| Cult of Mac

COVID-19 throws off Apple’s return-to-office plan yet again

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Apple leases new offices near to Apple Park
Getting employees back in Apple Park isn't going smoothly.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Apple reportedly slowed the pace at which it will require its corporate employees to return to the office. They were scheduled to be back at their desks three days a week starting later this month, but rising numbers of COVID-19 cases supposedly pushed that back.

Apple employees are still required to be in the offices two days a week.

Workers at Apple supplier Quanta riot over COVID-19 restrictions

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Workers at Apple-supplier Quanta riot over COVID restrictions
Quanta employees clashed with guards on Thursday night.
Photo: RFA

New video out of China shows workers at a MacBook assembly plant in Shanghai fighting with security guards. The Quanta Computer employees have been forced to live at their workplace for weeks amidst COVID-19 lockdowns ordered by the Chinese government.

The workers apparently hoped to leave the facility to go shopping.

Apple pushes February MacBook Pro orders back to June

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Apple pushes February MacBook Pro orders back to June
Buying a high-end MacBook Pro requires money and patience.
Photo:

People who ordered a top-tier MacBook Pro in February are being notified that it won’t be delivered until June. The delay results from COVID-19 lockdowns in China hampering notebook assembly.

New orders also face delays of several months, making a refurbished 2021 MacBook Pro a better option for some buyers.

New China COVID-19 lockdowns could hit iPhone production hard

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A new wave of lockdowns in China could put Apple millions of units behind on iPhone production.
A new wave of lockdowns in China could put Apple millions of units behind on iPhone production.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Analysts note that new COVID-19 lockdowns in China are hitting Apple’s supply chain hard. And the pain will likely worsen, with production falling behind by up to 10 million iPhones.

And this is not just about iPhones. Authorities have halted production at three key suppliers for iPhone, iPad and Mac assembly. Meanwhile, Apple is negotiating to reopen production lines, though success could be hard to come by, according to one analyst Friday.

This follows recent news of assembly and shipping delays on built-to-order MacBook Pro models.

Apple employees must begin dragging their sad asses back to the office

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Apple Park Close up
Apple Park will soon be humming with busy employees again.
Photo: Apple

Monday is the day Apple requires its corporate employees to start working in the office some of the time. The pandemic era when most of them could work from home all the time is over.

But everyone doesn’t have to be back in the office five days a week starting today. This is the beginning of a transition period, after which many workers will still be able to work from home a couple days of every week.

4 takeaways from Apple’s 2022 shareholders meeting

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4 takeaways from Apple’s 2022 shareholders meeting
If you’re an Apple shareholder, you should have received one of these in the mail.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook had a meeting today with his many bosses: Apple shareholders. He answered questions about dividends, COVID-19 and more.

And a vote at the Apple 2022 shareholders meeting requires the Board of Directors to carry out an audit of the company’s civil rights policies. But several other proposals were voted down.

Apple removes face mask requirements for corporate and retail employees

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Apple's CEO and Spanish singer Rosalía take a selfie with Madrid Apple employees.
Apple employees have a lot to celebrate.
Photo: Tim Cook

Apple is dropping the requirement for most of its corporate employees to wear masks, but there are still limitations. And the company has begun allowing some of its retail employees to take off their face mask at Apple Stores.

The policy change takes place as the surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant is essentially over.

How to turn on COVID-19 exposure notifications on iPhone [Updated]

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Manage COVID-19 exposure notifications on iPhone
There's no good reason not to have exposure notifications enabled.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

With the omicron variant fueling lightning-fast spread of COVID-19, it’s a good time for iPhone owners to take advantage of the exposure notifications feature built into iOS. By simply enabling this feature, you will get an alert after being exposed to someone who tests positive for the virus — as long as they also have contact notifications turned on, and they report their test results.

For obvious reasons, this automatic version of contact tracing works more effectively if more people utilize it. If you discover that you’ve been in close contact with an infected person, you can take appropriate steps (getting tested, staying away from vulnerable people, etc.)

We’ll show you how to take control of COVID-19 exposure notifications on your device.

Omicron variant triggers wave of Apple retail store closures

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covid.19.coronavirus.graphic2
Look who’s back.
Photo: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The new, highly transmissible COVID-19 variant reportedly forced Apple to shut down around 20 of its retail stores in the United States. Coronavirus cases continue to rise dramatically because of the omicron variant, with the daily national average more than doubling in the past two weeks.

Those planning to return a gift at a brick-and-mortar Apple Store, or use a gift certificate, should check to see if it’s open before heading out.