Apple responds to COVID-19 by closing all stores outside of China

Apple’s COVID-19 response

Tim Cook, Writing at Apple Newsroom:

We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers. Our online stores are open at http://www.apple.com, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com. I want to thank our extraordinary Retail teams for their dedication to enriching our customers’ lives. We are all so grateful to you.

In all of our offices, we are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China. That means team members should work remotely if their job allows, and those whose work requires them to be on site should follow guidance to maximize interpersonal space. Extensive, deep cleaning will continue at all sites. In all our offices, we are rolling out new health screenings and temperature checks.

All of our hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations. We have expanded our leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19 — including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures.

Apple has also switched WWDC 2020 to an all online format.

Covid-19 and me

Let me start with this. I have absolutely no confidence in Trump’s ability to steer us through this crisis. And unfortunately, he’s been lying to us about the impact coronavirus is having as late as yesterday. He thinks he can bullshit his way through this but this time he’s wrong.

New York Times
Trump’s False Claims About His Response to the Coronavirus

The Verge
Contrary to Trump’s claim, Google is not building a nationwide coronavirus screening website

The Washington Post
‘It will go away’: A timeline of Trump playing down the coronavirus threat

Esquire
Who the Hell Wants Another Four Years of This?

I’m in the At-Risk for Serious Illness category and as the spread of Coronavirus gets worse I’m getting concerned about access to food, water, and medical care. As I should, I’m doing my best to not get infected with the Coronavirus. I’m hunkered down at home. I’m only going out when I have too. When I do go out I’m practicing social distancing and following all the other CDC guidelines.

We’ll get through this as a nation.

An iPad with a mouse and trackpad?

9to5 Mac is reporting that sophisticated mouse cursor support is coming to iOS 14 and that new iPad Smart Keyboard models will have a trackpad.

According to code seen by 9to5Mac, Apple is set to roll out rich system-wide support for mouse cursors with iOS 14. Apple added rudimentary compatibility with external mice in iOS 13 Accessibility settings, but iOS 14 (iPadOS 14) will make it mainstream.

The iOS 14 build also referenced two new Smart Keyboard models in development.

The changes coming to the software will bring most of the cursor features you recognize from a Mac desktop experience to iOS.

I love it and I’m looking forward to it. This seems like something that could get me closer to making an iPad my main computing device.

Ulysses continues to have iCloud sync issues

I was looking at Ulysses reviews in the App Store today and noticed several recent reviews with complaints about iCloud sync issues. This is not a new issue. It has been an ongoing issue for several years. It’s the main reason that I no longer use Ulysses.

I would think that Ulysses would do something to fix this problem. Of course, they always say the problem is with iCloud Drive and not Ulysses. I don’t buy that because lots of other apps use iCloud with no problems. I recently wrote about that here.

Maybe they should spend some of their subscription money on developing a sync backend.

Raindrop.io for bookmarks

For the last several years I’ve been using Devonthink Pro for bookmarking. With the introduction of Devonthink 3, which is a paid upgrade, I decided to look for a different bookmark app/service. Why? I didn’t want to pay the upgrade price and I wanted a truly cross-platform app. Devonthink is a great app and is a lot more than just for bookmarking but it is first and foremost a Mac app with an iOS app that is limited by comparison.

Enter Raindrop.io. I came across Raindrop.io while reviewing Federico Viticci’s My Must-Have Apps, 2019. He sums up the app quite well:

To sum up: I wanted to find an app/service that would help me save links from the web, organize them with folders or tags using a good-looking UI, and find them again with ease. Raindrop.io, which has been around for several years at this point and is in active development, ticks all these boxes: it’s a web service that comes with a desktop web app, browser extensions, and native mobile apps; links are automatically saved with rich thumbnails and descriptions extracted from the original webpage; you can organize links in collections, tag them, and choose from multiple view and sort options; you can also customize the look of a collection by choosing from thousands of icons. Here’s where it gets better and why Raindrop.io is ideal for my needs: on iOS, links open with Safari View Controller, not a custom web view; and, if you pay for the Pro version, you’ll be able to upload your own images, create nested collections, and rely on the service to find duplicate or broken links for you.

I decided to give the app a try. I’m using the free edition of the app which meets all my needs. So for now, I see no reason to pay for the Pro features. If your looking for a bookmarking app/service give Raindrop.io a try.

Spotlight on iPad

I find myself using my iPad more and more lately. That’s because I’m discovering that there are things that I do on my Mac that I can also do on my iPad. The trick is discovering that these things exist.

For example, I use Alfred on my Mac. I recently discovered that the iPad has Spotlight which I can use to do many of the things that I use Alfred for on my Mac. I use a keyboard with my iPad so I can quickly invoke Spotlight with the keyboard shortcut ⌘ + space bar.

Now here are a few things that I do with Spotlight on my iPad:

  • Launch apps
  • Search files and folders
  • Search the App Store
  • Search the web
  • Search maps

Duke Cannon Bloody Knuckles Hand Repair

I don’t usually write about things like this but this is something I thought you might be able to benefit from as I did.

I live in Central New Jersey where the winter air is dry and cold. We have 20 acres of land with a small farm so I’m outside a lot with my hands exposed to the elements. Last winter I suffered from dry chapped cracked hands that were very sore. I tried several different brands of hand cream to alleviate the problem with little success. Yes, I even used the stuff in the green can.

Last July Ben Brooks wrote a review about Duke Cannon Care Products. Bloody Knuckles was the product that I was particularly interested in.

Bloody Knuckles Hand Repair Balm: here’s how I tested this one, I moved across the country and handled tons of boxes. Those will eat your hands alive, unless that is you are using this hand balm. So yeah, two smooth feeling thumbs up. It takes a bit longer than I would like to soak in, but otherwise great stuff.

This fall and winter I’ve been using Bloody Knuckles and my hands are significantly better, and I haven’t had any dry cracking skin.

This stuff really works. Do yourself a favor and get some.

Duke Cannon could have easily just been a gimmick brand with no real substance to it, I’ve seen that more than a few times. But at every turn the products were well above average and that’s saying a lot in the age of everyone outsourcing and branding cheap crap. This is not cheap crap. I wouldn’t be writing about it if it was.

You can read Ben’s full review of Duke Cannon Care Products here.