The Talk Show

278: ‘Dot Net Party’ With Federico Viticci


00:00:00   Federico

00:00:01   John oh, I'm so excited to have you here. Oh

00:00:04   I'm glad to be on the show. I have no idea what we're gonna talk about

00:00:08   I'm just well I can tell you I did my research all the things you care about so we're gonna talk about the Mac Pro and

00:00:15   Watches and American sports yeah

00:00:20   I'm ready

00:00:25   - Oh, did you see, I mean, just knock it out of the way easy.

00:00:29   Did you see Marquez Brownlee's video?

00:00:34   - Yes, I did.

00:00:36   - He got the wheels for the Mac Pro.

00:00:39   - No brakes on those wheels.

00:00:42   - And they spin so freely,

00:00:45   and the floor of whatever room he was in

00:00:47   is obviously off by maybe a half of a degree.

00:00:51   It's obviously not like a crooked floor.

00:00:53   It's a very nice looking room.

00:00:55   - And when he just lets go of the Mac Pro,

00:00:57   it just starts rolling away.

00:01:00   - You don't want a computer to run away from you.

00:01:03   - Yeah, like a 30 to $40,000 computer.

00:01:06   - Just going away.

00:01:08   Well, yeah, I mean, I don't plan on buying a Mac Pro

00:01:14   anytime soon, but if I were to buy a Mac Pro,

00:01:17   I totally would get the wheels.

00:01:19   - Oh, really?

00:01:20   - Yeah, I mean, it just looks fun.

00:01:23   See, how much are the wheels?

00:01:26   They're like $100 each, right?

00:01:29   - 400?

00:01:30   - Yeah, they're $100 each.

00:01:32   I love that they don't come with locks.

00:01:36   - So I was thinking like, it's so strange.

00:01:41   I mean, I guess maybe it's too soon,

00:01:43   but maybe somebody like Belkin,

00:01:45   you know, these like third-party manufacturers

00:01:47   that have like a relationship with Apple,

00:01:49   maybe they should make a version that has locks.

00:01:52   I can't help but think that there will be,

00:01:54   I mean, 'cause you know that there's,

00:01:57   because the Pro Display XDR has,

00:02:01   takes standard VESA mounting,

00:02:03   there's already, it doesn't,

00:02:05   nobody has to make it custom for it.

00:02:07   There's already all sorts of standard arms

00:02:10   and wall mounts you can get for it and stands.

00:02:13   I can't help but feel that there's gonna be

00:02:16   third-party options for the wheels and stuff like that.

00:02:20   maybe the one cost a hundred dollar per wheel. Also, that'd be nice.

00:02:26   I just remember I haven't seen the wheels since WWDC. You know, like, you got to the hands-on area,

00:02:38   right? Well, you know, I actually, I never went. I was desperate for some coffee. And you know,

00:02:46   like they serve the worst coffee.

00:02:48   Like I was just looking for some espresso,

00:02:51   but what's the name of the place that closed down?

00:02:54   Like Social Policy in San Jose used to serve,

00:02:58   well, some kind of espresso.

00:03:00   And it was like the only place

00:03:04   where I could get espresso in San Jose.

00:03:06   Because San Jose, like the whole place is mysteriously

00:03:11   devoid of any sort of normal coffee place.

00:03:15   But social policy used to have Espresso,

00:03:17   and it was like five bucks for an espresso,

00:03:19   like totally insane.

00:03:21   But it closed, and so last year after the keynote,

00:03:25   I had this terrible headache.

00:03:27   And so the PR tells me, like, hey, there's a hands-on area.

00:03:32   You should go play around with the macro.

00:03:34   And I was like, yeah, maybe I will go.

00:03:35   I was just basically roaming around the convention area,

00:03:38   just looking for an espresso, and I never went.

00:03:40   And I kind of regret that.

00:03:43   - It was across the street, which is unusual.

00:03:46   - I know. (laughs)

00:03:47   - Because A, the San Jose Convention Center is enormous,

00:03:52   and you would think there would be plenty of space in there,

00:03:59   but they did have a truly,

00:04:02   I mean, I didn't really spend enough time in there,

00:04:07   so I did go in, but I kinda missed out.

00:04:11   But I can kinda see why they did it across the street,

00:04:14   and it wasn't gonna be there all week,

00:04:17   and it was definitely not intended for developer attendees.

00:04:22   It was definitely set up as a press hands-on area

00:04:26   that required an awful lot of Apple staffing.

00:04:29   They had real pros from their real pro teams

00:04:36   talking about the tools.

00:04:38   It was not something that they intended to staff all week.

00:04:41   So I can see why they didn't set it up

00:04:43   in the convention area.

00:04:44   But the fact that it was across the street,

00:04:46   I can kinda see why you didn't make it.

00:04:48   And it sounds so funny 'cause it's just quote unquote

00:04:51   across the street.

00:04:53   But that street is a real pain in the ass to cross too

00:04:56   because there's like trains that run down the middle of it.

00:05:01   - You can die if you cross the street.

00:05:04   - It feels like there's hardly any cars,

00:05:06   which is very unusual for America,

00:05:09   but there's trains that come by frequently

00:05:12   and don't stop and could easily kill you,

00:05:15   and then the rest of the traffic

00:05:16   are people on those rent-a-scooters.

00:05:18   (laughing)

00:05:19   Which are not dangerous at all.

00:05:22   Well, not dangerous to you as a pedestrian.

00:05:25   - Those scooters made their way to Europe

00:05:27   and Italy specifically.

00:05:28   Like just a few months ago, a bunch of cities here

00:05:31   started passing regulations to allow the scooters,

00:05:33   but I think we have more regulations

00:05:35   that in the United States, like more speed control and stuff.

00:05:38   So they may be less dangerous now, but I'm not sure.

00:05:43   - Philadelphia-- - I will not try them again.

00:05:44   - Where I live, Philadelphia, they are,

00:05:47   because in America, so many things are

00:05:51   left to not just states, but cities.

00:05:57   Individual cities have different regulations,

00:05:59   and the city of Philadelphia

00:06:01   qualifies them as motor vehicles,

00:06:04   and so you need license plates and driver's licenses.

00:06:09   So we have none of them in Philadelphia.

00:06:12   Although it was funny, these companies are so weird,

00:06:16   like Lime, I think it was Lime,

00:06:18   and somebody figured out, and my wife is the one

00:06:21   who found it, but she was just on one of the local

00:06:23   news sites, just a blog about Philadelphia stuff.

00:06:27   And I don't know, like a year ago,

00:06:29   it was like three Limes showed up in Philadelphia.

00:06:32   It's like somebody just fired up the Lime app,

00:06:35   and it was like, now there's three of them in Philadelphia.

00:06:37   Just three, three scooters.

00:06:39   (laughing)

00:06:40   For a city of five million people.

00:06:43   And it was like, is this real?

00:06:45   And it was like, that's how, like sometimes,

00:06:47   apparently that's how they like roll it out sometimes.

00:06:50   It's like, you know, like,

00:06:51   I guess it's supposed to create buzz, you know?

00:06:55   (laughing)

00:06:55   And then the city was like, these are illegal.

00:06:58   And Lime was like, oh yeah, we didn't mean to do that.

00:07:00   And then they took them away.

00:07:01   And it was like, what do you mean you didn't mean to do it?

00:07:02   You know what I mean?

00:07:03   Like, what, like somebody drove their lime

00:07:06   from some other city and dropped it off in Philadelphia?

00:07:11   But anyway, anyway, I didn't really,

00:07:16   I didn't spend anywhere near as much time

00:07:18   in that hands-on area as I wished that I had.

00:07:21   I had briefings and a couple other things,

00:07:22   and the next thing you know, I went to go back

00:07:24   and they're like, "Uh, it's closed, dude."

00:07:26   And I was like, "Oh, crap."

00:07:28   - Yeah, yeah.

00:07:29   But did it have wheels?

00:07:30   - Yes, they had the wheels there.

00:07:33   And I was actually talking to Jaws there,

00:07:39   and it was on Monday after the keynote.

00:07:42   And Jaws was on my show later that week too.

00:07:47   But I was just chatting with him briefly there,

00:07:49   and I asked him if I could ride,

00:07:50   if I could ride the Mac Pro like a little scooter.

00:07:55   And he said no.

00:07:58   But they did have the wheels and I got to play with them

00:08:00   and I can vouch that at least at WWDC

00:08:04   they were very nice wheels.

00:08:06   So I'm not surprised at all.

00:08:08   It's almost like the MKBHD problem

00:08:11   where it just starts rolling if your desktop

00:08:13   or floor is ever so slightly tilted.

00:08:16   It's almost like you'd want them to be worse wheels,

00:08:18   you know what I mean, so that there'd be

00:08:20   a little bit of friction so that you kinda have to push it.

00:08:23   - Yeah.

00:08:25   I don't know, it just looks fun though.

00:08:26   Like if I were to have a computer like that,

00:08:28   I would like it to have wheels, just for the fun of it.

00:08:32   - Yeah, until it starts rolling away.

00:08:36   - Maybe just get a long extension cable

00:08:40   and that's gonna be fine.

00:08:41   - All right, while we're talking about WWDC,

00:08:44   let me mention something.

00:08:45   I'll bet this has come up in your circles as well,

00:08:49   but with this coronavirus that is spreading around there

00:08:56   And I know it's only late February right now,

00:08:59   and WWDC almost certainly is scheduled for early June,

00:09:04   which is where it's been every single year,

00:09:08   except for one for like the last, I don't know, 15 years.

00:09:12   And for like the last 10 years, it's always been,

00:09:16   10, 11, 12 years, it's always been,

00:09:18   I think 2006 was the weird year where it was in August.

00:09:20   Is WWDC going to be canceled because of coronavirus?

00:09:26   is the question on a lot of people's minds.

00:09:28   And it seems ridiculous in February,

00:09:30   but I actually think, like, watching the news,

00:09:34   I think that it's gotta be,

00:09:35   I put the odds at around 30 to 40% chance,

00:09:38   yes, WWDC will be canceled.

00:09:40   What do you have?

00:09:41   - Yeah, Facebook just canceled

00:09:43   their developer conference today.

00:09:45   - Yep, and that's a May conference.

00:09:48   - Yeah, yeah.

00:09:49   And I just saw on the news,

00:09:52   I mean, we're here in Italy,

00:09:54   the virus spread like super quickly, like until last week.

00:09:59   It's so weird because like until last Thursday,

00:10:04   there were no confirmed cases.

00:10:05   Basically, I'm from Friday up until today,

00:10:08   like in so in six days,

00:10:11   we went from two cases to I think it's 600.

00:10:16   It's wild.

00:10:17   And I just saw on the news yesterday

00:10:19   that California started seeing the first confirmed cases

00:10:23   of the virus.

00:10:24   So it's starting to look likely.

00:10:27   I also saw that a bunch of video game companies

00:10:30   started pulling out from GDC,

00:10:32   so the Game Developers Conference,

00:10:33   which is in San Francisco, usually in March.

00:10:36   And it seems very likely that the whole thing

00:10:40   is gonna be canceled as well.

00:10:41   I don't know, what do you think will happen

00:10:45   if WWC gets canceled?

00:10:46   - So if it gets canceled, I would,

00:10:51   And let's assume that we're not looking

00:10:56   at a true global pandemic, right?

00:11:01   And I mean, I don't think we can take that

00:11:03   off the table at this point.

00:11:04   I think it's, you know, I think anybody

00:11:06   who wants to be realistic about this

00:11:08   can see that this is a very serious situation.

00:11:12   It's already, you know, I mean, there's, you know,

00:11:15   hundreds of people dead, thousands,

00:11:17   tens of thousands sick around the world,

00:11:18   especially in China, so I'm not making light

00:11:20   of the situation right now today,

00:11:23   but I think anybody being realistic has to look at this

00:11:25   and say this might be one of these

00:11:27   like once in a generation things that truly is a pandemic.

00:11:32   And in that case, of course,

00:11:34   everything's gonna get canceled, right?

00:11:35   The whole world's gonna be affected.

00:11:38   If it stays more like it is now, right,

00:11:40   where it's still out there, it's still floating about,

00:11:45   they're still spreading, they're still, you know,

00:11:47   they're tracking, you know, as it moves around the world,

00:11:50   and air travel is still a thing,

00:11:54   it's not like airlines and airports are shut down,

00:11:56   what I would guess Apple would do is hold a,

00:12:00   well, I guess what they could do

00:12:04   is they could either postpone until August

00:12:07   or something like that, or kind of do it virtually.

00:12:12   I mean, this is, and me chatting in a group Slack

00:12:17   with a bunch of friends is just a spitball idea,

00:12:20   but the idea would be maybe what they would do

00:12:22   is hold a press event at the Steve Jobs Theater,

00:12:25   just invite media.

00:12:27   But again, is that, even just that,

00:12:29   is inviting 300 media to a Steve Jobs Theater

00:12:33   is even that problematic?

00:12:35   I don't know.

00:12:36   But this would be the idea.

00:12:38   It would be, all right,

00:12:39   what if they still hold a WWDC keynote?

00:12:43   I don't know what they would call it

00:12:44   'cause it's not really WWDC,

00:12:46   but they would still hold the event

00:12:47   to do all the stuff they want to announce, right?

00:12:49   'cause Apple likes doing that, I think.

00:12:53   I don't think that it's like Mac World Expo

00:12:57   of years gone by where Apple eventually got to the point

00:13:01   where they didn't like having this thing on the schedule

00:13:05   in January and whether they're ready

00:13:07   to announce anything or not, they have to do this keynote.

00:13:11   And when they had the opportunity to beg out of it,

00:13:15   they took it, which effectively canceled

00:13:18   the whole conference because without that keynote,

00:13:21   it just sort of took the air out of it.

00:13:23   I don't think they feel that way about WWDC.

00:13:25   I think they like WWDC.

00:13:27   I think they like having developers there.

00:13:30   I think they find it energizing.

00:13:32   I really do.

00:13:34   I know it's a lot of work for the engineers who do it,

00:13:38   'cause the presentations are all done.

00:13:41   It's not like there's some special team

00:13:43   of WWDC presenters who create all these sessions.

00:13:48   sessions, if there's a session on shortcuts,

00:13:52   what's new in shortcuts, it's presented by somebody

00:13:56   or people, multiple people, from the shortcuts team.

00:14:00   It's the people who made it who are the most intimately

00:14:02   familiar with it who do it.

00:14:04   And those presentations aren't things they whip together

00:14:07   at the last minute, right?

00:14:08   I mean, I would guess they're starting to work on them now.

00:14:12   So they could still do all of that work.

00:14:17   And it's a lot of work, but I feel like Apple,

00:14:21   it's worth it.

00:14:22   Apple wants developers to use new stuff, right?

