Oprah Winfrey launches COVID-19 interview series on Apple TV+

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Oprah Winfrey says Apple TV+ can have a genuine impact on humanity.
Oprah Winfrey and Apple pull together a quick interview series for Apple TV+ focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic and how to deal with its implications.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ has launched a surprise interview series with former talk show Oprah Winfrey talking about the global coronavirus pandemic. In its first episode, Winfrey spoke to actor Idris Eba, one of several celebrities to test positive for COVID-19.

The series – entitled “Oprah Talks COVID-19“- debuted Saturday, with little production value for a quick-to-air show. Winfrey’s first installment features FaceTime interviews with Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre. 

Best Buy moves to curbside pickup, temporarily closing all 997 stores

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On the back of the coronavirus pandemic, Best Buy has closed its doors indefinitely.
Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr CC

As COVID-19 continues to impact businesses big and small across America, Best Buy announced Saturday it is closing all of its 997 North America locations temporarily except for curbside pickup services. Best Buy is one of the nation’s largest independent retailers of Apple products.

The Fortune 100 company with 125,000 employees has not offered a timeline for how long the new policy will last.

Siri implements guidance for those worried about coronavirus symptoms

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Apple has enhanced Siri to answer government-approved questions regarding COVID-19 coronavirus.
Photo: Brad Gibson / Cult of Mac

Apple enhanced its Siri voice assistant Saturday with a step-by-step query instructing users on determining if they have been exposed to COVID-19, the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. 

The instructions are based on specific instructions from the U.S. Public Health Service, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Product repairs stuck in limbo as most Apple Stores remain closed indefinitely

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Got an Apple product repair stuck in a shuttered Apple Store? It's safe.
Got an Apple product repair stuck in a shuttered Apple Store? It's safe.
Photo: Brad Gibson/Cult of Mac

Repaired devices that customers couldn’t pick up before Apple Stores closed will remain piled up for some time due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Many Mac and iPhone owners now find themselves between a rock and a hard place, according to various reports and social media posts.

Apple TV+ cuts streaming quality in Europe to lower stress on internet

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Apple TV app Samsung
Apple appears to have heeded the E.U. request to lower quality of its Apple TV+ service to reduce the strain on the internet.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Following a request to streaming services to switch from high definition to standard in an effort to reduce the strain on the internet, indications were Friday that Apple has followed suit of other major services and slowed down its Apple TV+ streaming service.

Cult of Mac has confirmed through two Apple TV users – one in Great Britain and one in southern France – that the quality of content on Apple TV+ has been lowered. Subscribers described the differences as primarily fast-moving content that is slower to refresh, heavily compressed and more pixelated.

Slack rolls out biggest redesign with simplicity, customization in mind

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Slack rolls out major update as coronavirus forces more to work from home
Photo: Slack

Slack, the workplace chat and productivity platform used by more than 12 million people worldwide, is getting a major upgrade soon with a simpler and more organized layout, the company said in a Wednesday blog post.

The announcement comes as more people are working from home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

New MacBook Air announced with $999 starting price, Magic Keyboard and 6K display support

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Low price, new keyboard, two times faster.
Photo: Apple

Apple updated its MacBook Air lineup Wednesday, adding a redesigned scissor-switch Magic Keyboard, twice the storage, a reported two times faster CPU and a lower price tag starting at $999.

Apple said the new MacBook Air comes with twice the storage capacity of the previous model. The new base model starts at 256GB, with up to 80% faster graphics performance. It also supports the Apple 6K Pro Display XDR.

UK’s biggest-selling independent iPhone retailer will shut all 531 standalone stores

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531 Carphone Warehouse standalone stores will be no more after April 3.
Photo: Eyre Square Centre

Carphone Warehouse, Great Britain’s largest independent iPhone retailer, said Tuesday it will shut all of its 531 stores as competition intensifies and mobile phone sales move online.

The decision will impact almost 3,000 employees, according to the retailers parent company, Dixons Carphone. It hopes to relocate 1,800 of those positions to take new roles in the business.