Latest Article

Automate your home with the best HomeKit smart plugs out there May 28, 2022

The best smart plugs for HomeKit can help bring your older devices into the modern era. These simple HomeKit accessories can turn on your coffee maker at sunrise automatically through scenes and automations created in the Home app. They can also turn your lights on and off when you’re home or away. If you are […]

Automate your home with the best HomeKit smart plugs out there

The best smart plugs for HomeKit can help bring your older devices into the modern era. These simple HomeKit accessories can turn on your coffee maker at sunrise automatically through scenes and automations created in the Home app. They can also turn your lights on and off when you’re home or away. If you are ready to elevate your home’s intelligence, here are some of the best smart plugs for HomeKit that you can buy.

Best for most

Belkin’s Wemo Mini Smart Plug, Wi-Fi enabled

Staff Favorite

Belkin’s Wemo Mini features a slim profile that won’t block the other plug on the wall, allowing two of them to be used in a single outlet. This smart plug is super conveninent because you don’t need a hub; simply connect to HomeKit, Alexa, or Google Assistant and the Wemo app on iOS and Android. The Wemo Mini is also UL certified.

$24 at Amazon

$25 at Target

$25 at Best Buy

Budget-friendly

meross Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini

The meross plug mini is a favorite of ours at iMore. When we tested the product, we noted how it provides all of the HomeKit outlet essentials in a compact package at a compact price. This plug is ready to go with just a scan of the HomeKit pairing code without downloading another app or registering for an account. With its fast response times and reliability, it’s one of the best HomeKit values around.

$16 at Amazon

Clean convenience

ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet – White

The ConnectSense outlet offers all of the features of typical smart plugs, but you install it in place of your current outlet. In our review, we described how it comes with some great features, such as fast response times, reliable connectivity, independent controls, and energy monitoring. While it’s not cheap, it does offer a more seamless look.

$80 at Amazon

Monitor it

Eve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter – white

The Eve Energy is a Bluetooth-connected smart plug that we tested hands-on and adored. With in-depth energy monitoring stats, it can help you lower your utility bills. Thanks to the device’s Bluetooth LE connection, you won’t need to struggle with a Wi-Fi setup process or crowd your network with another device — Eve Energy communicates directly with your phone.

$40 at Amazon

Hues of power

Philips Hue Smart Plug for Hue Smart Lights – Hue Hub Compatible – White

If you already have a Philips Hue Bridge, this smart plug will integrate directly with it and HomeKit. This allows it to work using ZigBee wireless connectivity, keeping it off your Wi-Fi network and without a local-only Bluetooth connection. This plug is compact, which gives you the room to fit two of them into a single outlet or keep one free for other items.

$30 at Amazon

$35 at Philips Hue

For outdoor use

meross Outdoor Smart Wi-Fi Plug

The meross outdoor plug provides you with two convenient weather-resistant outlets, perfect for holiday lighting, fairy lights, and more. This plug uses Wi-Fi for connectivity, which allows you to connect it to your network without using a separate hub. During our testing of this smart plug, we found that it easily works with HomeKit in a matter of seconds; just plug in and scan to start upgrading your outdoor environment.

$29 at Amazon

Beauty and brains

Eve Energy Strip – Smart Triple Outlet & Power Meter

Eve’s smart power strip is a home office essential with smart convenience. This strip includes the same energy monitoring capabilities as Eve’s single smart plug. Individually control all three onboard outlets through the Home app and HomeKit. Your appliances will be safeguarded by overcurrent, overvoltage, and surge protection.

$100 at Amazon

$100 at Apple

Super deal

VOCOlinc Smart Plug Mini Siri Wi-Fi Outlet Socket Works with HomeKit

VOCOlinc’s smart plug is a real steal on its own; buy a two-pack or three-pack and save even more. The compact size and high output (1800W) make this a great choice for stocking up. Place two slim plugs into a single outlet if you’d like. At this price point, you can buy a bunch and spread them out in different parts of your home.

$10 at Amazon

Plugged in: The best smart plugs for HomeKit

The best smart plugs for HomeKit are the simplest way to create smart home devices out of “dumb” ones, adding Siri voice controls and support for Home app scenes and automations. These great HomeKit accessories will make managing your home more efficient. We love the Wemo Mini for its low price and compact design. Plus, it can work with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant; making it a highly versatile option.