00:14:25   And so without teaching and having these sessions

00:14:28   where you can learn about the new stuff,

00:14:29   how are you gonna do it, right?

00:14:30   So I don't think they, it is a lot of work,

00:14:32   but I don't think they resent it.

00:14:34   I think that they enjoy it.

00:14:35   I think they like the opportunity.

00:14:37   But I guess what they could do if this virus makes them,

00:14:40   or they feel like they should,

00:14:42   even if they don't have to but feel like

00:14:44   gets the safe thing to do is cancel the actual,

00:14:48   let's get 5,000 people in San Jose together,

00:14:51   is do it virtually.

00:14:52   And that's how most people around the world

00:14:55   actually experience WWDC anyway, right?

00:14:57   'Cause there's, with the lottery and everything,

00:15:01   there's 5,000 attendees or so,

00:15:04   and obviously at this point,

00:15:06   tens of thousands of developers around the world

00:15:09   who consume the entirety of WWDC via streaming.

00:15:13   So what if everybody did it via streaming

00:15:15   and they just have the presentations,

00:15:17   they still do all the work they would have done

00:15:19   if it was going to go on,

00:15:21   but the entire thing goes through the WWDC app

00:15:24   in terms of your experience,

00:15:26   and then the press event would just be

00:15:28   for press only on Monday morning

00:15:29   and they'd have it at the Steve Jobs Theater.

00:15:31   That's my spitball idea.

00:15:33   - They could do that.

00:15:34   And I mean, they've also done,

00:15:37   in the past, like when a new iPhone comes out,

00:15:38   they have done new presentations

00:15:42   for new technical features like new APIs

00:15:44   about the new camera, for example.

00:15:46   And they have just posted those on the developer website.

00:15:50   So it's not totally new to talk about new APIs,

00:15:54   and it's just available via streaming, right?

00:15:57   I guess the main downside maybe is

00:15:59   that you do lose, with the remote event,

00:16:02   you lose obviously the personal contact.

00:16:04   And for a lot of developers, there's

00:16:06   a lot of value in being able to go to the labs

00:16:09   and actually get your code in front of somebody

00:16:11   works at Apple, I can give you pointers and suggestions,

00:16:14   and you lose all of that with a remote event.

00:16:17   And I highly doubt that Apple would do some sort of chat

00:16:21   feature where a developer can-- I mean,

00:16:24   I guess it could be even possible for a developer

00:16:26   to talk to somebody directly during WWDC week.

00:16:30   But I mean, going to the labs in person physically,

00:16:35   go there, is a totally different experience.

00:16:37   And you will lose all of that.

00:16:39   But also, I think I agree with you, they should still do some kind of WWDC, even if it's just

00:16:49   a streaming-only one, if only because it sets so much of the narrative for the year, at

00:16:55   least in terms of software.

00:16:57   As you said, it's a way for Apple to-- they like doing this, because it's also a way for

00:17:01   them to share a story and a strategy for the next few months.

00:17:06   - Yeah, and they really,

00:17:08   they've always been a company of habits.

00:17:13   And there's an annual calendar to Apple

00:17:18   and following Apple.

00:17:20   And I guess it's never set in stone

00:17:23   and never assumed that anything is permanent.

00:17:26   But I do feel though that internally

00:17:32   they clearly feel it's a good idea

00:17:36   And I think some of us on the outside

00:17:39   talking about software quality,

00:17:40   which we can get into as the podcast, as the show goes on,

00:17:44   might disagree with this to some degree that it's good,

00:17:48   but that the annual schedule they have the OSs on

00:17:52   is clearly a deliberate strategy on their part.

00:17:55   I mean, they almost come out and say it.

00:17:58   They very seldom, at the executive level,

00:18:01   like to explain their thinking,

00:18:04   They're secretive about why they do what they do.

00:18:07   They're just like, here's what we have,

00:18:09   here's what we're going to do.

00:18:10   Well, why, why do you tell us everything

00:18:13   that's coming for the next year at WWDC?

00:18:15   They don't wanna tell you, but they clearly,

00:18:17   it's so many years in a row

00:18:19   where they've been doing it this way.

00:18:22   And iOS has always been on this annual schedule.

00:18:26   Ever since the original iPhone came out,

00:18:28   there have been major new integer .o releases of iOS,

00:18:33   iOS, even before iOS had a name,

00:18:36   and now that iOS and iPadOS are two different names,

00:18:41   they're still on the same schedule,

00:18:42   and TVOS, which is built on iOS,

00:18:47   has the same fundamental version number.

00:18:49   It's TVOS 13.0.

00:18:51   WatchOS has been on the same annual schedule.

00:18:55   macOS, which in the early years of iOS

00:18:58   was not on an annual schedule anymore,

00:19:00   and is now, and I feel like it's all very strategic.

00:19:05   I think Apple thinks it keeps them honest.

00:19:08   I feel like they feel like this is a way that they can,

00:19:11   and at some level, it's undeniable.

00:19:15   We can quibble about whether they push too fast

00:19:19   and do new features faster than they fix bugs, et cetera,

00:19:23   but at some level, it obviously keeps them

00:19:26   from falling into the trap

00:19:29   that I think Microsoft fell into over a decade ago

00:19:33   with Windows 7, right?

00:19:36   I mean, that's the thing that I think they want to avoid,

00:19:39   where post, what was it, Windows NT,

00:19:44   what was the, Windows 2000, right?

00:19:47   Windows 2000 came out and was a huge hit.

00:19:50   It was probably peak Windows in terms of popularity

00:19:54   and industry dominance.

00:19:57   and they came up with the what's next after Windows 2000,

00:20:00   and they had sort of a boil the ocean plan

00:20:04   with all these, you know, they wanted to do so much

00:20:07   in the next version, and all of a sudden,

00:20:09   you know, five, six years go by, you know,

00:20:12   and they hadn't come out with the successor, right?

00:20:15   That's what you wanna avoid.

00:20:16   You don't want to try to bite too much off,

00:20:18   and this annual schedule kind of keeps everything down

00:20:23   to we're gonna keep making incremental progress every year,

00:20:27   and I think they like it, and I think announcing it at WWDC is very strategic.

00:20:32   Yeah, and also, unlike other companies like all these Android manufacturers, Apple controls

00:20:40   both the software and the hardware, and because of that, they can tie the new version of iOS

00:20:46   to a new iPhone.

00:20:48   Right.

00:20:49   And only, you know, Apple is one of the very few companies that can do this, and the reason

00:20:53   why there's an annual version of iOS,

00:20:55   it's because usually the new iPhone also

00:20:57   has some hardware feature that is enabled via software.

00:21:01   And so what this virus does though,

00:21:03   it's such a new situation because supply chains

00:21:08   are going to be constrained.

00:21:09   And we're starting to hear all these rumors

00:21:12   about all kinds of devices being delayed

00:21:14   from smaller companies like, you know,

00:21:17   Bridge, they make the Bridge keyboard.

00:21:19   They're having issues with their,

00:21:23   They did a trackpad-enabled keyboard, which is kind of funny because we're going to talk about that in a few.

00:21:30   But that's been delayed and we're hearing that like Sony and Microsoft, they are preparing the PlayStation 5 and the new Xbox.

00:21:39   And now they're also facing issues with the coronavirus.

00:21:42   So what's going to happen to the iPhone?

00:21:45   It's something that in my lifetime,

00:21:49   I've never seen anything like this

00:21:53   in terms of a stop to the global economy.

00:21:56   And what does it mean in the world of Apple

00:22:00   in terms of will there be a new iPhone in September?

00:22:03   And if so, there must be a new version of iOS.

00:22:06   - Obviously, it's one of those things where maybe,

00:22:11   here's a situation where having Tim Cook

00:22:13   as the CEO of the company is ideal, right?

00:22:18   Like who better, 'cause ultimately

00:22:20   it's an operations problem, right?

00:22:22   This is literally operations 101

00:22:26   to have a supply chain disruption this significant.

00:22:31   And so it's not like somebody has to come in

00:22:34   and explain how the supply chain works to Tim Cook, right?

00:22:38   Like, you know,

00:22:42   You literally could not ask for a better CEO

00:22:46   for a crisis like this, if it is indeed a crisis.

00:22:50   And I am not an expert on the supply chain,

00:22:52   and the details of the supply chain are,

00:22:56   like much at Apple, it's like the recipe to Coca-Cola.

00:23:00   It is a very tightly held secret.

00:23:02   They don't talk about how their,

00:23:04   they don't talk about how the supply chain works in detail.

00:23:11   It's effectively a black box in a lot of ways.

00:23:15   But one thing, reading up on this in,

00:23:19   hey, how big a deal is this coronavirus

00:23:21   in terms of the supply chain,

00:23:23   and is it the sort of thing that could

00:23:24   disrupt Apple's obvious plans

00:23:28   to have brand new iPhones in September?

00:23:30   And this makes, I think this makes common sense,

00:23:34   is that let's say it's a two or three week shutdown,

00:23:38   and they shut down certain factories and suppliers

00:23:40   for two to three weeks, tell everybody to stay home,

00:23:43   don't leave your house, and then two or three weeks go by

00:23:45   and they open back up in China and they're there.

00:23:48   That doesn't mean that everything that would have happened

00:23:52   is just pushed back two or three weeks, right?

00:23:55   It's like a ripple effect, right?

00:23:57   Like a two or three week disruption could have

00:24:00   a months long disruption in supply

00:24:04   because it's just that complicated

00:24:09   and there's so many cogs that having one or two cogs

00:24:13   stop for a bit shuts the whole machine down for a while

00:24:18   and then has to start back up.

00:24:20   And the other thing too you have to keep in mind

00:24:24   is like oh well 95% of suppliers are back up

00:24:28   and running at full steam,

00:24:30   but what about the 5% that aren't?

00:24:33   What if they're not, what if the components

00:24:35   that those suppliers provide aren't obtainable

00:24:40   from alternative suppliers or aren't obtainable

00:24:43   in sufficient quantity from other suppliers, right?

00:24:47   Like it could be one tiny little screw,

00:24:49   but if it only comes from one factory,

00:24:51   you cannot make the iPhone

00:24:53   or you have to redesign around it, right?

00:24:55   I mean, a screw is probably a bad example,

00:24:57   but who knows how many components from the iPhone

00:25:03   have sufficient alternatives to defend against this.

00:25:07   - Yeah, yeah.

00:25:09   And in the short term, not to mention,

00:25:11   there's rumors of a spring event,

00:25:13   and now that's an even more problematic one

00:25:16   because all these issues are happening now,

00:25:21   like countries that are saying,

00:25:23   like Italy and France, for example,

00:25:25   are saying it's probably best if you don't travel right now.

00:25:28   So what does that mean for any kind of European media

00:25:32   that may be invited to an Apple event.

00:25:34   So I don't know.

00:25:36   - Do you have any idea before we leave the subject?

00:25:39   But I mean, I think it's just a fluke,

00:25:43   but I mean, Italy certainly has

00:25:45   a world-class healthcare system,

00:25:47   and it just seems so anomalous that Italy,

00:25:52   of all countries, has this 600-person outbreak.

00:25:56   My guess is it's just a fluke,

00:26:00   and that's just the way things like this go, right?

00:26:02   Like somebody shows up with it and it starts to spread

00:26:05   and boom, 600 people have it.

00:26:09   - Yeah, so what they're saying is that

00:26:11   it went unnoticed for 10 days.

00:26:16   - Right.

00:26:17   - And in those 10 days, it spread to a lot of people.

00:26:22   Now, I actually think that the government

00:26:24   actually did a very good job in terms of,

00:26:26   okay, now we need to shut down at least two major areas

00:26:30   in northern Italy.

00:26:32   And they did that, and they closed offices and schools

00:26:34   and public transportation.

00:26:36   Right now we're asking those people who live near Milan

00:26:41   and near Venice, for example, we're asking them a lot.

00:26:45   Stay inside and don't leave the house for two weeks.

00:26:49   But I also think that it's a

00:26:56   mindset problem in the sense that we Italians, we tend to take these kinds of

00:27:02   things way too lightly. And like right now there's a whole debate going

00:27:08   on whether the government is actually doing too much because it's just the flu.

00:27:13   Like a lot of people are saying that, "Oh, it's just the flu, whatever." And I think

00:27:18   that's something that we Italians do all the time. Like we don't necessarily

00:27:22   give as much importance to things that the government says,

00:27:26   "Actually, look, this is important.

00:27:27   "You should care about it."

00:27:28   And so I'm seeing a lot of people simply say,

00:27:31   "Well, whatever, it's just a cold, it's just a flu.

00:27:34   "I don't care, it's not a problem."

00:27:36   And so I think a lot of people do not go get tested

00:27:40   because of that.

00:27:41   And for that reason, it's spreading even more quickly.

00:27:44   So the healthcare system here is actually very good.

00:27:49   - Yeah.

00:27:51   - One of the things I read was that you have to understand

00:27:54   that one of the things we might see

00:27:57   is we might see higher rates of infection reported

00:28:02   in countries with better healthcare systems

00:28:04   because they have the better healthcare system

00:28:06   and people will go to the doctor and get identified

00:28:09   and that the danger is that in the countries

00:28:12   where the healthcare system isn't as good

00:28:15   and people don't have access to quality health insurance,

00:28:19   it might be spreading faster than the numbers

00:28:22   that are reported because the people who have it

00:28:24   aren't going to the doctor where it can be reported.

00:28:26   - Yeah, because here it's totally free.

00:28:28   I believe it's like one euro

00:28:30   if you wanna get the coronavirus test.

00:28:34   And in general, being treated here is entirely for free

00:28:38   for any kind of problem that you may have.

00:28:40   And I cannot possibly imagine

00:28:42   what that's like in the United States.

00:28:44   I mean, every time I travel for WWDC,

00:28:47   I have to get special insurance to travel to America.

00:28:51   Because if something happens to me,

00:28:53   I need to pay for travel insurance

00:28:55   that ensures that I will be covered if anything happens.

00:29:00   And that's such a foreign concept to me

00:29:02   because here, more or less, they won't,

00:29:06   they will not let you die and they will not ask you for money

00:29:09   at the hospital. - Right, no.

00:29:10   And I know that it's true even for people

00:29:12   who are vacationing there and something.

00:29:15   I have friends from America and they're blown away.

00:29:18   They took a fall and sprained their ankle

00:29:20   and went to the hospital in London

00:29:23   or probably Rome and it's like, oh, they go

00:29:26   and then they take a couple of bucks

00:29:28   and they pat you up and you're like,

00:29:33   where are you gonna send the bill?

00:29:34   And they're like, there is no bill.

00:29:35   And you're like, what?

00:29:36   No, it is, no, I do worry though.

