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ATP

281: My Private Siri

 

00:00:00   It's air conditioner season again. Get that noise reduction thing going.

00:00:05   I'm very proud of myself right now because I made my air conditioner quieter. I actually fixed my air conditioner by drilling a hole in it.

00:00:13   Tell me more.

00:00:14   Many modern air conditioners, in order to eke out a little bit more of an energy efficiency rating, basically don't drain their water out.

00:00:22   So the basin of it fills with water intentionally because then I think, I mean people will have to write it and correct me if this is totally wrong,

00:00:32   but the gist of it from what I've picked up is that if they sit the compressor in water, it is slightly more energy efficient at cooling.

00:00:41   So most of the new efficient ones, which is almost all of them because people buy them based on efficiency, will basically allow the basin to fill with water.

00:00:48   The problem with this is that it makes it make a bunch of weird noises as if it's like moving a water wheel through, dipping it in and out of water.

00:00:58   It almost sounds like it's raining inside your air conditioner and the reason why is because it's filled with water and parts are moving.

00:01:06   I don't know what the hell. Maybe it's the fan or the blower. I have no idea. Something touches the water.

00:01:10   It's the fan.

00:01:11   Yeah. So I fixed this problem by drilling a drain hole in the bottom of the basin and now all the water flowed out and it's working just as well at cooling my room.

00:01:19   Maybe it's costing me slightly more money per month, but it is now way quieter and the noise it's making is at least an expected fan plus compressor noise as opposed to sounding like somebody is trickling water throughout it as a fan is blowing over it.

00:01:34   How old is your air conditioner?

00:01:36   One.

00:01:38   You sure it doesn't have a rubber gasket on the back that you pop right out that lets the water drain?

00:01:43   100% positive. The entire reason I knew to do this is because all of the reviews of this air conditioner cited this as a thing.

00:01:50   What? You didn't get the wire cutter recommendation? Every modern air conditioner I have has that little drain plug and so you just pull the plug.

00:01:56   I got the wire cutter's quiet recommendation, which I think their main one might have been out of stock, so I got their like, you know, if that's out of stock, get this.

00:02:03   It's the Frigidaire Gallery series. I don't know more about it. That's all I could read from across the room, but it is very quiet.

00:02:12   I do my drain plug things and you know, I only drain it when it fills the water. I don't leave the drain plug out all the time because there is that extra efficiency, you know, but when it gets really humid, yeah, it fills the water so you got to do the drain plug, but better than drilling in it.

00:02:28   But no, I don't know if this is the fault of their recommendation, but my main, I think I've talked about this in other podcasts, my main complaint with air conditioners is that they have a compressor inside them and a fan and the fan is usually fine.

00:02:40   It's just a spinny thing. It makes fan noise, but whatever. They're usually very large, but the compressor, you know, it vibrates and shakes and the air conditioner itself, if it's a window unit, is stuck in the window frame pretty well.

00:02:54   And so you have a vibrating thing in the window frame and those vibrations need to go somewhere. And normally where they go in every air conditioner I seem to buy is they shake the plastic cladding that's on the outside of the metal box that is the air conditioner.

00:03:08   So it's kind of like when a cruddy car has too much bass and it's very large speaker system and the plastic shakes, it makes that buzz.

00:03:16   That is the major source of noise in all of my air conditioners, not the compressor, not the fan, but the plastic body cladding buzz of plastic, you know, the plastic bits when the compressor is on.

00:03:28   When the compressor is not on, that's not there, but it's a terrible buzzing noise.

00:03:32   So now I've just been like taping and wrapping and squeezing all my air conditioners to make all the plastic parts not buzz.

00:03:39   So I feel like I'm not trusting any air conditioning review that does not include an extensive section on whether it has plastic body buzz or what can be done to stop it.

00:03:50   Or if they just said this is the model where the plastic parts don't buzz, I would buy that one.

00:03:54   Well, I can tell you mine does not have that problem, but you probably can't buy it anymore because these things change like every year.

00:03:59   So this this one's great.

00:04:01   Well, so you never know because like I said, it really depends on how wedged it is in the window and like how it's seated in there. Right.

00:04:09   Because if it can shake, if you like, if it's in a position where that vibration has someplace else to go, then it won't transfer to the sort of the body of the car, so to speak.

00:04:19   It will go elsewhere. But however I have my things wedged in my window, there is no place for that vibration to go.

00:04:25   And so it comes out the plastic body pits.

00:04:27   That must be hard.

00:04:29   They're all taped up. They're all they'll look like they've been injured in a cartoon, you know, or you get like a tape all over. Yeah.

00:04:35   We had seven different kinds of tape to try to keep it from buzzing. The thing is, if you leave one little bit like one little bit on tape to tape all the parts that were buzzing, the buzz just finds another way out.

00:04:45   Right. So you need to make sure that there's nothing that can buzz. In fact, this year, last year was fine.

00:04:50   But this year I found a new way to buzz, you know, the little a little filter, the air filter, the intake air filter that you can slide in and out and they want you to clean out and everything like that.

00:04:58   That, you know, that goes into like a slot. Right.

00:05:02   That thing was vibrating in the slot back and forth, back and forth, making a buzzing noise.

00:05:06   It was the only place left, I think, for the vibration to go. All the plastic body parts could not shake. So it's like there's one loose plastic bit.

00:05:13   It's an amazing, amazing device.

00:05:17   So it's totally fine when your iMac turns off randomly, right?

00:05:21   Yeah, 100 percent. Don't worry about it.

00:05:23   Actually, earlier tonight I was lamenting in Relay Slack that Aaron's MacBook Air ran out of disk space, which was unexpected to say the least.

00:05:32   And so I thought, I know how to fix this. I'll boot into recovery mode.

00:05:36   I will go spelunking in the terminal and find something to get rid of probably on my user account and that'll fix it.

00:05:42   So I rebooted in recovery mode and the menu bar allowed me to select a language and do nothing else, which I've never seen before.

00:05:50   The window popped up that showed disk utility and used Safari and one or two other things. I forgot. I would reinstall.

00:05:57   I think she's on Sierra. I forget what she's on. But anyway.

00:06:01   But I couldn't get to the terminal. And so I was like, well crap, now what?

00:06:05   And I ran out of ideas short of doing a bootable USB key or something like that.

00:06:10   And so I thought, well screw it, I'll just reboot and hopefully it'll have enough free space somewhere.

00:06:16   Oh, and I did try to do a repair, a volume repair when I was in the recovery mode.

00:06:23   But that failed because of HFS Plus. So anyway, so I reboot.

00:06:27   Wait, did you try spilling liquid into it?

00:06:29   Previously, but not tonight.

00:06:30   OK. It didn't work this time?

00:06:32   No, it did not help the situation.

00:06:33   Before you continue, you had a disk where it's full or something's weird with it.

00:06:38   So you tried to run disk utility repair. Disk utility repair failed.

00:06:42   And now you're just plowing bravely forward, figuring that disk is OK.

00:06:46   It's HFS Plus. What do you expect?

00:06:48   No, but if repair fails, if disk utility can't repair it, it finds something wrong but can't fix it, you shouldn't continue in that state.

00:06:57   You should, as quickly as possible, get any data that you don't have backed up off of that thing and either get it repaired or reformat it and restore.

00:07:07   That sounds like it could be disk failure.

00:07:09   Or HFS Plus corruption is severe enough that you're going to lose data.

00:07:15   Yeah, so I mean, tonight was not the time to work this out because I have to record.

00:07:20   And we have things going on the rest of this week. Like tomorrow, as we record, is my last day at my job.

00:07:25   So I have a few things on my mind.

00:07:27   Oh, yeah. Can we throw you like a last day?

00:07:31   I love like all the language of people quitting or being fired from jobs is the exact same language as dying.

00:07:37   Tomorrow is my last day. He's not with us anymore. He's moving on.

00:07:43   Yeah, it's true. It's true.

00:07:46   So anyway, so I have a few things on my mind.

00:07:48   So as I was saying, I just blindly plowed into the night, rebooted, just let the thing boot regularly.

00:07:55   And when I was successfully booted, everything seemed fine.

00:07:59   I go and do a DF to figure out how much free space I have.

00:08:04   Answer, 25 gigs.

00:08:06   So that makes me think that bad things are going on on your desk.

00:08:11   I mean, it could just be that it cleaned up a bunch of files somewhere, but it also could be that you just lost a whole swath of that desk.

00:08:16   So try to run disk utility and verify when booted for nothing and see if that passes.

00:08:21   I wonder if it's that thing that I ran into a few months ago on my iMac where my iMac was running low on space.

00:08:27   And it turned out that there was, I forget the term for it, but the thing where Time Machine saves local backups because it thinks...

00:08:35   Local snapshots. Yes.

00:08:36   Thank you. And I had like a gazillion gigs on my iMac of local snapshots.

00:08:41   And I did not verify that was the case with the MacBook Air, but it smelled a lot like that sort of behavior.

00:08:48   The operating system will clean those up on its own eventually for you, so that could possibly explain it.

00:08:54   But there's also a command you can run from the command line that will, you can delete them manually,

00:08:57   and then there's one that will thin them to free up a certain number of space.

00:09:00   And you can give it an amount of space in bytes or kilobytes or something and it will delete snapshots until you recover that much space.

00:09:06   There was one more thing though. My iMac actually did randomly turn off twice yesterday while I was working.

00:09:11   Oh really? So did you burn the whole thing down?

00:09:14   That dust was an essential part of the computer. Put it back.

00:09:18   So if one thing hadn't happened, I would assume, oh crap, I moved it, I brought it to the beach, I broke it.

00:09:27   But one thing happened that actually makes me breathe a sigh of relief. That is that it did this once a few days before I left.

00:09:36   How does that make you feel any better? I mean I understand it makes you realize you didn't break it by transporting it,

00:09:43   but it doesn't make your computing situation any better really.

00:09:47   Yeah, so the symptom is that it just turns off. It has down done this three times. Once before I left and twice yesterday while I was working.

00:09:58   I leave it on all the time. It never does it unattended. It has only done it while I've been heavily using it.

00:10:06   So I'm guessing it's something either peak power related or, here's the other thing, it's not a total power off like you unplug it,

00:10:14   it's actually a kernel panic because when you reboot it, it says something went wrong, you should use it on your computer because of a problem or whatever.

00:10:20   And then if you look at the system report, it says it's actually a kernel panic.

00:10:24   And I don't know enough about the system report data to be able to tell any more than that.

00:10:29   It doesn't look like anything obvious to me. In the system report it's not saying like, hey, your GPU driver is throwing this problem or whatever.

00:10:36   That might indicate like GPU thermal issues or something. It's not anything like that that I could find.

00:10:41   But I'm not an expert in digging information out of those things. But it is resulting in a software kernel panic it seems.

00:10:47   And it is usually while I'm doing things in Xcode, very heavy Xcode work.

00:10:52   So I actually think it might be software related. Xcode does all sorts of weird stuff to enable development.

00:10:58   I'm running a beta version of Xcode trying to debug code on beta iPhone and beta watch.

00:11:03   So it's probably doing all sorts of weird stuff with low level system functionality.

00:11:09   So I'm not worried yet that it might not be software related.

00:11:14   And boy am I so glad this happened once before I left.

00:11:19   But still, I'm not happy about this. But I was also working today. It didn't happen at all today.

00:11:24   So I don't know. I've been monitoring thermals with iStat menus.

00:11:29   And thermals seem totally fine, totally in line with both CPU and GPU with like where they should be.

00:11:34   So I don't think it's that. It could be the weird power. Well I thought it might be the weird power in the beach house.

00:11:41   That's what I was going to ask.

00:11:42   But it did the same thing at home in a really nice UPS.

00:11:45   So that's why I think it's probably not that.

00:11:47   My thunderbolt monitors were all wonky. I'd get the same symptom, kernel panic.

00:11:53   But it's in response to some hardware thing that ends up doing something that the kernel doesn't expect.

00:11:57   So I'm still thinking maybe hardware.

00:12:00   Yeah, I'm not ruling out hardware yet. But because it has never happened unattended, it seems at least to be like load related.

00:12:09   But the load I'm putting on it has been Xcode.

00:12:13   And I'm doing a lot of stuff that maxes out all the cores, like doing big builds and stuff like that.

00:12:20   And so all the cores are peaked for a minute. But it doesn't seem to be doing it then.

00:12:24   It's doing it at places where Xcode sometimes crashes, when things like the source editor tries to do syntax highlighting and just explodes and Xcode crashes.

00:12:34   Casey, you know about this from running Swift.

00:12:36   Oh yes.

00:12:37   So it could be something like that. I don't know.

00:12:41   To answer, Hadwa in the chat, "No, the iMac Pro is not running Mojave. I don't run beta Mac OSes."

00:12:48   I guess run all the betas on my iOS devices like a crazy person.

00:12:51   So you're saving the kernel panic reports and filing radars for them?

00:12:54   No, I've been hitting the send to Apple button instead. I figure this is their problem, not mine. Well, it's their fault. It's my problem.

00:13:02   When I had my Thunderbolt thing was doing it, I saved every single one and I just kept piling them on a radar.

00:13:08   How will that work?

00:13:09   Because they will. Kernel panic is one of the types of radars that people will look at.

00:13:14   And if you have a report, you're hoping someone will look at it and say, "Ah ha, I see what that is."

00:13:21   But if it ends up being a hardware thing, they're never going to do anything about it.

00:13:24   They're just going to be like, "Well, that should never happen. Your computer's probably broken."

00:13:28   They won't tell you that, but that's what I assume is going on when the reports tell them nothing about some kind of software glitch.

00:13:35   They just look random or look like they've encountered an exceptional condition that should never, ever happen.

00:13:39   And it basically means that your hardware is hosed.

00:13:41   Also, in other news, TIFF has totally stolen my laptop, so I kind of no longer have a laptop.

00:13:46   That's not really surprising, to be honest with you.

00:13:48   Turns out, people like computers. Who knew?

00:13:51   Who knew? So you're going to buy another one of these ancient laptops?

00:13:55   No, at this point, I just got to wait until the new ones come out.

00:13:58   Okay. Mark this moment, listeners. We'll see what happens.

00:14:03   I will say, you know what's really nice? Having a Mac with multi-user support and having an operating system and a platform that supports multiple users correctly.

00:14:10   When TIFF needed to do some work here on vacation and I had my laptop and I'm like, "Hey, I can just set you up a user account.

00:14:16   You can log in as you and all your iCloud stuff shows up."

00:14:19   And it was amazing just how well it worked.

00:14:22   And I forgot, this thing that computers have had for 30 years, I forgot how nice that is on modern hardware.

00:14:30   Because we don't have that on our iOS devices or almost anything else, really.

00:14:34   But to have proper multi-user support where you can literally just like, "All right, create user TIFF, log out as Marco," or even leave Marco logged in, for that matter.

00:14:42   Switch over, you get the big rotating cube animation.

00:14:45   Oh, that's still a thing.

00:14:47   Yeah, it's still there. It's awesome.

00:14:49   All you people who have one computer per person in your house, I hate forgetting that that's not the way you do it.

00:14:54   All our computers have accounts for all four people in the family because we share our computers.

00:14:59   We've got the two computers, right?

00:15:01   You share your Mac Pro?

00:15:03   No, no one uses my computer.

00:15:05   The reason they don't is because my disk is full.

00:15:07   But there are four accounts on it.

00:15:09   My wife has an account here, both my kids have accounts on this computer, but we definitely share Tina's computer because it's got more room on it.

00:15:16   But yeah, we're constantly switching accounts.

00:15:18   It drives Tina crazy because every time she has a standard computer, it's logged into somebody else.

00:15:23   It's one of those appreciating old technology for the first time in a long time kind of things.

00:15:29   And yeah, I just wanted to throw it out there. Yeah, multi-user Macs are still a thing and they're really awesome when you do that.

00:15:34   So reporters got to talk to Google Duplex.

00:15:38   If you recall, Google Duplex was the thing where it masquerades as a human being to call and make appointments for you and do things like that.

00:15:46   Which is a quick summary. I think all of us immediately thought, "Wow, that is amazing."

00:15:52   And then most of us immediately followed that thought with, "Wow, that is super creepy."

00:15:56   And there was a huge backlash and so this was the first time that reporters got to actually talk to Google Duplex.

00:16:03   Which I know among other people, Gruber has been banging the strum for a long time.

00:16:07   And justifiably so. Nobody's really spoken to this Duplex thing, like, "What's going on here?"

00:16:12   So Google invited the media to Orin's Hummus, a Mediterranean restaurant just a few miles from its Mountain View, California headquarters for demo 2.0.

00:16:21   And they got to hear recordings, they even got to serve as pretend, the reporters got to be pretend employees at this place and answer the phone when Google Duplex called them and see what it felt like.

00:16:35   And so this was on Re/code. Who was this reporting? Kurt Wagner reports that Google Duplex, it first identified itself as a Google assistant, told me it was recording the call, then asked me to secure group reservation for the following Monday night, July 2nd.

00:16:48   The voice sounded like it belonged to a grown man, not a robot, especially over the phone where you can't see the source.

00:16:55   So he continues, "Having seen a few others go through the process already, I tried to stump the technology I first asked for it to hold, to which it replied, "Mm-hmm."

00:17:03   Then I got back on to say there were no reservations available for Monday. I had to repeat myself once as it requested a clarification after my initial reply, but then Google assistant kicked me to an actual human, which Google says is the fallback plan for whenever the technology gets confused or can't seem to finish an assigned task. Certainly not flawless.

00:17:17   None of this is really surprising, but I thought it was interesting that this demo has actually happened at this point.

00:17:24   They walked it back to a little bit like saying, "This isn't really near to being a product, whereas this is just technology. We're showing it to you, but it's not like we're..."

00:17:33   At Google I/O, they didn't make any particular promises about when this would appear in a product. But during this demo to reporters, they seemed to take great pains to say, "No, no, no. Don't expect us to have a product on this out yet. We're still working on it and it's in the technology."

00:17:46   That kind of takes a lot of air out of the balloon that was blown up in Google I/O. So it's like, "Okay, well, I guess we can all forget about this until and unless they say we have an actual product based on it."

00:17:58   René Fouquier writes that the song issue, this is the AAA Very Good Song, is definitely not fixed in iOS 12. I've been using it since Beta 1 and it still plays AAA Very Good Song every time I connect to car Bluetooth. And I'm an Apple Music user too.

00:18:23   And I said, "You should just crowdsource it and go to Twitter." So I'm going to trust this one random person on Twitter because that feels better to me. But yeah, it seems like our long national nightmare may not be over.

00:18:33   Moving on. Gualtiero Frigero writes, "I just heard about this app to find duplicates on the Mac called Gemini 2 and there's a link provided. I have not had a chance to look into this, but I'm hoping one of you two have."

00:18:46   So if you're not a programmer who thinks, "Hmm, I should write myself a programmer script to do this," but you want to find duplicates, apparently there is a commercial program supported by a real company that you can buy and download that will find duplicate files.

00:18:59   I haven't tried this myself. I don't vouch for what it's going to do to your files, but I would trust it more than a random script you find on a GitHub page.

00:19:07   We also had recommendations for an app called Photo Sweeper that is more photo specific. I haven't tried either of these apps, so I cannot vouch for either of them.

00:19:16   All right, moving on. So Pedro Jose Pereira, Pedro JPV writes, "Mac OS Mojave Launch Services now supports launching flat style app bundles like iOS." Can we just pause right here? Can one of you explain to me what exactly is a flat style app bundle?

00:19:33   Well, they used to be skeuomorphic, and that went out of style.

00:19:38   Well done, sir. Well done.

00:19:39   All right, so you know app bundles? Like on your Mac, if you go in your applications folder, if you look at that in the terminal, you'll see there's a bunch of folders whose names end in .app, and inside those folders there's this structure, the bundle structure, where it says "contents," "Mac OS," and a "resources" folder, and all these versions, and blah, blah, blah.

00:19:57   It's basically the bundles from the, well, I think they mostly brought from the world of Next, so they were changed a little bit for Mac OS X.

00:20:03   Anyway, it's a folder full of files, a directory full of files, and it's a big tree of stuff, even though when you look at it in the finder it looks like one thing.

00:20:12   So I'm assuming, this is just guessing, and well, I'm sure I'll follow up next week if I get it wrong, but I'm pretty sure this is right.

00:20:20   Flat means, like in many of the formats that share these properties, they just take one of these folder structures.

00:20:28   For example, Safari extensions, which I have been recently rankling, where it's a folder that ends in Safari.extz or something like that, and you just make an archive out of it.

00:20:38   Either zip it up or XAR, XAR it up, Apple's weird tar-like thing, and you get a flat version. So it really is a single file on disk, but all it is is a compressed archive of the directory structure.

00:20:51   So apparently on iOS, and this is why I thought Marco would know, the things that you launch on iOS are not directories full of files, but instead are these flat bundles, which I assume is a directory full of files put into an archive.

00:21:05   It's just zipped, isn't it?

00:21:08   Again, it could just be zipped, could be XAR'd, could be who knows whatever, but the whole point is it's not actually different.

00:21:13   It's kind of like binary plist files and stuff. It's the same thing structurally, it's just packaged in a different way, just so you get a single file.

00:21:19   So let me repeat what you just said to make sure I understand.

00:21:22   So when I look at an app on my Mac, I can right click on it and do show contents or whatever, and I see this full on directory structure.

00:21:31   So an IPA by comparison on iOS, it's IPA not IAP, right? Because now I'm thinking BRS.

00:21:37   Yeah, that's an app purchase.

00:21:39   Yeah, right, okay. So an IPA on iOS is basically the same thing, except I believe it's zipped or maybe it's some other kind of archiving system.

00:21:47   Right, but the point is it's a single file.

00:21:50   Right, right, right. Okay.

00:21:51   So if you go to terminal, you'd see one of them is a file and then one of them is a directory, right? So this tweet is pointing out that Mojave launch services, which is the thing that's responsible for launching applications, now also understands flat style app bundles.

00:22:08   So it doesn't demand that you have a .app directory with a bunch of stuff in it. If you make a flat style thing out of that, if you zip it up or XAR it up or whatever it is, it will launch that as well.

00:22:18   Hmm, interesting.

00:22:20   So a follow up to that is this means you can create universal app bundles that will work on both iOS and macOS using fat mako executables with x86-64 and arm64 slices.

00:22:29   Now, this is something that we've talked about before we knew more about marzipan.

00:22:35   But even now that we kind of understand what it is, it makes sense, but in a different way.

00:22:40   Like, can you make a single thing, a single piece of software that you distribute and it will run on the iPad and the iPhone?

00:22:47   Yes, you can do that. It's what they call universal apps or whatever. Can you make a single thing that will run on the iPad, the iPhone and also on the Mac?

00:22:55   Technologically speaking, apparently you can, but maybe not in the way that Apple intends.

00:23:01   Because mako, the executable format that macOS and OS 10, god, the names are terrible,

00:23:10   lets you make an executable that has different what they call slices with different CPU architectures.

00:23:17   You can have a 32-bit x86-1, you can have an x86-64, you can have an arm64, right?

00:23:23   And it will run the right one for the right CPU architecture. It's kind of like fat binaries and put that 68K and power PC stuff in them.

00:23:29   So if you can take a program and make one of these flat app bundles, so now you're past the launching stage,

00:23:38   because both Mojave and iOS know how to launch these flat app bundles, right?

00:23:42   And then in the executable, you have a slice for x86-64 and a slice for arm64.

00:23:48   When you run it on iOS, iOS is going to understand the flat package, look at the executable and say,

00:23:54   "Oh, well I'm ignoring that x86-64 stuff, I'm just going to run the arm64."

00:23:58   But then when you run that same flat bundle on Mojave, again it knows how to launch it,

00:24:02   when it looks at the executable it just runs the x86-64.

00:24:04   So all you've got to do is glue together basically your marzipan x86-64 executable in the x86-64 slice,

00:24:13   and then your iOS executable in the arm64 slice and put it in a single flat app bundle and it will run that thing.

