The Supply-Chain Edition Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Apple Weighs 15%-30% Capacity Shift Out Of China Amid Trade War, by Lauly Li and Cheng Ting-Fang, Nikkei Asian Review

Apple has asked its major suppliers to evaluate the cost implications of shifting 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as it prepares for a fundamental restructuring of its supply chain, Nikkei Asian Review has learned.

The California-based tech giant's request was triggered by the protracted trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, but multiple sources say that even if the spat is resolved there will be no turning back. Apple has decided the risks of relying so heavily on manufacturing in China, as it has done for decades, are too great and even rising, several people told Nikkei.

New Apple Store Design Changes Prioritize A Straightforward Shopping Experience, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple is evolving its in-store shopping experience with signage and display fixtures that remove ambiguity and encourage increased hands-on interaction with products. New designs that have been spotted in multiple locations reflect the changing requirements of busy stores and appear to address common customer needs.

The Mac No Longer Needs Compatibility To Thrive, by Jason Snell, Macworld

If Apple has enough interest in the Mac to build a bridge for iOS apps, and is integrating it into its long-range plans for SwiftUI, then there’s enough interest to put the Mac through a processor transition. It probably won’t happen all at once, because at the high end of Apple’s product line there are pro users who probably have needs that Apple’s hardware can’t meet. But it seems inevitable that it will happen.

The end result will be a Mac that, in the 2020s, will be a bit more like the Mac of the 1980s—running Apple-only software on a processor architecture nobody else is using. The difference between now and the 1980s is the mobile revolution that has made developing for Apple’s devices more popular than ever and has also discouraged the creation of software and services that can only run on a single platform like Windows back in the day. In the 2020s, Apple can go it alone—and still play nice with others. You couldn’t write a better recipe for Apple, and the Mac, to succeed.


The Best Evernote Replacement App For Long-Term Research, by Curtis McHale, The Sweet Setup

Over the last number of weeks, we’ve looked at a bunch of great note-taking and research app. We’ve used all of that work and discussion to inform our recommendation for the best app for long-term research on iOS, and specifically, the iPad.

Whether you’re researching a topic for school, writing a book, planning a big purchase, or collecting ideas for a remodel, we think Keep It and DEVONthink have you covered. This is a category that Evernote once ruled, but we think our picks have several advantages over what Evernote offers today.

How To Get Started With Mind Mapping Apps, by Matthew Beedham, The Next Web

List making and note taking have been digitized to help us keep track of shopping lists, to-do lists, and quick notes. But what if your ideas are more complicated than that? What if, like me, your mind is chaotic and messy, and needs more of a helping hand when formulating ideas?

Then maybe, a mind map is what you need! And yes, those too can be done on smartphones and laptops thanks to a range of apps now available.

ZAGG’s Slim Book Go Is A Fine Keyboard/case Combo For The iPad Pro, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

The keyboard has a nice tactile feel and feedback — not too hard nor too soft. The keys are rounded. I thought that would take a bit of adjusting to, but it didn’t.

If want to use the iPad Pro as a laptop alternative, the Slim Book Go streamlines the process with its solid keyboard, Apple Pencil support, and protective case.

Satechi’s Dual HomeKit Plug Makes Dumb Outlets Smarter, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

There’s new home automation option from Satechi. The Dual Smart Outlet allows two devices to be controlled independently. And it supports Apple’s HomeKit so it can be accessed from an iPhone or Mac.


What The Google-Genius Copyright Dispute Is Really About, by Emily Dreyfuss, Wired

Some see the whole trend toward One Boxes as part of Google’s focus on keeping people within its ecosystem—sending people to its products but also just keeping them on search pages filled with Google ads. Genius says traffic from Google to its site has dropped since Google began surfacing lyrics on its search results pages. The harm there is clear: Whether those lyrics are taken from Genius or not, by not sending people over to Genius, Genius loses out on the chance to get people more involved in their community and to sell ads against its traffic numbers. This is true for sites like Wikipedia as much as it is for Genius.

In the end, this could even hurt Google. At its most basic, Google is a repository, be it of links or of actual knowledge, and it depends on knowledge-creating sites for that data. If Google imperils the ability of those sites to make money, Google imperils itself. “It's like, are you eating your own seed corn?” Bergmayer says. “If Google is a good product because of all this information that is out there on the web, then you want to make sure you're not inadvertently destroying the vibrancy of the web.” Google has always been better at organizing the web’s information—not cannibalizing it.

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I'm not sure how Apple is going to sell services at its stores -- sorry, town squares. I'm sure plans are in place, and it will be interesting to see them unfold.


Thanks for reading.