00:29:38   And all the politics of US healthcare aside,

00:29:41   which we certainly can't get into,

00:29:44   This sort of epidemic type thing really puts a bullseye

00:29:49   on what's wrong with a system that allows

00:29:53   literally millions of people to not have insurance at all

00:29:56   and therefore to weigh every single calculation

00:29:59   of whether they should go to the doctor or not

00:30:02   with hmm, what's it gonna cost me?

00:30:04   This is the sort of thing where anybody who suspects

00:30:08   that they have it really ought to go to the doctor,

00:30:11   not just for their own benefit,

00:30:12   for the benefit of everybody, right?

00:30:15   So anyway, I don't know.

00:30:17   Like I said, I would put the odds at around 30 or 40%

00:30:23   at this point that WWDC is not gonna happen.

00:30:26   Because I think, and the Facebook news coming out today

00:30:31   for a May developer conference shows how far in advance

00:30:35   a company wants to make a decision like that.

00:30:38   In some ways, you know what I mean?

00:30:39   And it's like, what if Facebook canceled this thing

00:30:42   and May comes around and the whole thing is blown over,

00:30:45   it's gone, it's, you know.

00:30:47   I don't think that means that anybody should be upset.

00:30:51   I think it calls for caution.

00:30:53   So let's say two or three weeks from now,

00:30:56   or sometime by the end of March, Apple says,

00:30:59   you know what, because of this,

00:31:01   we're not gonna have WWDC this year,

00:31:03   and then June 8th rolls around and there's nothing.

00:31:07   I'm sure some people are gonna complain,

00:31:09   but you can't expect somebody in March

00:31:14   to have 100% certainty as to where it's gonna be in June.

00:31:17   You have to do what seems responsible,

00:31:22   which doesn't mean somehow magically foreseeing the future.

00:31:27   And in a shorter term, I mean, months in advance

00:31:33   is very hard to anticipate,

00:31:37   But like, here in the US, it's always the case,

00:31:41   like we, on the east coast of the US,

00:31:43   especially in the south, like where I live,

00:31:45   it's seldom an issue.

00:31:47   But there was one a couple years ago,

00:31:48   but we have hurricanes, and then these hurricanes come,

00:31:51   and days in advance, they make a determination

00:31:54   as to whether people on the coast should evacuate or not.

00:31:58   And then at some point, they often make it

00:32:00   a mandatory evacuation, where, I mean,

00:32:03   they don't arrest you if you don't leave,

00:32:04   but you know, it's, they're officially saying

00:32:07   everybody must leave and if the police see you

00:32:10   that you're not leaving, they try to encourage you

00:32:14   to get the hell out.

00:32:15   But then every once in a while, the storm comes in,

00:32:17   it's not so bad, and then people are like,

00:32:19   "Well, why the hell did you have us evacuate?"

00:32:21   And it's like, you can't only tell people to evacuate

00:32:25   when you're 100% certain they need to evacuate

00:32:28   because you're only 100% certain when the 120 mile hour winds

00:32:32   are blowing the roof off your house.

00:32:34   - Yeah, yeah.

00:32:36   And like these events, they are planned several months

00:32:40   in advance.

00:32:41   It's not like you can say, oh, let's wait until

00:32:44   the middle of May, and then we can announce the WBC.

00:32:48   It doesn't work like that, and I think a lot of people

00:32:51   actually think that it does, but it's not like that.

00:32:53   You need several months of planning for, you know,

00:32:57   I mean, we mentioned engineers preparing their sessions.

00:33:01   That's one example.

00:33:02   It takes months of work.

00:33:03   - Well, like I said, I think either way,

00:33:06   that will still happen on the same schedule,

00:33:09   and I think that whether they have full WWDC,

00:33:13   whether they cancel it and do it online only

00:33:16   and hold a press event,

00:33:17   or whether even a press event isn't deemed safe,

00:33:21   and maybe they would do a keynote that's online.

00:33:24   I don't know.

00:33:25   I mean, that would be weird

00:33:25   to not have anybody in the audience,

00:33:27   but although I guess they'd still have

00:33:29   their own Apple employees,

00:33:31   and so you'd still hear all the applause.

00:33:33   - So maybe-- - And then the retail employees.

00:33:35   - Right, they could fill it up with some people.

00:33:37   But I still feel like they will do the annual,

00:33:43   this is the state of our OSs and our roadmap for 2021,

00:33:48   fall of 2020 into 2021, here you go.

00:33:55   I feel like that'll happen either way.

00:33:57   It's just a question of whether you wanna have

00:33:59   invite 5,000 developers from around the world

00:34:01   into beautiful, hospitable San Jose.

00:34:05   (laughs)

00:34:07   - Beautiful, especially beautiful San Jose.

00:34:10   - I don't even remember.

00:34:11   I drink coffee every day, and now I'm trying to remember

00:34:15   where the hell do I get it.

00:34:17   I don't even remember.

00:34:19   Honest to God, I can't even,

00:34:20   I was there for four days last week,

00:34:22   and I don't remember where I got coffee.

00:34:24   I think it's like my mind was so scarred by the experience,

00:34:27   It was like traumatic and I've forgotten the memory.

00:34:31   - Yeah, I'm pretty sure that one time last year,

00:34:35   Mark Hormant walked us to some kind of breakfast place

00:34:40   that took like 20 minutes to get to

00:34:43   and they didn't have coffee.

00:34:45   So that sounds like it for you.

00:34:48   - Social policy, which I do miss,

00:34:50   but social policy didn't take 20 minutes to get to,

00:34:53   but it did take 20 or 30 minutes to get like a sandwich.

00:34:57   (laughing)

00:34:58   My wife goes and, you know, my wife got a hamburger

00:35:01   and it took 45 minutes to get a hamburger.

00:35:06   That place, I mean, it's like shocker

00:35:09   that that place closed.

00:35:10   - But it's too bad because they actually had

00:35:14   decent espresso and croissants sometimes.

00:35:17   - Yeah, it was good food.

00:35:19   It just clearly wasn't meant for--

00:35:22   - They were so unprepared for more--

00:35:27   than usual.

00:35:28   Right, but I don't even know if it is more people than usual.

00:35:31   I think the San Jose Convention Center often holds conventions that are far larger than

00:35:36   WWDC.

00:35:37   That's the thing about San Jose that just boggles the mind is that it feels, in terms

00:35:45   of the restaurant hours, the coffee shop service, the early closing of the bars, everything

00:35:53   makes it feel as though it is this sleepy little town where nothing big ever happens,

00:35:58   and Apple just picked it and puts up a 5,000-person tent like the circus once a year, and it comes

00:36:06   out of nowhere, and nobody in town was aware of it.

00:36:10   And even though now they've had it there, what, three years?

00:36:13   It's like nobody remembers that in June, you know, there's a busy week.

00:36:17   But it's worse than that because they have conventions throughout the year.

00:36:20   It is a very large convention center.

00:36:23   I suppose when you add up all of Moscone,

00:36:28   north, south, and west,

00:36:32   or whatever the hell the three parts of it are,

00:36:36   I guess Moscone is bigger overall.

00:36:38   I mean, you can't eyeball it

00:36:40   'cause so much of Moscone is underground.

00:36:43   But Apple never, for WWDC,

00:36:45   never took the two main buildings.

00:36:48   they only use the one that actually is glass and upstairs.

00:36:53   I think it's bigger than the old,

00:36:54   where Apple used to hold WWDC.

00:36:57   And so there's gotta be big conventions throughout the year.

00:37:00   It's like, it's a convention area,

00:37:03   it's a convention area of town

00:37:04   that is not ready for any conventions

00:37:06   of any sort whatsoever.

00:37:08   It boggles the mind.

00:37:10   - Maybe they just don't like other people coming in.

00:37:13   It's just, I don't know.

00:37:14   (laughing)

00:37:15   - Everybody, it feels like it's everybody's

00:37:18   first day on the job.

00:37:19   - And to be fair, it saddens me

00:37:23   because every San Jose local that I've met,

00:37:25   they're like super lovely and kind people.

00:37:28   It's just the store owners that don't know

00:37:32   how to deal with that, so I don't know.

00:37:34   - I was there with somebody once

00:37:38   and they were trying to close a bar

00:37:39   and my friend, Luke, asked the manager,

00:37:42   "Do you like to make money?"

00:37:44   And the guy-- (laughs)

00:37:46   - Yes, exactly, that's the problem.

00:37:48   - Oh my God, anyway.

00:37:50   All right, let me take a break here

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00:39:42   All right, so while we're talking about Apple

00:39:46   events, there are rumors of a spring event

00:39:50   which I would guess would take place

00:39:54   at the end of March, and the reason that I guess that

00:39:58   and I keep track of this, let me open up my note here,

00:40:02   is, like I said, Apple is a company of habits and

00:40:06   patterns and they might decide to stop following something but that would be

00:40:11   like a major decision and they do not hold a March event every year but they

00:40:19   did hold a March event in 2016 that was a town hall in Cupertino they did a new

00:40:30   iPad and a smaller iPhone that was the the iPhone SE's debut and the 9.7 inch

00:40:38   iPad Pro which I think was the first small iPad Pro they did not have one in

00:40:43   2017 in March but then in 2018 they had a special event March 27th at Lane Tech

00:40:53   High School in Chicago were you there for that one we would do you go to

00:40:56   - I was not, I was not.

00:40:58   - Well, that was another,

00:40:59   that was a new 9.7 inch iPad Pro,

00:41:02   or no, just an iPad, that's right.

00:41:04   It was the first iPad with pencil support.

00:41:06   Right, and they introduced the Logitech Crayon,

00:41:09   and of course the reason it was a regular iPad,

00:41:11   not iPad Pro, and it was held at a school,

00:41:13   was that their pitch was that this is

00:41:15   for the education market,

00:41:16   where the price of the device is very sensitive.

00:41:18   Anyway, 2017, no March event.

00:41:22   2018 they had an event

00:41:25   Or I did 2018 so 16 18 now we're in 2020 it's an even year

00:41:33   So if the pattern holds and even numbered years they hold March events that are often feature new iPad hardware

00:41:42   Will they do it again? I don't know but there's been random. I'll give you I'll give you another timeline John

00:41:50   I have a list. I remember I had this list somewhere

00:41:53   WWDC announcement dates

00:41:56   We forget for context because we were talking about this last year March 14

00:42:04   2018 March 13

00:42:07   2017 February 16 and I believe this was early because of the San Jose switch

00:42:13   so if they do announce

00:42:16   WWDC must be

00:42:18   within the next couple of weeks at this point.

00:42:21   - I think they've had some that went

00:42:22   as long as April though, I'm pretty sure.

00:42:25   - They used to be up until 2016, April 18, 2015, April 14.

00:42:30   - Yeah, so maybe if, I wouldn't be surprised,

00:42:34   if we get into April and they haven't said anything,

00:42:37   I would interpret that as meaning they're still

00:42:41   like holding their breath on this coronavirus thing

00:42:44   and waiting until the last minute to make a decision.

00:42:47   But anyway, the March event, what I do know is that it tends to be, at least the past couple of years, in the spring break week.

00:42:58   Is it called spring break? I think it's called spring break.

00:43:02   Yeah, but we are at the spring break, schools have spring break in widely varying weeks of the year.

00:43:09   Some schools try to time it with Easter, other schools have it the same, like the last week of March every year or something like that.

00:43:16   It's not there's no one universal spring break week. It's spread out in late March through April

00:43:23   But will they do an event now

00:43:27   I really don't I really don't know and you know, one of the changes they've made in recent years is

00:43:35   that

00:43:37   For many years they would hold

00:43:40   satellite events in

00:43:44   somewhere in Europe and somewhere in Asia and

00:43:47   This dates back to even before they had

00:43:52   Reliable consistent live streams for everybody to watch right? I mean, it's it's easy to forget because nowadays

00:43:59   They're there. They're they seem rock-solid every single event

00:44:03   But for years they would you know you

00:44:07   We we if you weren't attending the event, you know, I'm sure you remember this

00:44:13   well, it would be like, is there gonna be a live stream?

00:44:15   I don't know, and Apple wouldn't say,

00:44:17   and then sometimes like an hour before the event,

00:44:19   they would be like, here's a URL for the live stream.

00:44:22   Is it going to stay up?

00:44:23   Hold your breath.

00:44:26   And it was weird, 'cause sometimes it would,

00:44:27   sometimes it wouldn't, it was, you know,

00:44:30   it wasn't something you would wanna bet on.

00:44:32   Whether they were even gonna try, and if they did try,

00:44:35   whether it was gonna stay up was a crapshoot.

00:44:38   Nowadays, that's not an issue.

00:44:42   But back in that era, they would hold satellite events

00:44:45   for the media in Asia and Europe

00:44:47   so that European journalists could just go to London

00:44:52   and there would be like,

00:44:54   wasn't something that maybe was public,

00:44:56   but it was some kind of technology

00:44:57   where they could stream it just to one facility in London

00:45:02   and people wouldn't have to travel the extra

00:45:05   eight time zones to get all the way to California

00:45:08   or something like that.

00:45:10   But at some point a handful of years ago, they stopped that.

00:45:14   And if you're going to be press credentialed for an event,

00:45:18   you need to be at the event.

00:45:21   And otherwise you're just watching, which isn't bad.

00:45:24   I mean, I missed an event.

00:45:25   I missed the iPhone event this year

00:45:31   because I couldn't fly because of eye surgery

00:45:33   that I had in the end of August.

00:45:35   So I didn't go to the iPhone event in September

00:45:37   and just watched it live on my Apple TV.

00:45:40   But there's no more satellite events like that.

00:45:44   So Asian media all fly to California.

00:45:48   I mean, I guess they could not, I don't know,

00:45:51   I just can't imagine that they wouldn't not invite them

00:45:53   just because they're from Asia or something.

00:45:55   And it's not really, that's obviously ground zero for this,

00:45:58   but as we just talked about 15 minutes ago,

00:46:01   it's in Italy, it's in California,

00:46:04   it's all around the world.

00:46:07   - But maybe there doesn't have to be an event, right?

00:46:10   Because if you look at last year,

00:46:12   it was a similar situation,

00:46:13   like a bunch of different products.

00:46:15   We had the new AirPods and we had,

00:46:18   was there a new iPad last year?

00:46:20   Maybe it was the iPad Air 2, I believe.

00:46:22   So a bunch of different products,

00:46:24   and instead of doing an event

00:46:25   and throwing a few different products together,

00:46:28   they just did the week of press releases, right?

00:46:31   With the Tim Cook tweets, the Tim Cook photo.

00:46:36   And I think maybe there's an opportunity to do a repeat of that, because if you look at the products that we're talking about now,

00:46:42   we're looking at an iPad Pro that, if you were to follow the rumors, has a new camera system,

00:46:47   but the new design, basically the same design of the existing iPad Pro, and maybe a new smart keyboard.

00:46:53   And then we're looking at the iPhone 9 or SE2, and potentially the new MacBook Pros with the new keyboards.

