The Talk Show

228: ‘Smallen Up the Bezels’ With Jason Snell


00:00:00   How are you?

00:00:02   Pretty good. I'm just failing to fight the temptation to ask you a follow-up question about mechanical keyboards right now

00:00:09   Do it, we'll lose the whole show.

00:00:12   Did you try a keyboard that like some modern mechanical keyboard as a potential replacement for your Apple Extended? No, not yet

00:00:22   Well, sort of I should take that back. I got

00:00:27   I'm nowhere near as in deep with you. Actually. I should take this all back. I have I have tried several I shouldn't say

00:00:33   We're seriously gonna lose the whole show here. Yeah, I have a DOS keyboard

00:00:37   That that's spelled das like yeah, that's 3.3 keyboard. That would be something else das is in like das boot the

00:00:46   fantastic submarine movie

00:00:49   I

00:00:50   Bought several years ago and I forget what kind of switches that one has

00:00:56   But I have since given that one to my son Jonas and he loves it and it is apparently a pretty decent gaming keyboard. I

00:01:05   Never really liked it. It was too clicky

00:01:08   Yeah, and then based on some recent back and forth with you

00:01:13   based on your

00:01:15   I don't know if you consider it portable you can say but it's your iPad as a writing setup. You have right sure the Matthias

00:01:24   portable something something yeah, it's like a Bluetooth they have a Bluetooth

00:01:28   Keyboard that's got their key switches

00:01:32   Which are not the same and and people give me such grief for it because it does feel very old Apple design school

00:01:37   It's a big kind of puffy silver plastic keyboard, but it's very hard to find a good

00:01:43   Bluetooth

00:01:45   Mechanical keyboard there. I just USB it is puffy puffy is a good way to describe it. I'm gonna put this in the

00:01:52   it's just a big thing of plastic like right now now it would be kind of a metal kind of

00:01:59   fringed thing but instead it's just like a big piece of plastic with a keyboard in it

00:02:05   and i don't use that well it doesn't even make sense for me to use it with any of my

00:02:09   macs because when i'm not going to use a separate keyboard with a macbook and i've got my beloved

00:02:15   extended apple extended keyboard 2 on my iMac which it's um i mean i guess in theory i could

00:02:22   someday find a keyboard I like better than an Apple Extended Keyboard 2, but until I

00:02:25   do, I won't. But I do use it. I just feel like you need to be doing some

00:02:28   groundwork now for that day where the last Apple Extended Keyboard falls apart.

00:02:33   Right. You can just plug in something new and be like, "All right, I can just keep

00:02:38   on writing." Well, I've mentioned before that there's

00:02:41   a decent chance that—it depends when I replace my iMac. I mean, because the thing is with

00:02:48   the iMac, it'll probably be one of the last computers that Apple ships that still has

00:02:53   the old style USB-A port in the back because there's plenty of room. But surely within

00:03:01   a handful of years, it'll be USB-C everywhere.

00:03:05   Yeah, just adapt your adapter and you just keep on going. I have at one point, I adapted

00:03:14   Firewire 400 the the i-link Sony stuff to proper Firewire 400 to Firewire 800

00:03:21   to Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3. Wow that's actually worked it actually

00:03:28   worked so you know there's no end to the number of adapters you can just stack on

00:03:32   top of that extended keyboard to keep it going. You know but you know someday if I

00:03:36   want to use my extended keyboard to on an USB C only machine I'll have to go

00:03:40   So from ADB to my ADB to USB-A, the iMate, Griffin iMate adapter, of which I have two

00:03:51   backups.

00:03:52   Which may die.

00:03:53   Yeah, I was going to say, that may die before your keyboard dies.

00:03:54   I have two mint condition backups, but my original, which I bought in, geez, probably

00:03:59   like 1998 or something.

00:04:01   I would think, yeah.

00:04:03   You know, and it's maybe '99, but it's, you know, it's if anybody has never seen a Griffin

00:04:07   iMate, I believe they were all the same color.

00:04:10   They were the IMAX-style Bondi blue translucent plastic, as everything was after 1998.

00:04:20   But I'm still on my first one.

00:04:21   It is a very durable little adapter.

00:04:25   But eventually I'll have to plug that into a USB to USB-C adapter, which is nowhere near

00:04:30   the chain that you just said you put together for data.

00:04:33   This is only for typing.

00:04:34   But anyway, I have the Matthias that you have.

00:04:38   I do like it.

00:04:39   It is certainly the favorite hardware keyboard I've ever used with an iPad.

00:04:44   I wish I knew which stand I have.

00:04:46   I have a stand that I don't know that I've ever seen anybody recommend, but it's from

00:04:50   … Jeez, I could go upstairs and get it, but I have to interrupt the show and I don't

00:04:57   want to do it.

00:04:58   But it's … You know, I'll just put it in the show notes.

00:05:00   But I think it's from Belkin.

00:05:04   It just is a little foldy thing.

00:05:05   It doesn't raise the iPad at all because I don't really, I'm fine with, because I only

00:05:09   pretty much use it on like a kitchen counter and it's already sort of like I'm sitting

00:05:14   on like a, you know, a, not quite barstool height, but you know, more than a floor seat,

00:05:19   you know, like a kitchen counter seat.

00:05:22   So I don't mind that the iPad isn't raised off the thing and it folds and it has several,

00:05:27   it's not like you can bend it to any angle.

00:05:30   It has like a bunch of incremental steps, but there's enough of them that it's always,

00:05:34   always a good one and it's an excellent, excellent little stand because when you fold it all

00:05:39   the way up it it's very small and when it's open it's very sturdy because it clicks and

00:05:47   so it's in addition to being a good stand for popping up an iPad for typing it is an

00:05:51   outstanding it is the best stand I've ever used in what close to 10 years 10 years for

00:05:57   iPad for watch using it as like a little TV I guess that's cool I swear to God I'll put

00:06:02   it in the show notes, but it's a nice little stand. I like the Matthias, but I don't love

00:06:07   it. It's mushy. It bothers me. It's always bothered me how many little glyphs Matthias

00:06:13   puts on the key caps. I guess some people would like it, but they'll put little things

00:06:19   up in the right corner to show you that option left bracket gives you a curly quote and that

00:06:27   option shift bracket gives you a double curly quote and vice versa.

00:06:31   Yeah, it's overkill. I get that some people really get off on the idea that like literally

00:06:36   every character you can make with that keyboard is labeled on the keys, but that seems like

00:06:41   overkill to me too. No, I am right there with you. I have yet to find a perfect solution

00:06:47   to any of this, but I'm always on the lookout because I do like not always being at my desk

00:06:55   and being able to go to the bar in my kitchen and take an iPad and just sit there and write

00:06:59   a little bit. It's a great change of pace. And so I like that and having a good keyboard

00:07:04   for that, I've gone through all sorts of different kinds and the Matthias is the one that stuck

00:07:09   so far, but it's definitely not perfect and I would love to get something else. I could

00:07:13   attach some of my good mechanical keyboards of which I have too many with USB, but the

00:07:19   problem there is that like the command and option are flipped because a lot of them are

00:07:23   Windows keyboards and some of them have like dip switches that let you flip them the other

00:07:26   way and some of them aren't and it's too much so and maybe there'll be a new iPad Pro that'll

00:07:33   solve all of these things by something I don't know what on the Mac it's not a problem using

00:07:38   those keyboards right because you can use the system preference thing to change exactly

00:07:42   and iOS doesn't doesn't do that at least not yet you know and my second last episode Marco

00:07:49   garment was on and we were talking about keyboards and Marco has this tip for using that you

00:07:57   go to the keyboard system preferences thing. It's not no third party stuff at all. It's

00:08:02   all supported by the system and you can switch a bunch of modifiers. It's helpful if you

00:08:06   have a third party keyboard but with even with the standard keyboard, you can switch

00:08:10   caps lock to you to be escape or control some people love. There's like a bunch of Unix

00:08:16   people who—there's all sorts of Unix commands that use the control. And on an Apple keyboard

00:08:22   controls this little fiddly thing to the left of Z, caps lock is one of the easiest keys

00:08:28   on the whole keyboard to hit. So either way, but using caps lock for escape is pretty interesting.

00:08:35   And we'll get into this later, I guess, talking about MacBook Pros, but without the escape

00:08:39   key on MacBook Pros.

00:08:40   Tim Cynova Yeah, exactly right. No, that's a smart thing.

00:08:43   I'm so happy that Apple did that.

00:08:45   For the longest time, you always had to download

00:08:46   weird software in order to do slight

00:08:50   keyboard modifications, and now you just don't.

00:08:53   I mean, there are so many different things

00:08:55   that are just built into the keyboard,

00:08:57   little keyboard system preference, it's great.

00:09:00   - There was, in years past, there was some truly sketchy,

00:09:03   low-level, unsupported, and in addition,

00:09:08   even when you found one that was like rock solid

00:09:10   and it didn't seem to cause any problems,

00:09:13   you'd upgrade to the new version of Mac OS X and it would just do nothing. It would just

00:09:17   be like, "Ugh." And it's like, you go to the -- it'd be like, "Where's the webpage?" And

00:09:20   you go to the webpage and it hasn't been updated in six years and it's like, "Ugh."

00:09:24   Well, and there's the overkill factor too that I always felt. It's like, I literally

00:09:27   need to flip two keys on my keyboard and I've got this whole piece of software that usually

00:09:31   did like 9,000 other things and it's like, "No, no, no. I just -- I do this with Keyboard

00:09:36   Maestro now for some things," where it's like, "Yeah, at least I use Keyboard Maestro occasionally

00:09:40   for actual automation of stuff and it's really great for that. It doesn't, apps don't have

00:09:45   to be scriptable. It's amazing the stuff that you can get it to do. But I always feel a

00:09:49   little bit bad saying I really just want to map key A to be key B and vice versa. It's

00:09:54   like what a waste. But you got to do it, right? You got to get the keys to be what you want

00:09:59   them to be.

00:10:00   I've been talking more about Keyboard Maestro lately and I've been using it more lately.

00:10:05   I just did a thing. Here's an example. I really, I meaning to once like the news stuff, it's

00:10:11   like calms down this fall. Like I'm queuing up a bunch of ideas for keyboard, my stuff,

00:10:15   but the idea and it goes with my sort of recurring theme of here's why I love the Mac and can't

00:10:24   really imagine switching to iOS full time. Not that there's anything wrong with iOS,

00:10:28   but you could never do this on iOS file. You know, that's the tag category for these articles.

00:10:35   Um, for, for reasons that aren't worth going into, I use an app called, uh, Mars edit to

00:10:42   edit during fireball. It's a great blog editor from a red sweater software friend of the

00:10:47   show, Daniel Jowkut. I've been using it for years. Um, don't know quite what I would do

00:10:51   without it. Uh, really don't. Um, and the way I have movable type set up, it writes

00:11:00   every file, every time I write a post during Fireball, movable type generates two static

00:11:06   files, one of them with a dot text extension, a plain text version of the file, one with

00:11:11   a dot PHP. So if I write an article called the talk show episode 229, there'll be a

00:11:22   file in the file system with the date, and it'll say the talk show 229 dot T-E-X-T,

00:11:28   one with the same little slug dot PHP. But then I have everything set so that the public

00:11:33   URL that everybody sees doesn't have any file extension at all. Right. And I have a patchy

00:11:39   set up my web server on the server set up with a thing called multi views. So there

00:11:43   is no actual file in the file system that matches the URL. And what multi views does

00:11:49   is just make the best guess possible and it defaults to the PHP version, which is what

00:11:54   you want, which is what I want. And you see a little web page. And so you get the right

00:11:59   version, there's no file extensions visible to the user. And even if you go to the dot

00:12:05   PHP version, I have also have Apache set to redirect you to the one without the PHP version,

00:12:10   right. And then you can go to the dot text version and see my raw markdown source for

00:12:15   any article just by adding dot txt to any article on during fireball, nice little like

00:12:22   an Easter egg. Now for reasons that aren't worth explaining, in Mars Edit, it's sort

00:12:28   of like a mail app. I can go to any article and I can control click on it and I can copy

00:12:33   the published URL. In most blogging systems, or if I had movable types set up so that my

00:12:39   public URLs had those .php extensions, this would all be fine. But what Mars Edit copies

00:12:44   has dot PHP at the end. And so, you know, a couple times a week, I want to copy, I want

00:12:51   to get the URL for a recent article for during fireball. And the easiest way for me to do

00:12:55   it, at least in my mind, is to go to Mars edit, not go to during fireball and page down

00:12:59   looking for it because it might be, you know, three, four, five days ago. But in Mars edit,

00:13:04   it's just one, you know, I can go three, four or five days down just by looking with my

00:13:07   eyeballs. So I control click, I copy, and I either paste it into another article or

00:13:12   I paste it into a tweet or whatever. And then, you know, for 15 years, I've been pasting

00:13:18   and then delete, delete, delete, delete.

00:13:20   [laughter]

00:13:21   Sure.

00:13:22   And after 15 years of being annoyed by that every single time, because I want to delete

00:13:28   that .php extension, even though I know that I have it set up so that if you go to that

00:13:33   URL, it'll automatically redirect you. I just, it bothers me on aesthetic grounds. It's the

00:13:40   anal retentive side of John Gruber. After 15 years of being annoyed by this, I finally

00:13:45   thought, you know what, there's got to be a way I could fix this in Keyboard Maestro.

00:13:49   And of course, it took me like, I don't know, two minutes to solve it. I just have a global

00:13:55   shortcut that looks for command V in every app. And before it actually pastes Keyboard

00:14:02   Maestro looks at the clipboard sees if it sees if it matches the regular expression,

00:14:08   with HTTPS, Daring Fireball, ending with .php, and if it matches, strip the PHP from the

00:14:17   clipboard and then, no matter what, whether it matched or didn't match, actually paste

00:14:22   whatever was on the clipboard. And there's the old fuddy-duddy in me who thought, "Well,

00:14:27   wait a minute. You don't want to slow down pasting system-wide just so that once or twice

00:14:31   a week you don't have to manually delete it." And of course, it's instantaneous on a modern

00:14:35   and computer takes, you know, it obviously is technically slower, but it's slower by

00:14:40   like a thousandth of a second imperceptible. And I'm so happy, so proud of myself.

00:14:46   That's great. I was thinking, is there a utility out there that just watches your clipboard

00:14:51   and acts on it in different ways, but you're right. You could just do it at paste. Well,

00:14:54   that was my first chain. You could chain a whole bunch of different things. Like, oh,

00:14:57   if the active app is this, then do this other thing based on the contents or whatever. Yeah.

00:15:01   Right. There's also, I'm sure of other people have way more complicated things out there

00:15:05   that modify their clipboard. But anyway, KeyboardMeister is one of the most essential utilities to

00:15:10   my life that I can ever imagine. And I have other ones that are more important. This is

00:15:16   like a minor annoyance, but to me, eliminating those minor annoyances is a big deal.

00:15:21   What's the brand, the other brand of mechanical keyboard? You have a couple. A couple of years

00:15:25   ago, I was talking about one and I almost bought one of their keyboards and the big

00:15:30   problem was they had too many options. It paralyzed me. But even on this show, I talked

00:15:36   about it. They have like a little—

00:15:38   So the WASD keyboards?

00:15:40   Yeah, that's it.

00:15:41   Yeah, and they've got their own keyboards and they've got the code keyboards as well,

00:15:46   and then they've got the different sizes and then you can choose which kinds of labels

00:15:49   you've got and what colors your keys are and what the key switches are because they use

00:15:53   cheery key switches and yeah, I have one of those and it's really nice, although I don't

00:16:00   usually use it because it's too big. I really have gotten into these super compact keyboards

00:16:05   there. I want my trackpad as close to my keyboard as possible and that means like the smaller

00:16:09   so the opposite of the extended keyboard. I want it to like the least width possible.

00:16:15   But WASD has some really nice keyboards, but there are a lot of them and it's a tyranny

00:16:18   of choice because it's like, "Oh, I want the blue switches, the brown switches, the red

00:16:21   and do I want the ANSI layout or do I want the ten key list or do I want to have the

00:16:25   number pad and do I want the black keys or the white keys and it just goes on and on.

00:16:31   Here's how bad my memory is getting, Jason. Possibly yours as well. I just did a search

00:16:37   on Daring Fireball for WASD keyboards and it instantly came up. It was the talk show episode

00:16:45   - Oh yeah. - With special guest,

00:16:46   Jason Snell. - Oh yeah.

00:16:48   No, we've done this.

00:16:49   - One year ago. - We've done this before.

00:16:50   I just wanna point out to listeners of the talk show

00:16:52   that I could have mentioned baseball and I didn't.

00:16:54   Oh God, I just mentioned baseball.

00:16:55   Let's not talk about that.

00:16:57   That's the show killer.

00:16:58   - Yeah, I don't think so.

00:16:59   I think we gotta stay away from that.

00:17:00   - Yeah. - It's too, too.

00:17:02   - We did a nice bit about Keyboard Maestro there.

00:17:04   I was gonna even throw in the thing that blew me away

00:17:06   about Keyboard Maestro is that it literally,

00:17:09   because it'll drive the UI,

00:17:10   you can put, you can like take a screenshot

00:17:12   of like a part of the interface and say, find this,

00:17:17   and then click, and you can say like,

00:17:19   and then click 20 pixels to the right.

00:17:22   And like with that, you could literally,

00:17:24   it will drive anything.

00:17:26   It'll do keyboard commands, it'll click on things,

00:17:29   and you can get it to automate anything

00:17:32   you can ever imagine in macOS, which is amazing.

00:17:36   And I have used that because I have some apps

00:17:38   that are completely unscriptable.

00:17:39   - I had no idea I had that.

00:17:41   look at the screenshot and click on this.

00:17:43   - It's amazing.

00:17:44   Like I had some radio buttons that had some text on them

00:17:47   in an app that I don't use anymore,

00:17:49   but I use for a very long time,

00:17:50   which was Nicecast from Rogue Amoeba.

00:17:52   And it wasn't scriptable and it had a drawer.

00:17:55   That's how old the UI was.

00:17:57   It had a drawer with a radio button in it.

00:17:58   And I took a little screenshot of the radio button

00:18:01   and the text next to it and said, find this,

00:18:04   and then click the radio button.

00:18:06   And it totally worked.

00:18:07   But yeah, I mean, it's sort of sad that it came to that,

00:18:10   but it did it.

00:18:11   It's amazing.

00:18:12   - This is really rather uncanny though.

00:18:13   This episode with you was literally

00:18:15   the 25th of August last year.

00:18:17   And as we record, it's the 23rd.

