Apple asks employees to share their vaccination status ahead of office return

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Apple employees are gearing up to return to the office.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Apple is gearing up to bring more employees back to the office. And that means taking measures to safeguard staff against COVID-19.

According to The Verge reporter Zoe Schiffer, Apple is requesting that employees disclose their current vaccination status with the company in some locations.

“Apple is asking our team members in certain locations to share their current vaccination status,” Apple’s guidance notes. “You can confidentially share whether you’re fully vaccinated, have had a partial dose, are not vaccinated, or do not wish to share.”

Apple preps plan to let retail staffers work from home

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Periodically working from home could become a permanent part of Apple retail employees’ job.
Photo: Apple

Apple is reportedly going to test a program that will have its Apple Store retail employees work from home some of the time. And no, that won‘t involve customers shopping in employees’ living rooms.

Apple’s new Tower Theatre store in LA looks preposterously beautiful

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Many Angelenos on the hunt for Apple gear will recognize the historic theater's restored clocktower and sign. But the interior will blow them away.
Many Angelenos on the hunt for Apple gear will recognize the historic theater's restored clocktower and sign. But the interior will blow them away.
Photo: Apple

Apple previewed its newest retail location at the historic Tower Theatre in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday. The company announced the store’s Thursday opening in conjunction with the launch of the Today at Apple Creative Studios global mentorship initiative for young creatives.

And wow, the new store looks like a real beauty. Apple called it “one of its most significant restoration projects to date.” That’s saying something. Just look at Rome. Or Bangkok. Or even the long-established Grand Central Station store in New York.

Today at Apple Creative Studios launches to mentor young creative workers

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In Los Angeles, young creatives will receive mentorship from Grammy Award-winning producer Larrance “Rance” Dopson, documentary photographer and filmmaker Bethany Mollenkof, and Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B Ebro Darden.
In Los Angeles, young creatives will receive mentorship from Grammy Award-winning producer Larrance “Rance” Dopson (pictured), documentary photographer and filmmaker Bethany Mollenkof and Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B Ebro Darden.
Photo: Apple

Apple announced a new global initiative today called Today at Apple Creative Studios. It aims to provide career-building mentorship, creative-industry skills training, resources and access to Apple products to workers from underrepresented communities globally.

2021 iPad Pro is available now, just not from Apple.com

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Wait for 2021 iPad Pro stretches out months
You’ll get the 2021 iPad Pro far quicker if you order it from somewhere other than Apple.com.
Photo: Apple

The online Apple Store might not be the best place to buy the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Place an order for 2021’s hottest tablet on Apple.com on Wednesday and you could wait a month or more to have it shipped to you. But other stores have the device in stock now.

Why wait?

Apple Stores in US will start dropping mask requirements this week

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Why Apple Watch’s iPhone unlock will change your freakin’ life
Wave goodbye to masks at some Apple Stores.
Photo: Ivan Samkov/Pexels CC

If you’ve been dreaming of seeing the bottom half of people’s faces in Apple Stores (odd dream, admittedly!), you’ll get your wish starting this week as many Apple Stores in the U.S. begin loosening their mask requirements.

This comes as major retailers are increasingly getting back to normal as the coronavirus pandemic subsides. Apple has been one of the more cautious parties when it comes to in-store mask policies. The likes of Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Costco have already ditched mandatory mask rules. But Apple was said to be holding back.

Rome’s Apple Via del Corso may be the most jaw-dropping Apple Store yet

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Apple Store Rome
Peek inside Rome's gorgeous new Apple Via del Corso store.
Photo: Apple

As impressive as the sleekly minimalist, modernist Apple Stores are when they’re built from the ground up, there’s something dazzling about the company’s retail outlets that take over and restore classic buildings.

That second category certainly applies to Apple Via del Corso, which opens Thursday in the historic city of Rome. The 17th Apple Store in Italy, the new (well, old) structure is described by Apple as one of its “most significant restoration projects.”

That may be understating its appeal, too. Judging by the images, this could be the most spectacular Apple Store yet.

Today in Apple history: The world’s first Apple Stores open their doors

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Apple Store
How the Tysons Corner, Virginia store appeared on day one.
Photo: Apple

May 19: Today in Apple history May 19, 2001: Apple revolutionizes the world of computer shopping by opening its first two Apple Stores. Located in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and Glendale, California, the new outlets represent the culmination of a long-term dream for Apple.

Twenty years on, in May 2021, Apple operates 510 stores in 25 countries around the world. While they have, like virtually every other brick-and-mortar retail store, faced challenges over the past year, they remain some of the most profitable retail outlets anywhere on a dollars-per-square-foot basis.

Today in Apple history: Apple shows off its amazing Fifth Avenue store

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Apple's stunning Fifth Avenue store quickly becomes a New York landmark.
Photo: Simone Lovati/Flickr CC

May 18: Today in Apple history: Cupertino shows off its amazing Fifth Avenue Apple store May 18, 2006: The world — and, more specifically, the Apple-watching press — gets its first glimpse at Apple’s swanky new Fifth Avenue Apple store in New York City.

Hidden behind black plastic wrapping during development, that all changes a day before the store’s grand opening. Workers remove the covering, revealing a 32-foot glass cube adorned with a floating, white Apple logo. At 10 a.m., members of the press get an exclusive tour of the new venue.

Don’t expect to remove your mask in Apple Stores just yet

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Apple Store Mask
Rules will remain in place for now.
Photo: engin akyurt/Unsplash CC

Many parts of the world are starting to emerge from coronavirus lockdown, with stores opening up and social distancing measures relaxing. But don’t expect to take off your mask to go into an Apple Store — whatever local advice suggests. This seemingly goes for both customers and retail employees.

According to Bloomberg, Apple will keep masks and other safety provisions in place for its stores as the company continues to “evaluate health and safety” measures. This comes shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinated individuals don’t need to wear a face mask in the majority of public settings.