00:47:02   So, and maybe the new over-ear headphones

00:47:07   that were rumored a while back.

00:47:10   So not necessarily products that tell a cohesive story.

00:47:15   Like yes, they are updates.

00:47:18   New products even, if you look at the over-ear headphones,

00:47:22   for example, and the iPhone 9,

00:47:23   but maybe it's not necessary to throw an event

00:47:27   just to group those products together.

00:47:29   - Right, they don't, you know,

00:47:32   I've had this discussion, I think it was with regard

00:47:36   to the fact that last year, or the end of 2019,

00:47:41   just four or five months ago,

00:47:43   they didn't hold the second event.

00:47:45   The only event they really held

00:47:46   was the September iPhone event,

00:47:48   and then in October they had

00:47:50   small press briefings for other stuff,

00:47:57   like seeing the Mac Pro again before it came out,

00:48:01   and getting hands-on time with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro,

00:48:06   with the miraculous new keyboard

00:48:11   that actually works and clicks.

00:48:12   You know, they had, you know, I went to New York for that.

00:48:16   I think New York was actually the main,

00:48:19   for whatever reason, was more media than California.

00:48:24   But, you know, I could see them doing something like that,

00:48:28   where they still want to, for invited media

00:48:30   and people who are going to review the hardware,

00:48:32   they still want to meet them and brief them

00:48:35   and give them their take on it,

00:48:36   but it doesn't have to be a 500 person event in a theater.

00:48:39   And the thing that I don't think a lot of people get,

00:48:45   I think people who don't pay close attention

00:48:47   are under the assumption that Apple holds these events

00:48:51   willy-nilly, you know, and every time they do,

00:48:53   because why wouldn't you?

00:48:54   If you can get all this attention

00:48:56   every time you hold a big media event,

00:48:58   why wouldn't you do it all the time?

00:49:00   But I think it's the opposite.

00:49:01   I think Apple realizes to the very highest levels

00:49:05   what a tremendous privilege and marketing hammer it is

00:49:10   that when they do hold an event,

00:49:16   it garners so much attention and gets so much news

00:49:21   and is literally on the front page of newspapers.

00:49:24   And I know newspapers, printed newspapers

00:49:27   aren't the big deal they used to be,

00:49:29   but it's still a good rule of,

00:49:31   just a good gauge of how big of news something is.

00:49:35   It's a pretty big deal in the grand scheme of things

00:49:39   that when this company announces a new cell phone,

00:49:42   it's front page news around the world.

00:49:45   I think they realize that part,

00:49:48   there's the little boy who cried wolf problem, right?

00:49:52   I mean, you know that fairy tale, right?

00:49:55   It's like, if you hold events

00:49:57   that aren't worth people's attention eventually,

00:50:00   even when you have an event that is worth their attention,

00:50:03   people aren't gonna pay attention to it,

00:50:05   or they're not gonna pay as much as they did.

00:50:07   And I think Apple, at the very highest levels,

00:50:09   is very cognizant of not doing that.

00:50:12   And the 16-inch MacBook Pro is a perfect example of that.

00:50:16   It is a tremendous product.

00:50:18   I mean, I'm still using one right now, and I love it,

00:50:23   and I really do think it is truly a return.

00:50:26   As much as it looks like, and I'm not gonna go off

00:50:29   on a whole MacBook Pro tangent here, we gotta talk iPad,

00:50:32   but as much as it looks side by side

00:50:34   like the 15-inch MacBook Pro replaced in so many ways,

00:50:38   it really does fix so many of the things

00:50:41   that we all complained about with the 15-inch MacBook Pros

00:50:44   for the last two or three years,

00:50:46   but was it worth an event?

00:50:48   And like you said, is there a story to tell?

00:50:51   Well, if the story is we fixed this, that,

00:50:54   and the other problems, they don't really wanna

00:50:56   get up on stage and say that.

00:50:58   They'd rather say that privately in a small room

00:51:02   and just say, yeah, we have a new keyboard design.

00:51:06   - Yeah, and if you look at the previous events,

00:51:09   there always tends to be a narrative around them.

00:51:11   Like last year, it was the services event,

00:51:14   like the strange one with a bunch of services together,

00:51:17   but it told a story.

00:51:18   And the year before that, it was the education event.

00:51:21   And in October 2018, it was the pro event.

00:51:24   So in Brooklyn, we got the iPad Pro and the Mac Mini,

00:51:28   I believe.

00:51:28   So there tends to be an overarching narrative to an event.

00:51:33   And we've seen how when they have a bunch

00:51:39   of different products to release and to announce,

00:51:42   maybe the best strategy is not to throw an event,

00:51:44   but to try different ways,

00:51:46   whether it's like private press briefings or YouTubers

00:51:50   or doing just the Tim Cook tweet

00:51:54   and the announcement on the website,

00:51:56   people last year were sure,

00:51:58   "Oh, the AirPods Pro are gonna have an event for sure,"

00:52:02   or, "The 16-inch MicroPro will have an event for sure,"

00:52:05   but no, the AirPods Pro actually

00:52:07   only had a press release, I believe.

00:52:09   Not even press reviews, embargoed reviews.

00:52:14   - Let me think about that.

00:52:16   I got to try them.

00:52:17   I did get to try them at the hands-on thing in New York.

00:52:20   That was the same thing.

00:52:21   - Oh, maybe there were then.

00:52:23   - Yeah, I think I did get a review unit then.

00:52:25   I forget, I don't think they were embargoed though.

00:52:28   I think it was like you could just take them and you start.

00:52:31   Yeah, they definitely did that.

00:52:32   And they definitely had a little,

00:52:36   like it was like a dozen of us at a time

00:52:42   got to go up to these tables

00:52:44   and they were factory sealed.

00:52:48   They were like little spots and you'd go up

00:52:51   and there was a shrink wrap box of AirPods Pro

00:52:54   that you could open up and just pair to your phone.

00:52:59   And it was kind of an interesting demo

00:53:01   because unlike most Apple demos

00:53:03   where the whole thing is scripted,

00:53:05   they have this device that's already got everything

00:53:08   they wanna show you, including the game that shows off metal

00:53:11   and this and that, they just were like,

00:53:14   here's a brand new AirPods Pro, open them up,

00:53:17   pair them with your iPhone to see how easy it is

00:53:20   just to get off the ground,

00:53:21   and then listen to something on your phone.

00:53:23   And it was funny, they did this thing, it was in New York,

00:53:27   and it wasn't a soundproof room,

00:53:33   but they don't like people talking about it,

00:53:36   but it was quiet enough,

00:53:37   but they wanted to show off the noise canceling,

00:53:40   and so they said, so this is ridiculous,

00:53:42   but we got here and realized there really isn't

00:53:44   any street noise here, so they used a HomePod

00:53:49   to play street traffic noise.

00:53:52   - Oh wow, I swear to God.

00:53:54   - So they were like, this seems silly,

00:53:55   but it should sound, we wanna make it sound

00:53:58   more like you're outside on the sidewalks,

00:54:00   and they just pumped--

00:54:01   - Best street traffic noise you've ever heard.

00:54:03   - Yeah, they just played street,

00:54:05   the best street traffic noise you've ever heard

00:54:07   in an AirPod, and then they were like,

00:54:09   now just squeeze the stem to turn off noise,

00:54:12   turn noise canceling on, et cetera.

00:54:14   Yeah, I could see them doing that.

00:54:18   I think the wild card in the rumored events for this,

00:54:22   if there's a March or early April event,

00:54:24   the wild card is iPad.

00:54:26   Like the iPhone 9 or whatever they're going to call it,

00:54:30   but I kinda like the name iPhone 9.

00:54:32   And I know people are like,

00:54:34   "Well, why would you wanna make it seem old?"

00:54:35   And it's like, dude, you have no idea

00:54:37   how many millions, tens of millions of people out there

00:54:40   who already have an iPhone 6,

00:54:43   and they just want something exactly like it,

00:54:45   but brand new, you just cannot underestimate that.

00:54:49   My mom is waiting for one.

00:54:51   My mom has a years-old iPhone.

00:54:53   The battery, it's like 82%,

00:54:56   so it's still above that 80% threshold,

00:54:58   but it's getting close.

00:55:01   And all she, she is not terrified,

00:55:04   but the idea of switching from touch ID to face ID

00:55:08   gives her anxiety.

00:55:10   'cause she does, it's unfamiliar.

00:55:11   She's like, well, how do you get out of an app?

00:55:13   And I was like, you learn, you just swipe up, it's easy.

00:55:15   Now, you know what she wants?

00:55:16   She wants a home button.

00:55:18   I have to tell you, this thing is gonna be a huge seller.

00:55:20   Call it the iPhone 9, and yeah,

00:55:23   anybody who knows that they're already up to 11

00:55:25   and we're like seven months away from,

00:55:27   and put an asterisk and a footnote here,

00:55:29   go back 20 minutes to our whole coronavirus.

00:55:32   Maybe it's not September, but iPhone 12

00:55:35   is probably coming in September,

00:55:37   or an iPhone 11s or something,

00:55:39   there are literally maybe hundreds of millions of people

00:55:44   around the world who would love an iPhone 9,

00:55:46   called the iPhone 9.

00:55:47   So, but here's the thing, is it a good demo?

00:55:50   No, it would be the worst demo in the world, right?

00:55:53   Because you can't see that it's faster, right?

00:55:58   Because like this, you know, what are you gonna do?

00:56:01   You know, run a benchmark on an iPhone

00:56:04   compared to an iPhone 7 or something like that?

00:56:06   I mean, it's an iPhone 8 with new internals.

00:56:11   What do you demo?

00:56:13   There is no demo.

00:56:14   - Not the best product to show off on stage.

00:56:16   - Right, and it would be running iOS 13.3

00:56:21   or maybe iOS, probably iOS 13.4, right?

00:56:24   'Cause iOS 13.4 is far enough in beta

00:56:26   that it would probably be the OS for the out of the box

00:56:30   for this new phone.

00:56:32   It's running the iOS version

00:56:35   that everybody around the world already is running.

00:56:37   It's not a demo.

00:56:40   The iPad is the thing that maybe would have a demo, right?

00:56:44   And our, everybody's mutual friend,

00:56:48   the internet's friend, Steven Trout and Smith,

00:56:51   it's spelunker of betas,

00:56:53   has poking around the iPad OS 13.4 betas

00:57:00   has uncovered a whole slew of keyboard-related stuff

00:57:05   in iOS 13.4.

00:57:07   I don't even know, you're probably more familiar with me

00:57:13   in terms of what's already been uncovered,

00:57:15   but it would sort of coincide with a sort of,

00:57:19   hey, this is a demo, like hey,

00:57:22   people are using their iPads with a keyboard

00:57:25   for all sorts of stuff,

00:57:26   and it fits in with the years-long narrative

00:57:29   for a lot of people this is the portable that you can use in a laptop type setup.

00:57:36   So I don't know. What all have we already know is new in 13.4 for keyboard?

00:57:41   So the things that we've seen tie in a bunch of different ways with some potential good

00:57:49   demo candidates in the sense that there's one feature which is called full keyboard

00:57:54   access. This one was actually available for at least a couple beta builds last

00:58:02   summer in 13.0, and then it got pulled and never came back, and now it's back in

00:58:07   13.4, and so full keyboard access lets you essentially define, I believe,

00:58:14   custom shortcuts that you can execute from the keyboard to perform specific

00:58:20   functions. Essentially it's another version of something that is

00:58:25   already available in accessibility and that is if you connect a mouse in

00:58:31   iAPET OS 13 and you have a programmable mouse that has multiple buttons, I mean

00:58:36   usually two buttons, but you know I have a Logitech mouse that has five of them,

00:58:40   and you can configure each button in accessibility right now to do things

00:58:45   like "show me notification center" or "reveal the dock" or "go back to the home screen"

00:58:51   all that kind of stuff.

00:58:52   Now with full keyboard access you can do that, you can assign those system functions to keyboard

00:58:57   commands.

00:58:58   And one of the interesting features is that you can run a shortcut from the shortcuts

00:59:05   app with a system-wide hotkey basically.

00:59:09   And it's not as good as on the Mac because you cannot pass any input.

00:59:15   So it's not like on the Mac with an automated workflow and you can say run this when I press command shift X.

00:59:23   But you can pass the selected finder item as input.

00:59:28   You cannot do that with full keyboard access in 13.4. But it's a step forward nonetheless.

00:59:34   And also, the other big change is support

00:59:38   for key up and down events.

00:59:40   - Yes, right.

00:59:41   - So that's one of the big features missing

00:59:46   from developers who wanted to have

00:59:48   serious keyboard integration with their apps.

00:59:51   And so there's the productivity angle

00:59:53   that I could see being demoed of like,

00:59:56   now you can fully control your iPad Pro

00:59:58   in two different ways, with touch, of course,

01:00:00   and with the keyboard.

01:00:01   And if you wanna use the keyboard,

01:00:03   you never have to leave the keyboard.

01:00:05   You never have to reach the screen

01:00:06   because you can do it all, in theory.

01:00:08   But there's also the gaming angle, right?

01:00:10   Because now games can have proper keyboard integration

01:00:13   because of key up and down events.

01:00:15   And so I could see a story sort of like,

01:00:18   now on Apple Arcade, you can,

01:00:20   here's a bunch of PC quality games

01:00:22   that you can now play with the keyboard or with touch.

01:00:24   - Yeah, and it sounds so rudimentary, right?

01:00:29   But just to further explain for anybody

01:00:32   doesn't know what key up and down events are.

01:00:34   Literally, let's say you're the developer of an application.

01:00:37   And in the old days, there were always APIs on Mac, Windows,

01:00:43   whatever you were on, where you could say, is the A key down?

01:00:46   Or notify me when the A key is pressed.

01:00:49   And was the key pressed, or is it being pressed and held?

01:00:54   And you would think that there should be a way for computer

01:00:56   programs to tell.

01:00:59   But iOS and iPadOS have not had those sort of events until 13.4, which is still in beta.

01:01:06   And so, for example, and again, very demo-able, and speaking of friends in San Jose,

01:01:14   there's a small company in San Jose called Adobe that makes a now 30-year-old app called Photoshop.

01:01:23   And anybody who's ever used Photoshop extensively on the desktop knows that they use the keyboard

01:01:31   in all sorts of ways. And a casual Photoshop user is going to do everything with a mouse,

01:01:37   and you click on a tool, and then you go over to your image and you start painting.

01:01:43   But a Photoshop expert is using the keyboard all the time, and they have single key switches where

01:01:50   where you can just type, I forget what all of them are.

01:01:54   Honestly, I haven't used them in a while,

01:01:55   but I don't know, you can just type like B for the brush

01:01:58   or something like that.

01:01:59   People who use Photoshop all the time know them by heart.

