Apple is closing down internal Slack channels to stop employees discussing remote working options, reports Zoe Schiffer from The Verge.
Many Cupertino employees are currently engaged in a Cold War of sorts with their employer over the remote working arrangement coming out of the coronavirus pandemic. As the arguments flare up among staff, Apple has taken the step of shuttering the Slack channels where these are taking place.
The global pandemic was bad for many industries. One sector it was good for was the worldwide tablet market, led by Apple’s iPad. According to a new report by Counterpoint Research, Apple sold a third more iPads in 2020 than it did in 2019. In the first quarter of 2021, it expanded its share to a massive 37% of the global tablet market — including hitting an all-times sales record in Japan.
“The basic iPad models accounted for 56% of the overall iPad shipments in Q1 2021,” said Senior Analyst Liz Lee said. “The iPad Air and iPad Pro series came next with 19% and 18% shares, respectively. Since consumers are constantly concerned about prices and portability, the latest iPad 8 emerged as the top-selling model. Launched in October 2020, the iPad Air 4 ranked second on the bestseller list as it was a huge hit with consumers looking for cost-effectiveness as well as high specifications.”
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.
Can the iPhone and Apple Watch help predict illnesses like COVID-19? That’s the question being asked by researchers from Apple, the Seattle Flu Study, and the University of Washington — and you can help them answer it. And get loaned an Apple Watch for the duration of the six-month study for your troubles.
The study is currently recruiting for participants who live in the greater Seattle area. Participants must have “higher than normal risk of respiratory illness because of frequent exposure to other people through work or other activities, health conditions, or other factors.”
Both Apple and Google have blocked an update to England and Wales’ Department of Health contact-tracing app, built using the tech giants’ API.
The update was intended to be released to coincide with the relaxation of lockdown measures in the United Kingdom. However, it apparently breached one of Apple and Google’s main rules: Apps built with the contact-tracing technology are not allowed to gather location data that could track users.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit last year, one of the many, many impacts of the spread was the delaying of Apple’s iPhone 12 series. While Apple and its suppliers were able to claw back some of the lost time, the iPhone 12 devices were ultimately pushed back to late October and early November, rather than the usual September release.
But while this might have been frustrating for Apple and customers alike, a new piece of research suggests it may have actually been a net positive. According to Counterpoint Research, the delay could turn out to have been a prudent move for Apple. It reports:
When Florian Mueller submitted his latest game to the App Store, he didn’t think it would end with him filing a complaint against Apple with the European Union, the U.S. Department of Justice and other antitrust authorities around the world.
But that’s exactly what happened after Apple rejected his Corona Control Game due to its COVID-19 theme. Google, which barred Mueller’s game from the Google Play store, is also named in his complaints.
Germany-based Mueller, who has another career as a blogger on legal issues, is not happy with how Apple and Google handled his game submission.
“When [Apple and Google] rejected the game at the beta-testing stage, I was indeed surprised that they took issue with it in such a fundamental way they wouldn’t even let us distribute it to testers,” Mueller, 51, told Cult of Mac.
Apple has booted an app from the App Store accused of helping promote secret indoor parties during COVID-19 lockdowns.
The Vybe Together app was connected with a TikTok account (also removed) that promoted New York-area parties. While its creators claim that they weren’t encouraging law-breaking behavior, clearly both Apple and TikTok disagreed.
Coronavirus cases continue to spike around the U.S. and the world — and the set of Apple TV+ shows is no exception. With several positive COVID-19 tests having been reported on the set of Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, the show creator and one of its lead actors Rob McElhenney sent out a message to staff, Variety reports.
Apple engineers used remote control robots and iPads equipped with custom augmented reality software to guide technicians in overseas factories, due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Usually Apple engineers make frequent visits to places like China, where Apple carries out manufacturing. However, this year’s coronavirus lockdown has made this impossible — leading to Apple having to make some tech-savvy adjustments.
The UK’s botched contact-tracing COVID app has run into its latest hurdle — this time the fact that thousands of people have been possibly exposed to coronavirus without being told that this is the case.
The reason for this is that the app used the wrong risk threshold to send out warnings. In essence, it assumed that people were too far away for transmission to be possible — even when they weren’t. As a result, “shockingly low” numbers of people received warnings.
Apple and Google moved fast to develop a COVID-19 contact-tracing solution that was both smart and privacy conscious. Unfortunately, more than six months after the companies announced the cross-platform approach to contact tracing, few places in the United States use it.
It’s a tough lesson for the world’s biggest tech company. And one that everyone is a little bit poorer for having learned.
With travel picking up again following COVID-19 lockdown, Apple Maps is now alerting users who travel internationally of localized self-isolation guidance.
The feature was pointed out on Twitter by Kyle Seth Gray, who said he received a message after being at the airport. The pop-up notification pointed him to official guidance online. It also included a message that advised Gray to “stay home and watch [his] health for 14 days” in accordance with rules.
Apple is re-closing four more of its Apple Stores in Melbourne, Australia as coronavirus cases spike again in the region.
Apple Chadstone, Apple Southland, Apple Doncaster, and Apple Fountain Gate will all be temporarily closing down, along with Apple Highpoint, which closed its doors last week. Australian Apple Stores began reopening two months ago, after having been shuttered since March 14.
Zoom had another stellar month in the App Store as people worked from home during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a new report by Sensor Tower, published Thursday, Zoom received 94.6 million installs on iOS and Android last month. That is up a massive 43x compared to May 2019.
How will your Apple Store be different when it reopens after the coronavirus closures? In an open letter published Sunday, Apple retail chief Deidre O’Brien shared more details about Apple’s approach to reopening its stores — and the measures it’s implementing.
These include free face masks, temperature checks, social distancing strategies, and more. Apple will also this week begin reopening stores across the U.S.
Utah has gone with a different approach to tracking the spread of the coronavirus, one that focuses on a GPS and Bluetooth solution developed by a small social media startup, according to a report Wednesday from CNBC.
Apple and the U.S. economy will recover from the coronavirus pandemic despite the current “challenging” times, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said Thursday in a broadcast interview, remaining “bullish in the long haul.”