00:24:20   And I think that's kind of cheating because, I mean, as far as I'm aware, those two executables could be totally unrelated.

00:24:27   One doesn't have to be a recompiled version of the other, you can probably glue together two entirely different programs

00:24:33   and just rely on launch services to pick the right slice and run it.

00:24:36   So it's not really a universal app in the way we're thinking, and it relies on the fact that they're different architectures.

00:24:41   So if arm-max come out, they would all look at the arm64 slice and try to run it,

00:24:47   and that means that one binary would have to run on both OSes and I don't think that's currently possible.

00:24:52   Anyway, this is more like stupid MacTrip tricks kind of in the stupid pet tricks David Letterman thing.

00:25:00   I feel like I have to explain that reference so people don't think I'm saying it's stupid.

00:25:03   And I knew that one and now I'll never get credit for it.

00:25:06   I'm just explaining it so people think I'm not saying that it's stupid to do these things.

00:25:10   It's not stupid to do them, it's just a silly thing that you can do.

00:25:13   All these people who are experimenting in the guts of new operating systems in marzipan, this is another fun experiment,

00:25:19   which shows that the technological underpinnings of universal applications exist,

00:25:25   it's just a question of whether Apple will decide that's a thing they want to do.

00:25:28   Unifying the app stores into a single app store, kind of like they did, well, they didn't really do it with iOS and iPhone.

00:25:34   You still have that annoying experience when you're on the iPad and you're searching for applications

00:25:40   and you have to toggle to iPhone only because all it shows you is the iPad applications,

00:25:45   but some company like Instagram hasn't supported the iPad yet, so you have to switch to the iPhone one.

00:25:52   But there are universal iOS applications and maybe someday, if Apple wants to,

00:25:56   there could be universal iPad, iPhone, and Mac applications.

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00:28:00   John, tell me what's going on with your Google Home.

00:28:06   I don't know. I didn't know where to slot this in. I was going to put it in an Ask ATP question, but I decided not to put that question in.

00:28:13   Occasionally, I talk to my cylinders at home, and I had another impressive cylinder experience.

00:28:21   Although, I seem to be the only one who's on board the cylinder train.

00:28:24   So we needed to pick up a prescription at the drugstore, but we weren't sure when the drugstore closed.

00:28:36   And so we were having this discussion. We were in the kitchen, and my wife took out her phone to look up when does the Walgreens…

00:28:45   How late is the Walgreens open? But as soon as she took out her phone, I said, "Well, we shouldn't be doing that with our fingers like that.

00:28:53   Use your hands like a baby's toy." So I said, "Hey, Dingus, when is the Walgreens on such-and-such street closed today?"

00:29:03   Whatever the first thing occurred to me, again, I'm always testing these cylinders. I'm not going to think about how to say it. I'm just going to say blah.

00:29:10   I didn't know where it was. I don't know what the street address is, but I know it's on a road. It's not a major road.

00:29:16   When does the Walgreens on Main Street close? I expected this one to work. I'm still testing, because I didn't give an address, but it knows where I am.

00:29:29   And it knows that that street, in all of the Main Streets in the world… It's not Main Street, but in all the Main Streets in the world, it's probably the one that's close to my house.

00:29:39   And in all the Walgreens in the world, it's probably the Walgreens on that street that's close to my house.

00:29:44   And so it immediately gave me the answer. Oh, it closes at whatever hour. Right?

00:29:48   And my wife says, "No, well, you have fun with your stupid cylinder, but we don't need to know when the Walgreens close, because the pharmacy inside the Walgreens has different hours than the Walgreens itself."

00:29:58   And she continues going through her phone, thumb, thumb, thumb. So I said, "Hey, Dingus, when does the pharmacy inside the Walgreens on Main Street close?"

00:30:07   And it told me. And it was a different hour than when the store closed. Oh, fancy. And I was like, "Pretty good, Google Home. Pretty, pretty good."

00:30:17   I was impressed, and it was still faster than trying to look it up on your phone.

00:30:21   I'm also just impressed that the pharmacy hours of a Walgreens are knowable, because anyone who's ever tried to go to a Walgreens pharmacy close to its closing hours would know.

00:30:32   They seem to change their closing hours to the pharmacy daily with no rhyme or reason, and just randomly, "Oh, it always closes about five minutes before you got there," and especially when you really need something for your sick kid.

00:30:44   So anyway, we walked to the Walgreens, and there was indeed a person at the pharmacy, and there was no line, and we picked up our prescription and came back home.

00:30:51   Mission accomplished.

00:30:52   Good job, Google Home.

00:30:54   Alrighty. So there was a big story that was released—when was it? A few days ago. It doesn't really matter.

00:31:01   This is from a friend of the show, Matt Panzorino. He apparently got invited to Cupertino to talk with Eddy Cue and the Apple Maps team and get a kind of a debrief about what Apple is doing with Maps.

00:31:15   And the short, short version is they're rebuilding a lot of it, a lot of the underpinnings, including most especially, they're starting to use—or collect and use—their own mapping data.

00:31:28   And I haven't heard the entire conversation. I've only heard the first maybe 10 or 20 minutes, but Panzorino was on the talk show this week, and the brief parts of the show that I've heard already have been very good, which is of no great surprise because the two of them together are great.

00:31:43   But certainly this article on TechCrunch is worth reading, and basically Apple has said, "Look, we aren't in control of the map data in terms of the roadways and things like that."

00:31:57   That's all coming from TomTom and other third parties. And so because of that, this is kind of an untenable solution for us, in no small part because Apple loves to own the whole widget.

00:32:08   But they said, and this is quoting Panzorino, "There's also the matter of corrections, updates, and changes, entering a long loop of submission to validation to update when you're dealing with external partners.

00:32:19   A maps team would have to be able to correct roads, pathways, and other updating features in days or less, not months." The days or less thing being if they owned all the data.

00:32:29   So this is Apple saying in a very reasonably public way, "Hey, look, maps ain't the best, but we're working on it."

00:32:38   There's also a lot of interesting information about, and it's a little bit outside my comfort zone, but about how they're kind of doing the same sort of, and maybe not in a literal sense, but in spirit, the same sort of like IR spraying that the Face ID camera does on your iPhone 10 to kind of figure out the 3D landscape of a lot of these places.

00:32:58   As with all things, the world revolves around Silicon Valley, so it's going to start there later this year with iOS 12, and hopefully with a quickness expand out to the rest of the world, you know, where reality is after that.

00:33:10   Marco, thoughts?

00:33:12   This seems like pretty big news. I mean, when I first saw it, I'm like, "Wow, they dropped this in the summer?" And it seems like the reason why is because it's about to start rolling out. I think they said in the next iOS 12 beta, right?

00:33:28   I believe that's correct.

00:33:29   Probably this coming week or the week after that. So map data is one of those things that it has seemed for a long time that Apple just didn't, that they cared enough to get it kind of okay, but that they weren't really in the game of getting really good map data.

00:33:48   There was a post, I'll have to dig it up, it was about two or three months ago, I think it was on Medium, where a person familiar with mapping data basically did a really interesting comparison of Apple Maps data and Google Maps data.

00:34:02   Oh, yeah, that was great.

00:34:04   And even Google Maps data, how it's changing over time and how it's getting really sophisticated at identifying neighborhoods and places of interest and things like that and just how incredibly sophisticated Google mapping data is.

00:34:18   And that just seemed at the time that there was no catching up, that there was no way Apple could ever get there. And it also seemed like Apple didn't care. It seemed like Apple was happy with their okay map data they had before.

00:34:32   The best thing about this news for me is that it looks like they are taking it incredibly seriously and what they are aiming to do could be as good as Google's and in some areas better than Google's.

00:34:47   And that isn't to say Google can't do the same thing, you know, maybe they already are, I don't know. I honestly don't follow the map data world that closely.

00:34:54   But the fact that Apple is taking this so seriously and being so ambitious with a type of problem that historically only Google has been good at among those group of companies, you know, of like sending out cars to photograph street view stuff all across the world.

00:35:12   And having big data sets being merged together and applying machine learning and AI to try to figure out what things are and where things are and make things better.

00:35:24   That's the kind of thing that historically Google has been pretty good at and constantly getting better at but Apple has really not been.

00:35:31   And so to have this major effort be seemingly very well prioritized, very well resourced and that has been going on for so long and to know that Apple actually does have good data coming in.

00:35:45   You know, one of the big things about it is that it's using all the iPhone data basically of all the iPhones that are out there in the field.

00:35:51   That's genius and awesome and very powerful and that's something that Google can do with Android phones but it's probably, you know, it might be harder because of their relationship with Android, the manufacturers and everything else.

00:36:03   It might be more complicated there. So Apple is really having a, you know, they have a strong asset there with the install base of iPhones.

00:36:10   To be tackling a problem like this that Apple historically isn't willing to do and doesn't care that much about and isn't very good at that Google is, it's really cool to see that from Apple.

00:36:23   Because I think whatever decision was made back when they decided, "Oh, we need to own our own map data because this is a huge thing for the world we live in now."

00:36:32   That decision was a correct one and it sounds like that decision was made like four years ago which is even better.

00:36:38   One of the biggest things I hope for with this, I really hope A) that this pans out and is good and B) I hope they're doing the same thing to Siri.

00:36:52   That's an interesting point.

00:36:55   It's not that greedy.

00:36:56   If you go back a couple of years on this show, I'm pretty sure it's on this show. I might have gone back into Hypercritical but at any rate, I've been, had a historic complaint.

00:37:07   Back before we were concerned about Siri and machine learning and it was just more about iCloud.

00:37:14   Basically, Apple's not good at server-side stuff.

00:37:16   The client-side stuff is good but when it comes to server-side stuff, Apple just doesn't seem to have its heart in it or understand it or whatever.

00:37:24   I've been banging the drum for many, many years and I think maybe in the early days of this show, one of the things that I felt like was holding Apple back as compared to its big competitors,

00:37:36   specifically Google, was that Google from the very early days always seemed willing to take on a very large problem that seemingly had only Boiled the Ocean style solutions.

00:37:51   There's lots of books out there that aren't online and the Google style thing is, "I've got an idea. Why don't we just scan every book in the world?"

00:38:01   And that's like, "What do you mean? You're going to scan every book in the world? That's stupid. Let's say I come up with a clever solution or some way to work on this but you're not going to scan every book in the world."

00:38:10   And same thing with Street View. It would be cool if we had pictures of things from the street level to add to our maps.

00:38:18   And it's like, "Well, that's great but it's not like you can drive cars on every single street in the world."

00:38:22   And Google, in both of these cases and in many similar ones, Google was like, "Let's just do the Boiled the Ocean thing. Let's just take a picture of, let's drive cars on every single road in the United States. Let's just scan every book in the world."

00:38:36   Sometimes they don't really work out. I think the book scanning thing ran into some copywriting stuff or whatever.

00:38:40   But Google has never been afraid of the brute force solution to problems.

00:38:46   And yes, of course, there's a tech component and they get very smart about it and they build custom hardware to do it and just look at their data centers and now they're machine learning things.

00:38:54   What if we just make our own computers that perform exactly the way we want and we can get better density out of our rack spaces and go faster and make our own language and hire Chris Latner to adapt Swift to work with TensorFlow and Python.

00:39:09   They'll just do it. Even if it takes a huge number of people, even if it's going to take years and years, they haven't shied away for it. Whereas Apple has always been not interested in that type of solution.

00:39:22   I imagine if that comes up in a meeting, it's like, "Why don't we just take a picture of every road?" And they'd be like, "Is there someone we can partner with who's already done that?"

00:39:28   Because that's just is that really our core competency? Like, do we really want to hire thousands of people to sift through and manually edit map data? Do we want to scan every book in the world? Like, we don't want to do that stuff. Right.

00:39:42   And for certain problems, if you do the brute force solution and you embark on it early enough, you get results. Results that it's very difficult for someone else to match.

00:39:55   So back in the day, Google Street View, I don't think they were the first people to do a Street View type thing. There are third parties that did that and maybe they even partnered with in the beginning.