01:02:02   And then you can do things like hold down the space bar

01:02:04   and the cursor turns into a hand

01:02:07   that you can use to page around

01:02:09   without using scroll bars or something like that.

01:02:12   And you can hold down the option key to do different,

01:02:15   you know, get different behavior,

01:02:17   or the shift key to constrain a selection

01:02:20   to a fixed aspect ratio as opposed to a freeform rectangle.

01:02:25   All sorts of ways that Photoshop uses the keyboard

01:02:30   and has been problematic, to say the least,

01:02:35   on iPad up until now would make for a very good demo.

01:02:40   And yeah, again, the gaming thing is obvious

01:02:43   in terms of being able to get fast key events

01:02:47   to be able to drive a game from the keyboard.

01:02:50   - Yeah, and when you think about it,

01:02:52   not so many companies can have,

01:02:54   can say we have a tablet that has a really amazing GPU

01:02:59   that gives you this kind of graphical performance

01:03:02   and lets you, and of course, if this is all true,

01:03:06   lets you play games with two different input methods.

01:03:10   Like you can play with touch

01:03:11   or you can play with the keyboard.

01:03:13   I mean, the Nintendo Switch has some kind of touch control,

01:03:17   but it's basically never used in games.

01:03:19   And the GPU is not nearly as good as the current iPad Pro.

01:03:24   I cannot imagine the next iPad Pro.

01:03:26   So it's definitely an interesting proposition.

01:03:29   And from a productivity standpoint,

01:03:31   as you mentioned, Photoshop,

01:03:32   and all the existing productivity apps,

01:03:35   there's a few developers who,

01:03:38   over the past couple of years,

01:03:40   have tried to enable full keyboard navigation

01:03:44   in their apps, in their iPad apps.

01:03:47   You look at something like agenda, for example, or things,

01:03:50   or just today, the RSS client Unread

01:03:55   has a new version, Unread 2.

01:03:57   And one of the features is you can fully navigate Unread

01:04:00   with a keyboard if you have an iPad.

01:04:03   So developers have been doing

01:04:04   their own custom implementations, but again, they're custom

01:04:08   and they require a lot of work,

01:04:11   and they do not support key up and down events.

01:04:14   So in theory, having a proper framework from Apple

01:04:17   with support for key up and down events,

01:04:19   it makes a world of difference if you're an iPad developer.

01:04:23   So that's very demo-able for sure.

01:04:26   - Yeah.

01:04:27   I think that there's,

01:04:31   it's just the roots showing through, the roots of the,

01:04:37   And it's funny because, and I say this,

01:04:39   and it's like people forget it,

01:04:40   and it's come up a couple times in recent weeks,

01:04:43   but it is funny that the original iPad from 2010

01:04:48   was demoed with a first party keyboard dock.

01:04:53   (laughing)

01:04:54   I had that, I had that dock, I used it twice,

01:04:58   and then I forgot about it.

01:05:00   You know what, I knew I didn't want it,

01:05:02   and so I didn't buy it.

01:05:03   And I don't know how I knew it,

01:05:05   And I was like-- and it was funny, because I'll never

01:05:09   forget that demo.

01:05:11   I went to the event, and the hands-on area was open.

01:05:16   And I'm always one of the-- often one of the last to leave,

01:05:21   because I'm not under pressure to immediately get something

01:05:24   up on Daring Fireball.

01:05:26   I can take my time.

01:05:28   Whereas an awful lot of the media who are in attendance

01:05:31   either are required to file a story very quickly,

01:05:35   or just feel that pressure to file very quickly.

01:05:39   And nowadays, 2010 it wasn't as big a deal,

01:05:42   but nowadays a lot of them have to shoot video

01:05:44   and there's all this going on.

01:05:46   And I'll just sit there and play with the devices.

01:05:48   And I just remember, it was like,

01:05:51   and they're so very nice, but they came up,

01:05:53   it was me and Dan Morin, who was then at Macworld,

01:05:56   were playing with the iPad on the dock

01:05:58   and we were trying to figure out all the keyboard shortcuts,

01:06:01   what worked and what didn't work.

01:06:02   And we're going through mail, and we're like,

01:06:04   "All right, let's go to..." and this was before you could hold down the command key and just see the shortcuts.

01:06:09   But we're like, "Oh, what about shift-command-D? Can you do shift-command-D to send an email?" And we're like, "Yes!"

01:06:15   And we're just going through and this very nice woman came over and she was like, "Hey, you know, hey guys,

01:06:22   you know, we're wrapping up." And we look around and there's literally nobody left except Apple and Voice.

01:06:30   We're like, "Oh, I guess we should go."

01:06:33   We're like, we're sorry.

01:06:35   And we like left, but we literally got dragged out

01:06:39   while we were using the keyboard doc

01:06:42   to try to figure out all the keyboard shortcuts

01:06:45   that they managed to hook up.

01:06:46   But I didn't use it.

01:06:48   But anyway, the keyboard was clearly an afterthought,

01:06:51   at least originally.

01:06:52   Even though they sold a keyboard, that's my point.

01:06:54   They sold one originally,

01:06:56   and it was to sort of sell the line that,

01:06:58   hey, they've got a full-blown version of numbers

01:07:03   and pages and you can actually sit there and write and stuff.

01:07:07   But actual proper first class support of a hardware keyboard,

01:07:12   honestly, it's still not there.

01:07:14   And it sounds like we may not have to wait for iOS

01:07:18   or iPad OS 14.

01:07:20   It seems like 13.4 might be the height,

01:07:23   the mark where we say this is where iPad OS crossed the line

01:07:27   and now has,

01:07:32   It's over the 50-yard line. It's over the halfway mark of having good keyboard support.

01:07:36   That's a sports metaphor, right?

01:07:38   Yes, yeah, I'm sorry.

01:07:39   That's why I switched.

01:07:41   Yards? That's football.

01:07:43   Well, that's why I switched. What do you call the center line on a soccer pitch?

01:07:48   Midfield? Crossed midfield?

01:07:53   Yeah, yes, yes.

01:07:55   All right, so 50-yard line is midfield. So we've crossed midfield, you know.

01:08:00   We've gone over and now we're on the scoring end.

01:08:03   - Got it.

01:08:04   - You know, like for me, one of the things that is just,

01:08:07   it's just so frustrating and I don't think 13.4 does this,

01:08:11   but boy, it's like, man, when I have a hardware keyboard

01:08:15   connected to my iPad, and I don't wanna go off

01:08:17   on the whole iPad stretch here,

01:08:19   because that'll be the closing segment of the show,

01:08:22   we have a lot to talk about,

01:08:23   but just in terms of like driving your iPad

01:08:25   with the keyboard, when I'm on the home screen,

01:08:29   it drives me insane that you can't just use the arrow keys

01:08:32   to select between apps and then hit the return key

01:08:36   to open it or something to open it.

01:08:39   You know, like in the Finder, you know, on the Mac,

01:08:42   people might think that you hit return to open something,

01:08:45   but no, return renames it,

01:08:47   which is sort of a historical artifact.

01:08:49   You have to use command open or command down arrow to open.

01:08:52   You know, I'm not gonna argue

01:08:56   whether those keyboard shortcuts

01:08:57   we're a historical mistake or not,

01:08:59   but we're stuck with them.

01:09:00   But there should be some way

01:09:01   with a keyboard connected to an iPad

01:09:04   to arrow key around.

01:09:06   And they enforce the grid, right?

01:09:09   It's not like the desktop on the Mac

01:09:11   where you can kind of have your icons

01:09:12   on your iPad home screen strewn about in a mess.

01:09:17   It enforces a nice grid,

01:09:20   which is just begging for up, down, left, right, right?

01:09:24   - Yes. - Just begging.

01:09:27   - Yeah, and really the main problem when you think about it

01:09:30   is that the iPad, and that is not changing in 13.4,

01:09:35   it lacks any kind of selection state from the keyboard.

01:09:40   Any kind, like on tvOS you have the focus engine, right?

01:09:44   And you can select items and then you can click.

01:09:47   And there's none of that on the iPad.

01:09:50   Which is why some developers, some third-party developers

01:09:52   have done their own custom thing, but at a system level,

01:09:55   like even the basic stuff,

01:09:56   like I want to select icons on the home screen.

01:09:59   Well, it's not possible because the idea of selection

01:10:02   is just not there.

01:10:03   Just like the idea of hovering over items in UIKit.

01:10:07   It's just not there, it doesn't exist,

01:10:08   which is why the current implementation

01:10:12   of the pointing device is via accessibility.

01:10:15   That's not a real pointing device.

01:10:17   You're not hovering over anything.

01:10:19   You're just simulating a finger on screen

01:10:20   and then you click, which means you tap.

01:10:23   But I totally agree with you.

01:10:25   Like it's so annoying that whenever you're on the home screen, really the only way to

01:10:29   launch an app without touching the screen is to search for it and then press return.

01:10:35   Which yeah, sort of works, but no, just let me select stuff.

01:10:41   The other thing that drives me nuts about, you do command space and then you search for

01:10:45   an app and it is the first search result.

01:10:48   You can hit the return key and it will open, but there's still no selection state to show

01:10:53   you that.

01:10:54   to have to trust that the return key will open, but then you can use the arrow keys

01:10:58   to move up and down the selection, much like Spotlight on the Mac.

01:11:03   So I want to say, and I may be wrong, that maybe you can do Command+Down to jump between

01:11:10   different sets of results. Like, maybe you can do Command+Down and you select…

01:11:17   There still should be a selection.

01:11:18   - Yeah, and it should be better than it is right now,

01:11:22   for sure, and I really, why do I hope that in 14

01:11:26   we get some kind of selection state API

01:11:29   and just hover state.

01:11:32   It's really necessary.

01:11:34   If you wanna have serious keyboard integration.

01:11:37   Speaking of which, did you see this rumor

01:11:40   about the smart keyboard possibly getting a trackpad?

01:11:44   - Yes, yes.

01:11:45   The information, which is not like a regular source

01:11:50   of Apple stuff, the information is subscriber only

01:11:54   and it's largely startup focused and sort of VC,

01:11:59   I often think sort of VC centric,

01:12:02   but then when they do pipe up with Apple stuff,

01:12:04   it's usually pretty accurate.

01:12:06   And they'll go months without anything

01:12:10   and then pop up with a blockbuster.

01:12:12   And this one, this is a report from Wayne Ma,

01:12:15   Apple planning iPad keyboard with trackpad

01:12:18   Apple is planning to release an iPad keyboard accessory later this year that will include a built-in trackpad

01:12:24   Hmm that's you know, I don't know that we even need to go any further

01:12:30   I think you know their article goes on and on but I feel like we all kind of you know

01:12:35   I guess the one thing we don't know and they don't know in the article is

01:12:39   To me it

01:12:43   it would imply that it's going to be promoted

01:12:48   out of accessibility and will become

01:12:51   a first-class mouse cursor when you have

01:12:56   a pointing device attached, whether it's a trackpad

01:13:00   on a keyboard or a mouse or a, I guess,

01:13:04   I mean, since you can connect mice, you can connect,

01:13:07   I don't even know if this is true,

01:13:08   can you connect like a magic trackpad to an iPad?

01:13:11   - No, you cannot right now.

01:13:14   - So you can't.

01:13:15   So you can plug in a USB mouse,

01:13:17   but you can't do a trackpad.

01:13:18   But in theory, they could support it.

01:13:21   And I would think that then,

01:13:27   here we go into the meat of the subject.

01:13:32   Maybe I should take a break before we continue.

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01:17:02   Let me see if I can remember post-sponsor break

01:17:05   where we were.

01:17:06   We were talking about the mouse cursor support.

01:17:09   Yeah, it's gotta be.

01:17:10   If they're gonna do a trackpad,

01:17:11   which I think they should and I would love,

01:17:13   I really, really, really hope that this rumor is true.

01:17:17   Not just for the idea of a smart keyboard cover

01:17:21   with a trackpad that you could use,

01:17:23   but just in the broader sense,

01:17:26   the idea that they would add first-class mouse pointer

01:17:28   support to iPad OS.

01:17:30   - Jason Snyder just posted on Six Colors,

01:17:35   a post with questions about potential smart keyboard

01:17:39   with a trackpad, and all those questions basically match

01:17:42   the things that I was thinking about.

01:17:45   What does it mean if they do a trackpad

01:17:47   in terms of the kind of pointer that we get?

01:17:52   because right now I could see Apple saying,

01:17:55   look, it's got a trackpad,

01:17:56   but it's just for text editing, right?

01:17:59   Just like now, for example,

01:18:00   you can hold down two fingers on the software keyboard

01:18:03   and you get a trackpad when you're editing text.

01:18:05   I could see a scenario where, yes, there's a trackpad,

01:18:10   but it only helps when it comes to text editing.

01:18:12   And I think that will make sense,

01:18:14   but also I would be disappointed

01:18:17   because I would love to see a full-blown trackpad support

01:18:20   and actual support in UIKit

01:18:24   for controlling the entire interface with the trackpad.

01:18:27   But also what does it mean

01:18:28   in terms of hardware keyboard design?

01:18:32   Like does it mean that Apple is gonna have a keyboard

01:18:35   with a hinge, like fully adjustable viewing angle,

01:18:39   for example?

01:18:40   So there's a lot of questions right now,

01:18:41   but I guess the main point being,

01:18:44   do we foresee a scenario where the iPad,

01:18:49   you can actually control the entire iPad OS UI

01:18:52   with a pointing device, with a trackpad

01:18:55   built into the keyboard so that you never

01:18:56   have to touch the screen.

01:18:58   - I really hope so, and for a couple of reasons.

01:19:00   One of them is that touch screens have been around,

01:19:04   I mean, really, we're like 13 years into it

01:19:08   at this point, right?

01:19:09   It was 2007 in January when Apple announced

01:19:14   the original iPhone.

01:19:17   So we're now 13 years after, not quite to the point,

01:19:21   I mean this was the point when everybody

01:19:23   was still speculating that it was gonna be a dud,

01:19:25   it wasn't gonna work, blah, blah, blah,

01:19:27   but nobody had it yet.

01:19:28   But we're easily over a 10 years into the period

01:19:32   where people have touch screens

01:19:35   and Apple has answered questions about,

01:19:37   well, why doesn't the Mac have touch screen support

01:19:40   for a long time?

01:19:41   And until and if they ever do release touch screen Macs,

01:19:47   they're gonna keep answering it,

01:19:48   and their answer is, one of the answers has always been

01:19:52   that the ergonomics are terrible, right?

