The Talk Show

177: ‘Surface Curious’ With Rene Ritchie


00:00:00   All right, I'll forgive you for cheating. How are you feeling? You feeling better or are you still getting worse?

00:00:03   Now I feel terrible that I invited you on the show.

00:00:05   No, no, I'm doing really good. It's one of those things where like I'm someone who's only really sick at night

00:00:09   and like late at night, like nine o'clock, I'll feel horrible, but you know, most of the day I'm fine.

00:00:14   So I'm using up the remaining hours of you feeling good.

00:00:16   No, this is a lot of fun.

00:00:17   All right, well, we'll try to hurry up.

00:00:20   No, not at all.

00:00:21   What do you want to start with?

00:00:28   Do you want to do the year-end review stuff?

00:00:29   Do you want--

00:00:29   Oh, I think we should probably save that.

00:00:31   Let's save that.

00:00:31   OK.

00:00:32   Let's do the-- let's talk about topical, new stuff that's--

00:00:35   Apple and finally publishing AI?

00:00:38   Yeah, that was-- that's--

00:00:40   they said they were going to do it, and now they've done it.

00:00:43   So it's-- in some ways, it's--

00:00:46   Apple does what they said they were going to do,

00:00:48   so it's not that big a deal.

00:00:49   But it's another step in the new Apple--

00:00:54   open Apple, right?

00:00:56   Absolutely.

00:00:57   And what was hilarious to me is that we talked about this on the talk show previously was

00:01:02   Google got up at I/O and instead of showing off a lot of the cool stuff that they're doing

00:01:06   with AI, they basically reintroduced sequential inference from Siri from 2010 and everyone

00:01:11   just lost their shit and said, you know, Apple's way behind.

00:01:14   And Apple's been doing this stuff since before Siri and they've been doing all sorts of different

00:01:17   machine learning and they just never spoke about it.

00:01:21   And now there's sort of, it's become table stakes and Wall Street and everyone is judging

00:01:24   you based on your AI performance, so now they have to get ahead of the story.

00:01:28   Sequential inference is when you do something like, "Hey Dingus, what's the Dallas Cowboys

00:01:35   record?"

00:01:36   And then Siri will answer and tell you that they're 13 and 2.

00:01:41   And then you say, "When do they play next?"

00:01:44   And Siri—I don't know if that particular example works—but sequential inference is

00:01:52   when, in other words, the sequential query, Siri can infer what I mean when I say "they."

00:01:58   Yeah, like the classic example is what's the capital of Germany and it'll say Berlin, you say

00:02:02   what's the population, you don't have to say Berlin again because it remembers what you're talking

00:02:05   about. Right, which is something that you don't, the reason I don't even know, I'm not, number one,

00:02:11   I'm not an AI researcher, number two, the reason most people don't know the term "sequential

00:02:17   inference" is because it comes naturally to human beings, it's called having a conversation.

00:02:22   Yeah, absolutely. It's all part of their natural language, you know, whatever magic that they've

00:02:28   got going on. Right. There's all sorts of things that we'll say even in this conversation on the

00:02:32   show that taken out of context as an individual sentence, somebody would say, "Well, I don't know

00:02:37   what the hell they're talking about, but it makes perfect sense in the midst of a conversation." And

00:02:42   that's a very tricky AI problem. Yeah. And, you know, again, there was all this conversation

00:02:48   about right now people are saying Amazon is far and away ahead in terms of natural language and

00:02:53   voice assistance and we saw the story about Wynn Hotels installing Alexa in all, you know, the Wynn

00:02:59   and in Encore. And yet to some extent because but I think it's also greatly inflated by how much

00:03:07   American tech pundits really love Amazon because outside of the US and the UK and now Germany since

00:03:12   September, Amazon has absolutely no presence. Meanwhile, Apple and Google are doing multi-language

00:03:17   and now sometimes multilingual, where you can switch from one language to another

00:03:20   during a conversation, which is super important in some countries like Europe, even in Montreal.

00:03:24   And so everyone is sort of ahead in different areas, and when you normalize it,

00:03:28   it's a super interesting area. Yeah, so we could segue right into the

00:03:32   story about the win and encore. Yeah.

00:03:35   It's pretty interesting. So the basic... Do we miss anything on the other story?

00:03:44   it was basically computer vision where they were trying to train, it's super hard to get to

00:03:48   take a human being and annotate images because you have to go through the image and tell the

00:03:52   computer what everything is, so they're trying to use simulated images to identify enough that

00:03:56   they can start implying what's in, so they start figuring out what's in the natural images.

00:04:00   Right, but as I wrote, I think, and I, you know, I guess I agree with myself, the bigger news is not

00:04:07   whatever the details of this particular paper, it's that Apple's AI researchers are in fact

00:04:12   publishing papers at all, because Apple is a very secretive company. I don't know if you knew that.

00:04:17   And they traditionally keep what they're working on to themselves until they have a product,

00:04:25   and even when the product comes out, they don't really explain a lot—often don't explain how

00:04:30   it works. They just put it out for people to enjoy. Yeah, and that seemed to have changed radically,

00:04:35   like right around WWDC when they started talking about computer vision and machine learning on

00:04:39   stage and then Tim Cook made comments about how they're using artificial intelligence

00:04:43   to increase battery life.

00:04:44   And Apple is one of the few companies that makes their own silicon.

00:04:47   Like Samsung makes their own silicon, but they don't use it in all their phones.

00:04:49   Apple does.

00:04:50   So they can put stuff in the chip that does a lot of the stuff that other companies have

00:04:53   to do in the software layer.

00:04:55   And they're deeply invested in all this technology.

00:04:57   Yeah, and there was a presentation recently that an Apple AI researcher gave.

00:05:02   I think it was actually where the news came out that they're going to start publishing.

00:05:06   And I know that this particular thing on the image recognition was part of the talk that

00:05:10   was given.

00:05:13   And they were talking about the custom set of images that they have that's apparently

00:05:17   way bigger than the standard one.

00:05:21   There's an open source one.

00:05:22   I don't know if it's actually open source, but effectively open, that researchers can

00:05:25   use.

00:05:26   And Apple has their own proprietary set of I don't know how many million images.

00:05:31   But the bigger story is that Apple's publishing it at all.

00:05:35   And I think this is true.

00:05:36   I think it's a very simple story, which is that in the AI community, it's a very academic

00:05:41   community, and much like the university world, publishing is how you get ahead professionally.

00:05:49   And so to take a job as an AI researcher at a company where you're not allowed to publish

00:05:55   anything is sort of a dead end career-wise.

00:06:00   So you could maybe throw money at the problem,

00:06:04   but at a certain part, for a lot of these professionals,

00:06:08   their career is more important than their salary.

00:06:10   They're not in it for the money.

00:06:12   I mean, the money's nice.

00:06:13   I'm sure that Apple's AI researchers

00:06:15   are compensated very well compared to the median income

00:06:20   of an average citizen in the United States.

00:06:25   But there's more to it than that,

00:06:27   if you're really are looking to cultivate a decades-long career,

00:06:31   publishing is fundamental to it.

00:06:32   And apparently, Apple had a notorious reputation

00:06:35   that at conferences and stuff like that, that AI researchers--

00:06:40   it just wasn't a place that you go because you can't publish.

00:06:43   Yeah, and it was similar this year's security.

00:06:45   For years, Apple would just swallow up

00:06:47   people who were experts at algorithms

00:06:48   or some form of advanced computing or product category

00:06:52   that they wanted to do.

00:06:53   And they would go into a black hole,

00:06:54   and you'd never hear about them again.

00:06:55   And this year, they very slowly started

00:06:57   letting Apple people, for example, present--

00:06:59   Ivan Krstic presented at Black Hat

00:07:01   this year for the first time.

00:07:02   And now you have these papers being published.

00:07:04   And it is becoming table stakes to acquiring and retaining

00:07:06   the best talent.

00:07:07   And if Apple can't or won't offer that as an option,

00:07:09   other companies will.

00:07:10   So I think it's become a competitive enough area

00:07:12   that they have to relent.

00:07:13   Yeah, actually, it wasn't the first time

00:07:15   Apple presented at Black Hat.

00:07:17   They presented a long time ago.

00:07:19   And it was a widely panned talk because it was so empty.

00:07:25   It was sort of what you think a secretive company would give.

00:07:27   It's like, you know, it was sort of like an empty presentation.

00:07:33   Now, years later, maybe like 10 years later,

00:07:36   the presentation this year was a lot of people,

00:07:39   because of the last one, I saw a lot of coverage of it

00:07:41   from Black Hat attendees.

00:07:42   They rolled their eyes, and they're like, oh, this

00:07:44   is going to be something.

00:07:45   And then it ended up being a very, very serious,

00:07:47   you know, informative talk.

00:07:50   Yeah, absolutely.

00:07:51   And again, that's what you want for the top people

00:07:53   in their respective fields, especially

00:07:54   it is something as new and exciting as AI, which a lot of people think is going to be

00:07:57   one of the next big chapters in computing.

00:08:00   Yes. So speaking of AI, what in the news this week was this announcement you referred to

00:08:08   that the Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas, Nevada, are going to equip all of their rooms, about

00:08:15   4,800 rooms between the two, with an Amazon Echo. Wynn and Encore, it's sort of one

00:08:22   big resort, you can go between one and the other without ever stepping outside. There's

00:08:28   like a shopping mall between the two. So it's sort of really, it's more like one property.

00:08:35   It's just two different towers and slightly different themes between the two. It's a lot.

00:08:42   4800 is a lot of rooms. And I think it's interesting. My take on it is that there's a lot of talk

00:08:50   that hey it's early days of this voice driven AI stuff nobody's too late to the

00:08:55   game like the fact that Apple doesn't have a standalone speaker type thing

00:09:01   like the Google Home and the Amazon echo doesn't mean that they're too late you

00:09:07   know because it's so early it's sort of like how maybe you know smartphones in

00:09:12   2004 2005 the fact that Apple didn't have one was didn't mean they were too

00:09:17   late, obviously, in hindsight, and that the situation might be similar to that with voice.

00:09:24   But 4,800, 5,000 of them in a hotel here, 5,000 in a hotel there, and all of a sudden

00:09:31   you can have a pretty entrenched market leader. Because it's also the sort of thing that

00:09:36   in a hotel room is not going to get replaced every year or every two years like a cell

00:09:41   phone is.

00:09:42   Yeah, no, totally. Again, it's one of those things that really depends on your point of

00:09:45   because some people will look at the Amazon Echo or now the Google home and say that Apple

00:09:49   is super far behind because they don't have a home hub, where with Amazon, if you have

00:09:54   the Amazon Echo or the Dot and you leave the house and then realize something's wrong,

00:09:58   you can't just yell and change whatever is on that device.

00:10:02   Where with Siri, it's super portable across a wide range of different devices and Google's

00:10:07   assistant, it can be in the home, it can be on the phone, it's in all of those areas.

00:10:12   And again, Amazon Echo only functions in, I think, two languages now and three countries

00:10:17   compared to multiple languages, including Chinese and Hebrew for something like Siri.

00:10:22   So you could look at it and say Amazon is super far behind because they don't have multilingual,

00:10:25   they don't have multi-device, they're not mobile, they're not portable.

00:10:28   An assistant that's not with you all the time is not a very good assistant at all.

00:10:31   So all this stuff is very perspective-based, but I think this is sort of the exciting period

00:10:34   where everything's being figured out.

00:10:36   And the win is a huge, I don't see what to say, but it's a huge win for Amazon.

00:10:41   But again, for me, it's like, what is the implication of all this?

00:10:44   Is this a dumb terminal that's going to just parse voice commands and do a certain subset

00:10:47   of features?

00:10:48   Or there was a story in the information today about a court subpoenaing Amazon Records in

00:10:52   a murder trial, and I'm not even going to have to worry about everything I say in a

00:10:54   hotel room from now on.

00:10:55   Yeah, I just was about to mention that.

00:10:58   Well, and I even wrote, you know, it's—in any hotel room, I think that a reasonable—it's

00:11:06   reasonable for somebody to have privacy concerns about an always-listening electronic device

00:11:10   whether you're committing a crime or not. And in Vegas in particular, there might be, you know,

00:11:17   there might be more concerns than in other cities. I don't think that's unreasonable in the least

00:11:24   bit. So I'm curious at a practical level what the win and encore will do if some guest is checking

00:11:32   in and says, "I don't want that." Yeah, well, it reminds me of that, the Citizen 4, the movie,

00:11:38   the documentary about Edward Snowden. And all these companies have technology. Like they parse

00:11:43   the voice locally until you say the command phrase and then they engage the network. So it's not as

00:11:47   if everything you're saying is streamed to Amazon. But we don't know if that can change and we don't

00:11:51   know if someone can order that to be changed. So it's sort of like when Edward Snowden sees that

00:11:55   phone and he starts taking it apart and the reporter says, "But that phone's not on." And

00:11:59   he goes, "Ha ha ha." You know, as if that's the most naive question in the world. And you have

00:12:04   you have to deal with, yes, I understand that Amazon says,

00:12:06   or that the technology is built this way,

00:12:08   I don't know who flipped a switch

00:12:09   or forced them to flip a switch,

00:12:10   and I can't understand the state of this device,

00:12:12   therefore my only option is to disassemble it.

00:12:15   - Right, and I, you know,

00:12:17   I have the Echo downstairs, and by default,

00:12:22   it's very, very simple, you just plug it in,

00:12:24   you can unplug, if you unplug it,

00:12:25   I'm pretty sure you're good,

00:12:26   because there's no battery in it.

00:12:28   And when you address it,

00:12:32   with the, you know, whatever your catchphrase is.

00:12:35   I think you have the choice with that.

00:12:37   I use, what do I use?

00:12:39   Alexa, I think.

00:12:40   I think you can, I forget what else you can call it.

00:12:42   You can call it like Echo or something, I don't know.

00:12:44   But I call it Alexa.

00:12:45   And then when Alexa starts listening,

00:12:49   there's a blue ring that lights up.

00:12:52   So you know, okay, now it's listening.

00:12:54   But it's always listening

00:12:57   because otherwise how would it hear Alexa?

00:13:00   - Yeah, they claim that it's locally listening only

00:13:03   until it hears the phrase,

00:13:04   and then it enables network function.

00:13:05   But again, in a post-Noden world,

00:13:06   I don't wanna make any of these assumptions anymore.

00:13:08   - Right, and who is to say whether a court order

00:13:13   could force them to secretly,

00:13:17   I mean, again, this sounds like paranoid stuff.

00:13:20   Like, if you told me I'd be talking about this

00:13:22   10 years ago, I would've thought I was a nut,

00:13:23   but I mean, this stuff has come to pass,

00:13:28   that these, you know, you get these,

00:13:29   I forget what they're called, the court order,

00:13:32   that in addition to having to comply with it,

00:13:34   you're also not allowed to talk about it

00:13:36   or to inform your customer.

00:13:38   - Yeah, the national security letters.

00:13:39   - Right, national security letters.

00:13:41   Who's to say that they can't come to Amazon

00:13:43   and either force them to make it listen

00:13:46   without having the blue light light up

00:13:48   or similar to the Apple case from earlier this year,

00:13:55   what if the FBI has, or whoever else, law enforcement,

00:13:59   they have their own team of hackers who have a patch.

00:14:03   You know, like, you don't even have to,

00:14:05   we're not even gonna make you write it.

00:14:06   All we want, we just wanna force this patch

00:14:10   onto this guy's Echo.

00:14:13   - Or a nation state, or a hacker just goes

00:14:14   into the assembly line, or smokies themselves

00:14:16   into the source code, you know,

00:14:17   they just hide amongst the other programmers.

00:14:19   If you don't bring the device into the room,

00:14:21   your confidence level can never be 100% about that device.

00:14:24   - Right.

00:14:25   So it's, yeah, exactly, especially going to a hotel room,

00:14:28   who's to say that the device hasn't been diddled with

00:14:30   by somebody, you know, not even,

00:14:32   even if you trust the Wynn Corporation completely,

00:14:35   who's to say that a previous guest hasn't been in?

00:14:37   - Totally, I mean, there are jobs where if your devices

00:14:39   are ever out of your sight, you just have to walk away,

00:14:41   you can never pick them up or touch them again.

00:14:43   And you know, Vegas, are they gonna have guests like that?

00:14:46   So I wonder how they're gonna tackle those problems.

00:14:46   - At the same level, who's to say that,

00:14:48   I mean, if you're gonna say that there's malfeasance

00:14:50   who are gonna come in and hack the echo in the room,

00:14:53   Who's to say that they didn't go in and plant a bug,

00:14:56   just an old-fashioned bug underneath the bed

00:14:58   or somewhere else where a housekeeping

00:15:00   can go to spot it. - Absolutely.

