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Tim Cook talks Apple Park, COVID-19, Apple Watch, and more in new podcast interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently joined the Outside podcast to talk in-depth about Apple Park, Apple Watch, Fitness, and a wide array of other topics. The interview was taped earlier this fall, “several weeks after” the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 6, and it was taped at Apple Park.

During the interview, Cook touched on what’s it’s like to work at Apple Park, nothing that only about 15% of workers are currently working at the campus. The rest are working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is like working in a national park for me. And it provides that kind of feeling. So you know, we all operate on inspiration and motivation. And you find your somewhere. And the only difference between people is generally what level of ins — of how inspired they are and how motivated they are to do different things. So nature really inspires me and motivates me as it does the bulk of the people here. If you were to go inside the offices, you would see conference rooms named after national parks.

Cook also touched on how the Apple Watch activity rings motivate him to stay active:

And so for me, it’s a motivator. You know, the idea of closing these rings — we all know intuitively and now with research that physical activity and exercise is like a key part of your longevity or quality of life and so forth. So I really want that for myself. And having the Watch there to motivate me — I can choose whatever — pretty much every workout known to man is in there now. We’ve got a Fitness+ product that’s coming.

On the Apple Watch’s growing array of health monitoring features, Cook explained that Apple quickly realized it was onto something. Cook also reiterated his belief that when you look back on Apple’s history, its “greatest contribution” to society will have been in the health and wellness categories.

On the future of the Apple Watch, he teased that users should “think about the amount of sensors in your car.”

It’s a combination. We thought it was a big idea to continually monitor the heart. What we didn’t necessarily predict was it was — all of these cases were going to come out of it where the person told us, ‘I would have not been here any longer. Do you get that, you know? Do you understand this has been life changing for me?’ And so after the first few of those, you realize that there’s something here. And you start pulling that string further then. And pulling that string further led to AFib. It led to ECG. It led to putting essentially control limits around your heart where, if it gets too low, you get a notification. If it gets too high, you get a notification. So all of these things in service of the user, the customer so that they can own their health in a way that they haven’t been able to in the past.

On Apple’s work to help produce personal protective equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

We took our supply-chain folks and said, let’s go source some masks because PPE was a crisis at the beginning if you remember. We were in crisis mode. And we have people in so many countries in the world. And we were able to cobble together a supply chain for masks. And we wound up donating almost 40 million of them, sourcing and donating, logistically moving them with the knowledge that we had in the supply chain.

Cook also elaborated on how he thinks people should be monitoring their phone usage:

Well, we take the challenge to continue innovating in that space just like we take the challenge to keep innovating in each of the product categories that we’re in. My simple rule is, if you’re looking at your device more than you’re looking in somebody’s eyes, you’re doing the wrong thing — just very simple.

Finally, the Apple CEO once again doubled down on Apple’s bullish view of augmented reality:

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.

The full Cook interview is well worth a listen and can be found on the Outside website. There is also a full transcript available as well. Other topics discussed during the interview include the current state of Silicon Valley, how Apple motivates its employees to stay active, Cook’s advice to people who visit national parks, and more.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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