Arlington, VA

Route 1 may have a new name, but users of Apple Maps still need to enter the old name lest they be led astray.

Arlington County placed new “Richmond Highway” signs along Route 1 in Crystal City last week. During a ceremony marking the occasion, Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey and Del. Mark Levine stomped on the old signs honoring Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

However, the vestige of the Old South remains alive and well on Apple Maps. Users of Apple’s mapping app need to keep using “Jefferson Davis Highway” for now as it doesn’t yet recognize the new “Richmond Highway” name for the stretch of Route 1 in Arlington.

When entering a Richmond Highway address into the app today, Apple Maps redirected users to either Route 1 in Alexandria or a Richmond Street in Hopewell, Virginia.

The confusion comes 8 months after Google Maps unilaterally re-named Arlington’s Route 1 stretch as “Richmond Highway,” and a year after Alexandria officially renamed its portion of Route 1. Apple Maps does list Richmond Highway addresses along the Alexandria section of the road.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

State and local officials vied for years to strip the Confederate name from Crystal City’s main commuter thoroughfare, renewing efforts last fall in the wake of Amazon’s arrival. This year, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued an opinion allowing local leaders to sidestep state legislators and perform the change on their own, with approval from Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Image via Apple Maps and Google Maps

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The Clarendon Apple Store is back open today (Monday), after closing briefly over the weekend.

The shop at Market Common Clarendon started turning customers away Friday afternoon, citing a leak in the ceiling due to problems with the apartments above the store.

But an employee at the store told ARLnow that those problems have been resolved, and the shop is now open on its normal schedule once more.

One of the store’s hefty glass doors remains missing, however, still replaced with the black plywood visible from the store’s exterior Friday. Some stains remain visible on the store’s ceiling, and the shop’s large video screen along the back wall wasn’t turned on as of Monday morning.

The management company for the apartments above the Apple store, Avalon Clarendon, did not immediately respond to a request for comment seeking clarity on what caused the leak.

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The Clarendon Apple store closed suddenly Friday and has remained closed since.

The closure appears to be temporary. A sign posted on the door says: “Effective immediately, Apple Clarendon is closed until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage you to visit our nearby stores.”

The store’s windows are blacked out, and one of the doors appears to be missing, replaced with plywood painted black. Through a portion of the door not covered, several large air blowers — the kind used to dry carpets after a flood — could be seen inside.

Within seconds of a reporter trying to photograph through the glass, a security guard appeared and blocked the view. The guard said he could not say what happened to prompt the closure.

While there is thus far no official explanation, tipsters who contacted ARLnow alternately said the closure was due to a “sprinkler bursting” in the store or “some water problem” in the apartments above. No word yet on when the store may reopen.

Update on 7/2/18 — The Apple Store reopened as of Monday morning, with some visible damage inside.

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Morning Notes

Remembering Barbara Bush — Via the Arlington GOP Twitter account: “Former First Lady Barbara Bush died today at age 92. She will always be remembered for representing the best of America. We pray for and send condolences to her family.” [Twitter, CBS News]

New Sign for Apple Store — A new sign is going up outside of the Apple Store in Clarendon. The store was renovated in 2016. [Twitter, Arlington County]

Arlington Man Facing Firearms Charges in Pa. — From a TV station near Pittsburgh: “A Virginia man is facing charges after police said he possessed 14 guns despite having a protection from abuse order against him. Perry Georgeadis, 63, of… Arlington, Virginia, is charged with 14 counts of person not to possess a firearm.” [WJAC]

Arlington’s Gain is New Jersey’s Pain — The announcement that Gerber is moving its corporate headquarters to Rosslyn, to the same building as corporate parent Nestle USA, is bad economic news for New Jersey. “This means close to 180 New Jerseyans will be out of a job. But the company promised to help employees affected, mostly in corporate positions such as marketing, finance and HR, by offering them the chance to relocate, and severance and outpatient support for those that can’t make the move.” [NJ.com]

Arlington Students Make TJ Science Cut — “Students from Arlington’s public-school system will represent about 5 percent of the incoming freshman class at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology. A total of 25 APS students have been offered admission to the regional magnet school.” [InsideNova]

Nearby: Alexandria Debates High School Lights — In a situation that may sound familiar to those in Arlington, the question of whether or not to add lights to the soon-to-be-renovated T.C. Williams High School stadium is pitting neighbors of the school against high school athletic boosters and school administrators. [Alexandria Times]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Apple announced its highly-anticipated new line of iPhones yesterday: the next-generation iPhone 8 and higher-end iPhone X.

The latter, with its facial recognition, advanced camera technology and “Super Retina” screen, reaches the $1,000 price mark, something that has raised the eyebrows of more than a few Apple critics.

Walk around Clarendon or other Arlington environs and it’s clear that the iPhone is king here, disproportionately more popular in Arlington than it is in other parts of the country, where Android has the market share lead.

Given that Arlington is an Apple town, we thought we’d see how many are planning to take the $1,000 iPhone X plunge.

Photo via Apple

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Clarendon Apple Store after its reopening (file photo)Locals looking to pick up the newest iPhone or Macbook Pro will once again be able to do so in Pentagon City.

The Pentagon City mall Apple Store, which closed for renovations last September, is due to reopen this weekend. A grand reopening party is set for Saturday, March 4, at 10 a.m.

“You’ll love what we’ve done with the place,” the company wrote on the store’s website and in an email.

“There’s a lot more to see at your new Apple Store in Arlington,” said the email. “Stop by on March 4 to take a look at what’s changed and try the latest Apple products.”

According to the aficionados at MacRumors.com, the store is slated to reopen with a “next generation” design that includes indoor trees, wood tables and 6K video screens throughout the store.