Our top pick for the best smart plugs has to go to the Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug. We love this for its slim form factor, its capability to connect with different home automation systems like HomeKit and Google Assistant, and the fact that it doesn’t need a hub. This makes it one of the best for those new to home automation.

If you’re looking for a smart plug with extras, another favorite of ours is the Eve Energy Strip – Smart Triple Outlet & Power Meter. Since it’s a power strip, you can plug in up to three different devices. Plus, it’s an energy monitor with a Bluetooth connection, which can help keep your energy bills down.

Automation in the Workplace: if You’re Not Automating, What are You Really Doing?

Automation in 2022 is different from the robot takeover that some people have envisioned. Automation in the workplace now refers to platforms and systems that allow a layman to accelerate efficiency through digital means. As a result, manual efforts are minimized, making business processes more cost-efficient, error-proof, and consistent.

Additionally, the saved amount of time can be used for more valuable business tasks. It is reported that employees burn over 30% of their working hours simply by looking at paperwork- a task that can be easily automated.

Automation is a Must in the Workplace

The advantages of automation are hard to ignore. According to a McKinsey report, the benefits are three to ten times the cost of implementing automation.

The pandemic taught us that digital transformation sits at the cusp of business goals.

It’s impossible to be digital-first without including a certain degree of automation or business processes. Before the pandemic hit, the need for digital skills was minimal. In a work-from-home and staycation era, employees need to develop technical skills and integrate automation with their daily tasks.

Apprehensions to Automation in the workplace

There are apprehensions still attached to automation, such as replacing jobs, decreasing wages, and possibly making human skills redundant- all at an extremely steep price.

Allow us to bust these myths for you

“I’m going to lose my job.”

A World Economic Forum study predicts that automation would boost the job market by introducing nearly 58 million jobs. In all honesty, if your job can be simplified through automation, it probably will be. But it’s also going to give rise to a plethora of job opportunities that you can leverage by upskilling.

“It simply costs too much.”

Due to inefficient processes, organizations lose 20 to 30% of revenue every year. Automation improves processes and allows you to free up expensive resources (human resources being one of them) to be utilized on other cash cow activities. The benefits of automation significantly overpower the cost of adoption.

“My skills are going to be useless.”

According to a McKinsey report, essential data input and processing skills will be particularly affected by automation, falling by 19 to 23% from 2016 to 2030. But automation will also give rise to a range of skills that will be high in demand- from emotional and cognitive abilities to entrepreneurial and risk-taking behavior. A surge in automation doesn’t signify a redundancy in skills; rather, it pushes for a shift in skill sets.

FOMO on automation in the workplace — why it’s absolutely justified

Even if you’ve been living under a rock, it’s hard to ignore the benefits that automation can bring to workplaces.

Helps your employees enjoy their work

Automation does away with mundane and repetitive tasks and allows employees to focus their energy on innovative tasks. For example, automating workflow processes like a customer grievance redressal system enables your company to focus on creating better products, innovative solutions, and growing the business.

Think about it: would your employee rather send out standardized emails or think about what’s the next new product they could develop at work?

Humans mess up; automation doesn’t

Automation in the workplace helps businesses minimize errors. Simple tasks like entering the correct email address into a CRM program or placing the right amount of orders to stock inventory are prone to human errors.

If properly utilized, automation tools can provide data and workflows through a centralized process that helps decrease human oversight- through redundancy and duplication.

Growth and scalability with automation in the workplace

When manual processes are automated, it saves time and frees up valuable resources that can aid in the growth and scalability of businesses. Sales outreach emails can be automated to reach people at an unmatched scale by human labor.

You cannot save time, but you can use time differently- and that’s the value add that automation brings into the workplace. From automated administrative workflows to chatbots, automation tools help employees win back nearly 20% of their day.

How can a company boost workplace automation?

Push for upskilling

The fear of automation taking over jobs can only be dispelled by constant upskilling. A McKinsey report expects advanced IT and programming skills to grow as much as 90% between 2016 and 2030. Basic digital skills will be imperative for an organization to thrive, and this is where tools like no-code platforms become a boon for non-technical employees.

Adopt automation tools rapidly

Automation tools like no-code platforms allow you to beat the race to digital transformation at every level. From automating marketing workflows to employee onboarding systems, no-code platforms will enable you to accelerate automation in each department- whether that’s sales, finance, logistics, or even communication.