00:15:01   - So, I mean, it's not like it's entirely new.

00:15:04   But why would they do this?

00:15:05   Why would the wind do this?

00:15:05   I've stayed at the wind several times.

00:15:08   Where by several, I mean many.

00:15:11   - We stay there every CES.

00:15:13   - If I went there for CES,

00:15:14   I would definitely stay at the wind.

00:15:16   If I ever go to CES, and it's a perennial topic on the,

00:15:20   I'm not going this year.

00:15:21   This year it was impossible for personal reasons here.

00:15:24   I've gotta, I cannot be away in early January.

00:15:26   But every year I say, boy, one of these years

00:15:31   I'd like to go to CES, just because,

00:15:32   not because I think it'd be great.

00:15:33   I think for all the reasons that people

00:15:36   in the press complain about it would be bad.

00:15:38   But I think it's something to see.

00:15:40   And I don't think it's gonna last forever.

00:15:42   And so I kind of wanna see it while it is still a thing.

00:15:45   But anyway, I would say it win for sure,

00:15:46   'cause it's my, A, it's my favorite place in Vegas.

00:15:49   And B, it's reasonably walkable to both the convention center,

00:15:56   which is a bit of a hike from the Wynn,

00:15:58   and it's right next door to the Sands Convention

00:16:01   Center, which is part of Venetian,

00:16:04   where there's a whole bunch of other stuff.

00:16:07   And it's so close to the Venetian

00:16:08   that you'd be nuts to take a cab.

00:16:11   Yeah, absolutely.

00:16:12   It'll take you 20 minutes longer than it would take you to walk.

00:16:15   So they annex more and more hotels every year,

00:16:17   - Until one day it'll just be in the wind.

00:16:20   - I doubt it.

00:16:20   I don't think the wind would,

00:16:21   I think the wind would turn the business down.

00:16:24   - Probably. - Honestly.

00:16:25   I know they don't want the refraf.

00:16:27   But anyway, I've been there many times

00:16:29   and they actually recently, I think within the last year,

00:16:32   I think only the last time I was there

00:16:33   did they have the new setup, but they replaced,

00:16:36   there used to be a console next to one side of a bed

00:16:39   that would control the drapes,

00:16:41   what do they call them, the shears?

00:16:42   So you could like let light in,

00:16:44   but have, you know, like sheer things

00:16:46   so nobody could see through the window,

00:16:48   and the various lights in the room.

00:16:50   So you control the lights, you control the drapes

00:16:52   and the shears with this touch thing.

00:16:54   They recently replaced them with a sort of new one

00:16:58   that still looks sort of '80s-ish.

00:17:00   It looks like really high-end consumer electronics

00:17:03   from the '80s.

00:17:04   I can't help but think that maybe that's part

00:17:06   of how this is possible, though,

00:17:07   that they got these new ones that are more,

00:17:11   at least sort of computerized rather than purely electronic

00:17:14   so that Alexa, that they can write some kind of custom app

00:17:17   to have it happen.

00:17:20   And the Wynn is supposed to be the nicest place in town.

00:17:23   I think it is the nicest place.

00:17:24   It's a high-end hotel.

00:17:26   It's sort of annoying, if you think about it,

00:17:27   if you're in bed with another person, that only one of you

00:17:31   has those controls on their side.

00:17:33   Yeah, it can be a sore spot.

00:17:35   Right.

00:17:36   And for us, it's not like an argument of--

00:17:40   with me and Amy, I always sleep on the left, she on the right.

00:17:43   I mean, and this is, I don't know, geez, 20-some years.

00:17:46   That's set in stone.

00:17:48   But a lot of hotels, it's like when you stay there,

00:17:52   it's like every other room is every other side.

00:17:54   And so it's like a 50% chance who's got the thing.

00:17:59   So just being able to address Alexa and say,

00:18:01   "Hey, open the drapes," that'd be way nicer.

00:18:05   That'd be 10 times nicer.

00:18:07   And plus, honestly, the buttons don't even work

00:18:09   half the time you touch them.

00:18:10   - Yeah.

00:18:11   - So I think it'd be great.

00:18:12   And with the lights and stuff like that, every time you go to any hotel,

00:18:15   I mean, I stay at the Wynn at least once a year.

00:18:18   And I still get confused over which lights control,

00:18:20   which buttons control which lights.

00:18:23   >> To their credit, I mean, Amazon made Alexa a very open platform.

00:18:25   And it seems, I'm not a developer, but it seems relatively easy to sort of add

00:18:28   these automations and these customizations to it.

00:18:31   And they've got a lot of, I forget what they call them, recipes or formulas or

00:18:34   what the nomenclature is.

00:18:35   But to sort of add these control points to them for

00:18:37   different features and services.

00:18:39   >> Yeah.

00:18:39   But here's what's weird, and I have a friend, Hunter,

00:18:42   who has a great app if you ever go to Vegas, VegasMate.

00:18:47   Just, it's just sort of like a,

00:18:51   you know, like a tour guide type thing.

00:18:55   And you can just plug in, AI has news

00:18:57   so you can find out what's going on in Vegas

00:18:59   if there's anything new going on.

00:19:00   So there's lots of news and how to get between places

00:19:04   and stuff like that.

00:19:05   Anyway, it's a great app, go check it out

00:19:06   if you're in Vegas, VegasMate.

00:19:09   He pointed out immediately after I read "Staring Fireball," he pointed out immediately,

00:19:14   the Wynn Corporation's biggest investments by far aren't in Vegas, they're in Macau.

00:19:20   They actually have two separate resorts in Macau.

00:19:26   I don't really understand the layout of Macau quite, but there's a waterway between the

00:19:31   two parts of town and there's resorts on both sides and Wynn has one on each side.

00:19:37   So it's way bigger.

00:19:39   The casino revenue is way bigger over there.

00:19:44   They obviously aren't going to equip those rooms with Alexa,

00:19:47   because like you pointed out, they don't speak Chinese yet.

00:19:51   Yeah, no Cantonese, no Portuguese, none of those things.

00:19:53   And they don't even officially support locations in English

00:19:58   outside the United States.

00:20:01   I mean, you can get it to work.

00:20:02   And I know people have complained

00:20:04   when I pointed this out.

00:20:04   People in other countries-- well,

00:20:06   I have one, and just cheat and have it work.

00:20:09   But you can't do things like get the weather,

00:20:11   because you have to give it a zip code in one

00:20:13   of the countries they do support.

00:20:15   So you can set it up and use it if you live in Taipei,

00:20:18   like Ben Thompson.

00:20:20   But it gives them the weather from Madison, Wisconsin.

00:20:23   Yeah.

00:20:23   Yeah.

00:20:24   And some people say it's trivial for them

00:20:25   to roll out additional languages and dialects.

00:20:27   But that's years and years of work that Apple and Google

00:20:30   have put in that Amazon has invested in something else.

00:20:32   And the opportunity cost is huge.

00:20:33   So yeah, anything could be trivial,

00:20:36   given enough money and resources.

00:20:37   - I'm skeptical of anything in AI being called trivial.

00:20:40   - Sure.

00:20:41   - You know, ship it and let's see.

00:20:42   - Absolutely, no, totally agreed.

00:20:44   And again, things like the multi-language,

00:20:46   which they started doing on Apple TV,

00:20:48   where you can ask for a movie in French

00:20:50   with a title in English.

00:20:51   I mean, just understanding that problem set

00:20:53   of when does one language start,

00:20:54   when does one begin, when does it end again,

00:20:56   what's the time, I mean, those are all non-trivial problems.

00:20:59   - Yeah, I'm curious, too, how they're going to do it.

00:21:03   Like presumably, they're not going

00:21:05   to have you use your own Amazon ID.

00:21:12   I don't think you would need it, though.

00:21:14   There's no-- they'll just pay Amazon some sort of group rate,

00:21:19   massive group rate, for access to Amazon Music

00:21:21   so that you can tell your Alexa to play music

00:21:23   and it's not going to tell you to log in or whatever.

00:21:29   I'm just curious, though.

00:21:31   because it is sold as a personal device.

00:21:34   I'm curious how it will work

00:21:35   as sort of an institutional device.

00:21:37   - Well, that was one of the things I heard

00:21:38   about a potential Apple home hub,

00:21:40   is that one of the things that needed to be solved for

00:21:42   was a multi-personal Siri,

00:21:43   because if, let's say for example, you have one at home,

00:21:45   and you say, what are my messages?

00:21:47   Does it play your messages, Amy's messages, Jonas's messages?

00:21:50   Solving those problems are also non-trivial,

00:21:52   if you wanna have the deep level of integration

00:21:54   and the full range of services

00:21:55   that something like Siri offers.

00:21:57   So you can do rudimentary account switching,

00:22:00   like they do on Apple TV right now,

00:22:01   but that's not a full featured product.

00:22:03   And making a multi-personal Siri is, I think,

00:22:06   key to what they wanna do in the living room.

00:22:08   That's probably why it's taking a little bit long.

00:22:10   But it's also interesting because when you look

00:22:11   at Amazon's businesses, like you said, in Macau,

00:22:14   it's not clear to me that Amazon has much

00:22:16   of a roadmap in China.

00:22:17   They have established internet companies and retailers

00:22:20   in China to begin with, where maybe Apple

00:22:22   or maybe Google have a better story to tell there.

00:22:24   And if you don't have something

00:22:25   that can truly scale internationally,

00:22:27   this can go with you when you travel.

00:22:29   I'm in London right now and I need my assistant and where is it? Or I'm in Germany today or I'm,

00:22:33   you know, I'm in Spain, I'm in Northern Africa. All those things aren't necessary until they are,

00:22:39   and I think that's why it was a better decision to sort of scale a little bit internationally

00:22:44   before we started going deeper in terms of APIs and things like that.

00:22:47   Yeah, yeah. So I'm curious, you know, where it's going to go. But clearly the end solution,

00:22:54   It needs to be, I mean, we are in some ways early,

00:22:58   so early days, I don't care what anybody says,

00:23:00   because clearly where this is going to go,

00:23:03   and somebody will get there, it's inevitable,

00:23:05   and I think it'll be sooner than later,

00:23:09   is truly a personal assistant quality conversation

00:23:15   where you never have any question

00:23:18   that the sequential inference is going to work,

00:23:21   and that things that you think,

00:23:23   everything you think that your assistant could do for you,

00:23:27   they definitely can do.

00:23:28   So if you say, get us a reservation at the Palm

00:23:33   at nine o'clock tomorrow night,

00:23:37   it's going to know that you mean the Palm in Vegas.

00:23:40   You know what I'm saying,

00:23:41   if you're in a hotel in Vegas.

00:23:42   It knows that it's not gonna ask you what city,

00:23:45   and it's going to make the,

00:23:49   either make the reservation or tell you that you can't

00:23:53   because there's no times available.

00:23:55   You can have 930, will 930 work for you?

00:23:58   Yes, that's fine, and then you get the 930 reservation.

00:24:00   Everything you think, you know,

00:24:01   anything you could communicate with a human,

00:24:04   you should be able to do with these.

00:24:06   And in the same way that if you and I were working

00:24:10   in a shared office together,

00:24:11   that I could say, what are my messages?

00:24:14   And you could say, what are my messages?

00:24:15   And it's gonna know who we are, you know?

00:24:19   is gonna be able to tell, in the same way that a human

00:24:22   is never gonna be confused over my voice and your voice,

00:24:25   neither is the personal assistant.

00:24:28   - Yeah, I spoke about this before,

00:24:29   but Nuance has an office in Montreal,

00:24:30   and they went there for one of their demos,

00:24:32   and they were showing technology like that,

00:24:33   and it was about two years ago, it was super primitive.

00:24:35   Basically, you snapped your fingers twice,

00:24:37   and three cameras and three beam-forming microphones

00:24:40   locked in on you, and then would isolate you from the room

00:24:42   as you walked about saying things.

00:24:44   And that's obviously not a consumer product yet,

00:24:45   but it was one of the, and also driving between cities

00:24:48   when there's no internet connection.

00:24:49   Right now, as you saw people commenting about the AirPods,

00:24:51   if you lose the internet connection,

00:24:52   the functionality of a lot of these virtual assistants

00:24:54   goes away 'cause they're still incredibly server-based.

00:24:57   So there's all these problems that they're solving for.

00:24:59   And it could be like that movie "Her"

00:25:01   where Scarlett Johansson is in your AirPods.

00:25:03   I don't know if you saw it or not,

00:25:04   but there was that video that,

00:25:05   I still don't know if it's a real product or not,

00:25:07   but it was that Japanese Azuma Hikari virtual assistant

00:25:11   where it was like a little animated person

00:25:13   in a display case that was in your house

00:25:17   talking to you as your friend so you were not lonely,

00:25:19   and then would follow you to your phone

00:25:20   and to your computer throughout your day,

00:25:22   and then get your house ready for you

00:25:24   when you came back at night.

00:25:26   It's quasi-creepy, but it's the sort of stuff

00:25:28   people are working on.

00:25:29   - I just realized, I think I have like two or three

00:25:33   episodes of this show, and I keep passing this forward

00:25:36   in my show notes from one show to another,

00:25:37   follow-up on Mario Run, or I forget if it was two shows,

00:25:40   I think it was two shows ago, where we were saying

00:25:44   If you don't log in to a Nintendo account,

00:25:47   you have to pay again to get it.

00:25:49   And that's not true.

00:25:49   It ends up, you know, you can just restore the purchase

00:25:53   on the same ID.

00:25:54   You don't have to have a Nintendo account.

00:25:56   You can put it on your iPad and your phone.

00:25:59   But one of the things that they do do

00:26:01   is you can only run one at a time per Apple ID.

00:26:06   So if you buy it on your iPad and you buy it

00:26:09   and then you install it on your iPhone

00:26:12   and somebody's playing it on your iPad,

00:26:14   you can't play it on your iPhone.

00:26:15   That's part of the reason that they require always

00:26:18   on internet access is that they're

00:26:21   checking for things like that.

00:26:22   Yeah, I think in their perfect world,

00:26:24   you'd have to pay for every instance that you run.

00:26:28   The talk show, the show where we do follow up halfway

00:26:30   into the show.

00:26:30   Yeah.

00:26:32   Yeah, you know what else I saw about Mario Run before we break

00:26:35   for the first time is that it is falling off

00:26:40   the top selling, falling down the top grossing list around the world. Still on it, but it's

00:26:49   now back, things have been, order has been restored and Clash Royale or whatever the

00:26:53   hell it is is now back to being the top grossing app. Yes, Clash Royale, Pokemon Go, Clash

00:27:00   of Clans, Mobile Strike, Game of War, Madden NFL, and then at number seven, here in the

00:27:07   at least, is Super Mario Run.

00:27:09   Netflix, number eight.

00:27:10   - One time purchase can't compete with consumables.

00:27:12   Consumables that people are playing all the time.

00:27:14   - Right, and these games that people are truly addicted to.

00:27:17   Candy Crush, all the way down at number 10.

00:27:22   - I saw someone playing that on a 12.9 inch iPad Pro

00:27:25   in my last plane trip, respect.

00:27:27   - I love, the thing I love is that Minecraft

00:27:29   is still at number 11 on top grossing,

00:27:31   and it's still, you're firmly entrenched

00:27:35   at number one on top paid.

00:27:37   And that's--

00:27:38   It came out for Apple TV.

00:27:39   It's $7.

00:27:41   You just pay $7 up front.

00:27:43   There is no demo.

00:27:43   You pay $7.

00:27:44   You get Minecraft on your iOS device.

00:27:47   And they're doing so-- it's the only app making money

00:27:50   with that, the old-fashioned pay-for-the-app model.

00:27:54   I mean, effectively, that's what Mario is, but it's--

00:27:58   No demos.

00:27:59   I think in hindsight, they would have been better

00:28:00   with a Minecraft model.

00:28:01   It's just because their brand is as good as Minecraft.

00:28:03   People know what Minecraft is, and they want it.

00:28:04   And again, the Apple TV version just came out,

00:28:06   people wanted that too and they would have just wanted Mario. Mario, sorry.