00:40:02   But Google just did it. They just said, "We're just going to go out and do it and we're going to keep doing it and we're going to do it better and better and the resolution is going to get better and we're going to incorporate satellite data and our own map data and our own Street View stuff."

00:40:14   And then they buy Waymo, you know, our own traffic data and they're just, even though it was a ridiculous big solution. And so by the time Apple realized that maps were a strategic thing, roundabout, I don't know, was this like the iPhone 3GS, 3G era?

00:40:33   And then maybe, you know, sometime around the early iPhone, Apple kind of realized the maps were important. They wanted to do their own maps and they kicked Google Maps off of the place of honor on their system and made their own maps.

00:40:46   And they seemed like they did it in a hurry because they, whatever, I forget what they were, they were negotiating with Google over map tiles and Google wanted to keep the good features to themselves.

00:40:55   And they were like, "Fine, we'll just do it ourselves." But of course you can't just do it yourself because it's really difficult. So instead what they did was partner with a bunch of third party mapping companies and slap something together and they called it Apple Maps and it wasn't great.

00:41:06   And what I had been complaining about all those years was like, there is no substitute for just like, I mean, if you want to look how Google did it, they just put tons of time and energy and money and resources into it.

00:41:20   There was no secret. You literally have to drive cars on every road in the United States. And what about the rest of the world? Yeah, you have to drive cars there. There is no shortcut.

00:41:29   Right? There's no magic solution. There's no partner you're going to find who does the grunt work. You just have to do it yourself. And then you have to work at it and you have to do it better and better.

00:41:36   So at some point, I guess four years ago, that conversation finally turned over at Apple and said, "You know what? We are going to do it ourselves. We're going to do the hard thing. We're going to get a bunch of vans. We're going to put a bunch of crap on them. We're going to collect all the data. We're going to make our own tools for sorting through it. We're going to do the Google thing."

00:41:53   And as far as I'm aware, this is pretty much the first time Apple has ever done the Google-style solution to a very large problem. And it took them a while to come around to it. And as we know, they've been working on it for four years. Maybe it's the first time they're doing anything like this for this kind of big data server-side thing.

00:42:14   And kind of in the same way that I bet Google has never done the manufacturing stuff that Apple has done, because Google tends to outsource that and doesn't really manufacture that many things even when they do outsource it. Whereas Apple is like, "We'll buy all the CNC machines in the entire world and we'll buy all of the flash memory." So this is the flip side of that.

00:42:31   So I'm really happy that that kind of solution, the Google-style big data solution, is now apparently the type of thing that Apple will do. And I really hope this project works out for them and doesn't turn into a four-year money pit that results in a solution that isn't actually that good.

00:42:52   So I'm happy about that. But the lead that Google has, like what we're comparing now is this thing that Apple's been working on for four years that's going to roll out in the Bay Area soon.

00:43:06   And we're comparing that to what Google has for the entire world right now. We don't know what Google's working on. Does Google's current set of cars right around, do they have lidar in four corners of the vehicle and are taking higher-res images with 3D mapping and everything?

00:43:23   Are Google's tools where the humans get to look and correctly place the number on the right place based on where the number is on the thing in the picture and have humans verifying that the machine learning has read the number correctly?

00:43:36   Or pulling off the road signs and making sure the symbols on the road signs are the same as on the map? All those things that are in this article, which I encourage everyone to read. There's lots of good details in there.

00:43:46   Is Google either already doing that or is the next version of Google Maps already doing that? We don't know. Like when you have a lead, the nature of the lead is this is what Apple's been working on for four years. What has Google been working on for four years?

00:44:00   So I don't think this lets Apple leapfrog ahead, but maybe it does. Maybe Google got complacent. Maybe Google's just been slowly increasing the resolution and thinking it's been fine. Or maybe Google is concentrating on an area that Apple's not thinking of. We'll see.

00:44:16   But I'm heartened to hear that Apple is, I'm going to say, biting the bullet or giving in or has had a change of heart about problems like this. It's great that they had the change of heart that they realized they needed on maps because it was so strategically important.

00:44:32   But this more broadly, like the approach, let's do it the Google way. For Google-type solutions, we'll do it the Google way because as far as we know, there is no other more clever way and partnering just doesn't work out.

00:44:45   And I echo what Marco said. If there's an equivalent to that for Siri, which I'm not sure there is because Siri is not quite the same thing, but if there's an equivalent to let's not try to be nimble and cute and partner and so on and so forth, let's just do whatever it is Google is doing to their assistant that lets me ask it when a pharmacy inside a Walgreens, inside an ill-specified Walgreens somewhere near me closes and gives me the answer immediately.

00:45:13   Whatever is causing that to happen, I want Apple to do that same thing.

00:45:17   Speaking of the pharmacy inside Walgreens, wasn't it Apple that's been doing a lot with like inside airports? And there's a term for this that's probably not as fancy as I think it is, but I thought it was Apple that was doing a whole lot of mapping inside buildings and like shopping malls and things of that nature.

00:45:33   Google's doing lots of inside building stuff. I think Apple has more interiors, but they're still behind Google. Again, speaking of things that Google Maps has already rolled out, Google has been mapping interior spaces for several years now.

00:45:47   I'm not sure how good it is because they don't use Google Maps for that purpose. But yeah, we'll put a link to that. I think someone put it in the chat. What was it called? The Google Maps moat, just showing exactly how far ahead Google Maps is.

00:46:01   This four-year plan that Apple's doing, it could catch them up. Like if you read the article and you say if Apple comes out with this and it's worldwide and it doesn't take another four years to roll out, they will be where Google is now, maybe slightly ahead.

00:46:14   Another interesting thing, speaking of worldwide, you know, always on worldwide, another interesting thing about that is that one of the things that's great about Siri is that it supports many more languages than the cylinders are not as fluent in as many languages as Apple's cylinders are.

00:46:32   And so it's funny to me that this is kind of a role reversal in that Google, just like you said, John, Google Maps are everywhere and they're great. And they're on the web, which Apple Maps sort of are to some degree.

00:46:44   But if I need to look up a, you know, driving directions or something like that, I'm not using Maps on my Mac. I'm using the Google Maps website.

00:46:53   It's just interesting to me that despite the fact that Apple's cylinders can speak many, many languages and are comparatively more available as far as I was aware or am aware in many other countries, here it is Google has this just way, way better off than Apple does, which is just interesting.

00:47:16   Someone always wants to bring up Siri's multi-language stuff and on the surface, like, oh, that's great, right? More languages is better than fewer, right? Because you can sell to more of the world.

00:47:25   And it's nicer if you're using a product that you don't have to use it in a language you're not familiar with for the people in the rest of the world who aren't monolingual, like so much of the U.S. is.

00:47:35   But whenever I hear that, I think, great, so now Siri can misunderstand people in multiple languages. And this relates to Marco talking about his home pods and how he liked them and how he complained about Siri.

00:47:48   I think we got a question. I didn't actually put it in the notes anywhere, but like Marco said, well, Siri is not that great. But, you know, if they had named timers, maybe it would help.

00:47:56   And what I was thinking is forget about timers and other things that cylinders can do, you know, just generic questions that I ask it all the time, right? Forget about that.

00:48:08   Just for music, it's actually a harder problem than you think, just ask Marco with his giant collection of fish songs, to be able to yell something to your cylinder and have it figure out what song in your music collection you want it to play.

00:48:22   Because I don't remember the exact titles of all my songs. And if you have a lot of fish and all the titles look similar, and you just want to say something like, you know, play last year's Christmas, play Meat Stick from last year's Christmas show, you know, or whatever, something like that should be enough.

00:48:37   A human could understand what you're talking about. A human with knowledge of Marco could find that, right?

00:48:43   Or naming a city and a year, just something like, and that's the area where the Google cylinder is, and the Amazon one, so that matter, beat out Siri.

00:48:54   Not that, oh, I can speak the language I want or whatever, just I want to just say something that vaguely refers to some song in my music collection or that I listened to the past, whatever, and I wanted to figure out what that is.

00:49:06   And my experience with my HomePod is very often, even when I know the exact title because it has a weird word or a homonym in it or there's another similarly named song, or there's one in Apple Music that it wants to play instead of mine, just getting it to play a song that I know I have in my collection, even though I'm speaking English and it understands English, so the language support is there, I can't get it to do what I want.

00:49:29   And that's just with the narrow domain of telling it songs to play.

00:49:34   When I think about how far Siri has to come, it's stuff like that, things that Siri already does, and it does it in more languages, that I just can't get it to be successful because I have to be very precise or because song titles are weird and a lot of them sound like each other.

00:49:50   It's like, "Luggage at the airport," "Bags look alike," so check your—like, song titles are very often alike, and it's very frustrating when you take three tries and it keeps playing some song that you didn't realize has the same title by a different artist and you try to say the artist's name and it thinks the artist's name is part of the song and it's all confusing and you just want to pull it off on your phone and scroll, scroll, scroll and pick it because you know that will work.

00:50:09   And maybe it's unfair of me, but every time I think of multi-language support, I'm like, "Great, so I can have that experience in Italian, too. That's wonderful."

00:50:17   I actually ran into this exact scenario, which was my fault, to be clear, but a human would have understood it.

00:50:24   In Italian?

00:50:25   Yeah, that's it. No, I was on a run and I decided mid-run that I would like to change what I was listening to, which is a terrible idea because then I'm relying on my AirPods, which are connected to my cellular Apple Watch, while I'm huffing and puffing and panting.

00:50:42   And I kept trying to play this album, which I thought was called "Live at the Troubadour" or something like that, which was a live album, not by Dave Matthews for the record, by Kevin Gilbert.

00:50:53   But anyways, it turns out the name of the album is actually called "Welcome to Joytown."

00:50:58   But if I had told someone who was familiar with Kevin Gilbert's work, "Oh, I want to play Thud live," they would have understood, given the context, what that meant.

00:51:06   And that's a very hard problem for a computer to solve. I'm not saying it's unreasonable that Siri couldn't figure it out.

00:51:11   It was freaking infuriating in the heat of the moment because it basically just shrugged and moved on.

00:51:18   But once I realized, "Oh, the name of the album is actually 'Welcome to Joytown,' okay, that one's kind of on me."

00:51:25   But golly, was it infuriating at the time. And so we do have a long way to go, just like you said, Jon.

00:51:30   And the Google solution to that, by the way, speaking of things that Apple-- I don't want to get back to the privacy angle for Apple Maps, but the Google solution to this type of thing.

00:51:38   The way Google is successful, maybe the way it does the pharmacy stuff, certainly the way it would figure out what you were talking about with an album or whatever, is that it has so many different places where people train it to do the right thing.

00:51:51   So for that particular one, I bet if you typed in, like, you know, "play Thud live" or "album Thud live" or whatever it is that you're saying into a Google search box.

00:52:04   Because lots of people have searched for that or lots of people have linked to it with link text that is similar to that or blah, the magic of the Google search algorithm.

00:52:12   And not like, people are feeding it. They say, "When people in general say something like that, they usually mean this thing."

00:52:21   And I have to imagine that Google cylinders are fed by the information about people doing stuff like that with all of Google's products, and that feeds into its ability to understand, basically, you said a thing, other people have typed or said similar things, and when they have done it, they have clicked on the search results or whatever that leads to this thing, so I think I know what you mean.

00:52:45   If it was just an isolation, it was just a cylinder and me, that would be much more difficult. But Google has this wealth of knowledge coming from, I have to imagine, Google search, but perhaps other things as well, that feeds into their server-side implementation of whatever the cylinder is connecting to, that lets it figure out what I meant because other people have said similar things.

00:53:06   So you don't really, like that's why I was amazed when I, I mean, I was honestly, I don't, it's like a magic, I don't know how the cylinder does it. Like, the questions will come up at the dinner table and I will just ask the cylinder totally confident that it will have no idea what I'm talking about, and it somehow gives me the answer, probably because other little kids at the dinner table have asked the same question, and I don't even know how it does it.

00:53:27   But when I ask Siri, I get the feeling that Siri is in a, you know, locked in a stone tower. No one is allowed to talk to Siri, and it's just me and Siri, and I send my little note up in a little bucket on a little scroll of paper, Siri looks at it and just goes, "I don't know what that is," and just does something random or sends it back down.

00:53:48   Siri has no friends at Siri. No one is feeding Siri information about like, "Guess what, Siri?" And by the way, it's just my private Siri that is doing this, right? But each person is talking to their own private Siri.

00:53:59   No one is saying, you know, "In the past hour, 500,000 people have said this, and they've meant this. So if someone else says this, it's a good bet that they mean this other thing," right?

00:54:12   That's what it feels like, and I think that Apple needs to leverage other sources of information to get it smarter.

00:54:19   Now, on that front, on Maps, you know, and they are who's into this, they're leveraging iPhones. They've got tons of iOS devices. iOS devices have GPSs in them. Wouldn't it be great if we could use those GPSs to feed into mapping data?

00:54:30   So you could see where people are going. You can see how fast they're going. You can improve your map data, even down to the point where they're saying like, you know, "What about walking paths through parks? If they build a new walking path through a park, how can you get that updated on the map data?"

00:54:42   Well, you'll see a bunch of little GPS dots moving along a new path, and then you can feed that information through to a human who will say, "Yep, that's a new path," and draw it on a map, and it could be there the next day.

00:54:51   Apple's unique angle on this, and I'm sure Google does the same thing. Apple's unique angle on this is, of course, privacy, in that, don't worry, we're not tracking where everybody goes.

00:55:02   Like, "Oh, so if I carry an iPhone around, Apple knows where everywhere I go?" No, Apple is not just anonymizing the data, so it doesn't know that it's you going from place to place, but that it refuses to track data from the beginning or the end of your journey.

00:55:16   It only tracks it in the middle, and then it interleaves your little middle segments with other people's little middle segments, and so it still gets total coverage, but it can never say that any given anonymous person even went from point A to B.

00:55:28   They can only say that an anonymous person traveled this tiny segment in the middle of their journey, and another anonymous person traveled this tiny segment, but it has no idea who these people are, and it has no idea where they started, and it has no idea where they ended up.

00:55:40   And that is an Apple-style way to get this information. The Google-style way is we're just going to tell you all your GPS data and Google has all the information about exactly where you go, and it's not even anonymized, and they know you went from point A to point B, because all that stuff is so much more lax.

00:55:55   I think it was Margo mentioned that Google might have more difficulty because of the sort of heterogeneous world of the Android ecosystem, but I think it's easier because I bet lots of people who sell you Android-powered phones have no qualms about just sending all your GPS data all the time.

00:56:10   Like, maybe they don't want to send it to Google because it's a thing, but I bet if you install Google's apps, they have that Google's apps have access to your information and they'll just send it.

00:56:17   I mean, I'm sure they'll anonymize it. I don't think they're trying to spy on you, but I don't think they're going to the same lengths as Apple. Or if they do, they're certainly not bragging about it, which is a mistake, because if they are doing it, they should be bragging about it.

00:56:27   But yeah, I mean, isn't that what Waymo is based on? Seeing other people who are running Waymo and how fast they're going, and then it can show you all the traffic stuff?

00:56:34   I think you're thinking of Waze.

00:56:36   Yeah, sorry, not Waymo. Waymo is the self-driving car. Waze.

00:56:38   Both Apple and Google have traffic data, but I'm not sure if Apple has come from a third party or whatever.

00:56:44   So again, I'm glad Apple is doing the thing they seem not to be doing in other aspects or can't do in other aspects. If Google's getting this information from its Google search engine, Apple has no equivalent of that to feed its smart cylinders, which is a shame.

00:56:58   But Apple does have an equivalent of all the phones. They have all their own phones that are out there, and they're being very careful about it. They only do it when you're running a navigation, so it's not like if you're just walking around with your phone, it's sending GPS data to Apple. It's only doing it if you're also using maps.

00:57:12   It's so restrictive if you read this article by Panzareno. It's so restrictive that it almost amazes me that they have enough data, right? Because it's not the beginning, not the end, anonymized, interleaved with other people, and only if you're running maps.

00:57:25   Who runs maps when they commute from home to work? Like, you don't. You know the way to go. So those people are never going to be contributing any map data, whereas the Google ones, I can imagine tons of Android devices just sending GPS information when the phone is off or playing music, because no one's stopping them from doing that.

00:57:41   Whatever Google is doing, Apple would be wise to do it, but in a more privacy-conscious way, and then brag about it. And that's exactly what this mapping article is about.

00:57:51   I don't know that people would not use maps during their commute. I take your point about knowing how to get from home to work, and I had, well, by the time people are listening to this, had a very small commute, but there are a lot of people that I know that have longer commutes that rely on something like Waze in order to make sure that one of the several routes between them and their office, whatever one they choose, isn't the slow one.

00:58:18   And there's lots of traffic. Like, take the DC metro area, for example, and I think Boston is very much like this as well. There are a few different major arteries through the DC area, and it very well could be that the one that you prefer to take is clogged today, so you really need to take your alternate one.

00:58:38   And without having some sort of navigation software to tell you that, it can be really tough. Like, actually, a great example I have personally about this is my mother-in-law lives just maybe 15, 20 minutes away, but it's a very short trip up 95.

00:58:52   And 95 is very often a parking lot going northbound at any point during the weekend. And so every time we get in the car to go to my mother-in-law's, one of us will always at least glance at like Google or Apple Maps or Waze to verify that we can take 95 and don't need to take US1, which runs parallel to it.

00:59:11   And more often than not, we end up on the alternate approach instead. And so I wonder a couple things like, A, you know, I guess we had said that if you're not actively navigating, then Apple will not capture that data.

00:59:25   But do you have to be actively navigating in Apple Maps? Because I would assume that there's some amount of system-level API calls that are given to mapping apps in such a way that they can interrupt audio.

00:59:40   And say, Marco, you've dealt with this to some degree, interrupt audio and duck it and so on and so forth. So could Apple figure out when Waze is navigating and capture some of that GPS data that it has to provide to Waze anyway?

00:59:52   Maybe that's part of getting into CarPlay for navigation apps this year.

00:59:55   Oh, that's another interesting point. That's a really good point.

00:59:57   I mean, also, like, I am one of those people who uses Waze to go to work.

01:00:04   Define work? I'm assuming that's the beach house.

01:00:06   Yeah, work is what I set my work thing to in Waze and the Tesla navigation app, which is the ferry terminal at the beach.

01:00:13   Because it's the place that I go most often where I need traffic routing, because it's across New York and Long Island, and so there's tons of weird traffic stuff that happens all the time.

01:00:23   And I always take in weirdo routes. And, you know, they give you a home and a work, and I have no other ideas of what to set the work to. So I set it to the ferry terminal.

01:00:30   So does Waze have a mode where it doesn't tell you, like, take this turn, take that turn, but only tells you, like, oh, here's the alternate route you should take?

01:00:39   And only, like, if you take the normal route, in other words, it doesn't say anything to you.

01:00:43   But only if it sees that your normal route is going to be a problem, then it navigates you the other route?

01:00:47   Because I don't want to be told, like, turn here, turn there, because sometimes they're a little chatty if you know where you're going.

01:00:53   Well, I mean, part of it is you can just turn off those audio prompts, and you can leave on audio prompts for things like, you know, police reported ahead, and accident reported ahead, and stuff like that.

01:01:01   And that might be nice, just because it gives you an idea of, like, if there is, like, an unexpected disruption to traffic, like an accident or something, like, you don't really know that usually until it's too late, until you get there and you're slowed up with everybody else.

01:01:13   So I would, you know, I would really consider actually doing it all the time. The other thing is, when you set something as your work address, which I run into because it's kind of funny for me,

01:01:22   it will send you push notifications, like, you know, that morning, if there's really bad traffic, like unexpectedly bad, like, it'll tell you, hey, just so you know, it might take you a little bit longer to get to work today.

01:01:35   Yeah, Apple has that with the proactive thing. Occasionally, I think it's came in iOS Love, and I'll look at my phone, and it will say, like, you know, or in the morning, it'll say, your commute to work looks good, you know, should take you such and such minutes, or like, it looks like there's traffic on your way to work.

01:01:51   It's not, it's not like navigating me, it's not turning on maps, but it's one of those notifications that lets you know, either that things look fine, or that, you know, that thing is going to take you an extra hour to get to work.

01:02:01   So consider an alternate route, and then it would still be up to me to say, oh, I better open Waze or open Apple Maps and see, or open Google Maps and see if it can provide me an alternate route.

01:02:10   But, you know, that's another example of Apple's on-device learning. It sees, every day, it seems you wake up and leave the house at this time and go to the same place, I guess, you know, that's your work, and this is your home, and this is a commute you do a lot.

01:02:22   And then I can tell you that it looks like it's going to be fine this morning, and you should be there in X minutes.

01:02:27   Alright, that proactive stuff, I've, and that doesn't have to use any server-side stuff, it's all on-device, there's no privacy angle, and so that would be a perfect place for them to insert this kind of like, do you want me to navigate you the alternate way, and I just press a button and it fires up Waze, or Apple Maps in that mode I was saying, where it only tells me when to deviate or whatever.

01:02:50   Yeah, I don't know, I don't think it does that, but I don't know.

01:02:53   It would be a difficult problem, because it really just wants to navigate you all the time, because it's like, well, I didn't want to say anything because you know this way, but I'm just going to tell you the deviation. I was just trying to avoid the situation, like, even when you take long trips, like if I'm going someplace, coming back from someplace, it's like, at a certain point, you're like, okay, I know the way home from here, but no device in my life understands that I know the way home from here, right? And that's a difficult problem.

01:03:14   Once I get back onto 95, I don't need navigation anymore, so there's always some point in the trip, especially on the way home, where we turn off the GPS device to say, okay, well, I got it from here.

01:03:26   All right, anything else on Maps?

01:03:28   There was another article that I didn't get to, unfortunately, I'm just remembering it now, it was probably buried in Instapaper somewhere. So there was the original article, Panzorino talks to all the Apple people and shows you pictures from inside of the weird van and talks about everything, right?

01:03:42   Then there was a Q&A article of questions about that other article, which I didn't read, but we should find for the show notes. Maybe one of the questions is exactly what we were just asking, you know, exactly when does my data contribute to Apple Maps?

01:03:54   Can I turn it on and off, so on and so forth? Maybe that's in the Q&A.

01:03:57   I don't know. But it is worth looking at the Justin O'Baron post, which is the one we were referring to that we thought was on Medium, where he goes through and shows the differences between Apple and Google. And it's a long post, but it has a lot of visual aids that are really, really well done.

01:04:14   And I'd forgotten about this post until I think it was Marco that brought it up. But it is definitely worth reading both Panzorino's post and this one as well. They're both really, really good.

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01:06:10   There's a rumor that came out in the last few days that new AirPods are coming, which in and of itself is not a particularly big surprise, but there are some surprises within.

01:06:23   Additionally, there are apparently going to be over-the-ear headphones from Apple, not Beats, mind you, Apple. This is reported at Bloomberg.

01:06:31   A few quotes, "Apple's working on new AirPods with noise cancellation and water resistance," the people said.

01:06:37   "Apple's trying to increase the range that AirPods can work away from the iPhone or iPad." You know, Macs are a thing too, you guys.

01:06:44   One of the people said, "You won't be swimming in them, though. The water resistance is mainly to protect against rain and perspiration," the people said.

01:06:51   The people are very, very gross.

01:06:53   The Bloomberg style guide requires them to say, "The people," and it's, ugh, I don't, ugh. Whatever the Bloomberg style guide is doing to the writing about Apple rumors, it's bad.

01:07:05   No argument. It continues, "Slated for 2019, the earbuds will likely cost more than the existing $160 pair, and that could push Apple to segment the product line like it does with iPhones," one of the people said.

01:07:17   "Apple is also working on a wireless charging case that's compatible with the upcoming AirPower charger," should it ever ship, but that's neither here nor there.

01:07:25   They're working on it.

01:07:27   The company has also internally discussed—

01:07:29   It's still 2018.

01:07:30   That's true, "has internally discussed adding biometric sensors to future AirPods like a heart rate monitor to expand its health-related hardware offerings beyond the Apple Watch," another person said.

01:07:38   "The current AirPods will be refreshed later this year with a new chip and support for hands-free Siri activation."

01:07:43   And in our final poll quote, "There are over-ear headphones coming from Apple, too. Those will compete with pricing models from Bose and Sennheiser.

01:07:51   They will use Apple branding and be a higher-end alternative to the company's Beats line.

01:07:55   Apple originally intended to introduce the headphones by the end of 2018, but has faced development challenges," go figure, "and is now targeting a launch as early as next year," the people said.

01:08:04   The people, John. The people.

01:08:05   They asked not to be identified, the people, because they were talking about unreleased products.

01:08:10   Not a lot of this is terribly surprising to me. I'm a little surprised at the notion that they would split the AirPod line.

01:08:18   I don't think it's unreasonable, but I don't know if it's really necessary, if you will. It just doesn't seem to me like that's really constructive.

01:08:27   But hey, they basically print money, and maybe this is why.

01:08:31   I don't understand how these rumors things don't, like, they present all this information with equal certainty.

01:08:41   Certainly not entire certainty for a while, but equal certainty.

01:08:43   And history has shown that the things you're going to know the least about are pricing and marketing-related stuff.

01:08:52   Because there's no reason for almost anybody to know that, and Apple can change its mind about it up until the very last minute.

01:08:59   So anytime I see any speculation about what a product is going to be named or how much it's going to cost years out, ahead of when it's shipping,

01:09:06   it's like, you have to couch that, you have to set, like, why even mention that?

01:09:10   Because you know your certainty is terrible on it. You're never going to exactly guess the price or the name a year and a half away.

01:09:16   The story is, oh, new AirPods are coming, and maybe you got some features like water resistance and noise canceling.

01:09:23   That's the story. The story is not, oh, and we think they might be more expensive.

01:09:26   Why do you think they might be more expensive? Do you have someone who says, I am the sole desider for the price of these things, and I'm deciding a year out this is how much they're going to cost?

01:09:34   I really doubt that. So, like, is it just made up? You just think, well, it seems like they should be more expensive?

01:09:39   Or someone thought they might be more expensive? Like, if you believe in any of the sourcing on this, I would totally believe that they could get the noise canceling and water resistant parts right.

01:09:48   And of course, the wireless charging thing, Apple already announced, so that's not even a rumor.

01:09:53   It's a rumor when it's going to ship. But the pricing and the segmentation where you were just talking about, Casey, I put no stock on that whatsoever.

01:10:00   Not to say that it isn't true. It's just that this far out, don't pay any attention. You'll find out when you find out.

01:10:06   And it's interesting to speculate about, but I would not put that alongside the other information in this article, as if we know it just as well as we know about the two major features.

01:10:15   It also might just be like, you know, Bloomberg is ostensibly a financial focused publication. So this might just be like, you know, what they really have is, you know, they bought Mark Gurman and so they have a really good line on Apple rumors.

01:10:29   But they still need to like couch it as financial news. But anyway, overall, like, you know, all the pricing and branding speculation aside, which I agree is probably unreliable.

01:10:41   This is pretty cool. This is good news. First of all, I think, you know, I think guessing names for these things is super fun.

01:10:48   Obviously, noise cancellation headphones are air plugs. And obviously, over ear headphones are air heads. I mean, come on.

01:10:55   Air heads is good.

01:10:56   There is a reason why there's multiple kinds of headphones out there in the world. There's a huge market for headphones.

01:11:01   Even before Beats, which had a pretty large influence. But even before that, like, there's all sorts of types of headphones.

01:11:07   There's the air plugs kind where, you know, you have like what you have Casey, like the in ear monitors that really seal well, that could solve a problem that AirPods have, which is that you really can't use them on planes because earbuds just are not that there's no sound isolation.

01:11:21   They don't seal well in your ear. And so in a very loud place like a plane or even like a subway station, like you really can't hear those very well.

01:11:30   That's what I was thinking of with the noise cancellation. How can you have noise canceling earbuds if they're the same shape as the current AirPods? What good does noise canceling do?

01:11:39   I'm guessing they have to be basically in your monitor style where like where they do seal where they you know, they look kind of like earplugs like that, where they really go in your ear and have the little rubber gasket that seals like that is probably what that is.

01:11:51   I can't imagine noise cancellation would make any sense at all in an earbud style, which is what the current ones are. So I'm guessing air plugs are noise cancellation.

01:11:59   So translating through rumor-ese, I'm thinking that if they really were the little like jam into your ear canal things that that would have been mentioned in the article, but it wasn't.

01:12:09   So now now I'm thinking that this tidbit of information is that the new AirPods basically look exactly the same as the current AirPods and the noise cancellation is more about being able to cancel out background noise better so it can hear you say, hey, dingus, to do the hands-free activation.

01:12:28   Oh, maybe.

01:12:29   Again, you have to it's like reading the tea leaves is like if someone heard this and didn't really understand or think about it very well, they would just write the sentence and not really think about how can you have noise canceling AirPods and see your conclusion was that noise canceling is is the Bose style one and so it has to be an ear.

01:12:43   But my conclusion is they're very confused and it's really just about rejecting background noise better than the current ones do.

01:12:48   I mean, it could be both ultimately like as soon as I heard noise cancellation AirPods, I thought in your monitor style and in fact Apple used to make those you remember like back during the wired days.

01:12:59   It was like 70 or $80.

01:13:01   They had like a higher end version of like the iPod headphones and I don't think they sold them for very long and I forget what they were called.

01:13:07   Stephen would know. Sorry, Stephen, but they did sell those or they wouldn't be the very first time they ever made them. But you know, that's that's a really good balance of, you know, still being pretty portable still being nice and small and you know, nice looking but being usable on a plane.

01:13:23   A lot of people use those for that reason. Of course, really, you know, the king of noise cancellation for planes usually is over ears.

01:13:29   That's why you have, you know, the Bose quiet comfort series and everything like that.

01:13:32   I think those are the real big sellers by the way, my favorite among those right now is the Sony WH 1000 and Mark 2 whatever the Sony $300 over ear headphone is that begins with WH and ends with, you know, 1000 X Mark 2 because it's comfortable and they finally fix the sound anyway for Apple to get into this market is a no brainer.

01:13:54   It's a high profit market that Apple has expertise in. I don't know about the noise cancellation part, but they have expertise in headphone design in the manufacturing of such things, the design of such things, the W two stuff or W one stuff will help the Bluetooth, you know, awesome custom pairing stuff and all that stuff there.

01:14:10   It's a way for them to make a lot of money on another consumer electronic device that people will give them $300 for. Again, just like last week, they're really good at making $300 nicely designed white things that charge and do something cool. Like that's basically Apple's mo these days.

01:14:25   So, of course they're working on this, it would be stupid of them not to for the same reason that they've made all their other headphones because people want them. Other brands are currently serving those markets and making lots of money and Apple wants in on that. And I think Apple could do a really good job if they wanted to and their recent efforts in audio engineering in general, you know, the speakers on the iPhone, the HomePod, the improvements to the speakers and the max and like the iPad Pro speaker like they're doing so well.

01:14:54   In speaker and headphone design recently, expanding that line is a no brainer to me. So I'm looking forward to it. I also just hope that maybe there's a type of AirPods that I can actually use because the current ones just physically don't fit me. I'm actually not holding that much hope on that because Apple is not so good at making differently sized things for different needs.

01:15:15   They tend to favor a one size fits all approach where all is always defined to be everything but my needs. And, you know, typically to make comfortable over ear headphones, they typically need to be a little bit big. And big headphones don't look nice. And Apple won't make something that doesn't look nice. So I'm a little skeptical like their over ear headphones are probably going to have ear cups that are a little bit too small and a little bit too shallow for good comfort.

01:15:43   And I'm worried the AirPods are going to just not fit me because they never fit me. But I'm still excited just to see what these products are just in case one of them actually fits me and works for me because I would like the convenience of W1 stuff. I would like some of the design of Apple stuff. And I'm never incredibly happy with my airplane headphones at any given time.

01:16:04   One of the things I do with my noise canceling airplane headphones is stop the podcast or the music or whatever so I can talk to people and adjust the volume. And I do all that with a little remote that's hanging down from a cord and Apple's ones won't have a cord.

01:16:21   And I really really really don't want to say, "Hey Dingus, stop. Hey Dingus, volume up. Hey Dingus, volume down." Because that is ridiculous. No matter how well it hears me, I just want a button to press. And I would imagine that not only will these not have a cord with the button thing on it, but they won't have buttons on the ear cups either.

01:16:39   Maybe if I'm lucky, no, there won't even be any other remote. I'll have to do it on my phone or I'll have to do it by saying, "Hey Dingus." And both of those solutions are not great. So as much as I might be interested in these, I'm more likely to replace my current Bose headphones with whatever that Sony one you're suggesting is because I feel like speaking of small ear cups, I think the Bose ear cups are a little small for me and I would like something bigger and smushier.

01:17:03   I have yet to find anybody who finds both the Bose QC35 series and the Sony WH-1000 Mark II comfortable. Almost everyone finds one of them extremely comfortable and usually not the other one. So it's kind of a personal fit thing.

01:17:21   I personally think the Sony is the more comfortable one, but a lot of people think the Bose is the more comfortable one. It depends on your head shape, your ear shape, how tightly you have the headband set, where exactly you wear them, whether you shift them back or forward or whatever else.

01:17:35   But I find the Sony is extremely comfortable. The reason why I started using them is because the previous version of them was terrible. Before it was WH, when it was just the Sony something, the MDR-1000X, that's what it was.

01:17:48   That version was rough because the sound was really bad. It just basically lopped off all high frequencies and it just sounded muddy and terrible.

01:17:57   But I started bringing them on planes anyway because among all my Bluetooth plane headphones, they were just the most travel friendly and the most comfortable. They folded down the nicest, they had the nice little travel case, they had great battery life.

01:18:09   The only thing they don't have is double pairing where they compare to multiple devices. They don't have that and that annoys me. But you could turn off the noise cancellation, which I liked a lot, and it was just extremely comfortable.

01:18:19   And then the WH-1000 Mark II came out and it just improved the sound. It didn't change that much else, but it made the sound better and it gave you an app that you could tweak the sound with and I was able to set it to be a little bit better even than stock.

01:18:32   They still aren't the best sounding headphones that I've heard, not by a long shot, but they now sound good enough that they're really good for travel because they're comfortable and everything else with them is great.

01:18:41   Yeah, the Bose ones I find are pretty comfortable, but around about hour four or five, I start to notice that they're more and kind of have to, you know, I kind of wish I had more comfortable ones. Maybe that's true of all headphones, but you know, I keep waiting for the Bose ones to break or something, but so far, no luck.

01:18:57   They never do. What Bose tends to lose out on usually in the company, Bose is usually very good about initial comfort. When you first put them on, they feel amazing. Bose is usually really good about lightweight as well. Like they really have good design for comfort.

01:19:13   Where they usually fall down is the thickness of the rim around the ear pad. The part that actually touches your head is actually kind of a skinny contact patch around that circle. And so usually, like the other headphones I like that are very comfortable at the Sony's, you have a wider circle that presses against your head.

01:19:34   And so the weight's distributed a little bit better, a little bit more comfortable. So that's usually where that difference happens. Whereas it, but the Sony's are, I believe a little bit heavier. So if the lightweight is what you really want, go for the Bose.

01:19:48   If long term comfort, like wear them for an entire plane ride comfort, if that's not working out for you on the Bose, try the Sony's because I actually find the Sony's pretty good at that.

01:19:57   I'm surprised headphone makers don't account for another factor in my comfort that I bet a lot of people share, which is that I wear glasses and glasses go behind your ears.

01:20:07   And so very often if you put in any kind of headphone, first of all, the, the whatever, whatever they call it, the stem or I don't know, the thing that goes back by your by your ear, the pad presses against it because it's away from like the temples of your head. Right.

