Tim Cook made a rear appearance recently in the Outside podcast to talk about Apple Park, Apple Watch, Augmented Reality, fitness, nature, and more. The podcast was recorded at Apple Park, which is the company’s spaceship looking headquarter in Cupertino, California.
We do not usually see Apple executives, let alone, CEO Tim Cook, appear often in interviews and podcasts, but things have changed considerably this year. Along with the launch of products like iPad Air, Apple Watch Series 6, iPhone 12, and M1 Macs, Apple executives have constantly been making appearances on many websites, YouTube channels, and podcasts for interviews. This has been a breath of fresh air and given customers a lot of insights into what makes Apple tick.
Tim Cook appears in Outside podcast to talk about Apple Park, Apple Watch, Augmented Reality and more
The episode of Outside podcast with Tim Cook was recorded just after the launch of Apple Watch Series 6 and the announcement of Fitness+. The episode was recorded at Apple Park by host Michael Roberts.
On COVID, Tim Cook spoke about how it impacted the company and how Apple stepped up to do its part.
With COVID, we ask ourselves continually, how could we help? Right. Not just, how can we continue working and so forth? We had to reinvent ourselves there too. But how can we help? And we did things like — we designed a face shield. We designed a face shield because we knew that we’re pretty good at design. And we’re pretty good at manufacturing and scale. And we’d never done a face shield before. But we thought, you know, we can take some folks that are curious about this. And we can do something really cool. So we did that. And we donated tens of millions of them.
These efforts also meant that the company had to make some choices like working with Google to implement contact tracing on Android and iOS.
We didn’t know anything about masks. So we had to learn in a hurry. So we just kept doing that. We asked ourselves what we could do on contact tracing and sort of exposure notification and decided, you know, we should work with Google on this because the sum of both of us touch so many more people. And it would make the end product much better. So we went and worked with Google on this. And that contact tracing now is in the process of rolling out to most states in the United States and is in the heart of contact tracing in many countries.
Climate change was also part of the discussion, and Tim Cook explained how Apple Park runs on 100 percent renewable energy.
We looked at this and said, what we need to do — we’ve been running Apple on 100 percent renewable energy for a couple years or so. This whole site is run on solar and fuel cell. And we looked at this and said, you know, we need to take responsibility for the electricity usage that our products use after they’re sold. And we need to take responsibility over the whole of our supply chain regardless of whether we’re doing it ourselves or somebody else is doing it. And we’re going to take the sum of all of this to carbon neutral by 2030. This is like 20 years faster than the Paris agreement set targets and so forth. And we couldn’t be more excited to do that. And we’re doing it not only for us but for our users as well.
There was also a discussion regarding the future of Apple Watch. With Series 6, the watch can now measure blood oxygen, along with heart rate and ECG. Of course, Tim Cook did not speak about what’s next for Apple Watch but he hinted that they are not done and are working on various features in their labs that are ‘mind blowing’.
No. I would say never discount the amount of innovation that can be in the future. We’ve got things going on in our labs that are mind blowing that — and some that we know will change, some that we are still pulling that string on to try to figure out how to do certain things. So there’s a ton of innovation left to go there. I would say — to use a baseball analogy since we’re in the World Series or about to be — we are in the early innings. I think we’re in the early innings. Think about the amount of sensors in your car.
When asked about whether Apple feels a responsibility towards its customers on how they engage with their products, Tim Cook answered that they think deeply about it. They don’t measure success in terms of clicks or scrolls, but they expect users to get the most out of their products in short periods of time, rather than using them all the time. This is one of the reasons why Screen Time was added to Apple products so that users could keep track of their usage.
Very much so. We think very deeply about all the things that we create, about how they’re going to be used, how they’re going to be used in scale — the great ways they’ll be used but also the not-so-great ways that they can be used. So an example of that would be screen time. Right. We do not want people using our products too much. We want to create them in such a way people get the most out of them in short periods of time to free themselves up to do whatever it is that they want to do. And so screen time was a way of making all of us aware of how much time we’re spending in our technology.
At the end of the podcast, Tim Cook answered about technologies that excite him and he spoke about AR, and Apple’s role in healthcare.
There are so many to be honest with you. I think that we are on the front end of many things. We’re on the front end of AR. AR is exciting to me because, unlike VR that becomes all-encompassing, AR allows us to have a conversation. And it can become even a livelier conversation because you might be talking about something that was the magazine. And we could just pull it up and look at it. Right. So it enhances us. It doesn’t get in the way of us. I’m excited about the democratization of health because I see that one of the issues with healthcare is inherently we’ve all outsourced the way we feel to our doctor. And I don’t believe that model is going to get us to where we want to go. I think we have to take responsibility. But in order for us to take responsibility, we need information.
You can listen to the complete episode below, it’s worth the time: