Apple’s new apps clearly reflect Tim Cook’s values [Opinion]

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Tim Cook shows off the latest Apple services.
Tim Cook takes the wraps off the latest Apple services.
Photo: Apple

Watching Monday morning’s “It’s show time” keynote, I was struck by how much Tim Cook is stamping his values on what Apple is doing.

While writing a book about Cook last year, I accidentally stumbled on six values he has been championing at Apple:

  • Accessibility
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Privacy
  • Supplier responsibility

These are the things Cook has been pushing internally since taking over from Steve Jobs in 2011. These are the priorities of his leadership, reflecting the things he wants to get done and the internal values that guide what Apple employees do and how they do it.

Monday’s keynote was a chance to witness these values in action, to see the kinds of products and services his priorities are helping to create.

Turn your iPad into a mini iMac with this minimal stand [Review]

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Wiplabs Slope iPAd stand
Wiplabs Slope stand is a great way to keep your iPad off the sticky, messy countertop in the kitchen.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

My family tends to smear our kitchen countertops with all kinds of gunk. No one has ever heard of the words plate or cutting board. So taking an iPad into the kitchen is a risky proposition: It inevitably ends up in some sticky mess.

Enter the Slope: a nice-looking stand that keeps my iPad out harm’s way.

Made from anodized aluminum, the Slope is good for the kitchen, desk or bedside. It keeps your iPad out of the muck when cooking, or at the perfect angle for work.

Apple whips its gigantic global supply chain into shape [Opinion]

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Apple supply chain worker inspecting glass
Apple is really cleaning up its supply chain under Tim Cook.
Photo: Apple

Over the years, Apple took heavy criticism for employing an offshore supply chain rife with abuse. The company is still stained by the rash of worker suicides in 2010 at Foxconn, its main supplier.

But as Apple’s latest Supplier Responsibility report shows, the company continues to make remarkable strides to improve conditions for workers and the environment.

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PDF editor PDFelement Pro 6 for Mac works wonders with PDFs.
PDFelement works wonders with PDFs.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

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Dashlane app iOS
The Dashlane password manager app on iOS is good-looking and easy to use.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Quit or canned? Why is Angela Ahrendts leaving Apple? [Opinion]

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Ahrendts
Did Angela Ahrendts jump or was she pushed?
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

When Apple fires an executive, the company is rarely straightforward about the situation. Apple never puts out a press release stating plainly that the executive was canned. So Tuesday’s unexpected announcement that Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail, is leaving in April led many to suspect she was fired.

That’s because the announcement came as a surprise and seems rushed. She’s certainly not retiring or quitting to join another company. The press release phrase “new personal and professional pursuits” sounds like code for “canned.”

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Pauline Kahney
My mom, Pauline Kahney, is a new and enthusiastic user of the Dashlane password manager.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

iPhone XR review: Why buy anything else?

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iPhone XR review: With a great screen, cameras, battery life and Face ID, the iPhone XR is a nifty smartphone.
With a great screen, cameras, battery life and Face ID, the iPhone XR is a nifty smartphone.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XR is typical Apple. It’s an entry-level phone with a bunch of premium features. Jony Ive just cannot cut corners, even if he wanted to. This is no plasticky, cut-rate phone built to meet a price point. It’s a primo phone with primo features (and a primo price tag, TBH). It just happens to be the cheapest new iPhone in Apple’s lineup.

The XR delivers everything customers care about: a big, beautiful screen; great cameras; long battery life; and Face ID.

The iPhone XR is arguably Apple’s most interesting smartphone of 2018 because of this slightly odd bundle of budget/premium features. It’s arguably a $1,200 phone in a $750 package.

For a chance to win a brand-new iPhone XR, enter our free giveaway here.

iPhone XR first look: So awesome we’re giving it away!

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iPhone XR giveaway: Enter to win this gorgeous blue iPhone.
Enter to win this gorgeous blue iPhone XR.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

After unboxing the brand new iPhone XR, I can confidently say that this is a fantastic phone. Apple cut very few corners. The iPhone XR is beautifully designed, with a great big, edge-to-edge display. It’s incredibly fast, and camera performance is excellent. It looks awesome. The drawbacks are mostly minor.

Basically, it’s a $1,200 phone in a $750 package.

Check out the video to see our first impressions. Then read on to find out how you can enter to win the 128GB blue speed demon showcased in the video. Yep, it’s free to enter our iPhone XR giveaway. (Frankly, it’s going to be hard to part with this beautiful machine.)

‘Highly plausible’ Apple servers could be infected with spy chips, says former Apple hardware engineer

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Instrumental founder and CEO Anna Katrina Shedletsky
Instrumental founder and CEO Anna Katrina Shedletsky, who is using her experience as an Apple product design engineer to bring AI to manufacturing.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Despite Apple’s denials, it’s “highly plausible” that secret spy chips could have been planted on the company’s servers, said a former Apple hardware engineer.

Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, who spent nearly six years at Apple helping build several generations of iPod, iPhone and Apple Watch, said spy chips could have been slipped into the design of servers used for Apple’s iCloud services, as alleged in a Bloomberg Businessweek story.

“With my knowledge of hardware design, it’s entirely plausible to me,” she said. “It’s very highly plausible to me, and that’s scary if you think about it.”