00:28:09   Right, what if you had to pay, right, I would love to run that alternate universe where,

00:28:14   all right, so let's take the price down, right, if you have to pay. So instead of nine, nine,

00:28:19   you know, play three levels and then pay $9.99, what if they just matched Minecraft's price and

00:28:24   sold Mario run for $6.99? Yeah, you get rid of... And if you don't pay $6.99, you get nothing and

00:28:32   like it. Yep, and you can't leave bad reviews about how much you've charged in half and

00:28:36   it's just a cleaner experience. Yeah, no bad reviews. Man, if anybody could have pulled

00:28:40   it off, it's a Nintendo. I can't help but think that they'd have made more money. I

00:28:44   really do. Yeah, I think they're one of the few people who like Minecraft who would absolutely

00:28:48   have just the recognition to do it. Right. And once you get the good faith, you could

00:28:52   do that with your next game and so on. Right. Or maybe split it? I do, and I salute them,

00:28:59   And I don't want to complain.

00:29:00   I salute them for not even going near the radioactive pile

00:29:04   of dog shit that buying--

00:29:06   paying $1 here and there for extra coins.

00:29:08   And you have to watch a video before you

00:29:11   can do the next level or pay your way out

00:29:14   that these other games do.

00:29:15   I salute Nintendo for not doing it.

00:29:17   I'm not surprised.

00:29:18   I think that would be poisonous, absolute poison to their brand.

00:29:22   But it's obviously-- that's the path to make money,

00:29:26   the most money on the App Store.

00:29:27   I salute them for not doing it, but I can't help but think that they could have made money

00:29:31   with paid up front for less than $9.99 and maybe one other in-app purchase in some way

00:29:36   to something else that was cut off that you'd have to pay another maybe $5 for the game

00:29:41   and $5 for the rest, something like that.

00:29:44   Or one of the different games that comes built into it, like the Toad Rally or something.

00:29:47   Right.

00:29:48   Like maybe you get to play $5.99, you get to play all the regular levels, and for another

00:29:53   599 you get to play the toad rally and they'll give you a taste of toad rally like they did with the taste of the levels

00:29:59   Like you get like three toad rallies before you have to pay

00:30:02   Another 599 and then you are an end for 99 and then you're done you're in for you know

00:30:07   Not ten bucks and you got the whole game. I think that they have made more money

00:30:12   And I think I would have given a better experience

00:30:14   They wouldn't have had the same problem they had with bad reviews and it would have it would have been I mean

00:30:18   Way better than I think the review I think it would be a five-star game. I really do

00:30:22   Agreed because the people who would buy it pay that much money are the superfans and they would have had a much easier

00:30:26   Bolst in the beginning. It's the first action game for iOS that I've played

00:30:31   Ever I think that I've stuck with I mean, I played cannibal a little bit

00:30:36   Cannibal, but cannibal is like 90 seconds and I mean the best I ever did was like 4,000 meters or something like that

00:30:42   So it's like, you know, and then once you get a good run like that, you're like done. Yeah, I mean there are games

00:30:47   I always say I don't play games. I played the

00:30:50   I've played the stick band golf a little bit. I played the day. I like the desert golf, which is sort of you ever play that

00:30:55   yep, I

00:30:58   Like the desert golfing I think it's I think it's sort of

00:31:01   It it's artful it's it's sort of like meditative

00:31:07   Letterpress and threes and a bunch of those puzzle games. Yeah letterpress. Yeah threes I got into a little bit. It was real quick

00:31:13   I appreciate the artistry of it letterpress. I had a brief obsession with and I was yeah

00:31:17   I hate to brag but I was really really good

00:31:20   But it's too competitive. I don't know. Or too time-consuming and I feel guilty then,

00:31:28   because it's with other people, I feel guilty when I drop off and leave a good game hanging.

00:31:33   You know, it was too time-consuming to me. So...

00:31:38   And you never knew when Game Center just did it to you. You couldn't tell if they weren't playing

00:31:41   or Game Center was.

00:31:42   Right, right.

00:31:42   But Mario, boy I like that game. And I've started replaying it.

00:31:50   Nintendo does best, they made it.

00:31:52   So I beat all the levels and now I'm going through and collecting all the pink coins on each level.

00:31:58   I don't think I'm going to keep going. I think I'll do that, but I can't see going after the damn purple ones.

00:32:03   I don't know about that. I'm not good enough.

00:32:06   They just do a really good job of matching the game to the control mechanics that are available on the device.

00:32:10   on the device and he did that with the iPhone as well,

00:32:12   which I thought was really great.

00:32:13   - Yeah, totally.

00:32:14   It's a very, very, you know, you think infinite runner,

00:32:18   ah, it's simple, but it's pretty damn good.

00:32:21   I do think they messed up with the pricing.

00:32:25   All right, let's take a break.

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00:35:32   I just, if you went back and told me 15 years ago that you're going to be pitching mattresses

00:35:36   on like a radio show, I would…

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00:35:57   No, it's a better way to get a great mattress.

00:36:00   - Yeah, and...

00:36:02   - What? You tell me.

00:36:04   - I was gonna say, good mattresses are really hard to find

00:36:06   because after you've had a bunch of physical,

00:36:08   physiotherapy like I have,

00:36:10   you want something that is actually pretty firm

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00:36:13   it takes on your body weight

00:36:14   and your body, your muscles don't have to stress

00:36:16   the entire night trying to support your own weight.

00:36:18   And this one I find is great

00:36:19   because I get a better night's sleep

00:36:21   than I have on any of the Trician watches I bought.

00:36:24   (laughing)

00:36:27   - All right, what else is on our agenda?

00:36:29   I have in the news, there was Marc German's blockbuster

00:36:35   story, well, it wasn't really, but it was widely cited.

00:36:39   Last week in Bloomberg, title,

00:36:41   How Apple Alienated Mac Loyalists.

00:36:43   And it had, did have some, you know, it was well reported,

00:36:45   definitely had some quotes, anonymous.

00:36:50   How would you summarize this story?

00:36:52   This was the big story of the day

00:36:54   when it came out on December 20.

00:36:56   - I mean, Mark has proven phenomenal sources,

00:37:00   but so much of this is how you string the pieces together.

00:37:03   And I would read similar information differently.

00:37:07   So this sort of paints a narrative

00:37:10   where Apple is negligent or lackadaisical

00:37:14   when it comes to supporting the Mac.

00:37:16   And my understanding is more that you have two kids,

00:37:20   love them both, one has become Taylor Swift and you have to make sure that you're on tour with her,

00:37:24   and the other one is a college student in grad school doing pretty great on his own,

00:37:28   doesn't really want you hanging around all the time, and you, again, you still love them,

00:37:32   but you're giving each of them the attention that they really need at the moment.

00:37:34   And I think that narrative fits the same facts.

00:37:37   Quote from the article, "Interviews with people familiar with Apple's inner workings revealed

00:37:40   that the Mac is getting far less attention than it once did. They say the Mac team has lost clout

00:37:46   with the famed industrial design group led by Johnny Ivan

00:37:49   and the company software team.

00:37:52   They also describe a lack of clear direction

00:37:53   from senior management departures of key people

00:37:56   working on Mac hardware and technical challenges

00:37:59   that have delayed the rollout of new computers.

00:38:02   There's a lot in that paragraph.

00:38:04   This is the fourth paragraph of the story.

00:38:06   But I feel like that's the nut paragraph.

00:38:09   And if you pick it apart, I haven't linked to it

00:38:12   because it seemed--

00:38:13   it's been Christmas.

00:38:15   and I've been busy, and it seemed impossible to link to without extensive commentary.

00:38:21   Yes.

00:38:22   You got to unpack it.

00:38:23   Right.

00:38:24   There's no way to link to it with a quip or to let it stand.

00:38:27   But it—and I thought, "Well, it's better to—I could do it on the show in a way that's

00:38:32   better—that'll take less time than writing about it."

00:38:35   I still might write about it, but—

00:38:37   All right.

00:38:39   First sentence of that paragraph.

00:38:40   "Interviews with people familiar with Apple's Center of Workings reveal that the Mac is

00:38:42   is getting far less attention than it once did.

00:38:45   When is then it once did?

00:38:47   Yeah, I mean, it used to be one product.

00:38:49   There was just the Mac, and it got all the attention.

00:38:51   And now there's five, six different products.

00:38:53   Right.

00:38:53   So if we're talking about like pre-iPod Apple,

00:38:57   or like pre-2004, 2005 Apple, of course

00:39:00   the Mac got more attention then because it

00:39:02   was keeping the company afloat.

00:39:03   The Mac was Apple, and Apple was the Mac.

00:39:06   I mean, without the Mac, the company was literally--

00:39:10   there was no company.

00:39:11   So of course it gets less attention than it did then.

00:39:15   Now, does he mean some other time?

00:39:17   Does he mean--

00:39:18   - Like compared to last year?

00:39:19   - Right, 2011, 2012.

00:39:20   Is this a, and you know, let's just state facts.

00:39:27   These are, there are, the fact is the Mac Pro

00:39:32   is literally a relic at this point.

00:39:35   It is a three year old, high end, $5,000, $20,000 workstation

00:39:40   that literally hasn't been updated even in the most

00:39:43   minor components possible in three years.

00:39:46   Since it launched, yeah.

00:39:47   The Mac Mini is a relic.

00:39:49   And for enthusiasts-- and the Mac Mini is one of these devices,

00:39:53   a device where obviously there's some people who buy it

00:39:56   because it's a budget laptop.

00:39:58   And if you want to buy a third party display--

00:40:01   or at this point, you might be stuck buying a third party

00:40:04   display, we'll get to that in a second--

00:40:06   or a discount display, or if you've already got a display,

00:40:09   And that's part of, you just wanna buy a desktop

00:40:12   to hook up to the display you already have,

00:40:13   and cost is an issue.

00:40:15   Mac Mini is the way you go.

00:40:17   It's still a fine device for that.

00:40:18   But for the enthusiasts, and there are people

00:40:20   who are like power users, if you want another term,

00:40:24   who buy Mac Minis, maybe not to use as their main computer,

00:40:28   but for really super nerdy things.

00:40:30   Like instead of having an Apple TV,

00:40:32   they use a Mac Mini and install their own software

00:40:35   and run their home entertainment from a PC.

00:40:38   And the Mac Mini is great for that.

00:40:41   Longtime sponsor of the show, Mac Mini Colo.

00:40:43   There's people who use Mac Minis to host websites.

00:40:46   It's a great little mini rack server.

00:40:49   And for those people, the current Mac Mini

00:40:52   is actually worse than the predecessor

00:40:53   because it's, I think it's a dual core thing

00:40:56   instead of a quad core.

00:40:58   It's whatever, it's just got internals

00:41:01   that are less interesting to enthusiasts than the old one.

00:41:04   The iMac, which is their best desktop,

00:41:08   and it's the one that Tim Cook even called out and mentioned by name in a recent company Q&A,

00:41:14   skipped a year. It still is great. It's a great, the current iMac is a great, great device.

00:41:20   But there were no updates in 2016.

00:41:24   Nope.

00:41:25   And Apple is apparently out of the standalone display game.

00:41:29   They haven't said so officially, but they certainly hinted as much on stage at the Mac Book Pro event in October

00:41:37   when they said they partnered with LG to have these LG 5K and 4K displays

00:41:42   that are clearly meant to, by default, assume that they're being connected to a Macintosh.

00:41:47   Yeah, and my understanding is there's significant Apple engineering resources and effort dedicated to those displays,

00:41:52   they just didn't have an Apple enclosure and logo on them, which is a curious choice.

00:41:56   Everybody cites Nely, because Nely says, Patel from The Verge, after his product briefing after the event,

00:42:03   said categorically when he asked that Apple said they're out of the display game.

00:42:06   I asked, as well, "Does the LG mean that Apple is not going to make a retina standalone display?"

00:42:14   And I did not get an answer that was unequivocal.

00:42:17   The answer I got was something more or less...

00:42:22   It's a very typical— oftentimes, when you ask a question like that,

00:42:27   I don't think Apple's unique in this regard, but they always have a prepared answer.

00:42:33   It doesn't they don't have to think of it on the spot, but it's not yes or no

00:42:36   But with the answer I got of does this mean there's not going to be an apple branded retina

00:42:41   Just standalone display. The answer was this is what we have to talk about today

00:42:45   Standalone displays today require so much engineer. It's no longer just a video signal

00:42:54   Going from one thing to another it's not just you know, it's effectively there like many computers

00:42:59   It's almost as much work as developing a standalone system.

00:43:03   - Which Apple, again, which Apple did most,

00:43:05   a lot of with LG.

00:43:07   And my understanding is that this is one of those things

00:43:09   where they're deeply conflicted internally,

00:43:10   that they're wrestling over this.

00:43:11   That some people believe that Apple does not have

00:43:14   to make everything anymore,

00:43:15   that they have to be focused and make hard choices

00:43:17   and choose which parts of the chain

00:43:18   they wanna be involved with.

00:43:19   And other people believe rightly,

00:43:21   or at least in their opinions,

00:43:22   that the display is your interface to the computer.

00:43:25   The interface is what the customer sees.

00:43:27   And if there's no Apple logo on that,

00:43:28   then the customer sees LG and it sort of ruins the effect

00:43:31   and it ruins the benefit of the Halo effect

00:43:33   that Apple's been enjoying for all these years.

00:43:35   And if they're staring at an LG logo for their display,

00:43:38   maybe it's easier to buy an LG computer

00:43:39   or it's easier to buy,

00:43:41   maybe they're getting out of the router business,

00:43:42   it's easier to buy an LG router,

00:43:43   and that sort of unravels the value

00:43:45   of the Apple ecosystem they've been building.

00:43:47   - Yeah, and it's, you know, I can't put it better

00:43:52   than Sir Q-Sid has repeatedly on ATP that it's,

00:43:56   You know, he's even said that he's never even owned a non Apple display in his life. That's not true for me

00:44:02   I used to have a

00:44:04   Viewsonic

00:44:06   17-inch I bought in

00:44:08   1998 was a nice display was not as nice as the Apple displays. I bought it because I

00:44:14   Didn't have enough money. Well, I did the money it was enough difference that I bought the Viewsonic instead

00:44:20   It does hint at

00:44:25   at the idea that maybe the future of Apple on the desktop is iMac only,

00:44:31   or maybe iMac and Mac Mini, but that the Mac Pro might be on the way out simply because...

00:44:35   Tim Cook's statement to me was hard to parse because he talked about how great the iMac was

00:44:39   and how great its display was and its P3, but there was nothing he could have said about the Mac Pro or the Mac Mini.

00:44:44   There are 13 year old, there are 3 year old computers with Haswell.

00:44:48   I mean it would have been completely awkward to mention them in any context.

00:44:51   context and the worst part is the last iterations of both made them even more

00:44:55   like computing appliances and an even harder for users to update on their own

00:44:58   which made them dependent on Apple for future updates which then didn't didn't

00:45:02   come that's an incredibly uncomfortable message to have in his year-end Q&A with

00:45:06   his employees right it's a tough situation like you can't read too much

00:45:10   into it either way except that there's some there are there only thing I could

00:45:15   read into it it's Tim Cook's statement on the Q&A that I would say is bet on it

00:45:20   is that there's going to be great,

00:45:24   or at least in somebody's opinion, great new IMAX coming.

00:45:27   Because otherwise, what he said is a lie, right?

00:45:34   His credibility, and he has obviously got to be measured

00:45:39   and careful in his words, and he knows that this Q&A

00:45:42   is going to leak if there's anything newsworthy.

00:45:45   But he's not going to,

00:45:49   matter how cynical you want to be about it, he's not going to say something that's flat

00:45:52   out going to ruin his credibility with his own employees.

00:45:55   So let's just say in the hypothetical world that people fear that Apple is simply done

00:45:59   with desktop computers, period, and that it's Macbooks only the rest of the way.

00:46:06   Well then what he said is, in hindsight, is going to make people think it's just a flat

00:46:12   out lie.

00:46:13   And he's not going to do that.

00:46:14   So there's got to be iMacs coming.

00:46:15   There has to be.

00:46:16   It says desktops plural, but does that mean two sizes of iMacs or does that mean iMacs?

00:46:21   And it's very interesting because when you actually look at the numbers, Apple, very,

00:46:24   very, very, very few people connect external displays to their Macs.

00:46:28   And I believe the number is smaller than ever.

00:46:30   And also very, very, very, very...

00:46:31   You mean to their MacBooks?

00:46:32   You mean to...

00:46:33   Yeah, to their MacBooks.

00:46:34   Well, you said Macs.

00:46:35   Obviously, if you've got a Mac...

00:46:36   Yeah, I apologize.

00:46:37   If you've got a Mac Pro, I mean...

00:46:39   Totally, absolutely.

00:46:40   But on the flip side of that, almost nobody buys...

00:46:43   Again, almost nobody buys desktop Macs anymore.

00:46:46   the vast, vast, vast majority of what they sell are Macbooks.