00:18:19   - Cheers to the season.

00:18:20   - And this show will probably come out.

00:18:21   It was a Friday though.

00:18:22   So it was Friday the 25th of August when it was published.

00:18:25   This show will almost certainly be published

00:18:27   on Friday the 24th of August.

00:18:28   And I'm gonna have the same.

00:18:29   - This is the Numinos Oreos episode.

00:18:31   Yeah.

00:18:32   - My favorite side result of that episode a year ago

00:18:35   was I linked not just to WASD keyboards,

00:18:37   but WASD has a thing called the keyboard tester.

00:18:39   And it's just, it's not an electronic device.

00:18:42   It's just a little, a little thing, six key,

00:18:45   little strip, six keys wide with one of the,

00:18:48   each of the six Cherry key switches they offer.

00:18:52   And it's in addition, a nice way to sort of get

00:18:55   a basic idea of what the different key switches are.

00:18:58   Although some of them are so subtly different.

00:19:00   It is, it, it, but it also makes for one

00:19:05   of my favorite desk toys of all time.

00:19:08   It is one of the greatest desk toys of all time.

00:19:10   I've had it on my desk ever since.

00:19:12   And the funny side effect of that is I got an email

00:19:16   from the CEO of WASD Keyboards a week or two later.

00:19:20   And he was like, "I had no idea what was going on.

00:19:22   We sold out of the keyboard testers."

00:19:23   (laughs)

00:19:25   We sell three a week and all of a sudden we sold out

00:19:28   of all of them in a day and I thought we were hacked.

00:19:32   And then somebody figured out that it was your podcast.

00:19:35   And he was very nice and he was like,

00:19:38   that's fantastic, so thank you so much for linking to it.

00:19:41   Would you like me to send you a keyboard?

00:19:43   What would you like?

00:19:44   So he offered me a free keyboard

00:19:46   and I wrote back and thanked him for that.

00:19:47   And I said, let me think about it.

00:19:48   But I never wrote back because I couldn't decide.

00:19:52   - Yeah, yeah, there are a lot of decisions.

00:19:55   They ordering the keys and the fact that they can do custom

00:19:58   like any kind of key labeling you want on it too.

00:20:01   So they can like make one that looks like

00:20:03   the your extended keyboard or they've got ones that are super modern, you know, that

00:20:08   goes into it too. But yeah, they're very nice people. And you can order custom keys from

00:20:13   them and stuff and the tester is great. That also solved my problem. I did figure out which

00:20:17   key switches I preferred and that was great. So I'm looking at, you're going to love this

00:20:28   because I know that it's something that you wanted to follow up about from the Marco episode.

00:20:32   I'm looking at my pictures from the Antennagate press conference.

00:20:35   Ah, yes.

00:20:37   And you have never seen three more unhappy people than Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, and Bob

00:20:43   Mansfield in these pictures.

00:20:44   They are just miserable.

00:20:48   Nobody wants to be there.

00:20:49   It's amazing.

00:20:50   Well, the follow-up aspect of it is that on the show with Marco, we were talking about

00:20:54   that.

00:20:55   I forget how it came up.

00:20:56   the fact that I asked the question of whether, you know, that there was, it seemed to me like

00:21:02   the way that questions were going in the Q&A period, that people were starting to take the

00:21:07   tack of Apple is saying the solution to this. That's such, yeah, just Jason's photo just popped

00:21:15   into my note and they definitely do not look happy. I could see the narrative forming in the

00:21:21   questions that people were starting to say, okay, Apple says the answer to Antennagate is that

00:21:26   they're going to give everybody a free bumper and everybody should use it to avoid the problem.

00:21:30   And I asked the question whether of any of the people on stage, you know, you guys having

00:21:34   problems, do you need a bumper or, you know, I forget exactly how I phrased it. And instead

00:21:38   of saying anything, all three of them just took their iPhone 4s out of their pocket and

00:21:42   held them up and showed that they were bumper free and it, it, it lightened the mood in

00:21:46   the room. But anyway, the mis—I misremembered. I thought it might have been, I knew Mansfield

00:21:53   was there. I thought it might have been Jobs, Mansfield, and Phil Schiller on stage, but it was

00:21:57   not. It was from left to right, Tim Cook, Steve Jobs, and Big Bob Mansfield from left to right,

00:22:03   who were on stage for the Q&A after that. So that's a correction from two episodes ago.

00:22:08   Jared: Good. Good memories. I was happy to look up my pictures of that. Because, yeah, nobody,

00:22:15   Steve Jobs, I think, came back from a Hawaiian family vacation for that press conference. He

00:22:19   did not want to be there. No, he did not. But it was a masterstroke in PR management.

00:22:27   It was very as arrogant as Apple can be. I think they accurately assessed that the narrative

00:22:35   that the iPhone 4 had a crippling antenna problem was spinning out of control and they

00:22:39   needed to nip it in the bud. Yep. The other correction from the same episode is we were

00:22:46   talking about that trick of what do you do if you really miss the hardware escape key?

00:22:51   And I said something to the effect of maybe what I wish you could do and that the keyboard

00:22:58   system preference panel doesn't let you do is map the tilde key to escape, you know,

00:23:05   the little back tick tilde key, which I forget what I said about it that I don't use tilde

00:23:09   much, but I know I use backticks for code blocks in Markdown, which is in turn a problem

00:23:17   that I never foresaw when I created Markdown because certain keyboards around the world

00:23:23   don't have an easily accessed backtick character.

00:23:28   But anyway, I think it was actually Daniel Jowkett—I mentioned twice already in this

00:23:32   episode—who texted me after listening and said, "I bet you use tilde all the time.

00:23:36   You use Command-tilde to cycle through Windows."

00:23:39   I in fact do and I'd forgotten about that. But anyway, I thought that would be a good

00:23:43   tip just to mention out there for people because it might be one of those little things that

00:23:46   people don't know. But on the Mac, you can in a window in an app with multiple windows

00:23:51   open, you can use the tilde key command tilde and cycle through the open windows. Yeah,

00:23:59   I use that all the time. In fact, speaking of mechanical keyboards, I had a really weird

00:24:02   mechanical keyboard I use for a while that did not have the backtick key or at least

00:24:08   didn't have it in the right place.

00:24:09   And I had to do some keyboard maestro again,

00:24:12   using a giant tool for a really stupid job

00:24:15   to remap it to, I think maybe command escape,

00:24:18   'cause I think the escape key was in that same upper left.

00:24:21   And that was dumb, but I really needed it

00:24:24   because I suddenly couldn't cycle through windows.

00:24:27   Or type a code block in Markdown,

00:24:31   which I do from time to time.

00:24:33   And then it was just like somebody cut off

00:24:36   one of my fingers.

00:24:37   All right, let me take a break here before we really get going. I'll thank our first

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00:26:14   One of the best points of Squarespace, even if you're a really technical person who can

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00:27:21   that code talk show and you'll save 10% on your first purchase. All right. Are you on

00:27:26   the fizzy water train? I always forget who's who drinks fizzy water and who doesn't. I

00:27:31   am on the train. We have a soda stream and also we've been lately we've just been stuck

00:27:35   in the fridge with La Croix stuff too. So I everybody knows everybody listens to this

00:27:41   show knows I've been a SodaStream user for years. I really am a big fan of their product.

00:27:47   I've got the Penguin. I know they have a bunch of different ones and I think some of their

00:27:51   lower-priced ones aren't as honestly powerful. The Penguin that I have doesn't take plastic

00:27:59   bottles. It takes glass bottles and they've got a real nice top that you can squeeze on.

00:28:04   The old tops I see and the thing is that with the Penguin at least, you can carbonate it

00:28:10   as much as you want. It's not like it gets to a certain standard level of carbonation

00:28:14   and stops. You just keep pushing down on the beak of the penguin and it keeps adding more

00:28:19   carbonation and they usually they say it like it beep it like squeaks when it gets to like,

00:28:24   hey, this is pretty carbonated like what most people would consider fizzy water. I usually

00:28:28   go to about six weeks. I just give it about five, five or six more. And with the old,

00:28:33   the original caps I had with the penguin, they only lasted about six months for me because

00:28:38   Because even though they kind of screwed on and had gaskets, like the level of carbonation

00:28:42   I had in there would crack them.

00:28:44   Like the glass didn't crack, but the bottle caps did.

00:28:47   And now they have a new cap design for the last few years.

00:28:49   I still love the product.

00:28:51   But I was up with my family was up with the Marco Arment and Tiff Arment family in New

00:28:59   York at the beach a while back.

00:29:01   listen to ATP know that there was a risky moment where mid-ATP episode, a torrential downpour

00:29:09   happened. Marco realized all of the windows in the house were open. And I also remembered that I left

00:29:15   my 15-inch MacBook Pro review unit on the kitchen table, which is right next to an open window,

00:29:20   which window does not have any sort of awning. And he went over it. But I was lucky enough,

00:29:28   the lid was closed. There were a couple of drops on the on the lid, but nothing on the keyboard or

00:29:32   anything in them and the machine is fine. But apparently I still haven't gotten I'm still like

00:29:35   an episode or two behind on ATP. Haven't listened to that one yet. And apparently it was sort of

00:29:39   left up in the air with whether John Gruber's review unit was rain stretched or not. But anyway,

00:29:48   on this trip to Fire Island, New York, I found a new product and it's called house a tail,

00:29:56   you know, sort of like the computer how's New York seltzer water. And it is, it is fantastic.

00:30:03   One of the reasons it's fantastic is it seltzer water not and I'm not exactly sure on exactly

00:30:09   what the difference is between like all the different fizzy plain waters like seltzer water

00:30:16   and club soda club soda has some kind of like, like to technically be club soda you have to

00:30:20   have to have like some kind of potassium or something added. To me, when I just get like

00:30:25   a club soda at a restaurant or something, it just tastes like fizzy water to me. But

00:30:30   seltzer water is artificially carbonated, which is what I want because naturally carbonated

00:30:35   water is not fizzy enough. This house, seltzer water, is the busiest goddamn commercial seltzer

00:30:43   water I've ever seen in my life. I want you to listen. I've got a sealed bottle here.

00:30:48   if we can do that. I'm hoping I won't ruin the computer because usually even without shaking the

00:30:52   bottle and having it in the fridge for days, it'll still explode out of the bottle. Listen to this.

00:30:58   Oh, there it went. Holy cow. Got the computer a little wet. Hopefully it'll be all right.

00:31:09   It's been wet before. It's been wet before.

00:31:16   It is fantastic. And here's the thing. Here's the thing that's really got me going and it's got my

00:31:20   whole family addicted to it is that they have a black cherry version. It's just some kind of

00:31:26   natural black cherry flavoring, zero calories, no sweeteners at all. But it sort of tastes like

00:31:32   unsweetened Dr Pepper, which is one of my all time. In fact, I don't really drink sugar soda

00:31:38   water anymore. But back when I did, I love to Dr Pepper. This stuff is absolutely fantastic.

00:31:45   and you can get it mail or you go to the how old New York just Google house New York seltzer

00:31:52   water they don't sell directly but they have links to two distributors who do and it's

00:31:55   somewhat reasonably priced but anyway I gotta throw that out there tell my fizzy water drinking

00:32:02   listeners but I'm telling you when you get the first bottle watch out this stuff is explosive

00:32:12   - Yeah, you know, I've been buying,

00:32:14   the Firestone Brewery makes a stout that I really like

00:32:20   that is called the Velvet Merlin,

00:32:22   which always makes me laugh because I know,

00:32:24   I know somebody named Merlin.

00:32:26   - That's actually my nickname for Merlin.

00:32:28   - It's the Velvet Merlin, sure.

00:32:29   Well, they now have a nitro Merlin that they have in a can.

00:32:33   So it's nitro bubbles instead of carbon dioxide.

00:32:37   So it's nitrogen bubbles, so they're smaller.

00:32:39   And the idea is that it's more like a traditional

00:32:41   kind of Irish stout where it's creamier and the little bubbles have this kind of effect

00:32:46   where it starts out looking completely white with bubbles and then the bubbles all just

00:32:51   kind of like slowly migrate to the top. It puts on a show. But anyway, it is fascinating

00:32:57   because it is counterintuitive to how you always have been taught to deal with fizzy

00:33:02   objects that are in pressurized containers. The side of the Nitro Merlin can says, "Flip

00:33:08   can up and down at least three times to then open and pour it as hard as possible into

00:33:16   a glass. Because the idea is you really actually want to agitate those nitro bubbles and get

00:33:21   them out of there, which is great. It is huge fun. It is a show every time I open one, but

00:33:26   I will say when you open it, you will get stout fizz just sort of aerated all over you.

00:33:35   It's part of the show, I guess.

00:33:41   I really was joking when I thought that this would fizz all over my lap. It is all over

00:33:47   my shirt, and there's quite a bit on this MacBook. Seems okay. Good test of that membrane

00:33:55   cover, I guess.

00:33:57   Sure.

00:33:58   Well, all right, that brings us to, I guess, to the news.

00:34:05   I wrote this week about this, as I call it, this new MacBook Air successor thing, which

00:34:13   is effective.

00:34:14   What I tried to do is I tried to square three things.

00:34:18   In terms of what Apple might be doing with MacBooks, the MacBook lineup, for the rest

00:34:22   of this year. Because just last month, they updated the Touch Bar MacBook Pros 13-inch

00:34:29   and 15-inch with faster processors, true tone displays, and this third generation butterfly

00:34:38   keyboard that has some kind of membrane that supposedly keeps out dust, etc. But they didn't

00:34:44   update the non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro 13-inch, aka the MacBook Escape, didn't update the

00:34:51   the 12-inch MacBook and Apple hasn't updated the MacBook Air since the late 1990s or so

00:34:59   it seems. So I tried to speculate what Apple might do that would make sense for Apple,

00:35:08   what Apple might do that would be appealing to customers.

00:35:12   And then the third thing I tried to do is square it with what has been reported by Bloomberg's

00:35:18   Mark Gurman, who had a piece earlier this week.

00:35:21   And he had written about it a few months ago,

00:35:25   right before WWDC, which, and DigiTimes,

00:35:30   a Chinese or Taiwanese, I forget,

00:35:32   trade paper that often has rumors,

00:35:34   especially from the display industry had written.

00:35:38   And I think Ming-Chi Kuo, I didn't link to him,

00:35:39   but even Ming-Chi Kuo,

00:35:41   who usually only writes about iPhones and iPads,

00:35:43   he had something to say about it.

00:35:46   and trying to square all three of those things,

00:35:49   what Apple would do that's good for Apple

00:35:52   and what was appealing to customers

00:35:55   and what fits with this reporting is really hard to do

00:35:59   and took me, I thought this would be great

00:36:02   and it often works like this for me at least

00:36:04   is I think this is something

00:36:05   that I would love to write about.

00:36:07   It doesn't seem like anybody else has really written about.

00:36:09   It seems like people are confused already

00:36:12   by what I'm trying to say

00:36:13   because when I first linked to the Gurman story,

00:36:16   I was trying to make all the points

00:36:18   I ended up spending 2000 words making,

00:36:22   and therefore it's no surprise that I was misunderstood.

00:36:26   But it is complicated,

00:36:29   and I can think of nobody better to talk about it with

00:36:31   than somebody who I've talked about MacBook lineups with

00:36:35   many times before.

00:36:36   - It is super complicated,

00:36:38   and I laughed when I read your piece

00:36:40   about how you started thinking one thing,

00:36:42   then halfway through you're like, "Wait a second," and started to think of something

00:36:46   else because that has happened to me too, writing and talking about this issue because

00:36:51   there is sometimes, you know, there are Apple rumors and it's just like very clear what

00:36:56   the product is going to be. But with this, there are a bunch of different ways that could

00:36:59   go. None of them feels, as you elaborate, none of them feels particularly satisfying

00:37:05   like, "Oh, oh, that's it. That's the one they're going to do," because they all involve kind

00:37:09   choices that seem kind of un-Apple-like, which I think is rooted in this idea that I know

00:37:13   you and I have talked about, that the MacBook, which I think somebody thought at some point

00:37:19   in the process that that would replace the MacBook Air, but at $12.99 it's $300 too expensive

00:37:25   to replace the MacBook Air, and that that seems to have surprised somebody somewhere

00:37:29   at Apple and has led them in this weird position where they couldn't get rid of the Air, and

00:37:33   now what do they replace it with? And I think that's part of the problem here is that

00:37:39   that they're still kind of like trying to figure out

00:37:41   how to deal with the fact that they've got

00:37:43   the MacBook Pro Escape 13-inch,

00:37:46   they've got the MacBook,

00:37:48   and then they've got this MacBook Air,

00:37:49   and like they seem to have rationalized

00:37:51   kind of the top pro level of their laptops this year,

00:37:55   but the consumer part is the other shoe that has to drop,

00:38:00   and we all know it.

00:38:01   The fact that the Escape didn't get updated

00:38:03   also suggests that something is going on there.

00:38:05   I wonder about if it's really gonna stay a MacBook Pro,

00:38:08   or if it's gonna graduate to, or get demoted or whatever

00:38:11   to something else, but something's gotta give

00:38:14   'cause they can't keep selling that MacBook Air forever.

00:38:16   But as you've said, none of the suspects

00:38:21   are like the stone cold lock where you're like,

00:38:24   that's what they're gonna do.

00:38:25   - Yeah, there's so many ways it could turn out

00:38:27   and I'd be like, okay, I get it.

00:38:28   But none of them are to me like in advance a lock.

00:38:31   And the one thing that blinded me at first,

00:38:36   and I think you'll agree, I think you'll be in,

00:38:39   say you're in the same boat with me on this,

00:38:41   is that there have been times

00:38:43   when Apple's entire portable strategy,

00:38:46   and I know that I just, for the first time in my life,

00:38:48   I noticed this week while researching this going back,

00:38:52   that when Apple needs a word,

00:38:54   I don't think they're 100% consistent on this.

00:38:57   I think they've said the word laptop at some point

00:39:00   and maybe said notebook at some point,

00:39:02   but rather than laptop or notebook,

00:39:03   and I often equivocate between the two,

00:39:06   Because my problem with laptop is it implies you have to use it on your lap.

00:39:11   Like and I very seldom, other than when I'm on an airplane, use my portable computer on

00:39:18   my actual lap.

00:39:21   But if you use the word laptop, people know what it means, right?

00:39:24   And maybe it's just like forget about the origins.

00:39:27   People know what you mean when you say a laptop.

00:39:31   But I've noticed that Apple often calls them portables, you know, portable Mac.

00:39:36   But anyway, so I'll use the word portable.

