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Apple details its approach to safety in retail stores



Apple’s SVP of Retail + People Deirdre O’Brien published a letter today detailing the company’s approach to reopening its 510 retail stores in a safe and careful way. All Apple Stores outside of Greater China closed on March 13 to slow the spread of COVID-19.


O’Brien stresses at the outset of her letter that care has driven Apple’s decision-making throughout the pandemic, noting that Apple was one of the first major companies to close its retail stores. The company wants customers to understand that the Apple Store experience they’ve come to know will be a little different for the foreseeable future, in the name of safety.

Apple began reopening some of its retail stores outside of Greater China in April, starting in South Korea. Every reopened store has followed and expanded upon safety procedures first proven successful at Apple Stores in China. US stores began reopening with a single location in Idaho on May 11. As of May 17, 99 stores around the world are open to customers. Over 25 more locations in the US, 12 in Canada, and 10 in Italy will reopen in the coming week.

According to Apple:

Next week we’ll continue our very gradual and thoughtful reopening of US stores, adding more than 25 locations in seven states. While we know many customers are eager for their local store to reopen, our commitment is to reopen our stores when we are confident the environment is safe. We miss our customers and look forward to seeing them again soon.

All open locations will offer Apple Pickup, where customers can buy online and select a time to pick up their product at the store, and Genius Bar appointments by reservation. Some locations will offer only curbside or storefront service and we encourage all customers check their local store webpage for more information about hours and services offered. Customers can also visit for support by phone or chat.

Anyone visiting our store will see some additional steps, including social distancing, which creates ample open space for customers to have one-to-one connection with our teams. Temperature checks will be conducted at the door and face coverings will be required for all of our teams and customers, which we’ll provide to customers who don’t bring their own. Our social distance protocol means a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19 and those working around the clock to treat, study and contain its spread.

We’ve closely documented the new safety procedures and social distancing policy Apple has enforced for the protection of employees and customers. Apple’s letter to customers addresses reopening concerns by detailing the internal process teams follow to determine when a store is safe to reopen:

Our commitment is to only move forward with a reopening once we’re confident we can safely return to serving customers from our stores. We look at every available piece of data — including local cases, near and long‑term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials. These are not decisions we rush into — and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant.

At reopened locations, Apple employs a full-time janitorial staff performing cleanings every hour. Social distancing extends from the sales floor to back of house employee areas. In some cases, Apple’s social distancing requirement of 2 meters exceeds local guidelines. All products submitted to the Genius Bar by customers are subject to a thorough cleaning at the time of intake and customer return.

Partial list of US stores reopening next week: (California and Washington locations are limited to curbside or storefront service only)


  • Arden Fair (Sacramento) – May 18
  • Roseville (Roseville) – May 18
  • Higuera Street (San Louis Obispo) – May 18
  • Vintage Faire (Modesto) – May 20
  • Del Monte (Monterey) – May 20
  • Fashion Fair (Fresno) – May 20
  • Valley Plaza (Bakersfield) – May 20


  • Tacoma Mall (Tacoma) – May 18
  • Southcenter (Tukwila) – May 18
  • Bellevue Square (Bellevue) – May 18
  • River Park Square (Spokane) – May 18
  • Alderwood Mall (Lynwood) – May 18
  • University Village (Seattle) – May 18


  • Altamonte (Altamonte Springs) – May 18
  • Florida Mall (Orlando) – May 18
  • Millenia (Orlando) – May 18
  • St. Johns Town Center (Jacksonville) – May 18


  • The Promenade Shops at Briargate (Colorado Springs) – May 18


  • Kahala (Honolulu) – May 20
  • Royal Hawaiian (Honolulu) – May 20
  • Ala Moana (Honolulu) – May 20


  • Woodland Hills (Tulsa) – May 20
  • Penn Square (Oklahoma City) – May 20

Follow our retail guide for in-depth coverage of the latest Apple Store news.

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New Audi cars come with Apple Music as standard, but what's the point? – TrustedReviews



While Android Auto and Apple CarPlay infotainment offer access to the best music streaming apps, Audi is taking things a step farther with a standalone Apple Music app.

The German automaker has announced that most recent models are gaining access to the Apple Music app. That means there’ll be no need to plug their iPhone into the car, or even connect it wirelessly. The integration is starting with new 2022 models.