00:46:49   When we vote with our wallet, we are telling them as customers that we care mostly and

00:46:53   by a vast majority about the notebooks.

00:46:56   And that's sort of something they have to weigh because they only have enough resources

00:46:58   to do this or that.

00:47:00   And they say that most of their customers are buying Macbooks and most of them aren't

00:47:03   buying displays to go with them.

00:47:06   Do they stop making displays?

00:47:07   Do they stop making desktops?

00:47:08   I'd argue that no, that they're important enough that they have to keep making them

00:47:11   anyway.

00:47:12   But it's not like we have the numbers on our side for those.

00:47:15   Right. So if there is a new Mac Pro that is in the works and is coming, there's no

00:47:23   way that Tim Cook can say anything about it in this Q&A now. He can't. If there's not,

00:47:29   if the Mac Pro is end of life, he can't say anything, he can't say that

00:47:36   because they're still selling the old one. Now why are they still selling the

00:47:39   old one? I don't know, but maybe it's, you know, they're in theory they could, let's

00:47:44   Let's just say that they're going

00:47:47   to rethink the whole approach to the pro market,

00:47:50   and they're going to do, effectively, an iMac Pro.

00:47:52   That the new Mac Pro is like the iMac, but it's space gray

00:47:58   and has higher end Xeon processors or something

00:48:04   like that.

00:48:05   Now, put aside how do you do that and deal

00:48:07   with the heat dissipation.

00:48:08   That's their problem.

00:48:09   But if that's, hypothetically, where

00:48:11   they're going with the pro market is

00:48:13   devices built all in ones with pro performance,

00:48:18   they have to keep the old Mac Pros around

00:48:23   until those are ready to sell.

00:48:24   They can't have a gap.

00:48:25   - Yeah, I mean they did announce the end of life

00:48:28   of the old Thunderbolt display.

00:48:30   But again, that raises all these questions

00:48:32   about what's happening with the product line

00:48:33   that they probably don't want to answer right now.

00:48:36   - Right.

00:48:37   They still can't talk about it.

00:48:39   But anyway, that's the first sentence of that paragraph.

00:48:42   They say the Mac team has lost clout with the famed industrial

00:48:45   design group led by Johnny Iovine and the company software

00:48:48   team, which is a weird combination.

00:48:51   I don't understand what they mean has lost clout.

00:48:54   It doesn't make sense to me.

00:48:56   Because there's no--

00:48:57   there are Mac-- there's a Mac marketing team,

00:48:59   but Apple doesn't have a Mac business unit,

00:49:01   and they don't have an iPhone business unit.

00:49:03   And Dan Riccio still has to build all these machines,

00:49:06   and Johnny Iovine's team has to design them all,

00:49:08   and Craig Federighi's team has to make software

00:49:09   to run on all of them.

00:49:10   And yes, those teams are highly focused on iPhone

00:49:14   because iPhone absolutely has to ship every year

00:49:16   or it's company crushing.

00:49:17   But those people are still working on Macs

00:49:20   and care desperately about Macs.

00:49:21   And my understanding is that a lot of the recent design

00:49:24   meetings have been about Macs.

00:49:26   So again, I don't understand the context

00:49:28   of all the information.

00:49:29   I don't know what it means to have lost clout.

00:49:33   What would the evidence of that be?

00:49:34   And the only way it would make sense

00:49:38   is if there are new Macs ready to go other than having

00:49:41   an industrial design.

00:49:43   And that Johnny Ives team is like, nah, we're not interested.

00:49:47   It doesn't make any sense.

00:49:48   That's not how it works.

00:49:49   It's not like--

00:49:50   It's such a dependent product.

00:49:51   It's not like Johnny Ives--

00:49:53   the design team just is like a bunch of hipsters sipping

00:49:58   coffee, wearing berets, and they just

00:50:00   work on what they want to work on.

00:50:02   And like, ah, Macs, they're boring.

00:50:03   We're not going to work on those.

00:50:05   We're just going to work on--

00:50:06   "No, we are not making your Macs this year. Go home."

00:50:09   Right. I don't get it.

00:50:13   There aren't, you know, the problem is, as I said, the fact is that too many of the Macs

00:50:19   haven't been updated, period. It's not like they haven't gotten attention. And the ones that have

00:50:23   been updated, the MacBook, I know the MacBook, this year's MacBook isn't a new design, but it

00:50:29   came out last year. And this year's MacBook Pros, obviously, had a lot of work done by the

00:50:35   industrial design team. It's all new enclosures. It's very different. It's not just like the old

00:50:41   ones but thinner. The entire hinge mechanism for the display is entirely different. We'll get to

00:50:49   this later, but I've been messing around with a whole bunch of MacBooks this week running battery

00:50:54   tests. And with a bunch of them open at the same time and going between the two and restarting

00:50:58   tests, it's more clear than it was even when I reviewed the new MacBook Pro how much nicer the

00:51:04   the hinge is on the new one.

00:51:06   And how rigid they are.

00:51:09   But when you tilt it, if it's already

00:51:12   at an angle for sitting--

00:51:14   and I've been running these battery tests where

00:51:17   I'll come by and update them, and I don't even sit down.

00:51:20   But I want to tilt the screen just a little

00:51:22   so it's more of an angle for standing.

00:51:25   And when you do it on the new MacBook Pro,

00:51:28   the screen, you just put one finger

00:51:30   and a little bit of pressure, and it tilts back.

00:51:32   And on my 2014 MacBook Pro, I do it.

00:51:35   And at first, the whole device lifts off the table.

00:51:39   It's more stiff.

00:51:41   It's not as nice.

00:51:42   Anyway, that's exactly the sort of thing

00:51:45   that Johnny Ive's famed industrial design team does,

00:51:49   is design a fancy new hinge that's

00:51:52   way better than what was already the best hinge

00:51:56   on a professional notebook in the world.

00:51:59   Totally, and a more rigid unibody,

00:52:00   and was already a very, very good unibody structure.

00:52:02   Right, exactly.

00:52:04   An entirely new keyboard switch system.

00:52:06   I don't get it.

00:52:10   And then there's this other half of the sentence,

00:52:12   "and the company's software team."

00:52:16   I don't get it.

00:52:16   And this, to me, has been--

00:52:20   and again, I'm worried.

00:52:21   I do worry.

00:52:22   And I'm trying to be-- in this whole,

00:52:25   is Apple abandoning the Mac or slowly sunsetting the Mac

00:52:28   or just ruining the Mac whatever debate,

00:52:33   which obviously does have some foundation in fact,

00:52:36   the fact that the hardware hasn't been updated.

00:52:38   One of the things I like to cite,

00:52:40   I feel like it's not proof, but evidence to the contrary,

00:52:44   is the annual update schedule that macOS has been on

00:52:47   for the last few years.

00:52:48   Like in 2007, famously, the first year of the iPhone,

00:52:53   the Mac, they had to put out a press release

00:52:56   because they had announced that the new macOS

00:52:58   was going to be ready at WWDC, and they put out a press release

00:53:01   that it's delayed five months because we

00:53:03   had to pull so much engineering talent to work on the iPhone

00:53:07   OS, as it was called then.

00:53:09   There's obviously enough attention on a Mac

00:53:14   now that the Mac is on the same annual update cycle as iOS.

00:53:19   I don't see it.

00:53:20   And it's getting features, and it's

00:53:21   getting important features like the continuity ones, where

00:53:23   you can use Touch ID or the watch to unlock it

00:53:26   or to verify payments.

00:53:27   They got Siri brought over to it.

00:53:30   And there is some truth to Apple reorganizing

00:53:33   their teams, and a lot of those teams are iOS-centric.

00:53:35   But when you look at Mac and iOS,

00:53:37   what differentiates them is their input methods

00:53:38   and their interface.

00:53:39   And Apple is, I think, wisely consolidating

00:53:42   a lot of the things that go on under the covers.

00:53:44   Like when you look at Swift, that's across all platforms.

00:53:46   Apple File System is gonna go from Apple Watch

00:53:48   all the way to Mac Pro.

00:53:50   All the things that they're building,

00:53:51   like one day, maybe, I don't know how long

00:53:53   AppKit will be around for, but it might make sense

00:53:55   have sort of a UI framework that crosses over both platforms. All that stuff can

00:53:59   be made with one team and could benefit both platforms without them, without you

00:54:03   having to micro measure how many people are doing each one. Right, and then

00:54:07   there's my next argument in the, I'll argue the side of Apple as Apple is

00:54:14   is still putting an awful lot of thought and attention into Mac is the Touch Bar,

00:54:18   which is at a hardware level a fascinating,

00:54:23   it's not really a device 'cause it's part of a device,

00:54:27   but it is a fascinating piece of hardware

00:54:32   that it's an iOS device.

00:54:34   It is a full iOS computer in an Intel-based Mac computer.

00:54:39   It's a computer in a computer which I just love.

00:54:43   And the computer in the computer is a better computer,

00:54:47   a more powerful computer than like the computers we had,

00:54:51   I don't know how many years ago, you know,

00:54:52   but at some point in my life,

00:54:54   a full personal computer was not as powerful

00:54:56   as the touch bar.

00:54:58   - Absolutely.

00:54:59   It's one of those only Apple things,

00:55:01   'cause you have to have the ability

00:55:02   to make a tiny embedded device

00:55:03   that runs an entirely separate yet, you know,

00:55:06   in some ways compatible operating system.

00:55:08   And Brett Victor actually tweeted this,

00:55:10   so I think it's public knowledge

00:55:11   that they've been working on this for up to a decade.

00:55:13   It's not like this is, like last year they said,

00:55:15   they go, oh crap, what can we do with the Mac?

00:55:17   This has been a project they've been working on

00:55:18   for a very, very long time.

00:55:20   - I did not know that.

00:55:21   I do know, though, that I know several people

00:55:23   who were engineers, either at a hardware level

00:55:26   or a software level or some combination of the two

00:55:28   on the touch bar, who are truly,

00:55:30   you know, it's in confidence, so I can't say who they are,

00:55:34   but truly some of the best engineers at the company,

00:55:38   people who have seats in the second row

00:55:41   at a couple events and are seated near,

00:55:44   ready to go be tapped to go backstage to fix demos

00:55:48   if they go awry.

00:55:49   They're one step ready to--

00:55:52   they're like the emergency, the demo's gone bad,

00:55:54   we need top men to investigate.

00:55:58   Those type of talent.

00:55:59   And that they've spent the last 18 months on Touch Bar

00:56:02   and are incredibly proud of how it turned out.

00:56:06   One of them--

00:56:06   I don't have the direct quote in front of me,

00:56:08   but one of them said, I hope this shows people

00:56:11   that we still care about the Mac,

00:56:13   because inside Apple it's the best proof of it possible.

00:56:18   Combine that with the fact that on day one

00:56:23   of these Macs with touch bars shipping,

00:56:26   all of the commonly used consumer apps

00:56:32   that Apple makes for the Mac had full touch bar support.

00:56:35   A lot of it very, very thoughtful.

00:56:38   None of it half-assed, not one of them.

00:56:40   Even apps like TextEdit or something like that,

00:56:44   or Preview had thoughtful--

00:56:46   - Reminder. - Right.

00:56:47   And I talked about this before,

00:56:51   it's a separate conversation of,

00:56:53   does Apple even fully understand the right way

00:56:55   to use the touch bar yet?

00:56:56   Will they, you know,

00:56:57   my example is in the early years of the Mac,

00:57:03   like 1984, '85, there were dialogue boxes

00:57:07   where OK and Cancel were stacked vertically,

00:57:11   and then there was others where they were horizontal.

00:57:13   They just hadn't figured the consistency out

00:57:15   on stuff like that.

00:57:16   And of course now everybody knows it goes Cancel

00:57:19   and then OK to the right.

00:57:21   That maybe there's like touch bar things like that,

00:57:24   that there's certain things that we're doing in touch bars,

00:57:26   like the way that Safari defaults

00:57:27   to showing thumbnails of your tabs.

00:57:29   I don't know, I don't find that useful.

00:57:31   Maybe other people do, I feel like, but anyway.

00:57:34   - I scroll with it, I scroll super fast through windows

00:57:36   and I pop up to the one that I want really quickly with that,

00:57:37   so I'm a huge, huge fan of it.

00:57:39   - So you swipe your finger across?

00:57:42   - Yes, 'cause sometimes with tabs,

00:57:43   I have to hit, like previously I hit Command + T,

00:57:44   Command + T to get to each one,

00:57:45   and I just swipe now and I see which one I want

00:57:47   and I stop immediately.

00:57:48   - Yeah, maybe I'm using it the wrong way.

00:57:50   Maybe that's the way I should use it,

00:57:51   is run my finger across it instead of staring at it

00:57:54   and try to poke at the right one.

00:57:55   I never thought about that.

00:57:56   So maybe that's right, I don't know.

00:57:57   But anyway, to me, the support across not just the OS,

00:58:03   but across their apps and in the Cocoa frameworks

00:58:07   for third-party developers.

00:58:09   Like everything I've heard from developer friends

00:58:12   about the Touch Bar APIs is that, yes,

00:58:16   these are very solid APIs written by people who get Cocoa.

00:58:21   I mean, this is exactly what you'd want,

00:58:23   but it's a sign that Apple has top engineering cut talent.

00:58:27   So I just don't get how that jibes with Germin's,

00:58:31   They say the Mac team has lost clout, dot dot dot,

00:58:33   with the company software team.

00:58:35   I don't get it.

00:58:36   - Another example of that is when you look at it,

00:58:38   the iOS device, the embedded iOS device,

00:58:40   actually controls the printout of the price on the display

00:58:43   because they don't want an app to be able to intercept

00:58:46   and change the price that you then agree to

00:58:47   with your fingerprint.

00:58:49   And that, again, is another level of complexity added

00:58:51   to the engineering that they do for security's sake,

00:58:53   but it's non-trivial to implement.

00:58:54   And you stack all these up on top, and I think,

00:58:56   'cause you were at the event with me,

00:58:57   the people at Apple were super excited about this.

00:59:00   And yeah, they're still feeling their way through the best practices for it, but it

00:59:03   was clear that they thought they were doing what was right for the platform.

00:59:06   Yeah, and another example is the way that the iOS—the Touch Bar's iOS device has

00:59:12   the Secure Enclave, which is there first and foremost for the Touch ID, but it's also

00:59:18   used now to control the webcam on the front of the display, so that the webcam, you know,

00:59:24   is obviously—that's a huge security thing.

00:59:26   sorts of people, you know, people put tape over the thing because they're worried that

00:59:30   they can be certain, you know, somebody can install software that'll surreptitiously turn

00:59:35   the camera on. There's a green light that turns on when the camera's on. People worry, I mean,

00:59:40   again, rightfully so, it's not crazy, but rightfully so, worry that that could be overridden by the

00:59:46   malware. That may not stop people, the fact that it goes through the secure enclave now, may not

00:59:53   stop people from putting tape over their camera, but it should if they think about it.

00:59:58   It could if they think about it. And even if you're not worried about it, it's just

01:00:02   Apple's just happy to know that they've cut off a path that malware could take to do something

01:00:08   which would be truly dreadful like take control of your webcam. And they're spending valuable

01:00:12   engineering resources to implement those features, which shows to me at least the investment they

01:00:16   they have in that platform.

01:00:17   - Right, I mean, what they could do,

01:00:20   like, this is why I don't think Germin's article

01:00:24   shows what people think that it shows.

01:00:27   I think it's written to fit the narrative

01:00:29   and it doesn't really show it.

01:00:30   I think the MacBook Pro refutes it.

01:00:35   Apple could have just put the upgraded Intel chipsets

01:00:39   in the old MacBook Pro enclosure.

01:00:42   It's not like the old MacBook Pro enclosure was dated.

01:00:46   It was still, it's exactly what most, you know,

01:00:50   other PC laptops still copy.

01:00:52   And anybody who prefers the larger key travel

01:00:57   wouldn't be complaining about the shallower key travel.

01:01:01   People who-- - The old ports?

01:01:02   - People who want the device, you know,

01:01:05   the people who want to argue,

01:01:06   which is a reasonable viewpoint that I'd rather Apple

01:01:09   stop making these things thinner

01:01:11   and keep them the same thickness

01:01:12   and just put bigger batteries in

01:01:14   so I get even more battery life.

01:01:16   Stop settling for quote unquote 10 hours of battery life,

01:01:19   why don't you go for 20 by keeping the old thickness.

01:01:21   They would have had far fewer complaints.

01:01:24   I think it would have been worse devices.

01:01:26   I think it's, in the long run,

01:01:29   I think they were right to do this.

