The Talk Show

341: ‘A Cold Glass in Hell’, With Casey Liss


00:00:00   I never know where Caleb's gonna jump in, but I presume it'll be around now.

00:00:04   I do feel, I do feel it's very important that wherever we start to show it's my

00:00:08   voice, because I do feel like if it's yours, half, at least half,

00:00:12   that's true.

00:00:13   That's true.

00:00:13   At least half of our listeners are going to be confused and believe that they've

00:00:18   screwed up.

00:00:18   Hostile takeover, John.

00:00:19   Right.

00:00:20   Actually a fairly large segment of them will probably, would, would, if your voice

00:00:24   came first, probably think it was due to a bug in overcast.

00:00:31   It's true.

00:00:31   Um, all right.

00:00:33   So yeah, you can lead in however you would like.

00:00:36   I mean, uh, the airing is a stretch, but, but no, I think I have a little something

00:00:41   to warm us up, but if, however you want to lead in, I'm happy to roll with.

00:00:44   Oh, I figured we're already rolling.

00:00:46   Oh, okay.

00:00:48   Oh, well, here we go.

00:00:49   Well, whatever's in the show is in the show.

00:00:51   Tell me your story.

00:00:51   Okay.

00:00:52   So I was thinking about how, you know, we've known each other, uh, for a fair bit

00:00:57   of time now, probably about 10 years now, I would say, and, and I like to think of

00:01:01   us as friends and, and I was thinking about why is it that, you know, I haven't

00:01:04   been asked to be on the talk show.

00:01:06   And it occurred to me early on when I started following your work, you know, I

00:01:10   remember hearing you talk about the three keys to success, and this is off the top

00:01:13   of my head, so I might be flubbing it, but I believe the three keys to success as a,

00:01:17   as a blogger or an independent person is, and jump in when you're ready, John, fussy

00:01:22   coffee, a clickety keyboard, clickety-clackety keyboard, and just obscenely

00:01:28   carbonated water.

00:01:29   And it occurred to me that I don't personally care for any of those things,

00:01:33   but I thought, you know what?

00:01:34   I don't know if that's the actual issue here.

00:01:37   I think the actual issue here might be that in, in, I haven't had the pleasure of

00:01:42   catching a drink with you or your delightful wife, Amy Jane, in far too long.

00:01:46   But if I recall correctly, you are a gin martini kind of guy.

00:01:49   And I am not.

00:01:51   And I was wondering, John, if this is the crux of the disagreement here.

00:01:54   That's a good opening.

00:01:57   It is.

00:01:57   It's fine.

00:01:58   And in no particular order in, in HTML parlance, it's an unordered list.

00:02:02   Fussy coffee, extremely carbonated water, and a clicky keyboard.

00:02:07   I do enjoy a gin martini.

00:02:09   I think you are misremembering now.

00:02:11   Oh, okay.

00:02:12   So I'm, I'm, I am, I forget how you put it in religious terms.

00:02:17   I'm going to say agnostic, but there's a better word and it's not coming to mind.

00:02:22   But I am the rare person who, who is an aficionado and greatly enjoy a very nice,

00:02:28   very cold martini before a nice meal.

00:02:31   But I will accept both gin and vodka martini.

00:02:36   The, but the issue is that Amy does not care for gin.

00:02:41   And, uh, therefore I just generally let her order first and then I say, I'll have

00:02:48   what she's having so as to avoid any chance of any confusion because I don't care.

00:02:51   Mm hmm.

00:02:53   Now this drives the gin martini people nuts.

00:02:56   You know, the gin martini people are like the Catholics.

00:03:00   Because, no, this is true.

00:03:03   It is true.

00:03:04   It's they're, they're like the Catholics because that was the original.

00:03:08   That's the old school.

00:03:09   They're angrier and you know, they're big thing.

00:03:12   And they're already, the people out there who are listening, who are, who believe

00:03:16   that a martini should only be made with gin will also say that you don't have,

00:03:19   there is no such thing as a quote unquote gin martini, that a martini by definition

00:03:24   is and only made with gin, not vodka.

00:03:28   And that a vodka martini, they won't, they, they won't even, they don't even like it

00:03:32   when you say vodka martini as a separate drink, they like to say that it's called,

00:03:36   I forget, there's a name.

00:03:37   Oh yes.

00:03:38   I know what you're thinking of and I can't remember what it is either now.

00:03:40   Yeah.

00:03:41   But from their perspective, it might as well be called a stinky head.

00:03:44   You know, I will, I will enjoy both.

00:03:49   I believe, you know, I'm open-minded.

00:03:51   There is, I hope it's still available.

00:03:53   I will, I'm making a note right now.

00:03:55   I swear to God in the show notes, there is a wonderful, wonderful website called

00:04:00   the martini FAQ FAQ and it is, it's so old school internet.

00:04:07   I know I've linked to it from daring fireball at least once.

00:04:09   I hope it's still online, but it is written by someone who I believe is much

00:04:14   more of a gin martini aficionado than vodka, but he keeps, he's, he has a very

00:04:21   open mind about the whole, the whole thing and gets into also the other religious

00:04:25   aspect of how much, how much vermouth should be put into a martini.

00:04:30   Which your answer is, I'm a Churchill man that you should pick up a bottle of vermouth

00:04:36   and wave it in the direction of Italy.

00:04:38   That is exactly the right answer in my personal opinion.

00:04:43   Just, just get it somewhere near the shaker.

00:04:45   And I am satisfied with that.

00:04:46   You probably know this cause you've been with us and you've met my wife and, but

00:04:51   she, she is, I'm not making this up.

00:04:53   She is a vodka supertaster.

00:04:55   Ah, interesting.

00:04:57   Okay.

00:04:57   So what is her vodka of choice then?

00:04:59   Belvedere and Grey Goose.

00:05:00   She, she, she likes both.

00:05:02   She does not care for yours, which is Tito's.

00:05:05   She does not care for kettle one at all, which she believes tastes Tito's like.

00:05:10   And she also, you know, and what she like, cause you can go somewhere and you'll say,

00:05:17   like, I would like a Belvedere martini up with a twist and it should be made with

00:05:21   Belvedere and then, you know, occasionally at a lesser establishment, they might make

00:05:25   it with, you know, they might just tell the bartender vodka martini and then they

00:05:29   make it with something else.

00:05:31   And she, she she'll take one sip and just say, ah, jet fuel.

00:05:35   See, that's me with gin.

00:05:38   And I was hoping as much as I'm snarking on, on the gin believers, but I was hoping

00:05:43   you could maybe teach me either verbally or the next time we have the pleasure of

00:05:46   being around each other, teach me how to like gin cause it tastes like grass to me.

00:05:51   Like I just, I can't do it.

00:05:52   It's just, I find it so, so gross and I want to be able to like it.

00:05:58   I want to be more ambivalent about the particular kind of martini I'm having.

00:06:02   And so I, I, I have the desire, but I don't yet have the skill to consume a gin

00:06:09   martini and maybe one day I'll get there.

00:06:11   That seems to be the argument.

00:06:13   You know, again, I'm not religious about it.

00:06:15   You know, I have what you like.

00:06:17   Oh, the martini fact is still up.

00:06:18   Thank God.

00:06:19   I will absolutely 100% put this in the show notes.

00:06:22   No, no joke about it because it's so wonderful.

00:06:25   I hesitate even to link it to you now in the chat because you'll, you'll become

00:06:30   consumed by it.

00:06:31   It's so good.

00:06:31   So you'll have to wait.

00:06:33   Oh, but the basic argument from the gin aficionados is that gin, gin is a

00:06:37   flavorful, what would you call it?

00:06:39   A beverage, a spirit, a spirit, a spirit.

00:06:42   That's it.

00:06:43   And vodka deliberately is sort of anti-flavorful, you know, to me, I've

00:06:48   often described a perfect vodka martini as tasting like an ice cold cloud.

00:06:54   Very, very well put.

00:06:56   I agree.

00:06:56   No, I don't know.

00:06:57   I, I, I, I, honestly, the reason you haven't been on the show is I forget, I

00:07:01   forget about you.

00:07:02   No, that's, that's okay.

00:07:03   I, I, I serve that role and I serve it proudly.

00:07:07   So that is no problem at all.

00:07:08   Really.

00:07:08   That was just an excuse to talk about martinis because I feel like we need, we

00:07:12   it's, it's talk show like rules that we talk about something completely

00:07:17   unrelated to tech.

00:07:18   I did go see a baseball game last summer, so we can fulfill the baseball quota.

00:07:22   If you'd like very quickly but I don't have a lot to say about baseball.

00:07:26   So I was trying to find some common ground that we could work through that

00:07:29   isn't tech.

00:07:30   Well, we have so much we could do.

00:07:32   We could do clicky keyboards.

00:07:34   I'm back on my Apple extended keyboard too.

00:07:37   Now you might've seen this.

00:07:39   We're on at least one Slack together, but I haven't been using an external

00:07:43   because we want to talk.

00:07:44   One of the things I'll spoiler here, we're going to talk about the Apple

00:07:46   studio display.

00:07:47   We could get into it.

00:07:49   But one of the other things that I do a kid, I kid about forgetting about you,

00:07:53   but one of the things that I sympathize with is that your vision is less than

00:07:57   perfect.

00:07:57   And oftentimes, you know, and I think Marco, I think as far as pretty good

00:08:04   vision for his age and, and maybe, maybe Syracuse is in the middle, but oftentimes

00:08:08   when talking about things that you can notice visually, et cetera, you know, I

00:08:12   sympathize and that's part of it.

00:08:13   But long story short, I from, I, I always forget about,

00:08:19   I forget, this is one of those things as you get older, the years blur together.

00:08:22   I forget if my iMac 5k was a 2014 or 2015 purchase.

00:08:26   I'm going to say 2015, but from 2015 until like July, 2019, my desktop computer

00:08:35   was an iMac 5k.

00:08:36   So I'm very familiar with the 5k 27 inch, you know, display panel.

00:08:41   And my keyboard was my beloved Apple extended keyboard to hooked up, you know,

00:08:47   the ADB to USB adapter.

00:08:49   I forget what happened first, but at the end of 2019, we had some renovations at

00:08:56   the house, including completely renovating my office, which before renovation was

00:09:02   really just a room with white walls and nothing in it and just a desk in the

00:09:06   corner.

00:09:07   And actually was sort of our depot for a bunch of boxes that we'd never finished

00:09:12   moving when we moved into this place.

00:09:14   It was really, it did not look like an office.

00:09:17   It looked like more like a basement somehow with windows.

00:09:20   But we had a wonderful, we really, it's just a great experience and timed

00:09:24   perfectly before they finished up literally just by coincidence, right before

00:09:29   the unfortunate incidents of early 2020 hit.

00:09:32   But I had to, while they were renovating, pack up everything, get out of my office

00:09:37   so that they could build the nice office that I have now with built in shelves and

00:09:41   a built in desk.

00:09:42   And if you've ever seen me on occasionally on CNBC or some sort of YouTube, like

00:09:50   Renee's YouTube channel or something, there's these nice slatted walls along the

00:09:55   one side or at my annual talk show from WWDC the last two years, which have been

00:09:59   conducted remotely.

00:10:00   It's, in my opinion, very nice looking office, but it had to be done.

00:10:04   So I had to get out.

00:10:04   And so I packed up the iMac 5k.

00:10:06   Well, shortly thereafter, at that point, I had my second retinal detachment in my

00:10:11   other eye from my first one was back in, I believe again, conflating 2014, 2015, I

00:10:18   think 2014 or 2015.

00:10:20   And the other problem I had, this is true, was in my good eye, which did not have a

00:10:26   retinal detachment in August of 2019.

00:10:28   I that's the one that had a retinal detachment years before that was repaired

00:10:33   wonderfully.

00:10:33   And it truly put me into the 99th percentile of recovery from how bad it was.

00:10:39   But I had a cataract.

00:10:42   You've just had a series of hits when it comes to your eyes.

00:10:45   It's, you know, and they're possibly related.

00:10:48   There's some correlation between people who've heard of cataracts at a bizarrely

00:10:52   young age.

00:10:53   Cause cataracts typically are only really a problem for people in this, in their

00:10:57   seventies.

00:10:58   And I was only in my forties.

00:10:59   Long story short, I needed to be very close to a screen to see it.

00:11:02   And so I do, I forget what happened first, me packing up the iMac for the

00:11:07   renovation or having a retinal detachment and in the aftermath of it while

00:11:11   recovering, needing to be pretty close to a screen, like too close to use desktop

00:11:15   display anyway.

00:11:16   So I have been, that's my way of saying due to vision problems and renovations and

00:11:21   then COVID, using a MacBook Pro of some sort as my entire Macintosh since like the

00:11:30   middle of 2019.

00:11:32   In other words, I had no external display, no external keyboard and haven't.

00:11:36   And now my vision has gotten much better and it's, it's, you know, again, I don't

00:11:39   want to go into the details of it, but my combined vision from the two eyes has

00:11:42   really gotten better.

00:11:43   It continues to improve.

00:11:44   It's, it's, and I can definitely use a 27 inch display in front of me and see it

00:11:51   very well.

00:11:52   But I didn't hook my iMac back up like, and that's sort of like a 2021 thing where

00:11:58   my vision got to that point where, Hey, I can actually do this.

00:12:00   Where I noticed it the first time was when I was testing, reviewing the iMac

00:12:05   24 inch last year.

00:12:06   I was like, Hey crap, I can see this.

00:12:09   This is, this is actually, you know, that was the first, cause I just don't see, I

00:12:13   don't, you know, I don't go anywhere.

00:12:15   It certainly didn't go anywhere during COVID.

00:12:16   So it's like, I, you know, there was a while early on in the COVID time where I

00:12:21   really just needed to be sort of hunched over and being closer to a MacBook screen

00:12:26   to see it clearly.

00:12:27   Then I tested that iMac.

00:12:28   I was like, Hey, if I use these glasses, I can see this just fine.

00:12:32   This is great.

00:12:33   But what was I going to do?

00:12:34   Right?

00:12:34   Now this leads us to the great external display dilemma of Mac users, right?

00:12:39   I didn't want to buy a 24 inch iMac for myself.

00:12:42   I wanted something bigger and better and really didn't want an iMac.

00:12:46   I really wanted to go full on with a MacBook pro as my one and only one true

00:12:51   Mac, and then have standalone desktop display to connect it to.

00:12:56   But what the hell was I going to buy a year ago?

00:12:59   Oh yeah.

00:13:00   And it was a mess.

00:13:01   It was an absolute mess.

00:13:02   And so my brief history with this was back in 2016 my last, you know, regular

00:13:08   full-time job, I was doing iOS development for a local firm and I wanted to get one

00:13:14   or more external monitors and I wanted something that is considered retina.

00:13:17   And, you know, retina is kind of a marketing term and it means different

00:13:21   things to different people, depending on who you ask.

00:13:23   But generally speaking, you know, in the history is, you know, from what was it?

00:13:28   The iPhone four, where that went and it doubled the pixel density and Apple

00:13:32   said, Oh, look at this retina screen.

00:13:33   And then it came to the MacBook pro and, and eventually to the iMac and, and

00:13:38   well, actually the iMac pro as well.

00:13:39   So it's this idea that you basically get just incredibly, incredibly crisp

00:13:44   displays by having just tremendous amount of resolution in a not

00:13:48   tremendously oversized screen.

00:13:51   And in 2017, I was looking for an external monitor and I started looking at,

00:13:56   okay, well, what's available.

00:13:58   And around the same time, Mark Edwards was looking into the same thing and he

00:14:03   came up with kind of a list of options.

00:14:05   And I went through his list and came to the conclusion that there's basically

00:14:09   in 2017, there were only five options.

00:14:12   And it was the two LG ultra finds a couple of Dells and an LG, just

00:14:18   unremarkable LG 4k monitor.

00:14:19   And what I ended up doing was we tried at work.

00:14:22   We tried to get one of these 5k Dells if memory serves and it arrived

00:14:27   DOA for whatever reason.

00:14:28   And so we said, ah, the heck with it.

00:14:30   It was really expensive anyway.

00:14:31   And so what we got, I ended up with one and then eventually a second, very

00:14:35   unremarkable, it was like 300 bucks.

00:14:37   4k monitor, the LG 24 UD 58-B rolls right off the tongue.

00:14:42   And so that was 2017, John.

00:14:44   It's a wonderful day, but really it's just delightful.

00:14:47   It's like, it's like, it's like LG outsourced their naming to Sony.

00:14:51   Right.

00:14:52   It's so true.

00:14:53   Yeah.

00:14:53   What is it?

00:14:54   The WH 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or whatever that everyone loves the headphones.

00:14:57   So that was 2017.

00:14:59   And at that point at home, I had either an iMac or nine, I

00:15:01   think it was a regular 5k iMac.

00:15:03   Eventually I got the iMac pro.

00:15:04   And then in roughly November of last year, I decided to go all in on, on Apple

00:15:10   Silicon and I got an M1 max, a 14 inch MacBook pro, which I adore.

00:15:16   I cannot tell you how much I love this thing.

00:15:18   It is just one of the, if not the best computer I've ever owned in my life.

00:15:22   But Hey, I'd like to hook it up to something.

00:15:25   So here it is in December of last year, I started surveying the situation again.

00:15:30   And I started looking around and I realized, well, Dell has discontinued

00:15:34   their two reasonable monitors, which leaves us with the aforementioned 24UD58-B,

00:15:41   which is the $300 4k LG, the LG Ultrafine 4k, the LG Ultrafine 5k, and the Pro Display

00:15:48   XDR, which cost as much as my darn computer and that's without a stand.

00:15:52   And so it occurred to me like, this is a mess.

00:15:55   This is an absolute mess.

00:15:57   How is it that Apple is just completely ignoring consumer level needs in this regard?

00:16:04   It just boggled my mind.

00:16:06   And so I wrote a post about it, which you were kind enough to link to.

00:16:09   And as of, you know, three weeks ago or whatever it was four weeks ago before the

00:16:13   most recent event, that was it.

00:16:14   It was a $300 LG, the $700 LG Ultrafine, which depending on who you ask,

00:16:19   doesn't even qualify as a retina.

00:16:20   I believe it does, but there's some nuance there.

00:16:23   The LG Ultrafine, which is what I ended up getting secondhand, which is fine.

00:16:27   And the Pro Display XDR.

00:16:29   And that's it.

00:16:30   That's all you had.

00:16:30   And it was just, it was, it was a disgrace.

00:16:33   I mean, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic, but it was very, very frustrating.

00:16:36   Which one do you, did you just say some people say is retina?

00:16:40   So the LG Ultrafine 4k, there's a bit of a history here.

00:16:44   How big is that?

00:16:45   Is that 27 or 24?

00:16:46   It's 24.

00:16:47   Now, in my personal opinion, with my garbage eyes, I can see if you were to hand

00:16:53   me a 27 inch display and run it at 4k, I can see pixels.

00:16:57   And I'm basically, long story short, my eyes are pretty decent when I use hard

00:17:01   contact lenses, when I don't have contact lenses.

00:17:04   And even if I have Coke bottle glasses, I'm a mess.

00:17:06   But with, with my contacts, I'm pretty good.

00:17:08   And if you hand me a 27 inch 4k, I can tell.

00:17:12   If you hand me a 24 inch 4k, which is what this 24UD58B is, which is what the

00:17:19   LG Ultrafine 4k is now, in my personal estimation, I still classify that as retina.

00:17:24   However, when the Ultrafine 4k first came out, it was only 22 inches.

00:17:28   And the Delta in DPI or PPI between the two, between 22 and 24 inches, if you're,

00:17:35   if it was 22 inches at whatever resolution 4k is, I forget off the top of my head,

00:17:39   it is absolutely over, I think it's 200, 218 or something like that points per inch.

00:17:44   At 24 inches, it's like 190 or something like that.

00:17:48   So strictly speaking, it's just barely below the threshold.

00:17:53   And if you look at my original post from 2017, way at the bottom, I cribbed from

00:17:58   Mark Edwards with his permission, a chart that he made, and you can see down there,

00:18:03   there's that he put good for retina and it's a little green sliver and then good

00:18:07   for non red as an even smaller green sliver.

00:18:09   And in the middle is what he calls the bad zone.

00:18:11   And so at 24 inches, I don't see an example of it here actually, but at 24

00:18:16   inches, oh, there at the very bottom, the Dell P2415Q, which ran 3840 by 2160,

00:18:23   which I believe is normal 4k resolution at 24 inches is 183.6 points per inch.

00:18:28   And so strictly speaking, that's in Mark Edwards' bad zone, but to my

00:18:32   personal opinion, it's sufficient.

00:18:35   It's good enough.

00:18:36   But to be strictly speaking, you know, 200 plus points per inch, you basically

00:18:40   need to get a 27 inch 5k monitor.

00:18:42   That's about the only choice you've got.

00:18:44   And as a Mac user, someone who doesn't ever touch PCs anymore, I want a pixel

00:18:50   doubled, you know, 4 or 5k display because that's what Mac OS is designed to use.

00:18:55   And I know that the PC people, if any of them are listening, are like,

00:18:58   well, what are you talking about?

00:18:59   I can get a 350 inch ultra wide screen, you know, 9 bazillion pixel display,

00:19:04   but oftentimes those humongous, humongous displays actually

00:19:08   aren't very high resolution.

00:19:10   And Mac OS doesn't really, from what I've gathered, handle that terribly well.

00:19:15   With Mac OS, it's basically 1x or 2x and nothing in between.

00:19:18   And, and so if that's your criteria, then there's very little on the market.

00:19:24   Like I said, there's the two LGs, the two LG Ultrafines, the other LG,

00:19:30   which I have one at home now, and the XDR up until the studio display.

00:19:35   Yeah.

00:19:35   It's at 24 inches.

00:19:38   I'm with you.

00:19:39   I think it's sort of like just barely in the door should count as retina.

00:19:46   But yeah, 4k at 27 inches is truly in the no person's land for Mac users.

00:19:53   Agreed.

00:19:53   Where it's a hundred, I've got a solver worksheet here that I've, I

00:19:58   knew we were going to talk about this.

00:20:00   It's a hundred and, and, and again, these, these hundreds, you say a hundred,

00:20:03   I say 171 pixels per inch.

00:20:05   It could be 173.

00:20:07   It could be 169 or something like that because it's not exactly like, we know

00:20:12   exactly how many pixels there are, but we don't know if it's really exactly 24

00:20:17   inches diagonal or like 20, 23.75 or 24.2 or something like that.

00:20:23   So like, like my math for Apple's pro display XDR, which is 6k at 32 inches.

00:20:30   My math, you know, quick, you know, solver back of the envelope math says

00:20:36   two 16 pixels per inch and Apple advertises it as two 18, which is what

00:20:41   they say for everybody.

00:20:42   And that probably is not them lying about or exaggerating how many pixels

00:20:47   per inch, because who really cares if it's 216 or two 18, it probably means

00:20:51   that it's really like a 31.9 inch diagonal or something like that.

00:20:57   But, but it turns out two 18 pixels per inch is exactly the same pixels per inch

00:21:03   as a bunch of other Mac retina displays, including the new studio display.

00:21:08   It's by, or I forget if the Mac books come out to there, but it doesn't matter.

00:21:12   It's for the arms, for the distance, the comfortable distance that Apple

00:21:17   thinks people sit in front of a desktop display.

00:21:20   Two 18 is the number they're clearly targeting 192, which would be 4k at 24.

00:21:27   It's like, yeah, it's close.

00:21:29   I think what the effect would be that everything would look a little bigger.

00:21:34   Right?

00:21:34   Like with fewer pixels per inch, you'd get retina resolution, but it would seem

00:21:39   less dense, which, you know, some people might enjoy, but when you go.

00:21:43   4k at 27, which is where you have more options on the market.

00:21:48   Oh, absolutely.

00:21:49   Because of the PC world, it's only 172 ish pixels per inch, which is really a no,

00:21:56   no person's land between two X at two X retina and the old one X, you know, it's

00:22:03   like, do you run it?

00:22:04   I don't even know what MacOS does.

00:22:06   I guess it runs it as retina and everything looks tiny and you kind of need

00:22:11   to use the scaling options and the scaling options again, that's one of those things

00:22:15   that I can no longer see.

00:22:16   Like when I turn on the scaling options on MacOS, you know, whether it's a Mac book

00:22:22   or whatever, I don't really see it.

00:22:25   I, if I take off my glasses and get close enough to the screen where I have to worry,

00:22:30   you know, that I'm going to like, get some grease from my nose.

00:22:33   Yes.

00:22:34   Yes.

00:22:34   I can totally see, oh, I see this as fakey fake or whatever, but I don't see it, you

00:22:39   know, but I totally remember when my eyes were younger and much better that I would

00:22:44   absolutely be able to see, oh, that's scaled.

00:22:46   That's not actually pixel for pixel.

00:22:48   I can, you know, I could see that.

00:22:50   Yeah.

00:22:51   And listening to you, it's, you sound utterly bananas, but I agree with you and

00:22:56   I've lived it.

00:22:56   Like it's, what you're saying is the difference between 150 to 170 points per

00:23:00   inch and 190 to 220 ish.

00:23:03   Like that is really that big a deal.

00:23:05   Really, John?

00:23:06   But it is like, I, when we were doing the survey of monitors, when I was at work, we

00:23:10   got in a couple of 27 inch 4Ks and I took one look at it and admittedly my eyes were

00:23:15   younger at the time, but I took one look at it and was like, uh, nope, nope, nope,

00:23:18   nope, nope, nope.

00:23:19   That's no good.

00:23:19   And I know it sounds utterly bananas to hear the two of us say it, but it really

00:23:25   does make a dramatic, dramatic difference.

00:23:26   And you hit the nail on the head that at 27 inches in 4K, there are a plethora of

00:23:31   options.

00:23:31   There's a gazillion options, but, but to my opinion, 27 inches at 4K, it's just not

00:23:38   enough resolution.

00:23:38   You really, really, really need 5K at that size.

00:23:42   And so whenever I posted, you know, the original post in 2017 and then most

00:23:46   recently in December of last year, I would get a lot of feedback from people saying,

00:23:50   what about, what about, what about, what about?

00:23:51   And it was all, you know, well-intentioned, but I don't think there was a single

00:23:55   monitor available in the United States anyway, that met the criteria.

00:23:59   And I don't think the criteria is that ridiculous.

00:24:03   It's just that PCs don't seem to have the same needs and they don't seem to do as

00:24:09   well in my limited experience with high DPI monitors or at least, or it's very,

00:24:14   it's very inconsistent from what I'm told.

00:24:16   And so it's just not something that PC users tend to care about.

00:24:20   And, you know, the market for a Mac is, or for Macs is much better now than it's

00:24:24   ever been, but there's still a heck of a lot more PCs in the world than Macs.

00:24:27   And, and certainly if you're wanting something that's this fancy, that's this,

00:24:31   you know, high resolution or high DPI, you're probably going to have to spend a

00:24:35   little bit of money.

00:24:36   That's why I still think the sleeper hit of my research is this preposterously

00:24:42   named 24UD58-B because it's only 300 bucks and it's, it's a very "eh" monitor.

00:24:48   Like nothing about it is particularly magnificent, but it gets you what I would

00:24:53   consider to be, you know, retina screen for only 300 bucks because the next best

00:24:58   option, in my personal opinion, as of a couple of weeks ago, is the studio

00:25:02   display. And I skipped deliberately over the slightly cheaper LG Ultrafine 5K

00:25:08   because it's just not great. And we can, we can pull on that thread if you're

00:25:12   interested, but it's just not great.

00:25:13   Well, let's come back to it cause I want to come back, but let's, as good as time

00:25:17   as any to take our first break.

00:25:18   Thank our first sponsor, our good friends at Linode.

00:25:20   Oh man.

00:25:21   Visit linode.com/thetalkshow and see why Linode has been voted the top

00:25:27   infrastructure as a service provider by both G2 and TrustRadius from their

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00:25:44   Somebody's there. Every level of user. You could just have one of their nano

00:25:49   accounts, which is like five bucks a month. You get the same top tier support

00:25:54   as people who like enterprise customers who are spending a fortune to get their

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00:26:02   of setup. It is clear why developers have been trusting Linode for projects,

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00:26:29   makes cloud computing fast, simple, and affordable, allowing you to focus on

00:26:33   your projects, not your infrastructure. Visit linode.com/talkshow, create a

00:26:37   free account. You can use your Google, your GitHub account, or just use your

00:26:42   email address, but go to that address, linode.com/talkshow. You'll get a

00:26:46   hundred bucks in credit. I host Daring Fireball at Linode, and I just I'm

00:26:52   ahead of time. I'm being, I'm trying to be more responsible as an adult, Casey.

00:26:56   I know I am. Hey, I got my taxes done. I went to my account and I've been going

00:27:01   to the same accountant since I was like busted, broke out of college doing just

00:27:05   minimal freelance work to support my video game habit in the late nineties.

00:27:10   Great accountant here in Philadelphia. I love the guy, but I'm often very late. I

00:27:15   got, I got my taxes done already. He complained to me because when we got to

00:27:20   the, you know, what do I, what, what does the Daring Fireball company pay for

00:27:24   server hosting? He was like, that's it? He literally mentioned that. He was like,

00:27:29   come on. That's delightful. And it is funny to have you visit your accountant

00:27:33   and then all of a sudden you start, you know, you start wishing you were paying

00:27:37   more for hosting. It's like, we can write that off. Oh man. Well, unfortunately, my

00:27:42   accountant is not as big a fan of Linode's pricing as I am. Indeed. The

00:27:46   display, basically, I forget when Apple first said, look, our solution to

00:27:52   external displays is this LG thing that we help them build supposedly uses the

00:27:57   same, certainly has the same specs, the same 27 inch 5k panel as the IMAX, right?

00:28:03   Because that's the thing that has been in this whole desert stretch of Apple not

00:28:10   making their own just external displays for Mac users. And then coming back with

00:28:17   only the $6,000 effectively, right? Because you do really, you don't get any

00:28:23   stand at all, or it's like you have to pay a thousand for the adjustable stand

00:28:26   with the XDR.

00:28:27   Like for five,

00:28:28   I'm pretty sure it's, it's five grand just for the panel and then a thousand

00:28:32   bucks if you want to, to use the official Apple stand. Now you could bring the

00:28:36   world's crummiest, you know, visa, visa, whatever it is, mount to it, but it seems

00:28:40   a little wrong to put this $5,000 beautiful piece of almost art on like the

00:28:44   world's crappiest $20 visa mount.

00:28:47   Pro-standard visa mount adapter sold separately. I guess so. Well, all right.

00:28:55   It is a great display, right? And we'll come back to it. But you know, I'm with

00:29:01   you. And sometimes listening to ATP, I do, I do feel you're a little, you're a

00:29:05   little too stingy. I feel like you're,

00:29:08   you're a little understandable. Oh my God. The visa mount is a, it's $200.

00:29:14   Speaking of stingy, it's $200 for the freaking visa mount. Oh my good gracious.

00:29:18   That is bananas. It really wasn't, it wasn't something I was going to consider

00:29:23   because it's, it's clearly beyond my needs, but it really, you know, an Apple's,

00:29:27   you know, answer even before the XDR though was, look, we worked with LG. We

00:29:30   made this thing that is meant for Mac users. There are on the surface, a lot of

00:29:35   similarities to the studio display. It has the same ports. Right. There's three

00:29:40   USB-C ports, one Thunderbolt, I believe three port, and that's the one you

00:29:46   connect. That's the only connection to drive the display. No HDMI, nothing else.

00:29:52   It's, you know, do you want to use something like that? You know, welcome to

00:29:55   dongle town. And it's supposed to do things like just wake up automatically

00:30:00   when your Mac wakes up, et cetera, and so forth. I remember when I first saw it, I

00:30:05   think it was the event that was in Brooklyn. Remember they held, it was like,

00:30:11   uh, yeah, I was actually there for that one. That was the only one I've been to.

00:30:16   That's right. Yeah. Of course you remember, I remember you, the three of you guys

00:30:20   were seated a couple of rows behind me and Panzareno, me and Panzareno, not

00:30:25   because we're special. Like somehow we just, it wasn't like anybody from Apple

00:30:30   was like, Oh, John Gruber and Matthew Panzareno, let's escort you up front.

00:30:33   Somehow though, you know, and you, you were there. It is like, it, it, it's like

00:30:39   you're waiting and, and it's very nice. And they've got, you know, I don't know,

00:30:42   coffee in Danish and stuff for the people who've been invited and you can

00:30:46   wait. And then the doors open and it's not like a stampede, but it is sort of,

00:30:51   you don't know what to expect because they don't tell you, everybody from the

00:30:55   media who's been invited, you'll be seated on the left and here's what to do.

00:30:59   And you know, there's lots of seats in the middle up front that are all reserved

00:31:03   for VIPs, you know, people from Pixar who, you know, Leon Kritz is here for this

00:31:08   event. Well, guess what? He's getting a real good seat in the second row. You

00:31:11   know, Laureen Powell-Jobs is here. Oh, well guess what? She gets a good seat.

00:31:15   You know what I mean?

00:31:16   I think she's earned it.

00:31:17   Yeah. It's like, Oh, where do I go? What do I do? What do I get to see? And then

00:31:20   somehow Panzareno and I wound up in like the third row for that one. And, and we

00:31:25   weren't really on the left, but we weren't surrounded by media people. We

00:31:31   were surrounded by Apple retail employees who had been invited. Apparently the deal

00:31:37   was that like, I don't know if they flew people in or if it was just like regional

00:31:42   Northeast stuff, but it was actually somebody from a suburban Philly store who

00:31:46   was right behind us and broke up a chitchat and it was very nice. But

00:31:50   apparently it was like a reward for a very successful Apple retail store

00:31:55   employees. And their managers got to say, Hey, you've been doing a great job.

00:31:59   We've got a couple passes to this event in Brooklyn. You guys can go. And it was,

00:32:04   you know, on the one hand, it was a very nice treat. They, these people were

00:32:08   incredibly enthusiastic. They were so happy to be there. It was amazing. And,

00:32:13   but it was also good for, you could see it from Apple's perspective where it

00:32:16   made it seem like the audience was crazy enthusiastic. You know, it was

00:32:19   like the Beatles were in town. You know, it was, it worked out for everybody.

00:32:22   Apple got an event where it seemed like the audience was very happy because the

00:32:26   people in the media, some people, you know, they, they either don't clap

00:32:30   because they feel like it's inappropriate as a member of the media to like cheer

00:32:34   and clap for a thing that they're there to objectively observe, or they don't

00:32:39   even think that far. They're just typing their live blog thing, right? Like,

00:32:44   even if they don't have like a personal policy against applauding or something

00:32:48   like that, they, you know, so Apple, you know, wants to get the applause. So

00:32:51   they put in people who are going to do that. Anyway, you were there. They,

00:32:55   remember the hands-on area, they had the LG displays, right?

00:32:58   You know, I can't remember if they had the LG displays. I remember the big

00:33:02   thing for that day was the iPad Pro, because that was when I believe it was

00:33:06   the first of the iPads with Face ID at that point, because this was October

00:33:10   2018. And the new MacBook Air, if I'm not mistaken, the new Retina MacBook Air,

00:33:16   I think was also that event. I'm not trying to say that the LG Ultra Find

00:33:20   wasn't there. I just, I don't recall one way or the other. I remember the

00:33:24   big haul.

00:33:24   No, it was definitely there because there was some Mac news too, and they,

00:33:28   including, you know, it wasn't even on stage, but like one of the news items

00:33:32   of the day was this 15-inch, I guess at the time was the big size, I almost

00:33:36   said 16, but the 15-inch MacBook Pro got a new build to order option for a

00:33:42   higher-end embedded graphics card, you know. And I remember palling around

00:33:47   the hands-on area with Austin Mann, the photographer, who often does these

00:33:52   amazing, amazing, oh, you know, it makes me sick because he's like, you

00:33:57   know, he's like on safari, you know, somewhere in Africa shooting pictures

00:34:02   of lions with the iPhone 13. And meanwhile, I'm like shooting a picture

00:34:06   of a coffee mug on my desk. Right. Exactly. But we were there and we were

00:34:11   talking and they had light room on display to talk about like the

00:34:16   improvements to something and it was all being shown on these LG displays

00:34:19   and they looked fine, right? I mean, they look, you know, but I just

00:34:23   remember looking at the build quality of them. Like the display itself was

00:34:27   fine and it roughly to my eyes as good as the iMac 5K. I'm sure, I've seen

00:34:33   people say it's actually not as good as the iMac 5K in terms of evenness

00:34:37   from corner to corner, but the thing that I could instantly imagine was

00:34:40   this is sort of like a janky build quality. Yeah, I couldn't agree more.

00:34:47   So I got one of these secondhand, you know, late last year and so I got it

00:34:51   for steel, which is why, perhaps why I'm more enthusiastic and a bit of an

00:34:55   apologist for the ultra fine. It is a masterclass in mediocrity. Like

00:35:00   everything about it is mediocre. The screen, the panel itself is pretty

00:35:04   darn good, but everything around that panel is mediocre on a good day. The

00:35:09   build quality is eh. The stand that it comes with was super wobbly and

00:35:15   I don't think it was properly, you know, counterweighted or sprung or

00:35:19   what have you, so that it always wanted to either rise or fall depending on

00:35:22   how many things I, you know, clamped to the back of it in the USB-C ports.

00:35:26   The speakers are preposterously bad and one of my favorite things about my

00:35:31   beloved LG Ultrafine is that as you volume up between the third volume

00:35:37   notch and the fourth volume notch, the ramp between the third and the fourth,

00:35:41   you know, squares or whatever they are, the volume ramp between the two is

00:35:45   like quadruple. I am being a little hyperbolic, but it's, you know, it goes,

00:35:49   it's kind of a whisper at low and one and two and three and then at four

00:35:53   it's like this. It's ridiculous. It's like it's so much louder between three

00:35:57   and four. And that was, I believe, one of the things that was supposedly

00:36:00   going to come from a firmware update, which I did do and it didn't make a

00:36:04   difference. And speaking of firmware updates, Jon, did you know that it

00:36:07   wasn't until like a month ago that their LG display manager, screen manager,

00:36:11   was able to run on M1 Macs that have been around for what, like a year and

00:36:14   a half now, two years now? So it's, everything about it is mediocre. And I

00:36:19   don't have the visceral like repulsion that it seems Marco does by having a

00:36:24   little tiny understated LG logo on the front. Like would I prefer it to be?

00:36:28   Not there, of course, but I don't find it to be particularly offensive. But it's

00:36:32   just, it was, it's a pretty good panel, but everything around it is just meh on

00:36:38   a good day. And mine, shortly after I got it again, I got it second hand.

00:36:43   Shortly after I got it, the main Thunderbolt connection so that, you know,

00:36:47   USB-C looking, but it's actually a Thunderbolt connection, seemed to

00:36:49   dislodge itself from the inside. And so I needed to ship my monitor all the

00:36:55   way to California. Yeah, all the way to California. And then it sat for a

00:36:59   while, which I mean, it was the holidays and COVID and so on. So I really

00:37:02   shouldn't complain, but it sat for like a month and then eventually came back.

00:37:05   But the whole, I could go on a three hour rant about how awful that repair

00:37:09   process was. And honestly, for that alone, that's, I'm so excited to be able

00:37:15   to have, and mine is coming in a couple of weeks, have an Apple Studio

00:37:18   display. And for no other reason than because if something goes wrong, I put

00:37:22   it in my car and drive 10 minutes. And then I hand it to someone who will

00:37:26   presumably fix it in a fairly timely manner. Like that alone, that the repair

00:37:31   story for those of us who are lucky enough to live close to at least one

00:37:34   Apple store, that repair story is enough to make me more than interested,

00:37:39   let alone everything else that's great about it.

00:37:41   I often think, and I think that this whole saga of external displays

00:37:45   epitomizes it. I often get the feeling that inside Apple, it's not that

00:37:53   they're unaware of the broader computing world in the PC market, that

00:37:57   people who work at Apple are so, it's not an insular thing. It's just that

00:38:03   the sort of people who go to work at Apple and get to the point where

00:38:07   they're successful enough in the company where they can be decision

00:38:10   makers who are involved with like, should we keep making our own

00:38:15   displays? Should we trust it to the third, you know, they're so of a

00:38:21   like-mindedness in their priorities for what matters. Like, what do

00:38:26   people really want? You know? And I think it seems so obvious to people

00:38:30   who are drawn to Apple and Apple platforms that retina for phones, for

00:38:35   tablets, the watch has always been retina, right? The watch is a product

00:38:39   that debuted at a resolution that you can't see pixels unless, you know,

00:38:45   you have incredibly good eyes or a loop or something like that. This is

00:38:49   so obvious, you know, that you would like to, it's like saying, would you

00:38:54   like to be healthy or unhealthy? Well, it's obvious, you know, you would

00:38:59   like to be healthy, right? It's like, would you like a retina display or

00:39:03   not a retina display? Well, obviously you'd like a retina display. And I

00:39:06   kind of feel like that mindset blinded them where they thought, you know,

00:39:10   we can get out of this market, we'll help LG build one as sort of a

00:39:14   reference. And then, you know, the other companies, you know, the Dells

00:39:18   and the ACES and whoever else makes displays will pick up the slack and,

00:39:23   you know, Mac users will have a variety of third party. It's like

00:39:27   printers, right? Apple hasn't made printers for decades now. There's

00:39:31   plenty of printers out there. I still sort of wish they made printers,

00:39:34   frankly. Because printers are so bad. I forget what I did. I turned

00:39:38   something on on my Eero that you would never ever think some option in

00:39:42   the Eero. I forget what the hell it was, but you wouldn't think it would

00:39:45   have anything. All of a sudden my HP printer wouldn't print name. It

00:39:47   wouldn't connect to Wi-Fi anymore. And it was like, what? And it wasn't

00:39:50   like I turned it like, oh, only use, you know, Wi-Fi 6 or whatever the

00:39:55   latest standard is. And my, you know, eight year old laser jet doesn't see

00:39:59   it. It was something else, but it was like, God, I hate this fucking thing.

00:40:02   But anyway, I think that they thought the monitors thing would be like the

00:40:07   printers thing where it's like, ah, you know, there'll be plenty of

00:40:10   options for Mac users to choose from. Well, it turned out they're like, as

00:40:13   you delineated very well, there were like two and really only one, the LG

00:40:20   27 inch 5K ultra fine, really the one and only Dell had something that was

00:40:26   maybe there. And then they got out of the business. Like, so not only like

00:40:30   the opposite, the opposite of what I think Apple thought would happen,

00:40:34   which is that this is where the industry is going. Look at how great

00:40:37   these displays are. The whole industry is going to go in this direction. We

00:40:40   don't need to make one. And instead they went the opposite direction and

00:40:44   the PC world concluded, Nope, PC users do not want 5K 27 inch displays.

00:40:50   So we won't make them. Yeah. Cause why would we bother for the 15 Apple

00:40:56   nerds that really care about this stuff? And I mean, it kind of makes

00:40:59   sense. Like, you know, if you look at it on the surface of, of the people

00:41:02   that I know, you know, many, many, many of my friends, I'm not talking like

00:41:06   our mutual friends. I'm talking about like regular run of the mill friends

00:41:08   of mine and family members. All a ton of them are on max. In fact, I can

00:41:13   think of very few that are on PCs these days, but very, very few of them

00:41:17   have an external display at all. And the only person I can think of that

00:41:22   cared enough to get the LG ultra fine other than me is my dad. And he

00:41:26   probably did that because he went to Apple's website and was looking for

00:41:30   whatever Apple recommended. Like I don't remember he and I talking about

00:41:34   it before he bought it. I think he just bought it because he figured that

00:41:37   was what Apple advised him to do, which at the time was true.

00:41:40   I'm somewhat familiar with the PC market for this because my son, Jonas,

00:41:44   has a gaming PC, which we got him two years ago, and I helped him spec it

00:41:49   out. He doesn't regret it. And I've asked him and he doesn't, but he's

00:41:54   actually got three displays hooked up to it. Now I forget the model names.

00:41:59   It doesn't matter because they're not of interest, but it's like an Asus

00:42:02   something or another. That's I think like a 24 inch 4k panel, which I

00:42:07   encouraged him to get. I thought you don't want something that's not

00:42:11   retina. You want something vaguely close to retina. But for playing

00:42:14   games, I do think it makes it. He seems to like it because and he's used

00:42:18   to his iPhone and iPad and he has a MacBook that he uses for school.

00:42:23   So he appreciates it when he's actually doing something like reading

00:42:28   something in a web browser on the PC that it's roughly retina. It looks

00:42:33   all right, but it's so super thick. It is crazy. But it probably was a

00:42:38   mistake for a gaming PC that the size wasn't the mistake. It's that the 4k,

00:42:43   you don't want to drive your games at that resolution anyway because you

00:42:46   want frame rate more than anything for gaming. It would never make a good

00:42:55   Mac monitor. It's just in addition to the fact that it is industrial

00:43:00   designed as in the gaming vernacular of like black and like the stand

00:43:06   looks like a claw almost, you know. It's from Asus, I believe, or else his

00:43:11   other monitor is other displays from Asus. One's from Asus, one's from a

00:43:15   company that sounds like Asus. But they're not, they would not make good

00:43:18   Mac displays at all. They're just, they just wouldn't. And it's, I think

00:43:22   that's part of the problem is that some of the people who really, really

00:43:26   care about their displays in the PC market are gamers and their interest

00:43:32   has nothing at all correlated to the interest of a Mac user who wants to

00:43:37   do work, right? It's just an entirely different set of needs. And the PC

00:43:43   world is catering to gamers who, you know, for obvious reasons, because

00:43:47   they're the ones who are willing to spend a premium on a nice product.

00:43:51   And the Mac world, you know, Apple help us, you know, you're our Obi-Wan,

00:43:56   you know, you're our only help.

00:43:57   Right. You're exactly right that the priorities are just very, very

00:44:01   different. And that doesn't make, you know, PC users wrong. It's just

00:44:05   that they're very different priorities. And the other funny thing, you

00:44:07   know, hearing you talk about it, I don't have any particular needs for

00:44:11   like amazing color reproduction. I don't care. Like I'm sure I would

00:44:15   appreciate a, you know, P3 whatever monitor, but I don't care about

00:44:21   perfectly accurate color reproduction. I would prefer in a perfect world

00:44:24   to have like mini LED or OLED or something like that, but I don't really

00:44:27   care that much. And that'll come up in a minute about the studio display.

00:44:31   But, you know, my needs aren't that esoteric. I just want a whole bunch

00:44:34   of pixels in not a whole ton of space, you know, and I don't think that's

00:44:37   too much to ask, but for whatever reason, the market just did not step

00:44:41   up, like you said. And you could argue, you know, that sort of kind of

00:44:44   happened when Apple dropped the airport line, but then we got Eero and Eero.

00:44:49   I mean, I use it. I granted they were comped devices or at least the one

00:44:52   of them was, but I use them really like Eero. And so I feel like the

00:44:58   router world, at least we have a couple of options. Whereas for

00:45:02   displays, it was nothing. And I was looking earlier today, I was curious

00:45:07   because, you know, back many, many Macs ago, I remember lusting after the

00:45:11   Thunderbolt display, which was 27 inches, if I'm not mistaken, but not

00:45:14   retina, you know, it was one X and I was looking it up because I can't

00:45:18   remember when did that go away? And according to Wikipedia, the

00:45:21   Thunderbolt display was discontinued on the 23rd of June in 2016. And the

00:45:27   studio display, my understanding is the first deliveries were the 18th of

00:45:31   March, 2022. John, 299 weeks in one day between those two dates.

00:45:37   Wait, what was the date?

00:45:40   June 23rd, June 23rd of 2016 to March 18th of this year. That's 299 weeks

00:45:45   in a day or 2094 days, five years, nine months and two days of no Apple

00:45:51   monitors except the XDR. But again, I don't count it.

00:45:54   Right. And even if you count the XDR, it was quite a stretch, right?

00:45:58   Because that was still a couple of years.

00:46:00   Yeah, because that was introduced at WWDC 2019, but didn't ship till

00:46:04   later, right?

00:46:06   I think that's right. Yeah. So it was still like three, three and a half

00:46:08   years.

00:46:09   Yeah. So it's good to have them back. I think they needed to. I also feel, I

00:46:14   wonder in broad strokes, it's different than selling an entire product, but I

00:46:20   sort of feel that the mentality I mentioned of, well, of course the whole

00:46:23   world's going to go this way because look at how much better this is, sort

00:46:28   of explains Apple going all in on USB C ports and not USB A so many years

00:46:37   ago. And famously, which we probably will hopefully get to by the end of the

00:46:42   show, your beloved MacBook adorable, which only had one port and it was USB

00:46:46   C. But it's hard to, when they make a device that is so thin like iPads,

00:46:55   where USB A obviously would not fit, people don't complain. But on any

00:47:00   device where theoretically they could squeeze in a USB A port and it doesn't

00:47:05   have one, it's inevitably listed in the cons. I don't want to pick on the

00:47:10   Verge, but I actually do want to pick on the Verge. Right? Like the new M1

00:47:19   Max MacBook Pros, 14 and 16 inch ship. What do you have, the 14 inch?

00:47:24   The 14.

00:47:24   That's what I have too. I love it. It might be the greatest computer I've

00:47:27   ever owned.

00:47:27   I completely agree.

00:47:28   You know, it does not have a USB A port. Could in theory have had one, I

00:47:33   guess, would have fit, size wise. And it's considered a ding or a knock.

00:47:39   But I just think that, you know, more problematically than whether the port

00:47:45   is actually on the device, USB A, is the fact that there were so few USB C

00:47:52   peripherals out there and things that you needed, you would need a dongle

00:47:56   for. And I really just can't help but think that Apple really thought, oh my

00:48:00   God, this USB C, finally a USB C that we actually can like, you know, not be

00:48:04   grossed out by, you know, it works upside down. You don't have to get it

00:48:08   in the right way. It's pretty small. Wow. When the whole, when the rest of

00:48:12   the world sees this, they're going to go bananas for it and everything's

00:48:14   going to go USB C. Well, guess what? Didn't really happen. It's been very

00:48:18   slow. But I think that Apple guessed correctly 24 years ago when they made

00:48:24   the original, famous original iMac and it only had USB A ports and got rid

00:48:30   of all of the Mac's legacy ports, like my beloved ADB port for the keyboard,

00:48:34   just had USB A. And I think they bet that, hey, the whole PC world is going

00:48:39   to go for this USB C or USB just when it was just one USB. Well, except

00:48:45   remember the weird one that you had to plug into the printer? It was like a

00:48:49   different, you know, USB A. USB has always been so fun. But they did, they

00:48:55   bet correctly then. Like it really did not take long for the PC world to be

00:48:59   like, yeah, this USB C is, the USB is way better than serial and whatever

00:49:04   else. Parallel. PC two ports or PS two ports. PS two. Get rid of all this,

00:49:09   go USB. I think Apple thought the same thing was going to happen with

00:49:12   USB C and it didn't. Yeah, and I don't entirely begrudge them, but I think

00:49:17   part of the problem is, is that either Apple or the USB consortium or what

00:49:22   have you, or maybe all the above, they sold us a bill of goods that didn't

00:49:26   really end up getting delivered. Because if you think about what we knew

00:49:28   about USB C and whenever it was that this was becoming a thing, I guess

00:49:32   like 2015, something like that. Whenever the MacBooks started going USB C

00:49:37   and actually, was it the adorable? That was the first one come to think of

00:49:41   it. It might've been the adorable, but it doesn't really matter. One way or

00:49:44   another, when we started going all in on USB C, we, there was kind of only

00:49:48   one USB C. If you think about it, like there was the physical connector and

00:49:52   it was always USB, or at least it, the way I remember it was that way. But

00:49:57   then quickly we started getting Thunderbolt and so in Thunderbolt or

00:50:00   Thunderbolt being transmitted over what appeared to be a USB C cable. And

00:50:05   then it quickly became obvious that all USB C cables, they're all special

00:50:10   little snowflakes. None of them are alike and you can never freaking tell

00:50:15   what's what. And like a couple of the cables that I have around the house

00:50:18   now, a couple of them actually have a number four on them and like a little

00:50:21   Thunderbolt logo. So I know what those are, but the overwhelming majority of

00:50:25   the USB C devices that I have, or that, that, that appear to be USB C in terms

00:50:29   of the physical connection, I have no idea if they're USB C, if they're

00:50:33   Thunderbolt, if they're Thunderbolt 2, 3, 4, or what have you. And especially

00:50:37   when I was rocking the adorable, this was a real pain in the butt because the

00:50:41   adorable only had USB C. It did not have Thunderbolt. And one of the popular

00:50:46   things to do at the time was to get a Thunderbolt dock, which actually I have

00:50:49   just done as well for my new computer, but I couldn't use a Thunderbolt dock.

00:50:53   I could only use a USB C dock and, and there weren't many of them and they

00:50:57   were worse. And so I think the part of the problem, part of the slow adoption

00:51:02   is that not all, not all USB C is created alike. Whereas if you think about

00:51:07   the, the original USB days, when it really was one universal serial bus,

00:51:12   you didn't really have to think about that. If they physically connected,

00:51:14   that's all that mattered. But if I take two different cables that appear that,

00:51:19   that physically have the same ends, but have very different guts, I may or

00:51:23   may not be able to see anything on the screen in front of me, all because of

00:51:26   the guts. It has nothing to do with the physical, any properties at all. It's

00:51:29   just the guts and it's infuriating. It's absolutely infuriating.

00:51:32   I remember a couple of years ago, I was doing a review of some new MacBook and

00:51:37   I was like, you know what, I'm not going to set this one up from scratch. Let's,

00:51:40   let's try the migration assistant and let me get all of, you know, as much of

00:51:46   my regular setup over here on this new thing and I'll actually use it. And I

00:51:51   did the migration, I thought over Thunderbolt, cause I knew both machines

00:51:54   had Thunderbolt and it was like, you know, estimated time, 20 days.

00:51:59   And I was like, what, how, what? It was seriously like days or something. It

00:52:05   was like, I, I have, I'm supposed to have this review done in a week. What,

00:52:09   what I can't spend, what is going on? And it was, it was a total, I was using

00:52:14   a USB-C cable, even though it was connected between two Thunderbolt parts

00:52:18   ports. And I was like, Oh, that's it. Stop, stop. Let me cancel. Let me wipe

00:52:22   this machine. Start over. All right. Do I have a necessary Thunderbolt cable?

00:52:27   Hmm. I can't seem to find one. I may not have one. Damn. Where did I put it?

00:52:31   You know what? I'll go buy one. How much are you?

00:52:34   Well, it's so cheap, John. It's so cheap. Don't worry. You can buy them

00:52:37   like a chiclet. You know, it's no problem at all.

00:52:40   So I had like two of these moments, like within, you know, very short period

00:52:43   of like, you know, like if I were a cartoon character, my eyes bugged out

00:52:47   on my head. Where, where one, it was how long it was going to take over

00:52:51   USB-C between sensible Thunderbolt ports. And then to find out how much,

00:52:56   like a one foot Thunderbolt cable costs. It's like 40, 50 bucks. Isn't it

00:53:00   something like that? And it's like, like an 18 inch cable, you know, like

00:53:06   one of the knocks people have against the Apple studio displays that the

00:53:09   included cable, which is very, very nice. It's, it's this new Apple cable

00:53:14   style that they've started shipping with the braided material.

00:53:17   Very, very nice material premium, but it is, it is like one meter, maybe

00:53:22   less if anything, or it's a meter literally from like metal tip to metal

00:53:26   tip. It's not like a meter of cable. It is very small. So you can't, if

00:53:30   you're, you know, whatever Mac you're connecting to your studio display,

00:53:33   if you're going to use that cable, it can't be too far away from the

00:53:36   display. I mean, a meter's not bad, but like the two meter cable is like,

00:53:40   it's seriously like 180 bucks or something. I think.

00:53:43   Yeah. Yeah. And I'm looking at the Thunderbolt three USB-C cable,

00:53:47   eight tenths of a meter is 40 bucks. And I did the same thing. I forget

00:53:50   what the occasion was for me doing this, but I had the exact same moment

00:53:54   and I was like, well, shit, I guess I'm going to the Apple store. $40.

00:53:57   Seriously? $40. And I mean, again, like if you think about it, if you

00:54:02   stop and think, and you realize all the technology in there, like it does

00:54:04   make sense. And I saw a tweet a while ago. I don't think I'll be able to

00:54:07   dig it up for the show notes, but somebody had talked about how the,

00:54:10   the two or three meter, $150 Thunderbolt cable apparently has like a

00:54:13   lot of really trick technology in it. But, but at a glance, I, I didn't

00:54:18   appreciate, and I'm a nerd. Like I do sort of kind of this stuff for a

00:54:21   living. And I didn't appreciate the fact that I had to pay 40 bucks for

00:54:24   less than a meter of cable, much less 150 bucks for, you know, the one or

00:54:27   two meters or whatever it is. That makes, that makes sense though, that

00:54:30   it's only eight tenths of a meter. Cause it does it, it, I didn't measure

00:54:34   it, but it feels less than a meter. I don't know. I have like an intuitive

00:54:37   sense of three feet equals a meter. I know, you know, I can put my hands

00:54:42   out in a pretty good guess. It's like, this feels less than that. And it's

00:54:45   long enough for me, even though I keep my desk is such that I need to, I, I

00:54:49   like to have the MacBook on the left. So it has to stretch a little bit

00:54:54   further because from it, from, from your viewers perspective, the ports

00:54:58   are on the right behind the studio display. So it's a little bit of a,

00:55:03   it, the cable where I put my MacBook next to it is pretty much stretched

00:55:07   completely, but without any stress it, it couldn't be any shorter or I'd

00:55:12   have to move the MacBook closer than I would like it to be, or figure out a

00:55:16   way to put the MacBook on the other side. But it is funny though, as a lay

00:55:19   person, cause it's true too, like at my age where it's like, I know

00:55:22   computers, I grew up, you know, you know, understanding how computers

00:55:26   work. How, how, how could this two meter cable be so expensive? All

00:55:30   you're doing is shooting electrons across, you know, right. It's, it's

00:55:34   all just copper wire with electrons shooting across. And it's like, and

00:55:36   then you start reading about how Thunderbolt cables working. You're

00:55:39   like, Oh, it's, it's like a computer in there.

00:55:42   Yeah. And it's a Thunderbolt four pro cable, three meters, $160 coming

00:55:47   soon. Coming soon. That's the best part. You can't even get the damn

00:55:52   thing. Holy Jamolis. All right. Let's take another break here. Let's take

00:55:55   another break. Give thanks to our next sponsor is our good friends at

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00:58:01   that promo code, the talk show. Have they sponsored ATP remote or...

00:58:05   You know, I don't think so. I think it's forthcoming if I remember correctly.

00:58:09   I'm always confused. I might be lying to you.

00:58:10   I, you know, I tell you, I think I've said this to Marco on the show too.

00:58:13   Sometimes it's like, I listen, I'm listening to ATP and I think, why aren't

00:58:17   they sponsoring my show? They'd be perfect.

00:58:20   This coming week, remote is sponsoring ATP.

00:58:22   Well then, if people are here for the Casey instead of the Gruber, it's

00:58:27   probably remote.com/ATP. Feel free to try that one out if you want.

00:58:33   That is accurate. I would never say that on your show, but that is

00:58:36   hypothetically anything.

00:58:37   Oh, I'm generous with the promo codes.

00:58:41   Are you generous with your review units though? Because I'm not getting a

00:58:46   Apple Studio display for another couple of weeks and I will be happy to take

00:58:49   yours off your hands until then.

00:58:51   You know what? It is funny because they ship it and, you know, and they're,

00:58:54   they're never banging on the doors, you know, to get review unit sent back.

00:59:00   But they ship it with a, you know, a pre-printed FedEx label to send it back.

00:59:06   And it's like this, this review unit is through, I think for these, they said

00:59:10   September, which is nice. It's longer than usual. I feel bad. I'm going to

00:59:15   order one. Here's my person, you know, before we get into the details of it,

00:59:18   my personal situation, I'm a hundred percent going to buy one because this

00:59:21   is the display I've been waiting for. And overall, camera aside, I'm extremely,

00:59:27   extremely happy with it. It's like, yeah, this is what I want. I love it.

00:59:30   But what I want to do is I want to see the nano texture glass in person. It's

00:59:34   a $300 upgrade. I do not want to buy, just buy it and wait and get it, even

00:59:39   though I probably should, but I hate, I just hate sending anything back to

00:59:44   anyone. I hate it. I don't know why.

00:59:45   Yep, same, same.

00:59:46   I don't know. I'll just, I'll just, just, I'll just, if I, if I bought the

00:59:50   nano texture glass, I would just like, I don't know, put it under my desk and

00:59:53   buy a glossy one. Even though, like, I don't want to spend $5,000 on a Pro

00:59:59   Display XDR, but I'll blow $5,000 by buying, you know, I'll buy the $2,000

01:00:06   nano texture one and then just say, ah, give me the other one. But anyway, I

01:00:10   want to see it.

01:00:10   Anything to avoid returning one. That's all that matters.

01:00:12   I do want to see it in person. My review unit is the standard glossy one, which

01:00:17   it does have a very, very nice anti-reflective coating. But my, as, as,

01:00:22   you know, you see from my example photos, you know, in my review or any other

01:00:27   time I occasionally shoot those videos in my office, I do have lots of windows,

01:00:32   which I love. And it's one of the reasons we, you know, we, we bought this

01:00:36   house. I love the windows. I love the light, but windows and glare are, you

01:00:43   know, go hand in hand. It's not bad. But, you know, there's a window over my

01:00:48   shoulder that at certain times of the year, at certain times of the day, it's

01:00:52   right on the display. So I feel like I'm at least a maybe on the nano texture

01:00:56   glass, but it seems like the nano texture with the XDR has very mixed reviews

01:01:04   from people who thought, oh, I would like to have matte, but then they get the

01:01:09   nano texture and you're like, I don't know. I don't like this.

01:01:11   - Yeah. I have heard a lot of the same and I can't cite any particular person

01:01:15   that has said this to me, but I feel like I've heard a lot of the same rumblings.

01:01:19   So the nano texture is, is kind of a mixed bag.

01:01:21   - Our friend Luke had one. Remember he sent, he sent his back. He was like,

01:01:25   ah, F this. And he was very surprised. Well, then the problem with it is, and

01:01:29   again, I am not at the least bit sour that Apple didn't send me both as a

01:01:34   review unit. That's the last thing I need. All right. I'm one person, right?

01:01:39   So like the Verge, the Verge got, I'm friends with Nilay, the Verge got two M1

01:01:44   max studios with the max and the ultra, and they got both of the displays,

01:01:49   nano texture or not, but the Verge has multi, you know, a big staff.

01:01:53   That's the last thing I needed was more stuff to review. So, and, and I would,

01:01:58   I would actually, as a reviewer talking to my audience, I'd rather have the one

01:02:02   that most people are going to buy, which is the default. So I'm glad I am.

01:02:05   It's just no sour grapes or, you know, petulance about it. The downside though,

01:02:10   is that the nano, this is the big downside is that the nano texture models

01:02:14   are not on display in most Apple stores. I asked, I asked Apple during my review

01:02:20   period, will, you know, will they be on display in stores? And the, the initial

01:02:24   answer was they, they will be on display in select Apple stores. And I wrote

01:02:31   back and I said, okay, that's good to know, but how do I know if my Apple

01:02:35   store has been selected? And are you in New York or San Francisco or LA?

01:02:40   That's what you need to know. Yeah. So, the answer I got was you keep,

01:02:45   you know, and there's no way online to tell, unfortunately you can't, you

01:02:49   know, and I don't blame them. It's only so many things they can put on the

01:02:52   website of apple.com and being able to query specifically, you know, which

01:02:59   products are on display at this store is a weird thing to want from Apple, but

01:03:06   I kind of wish they did. What you can do of course is call your local Apple

01:03:10   store and a friendly Apple store representative will be able to answer

01:03:14   you. But the answer is probably no, that they don't have nano texture. For

01:03:18   me, living here in Philadelphia, we have a store right here in center city,

01:03:22   Philadelphia, which is literally blocks away from me. It is, it would be

01:03:28   preposterous even in pouring down rain, maybe in pouring down rain, I would

01:03:34   take an Uber or something, but it is easy walking distance. It would be

01:03:37   walking distance, maybe not to buy, Hmm. Would I walk home with a studio

01:03:43   display? That's the question. I walk, you walk there and then you take an

01:03:47   Uber back. Yeah. I, I, well, I use, if I were going to buy something like

01:03:52   that, I'd get it shipped to me. Oh, you know what you can do? You can always

01:03:54   get the courier service. That's right. That's true. Yeah. They have courier

01:03:57   service, which I've used to buy stupid things. Like when I've needed a

01:04:00   cable and because I live here in center city, Philadelphia, I can usually

01:04:04   get them within like two hours, which is amazing. They do not, they are not

01:04:08   going to have the nano texture one on display. We have a King of Prussia

01:04:12   mall, which is somewhat famous as a mall. It is one of the largest has

01:04:18   been for decades, one of the largest shopping malls in the country. King of

01:04:21   Prussia is a suburb of Philly. It's about 15 miles as the crow flies, which

01:04:26   isn't bad and used to be before Apple opened a center city, Philadelphia

01:04:31   store. It was the closest Apple store. One of the closest to, for people who

01:04:35   live in the city here. The other one would be Cherry Hill, New Jersey, which

01:04:38   is right across the bridge. Very easy drive, but like the King of

01:04:42   Prussia mall Apple store is the one that's the one I waited at in 2007 to

01:04:46   get my first iPhone. When you had, remember that when you, you actually,

01:04:51   there was no way to pre-order. You just went in the morning and sat there all

01:04:55   day. And then they went on sale at like 6 PM or something like that. That's

01:04:58   the King of Prussia. The problem with the King of Prussia as a

01:05:01   Philadelphia is it is 15 miles, but it is the longest 15 miles imaginable.

01:05:10   It is, you have to take what we are, our beloved Schuylkill Expressway, which

01:05:15   if there's no traffic, like if I, I guarantee you, if I tried to make the

01:05:19   drive from my house to the King of Prussia mall at two in the morning, I

01:05:23   could do it in 15 minutes. Easy. Probably less the way the speeds I drive

01:05:28   at, but you know, at normal times of the day, it could be an hour. It is

01:05:33   very bad traffic, but anyway, I will go there. I will check it out before I

01:05:36   decide what to order, but it's sort of like, I kind of have to gear myself up

01:05:40   for it. It's an all day affair, unfortunately. Did you call them yet? Do

01:05:46   you know that they will have a display model? I cheated and Apple PR

01:05:50   confirmed for me that the King of Prussia. That's allowed. I haven't been

01:05:54   there in a long time. I mean, guess what? We're at the point now coming

01:05:58   out of COVID where I keep forgetting. Like we're doing more normal stuff and

01:06:04   I'm like, why is it that I haven't been to the King of Prussia mall and in

01:06:07   recent memory? And I'm like, Oh yeah, that's right. Yeah. There was like two

01:06:11   years where I hardly left the house. That's it. Yeah. There you go. Yeah.

01:06:16   But the King of Prussia mall, I recently underwent a big renovation.

01:06:19   They used to be two malls that were right next. They called it one mall,

01:06:22   but there were like two actual structures and like a parking lot

01:06:26   between them and a walkway. And it was, you know, very, you know,

01:06:30   sufficiently close that they, it wasn't ridiculous to call it one big mall,

01:06:34   even though you had to go outside to get between the two, but they renovated

01:06:38   and added a stretch in between the two to keep it all indoors. And that

01:06:44   new stretch is where they put all of the super premium brands, like the

01:06:49   Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, you name ultra luxury fashion brand. They're

01:06:56   in this new stretch that's between what used to be the two malls. And you'd

01:07:00   think, well, that's probably where the Apple store is now too. But instead,

01:07:04   I think what they did, if I'm recalling correctly, cause I've only been there

01:07:07   once since the renovation is it seems like what they did is they sort of,

01:07:12   like Apple took a spot in one of the two malls close to that throughway,

01:07:18   but they moved from like their original location where they'd been since like

01:07:22   the early two thousands when they first opened to this new one as sort of a,

01:07:27   I'm betting it was like a fascinating negotiation of real estate, of mall real

01:07:32   estate where they're like, Apple is like, we'd like to be in this new section,

01:07:35   you know, like next to Tiffany. And they're like, yeah, but we'd kind of

01:07:38   like to have some really good brands elsewhere, like anchoring. What about

01:07:42   this huge, huge spot here? And they're like, oh yeah, well, we'll do that, but

01:07:47   we'll pay you nothing or something. Right. You know how Apple negotiated.

01:07:50   Oh yeah.

01:07:51   So, but they have, it is, it is, it is like a, it has long been one of the

01:07:57   quote unquote select Apple stores. So I will go out there and see it before

01:08:00   I make my own purchasing decision, even though I'm very worried because the

01:08:05   lighting inside Apple stores is not like the lighting in my office because

01:08:11   it's not daylight. It is this super diffuse, beautiful lighting. And in fact,

01:08:16   I thought that when you sent me the screenshot yesterday, you went to an

01:08:19   Apple store to see the, the studio display. Right. That's right. And you

01:08:23   look pretty good from the camera because the lighting is so diffused and very

01:08:28   nice in an Apple store. So I'm still, I'm a little concerned that I'll go to

01:08:31   the Apple store, look at the nano texture and think, yes, this is what I

01:08:35   want and then buy it and then put it in my office and it'll look totally

01:08:38   different. And I'll be like,

01:08:39   Oh, here, here's what we'll do. I will go return it on your behalf. If you'll

01:08:43   take me to hop, sing, because that's something I don't know if we're gonna

01:08:46   have the time to talk about today, but I am very mad at myself that I never

01:08:50   made the track up to Philly for like coca love or anything and go to hop sing.

01:08:53   So I will, I will trade you one very socially awkward return in favor of

01:08:58   getting me in the door. If that works for you, I will take you there. The,

01:09:02   the things I've heard about nano texture from the XDR people are, and

01:09:06   actually I think, cause Neil, I told me that some of the verge staffers

01:09:10   really liked the nano texture, like their photographers. And so they really

01:09:13   like it, but that the problem is that it's a real bitch to clean. If, yeah,

01:09:18   I've heard the same. If somebody touches it, like you get like one

01:09:21   thumbprint on the damn thing and it's like a grease spot that you cannot get

01:09:27   off. And it does, you know, the nice thing is that it does ship with Apple's

01:09:30   $19 polishing cloth. So you get that free, really. It's like getting a free

01:09:36   $19 polishing cloth. Yeah. I bought the polishing cloth, the standalone one,

01:09:41   just because I had to, uh, it ships and it's so funny. It, it, it, the

01:09:46   packaging, you know how they, they, they, the Apple packaging, the

01:09:51   instructions have very few words. They're sort of like Lego instructions,

01:09:55   you know, like Lego and Ikea where they're sort of pictograms that just

01:09:59   show you what to do instead of explaining it. So they don't, they can

01:10:02   just ship the same thing worldwide. They tell you not to use the side with

01:10:08   the Apple logo on it. Oh, I did not know that. Yeah. But I don't know why

01:10:12   Jonas and I looked at it and we're like, honest to God, you can touch it.

01:10:16   You can look at it. You can feel it. It doesn't look like there's any

01:10:19   difference, but they, there's like a little circle with a line through it.

01:10:21   Like don't use the side with the Apple logo, use the other side and go in a

01:10:24   circular motion. And it's funny cause I don't have colleagues, you know, I, if

01:10:29   anybody can get this display to never be touched by human fingers, it's

01:10:35   probably me. I mean, you'd have to be like a genuine hermit, you know, to,

01:10:39   to make it, but it could happen. You're right. You never know. Right. And

01:10:45   it's like, I'm, I'm an anti touch the screen person period, but you know,

01:10:50   and I can be a little, Hey, Hey, what are you doing? You know? Yep. Yep.

01:10:54   But if I get the nano texture, it's going to have to be like, I'm going to

01:10:57   have to put like red, red tape on the ground. Or do you like some sort of

01:11:01   like infrared beam? Like what was the movie with Catherine Zeta Jones and

01:11:05   Sean Connery and trap mint? Is that it? Where she goes like dancing through the

01:11:09   through the laser beam maze, you know what I'm saying? You're going to put

01:11:12   like a laser beam maze in front of the screen or some sort of proximity

01:11:16   alarm or something. Yeah. You know, I got it. So I'm looking at the the

01:11:19   buy page for the studio display and it is clearly not popular at all because

01:11:25   I tell you what, the only thing you can get in less than quote eight to 10

01:11:29   weeks is the tilt adjustable stand. If you go, so it's in height, adjustable

01:11:34   eight to 10 weeks, you're not even telling you like a month. It's just

01:11:36   eight to 10 weeks. These amount adapter eight to 10 weeks. I mean, obviously

01:11:39   everyone, it's not just you and me that are waiting for a cold glass in

01:11:43   hell. Like everyone is interested in this. It seems cause I know it's, you

01:11:46   know, supply chain and blah, blah, blah. But still, I got to imagine if

01:11:50   anyone would get their supply chain squared away for a new product, it

01:11:53   would be Apple. And from the looks of it, these things are sold out for

01:11:57   forever. Yeah. And I combination maybe of pent up demand and supply.

01:12:02   Yeah, fair enough. Shame problems. I don't know. Anyway, talking about the

01:12:05   display itself, I, I, I, I'm very happy with my review from a week ago, but

01:12:13   I'll tell you, I was nervous because I've spent so much time bitching about

01:12:18   the camera and it's, and it's not nervousness like, oh, you know, you're

01:12:25   not supposed to give bad reviews to Apple products. It's just like, am I

01:12:29   nuts? Right. It's not, it's not any sort of like, you know, feeling that

01:12:33   I'm not supposed to say bad that I love it. You know, in theory, it's

01:12:36   like, you know, anybody who wants to accuse me of being a Homer for Apple

01:12:40   products, it's like the best thing to happen is, you know, get one that you

01:12:43   don't like and then tell people about why. But the camera thing in

01:12:47   particular was making me feel like gaslit. Like, am I nuts? Am I, you

01:12:52   know, and you know, it's, I did commiserate with Nilay and Joanna. I

01:12:59   forget who reached out to whom first. I forget if it was me. I think I

01:13:04   reached out to Nilay and say, hey, do you have this thing? And, you know,

01:13:07   and then we did like a three person FaceTime, it just the three of us and

01:13:12   we're all, we were all like on the same page. Like I'm sort of thinking

01:13:15   this camera is really makes me look, looks, it's bad quality period. It's

01:13:20   fuzzy, it's noisy and really does a bad number on skin tones across the

01:13:26   board. And we're all looking at each other like, yeah, we look terrible.

01:13:30   And then I was like, well, wait a second, you know, input magazine, Ray

01:13:34   Wong at input got Apple to confirm first that it's the same front facing

01:13:39   camera as the new iPad Air, which in turn is the same front facing camera

01:13:43   that's been in the iPad Pro for a year. Basically, one way to think about

01:13:47   it is that so far, every Apple device that supports center stage uses the

01:13:52   same camera hardware and ultra wide, I think 12 megapixel, but who cares

01:13:56   what the ultra wide field of view front facing camera. And I was like, I've

01:14:02   got the iPad Air right here. I'm doing a review of that too here. I'm getting

01:14:06   off. I'm going to hop back on with the iPad Air. And I did on the same call.

01:14:10   And I was like, do I look better? And I was like, I think I look better in

01:14:13   my preview. And they're like, oh, you look, you look way better. You look

01:14:16   way. And we're like this. Yeah, this is crazy. And I'm like, all right, I'm

01:14:20   going to get off and go back to the studio display. Do I look worse?

01:14:22   Yes, you look now you look, you look sick.

01:14:25   Yeah. So I went to the Apple store yesterday, like you had said, and I had

01:14:32   read all the reviews. I'd read yours. I'd seen the verges review and I'd seen

01:14:35   Joanna's really good video where she did like kind of a play on March

01:14:39   Madness, which I mean, her video work is so good. It's infuriating how good

01:14:42   it is. She is basically everything.

01:14:44   You know, she won an Emmy.

01:14:45   I did not know that. Did she really?

01:14:47   Yeah, she won an Emmy for the thing about the thing last year about how to plan

01:14:52   for your eventual death. Yeah, she'll never let me forget it. Emmy award-winning

01:15:00   Joanna Stern.

01:15:00   Emmy award-winning, that's right. But no, she is so impossibly good at what she

01:15:03   does. And anyways, so I went to the Apple store and I'm playing around the

01:15:07   display and leaving the camera side just very briefly, like the panel looks

01:15:11   great. And of course, you know, I'm trying to think of ways in which I can

01:15:16   try to exercise this display that's not connected to a machine that I can

01:15:21   only retrospect. I should have just brought my computer and connected it.

01:15:23   It just occurred to me just now, but nevertheless, you know, it's connected

01:15:26   to a M1 Mac's Mac studio and I'm trying to think of things that I can do to

01:15:31   kind of exercise the display and show what it's made of. And I looked at the

01:15:35   photos that the canned photos and the photos app on Apple's display Mac. And

01:15:40   of course, they're all gorgeous. And this display looks phenomenal. I ended

01:15:44   up logging into my own Plex server, you know, from the web and playing a

01:15:49   little bit of Hamilton in 4k and they looked great. You know, it looked

01:15:55   phenomenal. And then I opened up Photo Booth to take a picture of myself just

01:16:00   to see, well, first of all, to verify that center stage does not work in

01:16:03   Photo Booth, which I was pretty sure was going to be the case, but

01:16:06   nevertheless, I wanted to see. And then I took a picture of myself and I

01:16:09   uploaded it to my Synology at home so I could look at it later. And when I

01:16:13   was looking at it in the Apple store, it looked fine. Like I wouldn't say it

01:16:18   was great, but it looked fine. But then I was walking out of the mall and I

01:16:21   was looking at it on my phone and I started zooming in and I'm like, "Oh,

01:16:24   oh, this is not that fine at all. This is actually not great." It's really

01:16:30   not a fantastic picture. And in particular, a lot of the fine details,

01:16:35   like the wrinkles in my forehead, for example, I feel like they're very, very

01:16:39   fuzzy. Like everything just seems fuzzier than I would expect. It very

01:16:42   much looks like the 720p front-facing cameras that were on Apple laptops

01:16:46   for 18 frickin' years. And it looks kind of like that. And based on my gut,

01:16:53   I'm inclined to believe that when Apple says, "Oh, it's software, it's

01:16:57   software, it's software," that it probably is. Like, I assume that to be

01:17:01   true, but golly, for right now, it does not look great. It really doesn't.

01:17:06   Tom: It was such a weird saga, publishing the review, and then hearing from,

01:17:12   you know, and all of my interaction up to the point of publishing was through

01:17:16   Apple PR. And Apple PR, when you're dealing with them as a reviewer, is not

01:17:20   a faceless organization. I know people there, and the people who I was

01:17:25   communicating with are people who I've known for years there. It's not just

01:17:29   like, you know, as a reviewer, you're not just sending email to applepr@apple.com

01:17:34   and getting a response from somebody you don't know. You know, there was—

01:17:38   it was unusual, because usually if you're as a reviewer, you encounter a

01:17:44   problem and you let them know. And, you know, and I don't know—I can't speak

01:17:49   for everybody who reviews products, but I—and Neelay and Joanna and I were

01:17:53   both—the three of us were talking about it, that all three of us are of a

01:17:56   similar mindset, where we don't want to surprise anybody, you know, we don't

01:18:01   want to surprise Apple. We tell them, you know, and when they ask, you know,

01:18:05   like halfway through the week of reviewing, "What are your thoughts?" I'm

01:18:09   always very honest, you know, positive or negative, you know, like, "Here's

01:18:13   what I think so far," you know, and there's negative stuff comes up from

01:18:16   time to time. And, you know, I told them about the camera and I sent them

01:18:19   images. I was like, "Look," you know, and here's the same—in the same

01:18:22   lighting, you know, similar to the ones I published, although the ones I had

01:18:26   originally was unshowered. There was—funny backstory is the ones I did

01:18:30   publish when the sunlight was literally hitting me in the face, and it was

01:18:35   like—and my first thought was, "Well, of course my face is blown out in this

01:18:39   sunlight because it's bright sunlight right on my face," and I thought, "Well,

01:18:42   wait, let me see what this iPad Air does with the exact same camera," and

01:18:45   exposed my face perfectly. And literally 15 seconds later, but I looked

01:18:51   terrible, and I was like, "Oh my God, the sun—I got it—I don't know what

01:18:54   the weather's going to be like for the next two days." It ended up being

01:18:57   overcast from the next days until the reviews came out, so I had to, like,

01:19:01   quick scram—like, run to get a shower, you know, like—

01:19:04   Steven: See, the life of a reviewer is hard, John.

01:19:07   It's not just free stuff.

01:19:08   John: I know. It's like—because we just watched the Home Alone movies

01:19:11   over Christmas, and I'm reminded. It's like when they, you know, realized the

01:19:14   alarm clock was busted and they're late for the airport. It's like, I'm

01:19:17   like—I'm like literally like, "Out of my way!" and "I'm getting a shower. I

01:19:21   need to take a photo before the sunlight passes," you know, and it was. It's

01:19:25   actually, you know, it was like aerobic exercise. No, but I told them, and

01:19:29   then they were like, "Oh, yeah, there is some—you know, we definitely see

01:19:31   it. That's not right. Let me get back to you." But the "Let me get back to

01:19:35   you" part took much longer than usual, and then they got back to us, you

01:19:38   know, pretty late before the reviews with a very similar statement, you

01:19:43   know, that, you know, "We've identified some problems, and a future

01:19:46   software fix will improve it," something like that. Then I published,

01:19:50   and I started hearing from some of my sources who are unofficial, you

01:19:53   know, just people inside Apple who read the site, and some of them, you

01:19:57   know, it's like, you know, one of the very lucky things of my career and

01:20:02   having been doing this for long enough is that I've, you know, there's a

01:20:06   level of trust and certain people who I know, and, you know, guess what? I

01:20:10   wound up communicating with people who've used the studio display inside

01:20:17   Apple while it's being developed at certain stages. They're like, "Yeah,

01:20:21   mine doesn't look like that, but mine's running like a dev build of the

01:20:26   firmware, you know, it's not up to date," and that something, something

01:20:30   happened late in the game. I still don't know detail. I cannot—there's no

01:20:34   backstory, you know, no betrayal of trust or spilling any guts. I don't

01:20:39   know the details of what in the hell happened, and I realize how crazy this

01:20:43   is, right? So I wrote an update and said, "What I've heard from little

01:20:47   birdies who are familiar with the matter is that some kind of bug was

01:20:51   introduced late in the game, and part of the miscommunication between,

01:20:56   like, the reviewers and Apple PR is that they weren't even seeing it

01:20:59   because they might have been using very late prototypes that they—I

01:21:02   don't know this for sure, I could be wrong—but I believe that they were

01:21:05   running very late prototypes that they thought were truly commensurate

01:21:09   with what will be the actual shipping ones but aren't and have somewhat

01:21:14   better, to some degree better image quality out of the camera. But what

01:21:17   I've been told is that it should be at least as good as the iPad Air and

01:21:21   current iPad Pros, and it's not. And nobody—it doesn't—that's one of the

01:21:25   weird things and one of the things that made me, like, such a relief is

01:21:28   it's not like some of the reviewers are saying the camera's not that

01:21:31   great and others are saying, "Ah, it's just as good as the iPad," and it's

01:21:35   like, "No, everybody agrees it's not as good as an iPad," and it's kind of

01:21:39   weird that Apple confirmed it's the same camera hardware because they

01:21:42   usually don't confirm stuff like that, right? Like, I fix it, and I

01:21:47   fix it, we'll take it apart and prove that it's the same component two

01:21:51   days later, but they still won't tell you. Or famously, with RAM,

01:21:56   they'll never ever—until recently, they would never ever tell you how

01:21:59   much RAM was in an iPhone. They're like, "Ah, we don't talk about that,"

01:22:02   and it's like, "Well, somebody's going to take it apart or run, you

01:22:05   know, run one of those utilities." You have apps in the App Store that

01:22:09   will tell you how much—

01:22:10   Jared: How much is this hard?

01:22:12   Steven: —how much memories on this system, but they will not confirm it.

01:22:15   Jared; It's the worst kept-state secret ever.

01:22:17   Steven; So, my basic take on the camera is, as it stands, it is truly

01:22:23   subpar. I mean, it is poor. It is a poor camera that it seems

01:22:27   inexplicably bad with skin tones and sharpness and noise and low

01:22:32   light and sunlight, you know, bright sunlight and low light at night,

01:22:38   bad. It clearly does not produce as good an image quality as the iPad

01:22:43   Air and iPad Pro front-facing camera, not the rear-facing camera, but

01:22:47   I've been told that it, through firmware updates, that something

01:22:51   could be fixed and that it would—it probably won't match the iPad Air

01:22:56   exactly because I think they're doing some different stuff, and I don't

01:22:59   know this for sure, that makes sense where you're at a different

01:23:04   distance from the studio display than you typically are from an iPad,

01:23:08   right? It's, for me, my comfortable distance from a desktop display is

01:23:12   roughly arm's length, like with my palm up, like giving the famous,

01:23:16   you know, like telling somebody to stop. That's about how far I sit

01:23:20   from a display. Nobody holds their iPad at arm's length distance,

01:23:25   right? Well, I shouldn't say nobody because we talked about vision

01:23:28   problems. Somebody somewhere has a vision problem where their perfect

01:23:31   distance is arm's length, so let's acknowledge that, but typical

01:23:35   iPad distance is closer. So, I think they're doing something different

01:23:38   with the cropping, with the ultra-wide for center stage, where it may

01:23:42   not be the exact same image, but the image quality should be the same.

01:23:47   I believe that. Why not?

01:23:49   Yeah, I think it surely will get better, and I'm looking at your post

01:23:55   again, and not the first batch of shots when you were in sunlight, but

01:23:58   the second batch of shots where you're being artificially lit.

01:24:01   Right.

01:24:02   Like, if you look at the first shot, you can see a couple of wrinkles,

01:24:05   normal wrinkles in your forehead. You can make out some hair in, you

01:24:08   know, the hair in your beard to some degree, and then you look at the

01:24:11   studio display shot, and the whiter portion of your beard is like a blob.

01:24:15   Yeah.

01:24:16   Your shirt loses any semblance of, like, weave or anything to it. It's

01:24:20   almost like you put on a sheet, and it's a different color blue, by the

01:24:23   way, even though it's the exact same shirt. Like, it's so abundantly

01:24:27   obvious the differences between the two, and by the way, the second

01:24:30   shot of you with the sheet that is cut like a shirt rather than a shirt.

01:24:34   It very much matches my experience in the Apple store with the

01:24:37   artificial light there, you know, where your forehead is kind of, like,

01:24:40   is flattened, your beard is kind of, like, been, I don't know,

01:24:45   unsharpened, de-sharpened, and your shirt, you can't see the weave at

01:24:48   all, and that very much looks like the image that I took of myself at

01:24:51   the Apple store. And I got to imagine, you know, like I said, mine is

01:24:55   shipping in a week or two. I would assume, based on zero insider

01:25:00   knowledge, that by around the time mine comes in, I bet you will see

01:25:04   at least a first crack at a fix at this, because I can't imagine that

01:25:06   they're happy about this PR at all.

01:25:08   Steve McLaughlin Yeah, and I think that part of the bad feeling about it

01:25:12   is that first impressions are so important, and they're so hard to

01:25:15   shake, and so I think the ultimate story will play out like this, that

01:25:20   they will ship some sort of firmware update. I think the firmware

01:25:23   update will improve image quality to be somewhat, or mostly, or fairly

01:25:29   said commensurate with the iPad front-pacing cameras on the Air and

01:25:32   Pro. I think center stage is going to improve, and my complaints about

01:25:36   center stage, where I called it off center stage, because if I turn my

01:25:40   head to the side and come back, I'm off center, and then three or four

01:25:43   seconds later, literally, like, I'm not exaggerating, it's like four

01:25:46   seconds, and then it sheepishly repans to put me in the center again,

01:25:51   like, "Oops, sorry, I forgot we were moved." I've since learned some

01:25:55   more about what they were thinking there and why it does that, and it's

01:25:58   sort of, it's like what I was doing, which I wasn't trying to trick it,

01:26:04   I literally, well, it's good, you know, you're the one on the show, but

01:26:07   to avoid KC-ing myself, I tend to keep my, any beverages I'm drinking

01:26:14   off to the side, and I have an L-shaped desk, it's over to the right,

01:26:19   and so while I was FaceTiming my son as a test, I went over to get a

01:26:23   drink of a beverage, turned my head to the side, and moved to the side,

01:26:27   and then came back, and now I'm off center, and I'm like, "Whoa!"

01:26:30   I, it wasn't like I was trying to trick it out. I never ran into that

01:26:35   with center stage on an iPad, there seems to be no way to fool it,

01:26:38   similarly. It seems like it's a feature, not a bug, though, in that

01:26:42   it's sort of like an anti-, what they thought was an anti-fidget feature,

01:26:46   like for somebody who is, like, you're in a long Zoom meeting for work,

01:26:51   an hour-long meeting, and you're there, and, you know, you might slouch

01:26:54   a little, you just, you know, you get a little restless in your chair,

01:26:57   it's, it's, Face, it, the center stage algorithm is different on the

01:27:01   studio display than on the iPads, by choice, for reasons that I think

01:27:06   are good, but I think that they didn't, that there are things people

01:27:10   do in front of the camera, like turn your head to the side, that they

01:27:13   didn't anticipate, and I, I, that's clearly a software that they could

01:27:16   fix, right? Because they could, they could just delete all of the center

01:27:21   stage code and just put the iPad code in, and it would do the same thing

01:27:24   the iPad does, right? So, I'm sure that's fixable. I think it'll happen,

01:27:28   but I, I still think in my, in my gut, I expect a better camera than the

01:27:35   iPad front-facing camera. I, I, because it's, it's a $1600 display, it is

01:27:40   three-quarters of an inch thick, and I just attribute some of the, eh, not

01:27:46   bad for a front-facing camera, overall quality of iPad Pros and the iPad Air

01:27:50   to, well, look at how thin this thing is, right? And, and the rear-facing

01:27:54   camera sticks out, well, the front-facing camera isn't going to stick out

01:27:58   on an Apple device, so of course the image quality is a little less, but

01:28:02   the studio display has all the thickness in the world for a webcam,

01:28:06   you know? So, I kind of feel like, I, I still feel like even when they do

01:28:11   quote-unquote "fix" the image quality, I'm still going to be mildly

01:28:16   disappointed with it, I, compared to what I think they could have built

01:28:20   into this thickness display for a $1600 display and up without center

01:28:27   stage. I, I just don't personally, eh, you know, maybe other people do,

01:28:31   maybe I'm the wrong market, I just don't see when I'm going to use this

01:28:34   where I really want center stage. Well, so I think there's a few things

01:28:38   to unpack there, and I think some of it is that the studio display has

01:28:44   some really, really weird price anchoring going on around it, right?

01:28:48   Because the LG Ultrafine, the 5K one, is $1300, I believe, and honestly,

01:28:53   I don't personally perceive it as a $1300 monitor. I think at best it's a

01:28:58   $1000 monitor, and I think more realistically it should probably, can

01:29:02   maybe be even a little bit cheaper than that, because as I said earlier,

01:29:06   you know, everything about it is an exercise in mediocrity, and so when

01:29:10   you compare yourself to the LG 5K, and MKVHD did a really good video on

01:29:15   whether or not the studio display is a good deal, and the thesis of his

01:29:20   video was, you know, it depends on what you're after, and this is what

01:29:23   you and I were talking about earlier, you know, if you're a PC user, no,

01:29:25   it's a terrible deal, but if you're a Mac user who has a particular set

01:29:28   of priorities, then yeah, it's actually a pretty good deal. Why is it a

01:29:31   pretty good deal? Because it's only $300-ish more than the, than the

01:29:35   LG Ultrafine, but then if you consider the fact that I personally believe

01:29:41   that the LG Ultrafine is kind of drastically overpriced, then you start

01:29:45   thinking about, well, for a $1600 monitor, you know, shouldn't you have

01:29:50   a better webcam? And then you end up exactly where you were saying, John,

01:29:52   like, it seems like you should be able to do better for $1600. And I feel

01:29:59   like I understand why Apple went the way of using known hardware and

01:30:05   presumably a lot of known software. I mean, it's since come out that this

01:30:09   thing is basically running iOS or not exactly iOS, but very, very similar

01:30:14   to iOS in a, what was it, an A13 in the screen or something like that?

01:30:17   Well, I think, I think it is iOS. It's just that they've, you know,

01:30:21   retrofitted it to just do what they, what they want to do. But like,

01:30:25   literally the build number is, is exactly the same as 15.4.

01:30:29   Right. Exactly. But, but, you know, I think one, one thing that I was

01:30:34   really excited when I was watching the presentation, I was really excited

01:30:38   for Center Stage. And, and I think the reason that I'm super excited for

01:30:42   Center Stage is because I have a slightly different use case than you do.

01:30:45   And if you think about it, if I was going to get on a FaceTime call with

01:30:48   like my parents or my grandparents or something like that, it's not just me

01:30:52   or me and Aaron who will mostly stay still and mostly either be in the

01:30:56   shot or not. And that's something that as grownups, we can manage. But I

01:31:00   have a seven year old and a four year old, and they will be running in and

01:31:04   out of the shot and running around and so on and so forth. And so I think

01:31:09   in that case, for, if you consider using this as like a family phone call

01:31:14   device, then I think Center Stage could potentially make a lot of sense,

01:31:18   but it also worries me a little bit that perhaps Center Stage as set up in

01:31:23   the studio display is going to be a little lethargic for the needs of a

01:31:28   parent of a seven year old and a four year old, you know? And I understand

01:31:31   what you're saying about, well, if you're in a zoom call and you're just,

01:31:33   you know, rocking a teeny bit, you don't want to be, have the distraction

01:31:36   of the pseudo-cameraman rocking back and forth as well. That's not my life,

01:31:41   you know? And in the same way that you kind of sort of don't have colleagues,

01:31:44   I kind of sort of don't have colleagues, you know, Marco and John and Mike

01:31:48   accepted in many ways I'm by myself and I don't often find myself on video

01:31:52   calls. And so if I were to find myself on a video call for me, that would

01:31:56   be like a social thing, like a family thing. And in that case, that would be

01:32:02   very useful to have Center Stage. So it's hard as with all things, when

01:32:05   you're at Apple scale, like who do you emphasize or who do you really

01:32:09   consider to be your core user? You know, what user story is the story that

01:32:14   you really latch onto? And there's no right answer. And since Apple is

01:32:17   allergic to settings, you know, it's not like I can flip back and forth

01:32:19   between the John Gruber algorithm and the Casey Liss algorithm, you know?

01:32:22   So you just got to do the best with what you got. But I think it, I really

01:32:26   think the software is going to get better. I could make an argument, we

01:32:29   talked about this on this week's ATP, I can make an argument that maybe

01:32:32   there's a little too much software in the display. But on the flip side of

01:32:36   that, I'm saying that from the privileged position of having a brand

01:32:41   new MacBook Pro. You know, one of the great things about this display is

01:32:44   that Center Stage and all those things that are unique to Apple Silicon

01:32:49   can be run on an Intel-powered MacBook or MacBook Pro. And that's really

01:32:54   awesome and something that I don't think I've given Apple enough credit

01:32:58   for because I don't really care. I don't have any Intel devices around.

01:33:03   Well, I guess Erin's adorable. I pass that down to her, but you know,

01:33:06   she's not ever going to plug into the display. So I don't have any Intel

01:33:09   devices around anymore. So I don't really care that it's backwards

01:33:12   compatible. But that is a very unusual thing for Apple to do and just be

01:33:16   that cognizant in that forthcoming, for lack of a better word, with older

01:33:21   devices and saying, you know what, we've got you covered. We'll put the

01:33:24   Silicon in the display rather than you needing to have it on the thing the

01:33:27   display is connected to.

01:33:28   Yeah, that's definitely possible. I mean, and you know, I ran it. This is

01:33:32   the other weird thing. I did run it on, did I mention this in my review? I

01:33:37   think I did. Maybe in a footnote. Yeah, in a footnote that I initially

01:33:41   hooked it up to my MacBook Pro, which is running macOS 12.2, which is

01:33:45   officially unsupported, but more or less just runs it like a dumb display.

01:33:49   Like you can hook it up to a PC, you know, you just don't get Center Stage,

01:33:53   but you still, you know, your PC connected by Thunderbolt will see a

01:33:56   webcam, it'll hear the microphones, it'll, you know, play sound. I swear to

01:34:00   God, I got better image quality, even though I did. There was something

01:34:04   else, there's something else involved, something with the Center Stage part

01:34:08   of it, right? And I think that's, it's not, I was like, is it because the M1

01:34:13   in my Mac was using, it was something, something, I think it's something to

01:34:17   do with Center Stage. And by plugging it into a Mac that didn't have 12.3

01:34:22   yet and Center Stage wasn't there, image quality was definitely a little

01:34:25   better. There's no question in my mind, a little, not, but not like, still

01:34:29   not like iPad quality, which is to me where the bar should be set. I get it

01:34:33   though, I totally get your, and it always comes back to this with Apple

01:34:37   products, where Apple does not make everything, right? They, here's what

01:34:41   we're going to make, you know, and Tim Cook's famous, you can spread our

01:34:44   entire product line on a table. Well, now they need like a really big table,

01:34:49   but, but still the mindset is still there. They don't make everything and

01:34:55   okay, they made an option for nano texture, you know, which is, you know,

01:34:59   I'm glad it exists whether I end up buying it or not. That speaks, you know,

01:35:02   that's an option they didn't have to build. It is interesting to me that

01:35:06   with the Pro Display XDR, nano texture is an extra thousand dollars and it's

01:35:10   only, only $300. Like I said, some weird price anchoring on this thing.

01:35:16   But I totally get it though, that this display, because they've discontinued

01:35:20   the 27-inch iMac, that this display is the 27-inch display solution for

01:35:27   anybody and everybody in the Mac world who wants a 27-inch display. And I

01:35:31   totally, totally know firsthand from my own family, you know, that there are

01:35:35   lots and lots of families who have a 27-inch iMac as their family room

01:35:40   computer and want to do things like you said, like call, let's call the

01:35:44   grandparents on FaceTime. Come on over kids, you know, and you know, they

01:35:48   live across the state or across the country even and you know, it's

01:35:52   somebody's birthday and let's get everybody in here. And center stage,

01:35:55   in theory, should be way better than not having center stage in that

01:35:59   scenario. And this monitor is supposed to fit that need. And somebody like

01:36:04   me who's literally only using it for work and no longer has little kids,

01:36:08   you know, I don't need that. I totally acknowledge that, that, you know,

01:36:11   this isn't designed necessarily for my exact needs, but I get it. If you're

01:36:14   going to do it one way, maybe doing the center stage thing is a good

01:36:19   solution. I get it.

01:36:19   CURTIS LYON And actually that makes me think of a question I've wanted to

01:36:23   talk to you about. Do you begrudge the death of the 27-inch iMac? Because I

01:36:30   think if you look at Apple's lineup right now, that's a pretty big hole

01:36:35   that they left. But, and I think the biggest, the hole is predominantly,

01:36:40   what if you don't want a laptop, but you want like an M1 Max, or potentially,

01:36:45   I guess, an M1 Ultra, but particularly an M1 Max, or you maybe are backed

01:36:48   into an M1 Max because you want more than 16 gigs of RAM or what have you,

01:36:52   then you really don't have a good answer for that right now. But I don't

01:36:57   find this to be too alarming because I've got to imagine that there's going

01:37:01   to be a new Mac Mini sooner rather than later that either will have an M2

01:37:05   that supports more than 16 gigs of RAM, or maybe they'll offer an M1 Max or

01:37:09   something like that. So I really feel like this hole in the lineup for a

01:37:13   27-inch computer that's pseudo-professional, I think it's going to get

01:37:19   filled real soon. I think it'll be filled by a beefier Mac Mini. And if you

01:37:23   leave aside the fact that this hypothetical forthcoming Mac Mini in

01:37:27   Studio Display Combo, it isn't all-in-one, which our mutual friend

01:37:32   John Siracusa was very perturbed about, but leaving aside that it's not

01:37:35   all-in-one, I feel like a slightly better Mac Mini as paired with the

01:37:38   Studio Display pretty nicely fills the hole left by the 27-inch iMac. But

01:37:44   I'm curious what your thoughts are on that. Am I missing the boat? I mean,

01:37:48   again, today it's kind of crummy, but tomorrow, figuratively speaking, I've

01:37:52   got to imagine this hole will be filled, no? Well, I think that this is a

01:37:57   better lineup. And you're putting both of us in dangerous territory because

01:38:02   the people who really want Apple to make an all-in-one 27-inch iMac

01:38:07   really, really want it. I mean, they're probably gin-martini

01:38:11   drinkers as well. It must be. They're angry, you know, not

01:38:15   angry, but they're adamant. Again, in a hypothetical world app

01:38:20   where Apple makes everything it could make, they would make

01:38:23   both a 27-inch iMac right now with MacBook Pro guts, right?

01:38:33   The 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro guts where you could get

01:38:37   the, you know, what are the options? You get a regular M1 or an M1 Max.

01:38:42   Oh, God. You know, for podcasting, the Max name is so terrible.

01:38:46   So bad. It's so bad. It looks fine, so when you're reading it, it always reads like

01:38:50   maximum. Yeah, sure. But when you're saying it on a podcast, it always sounds like

01:38:54   you're pluralizing Mac. I wish they hadn't done that. But

01:38:59   anyway, yeah, so something like that where it scales exactly like the MacBook Pro

01:39:04   lines, MacBook Pro 14 and 16-inch guts in a 27-inch iMac where the range

01:39:10   would go from lower price with a regular M1 and only 16 gigs of RAM to an M1 Max

01:39:16   with up to 64 gigs of RAM and all the performance.

01:39:20   It would be great if they made that in addition to the studio display.

01:39:24   Totally. And, you know, I know firsthand, you don't have to write to me

01:39:28   again. I get it. I've heard from you. No, no, and I'm not complaining. I love getting

01:39:32   you. I love getting email from you because I did. It helps me know what people

01:39:35   want. I know that you're out there and I know that that's what you would want. But

01:39:38   if they're only going to make one and for many, many years, as we talked

01:39:42   earlier on the show, the one was the 27-inch iMac, which was not a solution if

01:39:46   you wanted a desktop display for a MacBook, right? And it took out target

01:39:50   display mode for reasons. And it seemed foolish anyway. I mean, we used to, you

01:39:56   know, I know everybody with a podcast has made jokes that I would buy a

01:40:00   27-inch iMac and use it as a display if I could, but I can't. And just ignore

01:40:06   the Mac inside. We're sort of doing that now where we're ignoring the A13

01:40:12   computer that's inside, right? There is sort of a, what could be a Mac inside,

01:40:17   right? The Mac dev units last summer or two summers ago were A12Xs. So there's

01:40:22   an A13 in this son of a bitch, you know? It kind of is. But if they were only

01:40:29   going to do one or the other, this clearly is the way. And it's, you know,

01:40:35   it's a modular way of thinking. And all in one, well, define all in one. I

01:40:41   really need to write this as a follow-up on Daring Fireball because even the

01:40:46   24-inch iMac, okay, that's all in one, right? Just do that, but 27 inches. Well,

01:40:52   it's not all in one though, because it has a really big external power brick.

01:41:00   And literally the size, it's almost exactly the size and weight of an Apple

01:41:05   TV 4K. You know, I've put one, I've stacked one on top of it. It's almost

01:41:10   the exact same footprint. I didn't get my scale out, but putting one in one

01:41:15   hand and one in the other. It's about the same. So it's, you know, what would

01:41:20   be the difference if they shrunk the Mac Mini to the size of Apple TV 4K and

01:41:27   using that to power an external display? Well, that's the exact same thing that

01:41:31   the 24-inch iMac is, right? The Apple Studio display, remarkably, in my

01:41:36   opinion, has no power brick. It is just a cable that comes out of the back.

01:41:42   It's just a regular cable that goes in the wall. And then you can plug a

01:41:45   MacBook in and get 96-watt charging out of it with no brick. So define what's

01:41:52   all in one, right? Like, so if you have a Mac Mini and you connect it to this

01:41:58   display, you've got one thing. Okay, the Mac Mini, at least the one we know

01:42:02   so far with the M1, is bigger than the 24-inch iMac's power brick. But it is

01:42:10   a brick and it is external. Either way, you've got a thing external to the

01:42:16   display on your desk. You know? See, I totally agree with you, but then,

01:42:21   channeling my inner John Siracusa, then the argument would be, well, they never

01:42:24   used a brick on prior 27-inch devices, so obviously they wouldn't this time.

01:42:28   Duh. Yeah, but they were a lot thicker, you know? I agree. No, I'm right there

01:42:33   with you. I'm right there with you. They were like, it's edge-to-edge thin,

01:42:37   it's so thin, and it was, you know, and I get it, I like that my 5K iMac

01:42:42   bulbous sort of pregnant back, I like the way that it, I think it's worth it

01:42:46   to make it taper to the edges, but the middle of the thing was, you know, it

01:42:50   was not all in one thickness thin, and that's what Apple wants to make. So

01:42:55   again, you could say, well, you don't need the brick, you could just put a

01:42:58   big box on the back of the thing, but now you're talking about a thing Apple

01:43:02   doesn't want to make, right? They don't want to put a box on the back of the

01:43:04   thing, and this modularity really solves the biggest problem. If, again, they

01:43:10   could make both, both the 27-inch iMac and this display, but 80% at least, I

01:43:15   mean, Apple doesn't break it down, but, you know, common sense tells you most

01:43:19   people buy MacBooks. Some little birdie info that I'm privy to says it was at

01:43:25   least 80% in 2021, and that Apple expects that number to continue going up

01:43:30   towards more than 80% of MacBooks in 2022. They expect, or max total, they

01:43:36   expect to be MacBooks of some sort. Even though their desktop game is better

01:43:41   than it has been in memory, that's just the way the world is going, and now

01:43:46   they have a display that can plug into any MacBook, it's great, and if you do

01:43:51   really want a desktop, you don't want to plug a MacBook in, you want to plug a

01:43:54   desktop in, the modularity of this is phenomenal, and I think it's only going

01:43:59   to be even better once the M2 Mac Minis come out, which I think, I don't know

01:44:05   that they're going to go lower in price, but it should fill in some of the gaps

01:44:10   in the middle of, well, I want a Mac Mini, but I actually, you know, I want

01:44:15   like 64 gigs of RAM.

01:44:16   Trenton Larkin Exactly.

01:44:17   Dave King They'll have that, and then you can buy it, and yes, it's not all in

01:44:21   one, but you've just got one thing, one box, and I am, nobody talks about it,

01:44:30   but I feel like there have been two stories with Apple's Apple Silicon Macs.

01:44:35   There was the first round in 2020 at the end where they put the M1 chips into

01:44:41   exactly the same chassis as their Intel ones, and I've talked to people at

01:44:48   Apple, this was done for multiple reasons, but one of them was secrecy, that

01:44:52   they did not want, you know, anybody, their competitors or Intel to know that,

01:44:59   you know, and no, everybody knew that, it seems, you know, for years, we were

01:45:02   all, you know, it was like half of all of our podcasts, when is Apple going to

01:45:06   move from Intel to Apple Silicon, right?

01:45:08   Trenton Larkin Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:45:08   Dave King Look at these, look at these as Geekbench numbers, these bananas, my

01:45:11   phone gets a higher score, but they wanted to keep it secret inside the

01:45:15   company, and the best way to keep it secret was to keep the hardware

01:45:19   completely unchanged to the maximum level, except for the silicon

01:45:26   architecture and the MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the Mac Mini,

01:45:33   what else was there? Did they do the M1? Was there an old-looking 16-inch?

01:45:38   Yeah, there must have been, right?

01:45:39   Trenton Larkin I think that's right, yeah.

01:45:40   Dave King They all looked exactly the same, and then,

01:45:43   starting with the iMac, 24-inch iMac last year, we started seeing the first

01:45:47   Mac hardware designed from the ground up around Apple Silicon, and guess what?

01:45:52   It's really impressive, right?

01:45:54   Trenton Larkin Who'd have thunk it?

01:45:55   Dave King It's crazy thin, like, you could not build

01:45:59   the 24-inch iMac out of Intel Silicon, you couldn't do it, and I think that the

01:46:05   14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros that you and I have now, 14-inch, obviously,

01:46:11   those could be Intel, because, you know, they actually got thicker and heavier,

01:46:15   because they sort of went, like, more, "Let's give Pros Pro features."

01:46:19   So I feel like that throws people off, but I feel like at the consumer level,

01:46:24   the iMac shows the way, and that they want to make crazy thin, light, small things that they

01:46:30   couldn't build before. And so, the next round of consumer MacBooks, whether they—I don't know if

01:46:37   they're going to call it MacBook Air anymore—I really think they're going to get rid of the

01:46:41   13-inch MacBook Pro branding, because I think that they've clarified, "Pro? Okay, we really mean Pro.

01:46:48   Pro means Pro." And, you know, maybe they'll call, like, the higher-end 13-inch MacBook,

01:46:56   you know, that is, you know, like, what the two-port 13-inch Pro was. Maybe they'll call

01:47:00   it the MacBook Studio, right? They've introduced this—

01:47:03   Trenton Larkin Oh, that'd be interesting.

01:47:04   Dave King They've introduced this new word "studio"

01:47:06   that sort of occupies the prosumer space, you know? I don't know, that's just a spitball

01:47:11   I—names never, ever, ever leak to me, so I—if there actually is a MacBook Studio, it's truly a

01:47:17   guess on my part. But I would expect the new MacBook Air to be, like, the 12-inch adorable,

01:47:22   super, super thin, crazy thin. This is insane. It's insane how thin this thing is.

01:47:27   Trenton Larkin Yeah, and I loved that computer so much. So,

01:47:31   at the time in which I bought the 12-inch MacBook, which I call the MacBook Adorable, that's the—like

01:47:35   you said earlier, that's the one USB-C port and a headphone jack. That's literally all the

01:47:39   connectivity it had—physical connectivity it had. I bought that when I was—when I had a 27-inch

01:47:44   iMac, and that was my—the Adorable was my iPad and my portable computer. Because at the time,

01:47:51   I'd kind of fallen out of love with the iPad. I tend to kind of fall in and out of love with

01:47:56   iPad for whatever reason. But one way or another, I had used that as my satellite computer. And

01:48:02   it was a fortune. It was like $3,000 or something like that. It was not particularly well-specced.

01:48:07   It was dog-slow. And I loved it. Gosh, did I love that computer. I like this—I love this 14-inch

01:48:15   MacBook Pro more because it has basically no compromises. But the 12-inch MacBook—and

01:48:22   my understanding is, what was the 11-inch PowerBook? Do I have that right?

01:48:26   Dave Vega No, there was 11-inch MacBook Air. And there was a 12-inch PowerBook

01:48:30   many, many, many, many years before. Trenton Larkin

01:48:33   Okay, so all of these are cut from a similar cloth, right? Like, let's get maximum portability,

01:48:39   everything else be damned. Ports be damned, battery life, anything else. Speed, doesn't matter. We

01:48:44   don't care. We want something super crazy portable. And that's what that thing was. And I could put

01:48:49   that thing in like a bag or a backpack. I think once or twice I might have asked Aaron to carry

01:48:55   it in a purse for some reason or another. Like, it was preposterously thin and preposterously great.

01:49:00   And if you didn't mind waiting an hour to accomplish anything. And she still uses that as

01:49:06   her primary computer because Aaron's computing needs are extremely small these days. I was

01:49:10   listening to you talking about how Amy Jane is mostly on an iPad, and about the only reason she

01:49:14   uses a computer computer is for, you know, writing her own email or something. And I feel like with

01:49:19   Aaron, it's a very similar thing. And so anyways, I loved that MacBook, MacBook Adorable, but that

01:49:25   was the definition of compromise. You know, it was compromised top to bottom. And I can't help but

01:49:31   wonder what would it look like if it wasn't nothing but compromise? Like it surely wouldn't be as

01:49:37   powerful as a 14-inch MacBook Pro. But what if it was in the ballpark? What if it was close?

01:49:43   Trenton Larkin Well, it just forget about all of the Max and Ultra chips, right? Just think just

01:49:49   the M2, right? Or just the M1, right? Like the thing that it's fascinating to me, and I think

01:49:56   it just speaks to the interest in the iPhone and the fact that they have to make 100 million of

01:50:01   them a quarter or more, you know, that the iPhone, I mean, that the iPhone industrial designs tend to

01:50:09   always leak, right? And there's sort of a strong consensus about what the iPhone 14 is going to

01:50:14   look like already, you know, instead of a notch, it's going to have like a sort of oval hole punch,

01:50:19   but the same size, blah, blah, blah. But it's fascinating to me that like the Mac stuff has

01:50:24   not been leaking. Nobody knew what the iMac 24-inch was going to look like, right? And it

01:50:30   was there. It was a lot of fun that, hey, it's in these colors. It's crazy thin. This is, you know,

01:50:36   it was a lot of fun that it was a surprise. The 14 and 16-inch MacBooks, we knew they were coming,

01:50:41   but nobody knew what they were going to look like. Like, they were surprised. And we've got all these

01:50:45   rumors about upcoming M2 consumer MacBooks, you know, from Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo and other

01:50:52   people. And, you know, I don't doubt any of them. I think they're all right. But they don't know what

01:50:56   they're called, right? When they say, like when Gurman says, you know, that he expects MacBook Air

01:51:01   later this year, he has no idea if it's actually going to be called MacBook Air. That's the sort

01:51:06   of thing that does not come from those sources. And look at the studio. The studio is the same

01:51:11   thing, right? Because we didn't know if it was a squat Mac Pro or a tall Mac Mini or where it would

01:51:15   end up and it was the same story. Yeah, yeah. And he had that to some degree, right? Like,

01:51:19   he was right about it, but he didn't have like a description of it. I think it's fascinating that

01:51:26   people seem to be, a lot of people seem to be expecting like an M2 MacBook Air to look just like

01:51:31   the MacBook Air today. I don't think that, I think there's zero chance of that. None, because the

01:51:36   whole reason the MacBook Air looks the way it does is it was designed around Intel thermals. And the

01:51:41   current M1 MacBook Air is based on that design for Intel thermals and capabilities and for ease of

01:51:51   introduction and secrecy and whatever other reasons. They just did the first round by putting

01:51:55   the M1 into that design. Now we can see what they could design from the ground up. And I would

01:52:00   expect it to look as different from a MacBook Air as the 24-inch iMac looks from all previous iMacs.

01:52:06   Like, shockingly thin. And the other thing that we know, because they made the 12-inch MacBook,

01:52:12   aka adorable, or no adjective, whatever you want to call it, we know they want to make crazy thin,

01:52:20   small, light Macs, right? Like MacBooks. And because they've got the M1 in the iPad Pro and

01:52:28   now the iPad Air, we know it can run without any cooling at all and never get warm to the touch

01:52:35   in a crazy thin device that's super lightweight.

01:52:38   Yeah. And I think you're exactly right that they're surely going to change the industrial

01:52:43   design and surely the requirements will be quite a bit different. And, you know, I think right now

01:52:50   we're still very clearly in a transition. And yes, that's obvious. But what I mean is, you know,

01:52:55   what you were saying about the industrial design being a holdover for the MacBook Air and the

01:52:59   13-inch MacBook Pro. I mean, it's exactly right. And additionally, the M1, while a phenomenal chip,

01:53:04   the M1, no adjective, it does have some somewhat severe constraints, most particularly the 16 gigs

01:53:11   of RAM. And now in a lot of use cases, and perhaps most, if not almost all use cases,

01:53:16   16 gigs of RAM is fine. I was looking just yesterday or the day before, I run i-STAT

01:53:22   menus on my Macs because I kind of like to keep track of nerdy things like that.

01:53:27   And it does a really good job keeping a historical graph of certain things, including memory use.

01:53:31   And I was looking at it and I have a 64 gig, 14-inch MacBook Pro, if you will. And I don't

01:53:37   think I've ever crossed over half of my memory. You know, I've never gone over like 32 gigs of

01:53:43   usage. And so even me as a software developer, and granted there are other things that are much

01:53:47   more taxing, but as a person who lives in Xcode, I don't probably need more than 32 gigs of RAM.

01:53:54   And so this is what I'm saying. Like all the people that I speak to that are really grumpy

01:53:59   about the lack of a real prosume desktop, because they argue that the studio is too much and the

01:54:05   Mini is too little, and they're looking for the Goldilocks in the middle. I feel like the Air

01:54:10   and the 13-inch Pro, if it persists, are kind of in a similar boat as the Mac Mini, where I feel

01:54:15   like, yeah, today you're right. They're kind of hamstrung a little bit. But be it because the M1

01:54:22   Max arrives in them, or as you said, Jon, and I think that's more likely, the M2 arrives in these

01:54:26   devices. Even leaving aside the industrial design, I think that there'll be far fewer compromises,

01:54:32   and they'll be much more appealing to much more people. And that I think will close some of the

01:54:38   holes, some of which are gaping, in the lineup. And I think that if people can just be patient

01:54:43   for another 6 to 12 months, based just on gut, based on no insider information, I really think

01:54:48   this lineup, whether or not it has a quote-unquote "all-in-one" 27-inch answer, I think the lineup

01:54:54   broadly though will cover darn near everything from the $1,000 MacBook Air that will probably

01:55:00   be preposterously fast, all the way through the forthcoming Mac Pro, which will probably be

01:55:04   preposterously fast and preposterously expensive, and everywhere in between.

01:55:08   Yeah, and crazy thin. I just think people are gonna be blown away by how thin the Air is. And

01:55:12   I have no inside birdie information on this at all. I just know what Apple likes to build. They

01:55:18   like to build things crazy. And I really think it's been a clarifying series of years of them

01:55:24   reinvesting in putting the Pro and Pro on the MacBook. So, okay, let's make them more different.

01:55:31   Like that 13-inch MacBook Pro with two ports, it epitomizes their sort of muddling of the consumer

01:55:39   and Pro lineups. They call it a MacBook Pro, but it's only got two ports, and it always had less

01:55:44   fewer features. It didn't have the beloved touch bar. I think that product branding has got to be

01:55:50   gone. I think it's gone. And then you just, you know, like there's no confusion on the iPhone side

01:55:56   between iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, right? The Pros are made of a different material,

01:56:02   and they have three cameras instead of two cameras, and they cost a lot more. Just bring

01:56:07   that same clarity to the MacBook branding and, you know, have an Air and maybe just bring back

01:56:13   the plain old MacBook. I don't know what they'll do branding-wise, but just make it really clear

01:56:17   and say, "Okay, these 14, 16-inch Pro models, lots of ports, all the power, max chips. You can get up

01:56:23   to 64 gigs of RAM. If you want the power, there you go. Have at it $2,000 and up. And here's our

01:56:30   consumer ones. Crazy thin, right? Crazy thin, crazy light. You know, doesn't have the power,

01:56:37   but starts at $1,000. And don't—the thing I'm—you know, who knows? Maybe they'll ship the M2

01:56:43   Mac Mini, and it will literally be the same footprint. The Mac Mini we know and love,

01:56:48   it's just now it's got the M2. Maybe it'll come in space gray again and whatever. But don't sleep

01:56:54   on that as something that could potentially shrink, right? Like they could totally make it

01:57:00   like the Mac Nano. Because think about it, like the A15 in the iPhone is super powerful chip.

01:57:08   It's single core is, I guess, better than, you know, the M1 series. Look at how small the iPhone

01:57:15   13 Mini is, and it has a battery and a display. Like, I really think that—I think Apple Silicon

01:57:23   chips at the non-Max, non-Ultra—okay, it's not two of them together, it's not four of them

01:57:30   together or something like that. It's just one, which is plenty powerful enough for most people,

01:57:36   are so crazy small that like the Mac Mini could now be defined entirely by the ports. Like,

01:57:43   what ports do we want to put in the back? And that defines the shape. Not the thermals,

01:57:48   not the chip, just the ports. And if I'm right, again, pure spitball, and the Mac Mini becomes

01:57:57   the Mac Nano, even if they don't rebrand it, but if it shrinks, then the complaints about the

01:58:02   studio display not being all in one go, to me, go away. If they can shrink the Mac Mini to be the

01:58:08   size of the brick on the iMac 24, then what's the complaint about? I mean, I guess price, if it's a

01:58:15   $1600 display plus a $700 to start Mac Mini, you're at $2300 already, and that's more than the base

01:58:24   price of the old 27-inch iMac? I don't know. But, so maybe it's, you know, but there's inflation,

01:58:30   and you know, it's Apple, what are we going to do, complain? It's Apple. Anyway, let me take a break

01:58:35   here, thank our third and final sponsor of the show, our good friends at Memberful. You can

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02:00:01   So, hey, let's, we're at the two-hour mark, but I wanted to talk about your, you know, this is the

02:00:06   reason I invited you, one of the reasons I invited you on. I know you had strong opinions about the

02:00:09   displays, but no, but I want to turn this into, I want to do more on this show and get people on

02:00:14   when they have something to promote, right? It's, you know, and you've got a new app that I think is

02:00:19   very clever and that you've been, to me, underselling on your own podcast, ATP. Tell my

02:00:26   audience about your app. Sure. So I've written an app and released it to the app store called

02:00:30   Masquer Aid, and it's, it's the two words, masquer and aid mashed together, but it's a play on,

02:00:36   you know, masquer aid, if you will. Anyways, the idea of the app is let's say you have a photograph,

02:00:41   but you want to obscure maybe a face or maybe an object or something like that. You want to obscure

02:00:46   part of the photo. And what masquer aid lets you do is you can load up this photo in the app,

02:00:52   and it will help you put emoji on top of the photo. And then something that I've been terrible

02:00:56   about publicizing is that it'll automatically strip all the metadata off the photo as well.

02:01:00   So lens information, location information, more importantly than anything else I'd argue.

02:01:05   And so this way it can, it's a really fast and easy way to help you obscure or occlude things

02:01:12   that you don't want shown before you share this photo to say Instagram or Twitter or something

02:01:16   like that. And the genesis for this was, you know, as I'd mentioned earlier, I have a seven-year-old

02:01:21   and a four-year-old and my son, the elder, when he was four, you know, and I know this has been

02:01:26   a couple of years for you, John, but at some point you look down and you realize, holy shit,

02:01:31   that's like a person now. You know, that's not just a little lump. That's not just a toddler.

02:01:35   That's like a full-on person. And for me and Declan, my son, it was about four years old

02:01:40   that I looked at him and realized, whoa, whoa, he's a real life person now. And so, you know,

02:01:46   as first-time parents and we had a lot of trouble getting pregnant. So we, of course, you know,

02:01:50   overshared as all first-time parents do regardless. We overshared pictures of Declan and then later

02:01:55   Michaela, my daughter, when she was born. But it occurred to me when he was about four that,

02:02:00   you know, he doesn't understand consent and he doesn't understand, you know, if I ask him,

02:02:04   hey, can I put this on the internet? He's going to be like, yeah, sure, dad, whatever.

02:02:06   But what if in five years and 10 years and 15 years or something like that, what if,

02:02:11   you know, some friend of his or foe even goes looking for dirt on Declan and finds some like

02:02:18   super compromising photo that I've taken, or maybe a photo that I didn't think was compromising,

02:02:22   but he somehow finds to be compromising or, you know, times change and maybe something that we

02:02:28   think is okay now, we may not think is okay in a year or 10 years or whatnot. And so for me,

02:02:33   what I wanted to do was to put an emoji over my kids' faces. So I could share a picture of maybe

02:02:39   me or maybe Aaron and me and the kids. And you can do this using Instagram stories, but it's kind of

02:02:45   a real pain in the ass. And it only goes to Instagram stories and it's, yeah, it only goes

02:02:50   to Instagram stories, or I guess you can save it to your camera roll, but you know, it's, it's just,

02:02:53   it's, it's a nightmare. And using Instagram, I, again, I, I get it that Instagram has the feature,

02:03:00   but I don't think you need to even belabor the point using Instagram as an image editor for

02:03:05   something other than posting to Instagram is ridiculous. Yeah, exactly. And so I, I wanted

02:03:11   a way to do this quickly and easily. And it occurred to me, I had one of those just epiphany

02:03:15   moments where I thought, well, wait a second, like a couple of years ago at WWDC, I swear,

02:03:21   I sat through a vision related presentation where they talked about face detection. There's got to

02:03:28   be something I can do with this. And so, you know, long story shorter, what, what masquerade will do

02:03:33   is when you load an image into masquerade, it will automatically use, you know, Apple's machine

02:03:37   learning models to detect where faces are within the image. And we'll just slap an emoji over any

02:03:44   face that it finds. And then if it's maybe a grownup or someone you don't want to, you know,

02:03:48   hide their face, it makes it, you know, masquerade makes it super easy to just remove what you don't

02:03:52   want or add more if you need to. But the idea is if I was to take a picture of my family of four,

02:03:57   you know, it will masquerade, we'll load it up, it'll put the four emoji on, and then I will just

02:04:01   remove the one for me, the one from Aaron. And then I can send it off to Instagram or Twitter,

02:04:05   wherever lickety split. And so I am of the mind, I guess, you know, kind of the Unix mindset of,

02:04:10   you know, do one thing, do it well and do it fast. And that's, that's what masquerade is designed to

02:04:14   do. It's, you know, it's funny, too, I just, I will belabor the point of Instagram. The other

02:04:19   thing, too, is fundamentally, whatever you want to use masquerade for, it's, it almost certainly

02:04:24   revolves around privacy, to some degree. I mean, I guess the only thing you could use it for,

02:04:29   and people probably are, is it might be used for comedic purposes that have nothing to do with

02:04:34   privacy, to put a funny emoji over somebody's face or put the emoji over, you know, anywhere else,

02:04:39   you know, you can add the emoji to make it look like a fart is, you know, the poof emoji to make

02:04:44   it look like a fart is coming out. It's probably the number one thing people are using the app for.

02:04:48   Michael O'Brien Yeah, I saw a lot of

02:04:49   pig noses on dog snouts, which I found quite delightful, actually.

02:04:53   Dave Asprey Yeah. But all right, comedy aside, it's about privacy. And once you're talking about

02:04:58   privacy, the idea of using Instagram's tools because they're free is ridiculous, right? Like,

02:05:04   you know, no matter what you think about Instagram, privacy is, does not come to mind. So it's, it's

02:05:10   really clever. And you, I'm a little bit behind on ATP. I didn't listen to the entirety of the most

02:05:15   recent show. I don't know if you talked about Masquerade some more. But at least a week ago,

02:05:18   you guys, you did some follow up and you heard from listeners of the show and other people who

02:05:23   became aware of Masquerade already, who had use cases you had never, you didn't even think of.

02:05:28   I thought the one, the one to me, I remember listening, it's one of those things where I

02:05:32   actually could tell you exactly where I was. I was running errands in Philadelphia. And I have a

02:05:37   weird memory like this. I remember where I was when you said it. I was at Broad and Walnut Street in

02:05:43   Philadelphia on the east side of the street. And you said you were talking about like grade school

02:05:50   teachers taking pictures of their classroom. And I was like, oh, bingo. And because the thing is,

02:05:56   the machine learning part of it is super fast and accurate, right? So teacher wants to take

02:06:04   a picture for whatever reason, field trip, right? It's a field trip and the teacher wants to share

02:06:08   a picture of the class on a trip. And, you know, again, my kid is a senior in high school now.

02:06:15   I'm past this, but apparently it's now a thing where like, you know, you have like a second or

02:06:19   a third grader and there's like a social media, what would you call it? Release, release, release

02:06:25   form. You don't know if you have it or whatever. Who wants to deal with it? Maybe, you know, 15 out

02:06:29   of 25 kids in your class have them and 10 don't and you don't know who they are, whatever. And

02:06:34   even if you just were like, ah, I just want to put the emoji over every kid's face. Well, if you use

02:06:38   like a traditional tool and you've got like a snapshot of like 18 kids on a field trip, it's

02:06:43   like, here's one, here's two. You use masquerade. Seriously, I'm not just saying this because you're

02:06:48   a guest. You use it, you open up that image and boom, you get a little haptic feedback,

02:06:52   which I love, which is one of my favorite little features. You get a little, little,

02:06:55   I'm not imagining that, right? There's a little haptic feedback when you...

02:06:58   I don't know if it does unload. I don't think it does unload, but as soon as you like go to

02:07:02   manipulate anything, it absolutely will. Yeah. And boom, it just finds all the faces, puts an

02:07:07   emoji on them and it's done, right? Like, so instead of sitting there and like, oh, well,

02:07:12   if I spend like three minutes, I can put like, I can cover up the face of all these kids,

02:07:16   dot, dot, dot. You just opened it up, boom, all the faces are covered. You can pick the emoji.

02:07:21   Really clever. And like any good computer thing, computers especially, it's always the unintended

02:07:28   use cases that become the reason it becomes successful, right? You know, it's like, so you're

02:07:33   thinking I'm a dad, I've got young kids, I'd like to share these pictures, but you know, you said

02:07:39   it well, you know, that you'd like to respect their future wishes and you don't know what they

02:07:43   are. You built it for that. But the school teacher scenario, that's fascinating. You had a couple

02:07:48   other examples too. I've heard a bunch. The most popular one I think I've heard is foster parents.

02:07:53   And so my very limited understanding of foster parenting is that in most places it is illegal,

02:08:01   if not certainly frowned upon, but generally illegal to post an image of a foster child's face

02:08:06   on social media, on social media. Right. And so, so you are legally compelled as a foster parent,

02:08:13   who's doing, you know, such an incredible thing. And I've got to imagine, and forgive me if my,

02:08:17   you know, language is wrong here, but these kids must feel like part of your family. And I guess

02:08:21   they are part of your family if not forever, but certainly for the time that they're with you.

02:08:25   And so, so yeah, you, you want to share your family with your friends and other family,

02:08:30   you know, you're, you want to share your immediate family with your extended family

02:08:33   and you're legally compelled not to put their faces on Facebook or Instagram or what have you.

02:08:39   And so a lot of foster parents reached out and said, Oh my God, I've been waiting for this my

02:08:42   entire life. Like I had, I had no idea that we could make this so easy. And that was extremely

02:08:47   rewarding. I had a person reach out who I don't believe they were a photographer, but I believe

02:08:52   associated with photographers, they were in some sort of news organization that was covering what's

02:08:56   going on in Ukraine. And they said, you know, this would be extremely useful for us for

02:09:00   covering what's going on with war efforts, what's going on with protests. And, you know, because

02:09:05   obviously, especially if you're covering protests in Russia, where, you know, the people who are

02:09:10   protesting or taking considerable personal risks by expressing their opinions to say the least.

02:09:16   Right. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Much more so than we've ever had to deal with here, even during

02:09:19   questionable administrations. And so it makes a lot of sense to, to obscure their faces and

02:09:25   similarly like Ukrainian soldiers, if you will, or whatever the case may be. And then there are

02:09:30   other silly ones though. And I know you and I agree very strongly that, that Disney world is

02:09:35   a wonderful place to vacation. And so somebody sent me a photo of both of them sitting, I think

02:09:40   it was in front of the people mover, which is my personal favorite ride at Disney. They, they sent

02:09:43   a photo of their family, but all the like bystanders were, were covered with emoji, which I

02:09:48   thought was very cool. But my favorite of these with regard to theme parks was somebody who took

02:09:52   the on-ride photo from splash mountain and scared all the other faces. I think with like the screamy

02:09:59   like Van Gogh or no, I forget who it is. The starry night, screamy guy. And I think there was

02:10:03   a bunch of screaming people and then just their family was left. So you could see them. And I

02:10:08   really loved that. That those are my, I think my favorites, the most unexpected though was I've had

02:10:15   a handful of boudoir photographers reach out and say, you know, sometimes some of our pictures are

02:10:21   not safe for work and we might need to let's say use the eggplant or peach emojis strategically,

02:10:28   or perhaps, you know, they people, maybe they just want their heads covered and it's not as,

02:10:32   not quite as risque as I'm painting it. But that was, that was something I didn't quite expect to

02:10:36   read. And it got, there were even some more risque versions than that, that I won't necessarily share

02:10:40   right now, but those were, those were quite eyeopening. And certainly I'm not complaining,

02:10:44   but it's certainly not the use case I had set out for when I wrote the app.

02:10:48   But that's really a sign of strength of a good idea that it's used in ways you didn't expect.

02:10:53   My favorite story about that is BB Edit. BB Edit started in 1991, I think was the first version.

02:11:00   And it's sort of infamous where version 1.0 was only like, I think the only people who used it

02:11:06   worked at Think Technologies with Rich Siegel. And the first version he released publicly was like

02:11:12   2.0. But anytime there's somebody who's like, I've been using it since 1.0. And Rich can say like,

02:11:17   well, you didn't work with me. So no, but I know what you mean. And I appreciate your long-term use

02:11:22   of the product. You know, it's 92, 93, and it was a smash hit in the shareware world. And then,

02:11:28   you know, all of a sudden the World Wide Web becomes a thing circa like 1994. And they start

02:11:32   getting all this email. And they had a plugin API and somebody, I think his name was Craig somebody,

02:11:37   but made like a really, at the time, very good plugin for HTML where you got like this palette

02:11:43   full of all the most popular tags. And then you could just select text, hit a button and surround

02:11:48   the text with the tags. Or if it was like the image tag, it would prompt for the image URL.

02:11:53   You know, it just made it, it's just a convenience thing for writing HTML. And that they got all

02:11:57   these emails from people like, oh my God, BBA is the greatest thing ever for HTML. And like the

02:12:02   first answers were like, hey, that's great to hear. What's HTML? You know, it was a very quick

02:12:10   process. I mean, the web exploded in popularity and, you know, Rich and Patrick Woolsey, his

02:12:15   longtime colleague, you know, and co-founder, you know, it quickly went from what's HTML to,

02:12:19   oh, okay, I get it. And now I can see why BBA is good for it, but it wasn't designed for it at all.

02:12:25   And, you know, it became, for a long time, it was known, BBA was best known as an HTML editor

02:12:31   and hadn't really changed except having a plugin for it. Same thing with Masquerade, right? Like,

02:12:36   you did not think that it was going to be used to cover up adult photography, you know?

02:12:42   So, automatically it uses machine learning to identify faces and will put the emoji of your

02:12:56   choice over all the faces. And then you can pinch to zoom them to make them bigger or smaller

02:13:02   or drag them around. But it also, it will let you add emoji to an image and cover up anything

02:13:07   that you want. So, if you want to secure something in a photo with an emoji to cover it up,

02:13:12   it's super easy to do. It's not just for faces.

02:13:14   Yeah, yeah. And I actually have been kicking around the idea of having some sort of switch

02:13:20   where if you find yourself not particularly interested in covering faces, that I won't even

02:13:25   bother trying, you know, and maybe there would be a button you could hit after the fact, you know,

02:13:29   if you would like to cover faces. Just a quick point of clarification, though. The free version,

02:13:34   which is a very standard emoji, like the very bog-standard smiley face, it's a one-time $3 an

02:13:38   app purchase to get basically all the other emoji. And then, and that's that. I don't currently have

02:13:43   any intentions of adding any other sort of in-app purchase. You know, never say never,

02:13:46   but that's not currently my intention. But no, it's, I think it's a pretty, if I'm allowed to

02:13:51   say, I think it's a pretty good app. I think it's pretty well done. And this is my third independent

02:13:54   app that I've released the App Store. And I think, far and away, this is the best of the three. And

02:13:58   I think it does the job and it does it well. And like I said, I'm not terribly interested for me

02:14:03   in writing an app that's the sort of thing where you stay in it for hours. Like, that's just not

02:14:07   where my skill set is. I'm much more skillful at writing something that you get in, you get out,

02:14:13   and you've accomplished what you want to accomplish. And that's very much what Masquerade

02:14:17   is designed to be. And I really think that even if you're not a parent, even if you're not going

02:14:22   to theme parks, even if you're not protesting, I really think for almost anyone, there's got to be

02:14:27   an occasion where, like you said, Jon, you would want to obscure or otherwise hide a part of an

02:14:32   app. And for someone who fancies himself an emoji aficionado, I think that using an emoji or two or

02:14:37   ten or whatever is a fun way to do it. Even leaving aside comedy as the point, just using emoji to

02:14:44   obscure something, I think is a fun approach. And I find that much more entertaining and interesting

02:14:50   than, say, a blur or something like that. Yeah, I did not mean to imply that the free version

02:14:56   includes all the emoji. But come on, three bucks in my audience? Come on, everybody out there,

02:15:01   get this app, pay for it. Three bucks one time, not three bucks a month. Three bucks? It's too cheap.

02:15:06   Too cheap. I can make it more if you want, Jon. I'll crank it up to five or ten.

02:15:10   But I also think, you know, it's always—and you and I are friends, you know, both you,

02:15:14   you're actually making independent apps, you and I are friends with a bunch of people—it's

02:15:18   always sort of a tricky thing, like where do you draw the line on what's included for free

02:15:24   and what do you get people to pay for? Our mutual friend Daniel Jalkett just issued an

02:15:29   update to his Fast Scripts utility for the Mac, which adds regular expression support to

02:15:35   AppleScript, which it sounds like something that was made just for me. AppleScript, Mac,

02:15:40   and regular expressions? Yeah, that's, you know, the Jon Gruper feature. But I didn't even ask him

02:15:45   for it, but I did beta test it. But like he, you know, even he was torn. He's like, "Ah, should it

02:15:49   be for the pay version or free?" And I was like, "I sort of, you know, I don't want to—I would love

02:15:54   you to make as much money as possible with Fast Scripts, but I sort of think it should be free."

02:15:58   And he's like, "Yeah, it should." Because otherwise people who want something free from

02:16:01   AppleScript are going to do the whole, "Well, I could just use do shell script and write a temp

02:16:06   file and call out to sed or pearl or grep or whatever the hell you're using on the command

02:16:10   line." And you've got this—whatever you think of AppleScript—using Fast Scripts to just say,

02:16:16   "Search this for that," where that is the pattern, as opposed to quoted form of this to do shell

02:16:23   script and writing a temp—it's a mess. But what the hoops people will go through to do it for free,

02:16:29   don't—never underestimate. But I think that in this case, it is, to me,

02:16:36   brilliant because you can do all the features with the one default emoji, and that one default emoji

02:16:43   is the emoji, right? Like if you were going to reduce the entire emoji set to one, it would be

02:16:48   the default smiley face, right? And you could see how it works, see how it scales, see how it

02:16:53   identifies faces, see how it lets you move it wherever you want. And the, "Oh, but I would love

02:16:59   to use the eggplant," or whatever, the peach, you know, whatever else, or, you know, any of the other,

02:17:05   what, 100 faces and various skin tones and the gender identities and all—I mean, you know,

02:17:12   you probably even know the answer to this. How many emoji are there? I mean—

02:17:15   [Cameron] So if you include skin tones, which I don't have in Masquerade right now because it's a

02:17:20   really tricky UI problem to solve, like obviously the right way to do it is to do what Apple's done,

02:17:24   but that gets really complicated really quickly.

02:17:26   [

02:17:27   [Cameron] Yeah, exactly. But I'm certainly—it's on the to-do list for sure, but I don't want to

02:17:31   oversell and bait and switch or anything. But to answer your question, I believe the full list of

02:17:36   Unicode emoji off the top of my head, I think it's like 6,000 where every, you know, every different

02:17:40   skin tone is a different listing and so on. [

02:17:44   People have choices.

02:17:45   [

02:17:45   [

02:17:46   Yeah, and I think I whittle—even taking away skin tones, I think I whittle it down to like 2,500,

02:17:51   I believe. I might have that wrong, but it's something like that.

02:17:54   [

02:17:54   Yeah. But it's, you know, people can imagine what it would be like to be able to use whichever their

02:17:58   favorite emoji are, and it's three bucks. And again, brilliant. And again, I think the price

02:18:03   should be higher, to be honest. I do, I do. I think three bucks is too little, but it's a bargain. So

02:18:07   anybody who's out there thinking, "Well, Gruber's nuts. He spends money like a drunken sailor,"

02:18:12   you know, go buy it for three bucks before I can talk Casey into upping the price. But I love,

02:18:17   too, that it's not like, "Oh, well, you buy the object pack for a dollar."

02:18:22   Sure, sure.

02:18:23   "Buy the people pack for two dollars. Buy the hand gestures for a dollar." No. Three bucks,

02:18:30   all emoji, that's it. Done.

02:18:33   Yeah, I guess, you know, that's—there's two different obnoxious versions of this, right?

02:18:37   Like, there's one obnoxious version, which is nickel and diming through all the different

02:18:40   emoji. And then the other obnoxious version is using, like, the poop emoji as the one for

02:18:45   your ear or something like that. Something that's less useful than just the smiley.

02:18:49   And when I was thinking about how to monetize and where to draw the line, you know, I can't think of

02:18:54   a specific example offhand, but—or actually, you know, I can, and now I'm, you know, showing my age.

02:18:59   Like, if you remember, and I think Doom came to the Mac, but for when I was on the PC, you know,

02:19:06   Doom was brand new. Doom, the ID or id software video game. And it was shareware, and shareware

02:19:11   was huge at the time. And what they did was they gave you the entire first level,

02:19:14   no restrictions whatsoever. The first stage, if you will, you could play that for free.

02:19:20   But if you wanted to go any further, guess what? You got to pony up the cash. And I feel like this

02:19:24   is kind of similar to that. You know, what I'm giving you is fully functional, like you were

02:19:28   saying. And it's not obnoxious. It's not, you know, it doesn't have a ridiculous Achilles heel.

02:19:34   But if you want to take it anywhere further from, you know, the very most basic step,

02:19:39   then please give me $3 for now, and maybe Jon will convince me to make it five in a few days.

02:19:44   I don't know. We'll see. But that's, you know, I feel like that's riding the line in a happy way,

02:19:49   that I'm trying to be useful to those who don't or can't pay, but also trying to put food on the

02:19:55   table for those who can. I don't know what the most spiteful default emoji could be.

02:20:02   You know, it is an eggplant. I don't know. No, because that would wreck it for parents,

02:20:06   right? That's too ridiculous. But it would be like, I don't know, like the, I'm looking through.

02:20:11   Oh, the drunken guy. Yeah. Or what guy, what is it? I forget the actual name for it.

02:20:16   Woozy, I think. Woozy face. Some of them are so weird though, because they come from like,

02:20:20   you know, the whole thing started in Japan on cell phones in the 90s. And there's all sorts

02:20:26   of cultural reasons you don't understand. But like, there's some of the weird ones under symbols.

02:20:30   There's like an arrow pointing to the right, and it actually says in English letters underneath,

02:20:35   "soon." You know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's one, there's one where there's an arrow pointing up

02:20:41   and it says "top." Something like that would probably be the worst. I could use non-potable

02:20:47   water, which is like a little water spigot you would find outside with a circle with a line

02:20:52   through it or no littering or something. Or actually, no, just how about just straight up,

02:20:55   prohibited or no entry, you know? So no entry is a circle with the white line in the center.

02:21:00   Prohibited is a circle with the slash. Maybe that's it. That'd be pretty obnoxious.

02:21:03   You could have been a lot more spiteful. It is, in fact, usable for free with a smiley face.

02:21:07   Anyway, masquerade, M-A-S-K-E-R-A-I-D. You can find it.

02:21:12   That's right.

02:21:13   And on at least one major app store for now.

02:21:16   That's right. Yeah, no, no, I'm not planning an Android version. Don't even hint.

02:21:20   Oh no, I'm talking about the coming glorious future of multiple app stores

02:21:24   in the EU for Apple.

02:21:27   Yeah, I'll be putting it on the Amazon Apple App Store or something like that right now.

02:21:31   All right. So let me thank our sponsors. We had Linode, where you can host, linode.com/thetalkshow.

02:21:38   You can host your website, anything you want.

02:21:40   Remote, where you can help use them to help pay for your remote employees all around the world

02:21:46   at remote.com/thetalkshow. And then last, but certainly not least,

02:21:50   Memberful, where you can monetize your passion with membership at memberful.com/talkshow.

02:21:57   People can listen to Casey on the Accidental Tech podcast. That's ATP.fm.

02:22:04   And then you've got your other show.

02:22:05   That's your—

02:22:06   That's Analog with our mutual friend Mike Hurley. That's at relay.fm/analog.

02:22:10   I mean, how does that guy do so many shows? I mean—

02:22:14   Don't even get me started. I don't know.

02:22:15   It's—I don't get it. I honestly—I don't get it.

02:22:18   I don't think he believes in sleep, John.

02:22:20   I like sleep way too much. So that's not my lifestyle, but he is very prolific.

02:22:25   Yeah, but somehow he's making all these shows. And I was talking to Snell the other day about

02:22:28   mechanical keyboards, as we do. Like, we're always talking about baseball and mechanical.

02:22:33   And he built Snell a custom—he bought like a Keychron Q1 and took all the switches off and

02:22:42   put these, like, bespoke switches on. I mean, and sent it to Snell. How the hell does he find time

02:22:48   to do shit like that? I don't—

02:22:49   I have no idea. I have no idea. But that was his, like, for fun, like, relaxing work, if you will.

02:22:54   You know, he was doing that, I believe, some for upgrade and then some, I think,

02:22:58   for what he calls the Friday Keyboard Club, which he does on Twitch. And so, yeah, that's his,

02:23:03   like, relaxing thing, is to go on Twitch in front of a gazillion people and try to both do, you know,

02:23:08   manual labor and also communicate with people who are watching him all simultaneously. He's an

02:23:13   animal. I don't know how he does it.

02:23:14   Yeah, I don't know either. Anyway, thanks for being here. I'll, you know,

02:23:17   make sure it happens again at some point.

02:23:19   Thank you so much, John. Pleasure's all mine.