Apple, among others, helping with much needed supply of N95 masks

Apple has announced that it will be aiming to donate millions of N95 masks to hospitals in both the United States and Europe. Apple’s ops team are currently trying to find and purchase masks from Apple’s supply chain – in coordination with governments.

 

From the source, Tim Cook:

 

 


This is an urgent, important, and necessary task, as the current Coronavirus pandemic has led to a critical shortage of N95 masks, which healthcare workers need in order to protect themselves.

 

Elsewhere,  fashion companies from H&M and Zara to LVMH, Kering, and Prada have also pledged to supply protective items for medical workers, either by using their production facilities to make masks, or by buying finished masks directly from China, which makes most of the world’s medical masks.

 

LVMH, who owns Louis Vuitton and Dior, said on March 21 it had managed to order 10 million masks from a Chinese industrial supplier, including 7 million surgical masks and 3 million FFP2 masks. It plans to repeat the order in similar quantities weekly for at least four weeks. Kering, owner of Gucci and other labels, is purchasing a total of 3 million masks from China to give to France’s health service.

 

 

Additionally, good guy Gap Inc has announced via Twitter that it would “pivot resources so factory partners can make masks, gowns & scrubs for healthcare workers on the front lines.”

 

 

 

 

New & Free Streaming Content Available

In the middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic, it’s wonderful to see the kindness and generosity that many people are showing.  People are offering online learning and teachers are offering video tutoring for kids, people are offering free streaming exercise classes, art classes, and the list goes on.

 

Self -isolation is a tricky (but vital) beast for everyone right now! We’ll be making a list of a bunch of those options that we’ve seen and putting it out shortly. In the meantime – on a much more corporate level – comes news that Amazon is now providing family-friendly programming for free on Prime Video.

 

The content is available to all Amazon customers, with no Prime membership required. You just need to make a free Amazon.com account.

 

The U.S. version of the free service has over 40 titles  including “Arthur,” “Pete The Cat”, “Creative Galaxy”, “Caillou,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Reading Rainbow,” “Wild Kratts,” among others.

 

The new free programs will be available on the Prime Video app, which is a free download on compatible smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV, game consoles, Chromecast or via Prime Video on the web.

 

Sling TV has also made a selection of its content available to stream for free, including breaking news and live events from ABC News Live, movies and kids’ content for families and other lifestyle and entertainment programming. You can get the Sling TV free experience through the Sling app for Roku, Amazon or Android devices or via the web using a Chrome, Safari or Microsoft Edge browser.

 

Additionally, Hulu has added free live TV news to its on-demand service.

 

Lastly, this isn’t regarding free content, but it is early content: some Hollywood studios are releasing movies to stream on the home market months earlier than planned.

 

Not particularly kid friendly movies – perhaps this is for after they’ve popped off to bed of a night – you can now rent The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma for $20 from any of your favorite streaming services including Amazon, Apple, Fandango, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. Disney/Pixar’s Onward is also available, and soon will be joined by Birds of Prey, The Gentlemen, and Trolls World Tour.

 

 

 

 

All the things you can do whilst self-isolating so you don’t go insane

Sooo. Social Distancing, self-isolation and quarantine are things now. They are also GOOD things, for your community, and for the world’s community. We have to try and flatten that infection curve people! Protect those who we love and those that other people love. We’re going to make Coronavirus our b*tch and love each other at the same time, right?

 

K. But. It’s also weird, the whole staying at home, away from people, thing, because, well, what do we do, actually? A lot of us are lucky/unlucky enough to be working at home, so you’ve got a lot of the day covered, but what about after work? A lot of us will suddenly have all this… time? On our hands?

 

**We also want to take into consideration that there are a LOT of people who are unable financially to self isolate, stay at home, or even social distance to an extent. Those people deserve our love and also our money if we’re able. Buy gift cards for your favorite restaurants for when this is over, Venmo your favorite servers on the days you might be drinking/dining out if you can, ask your hairdresser for home tips and Venmo them, too. Support small businesses who are going to be struggling, buy things (if you can) and get them delivered. And please remember the frontline workers in our healthcare system.Try and see that this shizz is bad news bear for everyone and some have it worse than others. If you can do something to help out, friends, family or strangers, then please do it! And then you get all the good karma points, yo!**

 

Firstly, if you’re working from home or not working and are just at home, do this one thing for me right now. Write down, on a solid, physical piece of paper, all the wonderful things about your co-habitees. Your spouse, room mate, family member, etc.  Because you’re going to spending ALL THE TIME with them. All of it. All of the time. You will need this piece of paper. Look at it, and remember.

 

And now, to the fun part, in no particular order.

 

What are you going to do today?

 

Thanks to this article from Travel & Leisure, you can take a free virtual museum tour at 12 famous museums around the world.

 

Scour Goodreads to find your next few books, start with the best books of 2019 as voted by readers, then maybe move onto Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century, a list of the one hundred best books of the 20th century, according to a poll conducted in the spring of 1999 by the French retailer Fnac and the Paris newspaper Le Monde.

 

If reading is your jam, maybe read Stephen King’s  ‘On Writing’, and The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr to help you write your first novel? Or William Goldman’s ‘Which lie did I tell’ for screenwriting?

 

Do some online learning with Udemy, OpenLearning or Lynda. 

 

Here is a list of education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings.

 

Get stuck in a wikipedia hole, like this one: List of common misconceptions. Click on any link on that page and open it in a new tab. Continue. Enjoy your Wiki black hole.

 

Thanks to Buzzfeed, here is everything new coming to Netflix in March. 

 

Speaking of Netflix. Netflix and Chilln’ is a pretty good time. Just sayin’.

 

Facetime Party! Keeping in touch with your friends and family is really important right now. Everyone knows you bring the sunshine into their lives! Don’t stop now! Bring it! Don’t only talk about Coronavirus. 

 

Start a herb garden.

 

Learn a skill like Python through Sololearn.

 

Cook! Or learn to! Try Epicurious or All Recipes. Try that crazy recipe that you’ve always wanted! Set the table like a proper human! Play some music! Get dressed up fancy! Have a FaceTime dinner Party! Or a private fancy pants dinner party with your cohabitees!

 

Learn a language with DuoLingo. Spanish! Esperanto! Slovenian!

 

Do some Folding at Home.  From the Wiki- Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project for disease research that simulates protein folding, computational drug design, and other types of molecular dynamics. The project uses the idle processing resources of personal computers owned by volunteers who have installed the software on their systems. Its main purpose is to determine the mechanisms of protein folding, which is the process by which proteins reach their final three-dimensional structure, and to examine the causes of protein misfolding. This is of interest to medical research into Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and many forms of cancer, among other diseases. INCLUDING COVID-19.

 

Play some online games. Try Arkadium or Addicting Games.  Check out the App Store.

 

Did you know you can play games through FB messenger? Like Basketball – find the basketball emoji on Messenger and send it to your friend in a text message. Play H-O-R-S-E.

Soccer – find the soccer ball emoji. Send it to a friend or a group of friends. Once everyone accepts and is ready to start, the game begins.

Chess – send, “@fbchess play” to play with a stranger, to choose your opponent and color, send “@fbchess play black friendname”.

 

Learn Tai Chi !

 

Meditate with apps like Calm and Headspace.

 

Learn Acupuncture.

 

Clean the house.

 

Take a bath with bubbles and stuff that smells good and champagne and snacks… and breathe deeply.

 

Keep fit with online fitness classes, like Tone It Up, or Fitness Blender, or just scour YouTube.

 

Keep up to date on Coronavirus, but limit yourself in time and only to proper sources, like the World Health Organisation, The CDC, John Hopkins or similar science based news.

 

Remember to take care of yourself. Listen to your body. Your immune system is your best friend, treat it as such. Take care of each other. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. 

 

Also note: Comcast is offering free internet to low-income families during the pandemic. 

 

Stay Safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T-Mobile offering a bunch of increased and free products amid Coronavirus pandemic

Good Guy T-Mobile has announced some changes that should help out some of its customers who are relying on their T-Mobile data plans during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

If you’re a T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customer who still has a plan with data limits, T-Mobile will provide you with unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days.

 

Additionally, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will soon be getting access to an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot/tethering service for the next 60 days and free international calling is available for all T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers to level 3 impacted countries- that includes all European countries.

 

For schools, T-Mobile is increasing the data allowance provided to students through the EmpowerED digital learning programs to ensure that every participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month for the next 60 days.

 

Customers who use T-Mobile’s low-income Lifeline program will receive extra free data up to 5GB per month over the next two months.

 

On top of all that, T-Mobile is also participating in the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” which prevents internet providers from cutting off service to individuals and small business customers unable to pay their bills during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Finally, T-Mobile is offering customers free two-day shipping fees for online purchases for 60 days as a courtesy.

 

Stay safe & hygienic everyone!

 

 

WWDC Update

Apple’s 31st Worldwide Developers Conference will, for the first time, be a digital-only event with no physical gathering . This is due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.

 

The event will still take place in June, and according to Apple, will still be “packed with content” for consumers, press, and developers alike. Developers will be provided with early access to new software, and will stillbe able to engage with Apple engineers.

 

From the Source, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing:

 

“We are delivering WWDC 2020 this June in an innovative way to millions of developers around the world, bringing the entire developer community together with a new experience, the current health situation has required that we create a new ‌WWDC 2020‌ format that delivers a full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead.”

 

And, from Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering:

 

“With all of the new products and technologies we’ve been working on, ‌WWDC 2020‌ is going to be big. I look forward to our developers getting their hands on the new code and interacting in entirely new ways with the Apple engineers building the technologies and frameworks that will shape the future across all Apple platforms.”

 

Apple will still hold an online keynote to unveil new software ( iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS 10.16, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7)  and posssssibly hardware products.

 

Apple will be making developer sessions and new information on the upcoming operating systems available through the Apple Developer website or the dedicated WWDC app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

 

Good Guy Apple is also pledging to donate $1 million to local San Jose organizations to offset the associated revenue loss as a result of ‌WWDC 2020‌’s online format.

 

More to come, surely!

 

 

Is a Smart Keyboard with a trackpad coming our way?

Apple MIGHT be working on a new Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro that includes a trackpad – which would be rad.

 

The keyboard would also most likely have thicker, waterproof keys covered with a polyurethane material, backlit keys and scissor switches.

 

Upcoming ‌iPad Pro‌ models are expected to be unveiled at the same time. They’ll probably be the same size as the current ‌iPad Pro‌ models (11 and 12.9-inches), with a square-shaped camera cutout, which means that there’s a possibility ( if there’s no back cover) that the new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ would be compatible with 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models as well.

 

If this keyboard is a reality, we’ll see it and the new iPad Pro models soon – likely during the first half of 2020, perhaps really soon as in March 31st, however it’s currently unknown if there’ll be issues with production because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

 

 

 

Apple Celebrates International Women’s Day

Apple has announced the “She Creates” initiative at Apple Stores, which will see Apple host more than 5,000 ‘Today at Apple’ sessions highlighting inspiring female creators using photography, design, technology, business, and film. This is timed to coincide with International Women’s Day, which falls on this Sunday, March 8th.

 

Apple wants to celebrate International Women’s Day all the way from March 1st through 31st by encouraging us to learn from inspiring female creators, share ideas with others, and explore new perspectives in hands-on sessions using iPad, iPhone, and Mac.

 

From Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People:

 

“Celebrating the work, spirit and contributions of women is so important to Apple, we’re thrilled to recognize International Women’s Day through the ‘She Creates’ programming series and bring these experiences to our stores so everyone can be inspired by some of the world’s most passionate and innovative creators.”

 

As well as ‘She Creates’,  every day in March Apple will highlight apps and games created by female developers, designers, and entrepreneurs through the App of the Day and Game of the Day features, and there’s a new International Women’s Day collection on Apple TV highlighting women who are “changing the narrative through storytelling across the movie and TV landscape.”

 

Additionally, on March 8th, Apple will release a curated collection on Apple Podcasts called “Changing the Narrative,” which features podcasts celebrating women podcasters, shows, and stories and lastly,  Apple Watch owners can earn an International Women’s Day ‌Apple Watch‌ award and stickers by completing a walk, run, or wheelchair workout of 20 minutes or more.

 

You can find out more here! 

 

 

What’s next for Apple?

Seems like it’s pretty likely that we’ll see an Apple media event near the end of next month! There is a chance that these plans may be delayed however, depending on the continued impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.

 

The rumored event would take place on March 31st and would see the reveal of a cheaper ‘iPhone 9’ alongside refreshed iPad Pro models. The new iPad Pros would apparently have a triple-lens rear camera system with 3D sensing.

 

We may also see mention of ‘AirPods Pro Lite’ (what?),  a cheaper set of AirPods without noise cancellation, water proof and magnetically charged AirTags item trackers, and a new “CarKey” feature to let an iPhone or an Apple Watch to unlock, lock, and start NFC-compatible vehicles. You will also be able to send CarKey in conversations with an individual.

 

This is all a little up in the air because of the aforementioned epidemic, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Also in the works for Apple; it seems like you’ll be able to set Third-Party Web Browser and Mail Apps as Defaults in iOS 14, and there is a chance that in the future Apple will allow third-party music services like Spotify and Pandora to be streamed directly on the HomePod with Siri.

 

 

 

Apple postpones China reopen

At the moment, Apple’s corporate offices, retail stores, and contact centers are closed because of the Coronavirus. The original plans were for them to reopen on February 10th, but that date has been postponed, with no new one decided as of yet.

 

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail and People, Deirdre O’Brien, sent out an email Apple Store staff in China with an update to say that Apple is continuing to work with heath experts and will be issuing further updates.

 

You can see the email in full below. (Via MacGeneration):

 

“Team, I want to thank every one of you for the care, flexibility and spirit you have shown over the past few weeks. Around the world, the entire Apple family stands committed to helping our colleagues, communities, suppliers, partners and customers in China as they care for their health and return to daily life. Apple’s support for the global coronavirus response is broad and ongoing, including our donation to the public health effort.
 

Since my last note, we have been in constant consultation with public health experts, government authorities and our teams and leaders in China. In light of those conversations, I want to share new information about Apple’s workplaces.
 

We are working toward reopening Apple’s Corporate Offices and Contact Centers in China next week. We recognize that personal movement and travel restrictions are ongoing and schools are closed in many places, and managers will be working with their teams to offer additional support. You will receive a follow up communication shortly with more information.

 

Apple’s Retail Stores are actively working to reopen at a date that will be determined next week. Additional cleaning, health protocols and local restrictions around public spaces will factor into this decision. Retail teams will receive updates from their managers on the opening date for their store and on other supportive steps we are taking.

 

Individual business leaders will be reaching out to you soon with more information relevant to your work. In addition to your manager, your People Business Partner and People Support are your resource for any questions you may have. To stay up to date with Apple’s efforts, please continue to check the dedicated coronavirus page we’ve created on the People site.

 

As we work together to gradually resume work over the next few weeks, your well-being is our first priority. We are deeply grateful to everyone for facing this challenging period with the utmost empathy and understanding.”

 

Deirdre

 

iPhone supplier Foxconn has also told staff at its Shenzhen plant to stay at home and has yet to list a return date.

 

We’ll keep you updated when they do!

 

 

 

 

NYPD switches it up

The NYPD has been using handwritten memo books for over a century and on February 17th will be making the switch to an iPhone App for note taking which will be available in real time.

 

The NYPD has been providing officers with smartphones since 2015, and there are now 37,000 iPhones in use.

 

The idea is that case related notes will be more accessible using the app, with no information getting lost, data won’t be able to be faked, and it will all be easily searchable by date or keyword.

 

The app will also streamline all the information, and cut down on paper waste.

 

NYPD Deputy Chief Anthony Tasso told The New York Times that the digital system will allow for entries to be used as valuable crime fighting data. “It gives us the abilities we did not have before, when memo books were left in officers’ lockers and we didn’t have access to a vast amount of information,” he said.