01:20:21   And also there's a little thing tucked behind your ear. So if the ear cup presses your ear against the plastic thing that's behind it, that will become irritating. And I'm not the only person in the world who wears glasses. I would love a headphone that had like a little, I don't know, like a little channel or a notch cut out or something that allowed the ear, you know, that it didn't, didn't press the, what the hell are these things called?

01:20:43   Now we know the, the secret Apple feature to kill all features, a notch.

01:20:47   That's right. They've got it on the phones. They should put anyway. Yeah. So, because then it wouldn't be pressing my glasses against the side of my head because there would be a little notch cut out for them.

01:20:55   They are good at notches these days.

01:20:57   Getting back to your one size fits all thing. Like, you know, if, if the AirPods don't fit your ear, you know, tough luck because that's the only shape that they make.

01:21:04   But every time I see these shove into your ear canal things, I think, isn't that an even harder thing to get right? Because like the, the AirPods, like they kind of rest in your ear and if they fall out of your ear, that's bad.

01:21:18   Or if they're uncomfortable, but like, it's not an exact fit. They just kind of have a few little areas where they contact your ear and hopefully it'll work.

01:21:25   But this thing, you have to jam right in there. So if it's the wrong size, like if your ear canal is much smaller or much bigger,

01:21:31   there's not a lot of leeway when you're actually jamming it in your ear. I think you'd have a much higher chance of resting a rigid plastic thing sort of in the outside of your ear than jamming something into your ear canal.

01:21:43   I've never wanted to try this because I just assumed, A, I'm kind of grossed out by it. But B, I'm assuming I don't want to stick a one size fits all thing into my ear canal.

01:21:52   Well, almost always these things come with multiple ear tip sizes or you can get them really easily aftermarket.

01:21:56   So usually they'll come with at least two, at least a large and a small or a slightly firmer or a slightly looser. There's always minor variations and you can usually get aftermarket ones also.

01:22:09   If the stock ones just aren't comfortable for you or don't fit you right or you want a different color or whatever else, you can usually go on Amazon for 20 bucks, get even more different types of tips for these things just in case you want them.

01:22:21   So that's the advantage of something like this. The regular AirPods and the general shape of earbuds don't really lend themselves that much to things being wrapped around them aftermarket.

01:22:32   People do, people try. There are a few products that are basically little silicone sleeves that wrap around the current AirPods and pad them a little bit.

01:22:44   Which also unfortunately makes them so you can't charge them. So I don't really know why people would buy those or use those.

01:22:52   It doesn't help if they're too big obviously.

01:22:54   Right, exactly. So the AirPods don't really leave a lot of leeway for custom sizing but in your monitors do because the construction is almost always like little tiny thing in the middle that has the driver and then a big rubbery cap that goes on top of it.

01:23:10   And usually those things are interchangeable with multiple sizes.

01:23:13   Real time follow up, the part on the glasses that goes back behind your ears is apparently called the temples.

01:23:18   That's the part of your face though.

01:23:20   I know, it's called the temples. The things that fold behind your glasses. The temple tips are the ones that curve around behind your ears and the big straight things that go back from your glasses towards your ears. Those are called the temples according to this one page on the internet.

01:23:32   I would just call them the sticks.

01:23:34   The sticks, yeah. My sticks are broken.

01:23:37   Yeah, you got the glasses and you got the sticks of the glasses.

01:23:39   How do you not wear glasses yet? Do you not wear glasses at all Marco?

01:23:42   Not yet. No, I lucked out. I lost a bunch of other battles but I lucked out on the eyesight thing.

01:23:47   So I'm doing okay on that. My sister is a few years older than me and she just started having to wear reading glasses recently. So that's probably in my future.

01:23:57   Yeah, I can't wait to see how it affects all of your headphones.

01:24:01   That's a good question.

01:24:02   The idea of contacts, if I need to go that direction, is not very appealing to me. So I would probably go the glasses route. So we'll see.

01:24:14   So as someone who has to wear contacts in order to see anything, you are right to say that contacts do not sound appealing because especially before I started wearing contacts, there was no part of wearing contacts that I was excited about except being able to see.

01:24:33   That being said, if you can stick with it, yeah, small thing, if you can stick with it for like a week or two, and I wear hard contacts, which almost nobody these days has to do.

01:24:43   They're really not that bad. So I would encourage you, if the time ever comes, to give it a shot, but you have to stick with it for a while. It's not one of those things where you put the contacts in and you're like, "Oh, wow, I can see and this feels amazing."

01:24:56   It's not like that at all. But I wouldn't necessarily toss them out without having given them an honest crack, especially since you would presumably be able to use soft contacts, which are way, way, way, way, way, way, way more comfortable from what I've been told.

01:25:11   But I would give anything to be able to go back to glasses. I wish so badly I could just wear glasses again, but unfortunately I can't.

01:25:19   Soft contacts have come a long way. I started wearing them in high school, and over the years they have improved tremendously to the point where now they are so much more comfortable than they used to be.

01:25:32   But that said, I used to wear them every single day in high school, and over time I have worn them less and less to the point now where I only wear them a couple days a year.

01:25:46   If I have to do some kind of sporting thing or something where I don't want to have glasses or some things where I want to wear non-prescription sunglasses. I do have prescription sunglasses, but sometimes I don't wear non-prescription ones.

01:25:56   But in my old age or whatever it is, I find that I can only wear them for the middle, main, active part of the day. Eventually my eyes just start to feel tired and I just need to get them the hell out.

01:26:10   Which is not how I was in high school. In high school I'd put them on in the morning and take them out before I went to bed, and that was fine.

01:26:16   So maybe I'm just getting old, but the contacts are getting better. The contacts are getting lighter weight and thinner and more breathable and all that good stuff, and yet somehow I'm able to wear them for less and less time without my eyes feeling dry and tired.

01:26:30   So I don't know if this is just another fun side effect of aging, but as the contacts have gotten better, I have gotten worse at wearing them. Less tolerant of the discomfort so I just wear glasses all the time.

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01:28:37   Let's do some Ask ATP. Ishan Sharma writes, "Any word on Mojave having automatic or scheduled dark mode? It would be cool if it could trigger like night shift.

01:28:49   Having to manually toggle it on when I work outside or in bright surroundings would be a hassle."

01:28:54   I am not aware of anything like this, but I'm sure something could be done to make this happen. And one of you, I'm assuming John, has put some AppleScript in the show notes here, so do you want to tell me about that?

01:29:07   Yeah, I don't know about the time thing too. I mean, it seems like it's such an obvious thing that Apple might already have it in the operating system. I haven't run any of the Mojave beta, so I'm not sure.

01:29:16   But if it turns out that Apple doesn't have this feature in there, it's very easy to write an AppleScript. We'll put it in the show notes because it's like a one-liner AppleScript, which in typical silly verbose AppleScript way it is.

01:29:28   "Tell application system events to tell appearance preferences to set dark mode to not dark mode." That's just a toggle.

01:29:35   That's just a toggle because you're setting dark mode to not dark mode, which is basically set dark mode to the inverse of the current setting. You're probably also set to true or false.

01:29:42   But then again, it being AppleScript, I honestly have no idea how to express a Boolean because it's the programming language that is the enemy of programmers.

01:29:50   "Set dark mode to please."

01:29:52   Yeah. Anyway, since you can script it, there's a million different ways you can schedule it. You could set a cron job, which is probably what I would do because I'm a Unix nerd.

01:30:03   But you could set a launch daemon thing. There's tons of different ways that you can. There's probably, you know, GUI commercial programs that will run a scheduled task at a time.

01:30:13   So you just make this AppleScript and you save it and then you use the utility of your choice or any built-in facility to run it at a certain time and voila.

01:30:22   And if you don't want to bother doing that, if that's still too much work, probably by the time Mojave ships.

01:30:28   Again, if Apple doesn't already have this built in the operating system, there'll be some small free or inexpensive app on the Mac App Store or something that does exactly what you're describing.

01:30:38   So I wouldn't worry. I think you will have this covered eventually.

01:30:41   Scott Norris writes, "UIKit on the Mac will add pointing device support, menu bars, Windows support, and other Mac stuff. Will this migrate back to UIKit on iOS and bring trackpad support in Windows to iPads or rumored iOS laptop forms?"

01:30:57   I think there's kind of two levels to this question. The first is, you know, are any of these APIs going to be in any way, shape, or form available on iOS or really could they be?

01:31:11   And the second level of this question is would Apple ever do anything like that?

01:31:15   And I think, yeah, presumably the whole point of Marzipan is to create one singular foundation upon which both iOS and OS 10 or gosh, Mac OS are derived from.

01:31:28   But I feel like Apple is still in this mode where they're passionately insisting that you can never, ever, ever have a touchscreen laptop.

01:31:39   By the way, here's an iPad with a keyboard on it if you would ever like to use the keyboard on this touchscreen thing. But don't call it a laptop. It's an iPad.

01:31:48   And so as long as they're refusing to allow these two worlds to merge, I don't think that you'll ever…

01:31:55   I would be surprised if you'll see pointing device or trackpad support.

01:31:59   Windowing, maybe. But I don't see us attaching a mouse to an iPad anytime soon. What do you think, Marco?

01:32:08   It's a good idea. This would open up the door to iPads adopting a more Mac-like user interface once the apps are kind of accustomed to that or built for that.

01:32:21   But I think I'm with you. I'm not entirely sure I would see Apple doing that.

01:32:28   I mean, at some point, it comes down to the interesting question of what is the difference they want to have long term, assuming there is one, between the iPad and the Mac.

01:32:40   Obviously, there's two very different software platforms, but those are getting closer.

01:32:45   There's two very different hardware platforms, but those are kind of getting some similarities too.

01:32:50   And yeah, they keep saying no in bigger and bigger text. No, we're not doing that. But what Apple says is different from Apple's actions.

01:33:00   Apple always says they're never going to do something until they do it. I wouldn't say that kind of thing would never happen.

01:33:09   And in fact, we have lots of signs and evidence and trends that are going towards more conversions in the area.

01:33:18   So to have iOS have a more laptop-like form factor with more laptop-like software and more laptop-like window management and stuff like that, we're already heading in that direction.

01:33:31   And there's more stuff on the horizon that suggests that more stuff could happen there.

01:33:35   I wouldn't say it's a sure thing that the iPad will go in that direction, but it seems like everything is lining up to do that.

01:33:43   You know, I forgot. I believe Mike had talked to me on Analog a long time ago about how there is a specific kind of mouse that I think is made by Citrix or something like that, especially in the chat reminded me of this.

01:33:57   Yeah, there's a mouse for the iPad.

01:33:59   Yeah, exactly. That allows you to use a pointing device in certain apps and certain contexts, which I completely forgot about.

01:34:06   I don't have a link to put in the show notes, but I think something like that does exist for very specific use cases.

01:34:12   Anyway, Jon, any thoughts?

01:34:14   So I think whether or not it's related to the Mars Japan stuff, I think it's inevitable that Apple's little pretend, make a pretend laptop out of my iPad stuff, because they sell a keyboard that does it and lots of third party stuff.

01:34:28   Inevitably, that is going to have something for you to move the cursor.

01:34:31   Like they have all these modes where, you know, they're making it even easier to get to now because you don't have force touch on the iPad, but you hold down on the space bar and it turns into a trackpad. Like iOS has a way for you to move at least a text insertion point with the trackpad.

01:34:44   They just don't have a trackpad. Right.

01:34:47   So the APIs for doing that are getting close.

01:34:50   And because they're going to have to do stuff like that for Mars Japan, like getting support for pointing devices and stuff like that, there's obvious cross pollination there.

01:34:58   I think it is inevitable that Apple will eventually provide some kind of pointing device that's not a pencil and it's not your finger for iOS devices.

01:35:07   And when they provide that, it's possible that the software that backs that could share a lot or be shared entirely with the same software that allows, you know, you used to use a mouse with UI kit applications in Mars Japan type apps.

01:35:23   The question all this stuff is how long is it going to take? And you know, when it comes, what will the form factor be? We've talked many times in the past about an iOS laptop and how great that would be.

