The Talk Show

325: ‘The Negative Version of Icing on the Cake’, With Nilay Patel


00:00:00   - [Dave] Neil, we always talk once a year on my show.

00:00:04   - [Niel] This is one of my favorite traditions,

00:00:05   is a post iPhone review kuber hang.

00:00:08   - [Dave] It's a little late, but you know,

00:00:11   Apple's schedule on the phone skips around,

00:00:13   September, October, whatever, you know.

00:00:16   - [Niel] There's also just a lot to talk about

00:00:19   besides the phones.

00:00:20   There's an endless amount of Apple stuff going on.

00:00:22   - [Dave] Yeah, there really is.

00:00:23   I'm curious though, and it's kind of interesting,

00:00:26   I always like the,

00:00:28   I shouldn't say that I like the cool off period,

00:00:30   it's that I hate the, okay, you have six days

00:00:34   to review this phone, and try not to miss anything,

00:00:38   and try to let it settle in.

00:00:40   It's interesting to me to keep talking about it.

00:00:43   This to me is why podcasts are awesome.

00:00:45   After the iPhone 13s are, not necessarily old news,

00:00:51   but you know, they're not the hot, hot freshest.

00:00:54   I'm curious what you think overall.

00:00:57   - [Niel] I think they're great phones.

00:00:59   And you know, there's that debate about the names,

00:01:02   and whether they should have called them the 12s.

00:01:04   - Right.

00:01:05   - And my big takeaway is that in many ways,

00:01:10   for one particular reason, which I'll say,

00:01:12   this is the phone the 12 should have been.

00:01:14   And like, I think calling it the 12s

00:01:16   would have made that making more clear,

00:01:18   but it's a great phone, and the 12 was a great phone,

00:01:21   I really liked that phone.

00:01:22   The specific thing I'm getting at is the 5G performance

00:01:25   of this phone appears to be better than the 12 where I live,

00:01:28   which is a really hard thing to talk about.

00:01:30   - Right.

00:01:31   - Because other people had great 5G experiences

00:01:33   with their 12 wherever they lived.

00:01:35   But for me, where I live in the middle of nowhere,

00:01:38   the 5G performance on the 13 Pro Max

00:01:41   is significantly better than the 12.

00:01:45   And I'm assuming AT&T didn't put up a tower yesterday

00:01:48   to make that the case, especially where I live.

00:01:50   So there's just all this stuff

00:01:52   that you start to notice over time.

00:01:54   - Yeah.

00:01:55   - That you would never catch,

00:01:56   and I think the 12 came out with that wave of 5G hype.

00:01:59   They had Verizon on stage,

00:02:01   and it kind of fell flat for a lot of people.

00:02:04   And this phone actually delivers on that set of hype.

00:02:06   So that's, when I say it's the phone

00:02:07   that the 12 should have been,

00:02:09   it's the phone that to me, for the first time,

00:02:11   delivers any true value out of 5G.

00:02:13   Where on LTE or on the 12 with 5G,

00:02:17   I was getting like 25 down here,

00:02:19   my 13 will get 100 down, which is a massive increase.

00:02:22   - Yeah, that's super significant.

00:02:24   'Cause I would say 100 is sort of where,

00:02:27   it's not necessarily super fast,

00:02:29   but that's sort of, in today's world,

00:02:31   that's pretty decent.

00:02:33   Whether you're on WiFi or cellular,

00:02:34   100 megabits per second down, it's pretty good.

00:02:37   You can stream whatever you want.

00:02:40   If you're downloading something truly humongous,

00:02:42   like if you're tethering and using it

00:02:45   to download the new Xcode to your Mac

00:02:48   and it's multiple gigabytes,

00:02:50   sure, maybe it's not that fast, but it's pretty good.

00:02:52   25, on the other hand,

00:02:53   you're probably gonna struggle to pull down 4K video

00:02:56   or something like that.

00:02:58   - Yeah, and all the people in Europe and South Korea

00:03:00   are laughing, the two Americans.

00:03:02   100 is great, they've been getting 100 on LTE for 10 years.

00:03:05   - I can't complain, here in Philadelphia,

00:03:07   Verizon, in Center City, Philadelphia,

00:03:09   Verizon has been really good.

00:03:11   I mean, I think I tend to get 200 on LTE most of the time.

00:03:16   And I did get the super fast 5G UW

00:03:21   just a few blocks from my house,

00:03:23   and Verizon's map was super accurate.

00:03:27   It was like, okay, if I go to this weird corner,

00:03:30   which is not even a busy street,

00:03:31   they're saying I'm gonna get 5G UW ultra wide,

00:03:35   and it's like, boom, there I do,

00:03:37   almost 2,000 megabits per second.

00:03:40   - Well, in Philly, Comcast is in Philly, right?

00:03:42   And Comcast has partnered with Verizon

00:03:43   on their weird Xfinity.

00:03:46   And so you have to imagine the Comcast executives

00:03:47   are walking around being like, yo,

00:03:49   can you get to work here?

00:03:50   We run a network, we can help you.

00:03:52   Not so much in the woods, right?

00:03:55   - But I will say that over a year of iPhone 12 use,

00:03:59   I went back and forth all year long

00:04:02   whether I should just turn off 5G and just use LTE.

00:04:05   'Cause I vaguely suspected that I was squandering battery

00:04:09   all year for no real use,

00:04:11   because if I was gonna get 200 megabits down

00:04:15   or close to it on LTE, what's the point?

00:04:17   If the regular 5G is around the same,

00:04:21   anyway, it can only save battery.

00:04:23   But the other thing was that for the whole year

00:04:25   I was using the iPhone 12, for the most part,

00:04:27   I never really went anywhere.

00:04:29   So it was like, in a normal year

00:04:32   where I was traveling several times a year,

00:04:35   would have been traveling probably this coming weekend

00:04:38   for the Mac event next week, et cetera,

00:04:43   I always am interested in things like,

00:04:46   hey, this new technology,

00:04:48   like when the phones first went to LTE,

00:04:50   it was like, nah, keep it on 3G when you travel,

00:04:52   'cause you're not gonna get the speed.

00:04:53   The first few years of these network rollouts

00:04:56   never really pay off anyway.

00:04:57   - Yeah, but that's what I mean.

00:05:00   The 5G hype cycle was out of control

00:05:03   and the 12 was like, I mean, right there,

00:05:07   like 5G got real.

00:05:08   It's really here now because of this phone.

00:05:10   And that to me just never connected, it never landed.

00:05:13   And then with this phone, I'm like, okay,

00:05:15   I'm starting to see it.

00:05:16   I think there is, the radios are slightly different,

00:05:19   they access more bands.

00:05:22   AT&T and Verizon, they've been aggressively lying

00:05:25   about what 5G means for some time.

00:05:28   - AT&T in particular, AT&T takes it to a new level.

00:05:32   And they did the same thing with 4G too, right?

00:05:35   Where they had, and they convinced Apple

00:05:38   to put like a weird icon up in the status bar

00:05:40   with like 5G with an asterisk or something like that.

00:05:45   - Yeah, so it was 5G for AT&T.

00:05:46   But the other thing they're doing,

00:05:48   which it's like, it makes sense they would try to do this,

00:05:52   but they're reusing and sharing LTE spectrum

00:05:56   with 5G spectrum, it's called DSS.

00:05:58   And it's this weird technology.

00:05:59   And I would, when the 12 came out, I said,

00:06:01   how often is this phone using DSS

00:06:03   versus dedicated 5G spectrum?

00:06:05   And there was a lot of hemming and hawing.

00:06:07   And they're like, that's up to the carriers,

00:06:08   you're gonna ask them.

00:06:09   And now that it supports more bands

00:06:11   and they're rolling out more of that mid-band 5G,

00:06:13   which is the reason T-Mobile has had a faster network

00:06:16   this whole time is they've always had the mid-band 5G

00:06:19   as opposed to the millimeter wave.

00:06:21   You can see it.

00:06:22   And right, is it the phone?

00:06:24   Is it the carrier?

00:06:25   Is it the phone supports more bands?

00:06:26   Like it's, this is why it's,

00:06:28   I would have never been able to put this all in a review.

00:06:31   I would have written an 8,000 word review,

00:06:33   actually this year Dieter did the reviews.

00:06:35   I would have made Dieter write an 8,000 word review

00:06:37   on just frequency allocations in the phone.

00:06:41   But I wouldn't, I don't think that we would have even known

00:06:43   without this much more time passing

00:06:45   and being able to say, okay, I'm starting to see

00:06:47   that the phone is caught up to the network,

00:06:49   has caught up to the phone,

00:06:50   and that cycle is beginning to build to something useful.

00:06:53   Now, do I think that I would accept a robotic surgery

00:06:57   on this network or let a car drive itself on it?

00:07:00   No, I would not.

00:07:01   And that, like that part of the 5G hype cycle

00:07:03   is out of control.

00:07:04   But is it a little faster?

00:07:05   It sure is.

00:07:06   - It is one of the most interesting

00:07:09   and unique aspects of reviewing any phone,

00:07:13   but iPhone in particular,

00:07:14   because it's the one thing that is outside Apple's control

00:07:19   and is obviously a very touchy subject with the carriers.

00:07:26   So Apple is in this untenable position, really,

00:07:30   where they, what are they gonna do?

00:07:32   Tell you that, hey, well,

00:07:33   Verizon has a better 5G network than AT&T,

00:07:36   or vice versa, whatever.

00:07:38   They're not gonna do that, they can't, right?

00:07:40   They can't throw any of their carrier partners

00:07:42   under the bus and talk about problems or say that,

00:07:47   well, it's not gonna be as good on Carrier X

00:07:50   because they don't support the band that's better,

00:07:53   blah, blah, blah.

00:07:54   They can't talk about it.

00:07:55   But yet, it's this thing that they want to hype

00:07:57   because the carriers want to hype it.

00:08:00   - I think especially this year,

00:08:01   if you look at the pricing of these phones,

00:08:06   it's almost useless to talk about the MSRP of the phone

00:08:10   because the carriers are just gonna give you money,

00:08:13   and that money is baked back into a more expensive 5G plan.

00:08:17   The carriers are not, they're good at this math.

00:08:19   It's a shell game, they're good at it.

00:08:22   The vibe we got when the phone was announced was,

00:08:24   man, we are right back to the days of phone subsidies.

00:08:27   Right, we're giving the phones away for free or super cheap,

00:08:32   and then we're baking that cost back into the plan,

00:08:34   and we kinda know it,

00:08:35   but we need the carriers to sell iPhones.

00:08:38   People are at home.

00:08:39   They're not necessarily incentivized,

00:08:41   but offering people a ton of free phones

00:08:43   is getting them to upgrade.

00:08:44   We're managing our demand that way,

00:08:46   and I think a lot of people are happy to see a free phone.

00:08:49   But it's true that Apple needs the carriers to participate

00:08:52   in this pretty intense subsidy program.

00:08:56   The carriers want 5G phones.

00:08:58   They wanna switch over that network

00:08:59   and get away from DSS as fast as they can.

00:09:01   Apple wants to sell a lot of phones.

00:09:03   I don't know if it's untenable.

00:09:04   Apple's selling a lot of phones,

00:09:06   but there's a part of the business relationship

00:09:09   that absolutely prevents them

00:09:11   from evaluating the carriers to the customer.

00:09:13   They're just not gonna do it.

00:09:14   - I guess it is tenable in that way,

00:09:17   but it's untenable in Apple's usual way

00:09:20   of being as forthcoming as they can

00:09:23   about the product's performance.

00:09:26   And you have to learn to speak Appleese.

00:09:29   They never throw anything under the bus.

00:09:30   So here's one simple example.

00:09:33   All of the iPhone 13s have an ultra-wide camera,

00:09:38   but this year the 13 Pros

00:09:41   have a significantly improved ultra-wide.

00:09:44   It's the one that it has auto-focus,

00:09:46   and that's what enables macro mode,

00:09:48   and it also has a better sensor.

00:09:51   Well, I guess that's partly why it has auto-focus,

00:09:53   better sensor, but it's also better in low light.

00:09:57   But when you ask them questions

00:09:59   about the regular iPhone 13 ultra-wide in comparison,

00:10:02   they don't say bad things about that lens.

00:10:06   They'll only say good things about the 13 Pro lens,

00:10:09   and you just have to learn to translate that,

00:10:12   okay, no, the light sensitivity hasn't changed at all

00:10:14   from the iPhone 12.

00:10:15   That's what they're trying to say.

00:10:17   But they can't talk even in their usual elliptical way

00:10:21   about 5G performance.

00:10:23   It is like a black box that they really can't

00:10:26   because it's so tied to the promotion.

00:10:28   But it is true too.

00:10:30   Right after the event, I have a friend who's,

00:10:34   I guess you would best describe as an analyst,

00:10:36   somebody you know through Daring Fireball,

00:10:38   and he was just like, weee!

00:10:40   It's like back to 2008 with 2009

00:10:42   with the subsidy model for pricing.

00:10:45   Except now it's sort of, it's like inverted,

00:10:49   where back then the subsidized prices

00:10:53   were the prices that Apple would put up

00:10:54   on the keynote slides, and they were the ones

00:10:57   they wanted you to think of the real price,

00:10:58   whereas now they tell you just the flat retail price

00:11:02   and the subsidized prices that most people

00:11:06   are actually paying when they go in

00:11:08   and upgrade at their carrier at significant discounts,

00:11:10   but who knows what they are.

00:11:12   It's all sort of, and I think the carriers

00:11:14   sort of like it that way where it's sort of,

00:11:16   they don't really want you pricing,

00:11:18   you know, shopping it around.

00:11:19   - It is so hard.

00:11:20   Apple did put up two slides.

00:11:23   They showed you the MSRP this year,

00:11:25   and then I think there was a second slide

00:11:26   where they're like, we're so excited

00:11:27   our carrier partners are gonna offer these discounts.

00:11:30   So it was a little change, but then you,

00:11:32   we just tried to do a story where we're like,

00:11:34   here's how much the iPhone costs this year,

00:11:37   and we just tried to break down all the carriers,

00:11:39   and it quickly got out of hand.

00:11:40   Like we realized what we needed to build

00:11:43   was effectively a search engine,

00:11:45   like a Google-caliber search engine

00:11:48   where you typed in the plan you had,

00:11:51   and every carrier now has like decades worth

00:11:53   of weird grandfathered plans.

00:11:56   The phone you had that you're trading,

00:11:58   and we're like, the literal logic of this

00:12:01   is a search engine.

00:12:02   Like that's kind of what we're doing here.

00:12:04   Like we don't know if we can do this.

00:12:05   The one I saw, there's a bunch of YouTube videos

00:12:08   where like YouTubers are doing Excel on YouTube,

00:12:11   and I wanna, when you get the YouTubers

00:12:14   to start like doing Excel on camera,

00:12:15   you know, like maybe this is a little too complicated.

00:12:18   (both laughing)

00:12:20   - It is not the most cinematic way of presenting information,

00:12:25   but there are some things that demand a tabular grid.

00:12:29   It's interesting.

00:12:31   I think the other thing that's interesting

00:12:33   with the iPhone 13 models,

00:12:35   and it ties into the Apple Watch Series 7,

00:12:38   which we can pick up after a break,

00:12:40   but is the lack of neutral color options

00:12:45   at the consumer side.

00:12:47   - Yeah.

00:12:48   - There's the starlight,

00:12:51   and which is the closest they come

00:12:53   to what was always just called silver,

00:12:56   and midnight, which is the closest they come

00:12:58   to like a black or space gray or space black,

00:13:02   those names that they've used over the years

00:13:03   that have always been neutral,

00:13:04   but midnight has a touch of blue.

00:13:06   And it's, I've been, again, it's a privilege.

00:13:12   I love my job.

00:13:14   I know it will come back to normal eventually,

00:13:17   but I really, really miss the hands-on areas after events.

00:13:23   And I always thought it was interesting

00:13:25   for evaluating color and finishes.

00:13:27   I always bring up the iPhone 7,

00:13:32   which is when they had oddly two black models.

00:13:34   They had like a matte black, and they called one jet black.

00:13:38   And the jet black was the sort of thing

00:13:41   that it's like impossible to photograph.

00:13:43   You can't really capture gloss

00:13:46   when you're displaying it on a photograph.

00:13:50   You really needed to see it.

00:13:51   You needed to touch it to see how it felt

00:13:53   that it had like a sort of tackiness,

00:13:55   like I always say, like a basketball sneaker

00:13:58   on a clean basketball court.

00:14:00   With these colors this year,

00:14:02   some of the feedback I've gotten from readers is,

00:14:05   "Well, you're not talking about the colors."

00:14:07   And it's like, "Well, I can't talk about colors

00:14:08   "I haven't seen," right?

00:14:09   It's like, we all see Apple's photos.

00:14:12   You can see them as well as I do.

00:14:14   I haven't seen them in person.

00:14:15   I only have the things that they've sent me

00:14:17   'cause they're not in.

00:14:18   Now I have been to the Apple Store to see the phones,

00:14:21   and so I've seen Starlight in person.

00:14:23   I find that the Starlight is very champagne-y.

00:14:28   It is clearly more like a silvery gold

00:14:33   than a gold silver to me,

00:14:35   whereas Midnight plays as black or neutral,

00:14:40   and you really kinda,

00:14:41   you have to catch it the right way to get the blue.

00:14:43   Now, is that me?

00:14:45   Is that the way my rods and cones in my eyes perceive color?

00:14:50   But I know that there's a lot of,

00:14:52   it's like the number one complaint about the watches

00:14:53   seems to be the lack of neutral colors,

00:14:58   and the same thing with the phones.

00:15:00   - Yeah, it's interesting.

00:15:01   There's a split there between the watch and the phones

00:15:03   that is kinda interesting.

00:15:06   I think Apple assumes, and the carriers assume, rightfully,

00:15:10   that most people are putting these in cases.

00:15:12   - Yep.

00:15:13   - So the colors are almost secondary.

00:15:16   Really, you're picking the color of your camera bump,

00:15:18   'cause that's the only thing you're gonna see

00:15:19   in most of these cases.

00:15:20   I had the Sierra Blue review unit,

00:15:25   and I bought my own Graphite Pro.

00:15:28   Sierra Blue's beautiful,

00:15:30   but I instantly put it into a case.

00:15:33   Yeah, so that's interesting,

00:15:35   'cause with the phones, you expect,

00:15:37   I think they expect it,

00:15:38   they can be a little more dramatic with the colors.

00:15:41   Not so with the watch, right?

00:15:43   Not very many people put the watch in cases,

00:15:45   and I'd be curious to understand

00:15:48   why they went that way with the watch,

00:15:50   instead of the offering the neutral so you could,

00:15:54   I mean, right now, I have a black watch.

00:15:56   It's like, I'm not gonna not buy a black watch.

00:15:59   - Right.

00:16:00   Well, let me take a break,

00:16:01   and then we can talk about Apple Watch Series 7.

00:16:04   It's a great segue.

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00:18:20   I'm with you.

00:18:22   I think that the case situation is so different

00:18:26   between phones and watches,

00:18:28   where almost everybody puts their phones in a case

00:18:31   and almost nobody puts an Apple Watch in a case

00:18:34   or a protective wraparound strap.

00:18:37   I'm not even sure why you would.

00:18:39   I mean, I guess there's this sort of G-Shock mentality,

00:18:43   and there's rumors,

00:18:44   German has rumored that Apple's even considering a watch

00:18:47   that's in that space.

00:18:49   But when I see people with the thing,

00:18:50   it doesn't look like they're using it to go rock climbing.

00:18:53   There just seem like people

00:18:55   who are afraid of scratching their watch.

00:18:57   But it's very rare that I see somebody like that.

00:19:01   - There's a specific kind of personality

00:19:02   that puts everything in a case.

00:19:04   - Right.

00:19:05   - And I want to,

00:19:06   maybe we should just find four of those people on profile

00:19:08   and be like, why is your first instinct

00:19:10   to wrap everything in a case?

00:19:11   Like, I get it with a phone.

00:19:12   I drop my phone a lot.

00:19:13   Your watch, if you're dropping your watch,

00:19:16   you're kind of necessarily dropping yourself, right?

00:19:19   (both laughing)

00:19:21   - You're kind of doing it wrong, right?

00:19:22   It's like, and I know,

00:19:25   I've worn a watch my whole, ever since I was a teenager,

00:19:28   and it's like, every once in a while,

00:19:29   you'll like bang it against a doorway or something,

00:19:32   you know, and you take a look.

00:19:34   And usually my watches over the years, I've never,

00:19:37   every once in a while,

00:19:38   I'd get like a scratch or something here or there,

00:19:40   but for the most part,

00:19:40   they don't really seem like they need a case.