Unlearn, learn, unlearn

When digital transformation sits at the forefront of business efficiency, it’s imperative to get your employees enthused and excited about being a part of the digital revolution. This involves helping them unlearn the fear of automation and providing the necessary skill-building tools to learn the beauty of automation. Workshops on no-code platforms, expert sessions, etc., would aid in this.


To sum it up

Automation is the future of growth and scalability. From providing the necessary training for employees to adopting automation tools, companies have to make automation a part of their workplace actively.

The value add isn’t restricted to business goals- it also aids in long-term growth and boosts the morale of employees who can utilize the time saved from completing mundane tasks to delivering better products and services.

A company’s success will largely depend on its proactiveness to instill a culture of lifelong learning throughout the organization. This cultural shift will hold the most value- as sectors, skill-sets, and employees change, the only constant will be continuous learning.

This degree of adoption will make the difference between being the best and doing just enough to beat the rest.

Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

The post Automation in the Workplace: if You’re Not Automating, What are You Really Doing? appeared first on ReadWrite.

WWDC 22 Poll: Which Apple software are you looking forward to most?

And which piece of software is most in need of an update?

Apple’s WWDC 22 keynote is fast approaching, and customers the world-over wait in anticipation for the next round of software that will run across Apple’s products for the next year. In our polls this week we want to know which software you’re more excited for, and which software is most in need of its next update.

WWDC 2022 will take place in June, with the keynote and software unveils on June 6. We’re expecting new versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

We’ve heard rumors that Apple may bring some fresh new apps to iOS 16 and its best iPhones. Over on the iPad, we could get a very exciting new multitasking mode with moveable and resizable windows, watchOS is expected to bring a major overhaul to its power reserve mode, but we haven’t heard much about either macOS or tvOS.

Which WWDC 22 software release are you most excited for?

Which WWDC 22 software release are you most excited for?

Which of Apple’s software updates is most needed?

Regardless of what you’re most excited about, we also want to know which release you think is most needed? Is iOS on the iPhone in desperate need of an overhaul? Do we need to see Apple finally unlock the power of Apple silicon on the M1 iPad Pro (2021) and iPad Air with iPadOS? Is watchOS holding back the functionality of the Apple Watch? Or does macOS need more features like Universal Control to open up cross-platform use with other Apple hero products?

Which of Apple’s next software releases is most needed?

With the keynote just a few weeks away, we don’t have long to find out what Apple has in store in its next round of software updates, and whether Apple might be planning some surprising hardware too!

Which 2022 summer streaming movies are you most excited about?

Credit: Disney

With summer almost upon us, it’s time to look ahead to the exciting slate of new summer streaming movies making their way to services like Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and more as the days get longer and warmer.

See also: The best original streaming movies on every platform

Master Google Photos with these lesser-known features

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Google Photos was released on May 28, seven years ago, ushering in a new era for photo backups on Android and at large. The service stood out as one of the best photo editing apps thanks to its free unlimited backups, smart categorization, sharing features, and a suite of editing tools. And the feature set has only grown since 2015.

Despite having had plenty of time to familiarize ourselves with the app, there are several nifty features that you might have yet to discover. Here are a few of the best hidden and underrated Google Photos features to help you make the most of editing and organizing your snaps.

The Box: Think Outside of It

There’s no single recipe for creativity, as far as I know. But this week on the Podcast, Tom Nardi and I were talking about a number of hacks that were particularly inventive, out-of-the-box, or just simply “how did they think of that?”. One possible route to something new is learning from other disciplines.

We were talking about an inspiring video about 3D printing fabrics. At the moment, the design world is going crazy for all things 3DP, so it’s no surprise to see someone with a design background asking herself how to make stuff that comes off the 3D printer more flexible, and fit her needs a little bit better. But what if those of us on the building-purely-functional side of things took what the fabric folks learned and applied it to our work? You’d get something like this hybrid approach to folding mechanisms, or this approach to remove supports from your prints.

I’m continually surprised by how much the home-gamer can learn from industry, and this week was also no exception. [Anne Ogborn]’s piece on handling bulk material draws mostly on the hard work of engineers who are worried about properly emptying gigantic grain silos or feeding tons of screws into small boxes to ship out to customers. But the same physics are at work when you’re designing an automatic dry cat food dispenser for your next vacation, just on a smaller scale.

How about you? What things have you learned from other disciplines, possibly entirely unrelated ones, that have helped you with your hacking?