00:39:37   But Apple's portable Mac lineup at times has had extraordinary clarity dating back

00:39:44   to like the original little quadrant that Steve Jobs had in 1998 of, "Look, we've

00:39:50   got portables and desktops and we have consumer products and professional products and our

00:39:59   portable consumer product is the iBook

00:40:02   and our portable professional is the,

00:40:05   at the time, PowerBook.

00:40:07   And maybe there's multiple PowerBooks,

00:40:09   usually there's multiple PowerBooks,

00:40:11   but at least the basic idea of the lineup

00:40:13   has this sort of clarity.

00:40:15   And when there were, you know,

00:40:19   maybe eight years later

00:40:20   when there were those plastic MacBooks,

00:40:23   remember when the black MacBook

00:40:25   cost more than the white one,

00:40:26   even though it was the same material?

00:40:28   Oh, yeah, I had one of those I paid the black tax on that for sure

00:40:32   I I never had one of those but I would have absolutely paid the black tax on that because

00:40:38   I've always if I have the choice between a black and white, I don't think I've ever chosen

00:40:43   white

00:40:46   It I always think of that when I think of the the premium that they charge on the new

00:40:51   keyboard and mouse and trackpad for the iMac Pro

00:40:54   Like it's

00:40:58   Everybody knows they're cool. Everybody knows darker is cooler, but

00:41:01   But that was a very clear lineup the plastic

00:41:04   Macbooks

00:41:06   versus the aluminum MacBook Pros and then just looking at the specs and you know

00:41:11   Everything about them it that why this one cost more than that one and why you might want one over the other was very clear

00:41:18   And then I think that the clearest that the Apple laptop line has ever been

00:41:24   and and maybe like that it's it's just the high water mark was when the the

00:41:29   the MacBook Air

00:41:32   First took over the low end and and they didn't have anything. They no longer had a computer called just the MacBook

00:41:39   Maybe naming wise that didn't quite make as much sense. But when it was an

00:41:44   899

00:41:45   11 inch MacBook Air a

00:41:47   999 starting point 13 inch MacBook Air and

00:41:52   and then thicker, heavier MacBook Pros of 13 and 15

00:41:57   at a higher price point, that was, to me, very clear.

00:42:02   And I don't know that the lower end models

00:42:05   had ever or even since have ever been so appealing

00:42:09   in terms of there were people who could afford

00:42:12   a $3,000 MacBook Pro and were happy with

00:42:15   a slightly upgraded 1199 MacBook Air

00:42:19   because they actually preferred it in every way.

00:42:22   I was one of those people. I mean, I have a right near me, right over my shoulder right

00:42:26   now, an i7, maybe? MacBook Air 11-inch, right? Like, maxed out settings, but in this little

00:42:36   tiny MacBook Air. So, I always like those. And I think you're right. There was some clarity.

00:42:43   Again, I keep coming back to like the root of this, the kind of original sin of this

00:42:50   to me in the retina transition on the laptops, the MacBook could, the MacBook design they

00:42:57   made to replace the MacBook Air was more expensive than they thought it would be. And although

00:43:04   there's plenty of profit margin built in there, you know that Apple has some rules internally

00:43:09   about what every product has to throw off in terms of margin. And for whatever reason,

00:43:15   that MacBook ended up being way more expensive than I suspect they intended. Because I got

00:43:19   to think that MacBook was intended to be eventually to rest at, if not $999, then like $1099,

00:43:27   and they just haven't been able to do it. And so then there's this like, "Well, wait

00:43:30   a second, we renamed this as the MacBook." And that's one of your big questions in your

00:43:35   article is like, "What do you even call it?" Let's assume that it's not actually a MacBook

00:43:39   Air because I don't think it will be, but that there's a new model, a new model that's

00:43:44   intended to be sub $1000, assuming that there's no way for them to get the MacBook to start

00:43:49   at $999, which they might be able to do, but it's so compromised that I don't know whether

00:43:54   people would rush to buy it like they did the MacBook Air. But let's just assume there's

00:43:58   a new model. What name do they give it? Because they already took generic plain MacBook and

00:44:06   put it in the 12-inch that we know, and if they make like a 13-inch model but it isn't

00:44:12   as nice and it costs less so you're paying more for a smaller laptop, like they could

00:44:16   do that but I wouldn't say that that provides crystal clarity to the line and so that I

00:44:23   think that's at the root of us looking at this and scratching our heads is that to a

00:44:27   certain degree they're going to be doing I think a little bit of damage control because

00:44:31   they just didn't quite it didn't happen the way they thought maybe it would happen originally

00:44:36   yeah and I don't by any means think that the 12-inch MacBook is a dud or a failure I see

00:44:40   a fair amount of them my daughter has one and she loves it and I play around with it

00:44:45   and I think it's really great and if I wasn't using my iPad so much now I would almost certainly

00:44:50   have gotten that 12 inch MacBook because it's so light and you know it's it's it's fun it's

00:44:57   not gonna you know it's not a professional tool but it is it's pretty great the screen

00:45:02   is gorgeous and it's super small and light and it gets great battery life yeah my daughter

00:45:07   loves her, absolutely loves it.

00:45:09   I am 98% sure that—and again, this doesn't prove that he actually uses it on a regular

00:45:18   basis. I mean, it might have been his choice. But when there was that weird, "Hey, we're

00:45:24   going to do a Mac Pro thing at Apple," where they had me and Panzorino and Lance Ulanoff

00:45:30   and John Petzkowski and, you know, Fried, I think that was everybody who was invited.

00:45:36   the five of us and they were doing it. She had a little PowerPoint presentation for some

00:45:41   of, you know, just for what he wanted to talk through and it was on a MacBook, a 12 inch

00:45:45   MacBook and he was going through it and I really do get the impression that that was

00:45:49   his MacBook, you know, that he made this because it wasn't a big deal. I mean, why wouldn't

00:45:53   it be? It was his MacBook and he was talking about it at one point and he had it on the

00:45:58   whole time and I don't know, we were like an hour and five minutes into it and he like

00:46:01   turned it around. He was like, look, I've still got 99% battery life. I mean, it's really

00:46:05   a term and he's like, I love this thing, but it really is a tremendous computer. But I

00:46:11   do think that there's an awful lot of people who look at it and think it's too small. Like,

00:46:15   I think people look at a 13 inch laptop and think that's a normal laptop size. And you

00:46:22   know, 13 inches actually, you know, at least by Apple's 13 inches 13.3 and those little

00:46:28   point threes, you know, measure up like a third, you know, the the 12 inch MacBook looks,

00:46:34   know 12 and 13 don't sound like vastly different numbers but when you look at a

00:46:37   MacBook next to a 13 inch MacBook Pro it looks tiny truly tiny and I really feel

00:46:44   like it might be too small to be their best-selling model yeah I think so I

00:46:48   mean as an 11 inch MacBook Air user it was definitely an outlier and most

00:46:52   people thought that was a bridge too far to go down to 11 inches but the 13 work

00:46:56   for them yeah and I was for years you know longtime listeners at the show know

00:47:00   that I I think my current 30 personal 13 inch MacBook Pro is might be my longest running personally used

00:47:08   Laptop, and if it's not it probably will be by the time I replace it because I've had it at least four years at this

00:47:13   point

00:47:14   and love it, but I had an 11 inch MacBook Air for a long time and

00:47:18   Really liked it in a lot of ways

00:47:21   and

00:47:22   Especially when traveling man that thing was just it's just um was just um, but I had I forget which you know

00:47:28   Tom Bihn has like 30 different gazillion little over-the-shoulder bags, but I got one that

00:47:33   was meant for an 11-inch Air.

00:47:38   And honestly, I could sometimes be getting on an airplane and I just couldn't believe

00:47:43   how small this bag was with a complete MacBook setup in it.

00:47:48   It just seemed impossible.

00:47:52   And come to think of it, I never really thought about this before, but the years when I was

00:47:55   using that 11-inch MacBook Air as my travel computer was when my son was a lot younger.

00:48:01   And anybody who's traveled with even just one young child, you really wind up schlepping an

00:48:10   awful lot of stuff in and out of cars, cabs, monorails, and airport overhead bins. So it

00:48:22   sounds ridiculous to think that the difference between an 11 and 13 inch MacBook Air would really

00:48:26   make it, but it, whether it really, really did, it made me think it did, you know, it really felt

00:48:32   like, well, at least I'm saving something here. Oh yeah, every time I open the thing up, I'm like,

00:48:37   oh, it's so, it's so small, right? And, and although my daughter's computer does the same

00:48:42   thing, right? That 12 inch MacBook. So, so, okay. So what is it then? What is this thing? I would

00:48:47   say that also that in the Bloomberg story, they don't actually say, they kind of put it in the

00:48:52   context of the MacBook Air, but they don't say what it's actually going to cost, just

00:48:56   that it's low cost and that it's sort of a replacement for the MacBook Air. It's all

00:49:00   very hazy. And again, Mark Gurman, great sources. The facts he reports, I believe are facts.

00:49:06   I believe it. But then they have to build a story around it, and then we all kind of

00:49:09   add our own assumptions. So what do you think? Like, what is this thing? What is it going

00:49:15   to be?

00:49:16   Right. What I tried to point out when I first linked to this report was that I maybe I should

00:49:20   is stuck to saying this raises more questions than it answers. And there's this whole contingent

00:49:25   of people who I point these things out about Gurman reports publicly. And then I get so

00:49:31   much Twitter feedback of why are you jealous? Why do you hate Gurman? Why? You know, it's

00:49:35   a bad look, john, why do you always every time Gurman has one of these reports, you

00:49:38   should all over it. You know, it's a bad look. He's doing great work. He's better writer

00:49:42   than you. I mean, I get it all. And that's it. It doesn't really bother me except that

00:49:47   I feel like I'm being misunderstood and I worry that I don't worry that people are saying that

00:49:51   about me. I just worry that I'm failing as a writer because I've clearly failed to convey what

00:49:55   I'm trying to say, which is that basically this report, let's just take it all as true. And he

00:50:02   usually is right. And what he wrote here, I wouldn't be surprised if it's word for word true,

00:50:07   raises a lot more questions than it provides answers. And I'm not criticizing him. You know,

00:50:11   He's got a scoop here that nobody else seems to have,

00:50:14   but either his source doesn't know,

00:50:19   knows that it's coming out

00:50:22   and knows that it's supposed to be low cost

00:50:24   and knows that it looks, quote, similar

00:50:26   to the current MacBook Air and doesn't know anything else,

00:50:29   or he has a source who does know more

00:50:32   but wasn't willing to tell him more,

00:50:34   or wasn't willing to tell him more for publication.

00:50:38   There's all sorts of ways that that could work out.

00:50:41   And I feel like what some people who,

00:50:43   and people aren't supposed to know the inside baseball.

00:50:47   And it's like the people who compliment me sometimes

00:50:49   when I write things like this are like colleagues, you know?

00:50:53   And I say, hey, that was good when you called that out

00:50:55   or on something, something.

00:50:56   What people who aren't in the industry,

00:51:01   who aren't writers don't really think about

00:51:03   is they don't think about who the source is.

00:51:05   I read this story and I immediately think,

00:51:07   well, who could possibly be the source for this

00:51:09   and why wouldn't they know more?

00:51:10   And then I immediately think, oh wait, they might know more.

00:51:13   And either didn't tell him or told him

00:51:18   and insisted that he couldn't publish more than what he did.

00:51:21   - Yeah, my gut feeling with all of these,

00:51:24   and I agree with you,

00:51:25   always ask why somebody's giving the information out

00:51:30   and who they are.

00:51:32   Because that's like fundamental,

00:51:33   like every time that there's like a controversial thing

00:51:36   about a project that's been killed or something like that,

00:51:38   it's like, who would be motivated to do that?

00:51:40   So just something like this, I imagine the way Apple is siloed, that this is somebody

00:51:45   who has heard or knows a little bit, but doesn't know the whole story. And they're happy to

00:51:50   give Mark Gurman tidbits. That's like literally all they know. And I think Gurman, again,

00:51:57   I really think highly of him. I think he does a great job as a reporter. I think in the

00:52:01   context of Bloomberg, as opposed to back when he was on 9to5Mac, Bloomberg wants him to

00:52:08   these kind of larger narratives in which his stuff is embedded and it can lead to us all

00:52:15   looking at the story and going, "Well, wait a second. There's a thousand words here, but

00:52:19   there's really like five facts." And I think it doesn't, you know, sometimes those stories

00:52:24   are really great when he's got a lot of extra tidbits, but when he doesn't have a lot of

00:52:29   extra tidbits, it comes across that they're trying to create kind of a really thin gruel,

00:52:34   They're trying to stretch their what they've got by putting in a lot of water or a lot

00:52:39   of filler. And I think this is a good example of that because we don't know a lot. He doesn't

00:52:44   know a lot, but he has some tidbits. Like he's basically saying, and I believe him,

00:52:47   like low-cost laptop coming into the Mac line is going to happen. Like totally great. But

00:52:53   whoever he talked to, you're right, either wouldn't say or I think more likely doesn't

00:52:59   know because like above it's above their pay grade. Like they're working in a part of Apple

00:53:03   where they got like a little bit of a glancing blow like where they're like I know just enough

00:53:10   but no more because those people are probably either aware that they're being surveilled or

00:53:15   are very good employees who want to make sure that it's a secret. Right, so just to reiterate

00:53:22   for anybody you know I go over this in my article but it's good to talk about but like the actual

00:53:26   facts about this machine that he that his report lists and it is I should add it is co-bylined

00:53:32   with Debbie Wu at Bloomberg. So we're making some assumptions here about the sources coming

00:53:38   from Germin and who knows, they could have come from Debbie Wu. So it, you know, no slight

00:53:43   intended but I don't, you know, I think most people assume that the sources are Ghermans

00:53:48   and maybe some of the rest of the narrative comes from her but so we'll just say Bloomberg.

00:53:54   We don't know. Yeah, right. We don't know. But Apple will release a new low cost laptop

00:54:01   a professional-focused upgrade to the Mac Mini desktop later this year.

00:54:05   All right, we can get back to this new Mac Mini later.

00:54:11   Next paragraph, according to people familiar with the plans.

00:54:16   The new laptop will look similar to the current MacBook Air, but will include thinner bezels

00:54:22   around the screen.

00:54:23   The display, which will remain about 13 inches, will be a higher resolution "retina" version

00:54:28   that Apple uses on other products that people said.

00:54:32   And that's it.

00:54:33   That is literally the entire description of this.

00:54:36   And the thing-- like I said, I have these assumptions

00:54:40   that Apple wants to get back to a simple lineup of MacBooks

00:54:44   and MacBook Pros.

00:54:48   One, two, that may be a bad assumption,

00:54:51   and I've revisited.

00:54:53   I think there's an awful lot of people out there.

00:54:55   I know that there's a lot of people.

00:54:57   I hear it on Twitter.

00:54:57   I hear it see it in my email from during fireball

00:54:59   I know that there are a lot of people who for three or four years have been clamoring for one specific thing

00:55:05   just take the MacBook Air and put a retina display on it that the one and only thing they don't like about the Mac book air

00:55:11   as Apple has continued to sell it is the lack of a

00:55:14   Retina display. Yeah, and I even saw people I don't know at this point

00:55:18   I think enough years have gone by that people sort of expect now that a retin-am MacBook Air would would take over at $9.99

00:55:25   And I think looking at the market, that's reasonable, especially for a retina display.

00:55:31   There's all sorts of other technologies that have cryptin to displays like higher

00:55:35   brightness levels and significantly wider color gamuts.

00:55:40   And now we even have, I'm looking at one right now, one with true tone.

00:55:45   Apple could fulfill… the number one thing that people want is retina.

00:55:50   So it could be a lower cost retina that doesn't have true tone and maybe the wide color gamut.

00:55:55   or something like that. And most people would be just fine with that. All they want is just take a

00:56:01   MacBook Air and stick a goddamn retina screen on it. I mean, and there's a lot of people

00:56:04   who've wanted that for a while, who still want it. And when they read this report from Mark

00:56:09   Gurman, what they read was, "Apple is going to take the MacBook Air and stick a retina screen in

00:56:16   it and lower the, you know, small enough the bezels." Yeah. And that is, it doesn't follow,

00:56:21   especially since the way it's phrased like looks similar to the MacBook Air. Oh, do you mean that it's gonna be an aluminum laptop?

00:56:27   I mean, right?

00:56:29   Like they all look like the MacBook Air.

00:56:31   Every day in some sense every computer Apple makes right now looks similar to the MacBook Air.

00:56:38   The 13th, you know,

00:56:41   maybe if we want to you could rule out the 15-inch, right?

00:56:44   You can say 15-inch doesn't look like the MacBook Air except you could say it looks like a bigger MacBook Air.

00:56:50   Yeah, right, so I'm not sure I kind of discount that like looks kind of like the MacBook Air

00:56:55   statement as being almost no information like right we can just discount that but it is

00:57:00   I agree. I mean, it's funny the things that people wanted and don't want like for lots

00:57:06   of good reasons like USB a ports magsafe SD card slot like there's so many reasons other

00:57:12   than the retina screen and the fact that it is a processor architecture that would the

00:57:17   whole internals would have to be redone because they have run out of road on that processor

00:57:21   and they want a more modern processor in there. But I feel like what you and I know about

00:57:25   Apple is if they're going to put time into doing a new piece of hardware, they want to

00:57:28   be able to ride it for a few years and to rebuild the internals of a MacBook Air and

00:57:34   yet keep everything else the same. I just I can't imagine them doing that, which is

00:57:38   if I had to guess today, I'm just and I may I reserve the right to go back on this immediately,

00:57:43   while we're talking, but if I had to guess today, what I would say is they're going to

00:57:48   do two things. They're going to, I mean, they'll update the MacBook, right? And hopefully maybe

00:57:52   even cut the price on it a little bit, but I think they're going to do two other things.

