Hopefully this motivates them to make these products better! Although I'm not super hopeful.
I once asked a friend (and Apple employee) why Keynote doesn't have any collaboration function. I said, "Don't you guys every collaborate on presentations?" He said, "No, not really, and if you do, you're all in one room and one person is driving the computer".
So their culture is very much engrained with in person collaboration.
Edit: I should clarify that I asked him this a few years ago, before they added the "collaborate through iCloud" functionality.
The point still stands though, that while everyone else had collaboration in their presentation apps, Apple didn't, because they didn't see the need for it.
That was not my experience at all. Apple was so large that even in Cupertino it was more common than not to have at least one person, if not a whole team, in a meeting from a different location. Not to mention rainy days and flexible schedules because of the commute made it so videoconferencing was needed for almost every meeting I attended.
I obviously can't give you any specifics but I would say the transition to remote work has been a success so far and management has been using this time as an opportunity to showcase our autonomy.
To be fair it's a fairly recent addition - maybe in the last year or so.
But the point was even when every other presentation app had it, they didn't, and it was because they didn't understand the need for it.
You keep making this claim but unless the person you knew was on the Keynote team I doubt they had any actual insight into the process.
There are a million things you could do. It is important to layout things in priority order. For example, unifying desktop and mobile implementations and file formats so when you do add collaboration features in the future the two can interoperate. Or adding a high-fidelity web experience so people who don't use your apps at all can collaborate. Perhaps those two things are important to get right before adding collaboration?
(Hypothetical, I don't have any knowledge of any of this).
Disclosure: Was a QA Engineer at Apple on those apps/that functionality.
Ironically, because Google and Microsoft collaboration apps don't have iOS platform control, they are much more flexible in supporting multiple user identities.
There are many scenarios where information needs to be separated (projects, consultants, cross-org teams, OSS projects) and multiple identities are a proven means of separation and compliance. This needs to be possible without Enterprise MDM.
For my use, there's a "Collaborate" button. You click it and invite people. Once they click the invitation, you can watch them view/edit.
That said, the various grades of "enterprise need" and patchy interoperability on stuff like texting & calling is kind of a travesty.
I get why Jobs wanted it that way: the value of hallway conversations and the ability to bounce things off other engineers is invaluable, and until recently it was difficult to make that viable with people flung off in different locations. Moreover, it's really difficult to have most of your team in one location and a few scattered people elsewhere: the people elsewhere just aren't part of the loop in the same way, and it makes things really hard for them.
That said, I'd be surprised if Apple continues with a hard-line stance on that after all of this: I think we're seeing that an awful lot of work that people insisted had to be local can indeed be done effectively from remote.
EDIT: Having read the thread on this one, I apologize for my over-generalization based on anecdote. I work for a company that pushes the ability to remote-work, and the folks I've talked with about working at Apple were all very "yeah, they don't do work-from-home". However, the plural of anecdote is not data. :)
And Apple by now has offices all over the world, so it's not like "everybody bumps into each other in Cupertino" is a universally feasible model anyway.
I would say it's a much higher bar to be hired in as a remote worker vs an existing employee moving to being remote because you already whether the employee is productive, fits in the team and has the social connections to be productive.
I have to disagree - this is a common premise that you have to see that someone is productive "in person" first.
But seriously, it doesn't matter if someone is remote or in-person, you won't know how productive they actually will be until after they have been hired.
FWIW, I am an engineering manager at a fully remote org and we have had great success with hiring people and getting them productive from day 1.
I have only seen one person in my org successfully get to work remote in my org, he even got to keep his Cupertino comp for the period of time he worked remote - he had to come back to Cupertino within two years though or he would get let go. Otherwise, I have seen top performers get to work remote anywhere they wanted for a period of time as long as they got their work done (the longest I have heard of someone doing so is one month working from Asia and not in an office). I've done it myself for 3 weeks.
Being a top performer is a lot of hard work though, and you do end up sacrificing work-life balance to some degree, but Apple treats their top performers very well.
Edit: I take that back, I did once have a teammate in a remote office in Europe who only goes into the office there once a week. He does good work though and knows his stuff, and the more remote offices probably have a little more flexibility in some regards due to having to keep to Cupertino hours.