00:19:44   But this lack of a neutral color option,

00:19:48   that there's starlight instead of silver

00:19:50   at the aluminum level, and midnight, which is blue.

00:19:54   The other thing that that,

00:19:56   my personal tastes, shockingly, lean towards neutral colors.

00:20:01   But the other thing about neutral colors is

00:20:05   they then go with any straps or bands you want to use,

00:20:09   and that's sort of a big, or not even sort of,

00:20:13   it's a big part of the Apple Watch ecosystem,

00:20:18   is that a lot of people, for everybody out there,

00:20:21   I'm sure most people pick a strap, never change it,

00:20:24   you know, don't even know how to change the straps.

00:20:26   But there are a lot of people who love the easy,

00:20:29   I can change these straps, you know,

00:20:31   with just push a button, slide it out, put another one in.

00:20:34   The compatibility, the fact that every Apple Watch strap

00:20:38   made since 2015 is still compatible, you know,

00:20:41   either at the smaller or large size,

00:20:43   means that people who are on like their second or third,

00:20:46   or if you're like an enthusiast,

00:20:48   like your fourth Apple Watch,

00:20:50   the straps you've already bought are compatible.

00:20:54   But you know, it's like, I don't know,

00:20:55   if you have like champagne as your watch color,

00:20:59   to me that rules out certain colors to go with it,

00:21:01   and the same thing with like a blue-hinted midnight,

00:21:06   maybe it doesn't go with certain straps

00:21:08   that plain space gray would.

00:21:11   - Yeah, I mean, maybe the data is saying

00:21:13   that people aren't doing that as much as we think.

00:21:17   I do think that's a fun part of the Apple Watch experience,

00:21:20   that you can change these as much as you want,

00:21:21   and there's like, there's a thriving aftermarket

00:21:25   for straps, and Apple seems to love that too,

00:21:27   which is sort of, here's a question for you.

00:21:30   Is there more pressure on Apple to retain

00:21:33   the Apple Watch connector, the strap connector,

00:21:36   than there is to retain lightning?

00:21:38   That thing is, it defines the shape of the watch

00:21:42   at this point.

00:21:43   - Yeah, I think it's different,

00:21:46   a different sort of pressure.

00:21:48   Would people be angry if they changed the strap connector?

00:21:52   Probably, yeah, people get angry at everything.

00:21:55   And there is, you know, and of course you're always

00:21:58   gonna run into the people who say,

00:21:59   well, I just bought three straps last month.

00:22:03   (laughing)

00:22:04   Right, and it's like, and now they're introducing

00:22:07   a different strap size or different connector.

00:22:10   I don't know, I do wonder whether they feel hamstrung.

00:22:14   Is it a bit of an albatross around their neck

00:22:16   as they designed the Series 7, and they're like,

00:22:19   let's go a little bigger, 'cause we're gonna put

00:22:22   this bigger edge, closer to true edge-to-edge display,

00:22:26   and we're gonna increase the size of the case

00:22:29   by a millimeter, but if, is that strap compatibility,

00:22:34   like, if only we could just tweak the strap connector

00:22:38   a little bit, whoa, this would be a little bit blank,

00:22:42   I don't know if it'd be narrower or something.

00:22:45   I don't know, probably, it's probably,

00:22:47   at least to some degree, a constraint they wish

00:22:50   they didn't have to deal with, but.

00:22:52   - Well, I mean, they made that decision,

00:22:53   well, you know, they made the decision

00:22:54   before they announced it, they announced the thing in 2015.

00:22:57   So they made this decision about the strap connector

00:23:00   in what, 2013, 2014?

00:23:02   They couldn't have known where the watch was going.

00:23:05   - Right.

00:23:06   - And most of those, you know, Johnny F's gone.

00:23:09   So like, it's another person's ultimate decision.

00:23:13   - And I've always thought about it, like, we spend

00:23:15   so much time thinking about it, Lightning versus USB-C

00:23:17   versus Apple's proprietary Bluetooth, and it's like,

00:23:22   oh, they've got this, like, other hardware connector

00:23:24   that has a, probably its most thriving ecosystem of straps,

00:23:29   but it defines the shape of the product

00:23:32   in a way that Lightning does not, right?

00:23:34   - Yeah.

00:23:35   - And I've always wanted to, do they,

00:23:37   is there's gotta be some design in Apple

00:23:38   that's just like, man, let me make it different.

00:23:40   Like, the whole watch would look different,

00:23:42   it would be so much cooler, but they're brought into it now

00:23:45   after all this time.

00:23:46   - Well, that's why I'm so intrigued by Germin's rumor

00:23:48   about a G-Shock style sport watch, you know,

00:23:52   like a rugged watch, for lack of a better term.

00:23:54   Because, well, it could still fit the same straps.

00:24:00   I mean, you know, just put that slot on the top and bottom.

00:24:04   But that would, to me, would be an opportunity

00:24:06   where they might introduce a different slot,

00:24:10   you know, a different watch connector, I don't know.

00:24:14   You know, 'cause presumably that watch would look,

00:24:16   that would be the first Apple watch that they make

00:24:19   that is instantly recognizable as a different watch.

00:24:22   I mean, that was a big part of my review this week

00:24:24   for the Series 7.

00:24:25   They don't see this as a product that needs to be,

00:24:28   like, reimagined in the way that, like, the iPhone 4

00:24:32   was like, whoa, whoa, this looks nothing

00:24:35   like the previous iPhones.

00:24:39   The way that iPads have had a couple of moments like that,

00:24:43   even though the tablet shape is sort of,

00:24:46   look, it's just a tablet, you know,

00:24:47   there's not that much you can do with it.

00:24:49   Apple Watch, you know, it really does seem like they,

00:24:53   they're not just content with it,

00:24:56   but that they really feel like they nailed it

00:24:58   from the first go, so I don't know.

00:25:00   I feel like Lightning is more of a,

00:25:02   probably more politically sticky.

00:25:07   - Yeah, I mean, there's a million reasons.

00:25:08   That's why I add, it's just a, like, a thought experiment.

00:25:10   Like, it is.

00:25:11   Which do they feel more constrained by?

00:25:13   It's not Lightning, right?

00:25:14   They're just, like, happy to keep putting that connector

00:25:17   on there until we all assume one day

00:25:18   they're gonna take it away, and while you're used to it.

00:25:21   Whereas this one, it's like,

00:25:22   there literally defines the shape of the product.

00:25:25   You know, the iPad's, like, an interesting one,

00:25:28   that, you know, that low-end iPad,

00:25:30   the roots of that go straight to the iPad 2, right?

00:25:35   And that, they've been very comfortable with that.

00:25:37   And the other ones have had to make, look different

00:25:40   to differentiate them from, you know,

00:25:44   the base model, so they're pro.

00:25:45   And Apple making things look different

00:25:48   and not look different to drive sales,

00:25:50   to drive market differentiation is, like,

00:25:53   one of the most interesting dynamics of this company.

00:25:57   Other companies make things look different all the time.

00:25:59   It's the easiest way to get attention.

00:26:00   It looks different.

00:26:02   Apple is very deliberate about it,

00:26:04   and I think with the watch,

00:26:06   once they wanna drive that bigger upgrade cycle,

00:26:08   and they're kinda at the far limit of,

00:26:11   we made the screen bigger, right?

00:26:13   'Cause bigger screens are the most,

00:26:15   like, that was why I upgraded the last time.

00:26:17   I was like, oh, the 4 has a bigger screen.

00:26:19   I want that right away.

00:26:20   It's why I'm like, even though I don't need this watch,

00:26:23   I'm not leaving my house alone.

00:26:24   (laughs)

00:26:25   I don't really need this thing.

00:26:26   I'm like, oh, that has a bigger screen I wanted.

00:26:28   Whereas the next, they're kinda out of that move,

00:26:31   so the next time they do this,

00:26:32   it might have to change the way it looks.

00:26:34   - Yeah.

00:26:34   I've, the big one for me was the always-on display.

00:26:38   So I skipped the Apple Watch Series 4,

00:26:42   even though it did, it was the first one

00:26:43   that introduced the bigger screen,

00:26:44   and even though it intrigued me,

00:26:46   'cause I'd just bought a Series 3 the year before,

00:26:48   and I was like, well, I can live with it.

00:26:50   And then when the Series 5 came out

00:26:52   with the always-on display,

00:26:53   I was like, I have to have that immediately.

00:26:55   'Cause it was my single biggest complaint

00:26:57   with Apple Watch original,

00:26:59   then 2, 3, 4, was the lack of an always-on display.

00:27:03   And I kind of realized that it's one of those,

00:27:06   I persevered on that point more than a lot of people.

00:27:10   Like, all of my reviews before the Series 5,

00:27:13   people would be like, wow,

00:27:14   you really spent a lot of words talking about the fact

00:27:16   that the time isn't always on.

00:27:19   And it's, I think I'm self-aware that I,

00:27:23   it's partly because I'm used to mechanical watches

00:27:26   where you never have to worry, you know,

00:27:28   you can always, as long as there's enough light

00:27:30   to see the dial, you can read the time.

00:27:33   But it's also like a sort of,

00:27:36   I've always been a little self-conscious

00:27:41   about looking like I'm checking the time, you know,

00:27:43   that it's like a signal that you're bored.

00:27:45   And I know, I realize that like probably 98% of people

00:27:48   don't even notice, they never think twice about it.

00:27:51   But for some reason, like in 19, I think it was 1988,

00:27:55   when George Bush was running against Michael Dukakis,

00:27:58   they had a debate and George Bush,

00:28:01   the old George Bush was seen checking his watch

00:28:04   like halfway through the debate,

00:28:06   which to me is a reasonable thing for somebody

00:28:08   who knows they're in a 90 minute debate.

00:28:11   Like whenever I'm on stage in front of people,

00:28:14   and I think even if you're like running for president

00:28:18   and you're used to it, it's high pressure.

00:28:20   And you know that the debate is particularly high pressure

00:28:22   and time flows in a funny way, right?

00:28:25   Like where you feel like when I'm interviewing people

00:28:29   doing my WWDC show and you know,

00:28:32   a thousand people in the audience

00:28:34   and one shot to take this video

00:28:38   that's gonna be seen by, you know, 100,000 people

00:28:40   after I publish it to "Daring Fireball."

00:28:42   And I'll glance at my watch 'cause I think,

00:28:45   oh my God, we must be halfway through, right?

00:28:48   And I look and it's like, we're five minutes in.

00:28:50   And I'm like, oh my.

00:28:51   - Do you find that that first 10 minutes takes forever?

00:28:52   - Yes, I do.

00:28:53   - And then after that, the rest flies by.

00:28:55   - Exactly, that's every single time.

00:28:58   - This is me on "Decoder" every week.

00:29:00   - Every time.

00:29:01   - I'm like, oh man, I gotta make this interesting

00:29:02   for an hour and that first 10 minutes are kinda cold, right?

00:29:05   The guest is kinda cold and you're both open, whatever,

00:29:08   like things work.

00:29:09   And you're like, if I just make it through this first 10.

00:29:12   - It takes forever and I realize

00:29:16   that I'm only on like my first index card.

00:29:20   And I'm like, I've blown this, we're halfway through.

00:29:22   I'm only on the first index card.

00:29:24   And then I think like, don't start sweating.

00:29:28   Don't start sweating, even though you've clearly blown it.

00:29:31   But then I sneak a look at my watch and I'm like,

00:29:33   oh, we're only five minutes in, what?

00:29:35   And then next time I check my watch, it's like,

00:29:37   oh, I've gone over the time I promised them we'd be done.

00:29:40   What happened?

00:29:42   - Yeah, literally I have this experience

00:29:45   every week on "Decoder."

00:29:46   - But I like to glance at my watch in a way that is,

00:29:50   without like the big wrist raise,

00:29:53   and with the Apple Watch before the always on,

00:29:55   the wrist raise was sort of an ostentatious movement

00:29:58   'cause you wanna make sure your watch triggers it.

00:30:01   So that was a good one. - I got really good

00:30:03   at a subtle tap.

00:30:04   Like I would just sort of put my hand over there

00:30:08   and just like give me a little tap.

00:30:10   What's funny to me about this is none of this matters to me

00:30:15   because I don't leave my house anymore.

00:30:17   Like all of this was really important

00:30:18   when I was in meetings, I was going places,

00:30:20   I was talking to people, I was waiting for trains, whatever.

00:30:24   The always on display, its value has plummeted

00:30:27   inside of my home, which is interesting.

00:30:30   Like, you know, we're gonna go back out

00:30:32   in the world eventually, but to me that,

00:30:35   right, you make the screen bigger,

00:30:37   always on is another screen upgrade.

00:30:40   Right, the thing that has driven the cycle

00:30:42   for the Apple Watch for me and for you in a different way

00:30:46   is screen upgrades, right?

00:30:49   Battery life upgrades to some extent,

00:30:50   but mostly screen upgrades.

00:30:52   They've added all the sensors, those are cool,

00:30:53   but they come from the ride with the screen for me.

00:30:56   They're just, they're kinda with this one,

00:30:59   it's hard to see the next move they can make

00:31:02   unless they make it yet bigger, which would be interesting,

00:31:04   or they do something else.

00:31:06   It's, you know, and like, the two newest sensors

00:31:11   are the blood oxygen and the ECG.

00:31:15   And you know, I'm glad I have an ECG sensor

00:31:19   and so far, knock on wood, it has never once alerted me

00:31:24   to anything, but I enjoy every time somebody sends me

00:31:28   a random story from somewhere where somebody,

00:31:31   some regular Apple Watch user who had no idea

00:31:35   that they might have a heart problem,

00:31:36   their watch said, "Hey, maybe you should call your doctor.

00:31:39   There's an irregularity."

00:31:40   And they go to their doctor and their doctor is like,

00:31:43   "Yeah, you've got a problem, but we can,

00:31:45   it's a good thing you came in, but we can fix this right up

00:31:47   and you'll be fine."

00:31:48   So I'm glad it's there, but it's never once gone off for me.

00:31:51   I don't, I have never once checked my blood oxygen level.

00:31:54   So like, if I found out that my Series 7 review unit

00:31:59   actually didn't have either of those, I wouldn't know.

00:32:03   - Well, it's hard to demonstrate the value of a thing

00:32:05   that is only valuable when something is wrong, you know?

00:32:08   - Right.

00:32:09   - Well, and this is like the smoke detector problem.

00:32:11   - Yeah.

00:32:13   - You buy more expensive smoke detectors,

00:32:14   but it's like, doesn't really matter.

00:32:17   For the most part, our smoke detectors have only ever gone

00:32:19   off when there's been like a smokey kitchen

00:32:22   and it's an annoyance, but it always reassures me.

00:32:26   It's like, "Hey, this actually isn't that smokey."

00:32:28   So I'm glad, you know, that's what I always tell myself

00:32:31   as I climb up a step stool because our ceilings

00:32:33   are just tall enough that I can't quite reach it

00:32:35   without using a step stool.

00:32:37   And I think to myself every time, well, it's actually,

00:32:40   you know, I'm actually glad that this went off.

00:32:42   - And I'm glad that my,

00:32:43   your searing a steak detector went off too.

00:32:47   - 'Cause that's what happens for me every time.

00:32:48   But do you read that Business Insider story

00:32:50   about Apple's health division and kind of lack of focus?

00:32:54   This to me is like the, right, they're really promoting.

00:32:56   The ads for the Series 7 are all about health.

00:33:00   They're all about, you know, these features,

00:33:02   checking your blood oxygen on the side of a mountain.

00:33:04   And it, you know, there's this Business Insider story

00:33:07   that's like, this division has suffered from lack of focus.

00:33:10   It's had a lot of executive turnover.

00:33:13   There is a piece of this puzzle

00:33:15   where they're adding the capabilities

00:33:17   and they haven't really articulated why.

00:33:20   And I, you know, I read that piece and I was like,

00:33:23   oh, this kind of makes sense.

00:33:24   Like, they are still figuring it out.

00:33:26   - Yeah, and it does seem like, I have not seen the story,

00:33:31   but it kind of rings true to me where,

00:33:36   in a very, unlike most things at Apple,

00:33:40   a sort of spaghetti against the wall approach

00:33:43   kind of works, right?

00:33:45   Like if, you know, there's been a team,

00:33:48   presumably there was a team dedicated

00:33:51   to getting blood oxygen sensing to fit in the watch

00:33:56   in a way that would, you know, not make the watch enormous

00:34:00   or make it more expensive, you know,

00:34:02   a cost-effective way to add that sensor.

00:34:06   And at one point they were like,

00:34:07   we think we can do this this year, you know,

00:34:10   get together with the rest of the hardware team, integrate it.

00:34:12   But, you know, before that they were just working on

00:34:15   this one thing, blood oxygen sensing.

00:34:19   - Yeah, I mean, they have to build the sensors, but.

00:34:22   - Right.

00:34:23   - And that seems very difficult.

00:34:25   And the sensors are doing well.

00:34:26   You know, there's a handful of peer-reviewed studies

00:34:28   saying they are as accurate as some of the medical devices,

00:34:32   but they're still not medical devices, right?

00:34:33   They're not FDA approved for this use.

00:34:35   Like, there's a long way to go with just,

00:34:39   is the sensor a medical device?

00:34:41   Okay, that's a challenging problem.

00:34:43   But, you know, Apple had these grand plans.

00:34:46   You know, they bought a healthcare company,

00:34:47   they're gonna run clinics for their own employees,

00:34:48   they're gonna do all this stuff.

00:34:50   That stuff turns out to be very complicated.

00:34:52   It's a different kind of problem

00:34:54   than just building the hardware and software capability.

00:34:57   And that to me is where, you know, Tim Cook has said,

00:35:00   for years Apple's greatest contribution will be in health.

00:35:03   They're advertising the watch as a health device

00:35:05   more and more.

00:35:06   And underneath it, I mean, I haven't sent,

00:35:09   other than, you know, Apple Fitness

00:35:11   and track your heart rate, close your rings,

00:35:14   which appears to be fairly focused

00:35:16   because it's a simpler kind of thing.

00:35:18   The actual, we're gonna integrate the watch

00:35:21   with your healthcare, like your proper full-on healthcare,

00:35:26   has never been fully connected.

00:35:28   And I was wondering if you had any insight,

00:35:29   'cause I read that story and I was like,

00:35:30   man, this sounds like, you know,

00:35:32   I would draw the parallel to like the car,

00:35:34   where like they've taken 50 shots at the car

00:35:37   and they haven't figured out how they wanna do it.

00:35:40   But at least the car is secret.

00:35:42   The watch is like, I'm still buying them.

00:35:43   People are buying them.

00:35:44   They're super popular.

00:35:46   They have the scale to accomplish

00:35:47   some of the things they wanna accomplish.

00:35:49   - I think it's an interesting domain

00:35:51   because I kind of feel that the unfocused,

00:35:54   look, we can just keep adding sensors as we can

00:35:58   and some will be more important than others, you know,

00:36:01   or like the ECG thing is very important.

00:36:03   'Cause if it actually,

00:36:05   if you do have that sort of irregularity,

00:36:07   it's genuinely life-threatening.

00:36:10   But it's also very rare, right?

00:36:12   So most people, it's never going to be an issue.

00:36:15   You can kind of add them piecemeal over the years

00:36:22   as they're ready and it doesn't matter

00:36:25   because that's not the prime reason

00:36:27   people are buying the watch, right?

00:36:29   They're buying the watch because it's just a general,

00:36:33   A, it's a watch, it tells you what time it is.

00:36:36   It tells you your notifications,

00:36:37   which is the big non-health-related breakthrough, right?

00:36:42   All the other stuff, nonsense in hindsight,

00:36:45   that they talked about in the original Apple Watch,

00:36:48   notifications that you can get your notifications

00:36:50   right there on your wrist,

00:36:52   is the big non-health-related,

00:36:55   this is why you want an Apple Watch

00:36:56   or any other smartwatch like for Android

00:36:59   instead of a dumb watch.

00:37:01   And then there's the general health and fitness

00:37:03   where you count your steps and your stands

00:37:06   and your exercise hours.

00:37:09   - You know how to add to that that is super useful

00:37:12   and I recommend this to everyone?

00:37:14   Put your Two-Factor app on your watch

00:37:15   so you can get your codes right away.

00:37:18   I don't know why Apple should just build a two-factor system

00:37:21   and advertise it heavily because as a capability

00:37:24   of the watch, remarkably convenient in our current climate.

00:37:29   I use Authy for my two-factor, which I really like a lot.