01:19:54   Especially for like an iPad or an iMac, right,

01:19:59   where you're pointing at this screen,

01:20:01   an arm's length in front of you, your arm gets tired,

01:20:05   and they've mentioned it many times,

01:20:07   but even on a laptop, it's,

01:20:10   a swipe here, a swipe there, tap here,

01:20:14   and put your hands back down is no problem,

01:20:16   but if the only way to,

01:20:19   let's say you have a text editing document,

01:20:23   a long article, you know, school paper,

01:20:26   someone like me or you who writes for the web,

01:20:28   and you've got edits to make,

01:20:30   and editing is often largely, you know, selecting,

01:20:35   you know, you don't necessarily wanna do it all

01:20:37   with arrow keys, you know.

01:20:39   It's tiresome to sit there and touch the screen

01:20:42   over and over again, and touching the screen

01:20:45   obscures the thing you're looking at, right?

01:20:47   Your hand is actually in front of your face.

01:20:49   It doesn't make sense if Apple's argument,

01:20:59   one of Apple's arguments against touchscreen Macs

01:21:02   is the ergonomics are bad, which I believe is true.

01:21:05   I actually think that is actually true,

01:21:07   the ergonomics are bad, but then it doesn't make sense

01:21:10   that when they say here with our iPad Pro,

01:21:13   you can get this smart keyboard and turn it into a laptop-like physical configuration,

01:21:19   and then when you want to do anything, you have to touch the screen, which we've already

01:21:21   told you with our other thing is ergonomically bad.

01:21:24   Right?

01:21:25   I mean, that's – it fundamentally doesn't make sense.

01:21:28   And when I've confronted Apple folks with that, they just give non-answer answers.

01:21:36   But it clearly doesn't hold water, right?

01:21:39   And basically the ergonomic argument in favor of this is beyond arguments over the operating

01:21:47   system and the UI for it, right?

01:21:49   But if your hands, your fingers are on the home row keys of your keyboard, right, and

01:21:55   the keyboard is flat on the desk, where are your thumbs?

01:21:59   Your thumbs are right where track pads go, right?

01:22:03   Like ergonomically, this is a solved problem.

01:22:09   And I know that in the early years of PC laptops,

01:22:11   the IBM ones had the little rubber nubbin in the middle,

01:22:16   and we had track balls before we had track pads.

01:22:20   But Apple quickly figured out that the right place

01:22:22   for the track ball, I mean, there were early laptops,

01:22:24   I don't know if you remember, you're a youngster,

01:22:27   but Apple had one, the original Mac portable,

01:22:31   which was like a suitcase, more than a laptop.

01:22:34   But it had the track pad, the track ball, off to the side,

01:22:38   so that you would use it like where a mouse was.

01:22:40   You'd move, you know, 'cause,

01:22:42   but I guess they had to put something over there

01:22:43   'cause the thing was so big.

01:22:44   But we've, you know, ergonomically,

01:22:47   we've gotten to the point where it seems pretty obvious

01:22:49   that you put your fingers on the keyboard like you're typing

01:22:52   and your thumbs are just right there where a trackpad goes.

01:22:55   And so wouldn't it be nice if you're,

01:22:58   when you're using an iPad,

01:23:00   if you could just make use of those thumbs

01:23:03   that are right there without lifting 'em up?

01:23:05   You know, so I feel like there's an ergonomic argument.

01:23:08   On the software side, this is where I think it's more interesting and nuanced, is because

01:23:14   I think the better argument against touchscreen Macs is that by assuming that every single

01:23:24   Mac has a mouse pointer attachment, you either have a mouse or a trackpad.

01:23:31   It's almost impossible.

01:23:32   I mean, you could run a Mac as a kiosk of some sort without a keyboard and mouse, but

01:23:37   But to actually use a Mac, it's borderline impossible without, as a typical user, you

01:23:44   know, it's, you know, nobody would really want to use a Mac without a mouse pointer,

01:23:48   a mouse or a trackpad.

01:23:50   And those are very fine, precise pointing things.

01:23:55   There's all sorts of UI elements that are able to be packed as small targets close together.

01:24:01   And my most prominent example are the red, yellow, green buttons for closing a window

01:24:07   minimizing a window and full screen zooming a window.

01:24:10   They're very small targets,

01:24:12   they're very close to each other,

01:24:14   and if they were touch targets,

01:24:16   they would have to be further apart,

01:24:18   and that would take up more room in every single window.

01:24:22   There's also, just looking at,

01:24:23   I'm looking at Safari right now,

01:24:24   there's just all sorts of stuff

01:24:26   at the top of my Safari window that's way too small,

01:24:30   way too small of a target, way too close to other targets

01:24:35   to be good for a touch interface.

01:24:38   So, I'm not going to bet money

01:24:43   that Apple will never have a touchscreen Mac.

01:24:45   I mean, maybe it's inevitable, I don't know,

01:24:47   'cause there's certainly a lot of people

01:24:48   who think they want it.

01:24:49   But my deep concern is that to do it right,

01:24:52   they would have to fundamentally change the Mac interface

01:24:55   in a way that would make it less information dense,

01:24:58   which I think is one of the convenient things about it.

01:25:02   Whereas I feel like you could add mouse support to iPad OS without sacrificing anything in

01:25:11   terms of the experience for what if you're just touching it like a you know like like

01:25:17   you don't you if you never have a trackpad or mouse connected to it does it change the

01:25:22   size or placement of any UI targets no right I feel like it I'm not saying it's easy nobody

01:25:31   I don't want to ever tell engineers that anything is easy, but I think conceptually

01:25:35   iPadOS is a much better fit for first-class mouse pointer support than macOS is a fit for touchscreen support.

01:25:44   I agree with that. And the reason why I also want them to do this is

01:25:49   because right now there's a, on the iPad, there's a fundamental case of feature disparity between the two

01:25:58   different modes. If you think about it, what really sets the iPad apart from the Mac is

01:26:06   the fact that you can pull it out from the keyboard and just use it as a tablet. Whereas

01:26:11   a MacBook, you cannot just pull out the screen and use it. It's always attached to the keyboard,

01:26:16   or if it's a desktop Mac, it always needs to be a desktop computer. So the iPad does

01:26:21   support two different modes. And when it's in multi-touch mode, so you don't have any

01:26:27   keyboard accessory, you don't have any mouse,

01:26:31   it's fully usable like that, right?

01:26:32   It fully supports multi-touch,

01:26:34   it's got a software keyboard, it's fully usable.

01:26:37   But if you add a smart keyboard,

01:26:40   that's when the feature disparity comes in.

01:26:42   And it's so funny right now that Apple itself

01:26:47   created this problem of when you use a smart keyboard,

01:26:51   you cannot fully use the iPad from the keyboard alone

01:26:55   because you still need to touch the screen.

01:26:57   And this is the keyboard that Apple makes, that Apple sells,

01:27:00   and that Apple promotes as the accessory for the iPad Pro.

01:27:03   So I think they should do it, because right now the iPad

01:27:07   can be used with the keyboard.

01:27:09   And I mean, I use it.

01:27:10   I came up with all sorts of workarounds for like--

01:27:14   I have a Logitech mouse that I have with some shortcuts.

01:27:18   But it's not native, and you can feel that it's an afterthought.

01:27:23   And whereas the iPad is fully usable as a tablet in touch mode,

01:27:28   it is not fully native if you want to use it with a keyboard.

01:27:32   And so I'm seeing a bunch of people on Twitter saying,

01:27:36   if they're going to do it, if they're going to add a cursor,

01:27:38   it's just going to be for text fields.

01:27:40   Maybe.

01:27:41   But I think it should be a real cursor.

01:27:43   And I think it should be a real pointing device that

01:27:45   lets you control the whole UI.

01:27:49   I could see it, but as being just for text,

01:27:53   like you said, exactly like the virtual trackpad you can get.

01:27:58   And you can get it on the iPhone too

01:28:01   by holding down on the space bar now that 3D touch is gone.

01:28:05   And it's a two-finger touch

01:28:08   on the virtual keyboard on iPad OS, right?

01:28:12   If you-- - Yes, yep.

01:28:14   - You just go there and two fingers touch.

01:28:16   Yeah, you put two fingers down.

01:28:18   anywhere on the keyboard, which is really nice, very, very nice.

01:28:22   You don't have to aim for the space bar.

01:28:26   So there's a tip of the day.

01:28:28   Every time I mention something like that,

01:28:29   I know that there's people who are like, holy crap,

01:28:31   I didn't know you could do that.

01:28:32   Virtual keyboard up on the iPad, put two fingers anywhere

01:28:36   on the keyboard, and you get-- while you're editing text,

01:28:39   and you can move the insertion point around.

01:28:42   I just don't think, though, that they--

01:28:44   if they're going to go so far as to actually put a trackpad

01:28:47   on the smart keyboard, I just don't see

01:28:49   why they wouldn't do it for everything.

01:28:50   And I really do think, I really do think,

01:28:54   and there might be some edge cases,

01:28:56   there's always edge cases, there's always something

01:28:58   that's tricky, but I think for the most part,

01:29:00   it won't take away from touch at all.

01:29:04   I really do feel that that's true,

01:29:06   and that it's just sort of a historical artifact

01:29:11   of the fact that the iPad was derived

01:29:13   from the iPhone's operating system

01:29:16   that it didn't have it right from the start.

01:29:20   - Yeah, yeah, and I've been part of this computing life,

01:29:25   I guess, for the past several years at this point.

01:29:30   And really, whenever I share a photo of my iPad setup,

01:29:35   I always got a bunch of people saying,

01:29:37   "Why don't you just use a Mac?"

01:29:39   And while I do get the point, right,

01:29:42   because it does look like when you're using the iPad

01:29:45   with the keyboard and maybe a mouse

01:29:46   and maybe some other accessory, it does look like a laptop.

01:29:49   But to me, that's the whole point of the conversation

01:29:53   of if I want, I can pull out the tablet

01:29:57   and go work on the couch or stay in bed.

01:30:01   And that is actually how I started using the iPad

01:30:03   when I was sick and undergoing cancer treatments years ago.

01:30:08   And I couldn't use a MacBook.

01:30:10   I just had the iPad and I was able to stay in the hospital bed

01:30:14   use the iPad as a tablet. And that to me is really the greatest strength of the device.

01:30:23   And I know that it's an overused term, but it can be sort of like hybrid computer in

01:30:28   the sense that it's tablet and then you just slide it into a keyboard and it becomes sort

01:30:32   of like laptop. So yeah, I really do think that the two modes can coexist. And when it

01:30:40   comes to the trackpad, I was just thinking about this as we were talking about it. We've

01:30:46   seen all these concepts. You linked one of them on Daring Fireball for like rethinking

01:30:52   iPad multitasking. And I was thinking about these concepts and then the rumor came out

01:30:57   today of the trackpad. And so I realized if there's an opportunity for Apple to bring

01:31:04   consistency to a new multitasking interface. What better way to add

01:31:11   consistency than to say there's new gestures that you can use for multitouch

01:31:16   if you want to use multitasking and split view and the same gestures actually

01:31:21   work with our multitouch trackpad on the smart keyboard. It's always the same

01:31:25   gestures, it's always the same interaction system and you can use it

01:31:33   be attached and you can use it with the keyboard. And I think René Ritchie on YouTube also had

01:31:38   some kind of concept a couple of months back, maybe, arguing if Apple were to do a new multitasking

01:31:46   system on iPad, maybe they should consider multitouch gestures. So that could potentially

01:31:52   be interesting if it's also a multitouch trackpad on the smart keyboard, of course.

01:31:57   Yeah, I think it would be too, because I think that they're all in on that in terms,

01:32:01   and it's a way to bring some consistency

01:32:04   between the Mac and iOS.

01:32:06   I mean, I can't imagine that it wouldn't be, right?

01:32:09   Like, I don't know, it is one of the most exciting rumors,

01:32:14   and it's so funny because we could have recorded yesterday,

01:32:19   we would have done the whole show before it broke,

01:32:21   but to me, it's honestly one of the most exciting rumors

01:32:24   in a long while.

01:32:26   I'm terribly excited about it

01:32:28   because it's not just about having the trackpad,

01:32:30   It's everything that it says about what I think they would need to do with iPadOS

01:32:34   to make it worthwhile having a first-party trackpad, right?

01:32:38   And I just can't help but think that it would mean that you could put two fingers

01:32:44   on it to scroll a scroll view, right?

01:32:47   But that also implies some sort of focus, whether it's a mouse hovering over it.

01:32:53   Like on the Mac, it's wherever the mouse cursor is hovering,

01:32:57   you can scroll up and down with two fingers to scroll the thing, including in a background

01:33:01   window, you know, but what determines it? You don't even have to click on it. You just put the

01:33:06   mouse cursor over it and then use two fingers to go up and down to scroll the view. It would be

01:33:12   baffling if they don't support that, right? Like, what's the point of having a trackpad if you can't

01:33:20   scroll with it, if you still have to do it? I mean, would it mean that literally every single

01:33:26   thing in the system could be done from the keyboard and trackpad? Maybe, right? That almost seems like

01:33:32   one part of me wants to say, "Well, maybe not everything." But then I want to say, "Why not?"

01:33:38   Right? Like, what is there that you wouldn't be able to do? You know, with the combination of

01:33:44   moving the cursor as a virtual finger over elements and tapping to simulate a touch,

01:33:51   and a combination of multi-fingered gestures

01:33:54   for things like, you know, bringing, I don't know.

01:33:59   I mean, would you be able to bring down control center

01:34:03   with a drag from the top of the track pad?

01:34:05   I don't know.

01:34:06   - Yeah, you could do expose now that you have

01:34:08   multiple windows on iPad, you could do that.

01:34:11   You could show the app switcher and maybe, again,

01:34:15   if they were to add a new, a different multitasking system,

01:34:18   you could have gestures for split view and slide over and that kind of stuff.

01:34:23   So, yeah, I mean, why not, right?

01:34:26   If you go so far as to add a physical trackpad

01:34:31   to the smart keyboard, which is super premium space, right?

01:34:36   You go to such lengths as to add an actual trackpad,

01:34:41   limiting that trackpad to just scrolling text fields and text views.

01:34:48   That seems like a wasted opportunity.

01:34:50   - It just seems a little spiteful, you know?

01:34:52   Like not spiteful that Apple doesn't like iPad users

01:34:57   and wants them to be frustrated,

01:35:00   but like spitefully sticking to the idea

01:35:04   that it's fundamentally a touchscreen,

01:35:07   you know what I mean?

01:35:07   It's putting an idea above the actual practicality

01:35:12   of would this actually be useful

01:35:15   without taking away from anything that's already good.

01:35:19   - It will be political more than practical.

01:35:22   - Yeah, or dogmatic, I don't know what word

01:35:24   you wanna use, right?

01:35:25   Like you're just sticking to this dogma

01:35:27   that no longer holds.

01:35:29   Well, now one thing that comes to me,

01:35:32   and this is why it's fascinating me,

01:35:34   I love reading your stuff on iPad,

01:35:36   and I've complained a bit recently,

01:35:38   and I have a couple more complaints

01:35:40   to get off my chest before I'm done,

01:35:44   about the state of iPadOS.

