably one of the best reasons as to why one should not subscribe to the offered packaged tours. Inadvertently, one of them will include a tourist trap; and since it’s a packaged tour, you really cannot bail out of it.

Another indication can be measured by ratio. If there is a balance between the ratio of interesting things to see / do / experience versus the merchandise being sold in the place, then you are probably in a legit tourist attraction. Naturally, there will always be merchandise sold in these places, but its main focal point is the structure or architecture it represents. Tourist traps, on the other hand, have very little to represent, and they thrive on selling merchandise. It therefore goes without saying that in order to keep the economy afloat around tourist traps, entrepreneurs have to sell merchandise and price them expensively too.

Nevertheless, this ratio is not universal. There are some tourist attractions that are simply overrun with merchandise and hawkers. Take for example the Golden Gate Bridge. This is a truly magnificent place to visit; but with the number of people coming and going, the place can sometimes be choked with so many small-time hawkers that you can hardly experience what its like to be on the bridge.

There is really no way to counter tourist traps, other not paying for the fees and not buying any of their proffered goods. Most likely, if you find yourself in one, you should just go with the flow. Making an issue about it will only ruin your vacation. The very least consolation you have is that you now know what places to skip.