01:35:34   But right now, Apple still continues like a very trendy restaurant to make deconstructed iOS Apple laptops.

01:35:41   It's an iOS laptop, but the pieces are all separate and you have to assemble them yourself.

01:35:46   You just mix them in your mouth and it's like you're eating peanut butter and jelly, but you have a separate peanut and a grape and then a piece of wheat.

01:35:54   Oh my goodness.

01:35:57   That was also unexpected.

01:36:00   All right. Brent Billings asks, if the Millennium Falcon were a car, what car would it be?

01:36:05   I, I, wow, I have no idea. The best, the best answer I could come up with, which I'm sure is going to deeply offend John, but it was the best thing I could come up with is a Buick Grand National.

01:36:19   Because it's kind of old, kind of rickety, but yet deeply respected and pretty damn fast all at the same time.

01:36:27   So that was the first thing that jumped to mind. And John, I'm deeply sorry for offending you so much.

01:36:33   What a terrible idea. No, obviously look, it's a freighter. It's a souped up El Camino.

01:36:38   Oh, you were on the same wavelength today.

01:36:42   That is good, Marco. I actually, I am very impressed. That is quite good, Marco. I am into that.

01:36:47   I mean, I have the obvious answer that I assumed one of you would pick. I was going to go last, but I assume one of you would have already picked, especially Casey.

01:36:54   And you'll feel shame once I explain the obvious answer. But I was trying to think of the non obvious clever answer and I don't really have one.

01:37:00   But anyway, the obvious answer is Casey will give you one last chance.

01:37:03   I don't know. No, I got nothing. I'm going to be so upset in a second.

01:37:08   The DeLorean from Back to the Future. Come on.

01:37:10   Oh, boo. I disagree.

01:37:12   Well, you booed. That is totally it. Let me tell you why that is. First of all, it's a weird car and the Millennium Falcon is a weird ship.

01:37:19   Second of all, it's got a bunch of crap done to it. It's not made a lot of special modifications, right?

01:37:23   It's not just like a DeLorean from the factory. It's a DeLorean with a bunch of crap all over it that makes it better.

01:37:27   She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts. Right? And has special abilities.

01:37:32   And it is an iconic hero car and not just like, oh, it's just another DeLorean. Right? So that's the obvious answer.

01:37:39   How does the DeLorean not look like much?

01:37:41   Well, I mean, it's not. Some people don't like how it looks. And it's got a bunch of like pipes and tubes and crap sticking out of it and wires all over the outside of it.

01:37:49   It's not really, you know, it's not. No one's going to confuse it for like Speed Racer's car or whatever.

01:37:55   No one's ever going to confuse an El Camino for anything fast either. But they can, you know, people soup them up and they can be really fast.

01:38:01   So they don't have, what do they call it, the greebles? Like both the Grand National and the El Camino do not have a bunch of pipes and stuff all over them.

01:38:07   And the Millennium Falcon does. And if there's a more clever answer, probably, I don't think it can, put it this way, I don't think it can be any car that's like off the lot.

01:38:17   It has to be some car that has had crap done to it because the Millennium Falcon, I mean, I don't want to spoil the new Star Wars movie.

01:38:23   But anyway, the Millennium Falcon, as we see it in the original trilogy, is clearly like parts of it are missing, things that are open, exposing inside that shouldn't be.

01:38:33   There's all sorts of pipes and crap all over it. It's clearly been hacked up and modified. It's not smooth and sleek.

01:38:39   And you can't just go and buy one of those off the lot. It has been modified.

01:38:43   So I feel like it has to, it can't just be, oh, it's this model of car or it's this model of car.

01:38:47   It has to be, it's this model of car, but with these modifications.

01:38:50   And when trying to think of something like that, you usually end up going to movie cars because that's a set of modifications people know.

01:38:56   So like you could say the, you know, the Corvette in this movie that is modified in a certain way that we all know about.

01:39:03   Anyway, the Back to the Future car is the obvious answer. But I wish I could have come up with a non-obvious and more clever one.

01:39:10   I am, I'm not impressed with your answer, Jon.

01:39:13   No, never mind.

01:39:14   I don't, I don't, I don't, I don't buy it. Plus it's another movie car. Like I guess that wasn't strictly speaking, you know, against the rules.

01:39:21   But it's a real, it's a real car. Just doesn't go back in time.

01:39:25   Fine.

01:39:27   Thanks to our sponsors this week, Casper, Betterment, and Squarespace. And we'll see you next week.

01:39:35   [MUSIC]

01:39:37   Now the show is over. They didn't even mean to begin.

01:39:42   'Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

01:39:47   Jon didn't do any research. Marco and Casey wouldn't let him.

01:39:52   'Cause it was accidental. It was accidental.

01:39:58   And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM.

01:40:03   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:40:12   So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

01:40:16   N-T-M-A-R-C-O-R-M-N. S-I-R-A-C. USA. Syracuse.

01:40:24   It's accidental. It's accidental.

01:40:27   They didn't mean to. Accidental. Accidental. Tech podcast. So long.

01:40:37   You know, Tim in the chat had the best answer of all.

01:40:42   The Millennium Falcon is actually Casey's BMW, as it's always breaking down when he needs it the most.

01:40:47   Too soon, Tim. But also, fair point.

01:40:53   Yeah, but the Millennium Falcon comes through in the end. So far we haven't seen if that's gonna be the case.

01:40:57   I'm betting against it in this case.

01:41:00   Yeah, I would bet against it as well. So we have to have another episode of Casey's Car Corner.

01:41:05   I, by happenstance, did something lightly interesting on Friday.

01:41:11   Setting expectations high.

01:41:13   Yeah, setting real good expectations. I'm a great salesperson. I drove a brand new GTI.

01:41:18   Oh, yeah?

01:41:19   So to recap, I was telling you guys that, especially two friends of mine, one of whom just bought a new GTI,

01:41:26   and actually the other one used to have a GTI. Anyways, both of them have been saying to me, for years, years,

01:41:32   "You have to drive the GTI. The GTI is so good. You don't understand. Drive the GTI. You're gonna love it. Drive the GTI."

01:41:37   Which I always said, "Eww, whatever."

01:41:39   So my boss's boss, his wife just bought a brand new GTI, and he brought it to work on Friday.

01:41:46   And he said, "Hey, you wanna go for a spin?" I said, "Sure." And so he said, "Well, do you wanna drive?"

01:41:49   I said, "Well, okay. You don't have to ask me twice." And I drove his wife's GTI, which is a SE, I believe it is.

01:41:58   It's whatever the middle trim is. I believe the S is the lowest trim, if I'm not mistaken.

01:42:03   Then there's whatever I drove, which I think is an SE. And then there's the Autobahn trim.

01:42:08   And I drove the middle of the road one. It was what I would call DCT. I think it's a DSG in Volkswagen parlance,

01:42:15   but basically it was two pedals. And I went into this drive thinking, "I'm sure this is going to be nice,

01:42:24   but this is not gonna be for me. It's front-wheel drive. It's not slow, but not as fast as I would like.

01:42:31   And it's the wrong transmission, etc., etc."

01:42:34   I drove that car maybe a mile before I was deeply in love with it.

01:42:39   Because that interior felt easily as good, if not better, than my BMWs.

01:42:47   Now, to be fair, my BMW is a 2011 and this is a 2018, but it is a stunningly good interior for a car that is somewhere around $30,000.

01:43:01   This car has no business being a $30,000 car from the feel of the interior.

01:43:07   It easily should be a $40,000 car, if not more, just judging by the feel of the interior alone.

01:43:14   Now, in the more broad sense, I don't know if it necessarily feels like a $40,000 car. Like, it's very nice. Very, very nice.

01:43:24   It was reasonably quick, handled very well from what I could tell. I mean, I wasn't going particularly fast.

01:43:28   I wasn't pushing it particularly hard. I never really beat on it in an acceleration perspective that hard

01:43:33   because the thing rolled over 200 miles as I was driving it. So, this is well within braking and it's not my car.

01:43:40   It's not even my boss's car, strictly speaking. It's his wife's car. So, I really didn't want to act like a total turd.

01:43:45   But, I am flabbergasted with how much I like this car. And I don't want a hatchback. I don't want a front-wheel drive car.

01:43:53   I want something that's quicker than the GTI. But, bang for the buck, where I was saying just last week, if I'm not mistaken,

01:44:02   that the Accord is unequivocally the correct answer for me, I would say it's now the Accord or the GTI is unequivocally the right answer

01:44:11   from a pure value-for-money perspective.

01:44:13   Well, you didn't have any passengers this time, right?

01:44:15   Well, my boss's boss is like 6'7". So, he was in the car with me. But no, nobody in the back.

01:44:21   But he said he has gotten in the back and it was not deeply uncomfortable. Like, I wouldn't say that it was...

01:44:26   I'm paraphrasing him, but he wouldn't say that it was extraordinarily comfortable, but it was livable for a not long, long, long trip.

01:44:35   So, yeah. So, as _mynameiste says in the chat, yes, I would say that the interior was indeed blowaway.

01:44:42   But no, I was really impressed. I was really, really, really impressed. And in theory...

01:44:48   I hate to say this with your BMW, but VW does not have the most sterling reputation for reliability in recent decades.

01:44:55   You know, that's true, but the reason that this is still okay in my mind is because they have a six-year bumper-to-bumper transferable warranty.

01:45:04   And so, I probably would not get a loaner. I don't know that for sure, but I would guess I would not get a loaner if I were to have some sort of issue.

01:45:12   But the good news is I would not have to pay for any sort of repair for six years.

01:45:18   And I bought the BMW in late 2012, and I'm looking to sell it in mid to late 2018.

01:45:25   So that's right on schedule for the hypothetical six-year warranty that the BMW never actually had.

01:45:30   So, I feel like if the GTI was this much fun as a two-pedal car, I can only imagine how much fun it would be as a three-pedal car.

01:45:40   And then add all-wheel drive and more horsepower and more torque, and suddenly you have a Golf R, and suddenly things are getting interesting.

01:45:49   But then you lose your sunroof.

01:45:51   Ah, stop.

01:45:52   That's the thing. You like it. You always talk about how much you like it.

01:45:56   I know. I just don't... don't ruin my moment, because I feel like I finally solved my car problem, and now you're ruining it.

01:46:01   Of all the cars that you've had these temporary obsessions with, I feel like the Golf R is probably the least terrible solution you've come up with.

01:46:14   Well, I think the GTI is even less terrible, because it's between $5,000 to $10,000 cheaper and has a sunroof.

01:46:21   But I take your point, and I do think that of the stupid ideas I've had, the Golf R is probably the least stupid.

01:46:29   I don't think I would actually buy a GTI, because I would always say to myself, "Man, I really wish I got the R."

01:46:33   Well, until I opened the sunroof anyway.

01:46:35   Well, you wouldn't have any car-shaped cars. You'd have a giant boot and a little booty.

01:46:39   But no car-shaped cars.

01:46:43   That is true. I am not a big fan of hatchbacks. I am really not.

01:46:47   I understand how versatile they would be if I didn't have two car seats permanently in them, but because I have two car seats permanently in both cars,

01:46:55   it is not terribly large on the inside. Although, and I don't remember if we discussed this last episode or not,

01:47:02   but if you look at the numbers alone, it supposedly has more trunk space than my car does, my BMW does, with the seats up.

01:47:11   Now, unfortunately, that's all vertically speaking, which is a pain in the butt, but supposedly it is a thing.

01:47:18   So, we'll see. But I plan to at some juncture, you know, we're doing some weird scheduling this week because, you know, travel and stuff.

01:47:27   So, once travel is completed, I plan to investigate the Golf R and see what I think about that.

01:47:34   And then at that point, I'll probably at least take the Accord for a spin just to see.

01:47:39   So, you've been saying for like eight months.

01:47:41   Well, I've been saying about the GTI for eight years, so I'm doing better.

01:47:44   How much do you want to bet Casey never goes and test drives an Accord?

01:47:47   That's a not terrible bet, if I'm honest.

01:47:50   Just do it.

01:47:52   (door slams)