2. Apple has always had some people working remotely but really just depended on what you were doing. You can't design an iPod remotely. But you can build software.
3. Situation is definitely different now as the quality of internet and tooling is such that remote work can be high quality and the feeling of detachment can be managed. So definitely agree that at Apple and elsewhere you will see more remote work.
After speaking to some recruiters recently, the feeling is that everyone will „do remote for the next 3 to 4 months, until pandemic is over” but afterwards „we are looking forward to seeing our colleagues at the offices in X”.
I was just guessing Apple might soften their stance on it a bit, although it sounds from others like that ain't the case (which also doesn't surprise me--Apple gonna Apple).
When you work remote it's assumed you have flexible hours and when people need more or less of your time, they queue it up whenever it's good for them, your freetime and personal life can take the back burner.
I've seen plenty of my coworkers staying late at the office or, just as often, having to login at home to do nights and weekends work. So, whatever line in the sand you think exists for office work is purely imaginary. If they want to extract more hours from you, they'll keep pushing until you say no.
This time of indefinite, could be one month, could be three WFH is kind of a bad demonstration of WFH to a lot of people because it's not worth it to spend too much investing in a good setup.
This is true only insofar as you allow it to be. My coworkers make none of those assumptions about me or my time.
I'm concerned that some companies will take a productivity hit during the covid19 outbreak, and fail to attribute some of that hit to their inexperience / unpreparedness with all-remote teams.
(Edited for tone.)
"Don't generalize, it depends on the team!"
As if that's any excuse. The bad teams get staffed too, not just the good ones. Reorgs happen, managers come and go... even if you get lucky at first, you might not stay lucky.
Probably not worth moving to CA for though.
Where are we actually seeing a lot of this? Particularly for companies where they primarily sell hardware products such as Apple?
But also often it is for the lower lever, just implement this pre-designed and pre-architected feature roles. Most of the decision making and design will get done face to face at the main office.
This model seems to be the standard but it's also toxic and cruel. Even the most independent person will feel isolated and segregated from their peers and the decisions that others ultimately make.
If you want remote to truly work it has to be the Gitlab model. Everyone is remote, every decision is transparent and all corporate knowledge is captured in a single, collaborative handbook.
My company was staunchly against remote work or work-from-home of any kind. When I was hired, one of the first things they told me was, "We don't do remote. Don't ask."
It's about 5,000 employees in maybe 20 cities around the country.
When the virus started spreading, 95% of the workforce was working from home within eight business days. It was a massive mobilization by the IT department. Fortunately, they were already in the process of upgrading everyone's computer, so there were plenty of spares to go around.
Pretty much a lot of requirements as a sticks and bricks business since some employment laws are based on where the worker is doing the work from. So the only option is you pack up and move across the country or more likely they’ll find someone else.
Not an HR expert but a company in San Francisco reached out to me unsolicited (I guess since I put some stuff on Github and NPM) but I wanted to give it a try remotely working from home to see if I was good with their tech stack and stuff before committing to moving but was told no. And then that opens up a lot of other questions and stuff too.
All this employment stuff is a mind field it seems, then if your workforce travels to a convention in a neighboring state even could open up issues. Then some states have city taxes, so I guess if your team went somewhere for a day and you still paid them, extra stuff too. Then health insurance too if your company is big enough to require it and can't be sold across state lines. So having a group plan in California is useless, so now you have to get an Ohio plan... and what address do you even use since you don't have an office and someone is working from home?
As things become more remote and global, I wish the states could work together to make things simpler. Seems some states would benefit letting residents work remotely without much burden to the out of state business, as the way now it seems like they’ll lose residents who are encouraged to move elsewhere for work instead. It just sounds like a mess. My idea was if I ever got a big company and let people work from home, I'd also open up offices in a few cities across the country people could commute to or work remotely some days. Make them sorta like an office but also sorta like co-working spaces but for staff only.
I guess though if you decide to contract out stuff, instead of making them an employee though not as big of a burden then. But if you deal with a business that creates an intellectual property, that could cause some problems unless contracts in place. Since contractors still own the IP, unlike a employee where the company automatically owns the IP. However I was reading something after 35 years, they can reclaim their copyright if a contractor but maybe you could have some failback licensing agreement so you could still use it but no longer have exclusive rights if that'd hold up - but this isn't something I've researched too much on personally. So contracting out tech support probably not a issue since not really creating any IP, but if creating assets like 3D models, sounds, music, etc for a game that could be a problem if planning for a long term brand around it, etc. So if that relates to your business, would want to make sure you research and get the right agreements in place before even contracting out asset creation - but personally I'd rather have an employee instead just to be certain to make sure the company owns any code, graphics, etc.