00:57:56   I think I want to predict, who knows what, I have no information, I'm just guessing,

00:58:00   that they really want to kind of push that MacBook escape down, maybe even take the name

00:58:06   Pro off of it. And that would be a good kind of like MacBook companion. There's the MacBook

00:58:13   12 and the MacBook 13 and here they are. And then there's going to be another model with

00:58:18   a probably a different name that is going to cut lots of corners. It's going to use

00:58:25   stuff that is not up to the level of the hardware that's in the other laptops and that's going

00:58:33   allow Apple to maintain margin and be under a thousand. And I don't know what you call

00:58:37   that. I still think it's not going to be like a hunk of plastic. It's still going to be

00:58:40   an aluminum enclosure. But if I had to guess, based on this Germin report and the other

00:58:44   reports that we've seen, that they may have just finally at some point said, "You know

00:58:48   what? We just need to make an official, cheap, not as good laptop to replace the Air." But

00:58:54   I still think it's going to have USB-C and, you know, and charge via USB-C and all of

00:59:00   the things that are in modern Mac laptops. I don't think they're gonna just make a MacBook

00:59:05   Air with a new chip inside and a retina screen. Right. Even though I think that that's what

00:59:09   a lot of people in fact, even if I wrote it and tried to make the case against that people

00:59:12   are like, well, I hope you're wrong and they still do that. And it's like, well, I wish

00:59:15   you good luck. And you know, and of course, the other thing that people along those exact

00:59:19   same lines that people are very adamantly hoping will not change is the keyboard. And

00:59:26   Yeah, I just don't think that's... No, I get it. I totally... You and I, you said in your piece,

00:59:32   like, we totally get it. I wrote a piece earlier this year for Macworld called something like

00:59:36   MacBook Air, Why Won't It Die? And people are like, "Why are you trying to kill the MacBook

00:59:40   Air?" And I'm like, "No, no, no, no." The piece is basically like, people won't let it die. They

00:59:45   keep buying it because they like it and they like MagSafe and they like the keyboard and they like

00:59:49   the SD card slot and they like USB-A, like all of these things that Apple thought were like selling

00:59:53   points of the new generation of laptops and people are like "not really" and the only things you can

00:59:58   say are the processor could be faster and it should have a retina display. So you know totally get it.

01:00:04   I just don't believe that Apple will would put in all that effort to just make kind of a new version

01:00:10   of five years ago's laptop which is what kind of word we're saying it would be. Yeah and you know

01:00:16   it is funny because I know that there's I think there's a Dell where you know like the bezels

01:00:23   surrounding the current MacBook Pros, these latest ones, are significantly smaller than

01:00:29   the bezels on any MacBook Apple's ever made. I strongly suspect that if this new thing

01:00:37   is a low-cost computer, that the bezels, that's about the best you can hope for. But there

01:00:44   are other laptop makers out there, like I think Dell in particular, who have laptops

01:00:50   with bezels that make even the MacBook Pros look small.

01:00:53   Everybody's in phones, tablets, everywhere,

01:00:57   everybody's in a race to get edge-to-edge screens.

01:01:00   And aesthetically, I can see why.

01:01:03   But even if, and then you look at the Air,

01:01:08   and the Air, as we know it today,

01:01:10   really does have ancient-looking bezels.

01:01:13   They're not even, they're not even black.

01:01:17   there's like this big gray thick picture frame around the display.

01:01:21   Yeah. I mean it is,

01:01:22   it is very old display tech cause they never changed that screen and there's

01:01:27   nice things about it because it's the super thin. Uh,

01:01:31   I always liked it because I thought it was,

01:01:32   had much less glare on it than the full sheet of glass on a Mac book pro.

01:01:37   I always liked the display on it other than the fact that it's not retina.

01:01:40   It's still like really nice.

01:01:41   But the trade off is that you get rid of that whole edge to edge sheet of glass,

01:01:46   but it means you got a big silver rectangle

01:01:49   that you're looking through to see your screen.

01:01:51   And that's Apple-designed styling

01:01:54   of like eight years ago, 10 years ago, it's super old.

01:01:57   So I can't imagine them sticking with something like that.

01:02:01   Technology's also advanced a lot in 10 years.

01:02:03   So I think that the kind of thing that they would use

01:02:05   may be more akin to a MacBook.

01:02:06   But I do keep coming back to that.

01:02:08   I was thinking about the Microsoft Surface laptop,

01:02:12   Surface notebook, I forget what it's called,

01:02:13   but it's the one that's a pure laptop.

01:02:15   It's not a tablet or a convertible, it's the laptop.

01:02:17   And they got that to start at 999.

01:02:20   - Yes. - And it looks very much

01:02:21   like a MacBook Air, but how did they do it?

01:02:22   It is this, to take a word from the car world,

01:02:27   it's decontenting, where it's just like,

01:02:29   its specs are terrible, but it starts at 999.

01:02:33   And I do have that question sometimes of like,

01:02:35   would Apple in the Tim Cook era do something

01:02:38   that Apple kind of has shied away from in the past,

01:02:40   which is to make an entry-level system

01:02:42   where the specs are really not very good.

01:02:45   Apple tends to sort of say, no, no, no, below here,

01:02:47   we're not gonna even go

01:02:49   because it's not a good enough experience.

01:02:50   But it would be one way to get those laptops

01:02:53   down under a thousand 'cause that's what Microsoft did.

01:02:55   And like you look at that 999 Surface laptop

01:02:59   and you don't want it.

01:03:00   Like you don't want that model.

01:03:02   You want one that's a couple hundred dollars more,

01:03:04   but they can say that it starts at 999

01:03:06   and that's important for buying psychology.

01:03:09   But I do fear like all the schools that are like,

01:03:11   yeah, that's great.

01:03:12   We're going to get that laptop.

01:03:13   It's like, no, you don't want that laptop.

01:03:15   If schools are even buying Surface laptops,

01:03:17   they probably aren't.

01:03:18   They're probably just buying Chromebooks.

01:03:19   - I think you're talking about the Surface Book.

01:03:22   - Surface Book, that's it.

01:03:22   Yeah, the one that, the one,

01:03:24   it's not the one where it like has the weird bendy hinge.

01:03:28   It's the one that's just a MacBook Air.

01:03:29   It's just a Microsoft MacBook Air.

01:03:33   - Yeah, I think.

01:03:34   But I know what you mean.

01:03:35   And to some extent, Apple has clearly already been doing

01:03:38   that by continuing to sell this MacBook Air.

01:03:40   The MacBook Air, when you go in and say,

01:03:42   I want the 999 MacBook Air. You're not just getting a non retina screen, which is really

01:03:47   It in my opinion embarrassing in 2018, but it only has eight

01:03:52   Gigabytes of RAM it you can't even build the order to get more RAM

01:03:56   Literally the MacBook Air every MacBook Air gets eight gigs of RAM and you'll like it

01:04:02   and the default one only has 128 gigabytes of SSD storage, which I think is I

01:04:08   I mean, it's not terrible.

01:04:10   I know that the way that SSD doubles in these powers of two,

01:04:14   that going from 64 to 128 got them over the hump

01:04:19   of being usable for people as their main computer.

01:04:23   But 128 is pretty bad today.

01:04:26   But I wouldn't be surprised to see,

01:04:29   to hit that 999 mark if the new one comes out

01:04:32   and it still is at 128 for that 999 config.

01:04:35   - And so real time follow up,

01:04:37   It's the Surface Laptop.

01:04:38   - Okay, Surface Laptop.

01:04:40   - And it's the one that's got the kind of fabric cover on it

01:04:42   but it's a laptop and it looks kind of like a MacBook Air.

01:04:45   And it actually starts at $799.

01:04:47   But again, that is not a configuration that you would want.

01:04:51   So I do think about that sometimes,

01:04:53   like would Apple do that?

01:04:54   And like literally like one of the ways

01:04:56   you get down under a thousand

01:04:57   isn't by inventing a whole brand new computer

01:04:59   that is made with cheaper technology,

01:05:01   although they could do that.

01:05:03   One way to get down there is to do something

01:05:05   that they're very good at actually, which is, you know, you make a base configuration

01:05:10   and then all of the upgrades are kind of pricey so that the average selling price of a laptop

01:05:16   is still pretty high even though they now have something that's $999.

01:05:21   Right. And figure out a way to make it so that anybody could at least, you know, most

01:05:27   people could at least see, "Oh yeah, maybe I do want to spend a little bit more to get

01:05:31   it." Right. But to your point, it would be a hard,

01:05:34   currently designed the MacBook escape kind of can't go down there so they one possibility

01:05:38   is that the MacBook escape gets kind of like redesigned into something that's cheaper but

01:05:43   like I said earlier I think I think it maybe is more likely that there's just a new model

01:05:48   that doesn't have all the great stuff in it and it's not you know that Apple was a little

01:05:54   I think that this is the truth of the of the MacBook and of the retina MacBooks in general

01:05:58   with this generation is Apple was a little too aggressive with pushing the new expensive

01:06:05   tech, thinking people would really love it. And they don't love, love it, and it's more

01:06:11   expensive than they thought, and that has made this like space beneath. So maybe there's

01:06:16   yeah, maybe there's something that's just a little not as nice, but still a Mac, still

01:06:21   a good laptop, and something that is going to appeal to all those people who are, I mean,

01:06:26   Because let's be honest here, there are people still buying MacBook Airs in 2018 at $999.

01:06:30   Oh, absolutely. Right now, today, it is the best-selling Mac that they make. I don't know

01:06:35   this for a fact, but I'm convinced that it's true.

01:06:37   Sure feels like it, right? With the exception of when there's pent-up demand for a brand

01:06:40   new model, I think in general, over the long haul, I think you're probably right. And so

01:06:45   I don't think there's an argument to be made that says, "Oh, people aren't going to want

01:06:48   to buy a laptop that's made with cheaper substandard materials than the stuff that's available."

01:06:53   doing it now. It's like a three-year-old Intel processor in there and a non-retina display

01:07:01   and those big bezels and yeah, some features we like, like the keyboard and the MagSafe,

01:07:06   but like the people who are buying the Air are not going to get turned away because it's

01:07:11   not as nice as the Pro. That's not going to be an issue.

01:07:17   Right. I totally agree. I think anybody I don't think anybody I just think we've gotten to the point where for most people a

01:07:24   Three-year-old CPU in the in the MacBook Air is not a problem

01:07:29   They don't even care their eyes just glaze over if you told them if you just mentioned to them the better

01:07:34   CPU in the MacBook Pro their eyes just glaze over and even the things that they might understand the easiest like the

01:07:41   Gigahertz clock speeds are very close, you know, like the advantage to the you know

01:07:46   the pro is that it has more cores. It doesn't even sound that much faster. Like, people

01:07:52   who listen to this show and you and I might know that it is actually a lot faster, but

01:07:56   real people don't see it and they're not doing anything where they're hitting the CPU anyway.

01:08:00   And the only thing, if they gave any crap about games, they may not even be buying a

01:08:06   Mac like laptop in the first place. And they certainly wouldn't be looking at the MacBook

01:08:10   Air. So in terms of the GPU, as long as it plays full screen video, what else do they

01:08:17   do that is graphically intensive, right? And everything plays full screen video just fine

01:08:22   now.

01:08:23   Yeah, it's true. That's the thing is...

01:08:25   So I think Apple could really cheap out on CPU/GPU.

01:08:29   I don't think...

01:08:30   Well, certainly like the MacBook, right? They could use the... They don't call it Core M

01:08:33   anymore, but it's the cheap i3 or i5 and maybe slower SSD.

01:08:38   And I mean, and they could do, if they wanted,

01:08:41   they could just do USB-C and not Thunderbolt.

01:08:44   They could do that if they wanted to.

01:08:45   Like they've got lots of options to make something

01:08:48   that's still gonna be just fine for most people.

01:08:52   - What if they came out with a new quote unquote

01:08:54   MacBook Air and it had a retina screen

01:08:57   and it like geek bench slower than the old MacBook Air.

01:09:01   There's a certain contingent of people who know what Geekbench is whose heads would explode,

01:09:06   but I wouldn't put it past them. You know, like if they've switched to the Core M or

01:09:10   something like that.

01:09:11   Well, I remember like the first, what was it? Was it the MacBook Air? Like when the

01:09:16   first MacBook Air came out and keeping in mind, as you pointed out in your article,

01:09:19   it was super expensive.

01:09:21   $1,800 to start.

01:09:22   Yeah, yeah. And I tested that and then let's, leaving aside also the fact that if it got

01:09:26   too hot, like on a warm day in a warm room, it had this bug where it would just turn off

01:09:33   a processor core and your mouse would stop moving smoothly. It was so bad. Like, it was

01:09:38   great in a meat locker, but really, really bad in my office that had a west-facing window

01:09:42   in the afternoon. It worked great in the morning, in the afternoon, not so good. That thing,

01:09:48   when it came out, it was, I forget, it was slower, it was several years into the Intel

01:09:54   transition, and it was slower than any—it was the slowest Intel Mac ever made. And it was like

01:10:00   years in. It was like two or three years into the Intel transition. I don't remember the exact

01:10:05   time, but it was like, it was a throwback in terms of performance. It was not close to being as

01:10:13   fast as the slowest Mac from two years before. But you know what? It had other things going for it,

01:10:19   not price at that point, but size. And so something that's a regression in terms of speed at this point,

01:10:25   like, does it matter? Like, for most uses now, that's the truth of all of this stuff, is that

01:10:32   if you're a pro, you need pro stuff, but everybody else just, they don't. They really don't.

01:10:36   Yeah, that original MacBook Air was such a glimpse of the future, though. And the 1800

01:10:42   version came with an 80-gigabyte spinning hard disk. Yeah, you could upgrade for like two grand,

01:10:49   You get an SSD in there and it was only 64 gigabytes and so it was like 30

01:10:53   $100 it was like a $3,100 laptop had a 64 gigabyte SSD, but I remember

01:11:00   It was will Shipley

01:11:03   I don't know if he was blogging or maybe Twitter was around because it probably was around 2008

01:11:07   So it might have been on Twitter and ship Lee bought one. He's a developer a delicious monster and

01:11:12   You know Mac developer a longtime Mac developer will ship Lee was tweeting about it and he loved it and he was like look

01:11:18   I know that the processor's slow, but like he was doing things in Xcode that were actually

01:11:23   faster, even though the processor was two years slower. It was faster in Xcode because

01:11:29   what he was doing was touching lots of little files and that's the sort of thing SSDs just

01:11:34   blow a spinning hard disk away and was actually seeing performance gains. And obviously that's

01:11:40   an edge case, you know, but it was a hint of the future. And one reason that our computers

01:11:44   today feel so much faster than old computers is the tremendous advantage. I mean, it's

01:11:52   so easy to overlook SSDs now that we're all used to them, but I mean…

01:11:56   Now, storage was always, I mean, slow hard drive, even in the days where there weren't

01:12:00   SSDs, if you had a slow hard drive, slow spinning hard drive, it was almost always the hard

01:12:05   drive that was the problem. The processors were so fast, have been so fast for so long

01:12:09   that almost every regular use, it was like your hard drive.

01:12:13   I upgraded an old Mac laptop a year or so ago to an SSD,

01:12:18   and it's just, it's laughable.

01:12:19   Like, it suddenly, it's like, you don't need a new computer.

01:12:22   Use this five-year-old computer with an SSD.

01:12:25   It's great.

01:12:26   Like, it is, it is staggering.

01:12:28   I looked it up, by the way.

01:12:29   New MacBook Air, original MacBook Air came out January 2008.

01:12:32   I believe the first Intel Mac came out in January 2006.

01:12:36   And that MacBook Air was slower than any of those.

01:12:40   To the two year old Intel Macs.

01:12:42   - Yeah, that's unbelievable.

01:12:43   The other thing too, Liz, looking back on it,

01:12:45   going down memory lane is the way that spinning hard disks,

01:12:48   at least in a laptop especially,

01:12:50   'cause you couldn't hide it under your desk,

01:12:52   gave your computer a noise and a feeling on your palms.

01:12:56   Like you could feel it when the computer was reading,

01:12:59   reading the disk.

01:13:01   - Or if they spun down to save power

01:13:02   and then you hit the disk and you could actually hear it

01:13:04   and feel it spin up.

01:13:06   (laughs)

01:13:07   - Yep, yeah, well that MacBook Air too,

01:13:09   the non-SSD version, that was like an iPod hard drive.

01:13:13   So it was like not even, it was a super small hard drive.

01:13:16   So it was incredibly slow.

01:13:19   - Right.

01:13:19   - It was not a good, I'm looking at the Macworld

01:13:23   Speedmark score now, which is like,

01:13:25   all the reference systems were like 170, 160,

01:13:30   and the MacBook Air scored 124.

01:13:34   It was just like, it was not,

01:13:35   It was faster than the PowerBook G4.

01:13:37   That was what we decided.

01:13:39   That was all we could do.

01:13:40   - Remember too, that in the spinning hard disk era,

01:13:43   they were also far less reliable,

01:13:46   probably by several orders of magnitude.

01:13:48   And I mean, everybody who's old enough

01:13:51   and it was in the computers in the spinning hard disk era

01:13:54   will remember this, that you'd get used

01:13:56   to the way your computer sounded quickly.

01:13:59   Like, and you bought a new computer,

01:14:00   it would be a different hard drive,

01:14:02   maybe a different enclosure.

01:14:03   You know, as the years went on,

01:14:04   computers sounded different,

01:14:05   but they all had a sound.

01:14:06   And if the hard drive started making a different sound,

01:14:09   (laughing)

01:14:10   you would immediately like bolt up from your chair

01:14:14   and run and get like a Disc Warrior CD

01:14:17   or some kind of disc utility.

01:14:20   'Cause you knew that shit was gonna go bad very quickly.

01:14:22   Like you can actually diagnose-

01:14:24   - Just a slight change in the hum of the drive.

01:14:28   And you're like, oh no, that is, that's the end.

01:14:30   Yeah, they're bad.

01:14:32   Spinning drives, they served us well.

01:14:35   They still service well in some places, but boy, that is—I'm so glad that that technology

01:14:40   is out of most of the devices I use now.

01:14:42   You could diagnose a computer or at least know something was wrong from mechanical noises

01:14:46   that it made.

01:14:48   It's like mystical, magical wizard stuff, right, where it was literally like, "This

01:14:55   can't be real."

01:14:56   It's like using leeches on a patient or something.

01:14:57   It's like, "This can't be—you're just listening to my computer, and now you're

01:15:00   feeling the vibrations in my computer?

01:15:02   That can't be right."

01:15:03   But it actually was.

01:15:04   was totally real. It's terrible. What we're saying is listen to us old people warn you

01:15:10   of how bad things were back in the day. We got it good now. We really got it good.

01:15:14   Dave Asprey This trip down memory lane seems like a good

01:15:15   place to end it. We're thinking about something bad spinning our disk. Let's talk about something

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01:17:34   It goes bad quickly, or at least goes bland quickly.

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01:19:52   I want to mention that Apple has some experience in this making something a lot like the bigger

01:19:58   product but making it cheaper and look no further than the iPad lineup.

01:20:03   And again, that's sort of what has biased me towards the they should have a just plain

01:20:08   Whatever and then one called the pro, you know, like iPad and iPad Pro

01:20:13   although that ignores the

01:20:15   iPad mini which is still hanging around

01:20:18   But the iPad is now down to

01:20:22   $329 and it's a pretty you know, there's obviously some compromises compared to the iPad Pro

01:20:28   But you know, they've added things like the pencil pencil support it's a pretty good computer and so yes, there's compromises

01:20:36   but none that are like, oh, this is a bad machine.

01:20:40   This is actually a wonderful iPad for most people.

01:20:43   - No, it's a good, I think that is the like,

01:20:45   the flawless example of them getting their house in order.

01:20:49   'Cause the iPad line was kind of a mess

01:20:51   and they did some really smart things

01:20:53   in terms of kind of breaking off the one iPad

01:20:56   and letting it kind of move down in price.

01:20:58   And then that also freed them to make the iPad Pro,

01:21:02   which I use every day, more powerful

01:21:04   because the people who care about this stuff,

01:21:07   they will spend $1,000 on an iPad Pro, and it's great.

01:21:10   And everybody else can just get the iPad,

01:21:12   and they're gonna be very happy.

01:21:14   And it's the right mixture.

01:21:16   Like that should be how I think the laptop line

01:21:20   should be very similar, right?

01:21:21   You should have the ones that are super powerful,

01:21:24   and then you should have the ones that everybody else

01:21:26   is gonna be very happy with.

01:21:27   They're not crappy.

01:21:29   They're not last year's or two years ago's model.

01:21:31   They're just enough for people

01:21:35   that have a really good experience

01:21:36   who don't need all the fancy bells and whistles,

01:21:39   because those people will be happy to spend more money

01:21:42   on getting the, like me, like the MacBook Pro,

01:21:45   the iMac Pro, and the iPad Pro.

01:21:48   Like, if you want one of those, you spend the money,

01:21:50   and it's totally worth it,

01:21:51   'cause you know what you're getting.

01:21:52   And everybody else gets that iPad.

01:21:55   That iPad is great, and its price is amazing,

01:21:58   given where Apple's iPad pricing has been.

01:22:01   And I think people like it.

01:22:02   I think that the sales have shown that that is a strategy

01:22:05   that really works now,

01:22:06   having the two different lines of iPad.

01:22:08   - Yeah, and it works for Apple.

01:22:10   It's stabilized at least iPad sales,

01:22:13   if not increase them slightly,

01:22:14   but it's leveled off the decline.

01:22:16   It's good for Apple 'cause the iPad is selling well.

01:22:20   It is good for consumers

01:22:21   'cause I feel like there's an iPad for everyone

01:22:23   and they understand it too.

01:22:25   It is easily understood what the differences are.

01:22:28   Like, you can look at an iPad and, you know, I, you know, I remember, you know, being in

01:22:36   college and knowing where I always, I know exactly where on Drexel's campus there was

01:22:42   the ATM machine that would like let you take out $10 bills.

01:22:47   So that if I had $17 left in my checking account, I could still get some cash.

01:22:51   Like I know what it's like to be strapped for cash.

01:22:53   So I can also imagine, and even then a technology enthusiast, I could see craving an iPad Pro

01:23:01   and having to settle for the iPad for budgetary purposes. But I also think that there's an

01:23:07   awful lot of people who would go in and could, if they wanted to, afford a more expensive

01:23:13   iPad but look at the iPad and are informed of the differences and don't care about the

01:23:19   differences and just get the regular iPad.

01:23:22   - Yeah, that's the way to do it.

01:23:24   And it makes sense, right?

01:23:26   Before it was sort of like, well,

01:23:28   which iPad do I want?

01:23:29   It's like, now I think it's pretty clear.

01:23:31   Like, these have this, pay more.

01:23:33   These don't, pay less.

01:23:35   And it's like, all right, great.

01:23:36   And even the size, 'cause that first iPad Pro,

01:23:39   well, the first was the 12.9, but then they did the 9.7.

01:23:41   And it was like, okay, wait a second now.

01:23:43   You've got an iPad Air 2 and an iPad Pro 9.7.

01:23:47   And so they're exactly the same.

01:23:49   And so the next Rev, they're like,

01:23:50   it's 10.5 screen now. They're pushing it and I think this fall we'll probably see them push even

01:23:55   further away with what makes an iPad Pro an iPad Pro. And that's like that level of clarity I think

01:24:02   is really good for a product line which is why it's been so frustrating to look at the MacBook

01:24:06   line and be like what is happening? What are you guys doing there? And I think Apple, I mean what

01:24:11   I feel bad is like Apple, the people inside Apple know, like they know. They knew this was a problem

01:24:16   way before we did probably, but they know that it just is going to take probably there

01:24:21   was like two years where they're like, yeah, we're going to have to take our lumps for

01:24:23   two years while we sort this one out and maybe they'll reach the end of the line. Maybe they'll

01:24:27   finally get something that makes sense this fall. I hope so. A very slow moving ship to

01:24:31   turn around, I think. Yeah, I think so. I think the other kudos that they deserve for

01:24:36   the current lineup of iPads is that the both iPad pros, the 10.5 and the 12.9 are a bit

01:24:42   long in the tooth. They're certainly more each more than a year old and nobody and you know people

01:24:47   expect based on just you know sticking your finger in the air and thinking well it seems like they

01:24:52   should be new ones soon and based on the rumor you know there are rumors that there's ones coming out

01:24:56   with significantly shrunk bezels you know everything is smaller bezels these days um but there's

01:25:03   nobody's really like up in arms like boy these are these are outdated right like they did such a good

01:25:07   job with the current available iPad pros that they were they could last for well longer

01:25:14   than a 12 month cycle and be completely credible as as still being good purchases today. I'm

01:25:21   still using my iPad pro that I bought in December of what was that 15 the original 12 9 iPad

01:25:29   pro is still my mobile device of choice basically and it's great yeah it doesn't have the true

01:25:36   tone, doesn't have the white color gamut, but it's not as good a processor, but it's

01:25:43   still great. It's still legitimately great, and I'm going to buy a new one this fall,

01:25:46   but I will have gotten three years out of that thing.

01:25:49   Yeah, that's tremendous.

01:25:50   And without any moaning and complaining about it, it's still pretty great.

01:25:55   Yeah. So back to the MacBooks. I still, I don't know. I don't think they're, I think

01:26:04   bottom line is that they're not going to completely get out of this mess this year.

01:26:09   Mess being a lineup that offers significant clarity. Even rumors aside, I don't think

01:26:17   they're going to get rid of the 12-inch MacBook, but I don't think the 12-inch MacBook can

01:26:20   serve as their low-end model. Even if they could sell it for $999, I don't think that

01:26:24   would be a good idea. I think they do need something else, whether that's the MacBook

01:26:29   escape with a new name or you know and maybe and maybe engineered to be made out of cheaper

01:26:36   bits or something I don't know or whether it's that new thing I think it's got to be

01:26:40   one of those two because I think you're right I don't think they could just take the MacBook

01:26:44   make it $9.99 and say see buy it now I'm not I think people would be a little resistant

01:26:49   because it's unless unless they do some upgrades to it which would probably preclude it being

01:26:53   $9.99 it's gonna have the one port and it's small and it's got a small screen and that's

01:26:58   going to turn a lot of people off. So it doesn't seem to be the right vehicle to do. It might

01:27:03   be the right vehicle to get to $9.99. They could probably do that, but the Air isn't

01:27:09   just succeeding because it's $9.99.

01:27:11   Dave: Maybe it's as simple as just effectively taking the MacBook escape and giving an extra

01:27:20   what, almost two years, right? I think that those came out in 2016. I forget if there

01:27:27   was a speed bump, but the original ones were 2016. And just being able to put what that

01:27:33   is today into a wedge-shaped case that's more like the air, right? And then that separates,

01:27:40   because that wedge, the difference between, what would you call the MacBook Pro? Is that

01:27:45   rectilinear, the way that it doesn't have any kind of wedge or teardrop shape to it?

01:27:50   Yeah, it's just a rectangle extruded. It is just a shape. It doesn't have a weird

01:27:56   shape. It's just kind of a blob. And yeah, the Air had that kind of wedge. It was a little curvier.

01:28:03   Dave: Right. If they just took the… effectively just took the MacBook Escape, put it in a wedge

01:28:09   shaped aluminum case because maybe they could do this or that to reduce the amount of battery

01:28:16   or whatever else was in there without affecting battery life with two years of advances in power

01:28:21   efficiency. And there you go. And then it's visually distinctive from the MacBook Pros in

01:28:25   addition to which name is stamped underneath the display. Because, oh, I see it's teardrop

01:28:31   shaped, that's more like the air.

01:28:34   I also think there's, um, I mean, there's an argument to be made, Marco talked about

01:28:39   this quite a lot when he was buying and returning his MacBook escape, or escapes, I think he

01:28:45   might have done it more than once, is that technically the part, the processor that's

01:28:50   in the escape is the successor to the processor that's in the air.

01:28:55   So, like, and if you look at the weight, this is one of my favorite things, is look at the

01:29:00   weight and the size of the 13-inch MacBook escape compared to the 13-inch MacBook Air.

01:29:07   They are practically the same. They're not quite there. It is that MacBook escape with

01:29:12   a weird name where it's like there's two 13 MacBook Pros. Like, it's hard for me not to

01:29:17   think that they really intended that for it to be a MacBook and then they realized that

01:29:21   they had to sell it for $15.99 and they couldn't call it a MacBook. They had to call it a MacBook

01:29:27   Pro. But I do wonder, I do wonder if their way, I think it's a scenario, just spitballing

01:29:34   here, that they find a way to get that thing to be not quite as nice and not quite as advanced,

01:29:41   but enough to shove it down in the product line to have it be kind of down there with

01:29:46   the MacBook. And not, and ideally, by the way, just purely on semantics, I know that

01:29:50   you and I like to talk about how products get named and product lines get formed. Like

01:29:55   that we do not need 13 inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and without Touch Bar, right? Like

01:30:02   that needs to stop that Map Quick escape. It's a cute nickname, but like it needs a

01:30:07   real name that is not the name of another computer currently being sold. That's got

01:30:11   to stop. I try to avoid using nicknames, uh, not, not out of allegiance to Apple's marketing

01:30:19   I mean, because for example, I refuse to like spell Mac OS with a lowercase M or Mac Mini

01:30:25   with a lowercase M or anything like that. So it's not out of that. It's just that I

01:30:30   don't want I find it, it can be a little bit disdainful, you know, that it's it's not like

01:30:35   I feel like you have to do what Apple says, but I feel like it's disdainful. But I actually

01:30:38   feel like the MacBook escape thing is so much more clear. Like people know what that is.

01:30:43   when you do the mouthful 13 inch MacBook Pro without touch bar,

01:30:48   it is like you have to stop and think it's like a double negative almost,

01:30:52   you know, like the name includes something that it doesn't have.

01:30:55   It's the thing that it doesn't have. There are lots of things that,

01:30:59   that computer doesn't have, it doesn't have, you know, a, a,

01:31:04   a spinning wheel. It doesn't have a USB port. It doesn't have there,

01:31:09   you know, a floppy drive. It doesn't, there's lots of things it doesn't have,

01:31:13   Including the touch bar which is in its name that it doesn't have it like it's just I agree with you

01:31:19   Also, there's a communication thing like you reach a lot of people who are not tuned in to what's happening on Marcos podcast

01:31:25   or you know other places in the Apple kind of blogosphere and so

01:31:29   These names are cute

01:31:31   like Marco always called the MacBook the 12-inch MacBook the MacBook one right and I kind of like that as a

01:31:36   Little bit of a needle to Apple for like there's only the one port on it

01:31:40   But if you if you use that name people are gonna be like, I don't get it. What are you talking about?

01:31:46   That's a perfect example of a nickname that I either avoid it or mostly avoid it. That's a perfect example

01:31:52   I just call it the 12-inch MacBook and leave it at that

01:31:54   That that is that that you can gain some clarity on for people but the MacBook escape

01:31:59   Like not only is it kind of a great name makes me think of like it's a journey album

01:32:03   It's weird like it's a throwback. It's like why why is this happening? Is it trying to escape? We don't know

01:32:09   But it needs a name because basically Apple didn't give it a name

01:32:13   They just said that it's not the other one and I hope I hope it because it's actually a pretty great computer

01:32:18   I hope it kind of escapes the

01:32:20   See what I did there

01:32:22   escapes the MacBook Pro name and get some other name because it really doesn't it deserve to be

01:32:27   My I do wonder though if maybe it just we haven't seen the likes of it

01:32:32   Or we've seen the last of it that what we're gonna get is like a reconstituted Mac MacBook escape. That's something else

01:32:39   Another thing I'm gonna promise to put this in the show notes, but somebody on Twitter today in the midst of all this conversation about this

01:32:46   I

01:32:47   Remembered it. I remembered it the this bit from Phil Schiller at the debut of the current generation of MacBook pros

01:32:54   and

01:32:56   basically, he's making the point that the

01:32:58   13 inch Mac new MacBook Pro is roughly the same size and weight as the MacBook Air. Yeah

01:33:05   But somebody linked to that part of the video like and had they even you know use the little

01:33:11   Code on YouTube to start right right at the point where he's talking about it

01:33:15   And it's actually it's you know, it's Phil Schiller at his best and Apple at their best at making

01:33:20   Some points that it might be a bit delicate to make like here you've introduced

01:33:26   You've spent all this time

01:33:27   bragging about the touch bar this new invention that they're very proud of and that it is expensive and that they want people to be

01:33:34   excited about

01:33:35   I'll link to the video because I don't want to summarize the whole thing because

01:33:40   it's really so good. But he makes a point that, hey, we still love the MacBook Air.

01:33:44   We're still selling the MacBook Air. That's fine. We know people like it. But we challenged

01:33:48   the team. That's like a phrase that often comes up with Apple, right? But it, you know,

01:33:53   it means this was tricky, but we challenged the team to maybe do a version with this MacBook

01:33:57   Pro that might be tempting for people looking at the MacBook Air. And it has the function

01:34:02   keys that you're used to. And you know, starting price that was lower, you know, I forget what

01:34:10   is the starting price 1299 I forget if it was then 1299 it was not that was something

01:34:14   that 14. Yeah, they cut it by a couple hundred, which is interesting, right? Yes, because

01:34:19   right away from the pros even more, right? If it was 1499 in November of 2016, and then

01:34:26   dropped to $12.99 a year later, could it drop another $200 now? And maybe even with, you

01:34:32   know, like a thinner case or something. But anyway, he made the point that the footprint

01:34:37   is smaller because they reduced the bezels, but it's still a 13.3 inch diagonal. So if

01:34:42   the bezels are reduced, then the footprint has to be reduced. And by volume, it was like

01:34:48   13% smaller, even though it doesn't have the wedge shape because of the footprint smaller,

01:34:54   it actually does it. They showed a little video of a 13-inch MacBook Pro on top of a

01:35:00   MacBook Air, just lids closed and you could see how much smaller it is by surface area

01:35:05   on the footprint and that the weight was exactly the same. I mean, it's not quite exactly,

01:35:12   it's one ounce difference. It's like two business cards on top of a MacBook Air and you've got

01:35:17   the same weight as the 13-inch MacBook Escape. So the weight is exactly the same, 3.0 pounds.

01:35:24   footprint smaller, volume is smaller.

01:35:26   So if they could make that volume even smaller,

01:35:28   that would really be, you know,

01:35:31   in some ways, ignoring the 12-inch MacBook,

01:35:35   it would be a nice successor

01:35:36   to the MacBook Air as we know it.

01:35:38   - Yeah, it is essentially,

01:35:40   that's the thing that I think gets lost in the naming

01:35:42   is that it is that.

01:35:43   It's the same processor,

01:35:45   the, it's doesn't, not the same price,

01:35:47   not the same name, but same processor class, same weight,

01:35:51   same size, essentially functionally the same size

01:35:53   because although it doesn't have the wedge,

01:35:55   it's, I think, it's, you know,

01:35:57   other dimensions have contracted,

01:35:59   and like, it's a great laptop.

01:36:01   I think the big problem with it was the, yeah,

01:36:03   it was introduced at way too high a price,

01:36:05   and they obviously did, made some effort

01:36:06   to get it down in price a couple hundred bucks,

01:36:08   so now it's basically the same price as the MacBook.

01:36:12   And I can see, one of these days I wanna hear,

01:36:16   I gotta tell you, one of these days

01:36:17   I really wanna hear what happened.

01:36:19   - I do too. - Like, this is so clearly,

01:36:20   like, something went wrong, and I don't know what,

01:36:23   but like they totally didn't plan it this way.

01:36:25   They didn't plan to be selling the MacBook Air in 2018.

01:36:28   Like there's no way, they don't, nobody at Apple sold,

01:36:32   "I got a great idea.

01:36:33   Let's sell two different 13 inch MacBook Pros."

01:36:36   That'll be great.

01:36:36   People will love that.

01:36:37   No, they had to because something went wrong

01:36:40   and one day maybe we'll find out what happened

01:36:43   that surprised them that they couldn't do it.

01:36:46   - Yeah, one thing Apple really cares about

01:36:48   is the way their things look.

01:36:50   I mean, and a lot of times when they'll cheap out on things,

01:36:52   It's not by making them look worse.

01:36:54   And look at the iPad versus iPad Pro, right?

01:36:58   It's a great looking tablet.

01:37:01   It's still made of an aluminum back.

01:37:03   - Yeah, it's not cheap plastic or anything like that.

01:37:05   - And so, like I don't think that the iPad has true tone.

01:37:10   There's no way that 329 iPad has true tone.

01:37:14   I could be wrong, but I don't think it.

01:37:15   I think that's one of the ways that it's less expensive.

01:37:17   But that's like nice to have, and I do love true tone.

01:37:20   But having a non-retina display looks bad.

01:37:24   I mean, it really is, you know, you just look right at it.

01:37:28   It looks ridiculous to my eyes today.

01:37:32   And they know it.

01:37:32   I think they're embarrassed.

01:37:33   They have to be embarrassed by it.

01:37:34   Nobody at Apple is happy that they're still selling it

01:37:37   in 2018.

01:37:39   And it's so unfortunate, really, really is,

01:37:42   that the timing on this, you know,

01:37:44   I think one of those other backstories is I think

01:37:46   whatever's going on behind the scenes,

01:37:48   that whatever MacBooks they might be announcing

01:37:51   later this year, I think they had really hoped

01:37:54   to have announced earlier this year,

01:37:56   because anybody who got a laptop for back to school

01:37:58   is getting a, you know, got a 13 inch MacBook Air

01:38:01   with a non-retina screen.

01:38:03   - I had so many people ask me this summer,

01:38:05   'cause I wrote a piece last summer

01:38:07   about what laptop you should buy.