01:35:47   And there's just so many people who got angry at me.

01:35:57   Oh, really?

01:35:57   People get angry at you?

01:35:59   And I don't get it.

01:36:01   I really tried to write around it and anticipate it.

01:36:03   And the basic idea is if you come up with-- like me,

01:36:07   you have a bunch of what I think are very valid complaints

01:36:10   about the current state of iPadOS,

01:36:12   and you describe them to the best of your ability,

01:36:16   and then all of a sudden they say,

01:36:17   "Well, you hate the iPad because you're an old person

01:36:20   "who likes the Mac and you just want the iPad to be a Mac."

01:36:23   And it's like, no, I don't.

01:36:24   What I would like, ideally, I love the Mac.

01:36:27   And again, I'm a sort of person,

01:36:29   if I had to choose between iPad and Mac

01:36:31   for the rest of my life without hesitation,

01:36:32   half a second, I would choose Mac.

01:36:35   That's just where I am, that's who I am,

01:36:36   no surprise from what I've written.

01:36:38   But holy crap, wouldn't it be amazing

01:36:40   if the iPad got so good that I thought, "Wow, even I as a Mac person think this is better."

01:36:44   That would be better, right?

01:36:46   Like I love the Mac.

01:36:47   The Mac is still my favorite operating system there is, but I'm not like going to look anything

01:36:56   -- I would love to find something better, right?

01:36:58   Like people think, "Well, if you love the Mac and that's your thing, then you're some

01:37:02   kind of zealot, and no matter what anybody else does, you're going to find ways to say

01:37:08   the Mac is better, that's not my mindset at all. I love the Mac, and so therefore if there

01:37:16   were ever something from Apple or any other company that I thought was a better overall

01:37:20   system than the Mac, that would be amazing because the Mac is already great. So it would

01:37:24   be great if the iPad got better. I would love to see the iPad get better. So I don't understand

01:37:29   the defensiveness on some people's parts. And that's one thing, I don't know how you

01:37:33   get away with it because you're well known as an iPad power user and somebody who really

01:37:39   it just fits with your brain. I mean that's what you're trying to I know what you're trying to say

01:37:45   is like the reason that you like using an iPad for everything and the reason why when people say

01:37:50   well why don't you just use a Mac for that is that the iPad is like it for me Mac OS fits my brain

01:37:58   And maybe my brain has been warped to fit Mac OS over the years.

01:38:02   But it's very clear from your writing and your enthusiasm and the clever things you come up with

01:38:08   with shortcuts and stuff like that, that the iPad OS just fits your brain, right?

01:38:14   Yeah.

01:38:14   It is a natural extension of your brain.

01:38:17   And it's like the lack of keyboard support is like, at times, for certain tasks,

01:38:24   one of your hands is tied behind your back.

01:38:25   Yes.

01:38:27   - Yes.

01:38:29   - Like I feel bad for you.

01:38:31   I feel that I do, I really do.

01:38:33   'Cause I feel like right now,

01:38:37   the iPad is constrained in ways that aren't,

01:38:41   it's not like, oh, well that would be impossible to solve.

01:38:44   Right, like if you,

01:38:45   just off the top of my head,

01:38:48   if you really wanted Siri to be as intelligent

01:38:51   as the HAL computer in 2001

01:38:54   and be able to hold a real conversation with you,

01:38:56   Well, to get from where we are today to there is an awful lot of work and maybe, who knows,

01:39:02   maybe it's not even technically possible, AI is never going to get there.

01:39:07   Whereas getting proper mouse pointer support in iPadOS, that's obviously technically possible,

01:39:14   right?

01:39:15   Like this is, it's a design decision, not a technical or engineering limitation.

01:39:22   It's exactly that.

01:39:23   Like it's so close, right?

01:39:26   you can see the thing actually in front of you,

01:39:29   but you cannot reach it.

01:39:30   - Right.

01:39:31   - Especially now that we have that sort of like

01:39:35   external pointing device feature,

01:39:37   but it is an accessibility feature,

01:39:40   so it's not exactly that.

01:39:42   And it's so close and you can feel like

01:39:44   that reality is within my grasp,

01:39:46   but the closer you get, the further away from you,

01:39:50   it escapes.

01:39:51   And that is why I'm so excited about this rumor.

01:39:55   And as you said, the reason why I keep using the iPad is one,

01:40:02   yes, because it does fit my brain at this point better.

01:40:06   And two, I would say because ever since I

01:40:10   was unable to get any work done--

01:40:13   and we're talking now seven years ago,

01:40:14   and everything is fine now.

01:40:15   That is while in the past.

01:40:17   But that scared me in the sense that the iPad,

01:40:24   I, working on the iPad, I know that I always have a fallback built in, in the sense that

01:40:31   if I cannot work with my keyboard and my mouse and my vertical stand, I can still hold the

01:40:39   thing in my hands and stay in bed and send an email, right? And so that, I, like, that

01:40:47   disability, you could say, like years ago, it really left an impression in my brain

01:40:54   in terms of I never want to just depend on a desktop computer ever again. And

01:41:00   that is why I've always been on a sort of quest to see what's a way to

01:41:06   to do this with full portability, with full mobility. And that is why

01:41:13   I get a lot of people making fun of me whenever I share a complex shortcut.

01:41:19   And years ago, it used to be Python scripts with Pythonista, and it used to be URL schemes before that.

01:41:26   And Launch Center Pro, which is still a great utility, but Launch Center Pro, when it first came out,

01:41:34   came out was a way to get interapplication communication

01:41:39   all through URL schemes, which can get complicated.

01:41:44   - It can get complicated, but still,

01:41:49   it did allow me to be more efficient years ago.

01:41:53   So I generally get why people like you

01:41:58   and people like Stephen Hackett, for example,

01:42:03   prefer working on Mac OS. And I think it's totally fine. And I think it's so silly that

01:42:09   some people on Twitter think that, like, oh, now they're going to fight it out, the iPad

01:42:15   guys versus the Mac guys. And I don't think it's like that at all.

01:42:19   No.

01:42:20   I think if anything, like, it is. There's a certain—and I struggle to explain this

01:42:26   whenever I get into these arguments on Twitter—there's a beauty to the idea, like a fundamental

01:42:31   beauty to the idea that two operating systems can coexist within each other. And I see the beauty in

01:42:42   that, in the sense of you can choose what you want to use. Like you can choose your favorite computer.

01:42:49   And I think that's beautiful. And I think it's like, yes, I like working on the iPad. And yes,

01:42:56   I would like it to be more like a Mac in certain examples.

01:43:01   But I fully know that it's not there yet.

01:43:07   And it's like, because those complaints that you get,

01:43:10   they also work the other way around.

01:43:13   Like, I get the comments from people saying,

01:43:15   oh, you're an iPad fanboy, you're a zealot,

01:43:19   you're never gonna say that anything else is better.

01:43:23   And like, that's so short-sighted.

01:43:25   And I fully agree with you in the sense that there are some things that need to be different.

01:43:34   For example, multitasking, right?

01:43:39   So here's what I'm going to say.

01:43:42   I think we need some kind of change.

01:43:46   What I don't want to see is a regression for people like me.

01:43:54   The current system, the iOS 11 system for multitasking on iPad, heavily based on drag-and-drop

01:44:02   for adding icons to split view or slide over. I know that system, right? I know how to use it.

01:44:10   I know how to operate it. I know how to use the dock and multiple apps in slide over.

01:44:17   And those are powerful features.

01:44:19   At the same time, I also think it's not

01:44:23   the most intuitive it could be.

01:44:27   I think it's too complicated for a lot of folks

01:44:31   who are approaching the iPad now.

01:44:34   At the same time though, as a power user,

01:44:36   I don't want to lose those features.

01:44:37   So it's this kind of weird situation where like,

01:44:39   I know it needs to be different,

01:44:41   but I also don't wanna lose what I already know.

01:44:43   I think fundamentally it's exactly the whole multitasking thing.

01:44:49   And it is complicated.

01:44:50   It is absolutely complicated.

01:44:52   Not just what we already have being too complicated, but any idea of how to go forward is very,

01:45:00   very tricky and requires really, really top-notch UI design at a conceptual level.

01:45:07   But I really do also feel that it is ground zero

01:45:10   of the fault line that iPad OS has found itself in

01:45:15   between the Mac and iPhone, right?

01:45:18   And that being, you know, in theory,

01:45:22   iPad could have been a version of Mac OS

01:45:27   with bigger touch targets instead of the phone OS

01:45:33   put on a bigger screen.

01:45:35   I don't think it should have been.

01:45:36   I think they made the right decision because I think that,

01:45:39   put the UI stuff aside, there's all sorts,

01:45:44   and this is another thing I've been writing about recently,

01:45:47   but all sorts of complexity with the assumptions of macOS

01:45:52   in terms of assumptions like that stuff can run

01:45:55   in the background and that you can install apps

01:45:58   from outside the App Store and that you have direct access

01:46:03   to the actual file system.

01:46:06   And people mix that up, right?

01:46:08   Like the Files app on iOS could get so much better

01:46:13   and still never actually show you the actual file system

01:46:20   of the device, and I don't think it ever should, right?

01:46:23   It's, 'cause it is conceptually better and cleaner

01:46:28   to only show the user, here are the files

01:46:32   that are actual files that you create and read

01:46:36   and diddle with, and all of the stuff,

01:46:39   like the actual binaries for your application

01:46:42   and stuff like that, and the actual operating system

01:46:45   aren't even visible.

01:46:47   That's a much better and cleaner design

01:46:49   for people who aren't developers

01:46:51   and actually aren't working at that level.

01:46:53   And the Files app has gotten a lot better,

01:46:59   and I think it really, it's obviously an area

01:47:01   where it can continue to get better

01:47:03   without being mapped to the literal file system.

01:47:07   And I think it's such a better design.

01:47:10   - Yeah.

01:47:13   - All right, before we go on--

01:47:14   - I also like it.

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01:50:18   to save 20 bucks is talk show 2020. All right, the multitasking thing. So, Ryan, who works with you at

01:50:28   Mac Stories, what's his last name? I don't remember it. Christopher. Christopher. He had a really good

01:50:34   article, and I linked to it, and I promised a fuller response, which I haven't finished yet. I

01:50:39   am working on it, but I can talk about it here. But he had a proposal that I think was really good,

01:50:44   And it tackled some of the issues I mentioned, which is that I think it's just so incredibly

01:50:48   frustrating that the way that you get the first app on screen is the obvious way, which shouldn't

01:50:54   change. You see the app and you tap the icon and it opens and it's full screen. And the way you

01:50:58   get the second app on screen is totally different. His idea for managing some of this is to use

01:51:06   contextual menus. And I have a couple of, I've thought about it. I have a couple of problems

01:51:11   with that. One is I think that at a fundamental level, contextual menus should always be a

01:51:19   shortcut to something for which there's another way to do it. And unless I'm overlooking something,

01:51:29   on the Mac, you know, contextual menus are what you get when you right-click or control-click

01:51:35   is if you want to, you know, control-clicking is a long—dating back to the era when Macs

01:51:40   only had one button mice from Apple.

01:51:42   Control click is always a synonym for right clicking.

01:51:46   I don't think there's anything you can do on the Mac

01:51:50   in a contextual menu that there isn't another way to do it.

01:51:55   If there's an exception to that, I'd love to hear it,

01:51:58   but I can't think of one,

01:52:00   and I've been trying to think of one recently.

01:52:02   Whereas Ryan's proposal would make certain things

01:52:06   contextual menu only.

01:52:08   And maybe that's true.

01:52:09   You know, and iPad OS is different than Mac OS, and contextual menus on iPad OS are different,

01:52:14   because now, like, you have to tap and hold to get to what I call "jiggle mode" to rearrange

01:52:20   your icons on the home screen, and that's really only accessible through a contextual menu.

01:52:25   And one of the reasons— But even in files, but even in files— So the main difference,

01:52:31   I think, is that on iPad, some actions are context menu only.

01:52:37   - Right, it is a little different,

01:52:38   so maybe it would fit better.

01:52:40   I just feel though that it's still, at a broader sense,

01:52:46   I still feel that his contextual menu idea

01:52:49   is still too indirect.

01:52:51   Like if I have two apps open on my iPad at once,

01:52:56   and one's on the left and one's on the right,

01:52:59   and I would like to swap them and put the one

01:53:02   on the one side on the other,

01:53:04   you can just drag it over, right?

01:53:06   you can just drag the one on the left over to the right,

01:53:10   which is what you think would happen.

01:53:12   I think way more of the multitasking features

01:53:15   in the iPad should be like that,

01:53:17   where you just do the obvious thing

01:53:19   and you tap on a certain area,

01:53:21   and maybe the difference would be

01:53:23   that they would have to add some,

01:53:27   for lack of a better word, window chrome,

01:53:29   even though they're not windows.

01:53:31   A window is a thing that floats around

01:53:33   and you can drag it anywhere you want.

01:53:34   I think it's actually a better idea for most people, in most cases, to have, for lack of

01:53:41   a better word, a tile interface.

01:53:44   Like that's one of the things that I feel like Apple is even struggling with.

01:53:46   I don't think they know what to call things on iPadOS.

01:53:49   They call things windows that to me aren't windows.

01:53:53   Right.

01:53:54   Yeah.

01:53:55   Yeah, I think it's more, in fact, it's more descriptive in the API where they call them

01:54:00   scenes.

01:54:01   Right.

01:54:02   That's a better name for it because they're not windows.

01:54:05   They are multiple scenes for the same application.

01:54:07   I think it actually makes more sense.

01:54:09   - Right.

01:54:10   - Yeah.

01:54:11   - So like in Safari, you say new tab,

01:54:14   you're on the iPad and you say new tab,

01:54:17   it's very, everybody gets exactly what you think.

01:54:19   You get a thing that looks like a tab

01:54:20   and if you're used to tabs on Mac OS or Windows

01:54:25   or Chrome OS or anywhere else where there's tabs

01:54:28   in a browser, you get a thing now that looks like a tab

01:54:32   in a browser, whereas what they're calling Windows

01:54:34   don't look like Windows anywhere else.

01:54:37   And I feel like it's just, it's like the confusion

01:54:41   of the concept as it currently stands leaking out

01:54:44   into the language they choose to use to describe it.

01:54:47   I just think that it should be a lot more direct.

01:54:51   And that concept I linked to earlier this week

01:54:55   from a kid, I call him a kid, he's 21, on Twitter.