01:01:32   But it's the weird thing,

01:01:35   and this is why Apple has had long-term success,

01:01:37   is they're not afraid to do things

01:01:39   that will draw criticism,

01:01:41   but are the right thing to do going forward.

01:01:43   I mean, the headphone jack

01:01:44   is the best example of that possible.

01:01:46   Nobody was gonna complain

01:01:48   if the iPhone 7 had a headphone jack.

01:01:50   Lots of people did complain

01:01:52   that the iPhone 7 didn't have a headphone jack.

01:01:54   Lots of complaints on one side, no complaints on the other,

01:01:57   but if it's the right way to do it,

01:01:58   they'll take the side with complaints,

01:02:00   whereas most companies always err on the side

01:02:02   of let's do the thing that generates the fewest complaints,

01:02:05   even if it's the worst thing.

01:02:09   People don't complain.

01:02:10   People complain about what's new.

01:02:11   They don't complain about the status quo.

01:02:13   - No, and there's, I mean, they can't win either way.

01:02:15   If they'd kept the old enclosure,

01:02:16   it would have been like the iPhone 7.

01:02:17   Oh, it's the same design.

01:02:18   Apple's not innovating anymore.

01:02:19   They're boring.

01:02:20   And then they change it.

01:02:21   Well, you know, why did they bother changing it?

01:02:23   They could have just left the same design.

01:02:24   But Apple just never goes to the judges.

01:02:26   They don't care about the judges.

01:02:27   They don't want their routine scored by the Swedish judge

01:02:30   with like an eight or something.

01:02:31   They do what they think is right,

01:02:33   and they'll take the lumps.

01:02:34   And it could be the headphone jack.

01:02:35   It could be USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 across the line.

01:02:37   could be making thinner Macs, they're

01:02:40   willing to take those lumps for what

01:02:41   they think is the best product.

01:02:42   But that hypothetical world, the hypothetical world

01:02:45   where Apple's October 2016 new MacBook Pros effectively

01:02:49   looked more or less just like the old MacBook Pros,

01:02:53   that world fits with Gherman's narrative.

01:02:58   Well, they've lost clout with Johnny Ive's team.

01:03:00   So the Ive's team said, nope, old enclosure is good enough.

01:03:07   It fits with the idea that they've lost clout

01:03:08   with the software team because no software really asked,

01:03:11   all they need to do is put new drivers in, right?

01:03:13   It's not, hey, every single Mac app from Apple

01:03:17   has to be updated with touch bar support.

01:03:20   That fits it.

01:03:24   The world where they come out with these new MacBook Pros

01:03:26   that are much thinner,

01:03:28   have the weight of the old MacBook Airs,

01:03:31   but are pro, and have the high color gamut,

01:03:35   wide color gamut, whatever you want to call it, displays.

01:03:38   I just don't get it.

01:03:42   - Yeah, those products were internally expensive to produce

01:03:45   and they wouldn't do that if that was a platform

01:03:47   that they were abandoning.

01:03:48   - I don't know what else to say about it other than,

01:03:54   oh, the other part that I thought was,

01:03:57   I haven't written about this either, but I want to,

01:03:59   but it's just been late in December,

01:04:01   is people now have more options.

01:04:04   Microsoft Corporation once derided by Mac loyalists for its clunky, buggy software offers

01:04:09   Windows 10, which provides the tablet-type functionality Apple pioneered with the iPad."

01:04:15   Now, that's a funny sentence because…

01:04:21   And I mean it.

01:04:22   I don't mean to be like a nitpicker, but it's a funny sentence because people now

01:04:26   have more options.

01:04:27   Windows was derided by Mac loyalists as clunky and buggy software.

01:04:34   I would agree with that. That is certainly why I haven't used Windows on a regular basis

01:04:38   other than when I had shitty jobs when I was younger and had to. Now offers Windows 10,

01:04:46   and it's not, which is not clunky or buggy or as unsavory as Windows ever was, but it

01:04:51   instead says, "Which provides the tablet type functionality Apple pioneered with the iPad."

01:04:56   Like...

01:04:57   Yeah, I mean, there was 10 years of tablet PC before the iPad. I had a chance to try

01:05:02   out Lea Laporte's Surface Studio when I was there for the holiday show. We did a review of it.

01:05:06   And it's an interesting product, but I don't under... I wrote about this too. Like, it seems

01:05:11   like non-Apple products get created on a curve because this was an i5 with a 5200 RPM hard drive,

01:05:16   which was just not sufficient for that product. And this is a device that's plugged in all time.

01:05:21   There's no reason for it to be power constrained at all. You could put anything as powerful as you

01:05:25   want in there, but it was incredibly power constrained. It could run in either desktop

01:05:29   or tablet mode which was confusing and when you would swipe down to get rid of

01:05:32   something you could literally count like seconds in between the animation frames

01:05:36   not just they're a frame off but like seconds before would animate and

01:05:39   start dropping it down and not the first time when it loaded it but over and over

01:05:42   again and it was by far not an experience that I would tolerate on a

01:05:45   daily basis I know some people love Windows for gaming or for that

01:05:49   functionality but I just don't get that entire narrative about Apple sorry

01:05:53   Microsoft is now catering to creatives they're putting out very small niche

01:05:57   products that they're having a hard time shipping on schedule as well.

01:06:02   Microsoft Surface computers offer Apple-esque quality and a well-reviewed

01:06:06   creative paint program aimed at the Mac's audience. I do think there's a

01:06:11   little bit of kernel of truth there where if you are a professional

01:06:14   illustrator or architect or somebody who draws professionally, the Surface Studio,

01:06:19   if I did, I would certainly look at one and maybe only use it for drawing and

01:06:22   still use a Mac for all my other computing and just have a

01:06:25   dedicated in a way that you know a lot of these people have had a dedicated

01:06:29   device hooked up to their Macs it's antique yeah that you'd buy this just

01:06:32   for the drawing I could see it but I certainly wouldn't call it Apple s

01:06:37   quality honestly I mean I again it's like you know the guy who runs a site

01:06:41   that's mostly about Apple says yes surface studio isn't as nice as a Mac

01:06:45   the hinge is really good the hinge is really really good but I found that the

01:06:49   the drawing response time if you want to compare to the iPad Pro it's there's no

01:06:53   comparison, that there is latency and it varies widely. And it's true on the iPad too. I mean,

01:06:59   it is software dependent. But if you want to just look at the reference apps, you know,

01:07:05   Microsoft's own Microsoft Paint, which I tried in the store, and Apple's Notes app,

01:07:12   where you can draw the sketches, you know, just as baselines for latency, there's practically none.

01:07:19   I mean, I don't want to say none with the iPad Pro, but it's, you know, I don't think

01:07:24   there's any reviews that disagree that the latency is downright amazing.

01:07:28   There's definitely latency.

01:07:29   I could see it on the Surface Studio.

01:07:32   And there's parallax.

01:07:33   The display is nowhere near as close to the surface of the glass or plastic or whatever

01:07:38   it's made of than the iPad Pro.

01:07:39   There's absolutely a bit of parallax there.

01:07:42   It's not bad.

01:07:43   It's not horrible.

01:07:44   But it certainly isn't the iPad Pro, and the iPad Pro is what I would define as Apple

01:07:49   quality.

01:07:50   And so the service is, by definition, sub-Apple quality.

01:07:54   It's hard to go back.

01:07:55   I used a Wacom tablet for years, and that was just

01:07:58   what you had.

01:07:58   It was the best thing in the business,

01:07:59   so nobody really paid attention.

01:08:01   And after using the iPad Pro for a year,

01:08:02   I found it really hard to go back,

01:08:04   because you do notice the difference in latency,

01:08:06   and you do notice the air gap.

01:08:08   And on proper Wacom, you notice the reticule,

01:08:10   which I know you can turn off, but still super annoying to me.

01:08:12   It sort of spoils you for that experience.

01:08:14   And yeah, there is no 27-inch iPad Pro,

01:08:17   There's not a 27-inch pencil support on an iMac yet.

01:08:20   But technologically speaking, there's

01:08:23   a world of difference between the two.

01:08:24   Sensing an opportunity-- and back to Germin's story.

01:08:26   Microsoft called the MacBook Pro a, quote, "disappointment"

01:08:30   and said, "more users than ever were switching

01:08:32   to its Surface laptops."

01:08:34   And that's the end of that.

01:08:36   So it's a total Bezos chart of--

01:08:38   Yes.

01:08:39   --of how many users are switching to Surface laptops.

01:08:44   Switching, obviously--

01:08:46   I presumably from Macs they mean not from other Windows laptops more than ever.

01:08:52   It's the Mac problem. It's like if five people switched last month and ten people switched this month,

01:08:55   100% more people switched this month. I sincerely doubt that the number of people switching from

01:09:02   MacBooks to Surface laptops is significant and I also strongly suspect that if the ones who are

01:09:09   are people who never really took to the Mac in the first place and that they are not the

01:09:14   Mac loyalists, that's the term of the headline of Gurman's story, I really doubt that any of them,

01:09:23   or no, I wouldn't say any, obviously there's in a world of seven billion people, I'm sure there's

01:09:28   some, but that the number effectively is zero of Mac loyalists who've switched to the surface.

01:09:33   But I could be wrong. But anyway, it would be nice to have numbers to back up

01:09:39   a statement from Microsoft that isn't refuted at all, more than ever.

01:09:44   And they said it's a disappointment.

01:09:46   - No, it's true.

01:09:47   I mean, I know a lot of people who are surface curious,

01:09:49   who just, they wanted to get a device

01:09:50   that they could draw on the screen that ran Photoshop.

01:09:52   And they all, they bought surfaces to use in coffee shops

01:09:55   or to use around the house, but they still kept their Macs.

01:09:57   And I don't know how all these numbers,

01:09:59   to me, this is a math problem.

01:10:00   It's not a real, it's not an industry trend.

01:10:03   It was just like the, again, like it's the same thing

01:10:06   where we had those Pixel sales, where Pixel,

01:10:08   more people were, like the acceleration of Pixel was faster.

01:10:11   - The internal turmoil has taken a toll.

01:10:13   This is Germin's story.

01:10:14   "More than a dozen engineers and managers

01:10:16   "working on Mac hardware have left for different

01:10:18   "Apple teams or other companies in the past year and a half,"

01:10:21   said people familiar with the situation.

01:10:23   Allow me to confirm that more than a dozen engineers

01:10:28   working on Mac hardware have left for different Apple teams

01:10:32   or other companies.

01:10:32   It's a lot more than a dozen.

01:10:34   And people within Apple switch to other places within Apple

01:10:39   all the time, always have.

01:10:42   And it has been, I think-- and you know this.

01:10:44   I think you probably know this too.

01:10:45   I think there's been a little bit more shifting around

01:10:48   in the last 18 months or so than usual,

01:10:50   just because of Project Titan and a few other things.

01:10:54   But to cite as evidence of problems within Apple

01:11:00   that, quote, "more than a dozen engineers and managers working

01:11:03   on Mac hardware have left for different teams"

01:11:05   is really not news at all.

01:11:07   It would be, if 18 months go by and fewer than a dozen

01:11:12   engineers and managers change jobs,

01:11:14   that would be startling.

01:11:16   I wouldn't believe it.

01:11:20   - And also, it's unclear to me what that means

01:11:22   because I know people who are on loan to other,

01:11:25   like maybe they work on iPhone,

01:11:27   but they've been on loan to Apple Watch

01:11:29   to complete a project over there,

01:11:30   and then eventually they either stay or they go back.

01:11:32   And they move around all the time,

01:11:33   depending on where those engineering resources are needed.

01:11:36   And again, if desktop Macs weren't a priority this year,

01:11:40   it's very easy to see those engineers get put

01:11:43   on other projects in the meantime.

01:11:45   - Right, and I know, for example,

01:11:46   I know that people who worked on Touch Bar

01:11:48   were on loan from other teams because it's, you know,

01:11:51   it wasn't, it's not like they need

01:11:53   a dedicated Touch Bar team forever.

01:11:55   I mean, not that there's never gonna be an update

01:11:56   to the Touch Bar, but that to ship the first one

01:11:59   and decide here's the foundation of how it works,

01:12:01   we need some iOS people because we gotta get, you know,

01:12:03   let's get these guys from, you know, who work on iOS

01:12:05   'cause they know how to do the fewer enclave or whatever.

01:12:08   But anyway, I don't know.

01:12:11   I just don't think, again, there is definitely

01:12:13   something weird and problematic going on

01:12:16   with Apple's desktops across the board, even the iMac.

01:12:21   Maybe, I mean, it just seems a little weird

01:12:25   to go over a year without an update at all,

01:12:27   even a speed bump.

01:12:29   - Totally, and it's not by the same token.

01:12:30   I mean, we know people who for years have been saying

01:12:32   why doesn't Apple take a break

01:12:33   and get off this yearly update cycle.

01:12:36   It's just those products going three or two years,

01:12:38   I think, is alarming.

01:12:39   But going a year between IMAX,

01:12:41   if it's the spring instead of the fall,

01:12:42   I don't think that's alarming.

01:12:44   - Yeah.

01:12:45   So anyway, and what I've heard repeatedly

01:12:48   from people at Apple is that,

01:12:51   regarding Germin stories and stuff like this,

01:12:54   not specific stories, you know what I mean?

01:12:56   Like Germin's best story of 2016

01:12:59   was probably the AirPods scoop.

01:13:03   He got certain details wrong, including--

01:13:05   the big thing he got wrong was that the AirPods would

01:13:09   be Beats branded, and that Beats would come out

01:13:13   with a lower-priced thing, which made no sense to me,

01:13:17   marketing-wise.

01:13:18   The Apple-branded one is the one that would be priced to sell,

01:13:21   and the Beats is the premium brand

01:13:23   that would be more expensive.

01:13:24   And in fact, that's exactly how it turned out,

01:13:26   that Beats sells the $300 over-the-year things,

01:13:29   and the AirPods are, of course, Apple-branded.

01:13:32   But in terms of what the AirPods were

01:13:34   and how they would work and they'd have

01:13:35   a little charging case and stuff like that,

01:13:37   he had that last January.

01:13:39   Very specific, was spot on.

01:13:41   Even the product marketing part that he got wrong,

01:13:44   it shouldn't have even speculated on.

01:13:46   He gets the product marketing stuff wrong

01:13:48   almost all the time because people in product marketing

01:13:50   just don't leak.

01:13:52   And the people who do leak are people who know things

01:13:54   like the hardware engineering.

01:13:56   And that's obviously who leaked the story.

01:13:58   Anyway, specific story like that, Germin nails it.

01:14:01   Something like this that's bigger,

01:14:02   he often gets facts right but gets the story wrong.

01:14:04   And I've heard that from like three different people.

01:14:07   Facts were right. - And again,

01:14:09   it's super hard. - Story is right.

01:14:09   - What he does is super, super tough,

01:14:11   not just gathering the information,

01:14:12   but doing the analytics behind it,

01:14:13   sort of guessing Apple's intent,

01:14:15   which is kudos to him for doing it, 'cause I wouldn't.

01:14:18   But that part is super, super hard.

01:14:21   - Yeah.

01:14:22   We are desperately running out of time here.

01:14:25   (laughs)

01:14:26   We are gonna do a big year-end review

01:14:28   and we're not even gonna get to it.

01:14:29   We're gonna have to rush through that part.

01:14:31   We can pick our targets.

01:14:32   Let me take a break here and thank our next sponsor.

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01:16:16   Next on list is consumer reports. Yeah fiasco

01:16:25   So consumer reports at the end of last week on Friday

01:16:28   How would you summarize it? You summarize it? So they put out

01:16:32   And so they put out a headline

01:16:35   They put out a report saying that they could not recommend the new MacBook Pro because they got wildly inconsistent battery tests

01:16:42   It was I think that the gist of it that went from 15 hours on the high end to like three point something on the low

01:16:48   end

01:16:50   And so they gave it, it's the first MacBooks ever

01:16:53   not to receive their quote unquote recommended.

01:16:56   So in other words, it's sort of like

01:16:58   the good housekeeping seal of approval.

01:17:01   They're not saying it's the best,

01:17:02   they're not saying it's the worst,

01:17:03   they're not ranking 10 laptops,

01:17:05   here's number two, number three.

01:17:06   It's just, is it at least in their recommended list?

01:17:10   And it's sort of like a minimum badge of,

01:17:13   this is a decent machine.

01:17:14   And it's the first one ever not to get it.

01:17:17   And it was top-- all the tech sites,

01:17:20   it was the number one story on Tech MeMo on Friday.

01:17:23   Yeah, and their logic was because they

01:17:25   thought that battery was such an important characteristic

01:17:27   that they couldn't take an average.

