Apple’s culture of secrecy hinders remote work; company sets rules for apps on COVID-19

Coronavirus: Apple's culture of secrecy hinders remote work;  company sets rules for apps on COVID-19

A few days ago, we announced that Tim Cook sent a statement to Apple employees recommending everyone who can work from their homes – in order, of course, to avoid unnecessary contact with others and to enhance the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The problem, according to a report by Wall Street Journal, is that Apple’s famous “culture of secrecy” basically prevents remote work for most employees who are involved in special and related projects.

Apple has very strict policies regarding the removal of secret files from Macs from its campuses, so many employees have doubts about what they can or cannot do from their homes. In addition, several of them have already complained of slowness in remote access to documents, making it difficult to perform tasks.

So, several engineers and designers for now are still preferring to go to the company’s offices so that they can do their jobs. Some, in contact with executives, stated that some flexibilisations have already started to be made in order to “reduce the density of people” in campuses.

Rules for apps on COVID-19

We have also covered here on the site that Apple now only accepts apps related to COVID-19 from trusted sources, such as governments, health agencies, specialized companies, hospitals and the like.

Last night, the company posted a very clear note on the Apple Developer portal detailing and reiterating these rules. She says, for example, that games or entertainment apps that have the virus as a theme will not be accepted in the store.

For developers who fall under the rules, Apple also asks them to mark the urgent shipping option on the App Store Connect so that the review process is done more quickly than usual.

Stores still partially open

Although Apple has determined to close all of its stores outside of China until at least March 27, some locations remain partially open to deliver products purchased via Personal Pickup, perform certain scheduled appointments and, of course, keep customers informed of the new policy.

Obviously, as noted by the MacRumors, even in those cases Apple has already drastically reduced the amount of staff in these stores and it is quite possible that they will completely end their operations by tomorrow (3/16).