01:55:00   You know, where it more or less,

01:55:02   and I don't know if that's the right decision,

01:55:03   but I do, I saw a lot of people on Twitter

01:55:06   who seem to like it, but the idea is that, you know,

01:55:09   you kinda turn, if you wanna have two apps on screen at once

01:55:12   it kind of, his concept to put it in

01:55:15   as short of a few words as possible,

01:55:17   kinda turns each half of the screen into an iPad Mini.

01:55:21   And so if you like go up, if you have two apps at once

01:55:24   and you zip one up from the bottom, you know,

01:55:26   like the home screen shortcut,

01:55:28   you get a miniature version of your whole home screen

01:55:30   the right half of the screen and you can just tap another app and it takes that half of

01:55:34   the screen. Is that the right solution? I don't know, but something along those lines

01:55:40   though feels so much more natural to me and it feels more iPad-like.

01:55:49   So what I think is happening now is if you remember when SplitView first came out in

01:55:55   in 2015 with iOS 9, the way that you used to invoke a secondary app used to be that

01:56:04   you would swipe from the right edge of the display and you would get this scrollable

01:56:09   list of icons. And those icons in theory were like your recently used apps. And you would

01:56:16   tap one and it would come in in split view. And we had that system for a couple of years

01:56:22   and at some point we all started wishing for some kind of different picker view.

01:56:31   And at the time, and this is like 2016, so we're talking iOS 10, before 11 came out,

01:56:39   there were all kinds of concepts.

01:56:40   I even commissioned one of them.

01:56:43   I still have the video on Mac stories.

01:56:45   I remember this.

01:56:47   envisioning like what if the right side of the screen was more like a home screen?

01:56:52   And you would have like a grid of icons and you could search the icons and then you would

01:56:56   tap, just like you tap on home screen, you would tap and you would bring in the secondary

01:57:00   app.

01:57:01   And then iOS 11 comes out and WWDC 2017, Apple announces this new system and they swing in

01:57:09   a completely different direction and they're like, what if we took this idea of direct

01:57:15   manipulation and we just went nuts with it. So anything like you want to multitask, you

01:57:21   can just drag things around and you pick up the icon and you bring it into a space and

01:57:26   you create a split view and all of that. And so they took this idea of like on iPad, there's

01:57:32   direct manipulation, there's multitouch, so why not build multitasking around it? And

01:57:38   And I think now, a couple of years have passed, and iPadOS is now a thing, and you can actually

01:57:45   do more. You can have multiple apps in SlideOver, you can have multiple windows, but we're back

01:57:51   at square one and we're saying, "Well, but what if you actually had a simplified picker

01:57:57   for SplitView?" So I think at some point they just need to do it, because it seems to be

01:58:02   like this cycle that goes on forever. And Apple maybe eventually comes up with another

01:58:08   solution but maybe people just want to have some kind of home screen, some kind of launcher

01:58:14   that is consistent with the actual home screen. Because the other systems, and I say this

01:58:21   as somebody who really likes the current system, but maybe it's not that I like it so much

01:58:26   that I know it well. And I think even if I know it well and even if I can work my way

01:58:33   around it, I know that it's flawed. It works for somebody like me, but I know that it's

01:58:39   not the best solution for other people. And I think at some point they just need to do

01:58:44   it. And maybe a home screen is a solution. Maybe some kind of different grid view is

01:58:50   a solution, but the current system is more, maybe it's more fancy than it needs to be,

01:58:57   right? Oh yeah, you can pick up anything and if you drop it here, it becomes slide over,

01:59:04   and if you drop it there, it becomes split view. And it's fine for people like me, but

01:59:08   it's not great for everybody else.

01:59:11   The craziest thing about it, and I really think this is undeniably true, and this is

01:59:16   why I love reading your stuff about it is that you as you know an iPad

01:59:20   aficionado you know you're perfectly willing to admit it is it to me it's

01:59:26   crazy that that to be a power user on the iPad is more complicated than to be

01:59:34   a power user at the equivalent level and do the same things on the Mac like it

01:59:38   should not be that way it should be easier on the iPad like the Mac is has

01:59:43   this historical cruft. You know, like I said, like just a perfect little stupid

01:59:48   example, like when you select an app or a file in the Finder and you hit the

01:59:53   return key, people expect it to open if they're not longtime Mac users, but

01:59:58   that's not what happens. You're renaming the file and you have to

02:00:02   hit command down or command open. Like, the Mac has a whole arm's length long

02:00:07   list of stuff like that that really should never change because it's too

02:00:11   historically baked in and there's a reason for it being the way it is, or the whole double, you know,

02:00:20   way double, I wrote about this, like that you double click applications to launch them on the

02:00:25   Mac because single clicking selects it and it's worth it, you know. The official way double clicking

02:00:33   historically it was a shortcut.

02:00:37   The official way, like in 1984, to open an application

02:00:41   was to click on it, to select it,

02:00:43   go up to the file menu and hit open.

02:00:46   'Cause that, everything was sort of like through the,

02:00:51   the commands were in the file menu or in the menu bar,

02:00:55   and then everything else was a shortcut.

02:00:57   So there were keyboard shortcuts like command O

02:00:59   as a shortcut for file open,

02:01:01   and then they added a mouse shortcut,

02:01:03   which is, well, what if you want to just skip the whole file menu and you're an advanced

02:01:07   user, you could just double-click the item.

02:01:09   Well, everybody, you know, it ends up that's so much more convenient.

02:01:13   Nobody selects an item and goes up to the file menu and hits open.

02:01:18   But then we wound up with a generation of people who think you have to double-click

02:01:21   links in a web browser because they think you double-clicked to open stuff.

02:01:29   I love Mac OS and I love the Mac and I am so, so proficient in it, but I'm perfectly willing to admit it is a target that the iPad should be able to surpass in almost every regard for almost every user as just using it system.

02:01:50   Yeah, I agree with that. It should empower everyone, not just people like me.

02:01:56   Yeah.

02:01:56   And it's complicated to say that you can drag an,

02:02:01   how do you move an icon from your first home screen

02:02:04   to your second screen?

02:02:05   Well, you drag it.

02:02:07   But dragging the icon is also the way

02:02:09   that you make it a split screen app.

02:02:11   It makes sense when you understand the context

02:02:17   of how you start those drags, but that sort of,

02:02:20   hey, just dragging the app icon

02:02:23   does these two entirely different things.

02:02:26   One of them is moving it,

02:02:28   the other one is opening it up into a window in split view

02:02:32   or what's it called?

02:02:36   - Slide over. - Slide over.

02:02:37   That's the sort of thing I'm talking about

02:02:41   where to understand that makes you

02:02:43   understanding more complexity than the Mac user

02:02:46   needs to understand to do the equivalent thing.

02:02:49   - Yeah, and look, I don't disagree with that.

02:02:52   And I think what I was saying before,

02:02:54   like I don't wanna lose the current options

02:02:56   because as a pro user,

02:02:59   I do enjoy like the freedom that this system gives me

02:03:04   in the sense that I can, because I know how it works,

02:03:08   I can choose exactly where I want to drop an icon

02:03:11   and how I wanna make it a split view.

02:03:14   Like I know all the little, sorry.

02:03:17   I know all the little like hidden tricks of it.

02:03:21   Like if you drop an icon toward the upper edge of the display,

02:03:26   it becomes a full screen window.

02:03:29   And like all these little things I know,

02:03:31   but like how would you even expose them to regular folks?

02:03:35   And I don't think that an onboarding process,

02:03:39   when you're setting up an event for the first time,

02:03:41   like those three pages,

02:03:43   I don't think those are nearly enough,

02:03:45   even with the short video that you see at setup.

02:03:49   And what really surprises me, though, is that certain--

02:03:56   and you brought this up on during Fireball multiple times.

02:03:59   There have been design issues with the current multitasking

02:04:03   system on iPad.

02:04:05   And before doing this episode, I actually

02:04:08   went back and checked on Mac stories.

02:04:10   And these are issues that I mentioned all the way back

02:04:13   in 2015 in my iOS 9 review.

02:04:17   try and tell which side of a split view is as keyboard focus at any given moment.

02:04:23   And they sort of, quote unquote, made it better in 13 by slightly changing the color

02:04:32   of the pill shaped indicator at the top of a split view.

02:04:36   But good luck trying to tell the difference between two very similar shades of gray,

02:04:41   if you can. And that's one of them.

02:04:44   And the other design problem is there's such a tiny difference,

02:04:49   like visually speaking, between dropping an icon

02:04:53   and it becomes a split view item, and dropping an icon

02:04:57   and it becomes a slide over item.

02:04:59   And basically the difference is you've

02:05:00   got to take a look at the corner radius of the window

02:05:03   to tell who came up with that.

02:05:06   But also, how was it not fixed like five years later?

02:05:11   And so, yeah, there's like, it needs to empower everybody,

02:05:16   and it does, you shouldn't have to read a manual

02:05:20   or a review to know how it works.

02:05:23   - So basically, just to wrap up,

02:05:25   I really do, and I think we're exactly on the same page,

02:05:27   I just think that the iPadOS needs

02:05:30   a little bit more visual affordances, you know?

02:05:33   - Yes. - And close buttons, right?

02:05:36   Like, how do you close, if you're in an app

02:05:39   with multiple documents, how do you close a thing?

02:05:41   Well, why isn't that a standard?

02:05:43   Why isn't there a red button?

02:05:45   And I really do think, and I don't wanna pin it all

02:05:48   on Johnny Ive's shoulders, but I kind of wanna just pin it

02:05:50   all on Johnny Ive's shoulders, is that I feel that

02:05:54   in the post Johnny Ive is in control of all UI,

02:05:59   which is from iOS 7 forward, I feel like Apple

02:06:03   has always erred on the side of minimalism too far.

02:06:08   that they're just it there should be more that you can do by just seeing a thing on screen and

02:06:15   being able to

02:06:18   poke it with your finger and touch it to close it or touch it to drag it or touch it to move it and

02:06:24   Just a little bit not a lot just a little

02:06:27   And and you know

02:06:29   Like I said the one of the things that the iPad OS already gets right is if you have two apps

02:06:33   split screen left and right, you can swap them

02:06:36   by just dragging it over, and that's perfect,

02:06:40   but I just feel like there should be more like that.

02:06:43   - Yeah, yeah, I agree with that.

02:06:45   It's not a scene to have buttons

02:06:49   or other visual affordances to,

02:06:51   once again, it's great that we have these hidden gestures,

02:06:56   but it's not so great for other people.

02:06:59   - No, and they should be shortcuts,

02:07:01   and I feel like there should be a lot more

02:07:03   exposed and maybe you have to take more steps to do it the visual one finger away, tapping

02:07:09   the thing you see on screen, and that a multi-fingered gesture or shortcut can be a shortcut for

02:07:14   it for power users, but there should still be a way that you can get there visually.

02:07:20   Yeah.

02:07:22   My final question to you before we wrap up is do you regret naming the website MacStories?

02:07:29   Well, I get asked this a lot, surprisingly. I really don't, because it's… No, look,

02:07:44   I'm honest. I really don't, because it's… At some point, like five years ago, I considered,

02:07:51   like, I should change the name of this website, because it's not who I am anymore. But then

02:07:58   It was a combination of, well now, a lot of people know the website as Mac Stories, and

02:08:04   like, it's, you know, it gets linked in a bunch of places, do you really want to change

02:08:08   the name of the site?

02:08:10   But also, it's a nostalgic thing, like it tells me, it's sort of like, in the name I

02:08:17   see that kind of evolutionary path, like I started on the Mac, right?

02:08:24   I started writing about Apple because I got my first Macbook, and I wanted to write about

02:08:28   And so there's a nostalgic component in that.

02:08:32   And maybe I do regret the fact that the name does not fully describe who I am at this point.

02:08:40   The site of the most advanced, most eloquent, most proficient iPad OS power user on the web today.

02:08:48   I laugh because there is a certain charm to it. That's what I'm trying to say.

02:08:53   Yeah, it's like a scar.

02:08:55   And it's not like you don't write about the Mac anymore.

02:08:58   And your colleagues, you know, there's a whole assortment of people there like John Voorhees

02:09:02   and Ryan who we talked about and others who collaborate with you there.

02:09:06   And it's not like you don't write about the Mac.

02:09:09   Yeah.

02:09:10   And also, yes, I keep it, I like to keep it like this because it's kind of funny.

02:09:16   You can find a lot of like shortcut stuff and iPad stuff and the website's name is Mac

02:09:21   Stories.

02:09:22   I think it's kind of funny.

02:09:23   Well, it is one of my favorite websites.

02:09:25   I thank you.

02:09:26   I waited way too long to invite you

02:09:27   to be on the show, Federico.

02:09:29   It has been an absolute delight.

02:09:30   My wife is looking forward to this.

02:09:33   She very seldom listens to my show,

02:09:35   but she said that she cannot wait to hear your episode

02:09:38   because she just enjoys listening to your voice.

02:09:41   - Last year, I first met her last year,

02:09:43   I think officially in person,

02:09:45   and she kept saying, "Please keep talking."

02:09:48   (laughing)

02:09:49   Because I wanna listen to your accent forever.

02:09:53   I just kept talking.

02:09:54   I think what she wants, she's gonna text my editor, Caleb,

02:09:58   and have like a, can she get a cut of this podcast

02:10:01   where it just cuts my shit out.

02:10:02   - I'm so sorry, John.

02:10:05   - Oh, well, it's all right.

02:10:06   I mean.

02:10:07   - But thanks for having me on, though.

02:10:09   It's been a pleasure.

02:10:10   - Well, it won't be the last time.

02:10:12   Everybody, of course, I just mentioned it,

02:10:14   macstories.net.

02:10:17   Hey, .net party, you know.

02:10:19   - .net, always, yeah. - Yeah, fist bump.

02:10:21   (laughing)

02:10:24   You said you were thinking about changing it

02:10:25   in the name of Max Stories.

02:10:26   Somebody asked me if I ever thought about changing

02:10:28   Daring Fireball to daringfireball.com.

02:10:30   I own daringfireball.com.

02:10:31   No, I am not going to change it.

02:10:34   But that's neither here nor there.

02:10:39   Although if I did, I would use hover sponsor

02:10:41   of the website to do it.

02:10:42   - Of course.

02:10:43   - So anyway, my thanks to you, Federico.

02:10:45   Everybody can read you and your team's fine work

02:10:47   at maxstories.net.

02:10:48   We will stay tuned for news on the iPad,

02:10:51   and I will thank our sponsors this week,

02:10:53   Feels, where you can get CBD delivered to your house.

02:10:56   We had Hover, which I just mentioned,

02:11:01   where you can register and manage your domain names,

02:11:03   and Linode, the web server hosting company

02:11:07   that hosts Daring Fireball,

02:11:09   and I couldn't be happier with them.

02:11:11   Thanks.

02:11:13   You can say thanks too, if you want.

02:11:18   - Yeah. (laughing)

02:11:19   Thank you, Jon.

02:11:20   (laughing)