01:17:28   They had to take the lowest result for each one,

01:17:30   because that's the only thing people could count on.

01:17:32   So it got scored based on having around a 3-point-something-hour

01:17:35   battery life.

01:17:36   So Consumer Reports-- and again, there's a--

01:17:40   you complain about Consumer Reports because they

01:17:42   said something bad about Apple.

01:17:43   But this is-- to frame this, Consumer Reports

01:17:45   has been around for a long time.

01:17:46   And when I was growing up, had a great reputation.

01:17:48   And it was expensive, because one of the policies

01:17:53   that they have is that they don't accept product

01:17:55   advertising.

01:17:56   And so they are supported by their subscribers.

01:18:00   And it's a very expensive thing to do.

01:18:02   So when they do things like they test cars,

01:18:05   they go to a car dealer and they buy cars.

01:18:08   And they don't say, I'm from Consumer Reports,

01:18:10   and they buy a car.

01:18:11   They just go in like regular customers

01:18:12   and buy whatever cars they're testing,

01:18:14   so that they know that they're getting a consumer product, not

01:18:17   like a cherry picked, you know, hey, this is--

01:18:22   like the Ford Motor Company is going

01:18:24   to make sure everything's right about this car

01:18:27   before they give it to Consumer Reports on loan

01:18:29   for a week of testing or something like that.

01:18:31   They have their own test track.

01:18:32   They own a test track where they drive cars.

01:18:35   And they test everything from washing machines

01:18:37   to refrigerators to all sorts of stuff.

01:18:40   Consumer Reports is not what it used to be, though.

01:18:42   There was an editorial purge about five or six years ago.

01:18:45   I'll put a link in the show notes from a former editor.

01:18:48   But effectively, they got new management

01:18:51   five or six years ago who thought they could do a lot

01:18:54   better with cheaper, with new--

01:18:57   just freelancing out all the work.

01:19:00   Yeah, like satellite reviewers.

01:19:02   Right, and redesigned the magazine.

01:19:04   And it became a lot less dense.

01:19:07   And the reviews, it was a lot more--

01:19:09   they sort of USA Today-ed it up.

01:19:11   a lot more graphs and charts and graphics and a lot less dense text.

01:19:17   And so if you think that Consumer Reports has gone downhill, just in your mind, there's

01:19:21   actually a factual basis for that insofar as a huge amount of their staff that used

01:19:26   to be there, long-term people who were there for 10, 20 years or even more, no longer work

01:19:31   there.

01:19:33   Number two, their computer testing has never actually been very good in my opinion.

01:19:38   So that's just background.

01:19:40   But here's the thing, what they say about these new MacBook Pros,

01:19:42   maybe the new MacBook Pros get inferior battery life.

01:19:46   Let's just say that that's a possibility.

01:19:49   What they're saying, though, it doesn't make any sense at all.

01:19:52   To test these machines that Apple claims gets 10 hours in whatever

01:19:58   Apple's testing is, it ranged from three hours to 18 hours.

01:20:03   The 18 hour number is impossible.

01:20:05   Numerous people on Twitter pointed out, and I believe it's true,

01:20:09   that if you turn on a MacBook Pro and don't open any apps

01:20:13   and just set it so that the display doesn't

01:20:16   go to sleep automatically, you're

01:20:18   not going to get 18 hours of battery life.

01:20:21   Just sitting there idle with the screen on as bright

01:20:24   as they say it is--

01:20:26   Unless he forgets to unplug it for part of that time,

01:20:28   it seems incredibly unlikely that that would be

01:20:30   the amount of time you get.

01:20:32   Obviously, the machines went to sleep or something.

01:20:34   I mean, I don't know.

01:20:35   But number two, they don't reveal their testing.

01:20:38   Now presumably they don't reveal the exact nature

01:20:40   of their testing because they don't want to,

01:20:43   if they give you repeatable steps

01:20:45   of how they test the battery life,

01:20:46   then computer makers could maybe somehow game the system.

01:20:51   - And that's fair.

01:20:53   I mean, Samsung's been caught trying to game things

01:20:54   like Geekbench or other benchmark systems, yeah.

01:20:56   - But it depends though.

01:20:58   See, benchmarks are different because you can,

01:21:02   like the benchmark cheating is dreadfully easy

01:21:06   in some cases where there's ways that they actually

01:21:10   compile code that looks for the compiled code of the benchmark

01:21:14   and then just knows to give the right answer

01:21:16   without actually going through the actual algorithm.

01:21:20   Right?

01:21:20   Like, if you happen to know--

01:21:23   I mean, just to put it in super layman's terms--

01:21:25   if you just happen to know that the benchmark is going

01:21:27   to ask what the square root of a particular large number is,

01:21:34   you could just hard code the answer

01:21:35   that instead of computing the square root,

01:21:37   you just say, well, if asking for the square root

01:21:41   of this particular large number,

01:21:42   just skip ahead to the answer 'cause we already have it.

01:21:45   And that's the sort of cheating Samsung's

01:21:47   been caught doing, literally.

01:21:48   I mean, not on the square root, but on a real example.

01:21:52   I don't know how you could do that with battery life.

01:21:55   Depending on the test, I don't know.

01:21:59   And it's contrary to the way that science works, right?

01:22:04   whole point of like publishing something in science is you know you publish in a

01:22:08   way that you can get reproducible results. Yeah they're repeatable and the

01:22:12   thing that immediately was a red flag to me on there was a lot of them in this

01:22:15   article but you know Apple controversially removed the time

01:22:18   remaining indicator but before they did that it's always been bad but for this

01:22:23   new generation of Macbooks I was and I tweeted them for weeks before it became

01:22:26   an issue that I was getting like 16 hours or 14 hours or 18 hours remaining

01:22:31   on it when it was clearly not the case.

01:22:33   And that those numbers sort of match

01:22:35   those sort of made up numbers that the API was spitting out,

01:22:37   to me was curious from the get go.

01:22:40   - Oh, so I never saw numbers like that,

01:22:42   but I never really looked at that number.

01:22:43   And I've upgraded the test machines I have here to the

01:22:47   12, you know, to 10.12.2, God, I hate that 10.

01:22:52   So I can't test it.

01:22:55   I was always getting the opposite.

01:22:57   I was getting an under representative estimate

01:23:00   when I did look.

01:23:02   But I think-- but part of it is that I just don't

01:23:04   look at that time remaining.

01:23:06   I just look at the percentage.

01:23:07   I really-- it's just the habit I've gotten into.

01:23:09   I'm not trying to--

01:23:10   Yeah, it's been known to be wrong for a while.

01:23:12   And I was actually joking with someone

01:23:13   who makes-- who uses the third party API, which

01:23:15   is slightly different, who was just saying,

01:23:17   I'm just going to cap it at 10 hours

01:23:18   because I can't trust anything it says over that.

01:23:20   Oh, so the third party one is different.

01:23:22   I didn't know that either.

01:23:23   Because I do know that you can still get it--

01:23:26   without installing any third party utilities,

01:23:28   you can get it out of ActivityMeter.

01:23:29   - Yes, that's the Apple one still.

01:23:30   - Or not, activity monitor.

01:23:31   And there's plenty of third-party utilities.

01:23:36   I did laugh when I first found out that Apple,

01:23:40   as part of their explanation

01:23:43   for how they've improved the battery life

01:23:44   on the new MacBook Pros in the 10.12.2 update,

01:23:48   that they removed the time remaining.

01:23:51   I literally laughed out loud because it looks so bad.

01:23:55   - So I know people internally

01:23:56   who've been trying to get that thing fixed for years,

01:23:58   and then I pointed out again,

01:23:59   this time to somebody-- - Fixed or removed?

01:24:01   - Fixed, and then I pointed it out to someone on the team

01:24:04   when it happened to me again, and they came back

01:24:06   and they looked at it and they went, holy shit,

01:24:07   why is this like this?

01:24:09   And I think that they just didn't have time to fix it.

01:24:11   I think maybe it was a harder problem to solve.

01:24:13   - And to get it out for 10.12.2,

01:24:17   they could, taking it out was obviously easy.

01:24:21   That's a really easy software change.

01:24:23   Fixing it might be hard, and they're not gonna delay 10.12.2

01:24:28   12.2 to wait for the fix and because there's all sorts of other good stuff in in that update

01:24:35   that was ready to ship and

01:24:38   So, you know, I'm down with it. It's just funny that it can't it's just sad that's sad

01:24:44   But it's funny that it that they decided to do it in response to complaints about a new device

01:24:48   What they should have done is take it out of Sierra

01:24:51   Just take it out

01:24:52   You know should have recognized that it was

01:24:54   either fix it for Sierra or take it out for Sierra and just say it's a Sierra update.

01:24:59   It's like a lot of things at Apple, it doesn't get attention until it does.

01:25:01   Right.

01:25:02   Right.

01:25:03   Um...

01:25:03   And it's got the wrong kind.

01:25:06   It made me laugh.

01:25:08   Anyway, I've told you before the show, I have spent the last five days since Friday

01:25:14   creating my own little battery benchmark.

01:25:18   Now here's how Consumer Reports claims—I don't have the quote in front of me—

01:25:21   But effectively, they say what they do to test the battery is they load a series of web pages

01:25:25   Repeatedly over and over until the battery runs out

01:25:28   And they run them from a locally hosted web server in their lab

01:25:33   Which I think is actually in my opinion is the wrong way to do it

01:25:38   I feel I guess they're thinking that if they run it locally they can get more repeatable, but you know that if there's some sort of

01:25:46   problem between here and the actual server.

01:25:48   But they get like a rogue ad tracker that just spins up more and more trackers and starts killing the processes.

01:25:54   But I feel like if you want to test real-world battery life, you should test it on real-world websites.

01:25:59   It's, you know, like running off a fake web server in your lab, testing, loading the pages from a fake web server in your lab is

01:26:06   like, it's saying like we're not gonna run the real version of Photoshop. We're gonna, you know, run our own simulation of Photoshop.

01:26:13   It's you know, why not run the real thing?

01:26:15   It's what real people are gonna do so run a recording of a drawing instead of running the program that makes the drawing

01:26:20   Now I haven't published this yet because I'm not done and unlike Consumer Reports

01:26:24   I don't want to publish it before I'm done, but I can talk about it here on the show. It's a very simple

01:26:27   I wrote an Apple script and what it does I took 25 stories from the top 25 stories on tech meme on Friday

01:26:34   Just to have real world stories that are supposedly actually pop popular real pep pages that were loaded by real people

01:26:43   I don't think it really matters too much what they are, but there are real websites.

01:26:50   And then it, one at a time, loads them into new tabs, leaves all of them open, loads a

01:26:58   web page, waits five seconds, pages down, waits another five seconds, pages down, waits

01:27:04   another five seconds, pages down.

01:27:06   After that, goes on to the next URL, does the same thing.

01:27:10   seconds with five seconds in between to page down to simulate, you know, reading a website,

01:27:17   loading anything else that might roll into the scroll view like an automatic playing

01:27:21   video or something like that. Do all 25 of them have 25 tabs open and then at the end of that,

01:27:28   close it, start all over again, load the same 25 pages over and over again at a sort of,

01:27:34   for, you know, I could take out the five second delays and it like, it's like the screen is just

01:27:39   just like flash, flash, flash, and it's going way faster

01:27:42   than you can see.

01:27:43   In real life, is anybody actually gonna sit there

01:27:45   in front of a computer for five hours

01:27:47   and every 15 seconds load another webpage and scroll down?

01:27:52   No, I mean, it's sort of like simulating like a Coke Fiend

01:27:56   on a news binge.

01:27:57   But it's not supposed to be like this is simulating

01:28:00   a real person in real use.

01:28:01   It's just something that I could run on multiple machines

01:28:05   to see if the scores come out consistently

01:28:08   on multiple runs on the same machine,

01:28:10   and to compare one machine to another,

01:28:12   and to compare these new ones to my old 2014 MacBook Pro.

01:28:16   And the results I got are very different

01:28:19   than consumer reports.

01:28:20   - So there wasn't like a 15 hour one and a three hour one?

01:28:23   - No, if anything, the results have actually gotten slowly

01:28:27   but steadily better since Friday on the same machine,

01:28:30   which I attribute to the fact that when I first started

01:28:33   on Friday, I had just updated to 10 point, 12 point two

01:28:36   on the one.

01:28:37   I had sort of packed these review units up

01:28:38   to send back to Apple.

01:28:39   I'm glad I didn't.

01:28:40   They were all packed up, and most of the,

01:28:43   I have three of them.

01:28:44   I have one without, I have the MacBook Escape.

01:28:46   I have 13-inch with a Core i5 with a touch bar,

01:28:49   and I have a 15-inch.

01:28:51   I attribute the earlier ones getting worse scores

01:28:57   by about an hour to the fact that I did check,

01:29:01   not while the benchmark was running,

01:29:03   but just while I was setting up and testing it

01:29:05   and trying to figure, you know, just making sure

01:29:06   that the test did what I thought it did

01:29:08   and was logging what I thought it did.

01:29:10   What I do is I write to a text file every time

01:29:12   through the 25 tabs just to list how long has gone

01:29:15   since we started and what's the current battery life

01:29:17   as a percentage to make sure it was all sane.

01:29:21   I ran it sometimes with Activity Monitor running

01:29:24   and I could tell the first time it was running

01:29:26   that a lot of the photos demons

01:29:28   were running in the background.

01:29:29   - Yeah.

01:29:31   - I think because I have these machines signed

01:29:34   into my iCloud account.

01:29:36   And I think that the photo sharing,

01:29:39   all the photos I've taken since I wrote my MacBook review

01:29:42   in October were new, and so it was doing facial detection

01:29:46   and all that stuff on all of the photos

01:29:49   that I've taken since October.

01:29:50   And we took a vacation over Thanksgiving,

01:29:52   and so there was actually a lot of photos.

01:29:54   I honestly think that the photo thing was giving,

01:29:57   so effectively I got, I don't have the exact numbers here,

01:29:59   but I was getting four hours and change on my test

01:30:03   on the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the new one with the touch bar.

01:30:06   And now, like I ran it last night,

01:30:08   I got five and a half hours.

01:30:09   But it's all between four hours and change

01:30:15   and a maximum of like five.

01:30:18   The MacBook Escape got six hours and 20 minutes.

01:30:23   So it actually does get, as reported by some,

01:30:27   I guess now that I have the script,

01:30:28   I can actually report battery life

01:30:29   when I write these reviews.

01:30:32   But it does get better battery life

01:30:34   than the one with the touch bar, which makes some sense,

01:30:37   I think, because the touch bar never goes off.

01:30:39   This script-- I have the-- obviously,

01:30:40   I have the machine set to not dim the display,

01:30:43   not dim it automatically.

01:30:45   The touch bar is always on, because it seems to the computer

01:30:47   that the user is actively, constantly,

01:30:50   never stopping to use Safari.

01:30:52   Well, and also, I think some people noted this

01:30:54   when they were first introduced, that the specs are

01:30:55   widely different.

01:30:56   And it would be odd that they would get the same battery life

01:30:57   according to Apple with those different specs.

01:31:00   Right.

01:31:02   The other crazy thing from the Consumer Reports story was that they said that switching from

01:31:08   Safari to Chrome fixed the problem, that it got consistent results, and it got better

01:31:13   results.

01:31:15   So who knows what's going on?

01:31:18   I still can't wait to hear the explanation for this.

01:31:21   I don't care.

01:31:22   There's just no possible way that you can load web pages for 18 hours on one of these

01:31:27   machines.

01:31:29   But the idea that switching to Chrome would fix it makes no sense whatsoever because Chrome

01:31:33   is widely known as a battery hog.

01:31:35   One of the single biggest differences between Safari and Chrome on the Mac is that Chrome

01:31:41   is not optimized for battery life.

01:31:43   And Safari is optimized possibly as its single highest priority for battery life.

01:31:49   I don't know that there's a single priority on Apple's WebKit and Safari team higher than

01:31:53   maximizing battery life.

01:31:56   It is a grade one priority for--

01:31:59   - That is their zero regression jihad.

01:32:01   - Right.

01:32:02   And lo and behold, I tried the exact same battery test

01:32:06   with Chrome.

01:32:07   Same URLs, same delay between scrolling.

01:32:11   All I did was change TEL application Safari to,

01:32:16   and then here's the repeat, it's a very simple script.

01:32:22   I will publish it so that people can reproduce the result.

01:32:24   All I did was change the tell target

01:32:26   from tell application Safari

01:32:28   to tell application Google Chrome.

01:32:30   That's the only change.