This article is part of the Hackaday.com newsletter, delivered every seven days for each of the last 200+ weeks. It also includes our favorite articles from the last seven days that you can see on the web version of the newsletter.

Want this type of article to hit your inbox every Friday morning? You should sign up!

Finding a PlayStation 5 Is About to Get Easier

Plus: Google Assistant comes to the Samsung Galaxy Watch4, and a new virtual space for streaming 360-degree audio invites you to jack in.

DuckDuckGo Isn’t as Private as You Think

Plus: A $150 million Twitter fine, a massive leak from a Chinese prison in Xinjiang, and an ISIS plot to assassinate George W. Bush.

Review: Eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones on all your Apple devices at once

Spotty Wi-Fi be gone!

Before I go into my experience with the rockspace Wi-Fi 6 AX1800 system, let me give you a little background. I live in Colombia, South America, where let’s just say the internet technology is not exactly state-of-the-art. It works perfectly well most of the time, but it’s not fiber optic. One of the biggest problems I have with my home internet is the terrible range of the Wi-Fi.

In Colombia, many families live in small apartments or homes that are interconnected and built very close together. The result is that many large extended families will share their WiFi with family, friends, and neighbors that live close-by in order to share and reduce the monthly cost of internet. So internet companies, in turn, greatly reduced the range of standard Wi-Fi routers (on purpose) so that it becomes much more difficult to share Wi-Fi from one home to the next. Long story short, my own standard Wi-Fi signal won’t stretch from the bedroom/office to the kitchen, and my apartment is not large.

Enter the rockspace Wi-Fi 6 AX1800 Router and Extender, the WiFi system that has made it possible for me to use my Wi-Fi network on all my Apple devices at once, from anywhere in the house. The system is made up of a Wi-Fi router that connects directly to the existing modem and a Wi-Fi extender that amplifies the signal into dead zones (such as my kitchen). Together, the rockspace router and extender have improved W-iFi speeds all over my home and eliminated dead zones.

rockspace Wi-Fi 6 AX1800 Router and Extender review:

Price and availability
What’s good
What’s not good
The competition
Should you buy?



Bottom line: rockspace can put an end to pesky Wi-Fi dead zones and add up to 1,500 square feet to your internet coverage.

The Good

Strengthens internet throughout the house
Eliminates dead zones
Super easy to set up
Companion app streamlines setup and troubleshooting

The Bad

Requires manual connection to extender
Does not adapt to horizontal wall sockets

Router $80 at rockspaceRouter $80 at AmazonExtender $100 at rockspaceExtender $80 at Amazon

rockspace AX1800 Router and Extender: Price and availability

The best place to buy the rockspace AX1800 Router and Extender right now is Amazon. At this moment, Amazon is offering the best deals on these products, with both being $80. You can also get them on the rockspace website, but at a slightly higher price. Right now the pair is not available as a package deal, but since the two devices work so well together, I think it should be.

rockspace AX1800 Router and Extender: Wi-Fi in the kitchen and beyond

The rockspace AX1800 Router and Extender have greatly improved the internet experience in our home. Because of the nature of the standard modem that comes with our internet package, the internet signal begins to degrade significantly over any amount of distance. The AX1800 Router amplifies the Wi-Fi signal from the modem so that it’s more powerful throughout the house, providing faster speeds even when I’m in the same room as the modem itself. This signal is more powerful throughout the house, but the range still won’t extend all the way to the kitchen.

For that, I have the AX1800 Extender. This WiFi extender can work with any router, but it’s especially easy to set up and use with its rockspace router counterpart. By using the RS Home companion app on my best iPhone, I was able to set up and connect both the router and the extender within seconds. This iOS app can also be used to make changes to the network or to troubleshoot, which I find convenient and helpful.

From the moment I plugged in the rockspace AX1800 Extender, my kitchen dead zone was gone.

One snafu I had while setting up the extender was that it does not adapt to horizontal wall sockets, but I’ll go into that in the next section. For now, I have the extender plugged in sideways, but this does not appear to affect its functionality. From the moment I plugged in the AX1800 Extender, my kitchen dead zone was gone. In fact, the signal is now quite powerful through every inch of my house. In the screenshot above, you can see the original internet strength in my kitchen on the left — barely usable at 3.2 megabytes. After I set up and plugged in the extender, the signal jumped up to a respectable 67.8 megabytes. This makes a major difference when I need to scour the internet for baking videos on my iPad!

