Tim Cook talks App Store success, mental health crisis in new interview

“And I think mental health is a crisis. And it’s one that has been stigmatized so much. It was for so long that people suffered in silence and in isolation.”

What you need to know

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook has given a new interview.
  • He discussed the work of the app Shine and described mental health as a crisis.
  • He also talked about the success of the App Store and iPhone.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has given a new interview with Bustle in which he discussed mental health, the success of the App Store and iPhone, and the app Shine.

Cook spoke to the outlet in New York, having met with the developers of mental health app Shine, an app that delivers guided meditations and tips for journaling. Speaking on the importance of the app, Cook stated:

Well, they won [Apple’s Best of the App Store] in 2020. And there probably wasn’t a year that would have made them more essential — with the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd, and these things coming together and intersecting in such a way that no one would have predicted.

And I think mental health is a crisis. And it’s one that has been stigmatized so much. It was for so long that people suffered in silence and in isolation. [Shine] have done this incredible job, bringing together community and stitching together a number of different things that will make [change] systemic in nature instead of a slogan. So I’m super impressed by what they’re doing and how they got started.

Cook also talked about the ongoing discussions around apps like Facebook and Instagram, and the impact they have on people. He said he worried about endless scrolling and “surrounding yourself with negativity”, and hoped to elevate companies like Shine to “a great use of our technologies because that does serve humanity.”

He also talked about the impact Apple’s Screen Time feature had on his own usage before the discussions pivoted to the success of the App Store and Apple’s best iPhones, and why that was hard to predict:

I think all of us live in a little of a box of what things currently are. Apple does a fantastic job of not doing that with products, but in terms of estimating, it’s [more difficult]. At that time, our gut was that eventually everyone would want a smartphone, but we did not envision the speed at which that would occur. Because I remember we talked about “Should Apple make a feature phone?” if you remember them. But we felt, “No, no, no — the future is the smartphone, so let’s put our energies in there.”

Cook went on to say nobody could have guessed the App Store would swell to 1.8 million apps, and described the ecosystem of app development as “an economic miracle.”

Cook also discussed the importance of Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp, which Shine’s developers Naomi and Marah had been through themselves.

You can read the full interview here.

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