00:37:33   I moved away from Google Authenticator years ago

00:37:37   because Google Authenticator,

00:37:38   and apparently this is better now, I wrote about this,

00:37:40   but with Google Authenticator,

00:37:42   it was always a huge pain in the ass

00:37:44   when you upgraded your phone

00:37:46   because it was like a one-phone-at-a-time thing.

00:37:48   And I had like a,

00:37:49   I think I mentioned this on my show a couple weeks ago,

00:37:52   like a real panic attack moment,

00:37:53   like a couple of years back

00:37:57   when I got a review unit phone, I'd set it up.

00:38:00   I think I started setting it up in Panzarino's car,

00:38:03   driving from Cupertino back to San Francisco.

00:38:06   And it was out and needed a two-factor code.

00:38:10   And I was on this new phone and went to Google Authenticator

00:38:14   and they're like, "New number, who dat?"

00:38:16   And it's like, "Oh my God,

00:38:17   I don't have any of my two-factor codes."

00:38:20   And you know, oh, I could just go back to my hotel room

00:38:24   and get my old phone, which was still there

00:38:26   and still had the codes.

00:38:28   But it's a moment you don't want, right?

00:38:30   Like when you go to get your two-factor codes

00:38:32   and none of them are there,

00:38:34   and it's like, we don't know who you are,

00:38:35   it breaks you out in a cold sweat, you know?

00:38:39   So I switched to Authy years ago.

00:38:40   Authy has been great,

00:38:41   but having it on my phone is awesome

00:38:43   because if you're in some random place

00:38:45   logging into a website or something like that,

00:38:48   just having it on your wrist is awesome.

00:38:51   - Yeah, it's just like funny to me

00:38:52   that I'm assuming a lot of Apple employees

00:38:55   have two-factor issues all the time.

00:38:57   And like, here's this one function of watch

00:39:00   that is just like completely underappreciated that I love.

00:39:03   And it's like, oh man, this is,

00:39:06   if you try to get me to switch smartwatches,

00:39:07   I would ask, do you have a two-factor app that I can use

00:39:11   that works as well as this one?

00:39:12   And if you don't, I wouldn't switch.

00:39:14   I use it all day every day.

00:39:17   - To me, that's been the,

00:39:21   the watch itself as the second factor has been a huge

00:39:26   motivation for me to wear my Apple Watch

00:39:29   way more than I had been before the pandemic.

00:39:32   The thing with the masks has been game-changing for me.

00:39:35   - Hey, did you notice in iOS 15,

00:39:40   they are doing the watch unlock

00:39:44   if you're wearing sunglasses that don't work with Face ID?

00:39:46   - Yes, I have not. - It is incredible.

00:39:48   I have not written about this on "Daring Fireball" yet,

00:39:51   but as a longtime wearer of Ray-Ban sunglasses,

00:39:56   and Ray-Ban notoriously has had their regular,

00:40:02   non-polarized, just regular sunglasses,

00:40:06   have never worked with Face ID.

00:40:08   And they work now if you're wearing your Apple Watch

00:40:11   same way as the mask.

00:40:12   And it's, I've been waiting to write about it

00:40:15   on "Daring Fireball" because I'm a terrible,

00:40:19   terrible at getting things out of my mind

00:40:22   and onto the site as fast as I should, but it's awesome.

00:40:26   And it's not as big a deal for me at the moment

00:40:28   because I no longer wear contact lenses.

00:40:31   I wear prescription glasses all the time,

00:40:33   and my new prescription sunglasses aren't Ray-Ban lenses,

00:40:37   so they actually work with Face ID.

00:40:38   But my son took my Ray-Ban Wayfarers

00:40:42   and has been annoyed as hell.

00:40:45   And I was like, "Wait until you upgrade to iOS 15,

00:40:48   it'll work."

00:40:49   And he was like, "What?"

00:40:50   And then it happened, and he was like, "This is amazing."

00:40:52   - Yeah, it actually, I had stopped wearing my sunglasses

00:40:56   as much, I realized, like, I'm just not,

00:40:58   I was like, "Am I just getting older?"

00:41:00   No, it's actually, I just wanna unlock my phone more often.

00:41:02   - No, it was driving me nuts,

00:41:04   and the mask thing was driving me nuts.

00:41:05   It's great that they made it work both ways.

00:41:08   I wish that they did the unlock with the iPads,

00:41:12   the ones that, like the new iPad Mini,

00:41:15   and the iPad Air that have the Touch ID button,

00:41:18   which is a huge pain in the ass, in my opinion.

00:41:21   Like, once you're used to having a Face ID iPad

00:41:25   that you just wake it up and you're in,

00:41:28   I wish that, why can't, if I can unlock my phone

00:41:31   while I'm wearing my watch, and I can unlock my Mac

00:41:34   while I'm wearing my watch, why can't I unlock this iPad?

00:41:37   This would make the iPad Mini way more desirable,

00:41:41   in my opinion.

00:41:42   So hopefully that's on their list.

00:41:43   - The issue there is that sometimes the iPad

00:41:45   is more often than not far away from you.

00:41:48   - I guess, but if it is, but oftentimes

00:41:51   it's actually being held by the hand

00:41:53   that's wearing the watch, right?

00:41:55   (laughing)

00:41:56   - Right, yeah, just the, right,

00:41:59   think about like the, I don't know,

00:42:01   you're in the pilot's, every time I think about the iPad Mini

00:42:03   I think about pilots, 'cause Apple loves the pilots using them.

00:42:05   They do love the pilots. - They do love the pilots'

00:42:06   lounge, and it's sitting on a couch,

00:42:07   and you're getting coffee, someone can unlock your iPad,

00:42:09   'cause you're around, right?

00:42:10   Like, that's the problem to solve.

00:42:13   - They do love the pilots.

00:42:14   (laughing)

00:42:15   - I mean, I honestly think they make the iPad Mini

00:42:17   just 'cause they think it's so cool the pilots use them.

00:42:19   - I do too.

00:42:21   I like the product, I think it's really neat,

00:42:23   but it's like, it could never be my only iPad.

00:42:25   When they first came out with it,

00:42:26   it was like, I've crossed the border on my eyesight

00:42:30   and my age, where when like the first iPad Mini came out,

00:42:34   my eyes were still really great at seeing really tiny type,

00:42:37   and I was like, this is the most amazing iPad ever.

00:42:40   And the phones were super small at the time, too.

00:42:42   They were still like 3.5 inch screens.

00:42:45   So it seemed like a novel size class,

00:42:49   for like reading in bed.

00:42:51   I like the iPad Mini, but it's,

00:42:54   it probably couldn't be my only iPad.

00:42:57   - Did you, they sent you, when I was looking at Dieter's,

00:42:59   when we were at the code conference, the scroll delay,

00:43:04   especially 'cause I was looking, you know,

00:43:05   I got the 13 Pro Max, which is now at 120 hertz,

00:43:07   like ultra smooth, I'm used to my iPad Pro.

00:43:11   I agree with Dieter, like you can see it,

00:43:14   and it's not a deal breaker of a problem,

00:43:17   but it's there, man, it's really weird.

00:43:20   - Yeah, so the jelly scroll issue is,

00:43:24   and Dieter has, to his credit,

00:43:27   illustrated it with precision, with like a slow,

00:43:30   I tried to duplicate his slow motion video

00:43:33   and I couldn't get it, I was like,

00:43:35   I don't know how he did that,

00:43:35   but you can definitely see it.

00:43:37   So it's when you're only when you're holding it

00:43:40   in portrait, you would be fine if it was in landscape,

00:43:44   'cause you're never really holding iPad mini in landscape,

00:43:47   right, but in portrait, you can see it.

00:43:50   - And it is, it's a funny thing where

00:43:53   the way that Apple arranges,

00:43:58   the camera placement in particular suggests

00:44:02   that even now in 2021, the one true orientation

00:44:07   for an iPad is portrait,

00:44:09   because that's where the FaceTime camera is.

00:44:12   And it's a bit weird because they sell these

00:44:16   seemingly very popular turn your iPad into a laptop,

00:44:21   keyboard covers of, you know, ones with trackpads,

00:44:24   simpler ones that are just a keyboard without a trackpad,

00:44:27   which also is how a lot of people do their Zoom calls

00:44:33   and Skype calls and FaceTime calls

00:44:37   and whatever else they're using for work,

00:44:39   which is a big deal, I don't know if you've heard,

00:44:41   it's become a big deal over the last year and a half,

00:44:46   they do it in laptop orientation,

00:44:48   and it's really weird having your camera over there

00:44:52   if you're in landscape.

00:44:55   And, but I also think that there's a sort of,

00:44:59   I think this day, I could be talking out of turn

00:45:01   or misremembering, but I think it dates back

00:45:03   to the original iPad all the way back in 2010,

00:45:08   where there were rumors, and I've spoken to people at Apple,

00:45:13   it's true that they actually considered shipping it

00:45:17   with two 30-port, 30-pin,

00:45:21   the old pre-lightning, goofy port.

00:45:24   - There's prototypes for that.

00:45:25   - Yeah, I've seen the prototypes,

00:45:26   and I've spoken to people at Apple who said,

00:45:28   we came really close to shipping it,

00:45:30   and at the very end, Steve Jobs was just like,

00:45:34   this is too, it's, having two ports is too ugly,

00:45:39   pick one, and walked out of the room,

00:45:41   and they're like, ah, we gotta pick one.

00:45:43   (laughing)

00:45:44   But really, it was like, it may be if Steve Jobs

00:45:46   had been in a different mood on one particular day,

00:45:50   that the iPad might have had ports on both sides

00:45:53   and supported it, but from a developer's perspective,

00:45:57   the orientation was, the true orientation

00:46:00   at the developer level was landscape,

00:46:03   and the fact that they made it seem like Portrait

00:46:08   was the true thing was always sort of moving it,

00:46:11   turning it 90 degrees, and I think that maybe

00:46:14   that's what we're seeing with the iPad,

00:46:15   this new iPad Mini, right, where it's in landscape

00:46:18   and it never has any issue, nobody can complain

00:46:21   about the scrolling, because that's the one true orientation

00:46:25   for the display, and Portrait is sort of a secondary mode,

00:46:30   and of course, the OS supports it.

00:46:32   I think you can even, now they even do a better job

00:46:34   of letting you turn it completely upside down

00:46:37   and put the lightning port sticking up and it still works,

00:46:40   but I don't see the scrolling issue,

00:46:43   and my son, who's 17, has really good eyesight,

00:46:48   is very, very picky about things like frame rate,

00:46:51   like actually prefers using an iPad to his MacBook Air

00:46:56   because of the 120 hertz frame rate.

00:47:02   He sees it, he perceives it, he really likes it.

00:47:05   Even he thought when I showed him the Mini,

00:47:09   he was like, "Ah, I guess I see it, I don't really care."

00:47:12   You know, what he really cares about is the fact

00:47:15   that it's only 60 hertz, right?

00:47:17   He's like, "That's the issue, is that it's,

00:47:19   "I can see that it's only 60 hertz.

00:47:21   "The jelly part is, I don't know,

00:47:25   "I don't know what the negative version

00:47:27   "of icing on the cake is."

00:47:29   (laughing)

00:47:30   - You know, it's interesting, Dieter and I obviously

00:47:32   review a lot of products together,

00:47:32   we're always talking to each other,

00:47:35   we're working on something else right now,

00:47:37   and it is just really obvious to me

00:47:39   that he is really sensitive to motion,

00:47:42   like he really cares about 120 hertz,

00:47:44   he cares about that scroll stuff,

00:47:46   and I am wildly sensitive to color, saturation,

00:47:50   to off-axis shifts of brightness, right?

00:47:54   There's a lot of bad panels out there

00:47:56   where when you go off-axis, they drop in brightness,

00:47:59   and for things you hold in your hand,

00:48:00   you're kind of always off-axis.

00:48:02   So I see that as a shimmer, right?

00:48:05   Like I just see the display flickering at me,

00:48:07   because my hand is moving a little bit,

00:48:09   and I'm like, "Look at this!"

00:48:10   And he's like, "What are you talking about?"

00:48:11   And then he's like, "Man, 120 hertz, I can get back."

00:48:14   I'm like, "I don't know, man, I can sorta see it."

00:48:17   And that, I think that's the whole problem.

00:48:20   It is impossible to communicate this stuff,

00:48:22   it is very hard to take videos or photos of screens

00:48:26   that you perceive with your eyes.

00:48:28   Now you're leaping through some camera sensor

00:48:31   that's gonna do something weird,

00:48:33   through some JPEG compression

00:48:35   that's gonna do something weird,

00:48:37   through Twitter just destroying a photo with its compression.

00:48:41   You're making all these steps,

00:48:43   and then you're like, "Look at this thing

00:48:44   that I perceive with my eyes,"

00:48:45   and there's almost no way to communicate it.

00:48:47   And then on top of that,

00:48:48   different people care about wildly different aspects

00:48:51   of display quality.

00:48:53   And so to me, it's like, yeah, the motion is a thing,

00:48:56   but if you're a Samsung phone out of the box

00:48:59   and it's wildly oversaturated,

00:49:01   I'm just like, "I can't even look at this."

00:49:05   - I think my eyes are a lot like yours.

00:49:09   The motion stuff never has bothered me as much.

00:49:12   I like the fact that the phone has the true,

00:49:16   what do I call it, true motion?

00:49:17   No.

00:49:18   - Promotion. - Promotion, right.

00:49:21   'Cause I knew it was, without the camel case,

00:49:25   it's indistinguishable from the word promotion.

00:49:28   (laughing)

00:49:31   I can kind of see it.

00:49:33   To me, the big benefit is that it clearly seems

00:49:37   to extend battery life when you're watching

00:49:39   30 frames per second or 24 frames per second video

00:49:41   because it drops the refresh rate of the display to match,

00:49:45   and it really seems to extend battery life.

00:49:46   The fact that it goes above 60, I can kind of see it,

00:49:49   but I don't care 'cause I'm still,

00:49:51   like you could read a scrolling article

00:49:55   as you're scrolling it now,

00:49:56   but I don't read that way anyway.

00:49:57   I scroll first and then I go back to reading.

00:50:00   So I don't care.

00:50:00   I'm like you, I see the color,

00:50:02   and in the early days of Android phones going OLED

00:50:06   when they were super oversaturated,

00:50:08   I'd be like, you don't see this?

00:50:10   And some people would be like,

00:50:11   I don't know what you're talking about.

00:50:12   I'm like, look at this. - And some people would be

00:50:14   like, I do see it and I love it.

00:50:15   - Right, or right, right, vice versa, right?

00:50:18   Where you'd be like, look at this guy's red shirt.

00:50:20   It's like burning your eyeballs.

00:50:22   And they'd be like, yeah, that's awesome.

00:50:24   (laughing)

00:50:26   - Burn me.

00:50:27   I mean, that's like every TV ships with insane settings

00:50:31   because they know that's what people,

00:50:33   people will always pick brighter

00:50:34   and they will always pick louder.

00:50:36   - Or people don't care at all.

00:50:38   Or people don't care at all.

00:50:39   So why not turn up the brightness

00:50:40   because the people who don't care will buy it anyway

00:50:43   and the people who are attracted to it,

00:50:44   like moths to a light bulb,

00:50:46   are gonna be like, give me that TV.

00:50:49   I want the one where everybody looks like they're radioactive.

00:50:52   - Yeah, I mean, I just,

00:50:54   there's like an element to, you know,

00:50:58   I'm thinking about what you're saying

00:50:59   about the one true orientation in the iPad.

00:51:00   Like they're way past that, right?

00:51:02   They know the iPad mini.

00:51:04   Like they're making their own marketing materials

00:51:06   showing the mini in portrait all the time.

00:51:09   And like using a mini in landscape

00:51:12   is like a challenging project

00:51:14   unless you're playing a game.

00:51:16   Yeah, it's like that screen is small.

00:51:17   iPad OS to its credit supports it well,

00:51:21   but it's still like,

00:51:23   there's like weirdness still

00:51:24   'cause it's a much smaller display

00:51:26   as the rest of the iPads have gotten bigger

00:51:27   and bigger and bigger.

00:51:28   They know it's in portrait.

00:51:31   I don't, I think that this is like a packaging question

00:51:35   that they kind of just didn't think people would notice

00:51:37   and we definitely noticed.

00:51:38   But yeah, I agree with Dieter.

00:51:40   It's not the end of the world, but I am not,

00:51:42   as I've been saying, I'm not as sensitive to motion.

00:51:45   - I wonder too, and it's so hard to say,

00:51:49   but I wonder is it a coincidence or not

00:51:53   that this iPad mini was almost certainly developed

00:51:57   largely in the COVID era?

00:52:00   And did it mean that fewer people saw,

00:52:03   it was exposed to fewer people?

00:52:05   And if whatever the percentage of people who care,

00:52:08   and let's just say that everybody who works at Apple

00:52:11   and would see prototype iPads in development

00:52:15   care about details,

00:52:17   that not enough people saw it for them

00:52:19   to hit the minority of people who see this jelly scrolling

00:52:24   and are like sickened by it.

00:52:27   I wonder.

00:52:30   - Yeah, I don't know.

00:52:30   I mean, maybe this is why Apple wants everybody

00:52:32   back in the office.

00:52:32   - I don't know.

00:52:33   - Right?

00:52:34   But you have to know, I mean like,

00:52:37   we put the display controller over here

00:52:39   so that side of the display will update later.

00:52:42   I mean, that's just like well-known.

00:52:45   - Right.

00:52:46   - Right, that's a design trade-off

00:52:47   that you know you're walking into, like from the jump.

00:52:51   - But if you do it and then you show it to 20 people

00:52:54   and all 20 people that are like,

00:52:56   yeah, that looks fine to me,

00:52:58   which is what I think when I look at the iPad mini

00:53:01   review unit that I still have up in my kitchen,

00:53:03   I still, every couple of days think like,

00:53:05   huh, let me try it on this page and scroll

00:53:07   and I don't see it.

00:53:09   But I don't, it's just like you were saying

00:53:13   a couple of minutes ago.

00:53:14   I don't doubt the people who see it and find it disgusting

00:53:17   or revolting or that it makes the,

00:53:20   actually gives them like a bit of motion sickness

00:53:22   or something like that.

00:53:23   I don't dispute that just because I don't see it.

00:53:25   'Cause I know that I see things sometimes

00:53:27   that other people don't see.

00:53:28   - Yeah, or maybe it's as simple as,

00:53:32   look, most of the popular apps or pilots

00:53:35   are single screens and you can scroll a lot

00:53:36   and they know that's the market.

00:53:39   There's a million ways you make this decision.

00:53:41   I just, I've come to the conclusion,

00:53:44   especially with the big tech companies

00:53:46   and the products that make a lot of money

00:53:48   for those big tech companies,

00:53:49   there are no accidents, right?

00:53:51   Like, yeah, this is, you know,

00:53:53   not to plug my own show, but like I spend all

00:53:56   of Decoder as me asking people how to make decisions.

00:53:58   Like, how do you make these trade-offs?

00:54:01   And no one ever says we were surprised

00:54:05   by a trade-off we saw coming.

00:54:07   They all say this is, we saw it coming

00:54:09   and there were two right answers

00:54:10   and we picked the one that we thought

00:54:11   was slightly more right.

00:54:12   And I mean, in a case like this,

00:54:14   Apple's really good at displays.

00:54:16   Like, I still think they're the best company

00:54:18   when it comes to just overall display quality.

00:54:21   And I think a decision like this, they know.

00:54:23   They knew from the beginning

00:54:25   and I think they thought the trade-off was worth it

00:54:27   and I think people probably have to,

00:54:28   like you're saying with the colors,

00:54:29   you gotta go see it for yourself,

00:54:31   but on balance, it's not like a deal breaker.

00:54:33   - Yeah, and like the Mini and the iPad Air exist

00:54:39   in a weird mid-range zone

00:54:42   that Apple doesn't typically have, right?

00:54:45   They're not the $329 entry model iPad,

00:54:50   which to me was so interesting

00:54:53   how they emphasized over and over and over and over,

00:54:56   like ad nauseum last month,

00:54:59   that it's their best-selling model, best-selling model.

00:55:02   And it seemed curious to me that they kept saying

00:55:04   that it was their best-selling iPad

00:55:05   because it is the cheapest, you know?

00:55:07   Like for some reason though,

00:55:09   they want everybody to know

00:55:10   that that's their best-selling model.

00:55:12   - You know, that's because of Chromebooks.

00:55:16   - I guess, right?

00:55:17   - Right, there's the iPad Pro at the top

00:55:21   competes with Windows laptops, right?

00:55:24   - Right.