01:38:09   And this summer they're all like,

01:38:10   "Oh yeah, what's the update to that?"

01:38:11   And I said, "Quite frankly, there isn't one."

01:38:14   And that was like, people were getting gifts for graduates.

01:38:17   And I said, "I got nothing."

01:38:19   And then WWDC happened, and it's like,

01:38:21   "I still don't have anything."

01:38:22   And then a month goes by, and they update the pros,

01:38:25   but only the pros, not even the escape.

01:38:27   And so now we're at the point where everybody's going,

01:38:30   you know, "College students are back in school.

01:38:32   My kids are back in school."

01:38:33   Like, that whole period is over, and they completely missed it.

01:38:36   And you got to think they would have rather not missed it.

01:38:40   So that's another part of the story.

01:38:43   Like, I feel for them on the same --

01:38:45   They obviously made some bad calls.

01:38:46   They obviously made some calls that turned out to be wrong.

01:38:49   I feel bad for the people involved

01:38:51   because, like, when you make that mistake,

01:38:53   then you got to live with it for years

01:38:56   before it really can get resolved.

01:38:58   And that's why I keep coming back to,

01:39:01   "I hope they resolve it this fall."

01:39:02   Like, I don't know if they're going to be able to do it,

01:39:04   but, like, I saw what they did with the iPad,

01:39:06   where that was a mess, and it took them a couple of years,

01:39:09   but now it makes sense, and I hope that that happens

01:39:11   with the consumer part of the MacBook line.

01:39:14   I have to say while I'm on this I always want to mention this that one thing I've never recovered from and I've been using I

01:39:21   think I

01:39:25   Think I went right from the 11-inch air to this

01:39:29   13 inch MacBook Pro in 2014. I don't think there was anything in between

01:39:33   One thing I've still so it's at least four years one thing. I still have never recovered from is when pulling it out of a bag

01:39:42   using the wedge shape to orient it as I take it out and knowing which way is front and which is back.

01:39:49   And I still have for four years when I take this one out, it is like a 50/50 chance whether I'm

01:39:55   going to put it on the desk the right way. And if anything, I've also got this weird, totally old

01:40:01   school PowerBook user habit of orienting by looking at the Apple logo the wrong way. Like one thing,

01:40:09   unless you're an old coot like us, you will not remember and you'll think, well, why in the world

01:40:13   would they have done that? Is that for the first many years of PowerBooks, the Apple logo was

01:40:19   oriented what you would now call upside down, such that the Apple logo looked correct when the

01:40:25   laptop was closed in front of you, the user. And then when open and in use was upside down

01:40:32   to anybody looking at you face on to what we now know is the proper way to do it.

01:40:40   The funny thing, too, I think I wrote about this on Daring Fireball as an aside recently, that

01:40:45   there are still people who are very angry about that decision, who want it to be the other way,

01:40:51   because they have a mindset that this is their computer and the Apple logo should look correct

01:40:57   to them, which means that—and I guess that was the thinking Apple originally had when they did

01:41:02   did it that way. That you, the user, owner of this laptop should have the Apple logo

01:41:08   look correct when it's closed in front of you. And they feel that now that it's oriented

01:41:14   the other way, they see it the wrong way. And their machine is acting as an advertisement

01:41:19   for Apple by having it oriented the correct way for everybody looking at it. Now, I disagree

01:41:24   with that. I actually think it should look correct while it's being used, not correct

01:41:28   It's not being used. But the downside of it is I still if I still sometimes look I think oh

01:41:33   There's the Apple logo and I put it down in front of me and the hinge is facing me

01:41:36   I can I blow your mind with something?

01:41:40   I use my iPad almost entirely in horizontal orientation and the Apple logo is vertical

01:41:48   all the time, so I'm always using it sideways and

01:41:52   It's a legacy of the iPhone being vertically oriented

01:41:56   But like, I really believe the iPad is a horizontal device, and it's like, forget it, unless they

01:42:01   make like a swiveling Apple logo or something.

01:42:04   It's just like, I don't know, some use case is going to be wrong, I guess is the truth

01:42:09   of it.

01:42:10   But yeah, I agree with you.

01:42:12   Although, you know, a cynical person would say they decided that the logo was to advertise

01:42:15   it to others instead of it being for you to have that little moment.

01:42:19   But I still think it was the right decision.

01:42:21   And if there's anything I miss when they changed the laptops in the last couple of years, it's

01:42:26   that the Apple doesn't light up anymore because that was pretty amazing and you could never

01:42:30   miss a Mac laptop in a cafe when they lit up. Now it's a little bit easier to miss them.

01:42:36   Well, or like that famous, famous picture from around 10 years ago of like a university

01:42:42   lecture hall, you know, with a very high slope, you know, like stadium seating and, you know,

01:42:49   it's just some kind of undergraduate lecture hall and like a wide angle view from the,

01:42:53   know, professor's standpoint. And it was like every student had a laptop. So it was

01:42:59   sort of like a sign of the times in a couple of ways. It's like when you and I went to

01:43:03   college nobody had laptops. And you know, by 10 years ago, every student had a laptop.

01:43:11   They had them open. That's what they did to take their notes and whatever else. And

01:43:15   it just, just the number of them that had glowing Apple logos was just staggering. Just

01:43:19   as a sign of, "Wow, look at how Apple has taken over the college student portable market."

01:43:27   You just don't get that anymore without the glowing thing. Marco and I talked about that,

01:43:30   and I guess I never did the research to figure this out. I spouted off and said that at some

01:43:38   point originally, the—hopefully, maybe you can know this. I was going to do research

01:43:44   and I didn't. Originally, the Apple logo was illuminated from the display. So all they had to do

01:43:54   was just put a translucent piece of Apple logo-shaped plastic back there and the display

01:43:59   of the old LCDs or LEDs, whatever they were called at the time, just glowed in both directions.

01:44:05   And that modern LCDs don't work that way, that at some point, you know, they really only glow

01:44:13   in one direction and that Apple had to put in a separate thing to light up the Apple logo.

01:44:18   Interesting. I had not heard that. I don't know if that would be amazing if they had to cheat.

01:44:25   I don't know. I couldn't test it at the time because all I had was this new MacBook Pro that

01:44:30   doesn't have a glowing Apple logo. And I said, like in the old days, I knew that when you change

01:44:34   the brightness on the display, it changed the brightness on the Apple logo. And what people

01:44:38   have written in to say is that that never changed. The brightness control for the display always

01:44:43   controlled the brightness color of the Apple logo, even if I'm correct that they ended up having

01:44:48   different lighting elements to make it work. And it makes sense that it would because anywhere

01:44:52   where you, now that I think about it, like if you're in, you know, using it in bed next to a

01:44:57   sleeping partner and you want to have the brightness down low because the room is dark and your eyes

01:45:02   don't need a bright screen and you don't want a bright screen to bother, you know, you're trying

01:45:06   to sleep partner, you wouldn't want the Apple logo growing, glowing real bright either. So of course

01:45:11   they were tied to the same brightness center. But I do think though that the, I really do

01:45:15   think it's true, even though once again I'm just pulling this out of my ass, I really

01:45:20   do think that at a certain point when the screen technology changed they actually put

01:45:23   in a separate lighting thing for the Apple logo.

01:45:27   It wouldn't surprise me. And it was a cool thing. It was a cool feature. Like on ATP

01:45:32   it might have even been the same episode where your laptop got wet. They were talking about

01:45:37   whimsy and people misinterpret what whimsy means but like...

01:45:40   - I did hear that episode.

01:45:41   - The whimsy is like,

01:45:43   I always viewed some of the stuff that Apple did as,

01:45:46   we did this because it was cool and we could do it, right?

01:45:48   And it was not because it was practical,

01:45:50   but because we're Apple

01:45:51   and we're gonna push a little bit further,

01:45:53   we're gonna make it cool.

01:45:54   So in the case of the cutout on the back,

01:45:57   that probably started with somebody saying,

01:45:58   oh my God, look at this.

01:46:00   We could like cut out the Apple logo

01:46:02   and it'll light up when it's in use, that's amazing.

01:46:05   And then later they get a screen and they're like, oh no.

01:46:07   And somebody's like, put in a light,

01:46:09   we have to keep the light up logo.

01:46:11   They're like, yeah, okay, we'll do that.

01:46:12   Or the one that Marco brought up that I think is great

01:46:14   is the breathing sleep light,

01:46:17   which is like totally unnecessary.

01:46:20   But because when you look on PC laptops,

01:46:22   they would always have like hard drive access light

01:46:24   and wifi light and all these things.

01:46:25   It's like, forget that, we'll put that on screen.

01:46:27   But when it's closed, it's gonna do the slow pulse

01:46:31   to let you know that it's there and that it's still alive

01:46:33   and that it's in sleep mode and not shut down.

01:46:36   I'm like, do they need to do that?

01:46:37   They totally didn't need to do that.

01:46:38   light on the power charger, right?

01:46:41   Like, do they need to do it?

01:46:42   No, absolutely not, but it was a nice little bit.

01:46:45   And I would, you know, I like that about Apple.

01:46:47   I like them having those little things that we do

01:46:50   because it's cool, because it makes you appreciate

01:46:53   how cool your product that you spent money on looks.

01:46:56   Not necessarily this more cynical,

01:46:58   like how cool it makes you look,

01:47:00   but like how good it makes you feel

01:47:02   that it does this thing that is pointless, but cool.

01:47:05   - It's funny you brought that up

01:47:07   because that was one of those points listening to ATP

01:47:09   where I wish I could have jumped in and started talking.

01:47:12   For anybody who doesn't remember,

01:47:14   for a long time, power books even and MacBooks,

01:47:17   but even in the aluminum era,

01:47:18   they figured out a way to do it through the aluminum.

01:47:21   They would have, when your laptop was sleeping,

01:47:23   there was a little light that would pulse on and off

01:47:27   to indicate-- - Gently pulse.

01:47:29   - Right, it didn't blink on and off.

01:47:31   It would slowly glow on, slowly glow off.

01:47:34   And it was more or less timed

01:47:36   to like the average breathing rate of a sleeping person.

01:47:39   It was a very soothing rate and a very-

01:47:44   - It was like my nightlight for many years.

01:47:47   I would wake up in the middle of the night

01:47:49   and I'd look at the ceiling

01:47:50   and the ceiling would very slowly pulse brighter

01:47:53   and then darker very subtly.

01:47:55   And I knew that was because my laptop was,

01:47:58   by the side of my bed

01:47:59   and that light was just faintly illuminating the room.

01:48:02   - So doing it with the pace tied to sleep,

01:48:05   like a very soothing, like having a Bob Ross type soothing voice tell you to breathe slowly

01:48:12   and really help you relax. That is whimsical and making sure that it didn't just blink

01:48:17   on and off, that it had like this nice curve to how bright and then it's off. That's all

01:48:23   whimsy by paying attention to stuff like that, making the effort to get that to work through

01:48:28   aluminum, even when they couldn't just put a hole in the aluminum to make a light. All

01:48:34   All of that is great, but there was also a purpose to having it in the first place, and

01:48:39   I do kind of miss it.

01:48:40   I wouldn't mind if they added that light back, but I can kind of see why they got rid of

01:48:45   it.

01:48:46   But what I remember specifically was that in the early years of portable computers,

01:48:51   there wasn't sleep.

01:48:53   Your computer was on or off, and when you were done using it, you had to turn it off.

01:49:00   And then they came out with sleep, and you might think I'm biased, but I think this

01:49:07   was undisputable at the time, like in the mid-90s, where PowerBooks, the sleep was reliable,

01:49:14   and on PC portables, the sleep was a crapshoot, whether it would actually wake up or still

01:49:20   be asleep or whether it would crash while it was supposedly sleeping.

01:49:25   At a technical level, Apple got sleep done right better years before Microsoft and the

01:49:31   PC makers got it together.

01:49:34   But even then, even when sleep was much more reliable on PowerBooks than it was on the

01:49:40   PC side, it was nowhere near as reliable as it is today, in my opinion.

01:49:45   There were still times when you'd think your PowerBook was sleeping and it either never

01:49:49   went to sleep and it was actually still burning through the CPU or it would go to sleep and

01:49:54   crash or something like that. So having that light glowing and knowing that your power

01:49:59   book was still successfully and healthily sleeping was actually useful. It was a useful

01:50:04   indicator to me at least.

01:50:05   Oh yeah, well there was a really nasty bug where sometimes you'd close the lid and it

01:50:11   would not go to sleep. And I had that happen to me so many times where I would take my

01:50:16   laptop, I'd open my backpack at home having come on the bus from work and it was hot.

01:50:22   I could tell. I put my hand toward it. I was like, "Oh, no." It had run through its battery.

01:50:28   It was still running, lid closed. I opened it up. The screen doesn't come back on. I

01:50:32   got force-powered down. Yeah, there were a few years there where sleep was really, really

01:50:38   unreliable. I know that it still happens, especially when you run lid closed. It can

01:50:42   get really confused. But even when I did things, I would open my laptop and unhook my external

01:50:48   monitor and get it to be like, "All right. Are you good? Are you feeling like a laptop

01:50:51   now I'm going to close you." And still half the time it would not go to sleep. You wouldn't

01:50:55   get the little pulsating light. It was frustrating.

01:50:57   Yeah, remember in the Mac OS 9 era with the Platinum user interface, there was a user

01:51:02   alert style with a red top. It was sort of a pink actually, but it was reserved for really,

01:51:09   really bad alerts. I think you've only got 5% battery life was one of those where it

01:51:15   that would come up.

01:51:16   And it was like the alert you didn't want to see.

01:51:18   If you had thought your machine was sleeping

01:51:22   in your backpack for all this time.

01:51:24   And the other thing too, again, going down memory lane.

01:51:28   In addition to the fact that sleep is more reliable now,

01:51:31   when a machine died in sleep back then,

01:51:35   there were a lot of bad things that happened.

01:51:37   Like if you had files that were open,

01:51:40   they lost the changes. - They were dead, yeah.

01:51:43   There's an awful lot of apps.

01:51:45   I mean, even wonderful, wonderful apps like BB edit,

01:51:49   which has always been ahead of the curve on things

01:51:51   like auto save and restoring and stuff like that.

01:51:54   But you know, if you had like a BB edit thing open

01:51:56   and the machine died, it was like,

01:51:59   there was a good chance you'd lose some of it.

01:52:02   - Yeah, they added a feature at one point, in fact,

01:52:04   that I remember being really grateful for,

01:52:05   that was they built in their own auto save

01:52:08   that happened in the background.

01:52:09   Even if it was an untitled file,

01:52:10   it would be saved somewhere.

01:52:12   It's funny though, ironically, the worst sleep failures I had were when Apple put in

01:52:19   a new feature that was if the battery died, it would, and they still do this to this day,

01:52:27   it would write the contents of memory to disk.

01:52:31   And this is the deep sleep.

01:52:32   They do this not just when the battery dies, but after it's been asleep for some period

01:52:35   of time.

01:52:36   If you've ever had that where you put your laptop to sleep and you come back the next

01:52:38   and it looks kind of like it's booting up but then it's just back and I didn't

01:52:44   actually reboot that is loading they do a deep shutdown memory gets voided but

01:52:48   they've written the memory to disk and then they load the memory back in and

01:52:51   then they pick up right where you left off

01:52:53   well the early days of that feature sometimes it would try to go to sleep

01:52:58   and it would be like oh something terrible happened I'm dead and that

01:53:02   would be it wouldn't go to sleep and it would sit there and we get hot and then

01:53:05   you have to reboot and you lost everything. And eventually they got through it. But that

01:53:09   was, I really remember that I would do like command line stuff where I'd be like, do not

01:53:13   try to page to disk because it will kill my laptop and just turn that feature off for

01:53:19   a couple of years while they while they get it settled. I remember turning that off on

01:53:22   a machine too. And it was also at a time when storage sizes hadn't raced so far ahead of

01:53:29   RAM sizes and you could possibly be, especially if you had like a machine maxed out on RAM,

01:53:36   you could run into a situation where there wasn't enough space on disk or it was so close

01:53:40   that it would fill up the disk to such a level that it would cause problems just by writing

01:53:44   that file to disk.

01:53:46   It still happens on some, there's still some small drives even now on modern Macs where

01:53:51   you can actually get a little bit of savings by turning that feature off and deleting your

01:53:56   save your ram save file and you're like hey I got another couple gigabytes back.

01:54:01   Yeah another good thing I just wrote about it today but I literally published right before

01:54:05   we started recording so I'll bet you haven't seen it but I can bring it I can just say

01:54:08   what it is is I wrote a short piece on inspired by a mutual friend Jeff Carlson tweeted yesterday

01:54:15   about all these years later and shake to undo still stinks or something like that or a dumb

01:54:20   idea I forget I don't want to put words in his mouth hold on let me look it up but anyway

01:54:24   I wrote a piece on shake to undo. No, it's good. It's good. And the fundamental misunderstanding

01:54:29   I think is is undo good. And the answer is yes, undo is good is the only way to undo

01:54:34   being to grab your phone and like shake it in the air like an idiot. Is that good? Maybe

01:54:39   not. Here's Jeff Carlson's tweet so many years in and shake to undo is still one of the worst

01:54:46   stupidest ideas in iOS. I would add but I would add though I bring it up in the in this

01:54:53   that it is an example though of whimsy, right?

01:54:56   It is whimsical to use the accelerometer

01:54:59   to add this feature.

01:55:02   And I add this anecdote that I heard years ago.

01:55:07   I don't know if it's true

01:55:08   because I did not hear it firsthand, so who knows?

01:55:10   But the idea, that story I heard somewhat reliably,

01:55:14   but again, not firsthand,

01:55:16   is that at some point, like two or three years into iOS,

01:55:18   like at the time where they were,

01:55:19   you remember it was only iOS 3

01:55:21   added cut copy and paste like that's how much iOS rethought the entire idea of a

01:55:27   graphical user interface and they knew they wanted undo but if you think about

01:55:31   it it's really hard on a little glass iPhone size thing where every little

01:55:38   finger size bit of surface area is valuable and the keyboard isn't

01:55:43   available all the time and even when the keyboard is showing there are no

01:55:48   modifier keys so you can't do command Z for undo how do you do undo and the

01:55:55   Newton did it by adding an actual like one of like six there are six hardware

01:55:59   buttons under the screen that were there permanently and one of them was undo

01:56:03   that's that's how hard it is to do undo on a on a touchscreen without a menu bar

01:56:08   and without command key shortcuts so the Newton solution was to just have one of

01:56:13   was one sixth of the buttons that were on the screen, one of them was undo. Obviously

01:56:20   they're not going to do that with the iPhone and I don't think it would have been a good

01:56:22   it's a tricky problem to solve. And the story I heard though is that Scott Forstall got

01:56:27   a bunch of iOS engineers together. So we got to figure this out. Somebody come up with

01:56:31   an idea and somebody said as a joke, you could just shake the phone, you know, we read the

01:56:36   accelerometer and when anybody shakes the phone will do undo. And it was meant as joke

01:56:41   because it was so obviously a terrible idea, but Forrestal jumped on it and said, "I love

01:56:46   it. Let's do that." And, you know, here we are.

