Apple regains No. 3 spot in this year’s Fortune 500 ranking

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Big pile of cash underneath an Apple logo.
Apple is worth a whole heap of cash.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple comes in third on this year’s Fortune 500 list, a ranking of companies based on revenue.

Apple lagged behind Walmart and ExxonMobil in terms of revenue. However, it massively outperforms both in terms of profitability. Interestingly, No. 4 on the list — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway firm — is also one of Apple’s biggest investors.

How (and why) Jony Ive built the mysterious rainbow Apple Stage

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The colorful Apple Stage really pops in the center of Apple Park.
The colorful Apple Stage really pops in the center of Apple Park's massive "spaceship" building.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

The mysterious, rainbow-colored stage erected inside Apple Park bears all the hallmarks of the company’s meticulous design, according to an Apple document provided to Cult of Mac.

It’s the latest creation by Jony Ive’s team — and it’s just as thoughtfully and intricately designed as you might imagine.

An article explaining the project to Apple employees sheds light on just how much thought, time and intense effort went into building the rainbow Apple Stage. And Jony Ive’s ruminations on the project show he and his collaborators put a lot of thought into it.

What we learned from Apple’s surprising earnings report

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Big pile of cash underneath an Apple logo.
Apple's giant pile of cash continues to grow.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Wall Street received surprisingly better-than-expected news from Apple’s Q2 2019 earnings report today — and the stock is soaring in after-hours trading.

iPhone sales remain down, but pretty much every other facet of the company’s business is firing on all cylinders. Customers are falling in love with the iPad all over again. Services are booming. And Apple’s wearables business is now the size of a Fortune 200 company.

Despite plenty of doom and gloom from analysts over the last 12 months, Apple’s future is looking bright again.

How to sanitize your Safari history on iOS

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Here’s one piece of history we don’t want to erase.
Here’s one piece of history we don’t want to erase.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Have you got some embarrassing entries in your Safari browsing history? Or maybe it’s a question of security: You don’t want your iPad’s history to fall into the wrong hands, etc.

Smutty jokes aside, there are plenty of legit reasons to clear your Safari history on your iPhone or iPad. And the good news is that Safari for iOS has some great tools for doing so. For example, did you know that you can clear just the last hour of browsing history, or the past couple of days?

Get ready to learn how to sanitize your Safari history on iOS devices.

A brief history of Apple’s misadventures in manufacturing: Part 1 [Cook book outtakes]

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Apple Macintosh Factory of the future in Fremont
Steve Jobs built a highly automated Macintosh plant grandly called the "factory of the future."
Photo: Apple Maps

Tim Cook book outtakes This post was going to be part of my new book, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level, but was cut for length. Over the next week or so, we will be publishing several more sections that were cut, focusing mostly on Apple’s manufacturing operations.

Steve Jobs always had a deep fascination with automated factories. He was first exposed to them during a trip to Japan in 1983. At the time, Apple had just created a new floppy disk drive called Twiggy. During a visit to Apple’s factory in San Jose, however, Jobs became irate when he discovered the high failure rate of Twiggy drives Apple was producing. More than half of them were rejected. Jobs threatened to fire everyone who worked at the factory

Hacker knits Mac ROM scarves to boot up your fashion game

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Mac ROM scarves
Code to keep your neck warm.
Photo: KnitYak

You could safely assume that computer hackers and people who knit have little to talk about. One activity is clearly analog and seemingly old-fashioned while the other pre-occupies the mind of a tech geek.

Fabienne Serriere blows up that assumption by being both. She combines the two rather different activities to make eye-catching scarves imprinted with Mac ROM code.

Apple takes on Netflix with its own original TV service

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CEO Tim Cook before a picture of actors, directors, and producers of Apple TV+ original shows.
CEO Tim Cook before a picture of actors, directors, and producers of Apple TV+ original shows.
Photo: Apple

Hundreds of TV shows are available through dozens of streaming services, and Apple has just added itself to the mix with a stable of original programs. But rather than increasing the complexity, Apple is hoping to simplify everything by becoming a one-stop-shop for multiple offerings, including HBO, Showtime and more.

This service is called, logically enough, Apple TV+

The new iPad Air is Pro enough for most people [Opinion]

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In some ways, the iPad Air is better than the Pro.
In some ways, the iPad Air is better than the Pro.
Photo: Apple

The new iPad Air is a monster. It’s practically as powerful as the top-of-the-range iPad Pro, but costs around $300 less. You lose a few features — the magnetic Apple Pencil 2, ProMotion, etc. — but for most people that probably doesn’t matter.

In fact, the new iPad Air is so good that it’s probably good enough for most people. And for some folks — professional musicians, for example, or people who hate headphone dongles — it’s even better.

Apple whips its gigantic global supply chain into shape [Opinion]

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Apple supply chain worker inspecting glass
Apple is really cleaning up its supply chain under Tim Cook.
Photo: Apple

Over the years, Apple took heavy criticism for employing an offshore supply chain rife with abuse. The company is still stained by the rash of worker suicides in 2010 at Foxconn, its main supplier.

But as Apple’s latest Supplier Responsibility report shows, the company continues to make remarkable strides to improve conditions for workers and the environment.