01:32:32   Everything else, actually,

01:32:33   there's no other change that's needed

01:32:34   to even an Apple script.

01:32:36   The command is very simple.

01:32:37   It's just open location,

01:32:38   and then you put the URL as a string, and it opens.

01:32:41   So you don't even have to change that.

01:32:43   The battery life, lo and behold,

01:32:45   was only 2/3 as long as with Safari.

01:32:49   It went from four hours and change

01:32:51   to three hours and change,

01:32:52   and you divide one over the other,

01:32:54   It came out to like 0.65.

01:32:57   It was almost exactly 2/3, a 33% drop off in battery

01:33:01   switching to Chrome.

01:33:02   I always get a new MacBook.

01:33:03   I try-- I do Chrome for a day.

01:33:05   And without fail, it's an hour to an hour and a half less

01:33:07   battery life for me.

01:33:10   This exactly fits with the little simple tests that I ran.

01:33:16   And I'm not even saying that this is a great-- the world's

01:33:18   greatest battery test.

01:33:19   All I can say is that it's as close as I

01:33:22   can come to approximating what Consumer Reports says they did.

01:33:25   And I don't think it's an unreasonable battery test.

01:33:28   It seems fairly reasonable to me.

01:33:29   What was so odd to me with this whole situation

01:33:31   is, one, that Consumer Reports would be happy enough

01:33:33   with those results to publish them instead of becoming super

01:33:37   inquiring, why am I getting these results?

01:33:39   I need to understand these before I try to explain it

01:33:41   to somebody else.

01:33:42   And also, we find out again on Twitter--

01:33:44   and I know Marco has mentioned this before--

01:33:46   is that we're really bad with multiple truths.

01:33:48   Like, the battery could not live up to Apple's expectations,

01:33:51   and it could be shitty tests.

01:33:52   Both those things could be true.

01:33:54   And Consumer Reports did nothing to sort of convince me

01:33:56   that the shitty test part weren't part of it.

01:33:58   - I will say though that my tests show

01:34:02   that the new MacBook Pros are getting

01:34:04   better battery life consistently,

01:34:05   at least an hour more than my 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro.

01:34:09   Now, that said, my 2014 MacBook Pro,

01:34:12   which I personally own, is two years old,

01:34:14   almost exactly two years old.

01:34:17   And I've used it a lot over two years,

01:34:20   and the batteries, two-year-old batteries

01:34:23   that have been used for two years do not behave

01:34:25   as well as brand new batteries.

01:34:27   And I'm quite certain that that very same machine

01:34:31   that I own probably would have scored significantly better

01:34:33   if I tested it two years ago.

01:34:35   So it may not be an Apple,

01:34:37   it's an Apples to two-year-old Apples comparison.

01:34:40   But I will say it is an hour longer.

01:34:42   So if I were to switch today from my 2014 MacBook Pro

01:34:48   to the new one with Touch Bar,

01:34:50   I would expect to get an hour more battery life of active, active use.

01:34:54   Totally. And I mean, there's, there's a lot of things again, to unpack your one,

01:34:57   is that Apple famously a few years ago,

01:34:59   changed the way they measured battery life and it resulted in significantly

01:35:02   better battery estimates. People just remarked that Apple's became super solid,

01:35:05   but times keep changing.

01:35:07   And I think Apple does have to update these again.

01:35:09   And we saw that with iPhone devices recently too,

01:35:11   because it's not back like in the Steve jobs days when he did,

01:35:14   when he started going through web pages,

01:35:15   it was the New York times and apple.com and that's just not how people,

01:35:20   don't just check email and the web now anymore, they've got Snapchat and Facebook and Pokemon Go

01:35:26   and apps that keep the screen lit up and keep the radios fired and keep GPS on all the time

01:35:30   and are significantly higher battery drains and this is what a lot of normal people are using

01:35:35   than just looking at web pages or mail. I think the same is true on the Mac depending on which

01:35:39   sites you choose to load, these can have, you know, and the site I run is as guilty of this as anybody

01:35:45   they'll load a tracker which will load a tracker and every once in a while I get one that just goes

01:35:48   15 or 80 levels deep and kills everything.

01:35:51   Guiltier than most.

01:35:53   Yes, guiltier than most.

01:35:54   Sure.

01:35:56   Maybe my site was the one that Consumer Reports

01:35:58   killed the MacBook on.

01:35:59   I don't know.

01:36:00   I think that that might explain a bit of some

01:36:02   of the variability that I've seen in my own testing

01:36:06   here is that even loading the same 25 URLs every time,

01:36:10   you can get different ad trackers.

01:36:12   And you certainly see it.

01:36:14   If you ever look in Activity Monitor

01:36:16   and you see one Safari process,

01:36:20   'cause each tab in modern Safari gets its own process,

01:36:23   and you can see them individually in the activity monitor.

01:36:26   And if you see one for iMore that's taking

01:36:31   1.2 gigabytes of RAM,

01:36:32   you're like, well, that's weird,

01:36:35   because I've got three iMore tabs open,

01:36:37   and only one of them is using this.

01:36:39   It's something like that.

01:36:40   - Totally, and again, there's no indication

01:36:43   that they were, like you said,

01:36:44   the photos agent could spin up, or Spotlight Indexer

01:36:48   could spin up.

01:36:49   And there's various processes that

01:36:50   are running in the background that

01:36:51   could have profound impacts on what the battery life is.

01:36:53   And there was no indication they controlled for that either.

01:36:57   So it's a lot of hullabaloo about nothing.

01:37:00   And again, as you said that Marco pointed out,

01:37:02   that doesn't mean that the battery life on these things

01:37:04   is great.

01:37:06   But from my testing, it doesn't seem to be bad.

01:37:08   And also, it also doesn't put aside the fact

01:37:11   that there were definitely bugs in 10.12.1 across the board.

01:37:17   And I think, in particular in Safari,

01:37:19   there was something going on there.

01:37:22   And I've heard from people at Apple

01:37:24   that some of the people-- and again, if you're out there

01:37:27   and you've got a new MacBook Pro and you've had a really, really

01:37:30   sad or disappointing battery life,

01:37:32   I'm not saying that that's not true.

01:37:33   And I know that there are people out there.

01:37:35   I know that there are people at Apple, though,

01:37:37   who are 100% convinced, 100% that it's software

01:37:40   and that it's easily fixable and will be fixed,

01:37:43   and it's not hardware.

01:37:44   - That they might have hit a couple edge cases

01:37:46   in one of those tests that greatly skewed the results.

01:37:47   And again, instead of, and the part to me

01:37:50   that I dislike about the modern internet,

01:37:51   and it's similar, like when Apple removed

01:37:54   the time remaining indicator, the story,

01:37:56   we lost the battery life story,

01:37:57   it all became about the battery life indicator,

01:37:59   and this was about the headline,

01:38:00   Consumer Reports Can't Recommend the MacBook.

01:38:02   There could be an issue with the battery life,

01:38:04   and that gets totally lost.

01:38:05   And you got a lot of the same tweets that I did,

01:38:07   and when you just raised questions about this,

01:38:09   you're called an apologist or something else.

01:38:12   But to me, these are legitimate questions

01:38:13   because I actually wanna know about the battery life.

01:38:15   I really don't care about the rest of it.

01:38:16   I just want an answer on that.

01:38:18   - Yeah, I agree.

01:38:21   So anyway, I think that Consumer Reports blew it on this.

01:38:25   Anyway, and you'll hear more from me on the battery test

01:38:27   and I will publish the script

01:38:28   and people can run it themselves.

01:38:30   - And I do hope, and this is my speculation,

01:38:32   but I do think that Consumer Reports got a taste

01:38:34   for what big attention is

01:38:36   because they're battling for relevance now.

01:38:38   There's sites like Wirecutter.

01:38:39   There's a whole internet out there.

01:38:40   It used to be just Consumer Reports,

01:38:42   and now they have to compete with a bunch of other sites,

01:38:44   and there's Dilution in this industry.

01:38:46   And with Antennagate, they saw a ton of attention.

01:38:49   And then after that, we got the weird

01:38:50   sort of bend gate stuff from them.

01:38:52   And then last year, it was the Samsung Galaxy Active

01:38:54   water retention.

01:38:56   It just feels like they're testing to see

01:38:58   where they can regain relevancy with these things.

01:39:00   And I think that leads them to published articles

01:39:03   that aren't always in the best interest of their consumers.

01:39:05   - Yeah, and then one last thing I will point out,

01:39:07   And this is the thing where I feel like they most screwed the pooch, is by publishing on

01:39:13   Friday when they did, was that they tested multiple machines and got the same inconsistent

01:39:20   results on all of them.

01:39:21   So I don't put it past the possibility that an early production model of one of these

01:39:28   machines could be a lemon and would produce wildly different results.

01:39:32   That's certainly possible.

01:39:35   But the odds that you would buy three,

01:39:38   and all three would exhibit the same bizarre behavior,

01:39:41   and like nobody else is seeing wildly divergent battery life

01:39:47   like that between runs, I mean, for one,

01:39:52   not to suspect that the problem is with the test

01:39:54   and not with the machines boggles the mind.

01:39:57   Again, if it was just one device and you got that,

01:40:02   that seems possible, but three devices?

01:40:05   I mean, it's like that scene in Casino

01:40:07   when De Niro's berating the guy

01:40:10   because three slot machines in a row,

01:40:13   they gave out a jackpot,

01:40:14   and they didn't suspect that they were being scammed.

01:40:17   - No, totally, and again, we have a Nantec,

01:40:19   we have Ars Technica, we have a lot of sites

01:40:22   that do really, really good work with battery tests,

01:40:24   and there's a lot of things

01:40:24   that you can check these results with.

01:40:27   - All right, let me take a break here

01:40:28   and thank our third and final sponsor, Warby Parker.

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01:42:53   We've got to wrap it up soon.

01:42:54   I've got dinner plans, Rene.

01:42:55   I don't know about you.

01:42:56   I know, and you're going to get sick soon.

01:42:59   Apologies to Caleb.

01:43:00   So let's cover the entire year in five minutes.

01:43:02   OK.

01:43:03   The year in review, 2016.

01:43:06   My thought was, what are your favorite products of the year?

01:43:08   And my two favorite products of the year, very easy.

01:43:11   Number one, the winner for product of the year

01:43:13   is AirPods.

01:43:15   And number two, the iPhone 7.

01:43:18   I've already talked, I've written,

01:43:19   I wrote a huge review of the iPhone 7.

01:43:21   I don't need to say why I like it.

01:43:22   But I will just point out this.

01:43:26   As the time goes on and I get more and more used

01:43:28   to my iPhone 7, I really,

01:43:32   I do kind of hope that if it's true that they go bezel-less,

01:43:35   that the whole device will shrink

01:43:36   and it'll become even smaller in my hand.

01:43:38   I mean, I'm an iPhone 7 person, not an iPhone 7 Plus.

01:43:41   I'd love to have an iPhone SE-sized device,

01:43:44   or almost iPhone SE-sized device,

01:43:46   and just have the whole thing be a display.

01:43:49   But even so, I've been using this 7 size for so long.

01:43:53   But I love the little things that they've

01:43:55   done differently in this.

01:43:56   To call it exactly the same industrial design

01:43:58   is just not true.

01:43:59   Yes, it's very, very similar.

01:44:01   It is familiar.

01:44:02   And I will also point out, three months in,

01:44:08   that my jet black, used with no case iPhone 7,

01:44:13   still looks fantastic.

01:44:14   Yes, there are scratches.

01:44:15   not just fine, whatever they call them,

01:44:18   what do they call those?

01:44:18   - Micro abrasions.

01:44:20   - There are plenty of micro abrasions

01:44:22   which are impossible to see unless you really

01:44:24   tilt it exactly to the right and look for it.

01:44:26   But there are also, I don't even know when this happened,

01:44:29   about an inch down and a half an inch

01:44:32   to the right of the Apple logo,

01:44:34   there are some serious scratches on it.

01:44:37   You can't see them, even this actual scratch scratches,

01:44:40   you can't see them unless you really look for it.

01:44:43   And I don't care, it's fine.

01:44:44   I love it.

01:44:46   It feels so great in my hand.

01:44:47   It is not slippery.

01:44:49   It wasn't slippery when it was hot.

01:44:52   I've been-- in the three months I've had it,

01:44:53   I've been in the tropics.

01:44:55   I have been in freezing, sub-freezing, East Coast

01:44:59   weather.

01:45:00   It's not slippery when your hands are cold.

01:45:02   It's not slippery when your hands are hot.

01:45:04   It's not slippery at room temperature.

01:45:07   And I do-- and I've taken some amazing photographs

01:45:11   with the camera.

01:45:12   So iPhone 7, my second favorite product of the year.

01:45:15   What about you?

01:45:16   What's your favorite products of the year?

01:45:17   - You know, I would say the iPhone 7 Plus

01:45:19   just because I've been on the Plus since it first came out

01:45:21   and I just love the larger screen

01:45:23   because to me it really,

01:45:24   it becomes a primary computing device

01:45:25   and I can do everything that my job,

01:45:27   almost everything my job needs me to do

01:45:28   right from my iPhone.

01:45:30   And especially with the camera system,

01:45:32   the lens fusion on the iPhone 7 Plus.

01:45:35   I used to shoot everything for IMOAR with DSLR

01:45:38   and I haven't used one since this phone came out.

01:45:40   And yeah, there's some gray in on a lot of the pictures,

01:45:43   but I'm taking photos I never thought

01:45:45   I would be able to take.

01:45:46   It's just photos that I could never have taken

01:45:47   with previous generation iPhones.

01:45:49   And to me, that's a huge, huge improvement.

01:45:52   But because you already picked iPhone,

01:45:53   I'm gonna go with the 9.7 inch iPad Pro

01:45:57   because it has all of the benefits of the big iPad Pro.

01:46:01   It's, but it's even more of sort of this hybrid computer.

01:46:04   I know other companies have been making

01:46:05   these convertible computers for years,

01:46:07   but to me, Apple really nailed it with this

01:46:09   because you have the keyboard

01:46:10   and you can sit there and in a coffee shop

01:46:12   or on an airplane tray table and type,

01:46:15   within two or three minutes, I forget I'm typing

01:46:17   on a piece of laser ablated taffeta,

01:46:19   and I just type, and it's great.

01:46:21   And then you can pull it off and sit back

01:46:23   and use it like an iPad Air 2.

01:46:24   It's the exact same basic size, shape, and weight,

01:46:27   and watch movies or play games or do those things

01:46:29   and forget that a few seconds ago,

01:46:31   it was basically like a little laptop computer.

01:46:33   And then you add in the decent camera system on that,

01:46:36   which is as good as a previous generation iPhone,

01:46:38   the True Tone display, which I hope Apple really refines

01:46:42   that and puts it everywhere.

01:46:43   And it just, it makes it a really great product.

01:46:46   - The True Tone display, I'm a little disappointed

01:46:50   that it didn't get into the iPhone 7.

01:46:52   And I see why, because it actually requires

01:46:54   additional sensors, and that space is at a premium.

01:46:58   And, you know, I get it.

01:47:00   But I love the True Tone display so much.

01:47:03   And I thought that the tell was when they introduced it

01:47:07   back in March, Schiller said, "Once you see it,

01:47:08   you can't do without it."

01:47:11   I thought that meant it was coming in the iPhone.

01:47:13   - And maybe it was back then.

01:47:15   - Yeah, maybe, I don't know.

01:47:16   But it's one of those neat ways that,

01:47:19   in the old days, I mean old days,

01:47:23   but the early days of the iPad,

01:47:25   the iPhone was always a full step ahead.

01:47:27   It was the first to have everything.

01:47:29   First to get the new A series, whatever,

01:47:31   first to get Touch ID.

01:47:34   With the iPad Pro, the iPad is sort of, in some ways,

01:47:37   a half a step ahead of the iPhone, right?

01:47:39   The iPhone right now, as we speak,

01:47:41   has the newer A series processor

01:47:43   and does have a better camera.

01:47:45   But it's the 9.7 inch iPad Pro

01:47:47   that has the True Tone display.

01:47:49   And the True Tone is not a gimmick.

01:47:51   It is a real thing.

01:47:53   It bothers me when I use it at night in particular

01:47:59   and then look at my iPhone

01:48:00   'cause it makes my iPhone look like it's miscolored.

01:48:03   I was hoping they'd figure out some great way

01:48:04   to use the sensors on the iPad Mini to say,

01:48:06   if you have, sorry, the iPad Pro, if you had it,

01:48:08   it would just copy that display profile

01:48:10   to all the other devices that you have on your account.

01:48:13   - Yeah, iPad Pro is a great device.

01:48:15   The other thing I think that is historically,

01:48:18   you know, if we wanna listen to this,

01:48:19   if somebody's listening to this 10 years in the future,

01:48:22   like, to me, the iPad Pro is an inflection point

01:48:27   where their A series ARM processors

01:48:31   past Intel's low power processors,

01:48:35   the ones used in the regular MacBook.

01:48:37   The iPad Pro, I know it's, you know,

01:48:40   Apple's to orange is because it's iOS versus Mac OS,

01:48:43   but the fact that like you can get,

01:48:45   you get better Geekbench scores on the iPad

01:48:48   compared to the MacBook is in hindsight,

01:48:51   I really think it's an inflection point

01:48:53   because I think it's only going to get,

01:48:55   it's gonna diverge even more.

01:48:58   And I, you know, we don't have time for discussion

01:49:00   of whether Apple's ever going to switch to those chips

01:49:02   in the MacBooks.

01:49:03   But given where the iPad started in 2011 or 2010,

01:49:11   where it was--

01:49:12   I mean, there was all sorts of things

01:49:13   to love about the original iPad.

01:49:15   It was a popular product.

01:49:16   It was useful.

01:49:16   I liked it.

01:49:18   But you'd never say, well, it's faster than a Mac.

01:49:21   Yeah.

01:49:22   And this one, with the latest generation MacBook,

01:49:25   the M3 version, was choking on a single stream of 4K video

01:49:29   me where the iPad Pro could fly on three streams.

01:49:33   And you just never, you know, one thing, and I want, you know, just to go back to the previous

01:49:37   segment where I, you know, why use loading a bunch of tabs over and over again as a benchmark?

01:49:45   It is A) something real people do is load pages and web browser tabs, but B) it's easy

01:49:52   to forget that rendering web pages is computationally expensive.

01:49:57   It is really, really like WebKit and Chrome and those things.

01:50:02   They do an incredible amount of--

01:50:04   it's CPU intensive to render HTML, at least modern HTML,

01:50:07   with all the JavaScript and everything that's going on.

01:50:11   And you see it on the iPad Pro.

01:50:13   Like when you browse the web on the iPad Pro,

01:50:15   it's like it just feels fast.

01:50:16   Whereas in the early years of the iPad,

01:50:18   it was nice to read web pages on the iPad,

01:50:21   but it wasn't nice to load web pages on the iPad.

01:50:23   Our old checkerboard friend that when it couldn't keep up,

01:50:26   would show you that until it finally rendered the page.

01:50:28   And now I never see that.

01:50:31   And AirPods, my number one is AirPods, which I can't--

01:50:36   I still have to do a review.

01:50:37   And I was sort of waiting for production ones.

01:50:41   I was uneasy with the emphasis Apple placed on the--

01:50:45   these are pre-production prototypes on the ones

01:50:47   they gave us back in October.

01:50:49   I was uneasy writing an authoritative review

01:50:52   about them, especially once it became clear

01:50:55   that there was some sort of delay,

01:50:56   that we didn't know what it was, would the production ones

01:50:59   be different?

01:51:01   I have to say, in real life, I think

01:51:03   the battery life is a little worse on the production ones.

01:51:06   But it could be a placebo effect.

01:51:08   I don't know.

01:51:09   I don't know if you've noticed that.

01:51:10   But I would say it's just a little bit--

01:51:13   it's more like--

01:51:15   I don't know.

01:51:16   Maybe it's like the actual AirPods

01:51:19   seem to run down a little bit more noticeably.

01:51:22   But the case seems to hold the same amount of a charge.

01:51:25   Yeah, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out differences.

01:51:27   And I was like, is this magnet just a little bit magnet-y?

01:51:29   Or maybe other ones weren't out.

01:51:30   No, no, no, René, magnets don't wear out.

01:51:31   It's just a little bit more--

01:51:32   and just trying to figure out what was different.

01:51:33   But my usage has been almost identical.

01:51:35   I can't think of anything that's significantly different for me.

01:51:38   But the battery life I'm getting on these production model ones

01:51:43   is still terrific and so much better than the old Beats

01:51:47   pre-W1 Bluetooth headphones I had.

01:51:51   It's mind-boggling.

01:51:52   And those I had to charge my phone every day.

01:51:55   And if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to get through a run

01:51:57   with the charge.

01:51:58   These, I haven't plugged them in.

01:52:00   I've been testing it.

01:52:02   How long these last?

01:52:02   I haven't plugged the lightning into the case.

01:52:05   Let's see where we're at here.

01:52:06   So right now, I think after like five days,

01:52:11   my AirPods are at 100% and the case is at 15%.

01:52:14   So I kind of have to plug it in soon, I guess.

01:52:16   But I could take the AirPods out right now

01:52:18   and they're at 100%.

01:52:19   And I haven't plugged this in in days and days and days.

01:52:21   - I'm the same way.

01:52:22   My case is I think it's 7% right now,

01:52:24   but I alternate too because I usually listen

01:52:25   to podcasts or audiobooks.

01:52:26   I almost always only have one in a year at a time,

01:52:29   and I just alternate between them, and it lasts for days.

01:52:32   - All right, I have an important tip for all of you

01:52:34   who have AirPods already,

01:52:35   or who are waiting for them to arrive.

01:52:38   I've seen, one of the complaints I've seen now

01:52:39   that they've shipped to real people

01:52:40   is I've seen people say that they're hard

01:52:42   to get out of the case,

01:52:44   because they're a little, they're slippery white plastic,

01:52:47   and people are pinching them and pulling them,

01:52:49   and the magnet that sucks them in is fighting them.

01:52:52   And let's be a little gross,

01:52:53   after you use them for a while,

01:52:54   they pick up some earwax, right?

01:52:56   They're only gonna get slipperier.

01:52:59   Don't pinch them to take them out of the case.

01:53:00   Put your finger, like your index finger or your thumb,

01:53:03   right in the middle between the two.

01:53:05   In other words, put your finger right over the light

01:53:07   that lights up and just press them to the outside

01:53:10   and they just pop right out.

01:53:12   You don't have to pinch.

01:53:13   It's a one finger thing.

01:53:14   You just put your finger in the middle,

01:53:16   push to the side and they just pop right out.

01:53:18   So there's my hot tip of the day for AirPod users.

01:53:22   I love these things.

01:53:23   They are exactly, they're everything I love about Apple.

01:53:27   It's the best, purest Apple product I can think of in years.

01:53:31   Everything about them.

01:53:32   The way they work, the way they pair,

01:53:34   the integration between the hardware and the software,

01:53:36   the way that they've solved the pairing problem,

01:53:39   the way they've improved it,

01:53:40   the way the case is sort of the most

01:53:44   Johnny Ive designed thing I've ever,

01:53:47   I think of anything that Apple's ever made, ever.

01:53:50   People have pointed out that you turn it around,

01:53:52   it looks a little bit like Eve from Wall-E,

01:53:54   which Johnny Ive consulted on.

01:53:56   The tactile sensation, the fun of just clicking the case

01:54:02   and having it shut.

01:54:03   And briefly, briefly, there was a thing that,

01:54:07   do you see this thing this week

01:54:08   where people have speculated that the case

01:54:11   was originally going to use USB-C instead of lightning?

01:54:14   Because when you put the lightning cable in,

01:54:17   you can kind of see the sides a little bit of,

01:54:21   you know, like the slot.

01:54:23   And if you just hold a USB-C cable up,

01:54:27   it looks like it's the same width.

01:54:28   And people are like, "Whoa!"

01:54:29   And so I guess the idea is that Apple made millions

01:54:32   of these cases with a slot meant for USB-C

01:54:35   and then changed their mind. - No, I hate this.

01:54:37   I hate this so much, 'cause this is what's exactly wrong

01:54:39   with the internet.

01:54:40   No, no, if you actually take the AirPod

01:54:43   and you put an iPhone underneath it,

01:54:44   it is exactly the same port.

01:54:46   Right.

01:54:48   You don't see the gap between the sides of the cable

01:54:51   and the slot on the iPhone because the iPhone's darker.

01:54:54   It's the fact that this is white that makes it noticeable.

01:54:58   But people blog that.

01:54:59   I mean, someone put that up on Twitter,

01:55:00   and I had to go and write an article saying,

01:55:02   no, if you actually look at it.

01:55:04   And I had to go to bed an hour late that night

01:55:06   because I had to write that article.

01:55:08   The other thing is that the width matches up exactly

01:55:11   with the width of USB-C, which is curious,

01:55:14   except for the fact that USB-C is just a vaguely lightning

01:55:17   sized port.

01:55:18   So of course it's similar.

01:55:19   But because it's exactly the same width,

01:55:21   then it means it's not wide enough for it to fit.

01:55:24   No, yes.

01:55:25   The hole has to be wider than the plug.

01:55:28   And please don't try to force it because it'll be very bad.

01:55:31   Don't force it.

01:55:32   And then the second factor is that height wise,

01:55:35   in other words, how thick--

01:55:37   not how wide the plug is, but how thick it is,

01:55:42   It's nowhere near wide enough for USB-C.

01:55:46   You can't even fit the corner of a USB-C cable into this socket.

01:55:50   It's nowhere near wide enough.

01:55:51   Yeah.

01:55:52   It's complete nonsense.

01:55:53   I'm not going to waste any more time on it.

01:55:55   There's absolutely zero truth to this.

01:55:57   And you just prove it just by trying

01:56:00   to fit the corner of a USB-C thing in there.

01:56:02   But the second thing is that if Apple switched from USB-C

01:56:05   to Lightning, they would have changed the size of the port

01:56:10   in hardware.

01:56:11   It's not like they make 50 million cases before they make 50 million internals.

01:56:16   It's, no, it is exactly the lightning port that they have used for devices going back

01:56:21   from the beginning of lightning. There is no difference. It's a nonsense. It's equivalent

01:56:26   of fake news. It's, I forget what Fraser Spears called it, "manufactured controversy."

01:56:30   Right. Yes, exactly. Everybody loves a conspiracy, even if the conspiracy is that they switched from

01:56:35   USB-C to lightning. Yeah, no, never happened. And I gotta imagine how hard the eyes rolled at Apple

01:56:41   and if this even made, they probably just looked

01:56:43   at the internet and closed it at that point.

01:56:45   - All right, one more product from you, what do you got?

01:56:48   - WatchOS 3, I think, just to get on the software side,

01:56:50   because it took even the original Apple Watch,

01:56:53   the Series Zero, and made it so much more responsive

01:56:55   and so much more alive, and yes, they spent battery life

01:56:58   and memory to do it, but it sort of showed the refinement

01:57:01   of what WatchOS could be when they focused down on it.

01:57:04   - Yep, that's a great pick.

01:57:06   I think that as a top four, that that is,

01:57:08   at the year in review, I think it's a perfect top four.

01:57:11   I probably wouldn't have picked watchOS 3

01:57:13   just 'cause it wouldn't have popped into my mind,

01:57:15   but once you said it, I was like, oh yes, definitely.

01:57:18   And I think that the fact that it made

01:57:20   the original Series Zero watches so much better

01:57:24   is the best example of it.

01:57:25   It's that it's not just an improvement for the new hardware,

01:57:27   but that if you already own an Apple Watch,

01:57:29   my recommendation is strongly no,

01:57:31   there's no reason for you to buy a new one.

01:57:33   Yes, the new ones are a nice improvement,

01:57:35   especially the brighter displays,

01:57:37   but unless your biggest complaint

01:57:38   with your original Apple Watch

01:57:39   is that you can't read the display in sunlight,

01:57:42   if that's a frequent problem for you,

01:57:43   the new one might be worth it,

01:57:45   but that's the one and only reason.

01:57:47   - I'll add one more, and that is the 38 millimeter.

01:57:48   If you have trouble getting a day of battery life

01:57:50   with workouts, the 38 millimeter Series 2

01:57:52   is much better for workouts.

01:57:54   - Yeah, that was a problem,

01:57:56   and maybe watchOS 3 didn't solve it,

01:57:58   but anyway, it's a terrific update,

01:58:00   because it not just fixes things,

01:58:01   doesn't just make things better,

01:58:02   but it really shows a thorough rethinking

01:58:06   of the way that everything about the interface of the watch.

01:58:10   And it was involved them humbly stepping back

01:58:14   from some things.

01:58:16   Like, no, I guess the hardware button

01:58:17   shouldn't just be a way to doodle your friends.

01:58:21   Totally, yeah.

01:58:23   So anyway, that's a great pick.

01:58:26   Anything else, Rene?

01:58:28   I mean, it was a jam-packed year,

01:58:31   and there's still a few days left.

01:58:35   I'm worried.

01:58:37   As we speak, the news of the day is the sad passing

01:58:39   of Carrie Fisher.

01:58:41   And so with the way things are going with George Michael

01:58:44   and Carrie Fisher, it's like, I really

01:58:47   hope there is no more news for the remainder of the year.

01:58:50   Because so far, the year-end news

01:58:53   has been nothing but absolute garbage.

01:58:56   Just the worst.

01:58:57   The worst that the universe can dump on us.

01:59:00   I made a comment on Twitter yesterday

01:59:01   that I'm an optimist because I have to be.

01:59:03   Otherwise, I just assumed that everyone was fleeing and that's the only possible explanation I have anymore

01:59:07   Carrie Fisher seemed like a wonderful person and and the fact that it's

01:59:12   Well, I mean, I love the movies

01:59:15   She's very funny

01:59:16   But the fact that she wore her mental illness and her fights with that with that on her sleeve just was like proud of it

01:59:23   was

01:59:25   It's so great and I've seen so many people on Twitter who maybe have to deal with some issues along those lines

01:59:31   That what how amazing it was to have one of the most well-known actresses in the world

01:59:37   Just be out there as yeah, I'm bipolar and you know

01:59:40   That that's deal with it

01:59:43   instead of you know from

01:59:45   Decades past where that would be like a source of shame. What a wonderful person in a wonderful life and what a horrendous

01:59:52   Horrendous loss. Yeah, I heard a die at the age of 60. She was an inspiration in so many ways

01:59:59   Princess Leia was just one a very small part of what she contributed. I

02:00:02   Can't help it and again, I don't mean to make light of her dying but as a Star Wars nerd you can't help but think too

02:00:11   Good God, this is going to change the the new trilogy. Yeah, I

02:00:15   Wonder what they're gonna do

02:00:18   Yeah, I mean general again. I was in many ways the full the fullness of that character, right?

02:00:23   And how weird is it gonna be next year going to see episode 8 where she's in it?

02:00:28   it and how sad that is.

02:00:32   I don't know. I'm trying to think.

02:00:34   I guess there was the Fast and Furious movie where Paul Weller died in a car accident.

02:00:40   In between filming, I guess they weren't finished filming it.

02:00:43   They had to bring his brothers into,

02:00:45   he apparently had some brothers that looked like him and they came in.

02:00:50   >> Brandon Lee and the Crow.

02:00:52   I mean, there's very few examples.

02:00:54   >> It's just going to be a real kick in. I mean,

02:00:55   forget about whatever it means for episode nine,

02:00:57   whether she was going to be in it or not. But it's just going to be what a kick in the pants is going

02:01:00   to be again in a year when episode eight comes out. And all of a sudden, the first time you see

02:01:04   her on screen, there's that sinking feeling in your gut of, you know, who knows? Presumably,

02:01:11   I'm just guessing. I have no idea. No spoilers. This is just a guess. But presumably she's going

02:01:15   to see Luke in the movie and there's going to be like a hug and wow, they haven't seen each other

02:01:19   in forever. And it's supposed to be this happy moment in the film. And meanwhile, I'll be in the

02:01:23   theater like ready to crawl it yeah because she's dead and just even just

02:01:27   her twitter commentary was absolutely priceless it's a i

02:01:30   could you read it i had such a hard time reading it was almost like to me like

02:01:33   deciphering a puzzle i i almost enjoyed it like like solving

02:01:36   like a little mini five by five word word game well as you said i mean

02:01:40   she she sacrificed her privacy to try to help

02:01:43   people and that's incredibly noble she used to for those who don't know her

02:01:47   tweets she'd substitute like every emoji possible including

02:01:53   like the word combination ones like her or her tweets are like this weird mishmash of pros and

02:01:58   emoji. Yeah incredibly forthright though. Yeah well happy new year to you. Happy new year. Happy

02:02:05   holidays. Thank you for doing this. Thanks. It's become a mini tradition to do the year in review

02:02:10   with you. Thank you. I love it every year. Well I'll see you soon I hope. Absolutely.

02:02:16   All right thank you René. All right thanks John.