Last year, the Clarendon Apple Store also temporarily shuttered for a facelift. That location reopened in September.

File photo. Hat tip to Chaz P.

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Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

White noise appYou might not think that a smartphone app that plays background sounds to help people sleep could be particularly lucrative or innovative. But then you would be underestimating both the market and the vision behind the app.

TMSoft, a small software company based in Crystal City’s 1776 space, released version 7.0 of “White Noise,” its flagship app, over the summer. The update pushes the app in the direction of being a social network, of sorts, for ambient sound.

White Noise, as we’ve previously reported, was released in 2008, just after the Apple App Store started letting iPhone users easily download third-party apps to their phones.

“When I first started I didn’t think anyone was going to download the thing,” said its creator, Ballston resident Todd Moore. “I just ran around my house with a recorder and recorded eight different loops: a bedroom fan, the outside crickets, rain, my HVAC [system]” and so on.

Thanks in part to media exposure — it was written up in the Washington Post, featured on the Today Show and made fun of by Jimmy Fallon — and a first-mover advantage, it became the No. 1 free app in the App Store. Through in-app advertising and a paid-for “pro” version, it was soon bringing in enough revenue that Moore quit his otherwise lucrative R&D job to focus on apps full time.

“I was making more money in a week than I was making all year at my job, and I said to myself, why don’t I quit and do this full time,” Moore recounts.

White Noise remains popular to this day, with the main app and its variants — including a “White Noise Baby” version for parents that includes a built-in baby monitor — generating the bulk of TMSoft’s revenue. (The company has some popular games and novelty apps in its catalog, but none were sustained smash hits on the scale of White Noise.)

“Putting people to sleep is our bread and butter,” Moore quipped, although White Noise is also used by those who want to use background sounds to help them work or study. “It was definitely the story of an app that bootstrapped a company.”

White noise appThe seventh generation of White Noise doesn’t stray from its original use case, but it does represent the culmination of five years of development toward a much broader vision for the app.

“The goal is to catalog the world’s sounds,” Moore said. “I want every country covered and every sound available.”

Why do that when a simple fan or rainstorm noise will usually suffice? User feedback, Moore said, has made him realize that the most impactful sounds represent a specific time and place in people’s memories.

“People are most comforted by sounds of their childhood,” Moore said. Thanks to user submissions, if someone wants to find a loop of a certain type of frog they heard once upon a time in Bermuda, for instance, there’s a sound for that.

Version 6.0 of White Noise introduced the feature that allows users to record sounds on their phone and, through an algorithm, seamlessly loop the sound so that it can play on repeat without distracting clicks or pops — no small engineering feat.

With version 7.0, users can now upload those sounds — and mash-ups of existing sounds — and download others from a marketplace that can be searched geographically. Users can then “heart” and comment on each other’s sounds.

Read More

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The Clarendon Apple Store (2700 Clarendon Blvd) has reopened after nearly six months of renovations.

The store first opened in 2001, making it one of Apple’s oldest retail locations. With the renovations, the store is now among the locations sporting Apple’s next generation store design.

The updated look isn’t too radical departure from the previous design. MacBooks, iPads and iPhones are still arranged on large tables for customer to try out; purchases are still made with the assistance of iPhone-toting employees rather than at registers.

One thing noticeably absent: any sign of an Apple logo near the entrance.

The Pentagon City mall Apple Store is up next for a redesign. The store closed on Sunday for several months of renovations.

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Arlington won’t be temporarily without an Apple Store, after all.

In an email sent to local customers this afternoon, Apple said its Clarendon store, which has been under renovation since April, will reopen this weekend. A grand reopening is planned for Saturday, Sept. 24 starting at 10 a.m.

“You’ll love what we’ve done with the place,” the iPhone maker said in the email and on the store’s website.

“There’s a lot more to see at your new Apple Store in Arlington,” the email continued. “Stop by on September 24 to take a look at what’s changed and try the latest Apple products, including iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2.”

Some exterior work was still underway outside the store today.

The Apple Store in the Pentagon City mall is scheduled to close for renovations starting this coming Sunday, Sept. 25.

Hat tip to Chaz P.

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Clarendon Apple StoreLocal Apple fans may soon have to head to D.C. or Tysons if they want to get their iPhone, iPad or Macbook direct from the source.

The Apple Store in the Pentagon City mall has announced that it will be closing for renovations starting on Sunday, Sept. 25.

“We’re making the Apple Store you love even lovelier,” the announcement says.

Meanwhile, the Clarendon Apple Store remains closed due to renovations and no reopening date has been announced. The renovations may have been hampered by a large electrical fire at the Market Common Clarendon shopping center.

The new iPhone 7 launches this coming Friday, Sept. 16, leaving only 9 days to get one before the Pentagon City store shuts its doors. Other Apple Store locations in the D.C. area include Georgetown, Tysons Corner and Bethesda.

Update at 9:30 a.m. — A number of readers have said that they’ve received emails or had conversations with employees at other Apple stores indicating that the Clarendon store will reopen on or around Sept. 24. The store’s website and phone number still does not list an opening date, and no opening date was posted on the store’s exterior on Monday.

File photo

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In two weeks, the always-busy Apple Store in Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd) will close for renovations.

The store will be closed starting Sunday, April 3, according to a sign in the store. An employee was unable to say how long the renovations would take.

That means that customers will only have a couple of days to get a new Apple iPhone SE at the store before it closes. The new smaller, cheaper iPhone was unveiled by the company today.

While the Clarendon store is closed, Apple customers will be able to head to Apple stores in Georgetown, Pentagon City and Tysons Corner.

Update at 9:55 a.m. — Various readers report being told by Apple Store employees that the renovations would take about 6 months to complete.

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