00:55:25   - At the bottom, it's Chromebooks

00:55:27   and they need people to know

00:55:28   that they are putting up not only a fight,

00:55:31   but sometimes winning the fight against Chromebooks

00:55:34   because man, we have done so much coverage of education

00:55:39   in the pandemic and like Chromebooks are dominant

00:55:42   to a point where they are changing

00:55:45   how kids think about computers as a whole, right?

00:55:48   Did you see our story about files and folders?

00:55:50   - Yep, I did, I love that.

00:55:51   - Like that is a story about Google,

00:55:53   that is a story about Google Docs.

00:55:56   You know, there's a story about Apple,

00:55:58   Apple also abstracts the file system,

00:55:59   but you kind of like dig into it.

00:56:01   You're like, oh, these kids have,

00:56:02   they all get Chromebooks when they show up in school.

00:56:04   Like it is a pretty universal experience now.

00:56:08   They all get Google accounts and Apple needs to like win

00:56:11   because otherwise you're living a life with Google

00:56:14   for the rest of your life.

00:56:16   - I thought that the story, I will,

00:56:19   I'm making a note right now,

00:56:21   I will get it into the show notes

00:56:22   because it was a great story.

00:56:23   But the gist of it is that there's an entire generation now

00:56:27   that largely doesn't understand

00:56:29   how to use a hierarchical file system.

00:56:33   And they don't really think about their,

00:56:36   they don't really think about files as files

00:56:39   the way that people who grew up in an earlier time had to,

00:56:44   whether they were computer enthusiasts or not, you know,

00:56:46   like just go back to the floppy era, right?

00:56:50   With floppy net, like when, you know,

00:56:51   if you remember using computers in the '90s

00:56:55   when most computers weren't connected to each other

00:56:57   by any kind of network to get a file

00:56:59   from computer A to computer B, put it on a floppy disk,

00:57:04   take the floppy disk over, put it in the other computer

00:57:06   and then move the file from the floppy disk

00:57:08   to the computer's hard drive.

00:57:10   You had to, you know,

00:57:12   even that level of understanding of it,

00:57:14   it doesn't even make sense to kids today,

00:57:16   which is really interesting.

00:57:17   - Well, I think about, you know, Apple,

00:57:20   like Macs didn't have search,

00:57:22   Windows PCs didn't have search.

00:57:24   The primary method that we all use computers with now

00:57:28   is search, like I launch every app on my Mac with Spotlight.

00:57:32   It's just what I do.

00:57:33   It's the Docker Spotlight all day long.

00:57:36   I launch almost every app on my phone with Spotlight now,

00:57:39   which is a really weird thing to think about.

00:57:41   The idea that I need to know

00:57:42   where any of this thing is in storage is gone.

00:57:45   Now, I grew up in the same area as you.

00:57:47   I had, I actually had zip disks.

00:57:49   I had one zip disk for work, for school stuff.

00:57:52   I had one zip disk for like random creative stuff.

00:57:56   Like, yeah, I needed to know where stuff was.

00:57:59   But like if you're a kid now,

00:58:01   there's almost no reason for you to know

00:58:04   how your file's organized.

00:58:05   So our story was once you enter

00:58:08   higher level STEM classes in college,

00:58:11   you're generating an awful lot of data,

00:58:13   that data is in files,

00:58:14   and all these college professors are realizing

00:58:17   they have to do like,

00:58:19   here's how a directory structure works

00:58:21   so the kids can do their homework in college,

00:58:25   which is just wild to think about.

00:58:27   And it's been going on for years,

00:58:29   and they can kind of trace it to,

00:58:31   in our story, you can trace it to the advent

00:58:34   of the iPad and the Chromebook,

00:58:36   because that's the moment when file systems

00:58:38   are just like fully abstracted away.

00:58:40   - Yeah, and not just the iPad, the iPhone, right?

00:58:43   I mean, because the iPhone,

00:58:45   I think even got the Files app later than iPad,

00:58:48   or if it did, it was less of a big deal, right?

00:58:51   And even the Files app,

00:58:54   which lets you file stuff away hierarchically,

00:58:57   still sort of defaults to a recent files view,

00:59:01   where it just shows you any of the recent files

00:59:03   that you've accessed from anywhere.

00:59:05   And it sort of gets to outlining

00:59:10   and using a real outliner,

00:59:12   not just like the outline mode in Microsoft Word

00:59:15   or Apple Notes, where if you start making bullet points,

00:59:18   you get like automatic indentation,

00:59:20   but a true outliner with flippy widgets

00:59:22   where you can collapse parts of the outline

00:59:25   and think in terms of major topics, minor topics,

00:59:30   here's the actual content within the minor topic

00:59:34   three levels in, and that's, you know,

00:59:36   if your files are actually well-organized,

00:59:38   or even somewhat well-organized,

00:59:40   that's how you have your files structured.

00:59:42   And that kids just, they just don't even think like that now.

00:59:46   It just doesn't even occur.

00:59:47   It's not that they're, they're not dumb.

00:59:50   They just have never thought to do it.

00:59:52   Their stuff is all just there,

00:59:53   and you just search the name of it, and it comes up.

00:59:57   - So Monica Chin wrote this story for us.

00:59:58   She did a great job.

00:59:59   When I pitched her the story, I was like,

01:00:02   I'm looking up, you know, there's like a half-viral thread

01:00:05   from a professor on Twitter.

01:00:07   I was like, you should chase it.

01:00:07   This is really interesting.

01:00:08   And she's like, I don't use directory structure.

01:00:11   She's much younger than me.

01:00:12   So she was perfect to write it.

01:00:14   But in the story, which I hope people read,

01:00:16   she says all these professors can point specifically

01:00:19   to 2017, and it started happening.

01:00:22   And she's like, most of 2017 scholars, freshmen,

01:00:25   were born in the late '90s.

01:00:26   They were in elementary school, and they often came out.

01:00:28   They are around the same age as Google.

01:00:29   So they have never experienced a world of computers

01:00:33   that doesn't have search

01:00:35   and hasn't abstracted the file system away.

01:00:37   So their mental models for how computers work

01:00:40   are entirely search-based.

01:00:41   There was actually someone,

01:00:44   I apologize for not remembering who it was,

01:00:47   but somebody who worked on Bertrand Cerlet's team at Apple

01:00:51   in the very beginning said, like,

01:00:53   Bertrand Cerlet was hot, like, hot

01:00:56   that this was the future, that search was the future.

01:00:58   And there's a great video of Steve Jobs actually demoing

01:01:01   Spotlight to Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher

01:01:04   at an early D conference.

01:01:05   And he's like, why is the face of our computer the finder?

01:01:08   The second we start trying to explain the finder to people,

01:01:11   the learning curve goes up.

01:01:12   So we're just gonna make it all search.

01:01:14   And there's like a direct line from that to now.

01:01:18   - It is, and the irony, of course, as a long-time user,

01:01:21   it goes without saying,

01:01:22   is that the name of the Mac file manager

01:01:24   has always been finder,

01:01:26   and literally lacked a find files command

01:01:30   until like some point in system eight,

01:01:32   you know, like 13, 14 years into the platform's life

01:01:36   did it have like built-in file search

01:01:38   that was actually useful, which is ridiculous.

01:01:42   Like you did.

01:01:42   (laughing)

01:01:45   The assumption was that you were so familiar

01:01:47   with how your files were organized

01:01:48   that you wouldn't need to actually search for them.

01:01:51   - Yeah, it boggled my mind.

01:01:53   - Yet the name was called finder.

01:01:55   - I think it's really interesting, right?

01:01:58   They're much better at, like, you know,

01:02:00   college students are much better at doing things

01:02:02   with computers in some ways than I will ever be,

01:02:05   or people of my generation will ever be.

01:02:07   Like the idea that, you know,

01:02:09   like TikTok is like a video native communication system.

01:02:12   - Yeah.

01:02:13   - And like, that is, I have to make my brain

01:02:17   not think about Adobe Premiere when I look at TikTok

01:02:20   and how it is made.

01:02:22   Like that is how my understanding

01:02:25   of how video is created is like,

01:02:28   there's a timeline and you layer things in the timeline

01:02:30   and that is Premiere, and to some extent that is iMovie,

01:02:33   and that's Final Cut, and then TikTok is like,

01:02:35   no, it's just a bunch of weird, crazy AI stuff.

01:02:38   And like, you think about these models

01:02:41   and these metaphors we use,

01:02:42   and it's fascinating to think about what I have prioritized

01:02:46   and what, if you have none of this baggage,

01:02:48   what you will prioritize.

01:02:49   - And yet, I'm with you, where I can't really think

01:02:53   in terms of the TikTok editing interface,

01:02:55   it doesn't really make sense to me,

01:02:57   but I totally see and am fascinated by the fact

01:03:01   that this entire generation intuitively,

01:03:05   without any formal training at all,

01:03:07   just speaks the language of cinema.

01:03:10   - Yeah.

01:03:11   - And edits.

01:03:13   And I grew up in an era when everybody,

01:03:17   when I was a kid, wanted to watch as much TV

01:03:20   as their parents would possibly allow.

01:03:21   And we love going to movies,

01:03:23   and video is just a super compelling format,

01:03:26   it always has been, even when your best option

01:03:31   at four o'clock in the afternoon is Brady Bunch reruns

01:03:34   that you've already seen,

01:03:36   and it's a show that kinda sucked anyway

01:03:38   and is chock full of nine minutes of commercials

01:03:42   for every half hour that you can't skip or fast forward,

01:03:46   you'd still just sit there and watch it.

01:03:47   But it's like, my generation didn't intuitively learn

01:03:51   to think about cuts and editing and closeups and long shots

01:03:56   and the way that you can bring about a humorous moment

01:04:00   or a punchline through editing,

01:04:02   whereas that's all TikTok is.

01:04:04   - Yeah, and I--

01:04:05   - Right, what is that?

01:04:06   - It is, it's easy to not think hard

01:04:10   about what you're consuming.

01:04:11   It is even easier to think really hard

01:04:14   about what you're making.

01:04:15   And so that, to me, is like, yep, that's the promise.

01:04:18   There was some great quote when iMovie first came out.

01:04:22   Like Steve Jobs enlisted Scorsese or,

01:04:27   with some famous director, Spielberg,

01:04:29   it was somewhere in that zone,

01:04:31   and they were like, this is the tool

01:04:33   that's gonna make the kids destroy me.

01:04:35   I don't know if that's happened, right?

01:04:37   It is definitely true in many ways, right?

01:04:39   But you just draw a line from there,

01:04:42   iMovie coming out with FireWire

01:04:44   and eight millimeter cameras and all that.

01:04:47   I spent a lot of time downloading video

01:04:51   off an eight millimeter,

01:04:52   remember those tiny eight millimeter tapes,

01:04:54   over FireWire to my Mac?

01:04:55   - Yes, yeah, there was Super 8 and then High 8.

01:05:00   - It was High 8, that's what it was.

01:05:03   - High 8.

01:05:04   - Now we're just like dating ourselves.

01:05:06   But anyway, but you draw a line from that to

01:05:09   every kid speaks the language of video

01:05:11   in editing in that way,

01:05:12   and that's exactly what they were talking about back then.

01:05:13   Like just democratizing creation.

01:05:15   - Yeah, I took a course in college,

01:05:17   this would be like 1995, '96,

01:05:20   and what was the name of the editing program?

01:05:24   I think they effectively disappeared.

01:05:26   It was, they were Avid's arch rival at the time.

01:05:29   - Oh, I have no idea.

01:05:31   - Well, whatever it was.

01:05:32   It worked, it was cool.

01:05:34   It had a really cool Mac user interface,

01:05:36   you know, like the way that audio software

01:05:38   and video editing software has always sort of been

01:05:41   at the forward edge of like just cool sci-fi

01:05:45   futuristic looking user interface design.

01:05:47   But it would crash every 90 seconds,

01:05:50   and it was fine because you would, you know,

01:05:52   and they knew it was gonna crash,

01:05:54   but you never lost data, right?

01:05:56   It was like they were always, you know,

01:05:57   like you'd be moving tracks along your timeline

01:06:00   and then the app would crash

01:06:01   and you'd wait for it to relaunch,

01:06:04   and it would take a while

01:06:04   'cause it was the 90s and computers were slow.

01:06:06   But then you'd be right back where you were

01:06:08   and you just accepted it because it was amazing

01:06:10   because you were doing nonlinear video editing, you know?

01:06:14   You didn't have to cut pieces of film

01:06:16   and splice them together with tape.

01:06:18   You were actually able to like make an edit, watch it,

01:06:22   and say, "No, actually, you know,

01:06:23   "maybe we should go like half a second later," you know?

01:06:26   And then it was totally non-destructive

01:06:28   and it was mind-blowing, and then it would crash

01:06:30   and you'd relaunch it and go on to the next one.

01:06:35   - It's funny, speaking of TikTok,

01:06:36   I saw a great TikTok the other day.

01:06:37   I have an old school audio engineer

01:06:40   and he was demonstrating how to do it,

01:06:43   an old school tape splice, where he's like,

01:06:46   "We wanna make this drum intro shorter,

01:06:49   "so I'm gonna wind the tape past the playhead,

01:06:52   "I'm gonna cut it, and I'm gonna tape

01:06:55   "in another piece of tape."

01:06:56   And did you even hear the splice?

01:06:58   And all the comments are obviously TikTok people being like,

01:07:02   "Are you kidding?

01:07:03   "Why didn't you just use a computer?"

01:07:06   And he's like, "No, we couldn't.

01:07:07   "This was a very manual process."

01:07:09   - I actually did that 'cause in college, I took a course.

01:07:13   That's where I confused Hi8.

01:07:15   It was, Super 8 was the actual film.

01:07:18   Super 8, you would shoot on film

01:07:20   and it didn't even have sound, but it was amazing.

01:07:23   But I've got like home movies of me from the '70s

01:07:26   when I was a toddler that my uncle shot

01:07:29   'cause he was the one I got the nerd gene from.

01:07:33   But he had a Super 8 camera.

01:07:34   But in college, it was like at the cusp,

01:07:37   or a second course, we did video and non-linear editing.

01:07:41   But I took a course where we shot short films

01:07:43   using actual Super 8 video

01:07:46   and had to splice 'em together that way.

01:07:48   You'd make actual cuts and then use

01:07:50   a high-grade scotch tape that would splice 'em together.

01:07:55   - So I gotta ask you in the midst of this conversation,

01:07:59   how are you feeling about cinematic mode on the 13s?

01:08:02   - I can't get impressive results out of it,

01:08:06   but I've seen enough footage from people who are talented.

01:08:10   That movie, what was it called that I linked to?

01:08:13   It was awesome.

01:08:15   It was an incredible short movie that was shot with it.

01:08:17   And I've seen a couple of other YouTubers,

01:08:20   and I really value the YouTuber's perspective

01:08:22   'cause they know way more about video.

01:08:24   They forget more about video than I'll ever know.

01:08:27   And they're pretty positive about it.

01:08:29   And I also think that the ones who I think get it

01:08:31   and see where Apple's going also emphasize,

01:08:34   I've seen several YouTubers emphasize,

01:08:36   if you're watching it on a phone,

01:08:38   you don't see the problems with it.

01:08:41   It just looks cool.

01:08:42   And that's where most people watch this stuff.

01:08:45   So I'm bullish on,

01:08:48   I'm more bullish on cinematic mode

01:08:52   at its debut right now than I was about portrait mode

01:08:56   for still photography five or six years ago

01:08:59   when they first introduced it.

01:09:00   - Yeah, I would say last year with the 12

01:09:04   is when they got me with portrait mode on the phone

01:09:06   for the stills.

01:09:08   And I was like, I'm just gonna start using this.

01:09:10   And what I actually noticed was my wife started using a lot,

01:09:13   which is fascinating, right?

01:09:15   They got real close.

01:09:16   It can be weird in some places,

01:09:19   but on balance, it looks really good.

01:09:20   I like using it.

01:09:22   - You know, every video I've seen of cinematic mode

01:09:24   looking good, it's from people who own lights.

01:09:28   And I think this is like the gap for me.

01:09:34   If you give me a light kit, I can make any camera look good.

01:09:39   Right, like that.

01:09:39   And this to me is like,

01:09:41   I pulled this phone out of the box

01:09:44   and I went and used cinematic mode.

01:09:46   And the first thing it said to me

01:09:47   was there's not enough light in this room.

01:09:49   And I was like, it's the middle of the day, right?

01:09:51   Yep, I was like downstairs.

01:09:53   I was like near a window, but not like next to the window.

01:09:55   But it was just not a situation where I expected a camera

01:09:59   to tell me there wasn't enough light, you know?

01:10:00   - Yeah.

01:10:02   - And that to me is, yep, I can make anything look good

01:10:05   with enough light.

01:10:07   I think they introduced HDR last year.

01:10:12   Those workflows are still pretty complicated.

01:10:14   You know, like a lot of people want to turn them off.

01:10:18   (laughing)

01:10:19   For a variety of reasons, even though I like a short video.

01:10:22   Like you said, most people watch this stuff on the phone,

01:10:24   looks on the phone.

01:10:25   Cinematic mode is like another set of file format

01:10:28   complications, right?

01:10:30   You can only edit it in Apple's apps.

01:10:31   You can only do this.

01:10:32   And on top of it, I just, I think it doesn't work well

01:10:34   unless you light it really well.

01:10:36   To the point where, you know,

01:10:37   DDR talk like Apple's ads are pretty moody.

01:10:41   And if you just thought you could do that

01:10:43   and you know, lit by it,

01:10:45   their, you know, their knives app parody is like,

01:10:47   all fire light and candles.

01:10:49   There's no way this thing works

01:10:50   if you're just lighting your fire light and candles.

01:10:52   - And the other one I see all the time on football games

01:10:56   is like an old West scene with gunslingers

01:10:59   in a very moodily lit, dark saloon type, you know,

01:11:04   typical Wild West trope.

01:11:08   - Yeah.

01:11:09   And then of course at the bottom it says,

01:11:10   additional equipment was used.

01:11:11   I was like, oh, lights.

01:11:12   What you mean is lights.

01:11:14   Which is interesting.

01:11:16   I don't think it's unfair.

01:11:17   I mean, I do think, I think it's a fair thing

01:11:19   that they're saying we actually shot this

01:11:21   with an iPhone 13, you know, using our cinematic mode.

01:11:24   This is actual footage.

01:11:25   But it is different.

01:11:28   And I remember talking to Phil Schiller about it

01:11:30   multiple times where with their still photography examples

01:11:35   over the years, they never, it was a religious rule.

01:11:39   No artificial lights, you know,

01:11:42   that we wanna be able to say when we show this photo,

01:11:46   this was not post-processed, this is straight off the phone

01:11:49   and we didn't use artificial lights, you know.

01:11:52   And there would be some really, really just, you know,

01:11:57   every, you know, as cell phone cameras have gotten better

01:12:00   and the state of the art has gotten better,

01:12:01   there's always examples that Apple and Google

01:12:06   and Samsung can show shot by very talented photographers

01:12:11   where you're just like, it's hard to believe

01:12:13   that this was taken with a phone,

01:12:15   but Apple would not use artificial lights and rigs

01:12:18   and stuff like that to get them.

01:12:20   But, you know, they have to with cinematic mode

01:12:22   to get the results that they're showing.

01:12:24   - Yeah, I can't see how you do otherwise.

01:12:26   You know, I'm curious about it.

01:12:27   I like playing with it.

01:12:28   I do think that if you just look at the data

01:12:33   that camera generates now, like the way it generates it,

01:12:37   with photos, you have multiple file formats

01:12:42   all bundled into a thing, right?

01:12:43   You've got live photos, which tiny video file,

01:12:47   you can shoot in photographic styles

01:12:49   and that only outputs as JPEGs,

01:12:51   you can't get RAWs off of that.

01:12:52   You've got RAW, SmartRAW from Apple.

01:12:57   Like there's a lot of ways to engage the camera now

01:13:00   just for stills.

01:13:02   And then now there's an increasing number of ways

01:13:04   to engage the video.

01:13:05   So you can obviously shoot regular video.

01:13:08   You can shoot HDR, which I think looks good on the phone,

01:13:12   but a lot of editors that I've talked to,

01:13:15   this adds complexity in ways that, you know,

01:13:18   it's only been a year, so industry's still dealing with it.

01:13:20   And now you've got cinematic mode,

01:13:23   which has a depth map sidecar file

01:13:27   that can come for the ride that only Apple's apps can read.

01:13:30   And one assumes people figure,

01:13:32   it's not even an encrypted file,

01:13:33   people figure it out over time.

01:13:35   But like, it's funny, they'll publish it

01:13:38   when they feel like we've stabilized the format enough

01:13:41   and we can publish some APIs.

01:13:43   'Cause Apple's been pretty, is pretty open

01:13:46   about allowing, you know, wanting third-party apps

01:13:49   to be able to take advantage of powerful stuff.

