There’s a massive error with UK’s contact-tracing coronavirus app

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App may not have been sending out alerts correctly.
Photo: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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.

Lack of COVID-19 contact-tracing apps shows limits of Apple’s power

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iOS 13.7 contact tracing feature: Life-saver, or NSA spy tool?
It's not Apple's fault. But it's certainly frustrating.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

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.

What to expect from Apple’s pandemic-afflicted earnings report

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Apple Q3 2020 earning results come out July 30.
Apple Q3 2020 earnings were almost certainly pushed up by the iPhone SE and weighed down by COVID-19.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

When Apple reports its fiscal third-quarter earnings Thursday, the world will learn how the company is doing in the middle of a global pandemic.

Analysts predict a drop in revenue. But Apple itself previously said it’s seeing an increase in Mac and iPad sales. And investors have pushed the stock up almost 30% this year.

Apple Maps warns users to self-isolate if they travel internationally

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Apple is doing its bit to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Photo: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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 re-closes retail stores in Melbourne, Australia after coronavirus spike

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Apple Chadstone store
Apple Chadstone is one of the stores to re-close.
Photo: Apple

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.

These are the changes Apple Park is making as employees return from lockdown

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Apple leases new offices near to Apple Park
Apple Park is starting to get back to normal.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Just as it has with reopening Apple Stores, Apple is putting protective measures in place to keep employees safe as they return to Apple Park after lockdown.

These measures include optional COVID-19 swab testing, temperature checks, closed kitchens, social distancing measures, and an insistence on face masks.

Apple Stores reopening in the US; here are the safety measures Apple’s putting in place

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Apple Store reopening
From masks to temperature checks, Apple Stores will have some changes when they open their doors again.
Photo: Apple

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.

Stanford study to probe if Apple Watch can detect coronavirus

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Apple Watch alerts user of irregular heart rhythms in sleep
Apple Watch study to look for ways to spot COVID-19.
Photo: Apple

Could the Apple Watch detect if you have coronavirus using data of your heart’s rhythm and respiration? A Stanford University study is planning to find out.

New research, reported on Thursday by Gizmodo, is looking for people with various smartwatches, like the Apple Watch, to be part of a ‘Wearables Data’ study.