An over-the-air update for Audi’s own infotainment system will introduce the app, which will require users to enter their Apple ID username and password in order to gain access to the on-the-go tunes.

Audi says European drivers will get the first 3GB of data for free, but that’s obviously not going to go very far. To go any further, drivers will need to sign up to a data plan for their car.

However, considering the same vehicles do offer CarPlay support, drivers will probably be better off using the Apple Music app that way, where they can access offline playlists, rather than taking on another data plan.

It’s debatable whether accessing through the standalone app for Audi vehicles is actually even that useful in this instance, considering access to navigation apps like Apple Maps, Google Maps and Waze are also available via CarPlay.

However, if you just want to keep your phone free, then it might be more convenient to access the app via the home-baked infotainnment system.

“Integrating Apple Music into the Audio infotainment system marks the next step in the collaboration between Audi and Apple,” said Christiane Zorn, Head of Product Marketing at Audi, in a press release.

“For our customers, it means that we are offering them direct access to their own personalised listening experience. This is our understanding of a premium digital in-car experience. At Audi we are systematically driving the digitalisation of the vehicle and we are convinced that the interior is increasingly developing into a third living space.”

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Today's Wordle Answer (#334) – May 19, 2022 – GameSpot



There are certain Wordle answers that you simply don’t think to guess. The answer itself may be an extremely common word but it just wouldn’t be your first, second, or third guess in Wordle. Today’s Wordle, on May 19, is one of those words.

Again, it’s not that this is a challenging word by any means, but it possesses some qualities that can make it difficult to guess. I started out with my normal starting word and then proceeded to try and place some of the letters I got correct. By my second guess, I had the middle three letters placed correctly. However, from guesses three to five, I kept getting the first and last letter wrong. On the sixth guess, I remembered the oldest trick in the Wordle handbook and managed to get the answer right by the skin of my teeth.

If you’re struggling as I did, then you will some need tips on how to complete today’s Wordle. If those tips aren’t enough, then we’ve also laid out the full answer below.

Today’s Wordle Answer – May 19, 2022

We’ll start with a couple of hints to get your mind on the right train of thought. However, if those tips just aren’t working for you, then you can keep reading to see the full answer.

  • Hint 1: This word was the title of a movie that was released in 2019 and starred James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Samuel L. Jackson
  • Hint 2: Squid Games participants stepped on a bridge made of this word during one of their challenges

If you’re not a huge cinema or TV buff, then those tips might not have been all that helpful. If that’s the case, then we’ll lay out the word for you… “glass.” It’s a classic double-letter Wordle. I personally always forget to try words with double letters, and it almost cost me today. Check back tomorrow for another Wordle guide brought to you by yours truly.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

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Bungie on Buffalo shooting: 'It is time we begin to examine our practices and see what part we can play in preventing these tragedies' – Dot Esports



The recent mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, which was broadcast live on Twitch by a shooting suspect that had reportedly revealed his plans of the attack on Discord, has sparked introspective investigations into online spaces, where radical views can be potentially cultivated.

Bungie, the developer of Destiny, has joined that conversation, saying it plans to do more to build and maintain safe gaming communities that actively snuff out racism and bigotry.

Related: Buffalo shooting timeline: Everything we know so far

The official statement comes from the Black at Bungie inclusion club, which discussed the Buffalo shooting with the Destiny player base and announced what they plan to do in response.

“Far too often, these racist attacks begin within online communities that are used to recruit and radicalize individuals,” Bungie said. “It is time we begin to examine our practices and see what part we can play in preventing these tragedies.”

Black at Bungie said it will partner with the studio’s Player Support and Community teams, with a focus on bolstering “ongoing efforts to maintain safe and anti-racist spaces in which our players and fans can come together.”

Additionally, Bungie called for other studios, publishers, and gaming communities to also “examine their own platforms and invest in practices to combat bigotry in all its manifestations.”

Alongside its affirmation to tackle radicalization, Black at Bungie announced that the “Be Heard” pin, which was originally released during 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests, would be spotlighted on the front page of the Bungie Store. For the next year, profits from sales of the pin will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose charity work includes monitoring hate groups across the United States and assisting in exposure of them and their members to the public and authorities. Bungie also linked the GoFundMe campaign for the families impacted by the attack in Buffalo.

“We believe games and their communities should be a force for good,” Bungie said. “We are committed to that.”

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