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California shutters its phone-based COVID-19 exposure notification system


California shutters its phone-based COVID-19 exposure notification system
CA Notify is no more.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

California introduced a COVID-19 exposure-notification system that used iPhone and Android to track interactions with infected people. And now that the U.S. government says the pandemic is over, CA Notify is shut down.

It’s possible Apple will eventually remove the underlying technology from iOS.

Apple pumps $1 billion into affordable housing for California


Apple's affordable housing initiative invests $1 billion
Taylor Mestres and Keteria Lara bagged a new home with Apple's help.
Photo: Apple

Apple on Wednesday confirmed it has deployed more than $1 billion for affordable housing initiatives across California. The company calls this a major milestone in its $2.5 billion commitment to combat the housing crisis.

And now, after its initiative has helped thousands of people across the state become homeowners for the first time, Apple says it is accelerating its support for affordable housing..

Apple lobbyist helps push back Right to Repair vote in California


Cult of Mac's buyback program pays good money for your gear, even broken ones.
Laws will be pushed back to 2020 at least.
Photo: Warren R.M. Stuart/Flickr CC

Right to Repair legislation in Apple’s home state of California has been successfully pushed back to at least January 2020. After intervention by an Apple lobbyist, the co-sponsor of the bill pulled it from committee on Tuesday.

“While this was not an easy decision, it became clear that the bill would not have the support it needed today, and manufacturers had sown enough doubt with vague and unbacked claims of privacy and security concerns,” said California Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman.

Apple plans store in Downtown Los Angeles’ historic Tower Theater


The Tower Theater will be the home of the first LA Apple Store in the Downtown district.
The 91-year-old Tower Theater will be the home of the first LA Apple Store in the Downtown district.
Photo: Steve Minor/Flickr

There are multiple Apple Stores in the Los Angeles Area, but not one in the Downtown district. That’s apparently just about to change.

The iPhone maker has plans to put an Apple Store in the historic Tower Theater on S. Broadway.

Apple snaps up Culver City office after HBO backs out


Apple Culver City
Apple video's new home in Culver City.
Photo: Culver City Planning Dept.

Apple looks set to open a new office in Culver City, California, after HBO backed out of plans to take the lease. The new building, which features 128,000 square feet of space, is projected to open in late 2019 and could become the home of Apple’s original video efforts.

Apple’s self-driving car filmed cruising California highway


The 2015 Lexus RX450h is Apple's vehicle of choice.
Photo: Lexus

The first video footage of Apple’s self-driving car has already surfaced on the internet, just over a month after the company first received permission to drive on public roads.

Apple’s self-driving car is actually a Lexus RX450h outfitted with sensors powered by Apple’s own autonomous driving software. Video of the car in action reveals Apple’s project is already highway-worthy as the company races to catch up to its competition.

Watch it cruise the road with ease: