Coronavirus Stories September 6

Apple’s return-to-office plans have met with objections from some employees, who want the flexibility to continue working from home full time, but a new poll suggests that the Cupertino company has hit the sweet spot in its proposal for three days a week in the office.

A poll of 1,900 US adults found that this was what the average professional employee considers ideal …

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Coronavirus Stories August 26

COVID-19 contact tracing apps built on the joint Google/Apple exposure notification API have saved thousands of lives in some countries, but have largely proven ineffective in the US.

A report examining data from the apps finds that many states didn’t even get as far as creating one; take-up was low; and very few users bothered to log infection in the app, rendering it useless …

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Coronavirus Stories August 25

Continued work from home is worth a pay cut, say many US employees

As Apple’s plan for staff to return to the office are again delayed, a new survey shows that two-thirds of US employees seek continued work-from-home arrangements; most of them would be willing to take a pay cut in return; and many would quit their jobs if ordered to return to the office full-time.

Apple announced a hybrid working model, with employees able to work from home on two fixed days a week, subject to line-management approval. Some, however, say they want greater flexibility, and would leave the company if they don’t get it …

Coronavirus Stories July 20

It’s less than a week since a succession of record highs saw Apple stock close in at $150, but investors have seen AAPL slide to $142.45 in the past few days.

AAPL hit $149.76 on July 15 before starting a decline that accelerated yesterday …

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Coronavirus Stories July 14

A poll has revealed that many Brits are deleting the contact tracing app in order to avoid the risk of being asked to self-isolate.

The behavior is in part enabled by an odd decision around digital COVID vaccine passports …

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Coronavirus Stories July 12

The NHS contact tracing app used in England and Wales is having its settings adjusted to send fewer COVID-19 exposure alerts, as England prepares for the end of lockdown on July 19.

Currently, users are alerted if a contact tests positive after they spent at least 15 minutes within two meters (6.5 feet) of them …

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Coronavirus Stories July 1

EU digital vaccine passport goes live; no data is stored after checks

The EU digital vaccine passport goes live today, allowing travelers from all 27 European Union countries to use their smartphone to prove that they have been vaccinated, have tested negative, or have recovered from COVID-19. It’s available for both iPhone and Android smartphones …

Coronavirus Stories June 15

The path to getting a UK contact tracing app was a rather tortuous one. The country initially decided to ignore the joint Apple/Google API and develop its own app. Having wasted literally millions of pounds doing so, it then reversed course and decided to build the COVID-19 API into an NHS app.

Unfortunately, my experience suggests that even the API-powered app doesn’t work too well in practice …

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Coronavirus Stories June 10

An IATA Travel Pass app is expected to go live sometime within the next couple of weeks, enabling travelers to prove to airlines that they have received COVID-19 vaccinations and/or tested negative for the infection.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for airlines, representing almost 300 of them …

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Coronavirus Stories June 4

A Taiwanese Apple supplier has warned that the global chip shortage will worsen without a massive increase in COVID-19 vaccinations on the island.

The comment was made as the world’s leading chip testing company was forced to suspend production following a COVID-19 outbreak …

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Coronavirus Stories May 24

Apple is helping A-series and M1 chipmaker TSMC get COVID-19 vaccines for its employees after an appeal for help from the Taiwanese government, according to a new report today.

Taiwan had long had an excellent record at keeping the pandemic under control on the island – with zero cases for eight months straight – but that record has now come to an abrupt end …

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10% of Brits had location tracked without permission for vaccine study

Millions of Brits had their location tracked without permission. A government report revealed the tracking, which was intended to find out whether being vaccinated against COVID-19 resulted in people being more willing to spend time away from home.

The report discloses 10% of British mobile phone owners were included in a study that used cell tower data to track approximate locations …

Coronavirus Stories May 21

Dating apps offer vaccination incentives: free premium features, more matches

It’s a crazy world where we have to offer people vaccination incentives to do something as basic as protect their own health and that of those around them during a pandemic, but that, apparently, is the world in which we now live…

Coronavirus Stories May 14

British researchers suggested back in February that the NHS contact tracing app saved thousands of lives in England and Wales. Some were skeptical, noting that the claim was based on extrapolation rather than hard evidence, but peer review has now backed the claim.

As we noted last time, the privacy protections built into the coronavirus contact tracing API by Apple and Google made it challenging to measure the impact of the app …

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Coronavirus Stories April 9

AAPL revenue grew a remarkable 21% in the holiday quarter, the company setting new records for both revenue and profit. One notable Apple analyst suggests that the good news is set to continue, and is forecasting 15% year-on-year growth when the company reports its fiscal Q2 earnings later this month.

Horace Dediu says the story is a remarkable contrast to some of the doom-and-gloom predictions made when the pandemic first hit …

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Coronavirus Stories April 2

An app to diagnose COVID-19 simply asks people to count aloud

An app to diagnose COVID-19 needs nothing more than a voice sample, according to an Israel-based company. In tests of 2,000 participants, the app achieved an accuracy rate of 81.2%, including asymptomatic carriers …

All Apple Stores in France are closing from tomorrow as the country returns to a stricter lockdown. Previously, some flagship stores in the center of the city had remained open, while those in shopping centers have remained closed since the end of January.

Although France tomorrow enters its third national lockdown, the move by Apple is actually a voluntary one …

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Coronavirus Stories April 1

The pandemic saw a record spend on apps last year, and App Annie reports that this has continued into the first quarter of this year.

The analytics firm says that demand for entertainment during lockdown saw developers enjoy the biggest quarter since records began…

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Coronavirus Stories March 31

Apple yesterday announced that for the second year running its Worldwide Developers Conference will be a virtual event – and I think this has implications for the future of WWDC.

While the Cupertino company is a great fan of in-person interactions, the online event definitely offers significant benefits …

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Coronavirus Stories March 22

Most people want flexible remote working options, as Apple plans return

Apple CEO Tim Cook may be keen to return to the office, but a large-scale international survey shows that the majority of people want flexible remote working options once the pandemic is under control …

Coronavirus Stories March 18

There have been multiple suggestions that Apple plans to adopt under-screen Touch ID for the iPhone 13, given that masks have greatly reduced the usefulness of Face ID. The company already has a bunch of patents for different ways to pull this off, and has today applied for an interesting new one.

Apple explains that optical fingerprint reading can be unreliable for two reasons, and explains how it would address these …

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Coronavirus Stories March 15

PSA: How to get a COVID-19 vaccination – Facebook has answers

Facebook would probably be the last place you’d turn for accurate information on how to get a COVID-19 vaccination, but the social network is working with hospitals, governments, and health authorities to help people get the answers …

Coronavirus Stories February 22

COVID-19 test kits have been in short supply, so Apple stepped in to help develop a more efficient manufacturing process for a key supplier, boosting output by almost 4,000% since last April. It saw output rise from thousands per week to over a million.

Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund provided COPAN Diagnostics with both manufacturing expertise and a capital injection of $10M…

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Coronavirus Stories February 16

Home COVID-19 test finds spurious way to involve an iPhone

A rapid antigen home COVID-19 test is a purely standalone chemical process, but that hasn’t stopped one enterprising company with a smart marketing team from finding a way to involve an iPhone

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