A lot of people here are sounding off on Apple's reluctance to enable remote working (reasonably enough), but the fact is that a large amount of the work Apple does is reliant on 1) sophisticated engineering and manufacturing processes which are not possible in-home/remote, and 2) a pantheon of national and international ISO requirements for safety and other compliance areas which are not possible in-home/remote.
Final, mass, production happens in China, but it's a useful generalisation to think of most hardware products as being prototyped to a high polished standard within a hardware company's internal supply chain prior to testing and mass manufacture.
Testing is also a process which is made extremely difficult with an entirely remote workforce. A good example, from a decade ago: Apple deployed $100m USD into building its own anechoic chambers and radio testing facilities. These things are closer to science experiments than the CNC milling machines the article mentions: multiple persons operating them in-person, etc.
The challenges are not unique to Apple, but they are significantly deeper than the article suggests. There are also some affordances which Apple has made in the last 6-7 years which lend themselves to remote working. For example, their own team of secure couriers who ferry prototypes around various sites in CA.
I seriously doubt they didn't consider it.
People don't seem to realise - global pandemic was already at the top of many national risk assessments. Nobody working in national or corporate risk or disaster management didn't already know it was the single biggest risk.
Almost three quarters, as of a couple years ago.
By investing into the relevant software features required for working from home, Apple could not only solve their own problems but also make the platform more attractive for business users outside of Apple. Great screensharing, with voice and video would be a start. Perhaps a native Webex client. Or, make their own client work with Webex.
P.S.: maybe they also should consider offering a new iSight. A physically separate webcam that improves the video conferencing experience. If it is separate, it can be moved to show documents or other things people are working on, like their hardware prototype. It could also offer improved quality in comparison to the builtin cameras.
Logitech makes a 4K camera for the XDR. It’s fantastic and available in the Apple Store.
The part of an image you want to look at, unless you've asked for a specific image to be made, is usually in shadow and in the corner -- Murphy's Law of documentation.
As mentioned later in the article, the use of these third-party tools isn't new.
1. What this situation has already shown —on so many levels— is that we humans as a large group can’t be trusted to behave appropriately. Lots of people do follow the rules... but enough don’t, that it means the rules have to be stricter for everybody, so that the troublesome few don’t cause too much of a problem for the whole.
2. Your infection control proposal doesn’t stand up to the real world. Yes, if you could guarantee excellent N95 mask usage, and guarantee excellent hand washing (and other infection control measures - surfaces-hands-face) in everyone not locked down, and guarantee that no vulnerable people had to come to work or were exposed to people that had, and guarantee that people out in the world maintained strict social distancing... then maybe your proposal could work. But per #1 it’s super unlikely that this would be executed anywhere close to 100%... and failures would lead to more people getting sick... and then more people dying.
Also the minute one of your key staff come under a high risk category, gets sick, is isolated, etc... then you need to involve remote work anyway.
IIRC China is enforcing a "1 person per household is allowed outside once every three days for supplies" policy in the most affected areas, has built multiple new hospitals, has implemented multiple cordon sanitaires, locked down millions, has _free_ testing, and is enforcing that testing.
South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan were among the first to ban flights from China (and given where they are that's MUCH bigger than the US doing so, both politically, and in percentage of flights). They are testing people constantly before they're allowed out of or in to places. They are _enforcing_ quarantines of people with fevers, they are interrogating people that might have been exposed to the disease, and are quarantining based on that, even without symptoms. They have a _lot_ more people staying home than usual. They are accessing people's financial data in real time without warrants.
No one's saying masks make things worse. Given how many masks we have, there's an open question as to whether we should reserve them for medical care providers or not. What people are saying is that masks are not enough. And they're right.
Weird enough Apple support has that access tho. Just let me them know your Apple Id and pop-up appears...
Tim Apple is starting to look a bit like Smaug atop his literal pile of money.