01:13:51   Like the way the pro camera apps like Halide

01:13:55   can do things that Apple's built-in camera app can't.

01:13:58   I don't think that they want to be the only editing software

01:14:02   for cinematic mode.

01:14:03   I just feel like maybe it's not something

01:14:06   they feel is stable enough to publish or encourage.

01:14:09   - Oh yeah, I wouldn't assign intent to that.

01:14:12   Like whatever, like it's new.

01:14:13   We asked them, they're like, we don't, it's new, right?

01:14:16   Like that was basically their vibe.

01:14:18   It wasn't, we're locking this down to make you buy,

01:14:20   like whatever, but I can issue those criticisms

01:14:23   about other thing Apple does, I would not issue it here.

01:14:25   But what I'm saying is,

01:14:27   if you're not just shooting and watching on the phone

01:14:32   and you're trying to get it to go somewhere else,

01:14:35   there's actually a surprising amount of complexity

01:14:37   with the phone camera now, right?

01:14:39   So if you shoot in HDR and you want to upload to Instagram,

01:14:43   you kind of don't know what's going to happen, right?

01:14:46   Right, like, or if you shoot cinematic mode

01:14:48   and you want to edit it and then send it to TikTok,

01:14:50   like I think a lot of people are like,

01:14:52   oh, TikTokers are going to love cinematic mode.

01:14:55   But you realize like TikTok is a video editor,

01:14:59   so it doesn't support cinematic mode.

01:15:01   So now you got to edit somewhere else and send it,

01:15:02   and like all of that complexity is like,

01:15:05   once you like think about it, it is surprising.

01:15:07   - What did I do?

01:15:10   I shot a simple little dumb video,

01:15:13   it wasn't supposed to be particularly polished,

01:15:15   but like a single take showing the line of people

01:15:18   outside the Apple store on iPhone day last month.

01:15:21   And I shot it in cinematic mode,

01:15:24   'cause why not, I could kill two birds with one stone

01:15:27   and illustrate this big long line

01:15:29   and show how people waiting in line for an iPhone

01:15:32   is still a thing, but also give cinematic mode a test.

01:15:35   And when I went to upload it to Vimeo,

01:15:37   the cinematic mode was gone.

01:15:42   And I was like, what, this is crazy, I thought it was there.

01:15:44   And I was like, oh, I get it,

01:15:45   they don't speak cinematic mode.

01:15:48   - Yeah, you got to bake it and export it from the phone.

01:15:51   - Yeah, and I just thought, oh, that occurred to me,

01:15:56   that's not going to occur to normal people.

01:16:00   Like when your brain is like, oh,

01:16:01   there must be a sidecar file,

01:16:02   normal people are like, what's a file, right?

01:16:03   - Yeah, exactly, as we just said, right.

01:16:06   - But it's like, it's kind of stunning,

01:16:09   like here's this very powerful tool

01:16:11   that's getting more powerful and interesting in novel ways,

01:16:14   but like it all comes back to files and folders

01:16:18   and wanting to abstract that stuff

01:16:20   to get the true power out of it.

01:16:22   Whereas, you know, there's other pieces of it that are great,

01:16:24   like it can shoot ProRes now,

01:16:26   I think that's in one of the beta updates.

01:16:29   And you can fill a one terabyte,

01:16:31   I found in like five minutes shooting ProRes video on it.

01:16:34   - All right, hold that thought.

01:16:35   - That's awesome, I don't know who's going to use it,

01:16:36   but that's awesome.

01:16:37   - Let me take a break here and thank our next sponsor,

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01:16:51   but it's getting too complicated to manage

01:16:53   every time you want to change something or simplify it,

01:16:55   it's a lot of work, feels like you're going to break it.

01:16:57   You just want to get back to focusing on what you're best at

01:17:00   actually, whether it's writing or making videos

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01:18:17   All right, I wanted to return to something

01:18:19   that you brought up a bit ago,

01:18:21   and that's the Lightning port.

01:18:23   - Yeah. - Future.

01:18:24   It's like Groundhog Day for writing about iPhones, right?

01:18:28   Because it kind of feels like we've been arguing about this.

01:18:32   We collectively, people who write about it,

01:18:34   people who have an audience,

01:18:35   people who have strong feelings one way or the other,

01:18:38   every year for a large number of years,

01:18:41   and it doesn't,

01:18:43   eventually it will come to an end.

01:18:46   There will eventually be an iPhone without a Lightning port.

01:18:50   I don't know what it will have instead.

01:18:53   I don't know if it's coming next year.

01:18:54   I don't know if it's coming five years,

01:18:56   but 10 years from now,

01:18:58   they are not gonna be selling iPhones

01:18:59   with this Lightning port.

01:19:02   I'm confident.

01:19:03   I'm confident 10 years. - Yeah, I feel good about that.

01:19:05   - But the number one most compelling argument

01:19:10   against the Lightning port to me is the,

01:19:15   the two big ones are convenience.

01:19:18   Like, hey, if they just added USB-C specifically,

01:19:21   then I could just charge my iPhone with the same thing

01:19:24   I charged these other things with,

01:19:27   which is less compelling to me.

01:19:29   I get it, and it is true,

01:19:31   and that is sort of the European Commission's argument

01:19:35   trying to mandate this.

01:19:37   But to me, the more compelling one is the,

01:19:40   hey, why are you letting me shoot ProRes video

01:19:43   and RAW photos and these things

01:19:45   that take up massive amounts of space,

01:19:47   and you're leaving me with no high-speed option

01:19:51   to get them off the device?

01:19:54   - Yeah, it's funny, 'cause the USB-C to Lightning exists,

01:19:57   but it's still pretty slow.

01:19:59   I think it's still like USB two or three speeds.

01:20:02   It's utterly confusing to me.

01:20:06   I would add a third one to the mix,

01:20:08   and I know Lightning's been around for a long time,

01:20:10   and people are used to it.

01:20:13   But Apple's own Lightning cables are notoriously shitty,

01:20:18   and don't last a long time. - They're terrible.

01:20:20   They're one of the worst products, in my opinion,

01:20:22   that the company has ever made.

01:20:24   - It is utterly bizarre to me,

01:20:26   but there's this thriving market.

01:20:28   But that's the real one to me,

01:20:30   is it's been a long time with Lightning,

01:20:33   and it appears that making a Lightning cable

01:20:34   is very difficult,

01:20:36   like adorable, long-lasting Lightning cables, right?

01:20:38   - Yeah, so I think my gut feeling,

01:20:41   I don't wanna spend a long time on this,

01:20:43   'cause I guess we'll all find out eventually.

01:20:44   I just don't think, to me, the answer is not USB-C.

01:20:49   To me, the answer is something

01:20:53   that's so much better than Lightning's,

01:20:55   that it is much better than Lightning

01:20:58   than Lightning was over the 30-pin adapter from the iPods.

01:21:02   - Yeah, you know, the thing I'll say about USB-C

01:21:04   is USB-C is Apple's baby.

01:21:08   They are the ones who wanted this standard to exist.

01:21:11   They are the ones who pushed it at the USB-C forum.

01:21:13   They are the ones who more or less created it

01:21:18   for that MacBook, that 12-inch MacBook.

01:21:20   This is what they wanted, so we have it.

01:21:24   It is a disaster.

01:21:25   I think it would be better if we had less e-waste

01:21:29   and we standardized on connectors,

01:21:31   and everyone knows how I feel about standards,

01:21:32   and I'm looking at this standard,

01:21:33   I'm like, "F, I don't want this one."

01:21:36   It's a mess.

01:21:38   I've got a 16-inch Intel MacBook Pro in the next room.

01:21:42   I am desperate for the M1X or the M2

01:21:45   that's coming out next week.

01:21:46   If I don't use Apple's 100-watt USB-C brick,

01:21:52   and I try to use a different 100-watt USB-C brick,

01:21:54   which is theoretically its standards,

01:21:56   like these are name brand products I'm buying,

01:21:59   like the SMC on my MacBook will kill itself,

01:22:03   and I have to reset it.

01:22:04   It'll just stop charging after a while.

01:22:05   This is your standard.

01:22:08   You made this.

01:22:09   Like the whole industry is pushing on this standard.

01:22:12   It's utterly fragmented.

01:22:14   It is impossible for any normal human being to understand.

01:22:17   Haim Gartenberger works at The Verge,

01:22:19   is a genius when it comes to USB standards,

01:22:22   and he's like, "This is hard to understand."

01:22:24   I employ someone.

01:22:27   I pay them money to understand USB-C,

01:22:29   and they're like, "I don't, this sucks."

01:22:31   It's a mess, and that to me is,

01:22:35   when you say there's something better than lightning,

01:22:36   yep, there's something better than lightning,

01:22:37   but at some point, trying to make everything in the world

01:22:41   happen through a single connector was just a bad idea.

01:22:46   - That's visually indistinguishable,

01:22:47   and will actually, it's not just that it looks the same.

01:22:50   It actually, it will let you plug in the wrong cable,

01:22:54   and it'll be just as securely seated

01:22:57   as if it were the right cable,

01:22:59   and you just won't get anything.

01:23:01   - Yeah, USB-C and Thunderbolt, the same cable.

01:23:04   Wildly different capabilities.

01:23:07   There was a thing months, it was like a year ago,

01:23:09   but with my dithering podcast with Ben Thompson,

01:23:13   he was traveling, because it was at a part

01:23:17   where Taiwan was open, and they were able to travel,

01:23:20   and I was locked in, and he bought a portable USB microphone,

01:23:23   and it was a USB-C microphone, and he couldn't get,

01:23:26   just audio from a microphone,

01:23:28   couldn't get audio without the right cable,

01:23:30   and he just, it didn't even occur to him

01:23:33   that he should definitely keep the cable

01:23:35   that came in the box with the microphone,

01:23:37   'cause that one would be guaranteed to work,

01:23:39   and he had to run out to a corner store

01:23:41   and buy two or three different USB-C cables,

01:23:45   and only one of the ones he bought worked,

01:23:46   so the fact that he bought three

01:23:48   was actually a good idea.

01:23:50   It's kinda crazy.

01:23:52   It is a bad idea to have many different things.

01:23:59   I mean, the Wikipedia page for how many different things

01:24:03   use the same USB-C port is, it's bananas.

01:24:08   - Well, so you've got power-only cables,

01:24:10   which I'm just guessing that's what Ben was using,

01:24:13   and so I wasn't transferring the data,

01:24:15   and then they've just announced,

01:24:16   I don't know if you've seen these logos there.

01:24:18   - Oh, yes, I've mocked them mercilessly.

01:24:21   They're the worst. (laughs)

01:24:22   - So, there's a new version of the standard now for USB 4,

01:24:26   same cables, and their idea is they'll just have

01:24:28   these horrible logos that say,

01:24:30   whether they support 240 watts of power or 40 gigabit

01:24:34   per second data speeds, and it's like,

01:24:37   no one's gonna look at these, and also,

01:24:40   like, why don't all the cables support it?

01:24:42   Why don't you just make all the cables support

01:24:43   the fastest spec and label them,

01:24:46   as opposed to just allowing this proliferation

01:24:49   of mismatched cables everywhere?

01:24:51   And what I just keep coming back to is,

01:24:53   every time we talk to a standards body,

01:24:55   you realize it's Congress,

01:24:57   but with device manufacturers in it.

01:25:00   That's just the way it goes.

01:25:01   It's political, and there's no one pushing it

01:25:06   the way that Apple can push lightning.

01:25:07   So, I think Apple likes that they're just firmly

01:25:09   in control of lightning, and no one's gonna monkey with it,

01:25:11   and there's gonna be off-brand, not licensed cables

01:25:16   on Amazon to charge your phone, but that's fine.

01:25:22   We're just not in the zone where it's a constant,

01:25:25   permanent, confusing disaster.

01:25:26   That said, Apple has driven a lot of USB-C development,

01:25:31   and for them to be like, it's too much of a mess,

01:25:35   it's like, kind of funny, 'cause it's their baby.

01:25:38   - But nobody, and that's the thing that the zealots

01:25:43   who really think Apple is doing the world wrong

01:25:47   by sticking with lightning on iPhone,

01:25:49   and think in their mind that it's explained

01:25:52   by a money grab, which really doesn't make sense.

01:25:55   Apple does not make that much money

01:25:58   from the Made for iPhone program.

01:26:00   That is really like couch change from Apple's perspective.

01:26:05   And then I bring that up on Twitter, and they'll be like,

01:26:07   yeah, but what about their $30 lightning cables?

01:26:10   And it's like, well, they sell $30 USB-C cables too,

01:26:13   and anybody who's gonna buy Apple's lightning cable,

01:26:17   which, if you know anything, are not even

01:26:20   good lightning cables, they're not durable,

01:26:23   there's nothing special about them,

01:26:25   is also gonna buy Apple's USB-C cables,

01:26:28   which will be just as profitable.

01:26:31   And again, they don't really make that much money

01:26:33   selling cables to people by Apple standards.

01:26:35   It's not about the money.

01:26:37   It might be about control, it certainly is,

01:26:39   to some degree, about control,

01:26:41   which you can argue with, as that Apple places

01:26:46   too much of a priority on wanting to control

01:26:49   something that could be using an open standard.

01:26:52   But on the other hand, you can't look at Apple's

01:26:56   other products other than the iPhone,

01:26:57   and just look at the MacBooks.

01:26:59   They literally shipped a MacBook at one port,

01:27:02   or two, it had a headphone jack, and a USB-C port.

01:27:07   One USB-C port, that was it.

01:27:09   - Yeah, I mean, at that point, I loved that computer.

01:27:12   I know that everybody does.

01:27:13   I think Dieter loves it too.

01:27:16   That was the best plain computer in history, in my opinion.

01:27:19   Now I use an iPad Pro, which is slightly better,

01:27:21   'cause you can put the iPad Pro in low data mode really easily

01:27:24   but I just look at that whole mess.

01:27:28   I agree with you.

01:27:29   I would say that control is probably

01:27:32   more accurate than profits.

01:27:34   Apple's hardware ecosystems are shockingly undeveloped

01:27:39   for the connectors they use.

01:27:41   So the Lightning ecosystem has never been like,

01:27:45   there's not just a huge wealth of cool shit

01:27:47   you can plug into your phone.

01:27:48   Just never been there.

01:27:49   - Yeah, it really isn't.

01:27:51   And it was way more common in the early years, right?

01:27:54   And maybe even before Lightning,

01:27:55   it was like, there were more crazy crap

01:27:59   you could plug in with the iPhone 4.

01:28:01   Everybody could see this was a huge explosive market.

01:28:05   And so it's like, well, let's make weird extra cameras

01:28:08   that you stick in the iPod port.

01:28:11   - Right, but even if you come to now,

01:28:13   the way that you end up plugging in, I don't know,

01:28:15   like a DJ controller or something into it,

01:28:17   iOS device to the Lightning port,

01:28:20   is you get the, people were buying the camera connection kit,

01:28:23   remember, with the USB port?

01:28:24   So even Lightning was always intermediated

01:28:28   through that USB connector.

01:28:29   So that's one, and then you think about the fact

01:28:32   iPads have a magnetic keyboard connector on the back.

01:28:35   And it's open.

01:28:38   We've asked Apple a million times,

01:28:40   could anyone use this connector?

01:28:41   And they've said, yes.

01:28:43   No one uses that connector.

01:28:44   - Nope, except Logitech.

01:28:46   Who, and Logitech works hand in hand with Apple.

01:28:49   It's almost like they're making Apple products

01:28:52   and putting the Logitech name on them

01:28:54   for the keyboards that Apple doesn't wanna make.

01:28:56   - For the cheap keyboards for schools.

01:28:58   - Yeah, exactly.

01:28:59   - But that one is utterly mystifying to me.

01:29:01   Here's a product that everybody wants.

01:29:03   We know there's demand.

01:29:05   You can literally walk out in the world

01:29:07   and see the demand in front of you,

01:29:09   and no one uses that connector.

01:29:10   They always put you there.

01:29:11   We've never been able to figure that out.

01:29:12   Then there's MagSafe on the phone.

01:29:14   And MagSafe to me is like, it's a year later.

01:29:19   I should be able to buy a good car charger,

01:29:22   MFI car charger, and you cannot.

01:29:25   You can buy all kinds of wacky ones on Amazon.

01:29:28   My instinct to trust them is low.

01:29:32   But if, and you can buy a magnetic charger

01:29:39   or a magnetic mount that has a Qi charger in it,

01:29:42   but you won't get the fastest charging speed.

01:29:45   And it's just like really weird.

01:29:46   It's like, this one is just magnets.

01:29:47   Anyone can make a magnet thing.

01:29:49   But you talk to the Moment people.

01:29:51   I have a great Moment car charger,

01:29:52   and I've actually realized that music from my phone

01:29:55   sounds better in my car when I plug in the cable

01:29:58   as opposed to going over Bluetooth, so whatever.

01:30:00   So you have this great Moment magnet mount,

01:30:02   and I plug in the thing.

01:30:03   It's not the end of the world.

01:30:04   But the Moment people are like,

01:30:07   "Apple, we want these stronger magnets,

01:30:09   "and we can't do MFI if we make the magnets stronger."

01:30:12   And it's like, this is all just nuts.

01:30:15   People want to connect things to the phone.

01:30:17   Lots of companies want to make cool things

01:30:18   that connect to the phone.

01:30:19   And kind of everywhere you can,

01:30:21   you see that Apple's insistence on control

01:30:24   is preventing it in some way or the other,

01:30:26   whether it's Lightning or USB-C or the keyboard connector.

01:30:30   MagSafe to me is, it's really cool.

01:30:33   This is a really cool idea, and it somehow hasn't,

01:30:37   the market has not been able to generate

01:30:39   the first cool idea.

01:30:40   - Yeah, and I think that that sort of gets to the

01:30:46   widespread misconception about Apple's priorities, right?

01:30:50   And I'm in complete agreement with you.

01:30:52   I think Apple internally, culturally, values control

01:30:55   more than eking out every last penny of money

01:31:00   that they could get, right?

01:31:01   Like if Amazon had this product,

01:31:04   there'd be 30 gazillion MagSafe things

01:31:07   that they're taking this tiny slice of each one.

01:31:10   They'd be like, "Sure, whatever you want to make."

01:31:12   Yeah.

01:31:13   It would be more about getting, saturating the market

01:31:16   with as many things as possible.

01:31:18   And you could even look at the Alexa ecosystem

01:31:21   for just software, right?

01:31:23   It's not even a money grab.

01:31:24   It's just free integrations with Alexa.

01:31:27   And it's like, "Sure, whatever you think you want to make,

01:31:30   we'll let you integrate it with Alexa."

01:31:31   And the Siri stuff is way more complicated

01:31:35   and under tight control, and there's therefore,

01:31:39   almost shockingly, less of it.

01:31:40   - Do you think MagSafe is like this baby step

01:31:44   towards no ports?

01:31:45   - I do.

01:31:46   I really do.

01:31:47   A combination of MagSafe, and then I often,

01:31:51   I just stare at the back of the iPad Pro

01:31:54   and look at that little, those three little circles.

01:31:57   And I just think about something like that,

01:32:02   but that could do data too.

01:32:04   And I actually think in the written language

01:32:07   of this EC guideline, who knows if it's going to come to pass

01:32:10   but that Apple could actually get around it without,

01:32:14   it's not even a loophole,

01:32:15   'cause they've said wireless stuff is not affected.

01:32:20   And so a device that is purely wireless,

01:32:24   and by wireless, they mean inductive, right?

01:32:27   So Apple Watch is a perfect example.

01:32:29   Apple Watch has never had a port.

01:32:31   And I know that there's the diagnostic port,

01:32:34   which actually I just read on the Verge, of all places,

01:32:37   is gone.

01:32:38   That was actually where I learned it.

01:32:39   So kudos to the Verge for the scoop on that.

01:32:42   And I was like, "Ah, I should have looked,

01:32:43   I should have looked in that little slot."

01:32:45   Didn't even occur to me.

01:32:46   But don't count that, 'cause that's not for users anyway.

01:32:52   Apple Watch has never had a port.

01:32:54   The EC guideline would not, by any interpretation,

01:32:57   mean that future Apple Watches

01:32:59   are supposed to have a USB-C port.

01:33:01   But I actually think the iPhone could get around

01:33:04   having a USB-C port in full compliance

01:33:07   by having something like the iPad Smart Connector.

01:33:10   It couldn't be the same,

01:33:12   because the iPad Smart Connector does not do high-speed data

01:33:15   or it's effectively just like the level of data

01:33:19   you would expect from a trackpad.

01:33:21   I don't know what the data throughput is on a trackpad,

01:33:26   but it's not transfer ProRes video over this cable.

01:33:31   But something like that, but that just attaches,

01:33:35   snaps into place magnetically,

01:33:38   would be way easier to waterproof and dustproof.

01:33:41   And it doesn't bend, right?

01:33:46   And you get that MagSafe advantage,

01:33:48   where if you're on a train and somebody gets up

01:33:51   and their ankle pulls the cable,

01:33:52   it would just detach rather than send your device

01:33:55   flying across the aisle of the train.

01:33:59   Something like that is what I would imagine.

01:34:01   I have absolutely no idea whether Apple's working

01:34:05   on such a thing as a replacement for Lightning,

01:34:07   but that would be my hope.

01:34:08   - Yeah, it's funny.

01:34:10   If the EU's point is to lower e-waste,

01:34:14   that loophole exception accomplishes none of that goal.

01:34:19   It potentially makes it shockingly worse.

01:34:22   So we'll see.

01:34:24   I'm not saying regulators around the world

01:34:29   don't often miss the obvious unforeseen circumstance.

01:34:32   I guess obvious unforeseen circumstance

01:34:34   is kind of a paradoxical thing to say,

01:34:35   but that's the loophole you'll drive the truck through.

01:34:41   - We'll see.

01:34:42   Again, I firmly believe the e-waste problem is real.

01:34:45   I support Apple not putting the charger in the box,

01:34:48   although I understand why people,

01:34:50   the prices stay the same.

01:34:51   - Right.

01:34:52   - Fine.

01:34:53   But I don't need more USB-C bricks in my house.

01:34:56   I've got plenty.

01:34:57   What I'm getting at is we should just have

01:35:01   a power standard for these devices.

01:35:03   That's really all we want, right?

01:35:05   Is I've got a whole bunch of things to charge.

01:35:08   Like AirPods Pro, that's what I have,

01:35:11   AirPods charged with lightning.

01:35:14   There's no real reason for them to.

01:35:16   They can be USB-C very easily,

01:35:18   but Apple knows that they're mostly attached to iPhones,

01:35:20   and Apple charges, iPhones charge over lightning,

01:35:24   so you probably have a lightning connector,

01:35:25   and that's why they made that decision.

01:35:27   And that sort of stuff does self-perpetuate

01:35:29   the e-waste problem,

01:35:31   because then you're gonna buy something else.

01:35:33   Your MacBook is gonna have a USB-C brick,

01:35:37   and now you've gotta carry two things around.

01:35:39   That's just silly to me,

01:35:41   and that is where, you know,

01:35:43   I hear people say we shouldn't mandate

01:35:46   these kind of standards and connectors,

01:35:47   but we do it all over the place all the time

01:35:49   in every other industry.

01:35:50   The plugs in your wall are a mandated standard, right?

01:35:53   Like, we should be able to get to a power standard at least

01:35:57   without this much histrionics,

01:35:59   and the industry is, thus far not being able to do it.

01:36:01   Data standards on other stuff,

01:36:03   that's gotta stay wide open.

01:36:04   That's where the innovation happens,

01:36:05   but charging the stuff,

01:36:07   there's a part of me that says

01:36:09   we just gotta make that simpler for people.

01:36:11   - Yeah, and I kind of feel,

01:36:12   I feel like we're just waiting for inductive charging

01:36:15   to get to high speeds, right?

01:36:17   'Cause like right now,

01:36:18   I think the fastest you can charge anything over MagSafe

01:36:21   is 15 watts, maybe it's 12 watts.

01:36:24   I think-- - Yeah, and that's,

01:36:25   but it's 15 if you engage Apple's chip.

01:36:28   - Yeah, you have to have it just right,

01:36:29   and you get 15 watts.

01:36:30   But obviously, there are a lot of devices

01:36:33   that need way more than 15 watts, right?

01:36:35   I mean, like you said,

01:36:36   the 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with 100-watt power adapter.

01:36:40   Inductive charging, I think, will get there, though, right?

01:36:46   That, to me, seems to be the future.

01:36:47   It's not something you plug in and can get jammed in there.

01:36:52   It's something that's more like inductive,

01:36:55   but we gotta get it to a high speed.

01:36:57   'Cause to me, the universal way to charge stuff now

01:37:01   is sort of chi, right?

01:37:03   Like if I have to charge my AirPods,

01:37:04   I charge my AirPods by putting them on,

01:37:07   I have a Nomad three-device charger,

01:37:11   I forget what it's called.

01:37:13   It's a really nice thing.

01:37:14   It's like 130 bucks,

01:37:15   but it lets you charge a phone and your AirPods,

01:37:19   and even another phone if you wanted to at the same time

01:37:21   on the same pad.

01:37:22   And then, just like a regular Apple MagSafe puck

01:37:26   sitting around the kitchen,

01:37:27   I just put the AirPods on it rather than go to Lightning.

01:37:30   But Apple, obviously,

01:37:32   anything Apple has that just needs to charge,

01:37:34   they use Lightning very consistently.

01:37:36   It's not just like AirPods, you can argue that,

01:37:38   oh, you're gonna use them with your iPhone

01:37:40   so you have Lightning anyway,

01:37:41   but there's no other explanation

01:37:44   for why the Apple TV remote charges by Lightning, right?

01:37:47   Why does your trackpad, or of course everybody's favorite,

01:37:50   the mouse that charges on its belly.

01:37:53   All of the devices that charge,

01:37:57   you know, the keyboard, the trackpad, the Magic Mouse,

01:38:00   they all charge by Lightning.

01:38:01   Even though you're using them on a Mac

01:38:03   that doesn't use Lightning.

01:38:05   - I honestly think Apple makes a fair

01:38:09   and well-supported assumption

01:38:12   that if you have any of that stuff,

01:38:13   you probably have an iPhone.

01:38:15   - Yeah, I do too.

01:38:16   - And so they can sort of guarantee

01:38:19   that this charging cable exists

01:38:21   and you're comfortable with it.

01:38:22   Whereas if the Apple TV remote used USB-C,

01:38:26   they might have to ship you a brick and a cable

01:38:29   to charge your,

01:38:31   they don't know.

01:38:31   That to me, that's like why,

01:38:34   like if you're,

01:38:35   I keep them back, if your focus is reducing e-waste,

01:38:38   then saying we assume you have an iPhone

01:38:40   with a USB-C connector,

01:38:41   lets them move all that other stuff too.

01:38:44   But I think inductive may or may not get there,

01:38:47   but you know, there's,

01:38:50   wired connections are always gonna be faster

01:38:53   and more reliable and able to ship more power,

01:38:55   and they're not gonna go away in this,

01:38:57   in any kind of timeframe that we can see,

01:39:00   because yep, the, you know,

01:39:02   however they do the GPU is the next MacBook,

01:39:05   they're still gonna be GPUs.

01:39:07   They're still gonna want a lot of power.

01:39:09   - I just think that the regulators

01:39:10   really ought to be smarter and think about,

01:39:13   like regulating that you shouldn't,

01:39:16   saying no more chargers and cables in the box

01:39:19   is to me a good regulation.

01:39:21   And then you only buy what you need

01:39:23   and you can let market forces determine whether,

01:39:27   like, should you be able to get a free charger

01:39:32   with your iPhone purchase?

01:39:34   I say yes.

01:39:35   I say if you buy a new iPhone from Apple,

01:39:38   there should just be a checkbox that says,

01:39:39   would you like an 18 or a 20 watt power adapter too,

01:39:43   and that they should send it to you in its own box,

01:39:45   free of charge.

01:39:46   Maybe I'm being too idealistic here though,

01:39:48   and there's too many people who would say,

01:39:50   well, why would I say no to a free charger?

01:39:52   And they'd click the box, even though they don't need it,

01:39:55   and it would just perpetuate the e-waste,

01:39:57   'cause they'd feel like I'm a sucker if I don't take it.

01:39:59   Maybe it should be $5, some nominal charge,

01:40:03   so that it keeps you from blindly checking the box

01:40:07   to get the free one, because free is why would you say no?

01:40:11   I don't know.

01:40:11   But like--

01:40:12   - Well, no, actually I have a data point here.

01:40:14   The CEO of Anchor is gonna be on Decoder

01:40:17   in the next couple weeks.

01:40:18   So I asked him when they took the charger out of the box,

01:40:22   do you sell it to them?

01:40:23   He goes, of course they do.

01:40:23   People buy a phone and they immediately buy a case

01:40:25   and a charger.

01:40:26   - Hmm.

01:40:26   - So yeah, the market, the consumer market

01:40:30   is just conditioned to add these two things

01:40:34   to every phone purchase.

01:40:35   So I just think the idea that you know you have

01:40:39   the one at home that's gonna work with the new one

01:40:41   is not, people just haven't bought into it.

01:40:44   - Right.

01:40:45   You should not do blank is a better form of regulation

01:40:51   than you must do blank in general.

01:40:54   But my favorite example is, okay, so the EU overall

01:40:57   is sort of ahead of the game on reducing e-waste

01:41:01   and has tighter regulations, it's their culture.

01:41:04   But in France, if you buy an iPhone,

01:41:06   it still comes with the wired earbuds.

01:41:09   In a separate box, of course,

01:41:12   they didn't just make a new box for it.

01:41:13   Because like 15 years ago, France passed a law

01:41:17   that you have to have a headset because,

01:41:20   I forget if it was like a driving safety thing

01:41:23   or if it was at the time when people were afraid

01:41:26   about the radiation, you know, the--

01:41:28   - Oh man.

01:41:29   - That holding a cell phone up to your ear

01:41:31   was leading to brain tumors.

01:41:33   But France passed a law that said all cell phones

01:41:36   have to have a headset included.

01:41:40   And once you pass a law like that,

01:41:42   it's a lot easier to pass than to get it off the books.

01:41:45   So it's still on the books.

01:41:46   So in France, you buy an iPhone,

01:41:47   you get a pair of wired earbuds that you probably,

01:41:50   most people probably don't want, don't need, won't use.

01:41:53   - I don't know that we should look to the French

01:41:56   as a model of sensible regulation.

01:41:59   - It might be unfair that I brought that.

01:42:00   (laughing)

01:42:02   - They're on a different element of the spectrum.

01:42:04   This is like about Apple's ecosystem,

01:42:09   the ecosystems around its products and control.

01:42:12   And you brought up the headphone jack,

01:42:13   so I'm just gonna take it.

01:42:14   I'm gonna take the opening.

01:42:14   - All right.

01:42:15   - Apple fundamentally destroyed the headphone

01:42:20   industry when they pulled that jack off the phone.

01:42:22   And they now have Bluetooth, and I think, you know,

01:42:24   they do a reasonably good job Bluetooth.

01:42:27   But they have created a situation where instead

01:42:29   of giving you wired headphones in the box,

01:42:31   everybody buys AirPods with their phones.

01:42:33   And the AirPods work better than everyone else's products

01:42:36   because they have a proprietary extension to Bluetooth

01:42:40   with a proprietary controller in the headphones

01:42:43   and proprietary software on the phone

01:42:45   that no one else can access.

01:42:46   I think my AirPods are great.

01:42:49   I'm not complaining about all this.

01:42:50   But you can just see the downstream effect

01:42:53   on the whole industry because they can no longer

01:42:56   competitively attach their products to the iPhone.

01:42:59   They just cannot do it.

01:43:01   And so like huge headphone companies,

01:43:02   like famous ones, are consolidating.

01:43:05   They're doing that horrible thing that happens

01:43:07   at the end of famous brands' lives

01:43:09   where they stop making products and they license

01:43:10   their brand to some horrible clumpy

01:43:12   that makes horrible junk, you know?

01:43:14   That's happening all over the place.

01:43:15   And it's literally, it's not that Qualcomm

01:43:18   doesn't want to make you a great headset chip.

01:43:21   It's they are prevented from connecting to the iPhone.

01:43:24   And that, that just, like, again, I like my AirPods.

01:43:28   I wear them all the time.

01:43:29   But you can just see it, that that level of control

01:43:33   absolutely benefited Apple, but it also reduced

01:43:37   a pretty enormous amount of competition in the market

01:43:40   because you can no longer connect to the most popular thing

01:43:42   that you want to listen to music on.

01:43:43   And there's things that I would like

01:43:45   from my music experience on the iPhone

01:43:48   that you kind of can't get, right?

01:43:50   Like they just roll out lossless music on Apple Music.

01:43:54   Boy, your AirPods can't get them.

01:43:56   And no one else can build that product.

01:43:58   - Including your AirPods Max, which is the one that,

01:44:02   that's the one that's a little crazy

01:44:04   because they're $450 headphones, right?

01:44:06   I mean, I think that's what they cost.

01:44:08   - Right, but if Sony wanted to show up and say,

01:44:10   "Look, we're really good at this.

01:44:11   "And we've been making wackadoo high-res audio products

01:44:14   "for two decades," 'cause they do,

01:44:16   you can still buy like a $2,000 Walkman from Sony

01:44:19   that is just a wackadoo high-res music product.

01:44:22   And like, "We're really good at this.

01:44:23   "We make headphones that people love.

01:44:25   "We made the headphones that support

01:44:26   "lossless music on the iPhone."

01:44:28   Like, they cannot make that product.

01:44:30   And that, to me, is, as the phone becomes more central,

01:44:33   as the whole lives filter through this thing, yep.

01:44:37   There's a lot of regulators interested in Apple.

01:44:39   And that is just one very clear point

01:44:42   where they made a decision that, yeah,

01:44:44   do we need headphone jacks?

01:44:46   French people all get wired, I don't know.

01:44:48   But you could just see what happened

01:44:49   to the rest of the market after they took out

01:44:51   the open-ender connect and prioritized

01:44:53   their own proprietary one.

01:44:55   - But to me, that's progress.

01:44:56   I completely acknowledge the trade-offs,

01:44:58   and I think progress almost always involves

01:45:02   some form of trade-off.

01:45:04   And that is the trade-off where,

01:45:05   when the default headphone connection to all phones

01:45:10   was the standard 3.5 millimeter headphone jack,

01:45:13   there were tremendous benefits to the fact

01:45:15   that it was completely open, brain dead simple,

01:45:18   analog, literally.

01:45:19   And if you had a strong preference

01:45:24   for a certain brand of headphones,

01:45:26   it would work, 'cause it was the same plug.

01:45:28   Or conversely, at the other end of the market,

01:45:30   if you had no preference whatsoever,

01:45:32   you could go into any corner of Bodega

01:45:34   and buy a pair of headphones for $5,

01:45:36   and they would work as well as you'd expect.

01:45:41   - I once bought a corner of Bodega,

01:45:43   a pair of wired headphones that looked exactly like Apple's,

01:45:45   and I put them in and I was like, whoa.

01:45:47   - I love those, I love the way that,

01:45:51   they have everything that looks like Apple stuff, right?

01:45:54   They've got the headphones,

01:45:54   they've got the lightning cables, I love it.

01:45:57   - They did not work nearly, so I threw them away

01:45:59   like on the next block.

01:46:01   - Well, I think that people,

01:46:04   you know, they work as well as you think

01:46:05   that $5 Bodega headphones are gonna work.

01:46:07   All right, let me think.

01:46:08   - My point is, just to end it, is fine.

01:46:11   Yep, I agree with you, progress and progress

01:46:12   obviously is integrated and proprietary.

01:46:14   The fact that they've, the market cannot innovate

01:46:18   on Apple's platform is the problem, right?

01:46:20   So if you were allowed to ship your own weirdo extension

01:46:25   to Bluetooth and give it to iPhone owners

01:46:27   and let them run lossless music,

01:46:30   well then now we'd be in a fight, and that'd be great,

01:46:32   but Apple won't let that happen because of the,

01:46:34   as we talked about, their interest and control.

01:46:37   - Well, and the flip side of it is the standards bodies

01:46:41   work about as well as Congress is also why

01:46:44   the open standards almost always lag behind

01:46:48   the proprietary ones like Apple's W1 chips

01:46:52   or, you know, insert examples, A, B, C, D here.

01:46:57   - Yeah. - You know, yeah.

01:46:58   - So that to me is--

01:46:59   - If Bluetooth had gotten its act together

01:47:01   and had been as great as it ideally should have been

01:47:05   years ago, then there never would have been a W1 chip.

01:47:08   Like the door-- - I don't know about that.

01:47:10   - The door was opened by the fact that Bluetooth

01:47:12   has never been, it's like I always say,

01:47:15   next year is the year Bluetooth gets its act together.

01:47:18   - Yeah, I like, I wanna believe you,

01:47:20   but Apple's now like the biggest, most powerful

01:47:21   computer company in the world, and like,

01:47:23   if they wanted Bluetooth to be good, it'd be good.

01:47:25   - Yeah, well, and it's different,

01:47:26   and that's the other thing, the big historical difference

01:47:29   is that Apple in 20, when did they first come out

01:47:33   with AirPods, 2017 or so?

01:47:36   - Yeah, it was with the iPhone 7.

01:47:38   - Yeah, you know, Apple in 2017 is very different

01:47:42   than Apple in 2007, right, where, okay,

01:47:45   we've come out with a phone, and the phone uses

01:47:47   a wackadoo iPod connector, they're just, you know,

01:47:51   it had less repercussions industry-wide

01:47:55   because Apple was smaller.

01:47:56   - Yeah, do you remember the connectors

01:47:58   on the old Nokia smartphones?

01:47:59   I mean, they were even worse.

01:48:00   - Yes, y'all, they were crazy.

01:48:02   I mean, they were, and it was like,

01:48:04   you and your spouse could both buy Nokia phones,

01:48:07   and it would, you both have Nokia phones,

01:48:09   you can't charge each other's phones.

01:48:11   - Yeah. - It's crazy.

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01:49:38   Let's talk next week.

01:49:41   I think this is fun, right?

01:49:43   I'm-- - Yeah.

01:49:44   - I just said to somebody, actually it was at CNBC.

01:49:48   I know, are you still doing hits on CNBC?

01:49:51   - Yeah. - Yeah.

01:49:52   - I'll be on after the event, actually.

01:49:56   Lots of fun for me.

01:49:57   I'm trying to get, I tend to say no to things like that.

01:50:00   And I've been trying to say yes

01:50:02   every time they ask me recently,

01:50:04   because I know that it's gonna change

01:50:06   when I go back to being in California for these events,

01:50:09   because I'm not gonna wake up

01:50:11   at five in the morning Pacific time

01:50:13   to go on CNBC before an event.

01:50:18   And while I'm watching these events remotely,

01:50:21   on East Coast time, it works out perfectly.

01:50:24   But I was just talking to them about it,

01:50:26   and they were asking me,

01:50:28   "What do I think about next week's event?"

01:50:30   And, "Does it warrant a lot of excitement?"

01:50:32   And I was like, "I think people are more excited this year

01:50:36   than last year."

01:50:38   Because last year, nobody really,

01:50:41   I think even people who were bullish

01:50:45   on Apple's chip prowess,

01:50:49   still couldn't bring themselves to think about

01:50:51   how badly they were going to pants Intel and AMD

01:50:54   and the rest of the industry on performance per watt.

01:50:59   But yet, they've only shown their consumer Mac chips to date.

01:51:04   So this is the year,

01:51:06   clearly the ones that are coming are the Pro chips.

01:51:09   They've never shown what they can do,

01:51:11   and their consumer chips are, in many ways,

01:51:14   faster than the Pro chips on the Intel side of things.

01:51:19   So who knows?

01:51:20   I'm super excited to see what they have.

01:51:22   - Yeah, again, I have a 16-inch Intel MacBook Pro.

01:51:27   In the context of when it was released,

01:51:30   it was exactly what everyone wanted, right?

01:51:32   They brought that computer back to where it needed to be.

01:51:36   But man, this thing, it is hot, the fan runs a lot,

01:51:40   it needs an enormous amount of power.

01:51:43   If they can solve the problems

01:51:45   the way they solved the problems with the M1 in the Air

01:51:48   and the littler MacBook Pro, there just will not be

01:51:52   another high-end laptop that can compete, in my opinion.

01:51:57   I'm very curious to see,

01:51:59   are they gonna stick with the touch bar?

01:52:01   You know, there's rumors they're gonna add ports,

01:52:03   I've tried this whole conversation on ports,

01:52:04   there's rumors they're gonna add the SD card slot

01:52:06   and the HDMI port back, which I would be thrilled about.

01:52:09   But they've got some big decisions to make

01:52:12   about Mac laptop design ideas along with the chip,

01:52:16   and I'm kind of as interested in those

01:52:17   as I am just raw performance, less heat,

01:52:21   my fan not blown all the time.

01:52:22   They're at a decision point, I think,

01:52:27   with the Pro laptops.

01:52:29   - I also think that, and again, I often say,

01:52:33   I don't wanna just blame everything on Johnny Ive

01:52:36   just because now he's not at the company,

01:52:38   but you don't have to be an insider

01:52:45   with inside sources at Apple to see how,

01:52:49   after Steve Jobs died in the subsequent years,

01:52:54   their products across the board seem to take on

01:52:58   Johnny Ive-like sensibilities, you know?

01:53:02   That however, you know, like you can tell

01:53:07   by listening to Paul McCartney and John Lennon's solo work

01:53:12   post-Beatles breakup, you can go back and look

01:53:15   at the Beatles' work and see how they influenced each other

01:53:18   and tempered each other and helped each other, right?

01:53:21   And, you know, things took on a Johnny Ive flair

01:53:26   in that decade, and it seems like now that Johnny Ive

01:53:29   has left, there's a sort of return to balance

01:53:34   between power and consumer elegance, right?

01:53:39   And one of the ways that I would say that is

01:53:43   to my eyes, in like the last, you know, maybe like 2014

01:53:48   onward, there's just not that much distinction

01:53:52   between Apple's Pro laptops and their consumer laptops,

01:53:56   right, it's like sure, the Air has a teardrop form factor,

01:54:01   but it really isn't that much different

01:54:04   than the 13-inch MacBook Pro, sure, it's tear-shaped

01:54:07   instead of not, but for the most part,

01:54:09   they're just sort of like, the Pro seems unnecessarily thin.

01:54:14   And I would even say that with the 16-inch MacBook Pro,

01:54:18   which is their only 16-inch laptop,

01:54:20   it didn't need to be so thin, it didn't need to get rid

01:54:25   of ports that it didn't have to get,

01:54:26   why are you doing a port reduction on this beast

01:54:30   of a laptop that people are buying, right?

01:54:34   People's SD card slot to me has always been like,

01:54:37   you know every one of the customers for this product

01:54:41   has SD cards in their life, you know it, it's obvious.

01:54:45   - And even if they don't, they don't care,

01:54:47   nobody, honestly, even somebody who's really, really picky

01:54:50   about details and wanting things to be just right,

01:54:54   that nobody's looking at that SD slot

01:54:56   on their previous 15-inch MacBook Pro

01:54:59   or the 13-inch MacBook Pro and thinking,

01:55:02   I never used this, this is disfigured,

01:55:04   the side of my laptop.

01:55:06   - Yeah, you know, you said elegance,

01:55:09   I've been thinking about this a lot in the context

01:55:11   of I and Jobs, you know, it was the anniversary of Jobs.

01:55:15   It's that I've had that nice note in the Wall Street Journal.

01:55:18   I think Apple got confused that elegance

01:55:24   meant making things hidden.

01:55:26   - Oh, I think so too, and I think you see,

01:55:28   and I bet you're going in this direction,

01:55:30   it's still true with software, right?

01:55:32   - Yeah, yeah, it's, they just keep hiding things from you

01:55:35   that you need and actually making those things understandable

01:55:39   and democratic in the sense that you can use them

01:55:43   is the more elegant solution,

01:55:45   as opposed to guessing on your behalf

01:55:47   or hidden UI patterns that show up when something else,

01:55:51   like you can just tell people what's going on.

01:55:54   - Yeah. - And like, you know,

01:55:56   one of the most elegant products Apple ever made

01:55:59   was like that first sequence of iMacs,

01:56:02   where they were like, look at the CRT tube.

01:56:05   Just look at it, like we're making it the design element

01:56:08   of the computer or the iMac G4, where they're like,

01:56:10   we're moving the thing, you can see this whole hinge element

01:56:13   and they were really good at saying,

01:56:15   we're gonna show it to you and that,

01:56:18   the elegance is how we're gonna display how it works to you

01:56:21   and so you understand it and they've gotten to a point

01:56:23   where they're like, what if we don't show it to you?

01:56:26   What if we hide everything?

01:56:27   And I think that balance is sort of coming back.

01:56:29   I'm not saying they're gonna make a beautiful HDMI port,

01:56:32   but that balance is coming back to practicality and hardware.

01:56:35   I do not know if it is anywhere near there in software.

01:56:38   Software is all over the map right now.

01:56:40   - Yeah, yeah, let's leave that aside.

01:56:42   That's too big of a discussion.

01:56:43   But it's, but I do think, I really do think

01:56:47   that if you look at the 16-inch MacBook Pro

01:56:50   or the current 13-inch MacBook Pro,

01:56:52   they're just, even before you turn it on,

01:56:55   not running benchmarks, they're not pro enough

01:57:00   just looking at them compared to what you know

01:57:03   are consumer-level MacBooks, like the MacBook Air

01:57:06   or the M1 13-inch MacBook Pro that only has two ports

01:57:11   and is sort of, they call it a 13,

01:57:15   it's not a pro MacBook Pro.

01:57:19   The pro ones just aren't, there's just some obvious things

01:57:25   and I'm not pro in favor of adding 40 different ports

01:57:30   to the side, I just think though that the number of ports

01:57:34   Apple used to put on MacBook Pros circa 2013, '14

01:57:39   and earlier was the right level, right?

01:57:45   And they've always been aggressive.

01:57:48   Even whatever era you wanna say

01:57:50   was your peak Macintosh for you.

01:57:53   - I know a lot of people still talk about macOS 10.6,

01:57:56   which I think was like 2006, that was the year

01:57:58   they claimed no new features

01:58:01   and were just gonna clean it up and--

01:58:03   - Oh, that's mine.

01:58:03   - Yeah, "Snow Leopard." - "Snow Leopard."

01:58:04   - "Snow Leopard," yeah, it was great.

01:58:06   And it was a great release and it was,

01:58:08   and the cheers, I think it was still Bertrand

01:58:11   who announced no new features during the keynote

01:58:14   and the cheers in the keynote hall were legit.

01:58:19   It was great, but they still were at a point

01:58:23   where they weren't keeping antiquated old ports around

01:58:26   just because some people still use them.

01:58:28   They were somewhat aggressive, but they weren't,

01:58:31   you're gonna get two ports, they're both gonna be USB-C

01:58:33   and that's it.

01:58:34   - Yeah, I mean, they were, I mean, right,

01:58:37   that iMac all went to USB, but there was,

01:58:41   the whole industry was coalescing and Apple pushed them.

01:58:44   I think about just the things I plug into my MacBook Pro,

01:58:48   it's power, it's a USB-C capture card for my nicer webcam,

01:58:53   my RX100 that I use as a webcam,

01:58:56   and it's a little dock that has HDMI out

01:58:57   to run an external monitor.

01:59:00   All of that should be one cable, right?

01:59:02   But because USB-C is just messy, it cannot be.

01:59:05   And that is the reality, right?

01:59:08   The reality is even when I'm this close to being like,

01:59:12   I could just plug everything into one,

01:59:14   the reality is it's sort of better

01:59:16   when you separate them apart and if one thing fails,

01:59:18   everything else doesn't go to hell.

01:59:19   I'm like, just make that reality elegant

01:59:23   as opposed to pushing me towards a thing that you want

01:59:27   that looks better, but is actually far less practical.

01:59:31   And that to me, like, yep, I want this computer

01:59:33   to have an HDMI port, I can get rid of the stock.

01:59:35   That seems great to me.

01:59:36   Like, it's one less thing on my desk.

01:59:39   - I personally don't think, I can't remember the last time

01:59:44   I wanted to plug an HDMI cable into my Mac.

01:59:48   It's been a long time.

01:59:51   But what I need, what defines my needs,

01:59:56   I know isn't representative of everybody else.

01:59:59   And I know that lots and lots of people who work

02:00:02   in actual offices of any kind, schools, office buildings,

02:00:07   need to plug into projectors on a weekly basis

02:00:15   if pandemic aside, that you need,

02:00:19   somebody needs to plug in to this thing.

02:00:22   And if you always need dongles, it's a pain.

02:00:25   And I'm not saying, and I used to make fun of,

02:00:27   like, there were so many, I remember there were Sony,

02:00:30   really elegant Sony laptops that really clearly,

02:00:35   how they fit a VGA port on them was,

02:00:38   like, it was like a weird, it almost looked like a meme

02:00:43   from Reddit that somebody Photoshopped,

02:00:45   because it looked like the VGA port was actually thicker

02:00:48   than the laptop.

02:00:49   I get it, you know, the PCs stuck with VGA for a long time.

02:00:53   And it was, you know, because there were VGA projectors

02:00:56   all over the place, and that's why they felt

02:00:58   like it was needed.

02:01:00   There's a better middle ground, I don't know.

02:01:02   - There is, you know, I would say,

02:01:04   I'll just give this advice.

02:01:05   So I'm assuming you don't live your life on Zoom.

02:01:07   I live my life in a series of Zoom meetings.

02:01:09   - I try to stay off it as much as I can.

02:01:13   Right, so I run this, like, 80 person newsroom

02:01:15   at a 1600 person company, my life is Zoom meetings.

02:01:17   The reason I use an, I wasn't using one all the time before,

02:01:22   but I have a 48 inch TV or something,

02:01:27   and then my camera is mounted on an arm

02:01:29   in the middle of that TV.

02:01:30   So I can sit six feet back from Zoom,

02:01:34   and it is just like, my whole relationship

02:01:37   to this product has changed because of that.

02:01:39   But that's reality, like, if we're all gonna work from home,

02:01:44   I'm gonna live my life on Zoom.

02:01:46   In order to make that better, I need these cables

02:01:49   to be plugged into my computer all the time.

02:01:51   And if I wanna go away and type somewhere else,

02:01:53   I gotta unplug all the cables.

02:01:54   That, just understanding that that is reality

02:01:57   for a lot of people now, I know a lot of people

02:01:59   with setups like this.

02:02:01   I know a lot of people with fancy webcams.

02:02:03   Well, we gotta, you have to make the,

02:02:06   the reality, like, surprise and delight, right?

02:02:08   You have to make that reality delightful.

02:02:12   And I, the, I think Apple is shifting in there.

02:02:14   I think, you know, some of the stuff they're doing

02:02:15   on the iPad with the center stage

02:02:17   and moving the cameras around.

02:02:18   Like, they're bending to the reality,

02:02:21   but for the pro machines in particular,

02:02:24   fighting against the reality of how people

02:02:26   are doing their jobs has been a, has been a mess for them.

02:02:29   So, like I said, I, the performance of the chips,

02:02:31   super excited about it.

02:02:32   I think that's gonna be, it's just fascinating to see

02:02:35   what they do, how they solve the GPU problem,

02:02:38   like, you're not expecting them to use AMD GPUs

02:02:40   in these laptops.

02:02:41   - No, I think they're, I think they're going

02:02:42   with their own custom GPUs.

02:02:44   And I think that they've, they've held that whole story

02:02:48   close to their vest.

02:02:49   They haven't shown a word of it.

02:02:51   And I think it's exactly the way that people,

02:02:53   they're just, we're naturally skeptical that their CPUs

02:02:56   would really be that competitive with Intel's,

02:02:59   oh my God, they're better last year.

02:03:01   I think it's gonna be the same story with the GPUs.

02:03:03   - Yeah, I mean, like, I'm ridiculously excited about that.

02:03:05   I'm honestly, I'm just excited to open Chrome

02:03:08   and not the fan turn on.

02:03:09   This would be great for me.

02:03:11   But like, that's all really interesting.

02:03:13   But the other piece, are you gonna still force

02:03:15   a bunch of pros to use the Touch Bar?

02:03:17   - It's, right, I don't know.

02:03:20   Here's what I think, before we get to Touch Bar.

02:03:21   I think that the more, most interesting thing to me

02:03:25   would be if, and as a sign of their commitment to,

02:03:29   like, in almost every area of life,

02:03:32   I think the most interesting products

02:03:34   are at the extremes, right?

02:03:35   So like, to me, the most interesting small laptop

02:03:39   Apple has made ever is the 12-inch MacBook

02:03:42   that only had one port, right?

02:03:43   I didn't buy one, I was very close.

02:03:46   I really, if I traveled more,

02:03:47   I would have had one for sure.

02:03:48   Super interesting product.

02:03:50   I really hope that now that they're back on Apple Silicon,

02:03:53   they can make something like that or even smaller again.

02:03:57   Super interesting, even though it was super limited.

02:04:00   And then to me, the most interesting other MacBooks

02:04:02   are the MacBook Pros that are really pro.

02:04:05   And what do you want with them?

02:04:08   To me, just as a small sign of,

02:04:09   oh, they're serious about this,

02:04:11   would be if next week's Mac 16-inch,

02:04:14   I assume that the rumors are right

02:04:16   that the smaller one will be 14-inch instead of 13-inch,

02:04:18   so I'll call it the 14-inch.

02:04:20   I would say, even if they're thicker,

02:04:22   what if they're thicker than the ones that they're replacing?

02:04:25   Not a lot, not like bricks, not like dictionary thick.

02:04:29   But just thicker.

02:04:30   Just, hey, this endless pursuit of thinness,

02:04:33   even in the Pro laptops.

02:04:36   'Cause what if, all we've ever seen

02:04:38   from Apple Silicon so far is heat-constrained, right?

02:04:42   And sure, the 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 has a fan,

02:04:47   but it's not like a fan fan.

02:04:48   What if they let Apple Silicon run fairly hot?

02:04:52   - You're like, what if when you open Chrome, the fan?

02:04:56   - Right.

02:04:56   (laughing)

02:04:57   Well, no, but what if you don't hear it?

02:04:59   What if they make it thicker

02:05:01   and put slightly bigger feet on the bottom?

02:05:04   I know there was a patent, you can't go by patents,

02:05:07   but there was a patent filed about,

02:05:09   hey, what if we had adjustable feet and put,

02:05:12   just a little bit, not something awkward,

02:05:14   something still elegant,

02:05:15   but what if it sat a little higher off the desk,

02:05:18   'cause it was gonna actually be assumed

02:05:20   that you're gonna be doing things

02:05:21   that are gonna make the fan turn on.

02:05:22   We're gonna keep it silent.

02:05:24   They did that with the iMac Pro, with the Xeon chips,

02:05:28   and at the press event had us go

02:05:30   and put our ears behind it

02:05:31   while something processor-intensive,

02:05:34   you could see it running on the display,

02:05:36   and then you'd go back, and it's like, huh,

02:05:38   I guess I feel the air, but I don't hear anything.

02:05:41   This is kind of an amazing heat dissipation system.

02:05:45   What if they go that way with the Pro laptops?

02:05:47   I think even before we benchmark them,

02:05:50   if it turns out that they're slightly thicker,

02:05:53   just a few millimeters,

02:05:54   but in terms of showing that,

02:05:56   hey, we're willing to make these laptops thicker

02:05:58   because we're gonna want more airflow and bigger batteries,

02:06:03   we'd be like, yeah, they get it, these are Pro laptops.

02:06:06   - Yeah, I think that would be fascinating.

02:06:08   It would also let you put a bigger battery in there,

02:06:10   which is like, which is a Pro feature.

02:06:13   Yeah, like an actual all-day battery life

02:06:16   in a 16-inch laptop.

02:06:17   If you assume that Apple Silicon will get you

02:06:20   the performance per watt,

02:06:22   actually running a 16-inch laptop all day

02:06:25   or a 14-inch Pro laptop all day would be incredible.

02:06:28   That product doesn't exist.

02:06:29   I think the real question is how the GPU.

02:06:32   The GPU companies are not struggling like Intel is.

02:06:36   NVIDIA and AMD are good at making GPUs.

02:06:39   There isn't this plateau of performance

02:06:44   that the industry has sort of hit on the CPU side.

02:06:46   I wanna know, are they gonna,

02:06:49   they've made bad GPU decisions in their Pro products before.

02:06:52   - Yes, they have, that's true.

02:06:53   - So they're scarred by this.

02:06:54   I'm very curious to see which way they go.

02:06:57   - Well, and I think that if there's an opening,

02:07:00   it's that like the NVIDIA,

02:07:01   the performance certainly isn't lacking,

02:07:04   but maybe the performance per watt is, right?

02:07:07   Like the gaming, you know, all these,

02:07:09   the 5,700, whatever the numbers are.

02:07:12   I don't know, my son, you know, is very,

02:07:14   keeps me informed on them.

02:07:15   But they have enormous fans dedicated just to the GPU.

02:07:19   And I know I'm talking--

02:07:20   - And power supplies.

02:07:21   - And power supplies straight up, right on the card.

02:07:24   There's certainly a performance per watt opportunity there.

02:07:29   I think the other interesting thing though about it

02:07:33   is if they go their own way,

02:07:34   which is what I'm very strongly assuming they will,

02:07:38   the software story, right?

02:07:40   Like, 'cause you're gonna have to pro,

02:07:42   anything that's gonna take advantage of it

02:07:43   is gonna have to use Apple's metal APIs,

02:07:46   not the APIs that run, the same ones that run on,

02:07:51   and it's not like recompiling an app.

02:07:54   Like, oh, so my app was only native for Intel.

02:07:57   I just went into Xcode,

02:07:58   changed the target to Apple Silicon, recompiled,

02:08:01   and now I have a native Apple Silicon app.

02:08:03   It doesn't work like that for high-end GPU intensive

02:08:07   purposes, whether it's games or professional rendering

02:08:10   software, that sort of thing.

02:08:12   You know, your metal APIs require you to commit

02:08:15   and write software for it.

02:08:16   That to me would be the, hmm,

02:08:19   what if Apple drops this amazing GPU in the forest,

02:08:22   but there's no software to hear it?

02:08:25   - This was true when I did the new Mac Pro review,

02:08:28   not the, the old Mac Pro is the thing I was referencing,

02:08:32   the trash can, where they made the GPU bet

02:08:34   that didn't pay off.

02:08:35   But the new Mac Pro, right?

02:08:37   So what everybody wanted, everyone's happy about it.

02:08:38   We reviewed it.

02:08:39   I gave it to a bunch of people on our inbox.

02:08:42   I mean, they gave it to the print designers

02:08:43   at New York BAG, they gave it to our video team.

02:08:46   I gave it to the people who make the Netflix show,

02:08:47   the Explained show, Unboxed.

02:08:49   And they're like, yeah, this thing is great.

02:08:51   It seems really fast.

02:08:52   None of our software is optimized for this.

02:08:53   - Yep.

02:08:54   - And it was just like, well, yeah, Adobe, like,

02:08:57   in the end, I'm just reviewing Adobe software roadmap.

02:09:00   That's what it felt like by the end of that review.

02:09:02   Like, is Adobe gonna commit to this GPU architecture?

02:09:06   Are they gonna commit to metal in this way?

02:09:09   Who knows, right?

02:09:10   'Cause on the flip side, a lot of big shops are, right,

02:09:14   they're buying GPUs, they're buying Nvidia GPUs,

02:09:18   they're putting them in PCs, that's where the action is.

02:09:21   And they've made that investment

02:09:23   and you're not gonna get them to move really fast.

02:09:25   I hope they do.

02:09:26   Like, there's something about a different kind

02:09:30   of GPU architecture and a different form factor

02:09:32   that might be faster, that is like the old school reasons

02:09:36   I was excited about computing.

02:09:37   Like, RISC versus CISC was a thing I used to care

02:09:41   about a lot, right?

02:09:42   - We all did, we all did.

02:09:43   (both laughing)

02:09:44   Like, I don't know.

02:09:45   I'm like excited to have a little bit of that back

02:09:47   in the mix, but you know, the industry is consolidated.

02:09:52   So like, maybe we're gonna see some new kind

02:09:54   of software vendors come up for these new architectures.

02:09:56   - I think that's also one of the interesting things

02:09:59   that to see in this event, and it seems,

02:10:02   and maybe it's just the type of event they've had

02:10:04   over the last year and a half, that there are fewer

02:10:06   special guests from outside the company.

02:10:09   I know sometimes they'll cut to a montage

02:10:11   of like game developers or something like that,

02:10:13   but it's like, it's a little different than

02:10:16   in the on-stage events when they're like,

02:10:18   let me introduce so-and-so from Adobe,

02:10:20   and then they come out and they have like a full

02:10:23   four minutes to demo something.

02:10:25   - I don't feel sad about that.

02:10:27   I feel like those demos always were like,

02:10:29   you could see like the pressure they were under

02:10:32   because they only found out they were doing it

02:10:34   like eight days before.

02:10:36   These events are now infomercials, right?

02:10:37   They're like hour, 30 minute infomercials.

02:10:40   They're like ultra produced.

02:10:41   There's like a part of me that's like, yep,

02:10:43   that's what it always was.

02:10:44   I was just in a room.

02:10:46   Like, let's have some production value.

02:10:48   - It's like they've changed from stage plays

02:10:52   to TV shows, right?

02:10:54   And guess what?

02:10:54   More people like TV shows than stage plays.

02:10:57   They do.

02:10:58   - It turns out.

02:10:59   - And so in terms of their popularity with the tens

02:11:04   of millions of people who actually watch them,

02:11:06   there's no doubt in my mind that people prefer

02:11:10   the new non-staged format because it's more cinematic

02:11:14   and more like a TV show and it keeps the ball rolling

02:11:18   in a way that here's four minutes of, not blathering,

02:11:22   'cause if they're demoing your app from Adobe,

02:11:25   your eyes are glued to the screen.

02:11:27   But if you don't use whatever it is that they're demoing,

02:11:30   Photoshop with 470 layers in a PSD file,

02:11:34   that's when you go check Twitter

02:11:37   and see what people are saying about the event, right?

02:11:39   - The other thing I'll say is that the live events,

02:11:42   live audience keeps you honest, right?

02:11:44   - Yeah.

02:11:45   - So they're able to alight some things

02:11:48   in their presentations.

02:11:49   Like every company, I don't mean a single Apple,

02:11:52   I just, we cover every, there's a Google event next week,

02:11:55   there's a Samsung event next week.

02:11:57   We're in prep mode for all this stuff.

02:11:59   But you see over the course of the pandemic,

02:12:01   as these have become TV shows, infomercials,

02:12:05   the companies have gotten, they're able to be more selective

02:12:08   about what they say in a way that a live audience,

02:12:12   you know, you would see people frowning at you.

02:12:14   - Yeah.

02:12:15   - And it keeps you honest.

02:12:15   And then right after you'd get off stage

02:12:17   and have to go meet a bunch of journalists and people.

02:12:20   Like, yeah, they don't have to do that anymore.

02:12:23   So I think there's a back and forth here.

02:12:25   Like, it's a TV show, it has all the upside of a TV show.

02:12:29   It's well produced, it's fun to watch.

02:12:30   All the downside of a TV show,

02:12:31   which is there's no built-in accountability mechanism.

02:12:35   But that's like, eventually we get the stuff in our hands

02:12:37   and that comes anyway.

02:12:38   - I, anyway, I brought up the demos simply

02:12:40   because I'll be interested to see

02:12:43   who they've already brought in to

02:12:47   and gotten their buy-in, you know,

02:12:50   Cinema 4D, I don't know who else, you know.

02:12:52   - Yeah.

02:12:52   - That somebody is gonna come in and say, yes,

02:12:53   Apple came to us with this chip and we recompiled our app

02:12:58   to take advantage of it using the Metal APIs.

02:13:01   And we were blown away because, blah.

02:13:03   Here, look, here's how long it took before.

02:13:06   Boom, here it is now.

02:13:08   So I'd be looking for that.

02:13:09   - Yeah.

02:13:10   - Now.

02:13:11   - I mean, I would say, oh, they're always like,

02:13:11   and we did it in just three days.

02:13:12   - Oh yeah, always.

02:13:14   But then it's because that's what Apple gave you.

02:13:16   They gave you three days.

02:13:18   - Exactly.

02:13:18   It's like, it turns out it's not that easy.

02:13:22   - No, it's always true.

02:13:23   And then they're like, we did it in three days,

02:13:25   but then the actual product that takes advantage of it

02:13:27   comes out six months later.

02:13:29   - Right.

02:13:30   That's always the case.

02:13:31   - I was like, you know how fast

02:13:33   where there's a gun to your head?

02:13:34   - Right, we expect this to be coming early next year.

02:13:37   - Yeah.

02:13:38   - And they're like, early next year,

02:13:39   meaning any time, maybe November 2022.

02:13:43   Anyway, we cannot finish the show without talking touch bar,

02:13:46   which to me is an enormous, I am so excited,

02:13:51   'cause it seems like there's absolutely no leaks

02:13:53   one way or the other as to what they're doing.

02:13:56   Whatever it is they're unveiling next week

02:13:58   seems like it, you know, famous last words

02:14:01   before the weekend, 'cause a lot of stuff

02:14:03   sometimes leaks over weekends.

02:14:04   But I always think that the reason

02:14:06   a lot of stuff often leaked over weekends

02:14:08   were rehearsals for live events,

02:14:11   and that it inevitably was exposed to more people

02:14:15   in the days before, whereas this is probably an event

02:14:17   that they already have in the can, ready to go.

02:14:20   I'm super excited to find out

02:14:24   what the answer is on Touch Bar.

02:14:26   - I'm very curious.

02:14:30   I think that it's time to just call it.

02:14:33   I just don't think it worked.

02:14:36   And I think that, you know, you see the Air and the Pro,

02:14:38   you see their consumer products.

02:14:40   Usually when something works, they bring it to you, right?

02:14:43   They bring it down, like we started the show

02:14:45   talking about iPhones, the new 13s have the same camera

02:14:49   from the 13 Pro Max last year.

02:14:51   Like, that is remarkable, because it worked, it was good.

02:14:54   They invested the effort in figuring it out.

02:14:56   The Touch Bar is like, it's not adding enough value

02:14:59   to anyone, they have no incentive,

02:15:01   there's no call to push it down the line.

02:15:03   And I think that is as strong of a sign as you can get

02:15:06   that they should just walk away from it.

02:15:07   Like, we tried it, it was good, people like buttons better.

02:15:10   - I believe that the original Touch Bar shipped in 2016,

02:15:15   five years old, has not changed at all, really.

02:15:21   They've tweaked the size of it to restore

02:15:24   the hardware escape key on the top left corner,

02:15:27   so that, you know, but that's not changing the Touch Bar,

02:15:30   right, they just sort of shrunk the Touch Bar

02:15:32   and acknowledged, okay, having the Touch Bar

02:15:37   will at least concede that it doesn't replace

02:15:40   the advantages of an actual hardware escape key.

02:15:44   Even though Apple's escape key story is very strange,

02:15:46   because they don't have an escape key on iPad keyboards,

02:15:51   which drives me crazy, I keep, I always,

02:15:54   I've typed so many tildes thinking I'm escaping

02:15:56   out of something over the years.

02:16:00   And they've tweaked the Touch ID button

02:16:04   in the top right corner.

02:16:05   But I would say I'm ambivalent about the Touch Bar.

02:16:12   I don't really hate it, I don't have strong feelings

02:16:14   against it, I almost never use it though on my MacBook Pro.

02:16:19   I also didn't really use the hardware buttons very much.

02:16:22   And so I didn't have, I don't have strong feelings,

02:16:24   but every single person I know who has strong feelings

02:16:27   hates the Touch Bar.

02:16:29   - Yeah, I haven't sold software to mostly disable it.

02:16:31   So POC is really good.

02:16:33   It's really, it's much more stable now

02:16:35   than it was maybe a year ago.

02:16:36   And I am left-handed, and I'm gonna have told the story

02:16:41   on the show before, but I'm left-handed

02:16:43   and the way I hold my left hand on the keyboard

02:16:46   means my pinky is always touching a button up there.

02:16:49   And so, right, the defaults for what happens

02:16:53   in the Touch Bar is I was just turning

02:16:55   my brightness down all the time.

02:16:57   It was like, I was like, I need to turn this off.

02:17:00   Like, I'm constantly messing with my own computer.

02:17:03   So yeah, so I installed POC, POC is great,

02:17:06   but like, if you're installing software

02:17:08   to make something less useful,

02:17:10   like, your instinct is like, I should just get rid of this.

02:17:12   - There was a funny time, what was the product?

02:17:14   There was a funny one, it was like one of the MacBooks,

02:17:17   MacBook Pros, they like, they moved the Touch Bar

02:17:21   like one millimeter further from the number keys.

02:17:25   And they're like, we think this will,

02:17:28   this will eliminate unwanted touches.

02:17:31   And people, you know, in the press,

02:17:33   in the hands-on, we're like taking their existing

02:17:35   MacBook Pros out of the MacBook to like look,

02:17:38   and it's like, you know, and like,

02:17:40   without taking out like digital precise calipers,

02:17:42   it was like, I guess I see it?

02:17:44   I mean, are you serious that this is like the improvement?

02:17:47   It's a very strange thing for five years in

02:17:50   that it hasn't gotten better at all.

02:17:52   So I--

02:17:55   - I think they made it because there was all that pressure

02:17:57   then to put a touchscreen on the Mac,

02:17:59   and you know, they said, this is how we're gonna solve it.

02:18:01   Like, you wanna touch stuff?

02:18:02   Like, this is where your hands are.

02:18:04   - Well, I also think there's a general sense,

02:18:09   'cause I perceive this, I think having a row of F keys

02:18:12   up at the top, whether you use them as F4, F5, whatever,

02:18:16   or use them as these dedicated brightness,

02:18:20   desktop, play, pause, whatever, it's super finicky.

02:18:25   It's a very old way of thinking about keyboards.

02:18:27   Having a bunch of hardware keys is old fashioned,

02:18:31   and I perceive the lack of elegance of it,

02:18:33   and so I see how this, you know,

02:18:35   I think it killed two birds with one stone.

02:18:37   What you said, we need to have a touchscreen story

02:18:41   for MacBooks, and we've always been annoyed by these F keys.

02:18:45   They're all sort of finicky, and once we print an icon

02:18:48   on them that says, you know, volume up, volume down,

02:18:52   it's got the icon printed on it, right?

02:18:54   And you run into that whole problem that Steve Jobs

02:18:56   talked about with the iPhone, that once you make

02:18:58   these hardware buttons, you might come up with a new idea

02:19:01   where you'd like to have something else.

02:19:03   Well, we have an answer for it, it's called software, right?

02:19:06   I get that thinking, it's just that in practice,

02:19:08   it hasn't worked out, and it's--

02:19:09   - Yeah, this is the elegance thing to me.

02:19:11   - Right. - Sure.

02:19:12   But you know what I do all the time?

02:19:13   I change the volume on my computer.

02:19:15   - Yep.

02:19:16   - Hardware buttons for that are really useful.

02:19:19   - And nobody complains about it, right?

02:19:20   It's like there's an annoyance in the back of your head

02:19:23   if you see the inelegance of it, but on the other hand,

02:19:25   in the real world, they just work, and nobody is ever like,

02:19:28   I went to delete some text and accidentally

02:19:31   changed the brightness.

02:19:32   It just doesn't happen.

02:19:33   Because you feel--

02:19:35   - Unless, wait, unless you have the touch bar.

02:19:37   - Right, because the actual volume button

02:19:39   is this little Tic Tac button.

02:19:41   Your finger instantly knows that's not the delete key.

02:19:44   So you don't press it, and just touching it

02:19:47   doesn't do anything.

02:19:48   It turns out just touching the touch bar

02:19:50   does all sorts of things.

02:19:51   So I would guess, if I had to bet, if I were a betting man,

02:19:56   I bet they do not talk about it.

02:19:58   They don't say anything about the touch bar.

02:20:01   It's just gone.

02:20:02   - Yeah.

02:20:03   - And let Twitter erupt with clear eruptions of joy

02:20:08   that it just has the same keyboard that the MacBook Air has

02:20:12   with the touch ID up in the corner

02:20:13   and just regular old-fashioned keys,

02:20:15   and they don't talk about it.

02:20:16   And they don't have to face me and you after the event.

02:20:20   (laughing)

02:20:21   Where of course that would be the first thing we'd say

02:20:24   when we saw them after the event is,

02:20:26   "Hey, you didn't talk about the touch bar.

02:20:27   "What were you guys thinking about that?"

02:20:29   And then hear their practiced, ready answer for it,

02:20:34   but they won't have to see us accept over Zoom,

02:20:37   which is easier.

02:20:38   (laughing)

02:20:41   That would be my bet.

02:20:42   My outlandish what if would be

02:20:45   what if there's a touch bar 2.0,

02:20:47   and it's truly, it's not a tweak.

02:20:49   It is like a altogether new take on it.

02:20:52   I don't know what that would be,

02:20:54   but what if they have some cool things

02:20:56   where it is a touchscreen, it is dynamic,

02:20:59   but it actually involves clickable buttons in some way.

02:21:02   - Oh, that'd be interesting.

02:21:03   Like those old Razer keyboards.

02:21:04   - Yeah, yep, yep.

02:21:06   - Or the Stream Deck from Elgato.

02:21:07   - Yeah, there's a bunch of stuff on the Windows side.

02:21:10   Like Windows laptops have been nuts for a while, right?

02:21:14   So lots of experiments with making the track pad a touch pad,

02:21:19   lots of experiments of moving the entire keyboard deck

02:21:23   down to the front of the machine,

02:21:24   having a big screen there.

02:21:26   Like, you know, Apple sees all this stuff.

02:21:28   - The Stream Deck, for people who don't know,

02:21:30   my son has one, and he wanted it for Christmas last year.

02:21:33   And he set it up, he has it like,

02:21:35   he's like rigged out all of his home kit stuff

02:21:38   and these lights on his wall,

02:21:40   and he's got custom icons for it.

02:21:41   It's really cool.

02:21:43   It's like an old fashioned phone dialer,

02:21:45   like a grid of actual clickable buttons,

02:21:48   but each button has its own LCD screen,

02:21:52   and you can make the screen show whatever you want.

02:21:55   And so, you know, like a DJ could have a whole Stream Deck

02:21:58   that is just rigged out with buttons for playing music.

02:22:02   My son has his, you know, he has it dynamically changed.

02:22:05   I don't know if he uses it for games or whatever,

02:22:08   but for the most part, just shows a bunch of home kit stuff,

02:22:11   and he's got custom icons for it.

02:22:12   It's really cool.

02:22:13   Like the general idea of using screens for buttons

02:22:17   so they can do different things and show different things,

02:22:20   cool idea, the Touch Bar as we know it

02:22:23   for five friggin' years is not it.

02:22:27   - Yeah, I think it'd be rad if they were like,

02:22:30   you know what, we're doing keyboard in the front,

02:22:32   the whole top of the machine is a touchscreen.

02:22:34   Like, the Windows PC makers are doing it all over the place.

02:22:39   I don't know if it's a good idea.

02:22:40   It's just, we haven't seen that level of big idea

02:22:45   from Apple and laptop design for a while.

02:22:47   I'm like, you know, the most extreme ideas

02:22:49   are always most interesting to me.

02:22:51   - The best idea they've had in recent years was,

02:22:53   well, obviously the M1 chips was one,

02:22:55   and then the other one was going back

02:22:56   to the old keyboard design.

02:22:58   - Yeah, exactly.

02:22:59   But, which by the way, those butterfly keyboards,

02:23:00   they also kept around for five years, right?

02:23:02   They're just a five-year limit on bad ideas at Apple.

02:23:05   - And then they just toss 'em out the window and say,

02:23:07   here, you can just have the thing you liked before.

02:23:09   (Nelay laughs)

02:23:12   Anyway, thank you, Nelay.

02:23:13   This is always a pleasure.

02:23:16   Very fun to speculate about next week's event,

02:23:18   because it's so fun to have so many surprises ahead of us.

02:23:22   I'm looking forward to it.

02:23:23   I also feel, I'm like you,

02:23:25   I feel like it's going to be this weird race to order.

02:23:29   Like, you had a tweet the other day,

02:23:31   like, I don't even need to know, just let me pre-order now.

02:23:33   Like, let me get my pre-order in now.

02:23:36   - Whichever is the most expensive one, just take the money.

02:23:40   - Yeah, just so that I get it as soon as possible.

02:23:42   I would like to place my pre-order

02:23:44   before the event this time.

02:23:46   I think that there are so many people

02:23:48   who are going to be listening to this podcast

02:23:49   who are like, yes, that's me, I've been waiting with,

02:23:52   I hear from them all the time, they're like,

02:23:55   this has been like the hardest year of my life

02:23:57   not to buy an M1 MacBook Pro,

02:23:59   because I've been waiting for the truly pro ones.

02:24:01   I want a 16-inch, please tell me that they're coming.

02:24:04   I know you don't often know everything,

02:24:06   but just tell me I'm all right.

02:24:08   And I'm like, I-- - Just soothe my soul.

02:24:09   - Yeah, and I'm right back to 'em.

02:24:11   I'm like, I don't know no, but I'll take--

02:24:15   - A lot of people reply to that tweet of mine,

02:24:17   they're like, this is what Tesla does.

02:24:18   Just give us, like, $100 pre-order,

02:24:22   and then one day you'll get a Cybertruck.

02:24:24   Like, whatever, just psychologically close the loop for you.

02:24:29   - Everybody, of course, can follow you on Twitter.

02:24:31   You are reckless, spelled R-E-C-K-L-E-S-S,

02:24:35   and of course, your new podcast is excellent.

02:24:38   Truly-- - Oh, thank you.

02:24:39   - Truly my favorite new podcast of 2021.

02:24:42   I believe it's new to 2021, is that correct?

02:24:44   - It is, we're closing in on just a year of it.

02:24:46   So we started very late 2020, so new 2021.

02:24:48   - Decoder, which is-- - Decoder.

02:24:50   - Which is also, I even hate to tell you this,

02:24:53   God, what a great name.

02:24:55   When that came out, I was like,

02:24:58   well, that's gotta be already a,

02:25:00   and it's like, no, nobody had a podcast in tech

02:25:02   called Decoder, I was like, damn, that is a good name.

02:25:05   - Well, I gotta tell you, we took over

02:25:07   Terrace Hirsch's Recode Decode feed.

02:25:10   So we were like, wait, this is possible?

02:25:13   And we took it as soon as we could.

02:25:15   - But it's also, it's not just a cool word

02:25:18   and a cool sounding name, it actually is the gist

02:25:20   of the show, it's you interviewing people

02:25:23   about how they think and how they work.

02:25:25   My favorite, by far, episode was the MKBHD interview,

02:25:29   which I think was like early, like February.

02:25:31   - It was early, yeah.

02:25:33   - But just fascinating, 'cause it was like,

02:25:35   every single thing I've ever wanted to ask

02:25:37   Marques Brownlee about this incredible channel

02:25:41   that he's built and presence that he's built,

02:25:43   it's like, you ask them, and it was like, this is crazy,

02:25:46   that's exactly what I've been dying to hear

02:25:49   from Marques Brownlee, totally decoded.

02:25:52   - You know, my tiny plug, my thesis of the show

02:25:57   is that we've gotten too used to taking things

02:25:59   for granted in tech, specifically in tech.

02:26:01   So like Marques, that's a business,

02:26:04   he's running a very complicated business,

02:26:06   multiple employees, and we're like, these videos are great,

02:26:09   and there's a whole machine behind it

02:26:11   that is worth thinking about.

02:26:14   I just interviewed, the last one was Dave Limp,

02:26:16   who runs devices and services at Amazon,

02:26:20   and like, I don't think I asked about one Alexa feature

02:26:22   the whole time, I was like, tell me how 10,000 people

02:26:25   work on Alexa, what do they do?

02:26:28   How do you organize their decisions?

02:26:31   That's the stuff I've always been curious about,

02:26:34   and this is stuff you've always been curious about.

02:26:36   So when I had the opportunity to make a show

02:26:37   that just did that, as opposed to yelling

02:26:41   about headphone checks, which is like

02:26:44   what most tech coverage is.

02:26:46   - There's a huge space in between proprietary secrets

02:26:49   that you know they're not gonna tell you,

02:26:50   and interesting, hey, how do you actually do

02:26:55   this amazing thing, right?

02:26:56   Like MKBHD, it's like 120 videos a year,

02:26:59   how is that possible?

02:27:00   There's only 360 days a year, how do you make

02:27:03   120 videos with that production quality?

02:27:06   And that was the gist of the interview.

02:27:08   - And the thing I will say, the thing I've learned the most

02:27:13   from MKBHD, whoever else we've talked to,

02:27:16   really smart people wanna be challenged, right?

02:27:20   They're competitive, they're smart,

02:27:21   they've been thinking about it.

02:27:23   You ask the questions, they're gonna tell you,

02:27:25   because they're excited to tell you.

02:27:27   And I listen to a lot of other business and tech podcasts.

02:27:31   Decoder doesn't have, there's like not a deference to it,

02:27:34   like actively not a deference to it,

02:27:36   because our theories that people wanna tell us,

02:27:38   that smart people wanna be challenged,

02:27:40   it has been working out, so thank you for the compliment.

02:27:42   I hope people don't listen to it.

02:27:43   - Yeah, I think people who like this show

02:27:44   would love that show if they're not already subscribed.

02:27:48   Anyway, fingers crossed that me and you

02:27:50   are both happy come Monday afternoon.

02:27:53   - Just take the money, take the money, Jaws.

02:27:55   That's waiting for you, buddy.