Apple buys A.I. voice assistant startup

Apple's latest acquisition could help Siri level up.
Photo: Voysis

Apple has acquired Voysis, an artificial intelligence startup the high-tech company is expected to use to improve Siri and its natural language technology, based on published reports Friday.

For developers, WWDC going online-only ticks all the boxes


Apple WWDC 2020
Most developers are just fine with WWDC 2020 being online-only.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s decision to cancel the 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, and move to an online-only format was not only a good idea but a no-brainer, according to an international survey of more than 2,200 independent software programmers.

Tim Cook says Apple donated 10 million ventilator masks in U.S.; reiterates everyone should ‘stay at home’


CEO Tim Cook hops on Twitter to offer some coronavirus advice and talk about Apple's mask donations.
Apple CEO Tim Cook confirms 10 million N95 mask donations to medical workers in America.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday the company has “sourced [and] procured” 10 million N95 ventilator masks for the U.S. and “millions more” for the hardest-hit regions in Europe, that would be distributed to the medical community fighting the coronavirus pandemic. He also urged his followers to “stay at home whenever possible” to help curb the spread of the disease.

Cook’s comments came in a Twitter video posted Wednesday morning.

California law explains Apple’s abundance of N95 ventilator masks


Apple's donation of N95 ventilator masks came from a stock pile mandated by the state of California during the recent wildfire outbreak.
Photo: Blue Shield of California

Following Saturday and Tuesdays’ announcements of Apple donating more than nine million N95 ventilator masks to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, the obvious question arises, why did Apple have so many masks? It now appears the answer was a simple one…A state mandate, instituted last year, to protect employees following the recent California wildfires.

Adobe invites users to beta test Illustrator for iPad


Adobe is now looking for public beta testers for its iPad version of Illustrator.
Photo: Adobe

Transitioning out of a closed beta, Adobe is now inviting users to beta test an upcoming iOS release of Illustrator for iPad, according to reports from various customers who have received an invitation in the past few days.

Apple donating 9 million N95 masks for coronavirus fight


Vice President Pence announced Apple is pulling out all the stops to get more masks to medical workers dealing with the coronavirus.
Photo: CNN video image

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced Tuesday that Apple has donated nine million N95 respirator masks to help hospitals and medical workers deal with the growing coronavirus pandemic.

Disney+ launches in UK, 6 European countries at 25% lower bandwidth

Disney+ launches, but don't count on much customer support for now.
Photo: Apple

Disney+, the streaming service from the Walt Disney Company, launched in the early hours of Tuesday morning across the United Kingdom and six European countries, but at reduced bandwidth and video quality after a government request to ease the strain on broadband networks.

Cult of Mac confirmed that the Disney+ app and service are available on the Apple TV App Store in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland.

Apple reportedly adding Kids Mode and Screen Time to tvOS 14; 128GB Apple TV in the works


Apple TV Siri Remote
Reported new features of tvOS 14 and a new Apple TV box are leaking out.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In tvOS 14, Apple reportedly plans to give parents new controls over what their children watch on Apple TV devices. The tvOS update also will give parents the ability to control the amount of time their kids spend watching Apple TV content, according to a report published Monday.

Israeli website The Verifier also renewed speculation that Cupertino will announce a new 128GB Apple TV streaming device later this year. And it could come with a new Apple TV remote design.

Apple probably won’t reopen stores until mid-April at earliest, multiple sources say

With the windows void of people, Apple Stores like this one in central London won't be open anytime soon, sources indicate.
Photo: Richard Shrum for Cult of Mac

There are strong indications that the 467 Apple Stores outside mainland China closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic will not reopen until mid-April at the earliest, according to multiple location managers and employees worldwide.

Many Apple Store staff members are being quietly told that the situation remains on a “wait-and-see” status. Meanwhile, Cupertino executives continue to assess which locations might reopen and when on a case-by-case, state-by-state and country-by-country basis.

“I’ve been told not to expect stores in my area to be open anytime soon, and when I asked for a guess, two people ventured to say mid-April, but they said it with no certainty,” said the manager of an Apple Store in the southern United States. The Apple employee asked not to be named because the discussions were meant to be private.