Apple’s development of new and upcoming products continues as usual, despite the adjustments required by employees around the globe as they work from home in the face of the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
A new report from Bloomberg says the Cupertino firm is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released “as early as later this year.” All of those products have been rumored for release during 2020.
The report also says Apple’s software updates – which would include iOS 14, watchOS 7, iPadOS 14, macOS 10.16, and tvOS 14 – are also on schedule for a June debut at the digital WWDC event.
Not everything is rosy with the work-from-home situation at Apple, as the company is facing telecommunication-related challenges. While work continues to progress on new products, some minor hardware development setbacks are taking place.
Apple’s Silicon Valley offices do have some employees coming in, at least the employees with jobs where hands-on access is required. The company cannot do that in other parts of the world where stricter working conditions are in place, such as in Italy, Germany, and other parts of the world.
Apple is putting a heavy emphasis on confidentiality as employees adjust to working from home, telling them that it’s “critical to keep confidential work confidential.”
Apple has been allowing its engineers to take home early versions of devices under development since March (That is normally not allowed), but there is heavy oversight.
Taking home a future product requires the green light from the vice president of an employee’s organization. That list of staff with future devices at their homes also is sometimes reviewed by Apple’s senior vice presidents, the management team run by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.
Apple keeps a tight rein on who is allowed to take home future versions of iOS 14, which has already leaked, and employees missing on iOS 14 and other upcoming software updates must receive approval from the Apple executive team.
Apple employees normally stationed at Apple Park, Infinite Loop, and other Bay Area locations will possibly be working at home at least through May 1, due to the Bay Area shelter in place mandate. Other offices around the world will remain closed according to local guidelines.