This system supports up to 35 simultaneous device connections, so everyone in my home can enjoy fast Wi-Fi speeds even if we use all of our Apple devices at once, including the best Macs and favorite iPads. Heck, if we wanted to, I bet we could even share it with the neighboring apartment. Just don’t tell our internet provider.

rockspace AX1800 Router and Extender: Wait, I gotta switch networks

Although the AX1800 Extender does extend the Wi-Fi to cover up to 1,500 square feet, it does so by creating its own extended network. This means that once you wander outside the coverage of the original router, you have to manually switch to the extended network. Since it’s not a mesh system, I have to remember to connect my iPhone 12 Pro Max to the main router in my bedroom and then manually switch to the extended network in the kitchen. This only takes a few seconds to do, but I can see the value of a mesh network that does this automatically.

I was also confused by the detached socket plug that came with the extender. Because of how it’s made, I thought it would work with my horizontal wall socket. Unfortunately, although it looks like it should work in both orientations, it does not. The extender only works with standard vertical wall sockets, so I had to plug it in sideways. It still works fine like this, but I’ll have to buy an adapter to switch it right-side-up.

rockspace AX1800 Router and Extender: Competition

The only other Wi-Fi extension system I personally have experience with is the Meshforce Mesh WiFi System that I used and reviewed in my parents’ giant farmhouse. Although it’s intended for much bigger spaces than what I live in now, this also worked to eliminate WiFi dead zones over a much larger area. I like that the mesh system is supposed to automatically reconnect your devices as you move from one zone to another, although it’s not perfect. Sometimes it takes awhile to reconnect. While mesh Wi-Fi networks can be more convenient than an extender, they are also more expensive. The Meshforce system costs about $180, more than double the price of the AX1800 Router and Extender.

rockspace AX1800 Router and Extender: Should you buy it?

You should buy this if …

You have Wi-Fi dead zones in your home.
You need a more reliable internet connection over a larger space.
You plan to connect a lot of devices to the extender at once.

You shouldn’t buy this if…

You’re looking for a mesh WiFi network.
You have horizontal wall sockets.

While my situation dealing with stingy Colombian internet providers is unique, the rockspace system can serve any home that has Wi-Fi dead zones. Just place the AX1800 extender halfway in-between the modem and the dead zone, then voilà! Dead zone gone. Although this isn’t a mesh network, reconnecting to the extended network hasn’t been overly annoying for me. It just takes a few seconds on my iPhone or iPad when I move into the dead zone. In our house, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

4.5
out of 5


For a combination of power, speed, and ease-of-use, I suggest using the AX1800 Router and Extender together. The extender can be used on any network, but they work quite seamlessly as a pair. The AX1800 Router even makes the Wi-Fi connection slightly stronger in our home office where the original modem is. The result of installing both units is a stronger, more reliable signal throughout the house without any dead zones for spaces up to 1,500 square feet. In our apartment, this has greatly improved our online experience on all of our Apple devices, especially when trying to connect from the kitchen!

Bottom line: Improve the reliability and strength of internet signal throughout the entire home by using the rockspace WiFi 6 AX1800 Router and Extender together. Say goodbye to dead zones!

Router $80 at rockspaceRouter $80 at AmazonExtender $100 at rockspaceExtender $80 at Amazon

Stranger Things 4’s new monster is made with practical effects, some CG, and lots of lube

Vecna in his natural habitat. | Image: Netflix

Vecna is here to terrorize Hawkins

Continue reading…

In Dot’s Home, Your Choices Are Often Illusions

The game tackles housing inequality, gentrification, racism, and generational trauma with elegance and empathy.

‘Flash Droughts’ Are the Midwest’s Next Big Climate Threat

New research shows that dry weather is coming on more quickly than before, with little advance warning. It could devastate farmers.

How to Switch to Google Fi

Here’s everything you need to know about switching from Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T to the search giant’s cell phone service.

What Is 32-Bit Float Audio, and Should You Record In It?

Is it the end of setting levels? Just another recording gimmick? Well, it’s somewhere in between.

What is Nvidia Broadcast? How to set up and use it

Nvidia is one of those companies that is great at giving additional software functionality for its hardware. Your GPU can do more than just output a display signal and game, and Nvidia helps you do precisely that. Nvidia Broadcast is a great example, and it can use your GPU’s power to improve your streaming and conferencing experience. Here is what Nvidia Broadcast is, and how you can set up and use it.

Read more: What’s the best GPU for gaming?

