Here's Why iPhone Assembly Doesn't Happen Here

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Apple relies on China for a huge part of its manufacturing needs. But why can’t the company bring it back to the United States? Custom screws.

The challenges in Texas illustrate problems that Apple would face if it tried to move a significant amount of manufacturing out of China. Apple has found that no country — and certainly not the United States — can match China’s combination of scale, skills, infrastructure and cost.

Manufacturing and cheap labor are the reasons why Apple and other companies go to China. The GOP can talk about bringing jobs like that back, but it’s not an easy problem to solve.

iPhone, Apple Watch: The New Tricorder

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Apple iPhone XS

9to5Mac writes: “Apple has been granted a patent today which illustrates how future products such as iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch could have built-in sensors to detect harmful, poisonous gasses, such as CO…” [and others.] Now we’re getting into Star Trek’s Tricorder territory. I expect these kind of technical advances to continue. Early earthquake warnings?

Cricut, Rocket Book, and Setapp, with Bob LeVitus - ACM 497

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

In this episode, Bob LeVitus tells Bryan Chaffin all about the Cricut. This thing can cut 150 different substances, draw, write, and like I said, even sew. And you can control it from your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. They also discuss Rocket Book, which is part reusable paper (you can erase it!) and part app-based service that will scan what you write and draw and convert text with OCR. They cap the show with a look at Setapp and why they think this multi-app service for the Mac is great.

CES - Mophie Announces Juice Pack Access for iPhone X/XS, XS Max, XR

· · Cool Stuff Found

Mophie announced Juice Pack Access, a new line of wireless-charging battery cases for iPhone X/XS, XS Max, XR, The “Access” in the name refers to access to the Lightning port on your iPhone (for headphones). The case includes a 2,200mAh chargeable battery, and you can QuickCharge the case, too, making the whole thing wireless if you so wish. Combined with your iPhone’s internal battery, the company says you can get up to 25 hours of charge time on the smaller iPhone models, and 31 hours of charge on iPhone XS Max. That’s with a relatively slim footprint, too. It’s priced at $119 and scheduled to ship later in the 1st quarter of 2019.

Apple's Public Billboard at CES: 'What Happens on Your iPhone, Stays on Your iPhone'

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What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone

I heart this so much. There aren’t enough emojis in the world to describe how much I love Apple’s giant message to CES: “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” It’s on a massive outdoor sign hanging on the side of a ::checks notes:: Marriott…wait, is Apple trolling Marriott, too? Fitting, if so. Whatever, the target is ostensibly Google, Facebook, Amazon, Android, and the myriad of companies whose customers are the product. And that message is being delivered to CES in Las Vegas, a show Apple doesn’t bother to attend. Chris Velazco of Engadget tweeted the first image I could find (below), and Mashable‘s Adam Rosenberg pitched it as, “Apple spent money to publicly troll everyone else’s privacy issues at CES.” Again with the feels, Apple. Thanks for brightening my day.

Manage iPhone Privacy With This iMore Guide

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Rene Ritchie put together a good iMore guide to manage your online information and privacy settings.

Now, just to be clear, these aren’t security tips. I’ll cover those in another column. These are privacy tips. They’re ways to make sure people and companies learn as little as possible about you, while you still get the most you can from them. Cool?

It’s a good guide and everyone should read it. It’s full of tips to manage privacy settings on iPhone and online accounts. While you’re at it, check out my guide where I include privacy apps I’ve used.

TMO Background Mode Interview with CNET Journalist Shara Tibken

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Shara Tibken on Background Mode

Shara Tibken is a senior reporter/journalist for CNET News, focused on Samsung and Apple. She previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal.

She grew up on a farm in Iowa, where her mother was a teacher, and Shara became an avid book reader. That led to a desire to be a writer, meet people and learn new things. We chatted about her progression from Simpson College to interning for a small newspaper in North Dakota to landing a job with Dow Jones Newswires/WSJ and finally CNET in 2012. We talked about her recent investigation of rural broadband issues in Iowa, which is terrific, as well as future 5G smartphones, Samsung’s development of foldable smartphones, Samsung mimicking Apple and more. Shara gets into interesting technical detail on all these topics.