01:56:50   It's ingenious. It really is. I just keep thinking like, and maybe some of this is evangelizing.

01:56:55   You point out in that piece that the iPad, you know, there's an undo button in the strip,

01:57:00   in the autocorrect strip, basically above the keyboard. And it's always there. And there's

01:57:04   actually, when you've got something on the clipboard, there's also a paste button there,

01:57:07   which is really nice when you're editing text.

01:57:09   If you're in an app like some of the photo editing apps,

01:57:13   they have an explicit undo button.

01:57:17   But I get that like every now and then you're somewhere

01:57:20   and you're in an app that does not have

01:57:22   like a content interface that's drawn up

01:57:24   that has an undo button and you do something

01:57:26   and you're like, "Oh no."

01:57:28   And the shake to undo, I mean, the fact is,

01:57:32   well, it's not always there, I was gonna say that,

01:57:34   but apps have to support it.

01:57:35   but at least it's something that you can use as a last resort.

01:57:39   But I don't disagree with Jeff that like, ideally, this should be solved.

01:57:43   And I think Apple has tried to start solving it by like putting it in context

01:57:48   in like the text editing strip above the keyboard, whatever they call that,

01:57:51   the smart something or other.

01:57:52   But here, I'll just throw out an example.

01:57:55   It just is just right off the top of my head.

01:57:59   Terrible idea.

01:58:00   They could have said, put four fingers on the iPhone screen

01:58:04   and move down, and that's undo.

01:58:07   And that also is a terrible idea, is not discoverable,

01:58:10   not something people would intuitively know about.

01:58:13   You'd have to hear about it from somebody

01:58:14   and then remember it and then do it.

01:58:17   But that would have no whim,

01:58:18   there's no whimsy to that at all, right?

01:58:20   So shake to undo, the one thing that it does have

01:58:22   going for it, as opposed to let's say a four finger

01:58:25   swipe down or swipe in a circle or whatever you wanna do

01:58:29   with multi fingers.

01:58:30   Shake to Undo does have whimsy.

01:58:35   And that's why I brought it up in the context

01:58:37   of whatever happened to Apple and whimsy.

01:58:40   There was, in times past, more of a...

01:58:43   I don't think Shake to Undo would fly today.

01:58:46   I really, I don't think they would do that again.

01:58:49   - No, no.

01:58:51   I wonder what you could do.

01:58:53   Yeah, I mean, it's a hard problem.

01:58:54   That's the funny thing, is Shake to Undo is ridiculous.

01:58:56   I think the fact that it still exists

01:58:58   says something about how hard it is, though, to solve that problem.

01:59:01   Yeah, it is hard. It's really hard. You can't take it out unless you replace it with something,

01:59:04   and it's very hard to do. So it remains. It is super ingenious. Maybe at some point they'll just

01:59:10   have that sensor bar in the front will like see us scowling and be like, "I sense that they made

01:59:16   a mistake." Would you like to undo it? Like just an eyebrow-based undo system, maybe, eventually.

01:59:22   I don't know. Maybe the best solution would be to just have it listen and, you know,

01:59:25   if you just say undo. Siri as an undo shortcut that is actually not bad. Hey Siri undo. Oh

01:59:34   I shouldn't be saying that. I should say hey dingus but well whatever. Well it shouldn't

01:59:40   bother anybody who has this podcast playing audibly because Siri doesn't support undo yet.

01:59:45   Just wait until hey Siri can support you know wipe my hard drive.

01:59:54   be all sorts of fun on podcasts. All right, let me take one last break here and thank our third

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02:01:58   One of those things that you just,

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02:02:02   And it was my wife's idea.

02:02:03   She said she, I don't know if she read something

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02:02:07   they're like rows of stitching.

02:02:10   And the idea is that keeps the internal,

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02:02:17   The way that the comforters are stitched

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02:02:20   But that over time, it doesn't work anymore,

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02:04:35   product. Long time sponsor of the show. Sponsored a show exactly one year ago. Last thing I

02:04:43   wanted to talk about, I don't know if you had anything you wanted to bring up, but I'm

02:04:46   working on one more piece. I'm prolific this week.

02:04:49   Yeah, big week for you. Yeah, I've still got another one. It's mostly written and I got I got interrupted

02:04:54   Is I I think it's interesting that nobody has been speculating

02:04:59   Until now about what the hell is Apple gonna call the new iPhones this year

02:05:05   Right because last year it and this is one of those things that Apple is able to keep secret the name iPhone 10

02:05:12   only leaked like two or three days before the announcement because of a

02:05:16   a leak of the GM build of iOS. And even then we didn't know if it was going to be pronounced

02:05:21   iPhone X or iPhone 10. And I guessed wrong and thought X because I didn't think 10 made

02:05:26   a lot of sense. And I was wrong that they were going to pronounce it X not 10. But I

02:05:33   was right that it didn't make a lot of sense because it seems like they've painted themselves

02:05:36   into a corner if they want to keep adding numbers. And I'm curious if you have any thoughts

02:05:42   on this? Yeah, you know I do. I love this. I was the one who was advocating that they

02:05:48   get OS X off of version 10 and go to 11 for ages, which they could do now at any point

02:05:53   if they really wanted to because it's out of the name entirely. It's ridiculous. They're

02:05:57   never going to get 10 point something forever. 10.90 is going to be the last version. So,

02:06:02   yeah, I do. I think it's interesting that they chose 10 instead of X for the name of

02:06:07   iPhone because I think doing like an iPhone X2 would be cool, but X2 doesn't make any

02:06:17   sense. So I'm going to say, I think what it's going to be is I think there are these three

02:06:23   rumored phone models. I think it's going to be the iPhone 9, the iPhone X, new 2018 version,

02:06:31   the iPhone 10 Plus. I think they're gonna, I think Apple really likes making multiple

02:06:36   products with the same X. Right, the new iPhone 10. The new iPhone 10, right? And then ride

02:06:43   it like the ones that look like this and have this sensor and do the OLED screen and all

02:06:47   that, they're gonna be the iPhone 10 for a little while. Alright, let me toss this out.

02:06:51   I wonder if they might not be done with Plus. Like, so in a way that the 13-inch and 15-inch

02:06:57   MacBook Pros are just MacBook Pros and the two sizes of iPad Pro are just iPad Pro. Forget

02:07:02   the Pro part. Even though I still, there's a part of me that thinks that they could go

02:07:05   iPhone Pro, but I don't know that they would go iPhone Pro with this one that looks exactly

02:07:10   like the iPhone 10. Right. I think if they were going to switch to iPhone Pro, they'd

02:07:14   wait till they had one that looks, yeah, no, yeah. But the thing about plus is obviously

02:07:20   the first thing people think of is, okay, the seven plus the eight plus are bigger,

02:07:25   But the plus also meant other things, right?

02:07:28   The camera was always slightly better.

02:07:30   The iPhone Plus models had 3x retina screens, not 2x retina screens.

02:07:35   So in addition to being bigger screens, they actually had more pixels per inch.

02:07:39   So you were getting more than just a bigger phone.

02:07:42   And I don't know the details.

02:07:44   I have no supply side.

02:07:47   But all the rumors I've seen about these two new iPhone X models, the one that's exactly

02:07:52   the same size as the current iPhone X and the big 6.5-inch diagonal one. I haven't seen anybody say

02:07:59   that the 6.5 one is going to have any advantage, technical advantage whatsoever, other than a

02:08:05   bigger screen. That the cameras will be exactly the same, the pixels per inch of the OLED displays

02:08:10   would be the same. Right, so more pixels but same resolution, the 3x. Right. Or are you thinking

02:08:20   the same pixels just blown up. I would imagine it's just more pixels.

02:08:23   I would imagine it's just more pixels at the same pixels per inch.

02:08:26   Yeah, yeah, I agree. That makes sense. So I wouldn't think blown up. I would think

02:08:30   more pixels, but at the exact, you know, effectively cut from the same sheets of OLED.

02:08:35   But that, like, and the thing that always bothered me, and maybe I just read too much into it,

02:08:41   but as somebody who doesn't like the biggest size phones and has never carried a plus size

02:08:46   phone longer than like a week to review one. It always bothered me that I was no longer

02:08:53   getting the best possible iPhone camera. The 6 Plus had optical image stabilization for

02:09:01   video. The next year, it had optical image stabilization for video and stills, I think.

02:09:06   I don't know. I know that the technical difference was that it had optical image stabilization.

02:09:10   In the one year, it was video. In the one year, it was video and stills.

02:09:15   then the second camera.

02:09:17   - Right, and then it got a second camera,

02:09:20   which is that's where it really started to hurt, right?

02:09:22   Because you're obviously,

02:09:23   and I use that second camera a lot.

02:09:26   And for them, I don't know what percentage.

02:09:28   That would actually be interesting

02:09:29   if I could script that somehow

02:09:31   and see what percentage of my iPhone pictures

02:09:34   I take with which lens.

02:09:35   I would guess that I take about 95% of my photos

02:09:38   with the 1X lens and about 5% with the 2X.

02:09:43   But when I take one with the 2X,

02:09:45   I'm getting a, and some of them are great photos,

02:09:49   and I'm getting image quality that I would never get

02:09:52   that blows away what I would get

02:09:53   with a zoomed in version of the 1X.

02:09:55   That really bothered me.

02:09:58   Whereas I don't think this one is actually plus

02:10:00   other than being bigger.

02:10:01   - Yeah, but I think in the end,

02:10:03   maybe that's all that matters is that it's bigger.

02:10:05   I do have a theory and it's just a theory.

02:10:08   Mike Hurley and I talked about this on our podcast,

02:10:11   upgrade this week because he's a big Plus phone user and he's a big Apple Pencil fan.

02:10:18   I think it's less than 50% chance, but I feel like it's the biggest chance we've had in

02:10:22   a long time to say maybe this is the year that Apple introduces a phone that has support

02:10:28   for an Apple Pencil-like device. It would have to be smaller than the current Apple

02:10:33   Pencil, but something like that where you could basically say it's their equivalent

02:10:38   of the Galaxy Note where it's a big phone, it's so big it's like a notebook, you know,

02:10:43   like a paper notebook, not a laptop notebook, and you can hold it in your hand and use our

02:10:48   little golf pencil or whatever they call it, and the software is all already there because

02:10:52   it's already there for the Apple Pencil on the iPad to do something like that. And that

02:10:55   would be a way to differentiate it, right? If the iPhone 10+ also had Apple Pencil support,

02:11:02   because then it sort of makes sense on the bigger screen, you can sketch, you could write.

02:11:05   That's a theory. Again, I would probably not put money down on that, but I feel like it

02:11:10   might be something they could do to make that a different product in addition to just having

02:11:15   it be bigger, which for some people that's all they really want is a bigger, beautiful

02:11:21   screen. They don't care how big their phone is. They want it as big as possible.

02:11:24   Right. Yeah, that is an interesting theory. And again, I don't think any rumor has said

02:11:28   it, but it also seems like maybe there's a lot we don't know yet about what exactly—mainly

02:11:34   What it seems like we know about are the displays, that there's a 5.8-inch diagonal OLED, which

02:11:41   is exactly like the iPhone X we have now in the new iPhone X, which is as fine a name.

02:11:47   Whether it's the actual name or not, it certainly is clear what we're talking about.

02:11:50   There's a 6.5-inch OLED of similar technology, or perhaps exact same technology, in this

02:11:57   bigger new iPhone X.

02:12:00   And that's pretty big.

02:12:02   6.5-inch diagonal is pretty big.

02:12:03   It's huge and then weirdly there's a six point one inch diagonal which is about halfway between with an LCD screen

02:12:11   But also with the iPhone 10 style notch and corner to corner around design

02:12:16   That is you know obvious obviously since it's using an LCD is going to be lower priced. You know probably like an $800 starting

02:12:23   point

02:12:26   That pencil rumor it would be interesting

02:12:29   I could see that, and I could see them making that argument that, you know, because it's

02:12:33   6.5 inches diagonal, it is arguably a small tablet as much as it is a large phone.

02:12:38   - Exactly. It's not, I mean, yeah, it's getting to that point. It's not quite an iPad Mini

02:12:43   or something like that in terms of the, because of the aspect ratio and all that. But there

02:12:47   are a couple of reports about it. It's unclear how much of this is echo chamber and how much

02:12:51   of this is individual reports, but there are a couple of reports that suggest that pencil

02:12:55   support could be there for one or both of those models.

02:12:58   - Yeah, see, that's the question,

02:12:59   is would it be one or both, right?

02:13:01   - And the other nagging thing,

02:13:03   yeah, 'cause you could do it for both.

02:13:04   It wouldn't have to limit it.

02:13:05   The other nagging thing that I'll throw in there

02:13:07   is sometimes Apple does stuff and you're like,

02:13:09   oh, that's interesting, and then you look later

02:13:10   and you're like, oh, they were moving towards something

02:13:14   that we didn't realize is the Apple Pencil

02:13:19   and that Logitech Crayon on the low-cost iPad.

02:13:24   I think that's interesting

02:13:26   because they built an entire new way and a new radio method of connecting a stylus to

02:13:33   an iPad for that because the crayon doesn't use the Bluetooth connection that the pencil

02:13:38   does. It uses this other radio connection. It means you don't have to pair it. You can

02:13:42   actually just write on any iPad in a classroom and it'll work. And at the time, I was like,

02:13:48   "Okay, well, that makes sense for schools." And now I look at it and I think, "Well, are

02:13:52   they tinkering with how pencils work? And are we going to see a new kind of pencil technology

02:13:55   in the new iPad Pros this fall and maybe in the new iPhones this fall. Maybe not, maybe

02:14:01   not, but like it this could be the time that they do something like that. And what I like

02:14:06   about this idea is, is that like I said earlier, they I've done the job like the software's

02:14:12   all there like literally on iOS I think starting with 11 if you put a pencil onto a lock screen

02:14:18   it turns into a note and you can just take notes and it just it's taken automatically

02:14:23   into a new note without you even unlocking the device. It's like, how great would that

02:14:28   be on a phone? That's pretty smart and it's already in there.

02:14:32   My guess is, and I could be wrong, I like yours. I do. I might have to steal them. I'm

02:14:39   glad I haven't published this article yet. I kind of have this nagging feeling in the

02:14:45   back of my head that, so Apple did this thing where they would just add an S at the end

02:14:52   of a model year for the second year for a long time.

02:14:54   They had the iPhone 3G, then the 3GS,

02:14:56   and the 3GS outsold the 3G.

02:14:58   And then they had the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S,

02:15:00   and the 4S sold out, 'cause they just,

02:15:03   sales kept going up year over year with every year.

02:15:05   And in fact, up until a certain point,

02:15:08   and I'm not quite sure where that was,

02:15:09   iPhone 5 or 5S maybe, but up until a certain point,

02:15:12   not only was each successive model year of the iPhone

02:15:15   better selling than any previous one,

02:15:18   Each successive model year outsold all previous model years combined, which is just a great

02:15:26   way to think about how staggeringly fast and how many years the iPhone growth was, where

02:15:33   it went from this thing that was famous with our crowd to being this thing that was everywhere

02:15:38   in the most popular brand name and most profitable product ever made.

02:15:46   year outsold all previous years combined until a ridiculous number of years into

02:15:51   the iPhone 5s outsold the 5 iPhone 6 was absolutely a you know maybe the most

02:16:00   surprisingly best-selling iPhone year ever like Apple was supply constrained

02:16:04   longer than they expected it was as much as Apple and might have anticipated that

02:16:09   there were people waiting for bigger iPhones because that was of course the

02:16:13   year where it went from four inch diagonal to 4.8 and the plus size 5.5. They were supply

02:16:21   constrained. It was unbelievable. And then they came out with the 6S and the 6S was the

02:16:25   first iPhone generation that was a quote disappointment. And I forget to what degree it was. I forget

02:16:31   if it didn't actually I don't think it declined year over year. But yeah, yeah, yeah, it did.

02:16:36   It did. That was the sixth year was this huge year. And everybody went crazy. Like, Oh,

02:16:41   "Oh my God, the iPhone is exploding."

02:16:43   And then Apple lived it down the next year

02:16:45   where they missed their year over year growth,

02:16:47   like three consecutive quarters,

02:16:48   because there was so much pent up demand

02:16:51   for the bigger phones and the six is where they all went.

02:16:54   And it's funny because only this year

02:16:57   in the last couple of quarters

02:16:59   has Apple gotten to the point where they're back up to the,

02:17:02   they're now just above the average sales level of that peak.

02:17:07   It took them like this long for their natural growth

02:17:10   to reach the peak of the iPhone 6.

02:17:12   - Right, because so many people have been waiting

02:17:14   for a bigger iPhone.

02:17:15   I really do think that's just the base,

02:17:17   and they could have called these phones

02:17:18   anything they wanted to, numbers, letters.

02:17:20   - Totally.

02:17:21   - And I still think you would have seen that

02:17:22   with that first generation of big ones,

02:17:24   but I can't help but think that Apple saw that,

02:17:29   and I think they might be right,

02:17:32   that to some degree in the early years,

02:17:35   it was still more of a tech person product, right?

02:17:39   It's slowly transferred from being something for Apple nerds to something for everyone

02:17:49   who could afford one.

02:17:51   In that transition, there became more and more of a consumer level awareness of what

02:17:56   was new in a new iPhone and less of a, "Hey, I can tell you that the iPhone 5s has a 64-bit

02:18:02   processor and that's a big deal because everybody thought 64-bit was years away for

02:18:07   mobile for ARM. Try telling that to a normal person. It's like, "What the hell are you

02:18:11   talking about?" I can't help but think that with the 6S, the perception that, "Ah, they

02:18:18   just took…" It's just the same as the iPhone 6 and they put an S at the end and

02:18:22   there's nothing big. It's not worth buying. I can't help but wonder if Apple got spooked

02:18:27   away from that reusing a number two years in a row because people won't see it as

02:18:36   an upgrade. So I don't know. But they could, you know, the word new is powerful. So they

02:18:41   could just say the new iPhone 10 and maybe that's enough. One thing they won't do, and

02:18:46   I forget if you mentioned this or not, they're not going to call it the X2 because we're

02:18:52   not supposed to say X, even though X2 sounds like a cool phone, but we already call it

02:18:56   the X. But they also won't call it the XS because so many people, and this is one of

02:19:04   the reasons I thought they wouldn't pronounce the X as 10 say it X anyway, right? I wouldn't

02:19:09   be surprised if a majority of the people who walk into an Apple store to buy one call it

02:19:13   the iPhone X. It's certainly a significant minority, but then those people, they don't

02:19:18   want them calling it the XS because then it sounds like the word excess and that's a word

02:19:23   with negative connotations. So they're not going to call it the S.