A growing number of Chinese tech startups are going public in China at valuations lower than their private rounds; China’s STAR Market has fallen ~30% this year (Reuters)

Reuters:
A growing number of Chinese tech startups are going public in China at valuations lower than their private rounds; China’s STAR Market has fallen ~30% this year  —  A growing number of Chinese tech start-ups, once the darlings of equity markets, are willing to list shares publicly in China …

How to print from a Chromebook

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

While Google’s Chromebooks are all about online services, sometimes you need a good old-fashioned printout to accompany your digital adventures.

Printing from a Chromebook has gotten a lot easier over the years, but it still isn’t always obvious how to get started or which paths to embrace. Follow this guide, and with any luck, you’ll be churning out paper from your cloud-centric computer in no time.

[Note: unfortunately, the Cloud Print system, which made it a lot easier to print using any cloud-connected device, was relegated to the Google graveyard in 2020. This means that some older printers may not be able to print from a Chromebook, period. Before purchasing a printer, especially a used one, make sure it’s compatible with ChromeOS….

Continue reading…

The Breaking Point Is Here—Again

Tragedies converge, apocalypse colors the air, and digital realities no longer suffice. Eventually everything, and everyone, cracks.

How to Clean Your Vinyl Records (Because They’re Filthy!)

Those clicks and pops aren’t supposed to be there! Give your music a bath with this handy guide.

Track Down Ghosts in Your WiFi With the Pwnton Pack

If there’s something weird in your Network Neighborhood, who you gonna call? If you want your WiFi troubles diagnosed in style, try calling [Travis Kaun] — he might just show up wearing the amazing Pwnton Pack. Built from a replica Proton Pack similar to those used in the 1984 classic Ghostbusters, it’s a portable wireless security diagnostics kit that should be able to pinpoint any weaknesses in your wireless network.

Inside, it’s got a Mark VII WiFi Pineapple, which is a portable device designed for security testing purposes, as well as a Raspberry Pi running Pwnagotchi: a deep learning-based WiFi sniffer that aims to capture those network packets that help maximize your chances of brute-forcing the WPA key. These two devices are connected to an array of antennas, including a cool rotating 5 GHz panel antenna to scan the surrounding area.

Naturally, the Pwnton Pack also includes a Neutrona Wand, which in this case contains a 2.4 GHz Yagi antenna hooked up to an ESP32 programmed to perform deauthentication attacks. An Arduino Nano drives an LED matrix that shows scrolling Pac-Man ghosts, while a dedicated sound board provides movie sound effects. The whole system is powered by three LiPo battery packs, and can even be remotely operated if desired.

Sadly, it doesn’t come with one of those ghost traps to suck up wayward WiFi networks, but the range of tools available should help to catch any kind of weird phantoms hiding in your system. We’ve spotted a few Proton Packs before, but never one with such advanced functionality. Security testing systems tend to be a bit less conspicuous, after all.

The Weekly Authority: 📱 Bye-bye Exynos?

Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 196th edition here, with Samsung Exynos chip news, updates from Computex and Microsoft Build 2022, a first peek at the Motorola Razr 3, Witcher 4 news,and more… phew!

I’ve been excited all week for new Stranger Things episodes but it doesn’t feel like three years since we last saw the gang (who aren’t really kids anymore)!

Tim Cook second in Fortune 500 CEO pay rankings, earned $770M in 2021

“He earned $770.5 million in 2021 alone, mostly as a part of a 10-year grant of shares worth $1.7 billion.”

What you need to know

Fortune has released its list of the top 10 highest-paid CEOs on the Fortune 500.
CEO Tim Cook came second earning a cool $770.5 million.
His earnings were dwarfed by Elon Musk, who took the top spot with a whopping $23.5 billion.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took home $770.5 million in compensation in 2021, earning enough to put him second in a list of the top ten Fortune 500 CEOs.

Fortune figures published this week reveal that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was the most highly compensated CEO, earnings an eye-watering $23.5 billion thanks to options on Tesla stock awarded in 2018.

Cook followed up in second:

Cook has been CEO of Apple Inc. since 2011. He earned $770.5 million in 2021 alone, mostly as a part of a 10-year grant of shares worth $1.7 billion. But his incredible pay package may be justified by Apple’s stock market performance under Cook: The tech company’s market value during his tenure has increased by $2.2 trillion.

By way of comparison, last year Cook earned “just” $265 million and was only eighth on the list. In both cases, Cook’s compensation was largely made up of stock awards.

