The Think-Different-In-China Edition Monday, September 25, 2017

Apple Is Counting On This Star Exec To Reboot Its Sales In China, by Claire Zillman, Fortune

Now Mahe, 43, is taking on a critical new role at Apple: In July, CEO Tim Cook named her the first-ever vice president and managing director for Apple in what it calls Greater China—the mainland plus Hong Kong and Taiwan. Apple’s other sales regions don’t have lead execs; the company prides itself on its “functional” structure, with teams grouped by what they do, not location. But it’s time for Apple to think different in China.

The world’s second-largest economy is crucial to Apple’s future—and right now the business there is headed in the wrong direction. In the most recent quarter, the China region accounted for 18% of Apple’s revenues, down from a peak of 29% in early 2015. It was the sixth straight quarter of ebbing sales. Apple is hoping that the rollout of its new iPhone 8 and X models will reverse the decline.

It’s up to Mahe, a fluent Mandarin speaker, to deliver that turnaround. But if the professional stakes are high, the new job carries personal significance too. For Mahe, the move is a homecoming.

Play Ball

How Major League Baseball Is Using Apple’s ARKit To Increase Fan Engagement, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

Last week, I slipped away from Disrupt for a couple of hours to watch a Giants game at nearby AT&T park — or, more precisely, watch a Giants game through an iPad. It was a small gathering hosted by Major League Baseball that points toward a possible future for fandom that’s exciting and fascinating, all while bringing out the crotchety old tech journalist in me that’s hidden not too far below the surface.

It’s a strange experience, and one that could lay the groundwork for a future in which stadium seats are full of spectators holding up iPad and iPhones. Though, unlike many of today’s smartphone sporting audience members, the forthcoming ARKit enabled update has the potential increase engagement, offering up contextual information to give users a deeper understanding of the game.

Freeing Apple Watch

The New Apple Watch Finally Freed Me From My Phone, by Todd Haselton, CNBC

There's a bit of a delay when you leave your phone before the watch connects to a cellular network. You can tell when it's connected because green dots showing the signal strength appear on the watch face. On one occasion the Apple Watch connected to T-Mobile after I'd walked my dog past four houses in my neighborhood and on another it took me 10 houses. That's anywhere from 2-5 minutes or so, I guess. The delay wasn't too bothersome, but the hand-off between your phone and a wireless network certainly isn't immediate.

But it worked really well once a connection was established.

A Small-screen iPod, An Internet Communicator And A Phone, by Horace Dediu, Asymco

The Watch was born a timepiece but it is traversing through the early iPhone and pulling in a new direction all of its own. The fact that we are talking about “Resting Rate”, “Arrhythmia” and “Atrial fibrillation” at a timekeeping launch event indicates that new behaviors will follow and so will the language we’ll use to describe this child-like product once it grows up.

Positive Social

How Tbh Hit #1 By Turning Anonymity Positive, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

“If we’re improving the mental health of millions of teens, that’s a success to us,” says Nikita Bier, co-founder of tbh. His team has scored a surprise hit, rocketing to the top of the App Store by letting teens send each other compliments anonymously. While most anonymous apps like Secret and Yik Yak have devolved into cyberbullying, Bier explains that “You don’t necessarily need the ability to say whatever you want but to be able to say what you feel to others.”


tbh’s team says, “We worked backwards from the content we wanted to see, which was nice comments about ourselves — a product you’d open and it’d tell you all your strengths and things you’re good at and make you happier and more productive.”


HoudahSpot 4.0 Is A Convenient Desktop Search Tool For macOS, by Aaron Lee, Apple World Today

With HoudahSpot you can: quickly sort through search results; add columns; apply filters; preview files and text matches; and set up templates for recurring searches.

New App Helps Parents Keep Track Of Medical Records, by Mallika Marshal, CBS

Caremap, an iPhone app designed by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Duke University, will hopefully one day replace all that paper parents accumulate from multiple visits to the doctor.

Mothers and fathers can input the usual medications, allergies and hospitalizations, but the app can also track symptoms and behaviors.


Things I've Learned Transitioning From Engineer To Engineering Manager, by Gergely Orosz, Pragmatic Engineer

I've found this role change come with a steep learning curve: many things that mattered when I was an individual contributor - like writing good code and teaching others engineering best practices - suddenly became less important. Other things that I paid less attention to the past - like time management strategies and learning about my new role - became things I need to focus on much more.

Bottom of the Page

I'm still holding out hope that Apple will give us good and powerful podcast clients for all four of its OSes.


Thanks for reading.