02:19:27   **Beserat Debele:** Yeah. We've been waiting for this moment where

02:19:30   they say the new iPhone, right? Because I think everybody sort of agreed that it seemed

02:19:36   unlikely that Apple in 10 years time would be selling the iPhone 17.

02:19:40   - Right.

02:19:41   - Right? They have to get off the treadmill sometime and the iPhone 10 being the X instead

02:19:47   of a number, even though you say it like a number. I just, I looked at that last year

02:19:52   and I thought, well, maybe they'll get off the treadmill now. Maybe not. But it's just

02:19:56   like Apple has a history of getting to 10 and being like, "This is good. I'm gonna stay

02:20:00   here for a while. And I could see them doing it. It would be a big deal, keeping in mind

02:20:04   that if they have an iPhone 9 or whatever they call that LCD phone and they have a Plus,

02:20:10   like that's two brand new products. So if they have those two and they say also the

02:20:16   X got better, I think that they can get away with that. I don't think people are going

02:20:20   to be like, "Well, they didn't do anything with the X." It's like, "No, it's the new

02:20:23   X. The X got better too." But do they need to give it a new name in order to make that

02:20:27   I don't think they do. I think saying it's the new iPhone, it's this year's iPhone, it's

02:20:31   the next iPhone 10 is something they could get away with.

02:20:34   I could, I could. My idea, and now that I'm looking at it and I'm listening to you, you're

02:20:39   changing my mind, but my idea is if they stick with numbers that they would go iPhone 11,

02:20:44   iPhone 11 plus, and then not Roman numerals, one one, and iPhone nine for the LCD version.

02:20:50   11, 11 plus and nine.

02:20:53   Maybe I'll finally get my spinal tap appearance at an Apple event if they do that.

02:20:56   And that's I've got that I've got it. I've got it goes to 11 joke in my draft. Yeah,

02:21:01   there we go. I've got one in there already. And one of the reasons I thought that this

02:21:06   might be possible is that it by keeping the numbers two digits apart, not just 10 and

02:21:13   nine, but 11 and nine, it justifies that $200 price difference between what I presume to

02:21:19   be the starting price of this 6.1 inch LCD one of $800. And why in the world would you

02:21:25   spend an extra 200 and probably 300 to get the plus model.

02:21:30   Well, it's two generations ahead.

02:21:33   I don't know.

02:21:35   And then I'll go back.

02:21:37   I will go back to bang my hop.

02:21:40   But here's the thing, even if they go 11 and nine,

02:21:41   what do they do next year?

02:21:43   Because the mid tier model can't go to 10

02:21:46   because they've already used 10.

02:21:48   Like one of the problems is that they can't just keep,

02:21:50   I feel like they can't just keep adding a digit

02:21:53   to the high end because eventually you're gonna get to,

02:21:55   like you said, like iPhone 17.

02:21:57   I mean, even iPhone 13 might be something they want to avoid.

02:22:00   - Nobody wants that.

02:22:01   So here's a wild card,

02:22:02   'cause I've been calling it the iPhone 9

02:22:05   because I don't know what else to call it.

02:22:07   But given how different that phone is,

02:22:09   like it's way bigger than the iPhone 8 and 7 and 6, right?

02:22:13   All of which look exactly the same.

02:22:15   It's the same design style.

02:22:18   And this is totally different.

02:22:19   This is more like an iPhone 10.

02:22:21   It might not call the iPhone 9.

02:22:22   It might be called the iPhone something else

02:22:25   to differentiate it that isn't number-based at all.

02:22:28   And again, you look at Apple's other product lines,

02:22:33   it uncouples the iPhone from a number,

02:22:36   or at least a number as the only branding.

02:22:39   So then they could have the iPhone whatever

02:22:40   and the new iPhone 10 and the new iPhone 10 Plus.

02:22:43   And if they do that, they could keep iterating

02:22:45   those products for a while without ever changing their names

02:22:48   and just saying it's the new one.

02:22:49   - And here's my idea, and I might be the only one

02:22:53   who wants them to go this way.

02:22:55   But I'll go back to my guest from last year,

02:22:56   which is iPhone Pro for the OLED models.

02:23:01   Maybe with, and I don't think they'd ever say Pro Plus

02:23:04   because then it starts to sound like a,

02:23:06   so they just call them both iPhone Pro

02:23:08   and one of them's bigger and one of them's smaller.

02:23:10   Exactly like iPad Pro, exactly like MacBook Pro.

02:23:13   Both have the same name.

02:23:14   One's bigger, one's smaller.

02:23:16   Nobody's confused because it's obvious

02:23:18   which one's bigger, it's bigger.

02:23:19   And then the other one would just be called iPhone.

02:23:22   Now, that sounds nice and neat, but then it's all conflated by the fact that Apple continues

02:23:28   to sell old iPhones for years and years at lower price points beneath these two new tiers.

02:23:34   And then you've got iPhone Pro, iPhone, it sounds good enough, but then you've still

02:23:38   got what, iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 or whatever?

02:23:42   I don't know what you plan to keep around.

02:23:44   Embedded in my theory about them just saying it's the new iPhone X is the idea that the

02:23:49   the iPhone X as a very high-end product doesn't trickle down, right? That's part of my theory

02:23:55   there is that maybe it costs $999, maybe it goes down in price, but like there's no last

02:24:03   year's model for sale of the iPhone X. They're not going to sell the old iPhone X for $899.

02:24:08   It's like, "No, no, no. If you want the iPhone X, it's $999 to start and you can get the

02:24:13   new one." That's a big change for them, but if they've got other products in the line,

02:24:17   they still sell the 8 and they've got this new thing, 9 or whatever they call it, and

02:24:23   then they've got the new 10s, like they've still got a product spread there. There is

02:24:26   a question over time, like how do they do it? But like the SE, similarly, which hasn't

02:24:31   been updated in a while, but the SE is the same thing where it's like they can call things

02:24:35   the SE and just increment the year and still--so eventually you may end up in a scenario where

02:24:40   instead of this trickle down of old products, maybe this is a 4-year deal where they're

02:24:45   in the middle of it now, of migrating to this, they have different iPhone models that change

02:24:49   every year at different price points, which means that you're buying the latest and greatest

02:24:55   of the iPhone SE instead of buying a three-year-old iPhone. And I think for some people that might

02:25:00   be more appealing to be like, "I've got the 2018 model iPhone SE," instead of, "Yeah,

02:25:06   I've got the 2016 iPhone. That's all I could afford." Like, it feels better to have the

02:25:11   latest low-end model, I think, rather than the high-end model from three years ago.

02:25:16   Yeah, and the other thing that is specific to iPhone, and only iPhone at least in Apple's

02:25:20   world, although the watch might be close, is that it is pretty regularly annual. And it has been

02:25:29   since the iPhone 5, I believe. The 4S was the one that came out in October, right after Steve Jobs

02:25:38   died and then ever since it's been like first or second Tuesday or Wednesday in September

02:25:44   every single year and no other Apple product is like that right even the iPad isn't as annual and

02:25:51   like I mentioned earlier in the show the iPad Pro that is but pro models that are currently for sale

02:25:56   are both well over a year old and there is to me something to the you know and the iPhone is

02:26:01   obviously the most important product Apple makes by you know any measure you could possibly measure

02:26:06   And so having that unique new, this is obviously the latest and greatest name every year might

02:26:14   factor into that to some degree because it's not meant to sit around as the top tier phone

02:26:19   for 18 months or 24 months. But I don't know.

02:26:22   - Yeah, I'm sure there are lots of branding experts out there who have lots of opinions

02:26:27   about what Apple should do with this product since it is one of the most successful products

02:26:30   out there. I do look at the Apple Watch and think with the Apple Watch, they've managed

02:26:35   do something where it's always Apple Watch, but there is a tag to it that changes. And in some

02:26:42   ways I feel like that's the ideal, right? But you know, maybe with something that's more computer-y

02:26:47   you don't need to do that, and something with fashion-y you do. But like, the beauty of the

02:26:50   Apple Watch Series 3 is that it's an Apple Watch. People don't look at my Apple Watch and say, "Oh,

02:26:56   is that the Series 3?" They say, "Oh, you have an Apple Watch." And which one is it? And I say,

02:27:00   say, well, this is the one with GPS or I say this is a series three, but and it's on their

02:27:05   website. It's like Apple watch series three, but it's the Apple watch. The name is still

02:27:09   Apple watch. The number is a tag. It's a, it's a subhead. It's not the product name.

02:27:16   And I don't know, is that where Apple wants to go with the iPhone? Like would they really

02:27:20   rather it be the iPhone series something or iPhone, some other kind of, uh, like sub subhead,

02:27:27   a little like secondary name for it that tells you what model it is. Or again, the simplest

02:27:32   thing is it's this year's model. This is the new iPhone 10 for 2018. It's, it's, what's,

02:27:39   what's amazing about this and is why sometimes I'm very, very, very, very, very happy to

02:27:43   not be one of the people in the room at Apple is like, this is product is so important.

02:27:50   And it's like, don't screw this up guys, right? Like every marketing decision they make and

02:27:54   naming decision they make is potentially a billions of dollars mistake. And you know,

02:28:02   we talk about how weird the Mac laptop line has been, but like Apple can survive some

02:28:07   weirdness in the Mac line. Apple, I mean, they can survive anything I suppose, but Apple

02:28:11   does really does not want to screw up the iPhone. So you got to do it right. And I,

02:28:16   that is, there's probably a lot of pressure in everybody in Phil Schiller's group who

02:28:20   sits around talking about how these things are going to get branded.

02:28:24   After the event last year, I did speak to Schiller briefly, and I joke because I know

02:28:29   he reads my site, and I know or at least he reads it before an event like that. And I

02:28:33   just broke the ice by saying, "Oh my God, I was hoping it was X, not 10." And he looked

02:28:40   at me and laughed. And I said something like, "I can't even imagine how much thinking

02:28:46   goes into that." And he just looked at me and he got real serious and he just says,

02:28:49   we spent a lot of time thinking about this. And I said, "I'm not surprised." I was like,

02:28:56   "Because it's important." And he's like, "It was a lot of time."

02:28:59   Yeah, the amount of market research. That's the thing people don't really think about. But

02:29:03   market research, internal testing, subscribing to external research.

02:29:09   Worldwide testing, too. Because it's such a worldwide product that you've got to think

02:29:13   think about things like, you know, which, you know, like 13 has an unlucky connotation

02:29:19   in the US and maybe other Western countries, but they're like, I forget what the unlucky

02:29:24   number in China is. It might be eight though, I don't know, because they didn't avoid that.

02:29:29   But I forget. But you know, you have to look into stuff like that.

02:29:34   Yeah. Well, you don't want a name that it turns out is a horrible reference in one of

02:29:38   your major markets. Right. You would want to avoid that too. So yeah, the amount of

02:29:42   effort that goes into that. Then again, what I do like to think is here it's like two of

02:29:48   us just sitting here spitballing for a couple of hours. Like there are probably dozens of

02:29:54   people where this is their entire job. And so these are not, you know, us throwing around

02:30:00   a couple ideas between two guys who are thinking about it. And we think about it a lot, but

02:30:04   like we're just two people and we're only doing it for a few hours. Fortunately, Apple

02:30:09   afford to and needs to afford to pay people a lot of money to spend a lot of time and

02:30:14   do a lot of research to make the right decisions on this front. It's fascinating to see when

02:30:17   those windows get rolled out. But you know, the iPhone name thing has been hanging over

02:30:22   them for a while now or for a while. It's like, yeah, iPhone three G. Yes, I've on four

02:30:26   will do that. We're going to just that was the moment where they're like, nope, we're

02:30:30   going to count up and we're just going to call it four and the next one's, you know,

02:30:33   we'll do four S and then we're going to do five like, okay, that was really good. But

02:30:38   even then you knew it couldn't go on like that forever. And how do you get off the carousel?

02:30:44   Maybe they're getting off of it now, maybe they're not. Maybe they'll be iPhone 11 and

02:30:47   we'll be like, "All right, here we keep going." Real-time follow-up, the unlucky number in

02:30:51   China is four. So they obviously use that, but I wonder if Chinese sales of iPhones at

02:30:58   that time were low enough that they weren't as worried. I wonder because Chinese iPhone

02:31:04   sales didn't really take off until a bit later. Yeah, I don't know any other advantage advantage

02:31:12   that Apple has internally at coming up with these names and the the weight that hangs

02:31:18   over their necks strategically thinking about it is that they also have the advantage of

02:31:22   knowing the roadmap. You know, like, so for example, the the iPhones for next year are

02:31:30   already set. I mean, there might be minor minor things that are that are still up in

02:31:34   the air. But at this point on the calendar, the iPhones that are coming out 13 months

02:31:38   from now are effectively set or mostly set. Right. Very, very close. They have to get

02:31:43   the contracts for the components. It is. Yeah, it is. I'm of the I've beaten the drum that

02:31:50   the lead time on iPhones is longer than most people expect. You know, like last year, it

02:31:56   came up over and over again because there were these bizarre reports that came up in

02:32:00   July that Apple was still trying to integrate a fingerprint sensor into the iPhone 10, which

02:32:06   it, number one, it wasn't true, but number two, it's impossible as late as July. It just

02:32:11   isn't, is not possible. Um, you know, the, the only counter example I can ever think

02:32:16   of was the iPod touch that was supposed to have a camera. I think it was an iPod touch

02:32:21   that was supposed to have a camera. And then at the last minute they took the camera out,

02:32:26   But they could do that at sort of the last minute because it didn't really mean re-engineering

02:32:31   anything. They just didn't put the camera in and kept the aluminum back from getting

02:32:37   drilled where the camera hole would be.

02:32:38   Yeah, there was still like all the hole where the thing was supposed to go and on the circuit

02:32:42   board and all that and it just wasn't there. Apple Watch was like that where they had like

02:32:47   extra port or something that was gonna be able to connect to like smartwatch bands and

02:32:53   and they're like, "Nope, we're not gonna do that."

02:32:55   And they took it out fairly late in the game.

02:32:57   So yeah, it is--

02:33:00   - They can take stuff out late in the game,

02:33:01   they can't add stuff like a fingerprint sensor

02:33:03   late in the game, no way.

02:33:04   - And the branding stuff probably is a conversation

02:33:06   that's got some ebbs and flows,

02:33:08   but also they know what the product map is.

02:33:09   And this takes us, it's funny, here at the end,

02:33:12   takes us all the way back to the beginning of this podcast,

02:33:14   which is like the Mac laptop stuff.

02:33:17   That's what happens when you look at a roadmap

02:33:22   and you think it's going to be one thing,

02:33:24   and you make those naming decisions,

02:33:25   you know, like we're going to call this MacBook,

02:33:27   MacBook Air is going to go away, we're going to do that,

02:33:29   and then something happens and you're like,

02:33:31   oh, but we made these decisions based on an assumption

02:33:34   that turned out not to be true,

02:33:36   and now we have to figure out how to, you know, navigate that.

02:33:40   And that's the flip side of this,

02:33:41   is that these are things where you make a decision

02:33:43   and you're looking two, three, four years out,

02:33:45   and if you can execute, it's great.

02:33:49   And every now and then, something happens,

02:33:51   and you're like, "Oh, okay, we made some decisions thinking it would be this and it's going to

02:33:54   be that." But you're right, I think, like, yeah, they know where the iPhone is going.

02:33:59   And calling it iPhone 10, that very clearly had to be part of the thought process. And

02:34:04   knowing that this other phone was coming out, whatever they're going to call it, and how

02:34:07   would that fit in? And the other larger model, and how does that fit in? And then what they

02:34:11   do next year, how does that fit in? Like, I think that's really cool. That would be

02:34:15   a really cool job to have. I'm just saying, I'm not sure I could sleep well at night if

02:34:19   that weight of all iPhone sales and marketing was on my shoulders. So, I hope that Phil

02:34:25   Schiller has a really good Casper mattress is what I'm saying.

02:34:29   All right. That is a perfect way to bring it full circle. Jason, I thank you for coming

02:34:34   back. I'll have to have you on in a year, 23rd or 24th of August 2019. Everybody can

02:34:42   read your writing at six colors, spell the colors, whichever way you're comfortable with

02:34:48   dot com and you've always got links to your writing around the web at places like Macworld

02:34:53   and I just saw your byline at Tom's Hardware. Yeah, Tom's Guide. Yeah, I'm writing sort

02:34:59   of iPhone stuff there every couple of weeks for my old pal Phil Michaels from Macworld

02:35:04   works there now. So I'm writing for him every other week too. You're good at this. You should

02:35:07   do like podcasts. You know, yeah, podcasts are well, you know, you and I have had that

02:35:12   conversation that now we, you know, we think of ourselves as writers and now we're kind

02:35:17   podcasters who write on the side, but that works. Among the podcasts that you do, there is Upgrade,

02:35:26   which I think you just mentioned, right? Yep. With Mike Hurley over at—where's the URL?

02:35:32   Relay.fm/upgrade for that one. And then TheIncomparable.com for all my other nonsense.

02:35:39   The pop culture ones. Boy, you could lose some time on TheIncomparable.com. You could.

02:35:43   It could. It's like hundreds of episodes now and then other shows and it just keeps going and going

02:35:48   and going. Well, my thanks to you. I'm really still blown away by the annual nature of this

02:35:55   particular episode of the podcast. I guess it's, you know, your thoughts turn toward the Apple

02:35:59   event. You're like, "Ah, let's speculate with Jason." My guess is I'll contact you a year from

02:36:04   now and I won't remember that this has happened either in the previous two years. I can't wait

02:36:09   to talk about mechanical keyboards and keyboard testers again then.

02:36:13   Yeah. And my thanks to our sponsors for this episode. We had Casper Mattresses,

02:36:18   Tres Pontas Coffee, and Squarespace, where you can build your own website. My thanks

02:36:24   to all of them and thanks to you again, Jason. Thanks, Jon.