Starting now, Apple is expediting approval for specific apps from reputable sources related to COVID-19. The App Store is also waiving the annual membership fee for distributing free apps for select groups. Apple will not approve apps that use COVID-19 themes for entertainment and games to limit apps that take advantage of the current health crisis.
Apple Card holders today received an email informing them that should they need financial assistance due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, they can enroll in a new customer assistance program that will allow them to skip their March payment without incurring interest charges for that billing cycle.
Apple is expected to release some products sometime in the month of March, as they did last year, and this public sighting of a new product confirms that at least some new products are headed our way.
There’s certainly an irony — some might say hypocrisy — in the tech world offering to solve a problem that it contributes to. Although we still need more data to determine the extent to which smartphone use may be driving increases in anxiety, it’s reasonable to suppose that technologies purposely designed to be addictive have at the very least been a contributing factor. So, even as we accumulate scientific evidence that some gamified apps are effective at reducing anxiety, we’d do well to think critically about how we use them.
McGonigal agrees that these apps need to be designed ethically, validated empirically, and used judiciously. But she has no doubt that for her, at least, turning the battle with anxiety into a game has taught her how to suffer less. With a laugh, she told me she’s just celebrated her “traumaversary,” the 10th anniversary of her concussion.
Apple is adapting at a relatively rapid pace to the ongoing coronavirus situation, and part of the company’s response has been allowing employees to work from home when possible. A new report today from The Wall Street Journal explores some of the road bumps Apple, as well as other tech companies, have hit in the process of shifting to remote work.
The report explains that the biggest problem for Apple has been maintaining its notorious focus on secrecy with a remote team. Apple software developers who started working from home this week say that there aren’t clear internal rules about what work should be done remotely.
I try very hard to avoid thinking about work during non-working-hours and weekends. No good whatsoever to introduce anxieties and worries into my non-working life, isn't it?
But then, because of the virus thing, I am required to record my temperature reading into a company web site every single day. And that makes my avoidance more difficult.
Thanks for reading.