Under Cook’s tenure, the company has put out some its best iPhones, iPads, and more. It has also begun the transition to Apple silicon with its new MacBook Air with M1 and MacBook Air with M1, the MacBook Pro (2021) and more.

Apple will hold its WWDC 2022 conference in June, where it will announce its new versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS, as well as possibly some shiny new hardware.

I bought an ultrawide monitor for productivity, and here’s what I learned

Credit: Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

More screen space, more productivity. Is it really that simple? After using an ultrawide monitor for over a year, there are a few things I wish I’d known before investing in a big, expensive ultrawide screen for my daily work.

Here’s my take on what it’s like to use an ultrawide monitor for productivity.

Labor group pulls Atlanta store union vote, says Apple is interfering

“Apple’s repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act have made a free and fair election impossible”

What you need to know

Apple store workers in Atlanta were supposed to vote in a union election.
A labor group helping the employees has now decided to halt the plans.
They say Apple has made it impossible to hold free and fair elections, and also cited COVID-19 infections among staff.

An impending vote to elect union representatives at an Atlanta Apple store has been halted because the group says Apple is interfering with the process.

As reported by Bloomberg:

The labor group trying to organize Apple Inc. employees at an Atlanta store is withdrawing its request for an election, citing what it alleges are illegal union-busting tactics by the company.

The Communications Workers of America said it took the step “because Apple’s repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act have made a free and fair election impossible,” according to an emailed statement Friday.

The group also stated that a rise in COVID-19 infections among staff has “raised concerns about the ability of eligible employees to vote and the safety of in-person voting.” The vote was supposed to take place on June 2.

The CWA accused Apple of conducting a “systematic, sophisticated campaign to intimidate them and interfere with their right to form a union.” According to the report, it could be another six months before another petition can be held to set a vote in motion.

Employees at multiple Apple retail stores in Atlanta, New York, Kentucky, and Maryland have gone public with their plans to unionize in order to establish better pay and working conditions for staff. Apple has responded with anti-union talking points and a snap raise of around 10% offered to staff three months earlier than planned.

The CWA has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that staff at the Cumberland Mall store were made to attend “captive-audience” meetings where managers could share anti-union talking points that have been distributed to stores. In a statement of response to these accusations Apple told iMore:

“We are fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we deeply value everything they bring to Apple. We are pleased to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full time and part time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits.”

The CWA says that an “overwhelming majority” of workers at the Atlanta store support the move to form a union.

Apple loses bid to dismiss Cydia lawsuit over alleged App Store monopoly

“She found the claims in the first lawsuit were outside the statute of limitations. But she allowed Cydia to bring a new complaint, which was filed in January.”

What you need to know

A court says Apple will have to face a lawsuit filed by the creator of the jailbreak tool Cydia.
Apple had argued that the claims of antitrust violations and anticompetitive behavior were time-barred.
A judge dismissed the old complaint but allowed a new one to be submitted which Apple will have 21 days to answer.

A lawsuit against Apple filed by the creator of jailbreak tool Cydia will be allowed to proceed with a new amended complaint, a judge has ruled.

In an order handed down Friday, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (who also oversaw the Epic Games trial) denied Apple’s motion to have the case against it dismissed on the ground’s the claims were time-barred.

The ruling states that a new amended complaint filed must be addressed by Apple within 21 days. SaurikIT, the developer behind jailbreak tool Cydia, is suing Apple for violations of federal antitrust laws and competition laws based on the App Store and in-app purchases that Apple uses in iOS 15 and beyond on all of its best iPhones to distribute apps and facilitate payments. The grievances largely fall in line with those of Tim Sweeney and Epic Games. SaurikIT claims that Apple “has created a system where its App Store is the only app store that is available for downloading and purchasing apps on the iPhone, and its in-app purchasing system is the only system for payment processing,” claiming a new injury occurs every time a developer agrees to do business with Apple, every time someone buys an iPhone, and with every software update.

The first complaint against Apple was dismissed because it concerned conduct from 2008 and 2009, and the plaintiff has now amended their complaint to allege that Apple is instead complicit in ongoing violations of these laws through “millions” of overt acts that are not time-barred, because they are happening all the time. The Cydia developer claims that between 2008 and 2018 Apple has implemented various software updates that make it impossible to use Cydia on iPhone.

Apple now has three weeks to respond to this amended complaint.