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.

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.

Some thoughts on Apple’s Event – September 10, 2019

This week Apple announced the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, Apple Watch Series 5, and iPad. With all the rumors floating around over the last few months the announcements weren’t surprising.

Here are my thoughts.

iPhone
I’ll be trading in my iPhone 7 Plus for a new iPhone 11. My 7 Plus is starting to show its age and I’m getting bored with it. I plan on getting the 64GB model for $499 after my 7 Plus trade-in. Colors? Now that’s a hard one. I’ll have to see the actual phones to decide on that one.

iPad
I might also consider the new iPad or iPad Air with a larger display, pencil, and keyboard to replace my 5th generation iPad. I’m finding myself using my iPad more these days so it would be nice to upgrade.

Watch
I just bought my series 4 Watch this last April so no new Watch for me this year.

Jon Gruber on Jony Ive leaving Apple

If you’re into this type of thing, John Gruber’s take on Jony Ive, Apple’s longtime design guru, leaving Apple is a good read. Gruber is the designer and inventor of Markdown. He also writes Daring Fireball, an Apple-focused blog and hosts a related podcast The Talk Show.

Jony Ive Is Leaving Apple

I don’t worry that Apple is in trouble because Jony Ive is leaving; I worry that Apple is in trouble because he’s not being replaced.

Further reading:
Apple’s stock took an $8 billion hit after the news that design chief Jony Ive will be exiting the company

Apple will be just fine without Jony Ive — sorry, Jony

Ive Moves On

2018 and newer MacBook Pro and MacBook Air now included in Apple’s Keyboard Service Program

I meant to write about the changes to Apple’s Keyboard Service Program a few weeks ago but I never got around to it. So, here it is now.

These changes were particularly good news for me because I bought my wife a 2018 MacBook Air for Christmas and I have been hearing rumbles that some folks are having problems with the keyboard.

Here’s the good news. As of May 21, 2019, Apple extended the Keyboard Service Program for MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro to include the 2018 MacBook Air and the 2018 and 2019 MacBook Pro. I have also heard that in order to speed up the repair process the repairs are now being made in Apple Stores with next day turnaround.

This is Apple’s statement about the keyboards:

Apple has determined that a small percentage of the keyboards in certain MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors:

Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
Letters or characters do not appear
Key(s) feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will service eligible MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro keyboards, free of charge. The type of service will be determined after the keyboard is examined and may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard.