Under the Radar

147: New MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and iPad Pro


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar,

00:00:01   a show about independent iOS app development.

00:00:03   I'm Mark O'Arment.

00:00:05   - And I'm David Smith.

00:00:06   Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes,

00:00:07   so let's get started.

00:00:09   - So we had an Apple event.

00:00:10   - Yay!

00:00:11   - And being developers,

00:00:13   it's always kind of fun to see this from two sides.

00:00:15   Number one, I think many if not most of us

00:00:18   are also just big Apple fans.

00:00:20   That's why we're here.

00:00:21   And so it's always just fun

00:00:23   whenever there's new Apple stuff.

00:00:25   And hardware is always fun.

00:00:26   This is a hardware-focused event.

00:00:28   And then also just, it's interesting,

00:00:30   from a developer point of view,

00:00:31   whether these are developer-focused tools,

00:00:34   whether they can help us in that way,

00:00:36   and what new development possibilities

00:00:38   now have opened up with whatever new hardware features

00:00:42   or hardware changes or market changes Apple has made.

00:00:45   - Yeah, and I think for each of them,

00:00:47   I guess there's three main devices

00:00:49   that were announced at this event

00:00:51   that were relevant for our discussion.

00:00:53   There's the MacBook Air, the Mac Mini, and the iPad Pro.

00:00:56   And I think each of them is interesting.

00:00:58   If you're a professional Apple developer,

00:01:02   there's something in each of those

00:01:04   that I think is interesting and worth talking about

00:01:06   in very different ways,

00:01:07   'cause they're all very different devices.

00:01:09   But they very specifically address

00:01:13   just different parts of the development life cycle,

00:01:17   as well as, in the case of the iPad,

00:01:19   expand things out a little.

00:01:20   But maybe it's best to just start talking

00:01:22   about the MacBook Air.

00:01:24   - I mean, the Air in particular,

00:01:25   I think is really interesting,

00:01:27   because it is an option for developers

00:01:30   to use as your computer, whether it's your only computer

00:01:33   or whether it's your travel or secondary computer.

00:01:36   A lot of developers use small Apple laptops for that role.

00:01:41   The big ones, like the MacBook Pro,

00:01:44   is very popular among developers as well,

00:01:46   usually as a primary device.

00:01:48   But I think in the case of the Air,

00:01:51   it could be your primary,

00:01:52   but you're gonna struggle a bit with screen space.

00:01:55   And probably a bit with performance as well.

00:01:57   The new Air is, we don't have benchmarks yet,

00:01:59   but it is seemingly very similar in performance capacity,

00:02:04   just by what processor it has, to the 12-inch MacBook.

00:02:07   It's gonna be faster than that,

00:02:09   but probably not a lot faster than that.

00:02:11   So if you can, so basically,

00:02:14   look at the new Air as a developer,

00:02:16   look at it the way you would look at the 12-inch MacBook.

00:02:20   It's basically a MacBook with more screen space

00:02:24   and a bit more performance.

00:02:25   So if that has been enough for you,

00:02:28   then this might be enough for you too.

00:02:30   And you have a lot of experience

00:02:32   using the 12-inch MacBook as your secondary computer.

00:02:34   What is that like as a developer?

00:02:36   - Yeah, I mean, I was gonna say,

00:02:37   that has been my sort of secondary computer for a long time.

00:02:42   And when the MacBook first came out,

00:02:45   I got sort of a top-spec one,

00:02:47   and then as soon as the next one was revised,

00:02:49   I just got another one,

00:02:51   because I really like the, when I'm traveling,

00:02:55   it's typically not something that I need max power.

00:02:59   It's not a situation that I need.

00:03:02   I'm sitting in front right now of an iMac Pro,

00:03:04   which is a completely different computer.

00:03:06   It is fast and capable,

00:03:10   and has huge amounts of RAM and giant screen.

00:03:13   It has all of these capabilities

00:03:15   that are great for my day-to-day work,

00:03:17   like the 80, 90% of the time that I'm working.

00:03:21   It's the perfect machine for that, I would say.

00:03:24   But when I'm traveling, I could get a,

00:03:29   probably the best sort of middle-ground one

00:03:32   is maybe a 13-inch MacBook Pro,

00:03:34   which is sort of small, but still very capable.

00:03:37   That's kind of interesting.

00:03:38   But I've really liked working on just a MacBook,

00:03:41   both because it's just,

00:03:43   I mean, it's sort of almost impossibly small.

00:03:46   I think it weighs about two pounds.

00:03:48   It's small enough that you forget that it's in your bag,

00:03:51   kind of small, which can be disconcerting.

00:03:53   Sometimes you're like, "Did I forget it in my hotel room?"

00:03:55   No, it's in my bag, I just can't feel it

00:03:57   'cause it's so light.

00:03:58   It's that kind of small, which is great.

00:04:00   So I can take it to places and on trips

00:04:03   where I don't want my,

00:04:06   I wanna have a Mac with me,

00:04:09   which for me is usually I'm bringing it along

00:04:11   in case something happens.

00:04:14   Or even, it's W3DC, where it's an environment

00:04:18   where I'm gonna be working,

00:04:20   but I'm not gonna be sitting in Xcode for eight hours a day.

00:04:24   It's something that I'm doing,

00:04:26   something targeted, focused, and working.

00:04:28   And I have found a MacBook to be,

00:04:31   sorry, the 12-inch MacBook to be totally fine

00:04:33   in that situation.

00:04:35   It's limited.

00:04:37   You know exactly what you're getting when you go to it.

00:04:39   It's sort of smaller and less,

00:04:43   I think things take a bit longer,

00:04:44   but it's never been problematic for me.

00:04:47   It works, you can get work done,

00:04:51   I've released builds, I've added features,

00:04:54   you can do all of those things from it.

00:04:56   And so for me, the MacBook Air is interesting

00:04:58   because it's like a slightly beefed up version

00:05:03   in many ways of that MacBook that I'm used to,

00:05:05   that has two ports, which is very nice,

00:05:08   coming from a MacBook which only has one.

00:05:11   It's a bit faster and it's a bit cheaper,

00:05:13   which is honestly kind of a nice thing too.

00:05:15   And the screen is that little bit bigger.

00:05:18   It's not dramatically bigger,

00:05:20   but it's a little bit bigger,

00:05:21   which I think would also be sort of a nice thing.

00:05:26   And so at this point, I'm looking at it as

00:05:27   there's a good chance one of those will become

00:05:29   my travel work machine,

00:05:34   because it's the kind of thing that I can,

00:05:36   it doesn't feel quite as crazy to update on a regular basis.

00:05:42   Rather than my big computers,

00:05:44   which I tend to try and update maybe every

00:05:46   three or four years, I update these

00:05:48   more like every 18 months.

00:05:50   And the cost is such that I'd rather do that in many ways

00:05:54   and have a small, light, capable computer

00:05:56   than go to a MacBook Pro,

00:05:58   which is substantially higher cost,

00:06:02   fair enough for a bigger performance,

00:06:04   but as soon as the benchmarks come out

00:06:06   for the MacBook Air and I can get a sense

00:06:08   of how it compares to my current MacBook,

00:06:10   there's a very good chance it's gonna become

00:06:12   my primary travel machine.

00:06:14   - Yeah, for that kind of need where it's really

00:06:16   like a secondary machine, I've always found that,

00:06:19   for any, you know, people often ask me,

00:06:23   is Mac whatever, like we know, whatever the new Mac is,

00:06:26   is this good enough for development?

00:06:28   Or like, will I be able to develop on this?

00:06:30   It's a very common question that we get.

00:06:32   And the reality is you can develop on pretty much anything,

00:06:37   as long as it can run Xcode.

00:06:39   Now, there are other factors that matter,

00:06:42   but I think they're all kind of secondary.

00:06:43   Like, if you're patient and if you aren't developing

00:06:47   certain very specialized kinds of apps,

00:06:49   you can develop on any Mac that you have

00:06:51   that you can get your hands on that can run

00:06:52   the latest version of Xcode and the latest OS.

00:06:55   That being said, though, screen space

00:06:57   is the number one thing that, you know,

00:07:00   like a lot of times, so I have a 13-inch MacBook Pro

00:07:03   and an iMac Pro, and so this 27-inch beautiful

00:07:07   iMac Pro screen, I always want to develop

00:07:10   on my iMac Pro if I can help it.

00:07:12   Whenever I'm somewhere with my MacBook Pro,

00:07:15   I know I can develop with it, but I will usually not do so

00:07:20   unless it's, unless like I'm desperate or I'm really bored

00:07:22   or I'm on like a five-hour plane ride or something like that

00:07:24   where like I just need something like that to do

00:07:27   or I need to get a certain thing done really quickly.

00:07:29   But for the most part, I find development very unpleasant

00:07:33   when I have very limited screen space.

00:07:35   If I had the choice between a smaller, faster computer

00:07:41   or a bigger-screened, slower one, I would pick

00:07:44   the bigger-screened one every time, even if it was slower.

00:07:46   Like that's how much screen space matters to me with Xcode.

00:07:49   And so it's like anything you can do to get more screen space

00:07:52   you will benefit from, but, and I think performance

00:07:56   is very much secondary.

00:07:57   I mean, if you're doing like a very large compilation

00:08:00   or if you are using like a lot of Swift modules

00:08:04   that all need to be compiled and Swift is kind of slow,

00:08:06   you know, like that might be different for you.

00:08:08   But for me, compiling a mostly Objective-C app

00:08:12   that isn't too insanely large, I think I'm very, very happy

00:08:16   with the performance of almost any modern Mac

00:08:20   for basic development work, but what really gets me

00:08:23   is screen space.

00:08:24   So if you are looking at this as a developer,

00:08:26   I would strongly suggest get the biggest screen

00:08:29   you're willing to carry and that you can afford,

00:08:31   and the rest of the computer is much less important.

00:08:33   - Yeah, I mean, I think that's, I don't know exactly

00:08:35   at what point we crossed over into the world where

00:08:39   it's like pretty much every computer is fast enough.

00:08:42   It's like speed is now just one of the,

00:08:45   it's that difference between, it's like it's nice

00:08:48   when it's faster, like my, you know, things compile quicker

00:08:50   on my iMac Pro than they do on my MacBook,

00:08:53   but it's not to the point where you can't get the job done,

00:08:56   like where it's just painfully slow and you're, you know,

00:08:59   you're hitting build and run and then it's like

00:09:01   two or three minutes until you can see what you did.

00:09:04   Like it's, you know, incremental compilation helps a lot

00:09:08   with this, like Xcode is in general very good about,

00:09:10   you know, trying to tighten that up and just,

00:09:13   they're fast enough.

00:09:14   Like there's just not, it's not a big deal,

00:09:16   and I think like, I think that you see your summary there,

00:09:18   I think is exactly right.

00:09:19   It's pick the biggest screen that you're willing to carry.

00:09:24   And, you know, obviously if it's a situation

00:09:27   where you're using it primarily at a desk,

00:09:29   get a giant, if you know, get a 15 inch MacBook Pro

00:09:31   if you can afford it.

00:09:32   If it's primarily used for travel, then you're just,

00:09:35   you know, it's everyone's trade offs there are gonna be,

00:09:37   you know, different.

00:09:38   For me, I just want small.

00:09:40   Like small is what I'm after, and I will put up with it

00:09:43   being less screen space than, you know, for that trade off.

00:09:48   Though I will say on that score, especially now

00:09:51   that the MacBook Air has a retina screen,

00:09:54   running these smaller laptops with more,

00:09:57   the more space resolution option, for me I find works

00:10:01   really well, where you can, you know,

00:10:02   essentially it makes everything on the screen

00:10:05   visually smaller.

00:10:06   You know, my close up vision is good enough

00:10:08   that that's fine for me.

00:10:09   And so I can kind of, almost, you know,

00:10:11   so I can pretend that my teeny screen is a little bit bigger

00:10:14   than it is in terms of, you know, the number of things

00:10:16   that I can comfortably fit on the screen and so on.

00:10:19   So that's just another little thing to keep in mind

00:10:21   that it's a big plus that this, you know,

00:10:23   this relatively inexpensive laptop is now retina,

00:10:27   that it's, you know, it's like it's a substantial increase

00:10:30   in terms of the amount of effective real estate

00:10:32   that you have on the screen.

00:10:34   So the Mac Mini, I guess, is next.

00:10:36   Which is an interesting machine, and I think as a developer

00:10:39   it comes in, it can fit in so many roles,

00:10:43   which I think is like the Mac Mini isn't,

00:10:45   it's not amazing at anything, but it's just really good

00:10:48   at doing like everything, other than having a screen,

00:10:51   I suppose, it's not very good at that.

00:10:53   - It isn't very portable, it doesn't have a battery either.

00:10:56   - Yes, yeah, that's true.

00:10:58   It doesn't do, it has very, very poor battery life.

00:11:01   (laughing)

00:11:02   But I guess the two things that come to mind for me

00:11:04   with the Mac Mini is A, there's the people who use

00:11:07   these types of machines for continuous integration.

00:11:10   You know, you can use set of Xcode bots,

00:11:12   and there's a whole world of stuff that I know nothing about

00:11:14   other than the few WWDC sessions I've watched about them.

00:11:18   You know, where you can have it so that every time

00:11:19   you check in code or make changes, you can have a server,

00:11:24   you know, be aware of those, you know, grab the code,

00:11:27   run a whole bunch of tests if you have tests.

00:11:30   It can do different tests on different simulators

00:11:33   and the whole, like, it's a very rich ecosystem

00:11:35   that they have there, and Mac Mini is a great tool for that

00:11:39   because, you know, it's almost like designed

00:11:41   for that type of work where it's just sort of sitting

00:11:43   in a corner doing this sort of this faceless work

00:11:48   in the background, sort of 24/7.

00:11:50   It's just sort of sitting there listening

00:11:51   and doing that kind of work for you.

00:11:53   So if that's something that you need,

00:11:55   it's a great upgrade for that.

00:11:56   I mean, these have got really,

00:11:58   if you were doing that kind of work

00:12:00   on a previous generation Mac Mini,

00:12:02   going to one of these seems like it's gonna be

00:12:03   a dramatic speed up and improvement.

00:12:06   Though, I will say the funny thing about that kind of work

00:12:09   is that it's less performance-driven than interactive work

00:12:14   because the nature of continuous integration

00:12:16   is that it's happening in the background

00:12:18   sort of asynchronously, so if your build system

00:12:21   takes longer, it's not as big of a deal,

00:12:24   but nevertheless, it's still, I think it's a worthwhile

00:12:26   update for that kind of use.

00:12:29   I mean, even just for the fact that if you have a Mac Mini,

00:12:32   there's a very good chance it's very old.

00:12:34   And for computers that are on 24/7,

00:12:36   they don't last forever, so in that sense,

00:12:38   it's quite welcome.

00:12:39   But then I think the secondarily, I also think of this

00:12:41   as a really interesting developer machine to work with,

00:12:45   especially if you already have a big display

00:12:49   available to you 'cause the performance for cost

00:12:54   for that Mac Mini is pretty good.

00:12:56   I mean, you can spec them up a little bit wildly

00:12:58   and things can get out of hand, but I mean, for a while,

00:13:02   I did all my development on an older generation Mac Mini.

00:13:05   That was my home setup, 'cause I had a Mac Mini

00:13:07   and it worked fine.

00:13:09   And I think it's an interesting thing just to keep

00:13:11   and you keep in mind for that situation,

00:13:13   where if an iMac Pro or even just the big,

00:13:17   the 5K iMac is out of reach for you

00:13:19   from a financial perspective, the Mac Mini is,

00:13:23   some certainly interesting option.

00:13:24   I mean, it's for, only for less than $1,000,

00:13:28   you can get a Mac Mini and that's a lot of performance

00:13:31   that you can get out of that.

00:13:32   So just certainly something to keep in mind

00:13:35   if you're very, very cost-conscious and have,

00:13:38   so sort of have a monitor available to you,

00:13:40   that's a great machine.

00:13:42   - Yeah, the only thing I would say is,

00:13:44   I would definitely spec it up to,

00:13:47   you know, like the base processor is not a great processor,

00:13:51   it's made to be a low-power processor and that's fine.

00:13:53   If you don't wanna spend the extra 300 bucks

00:13:55   on the upgrade processor, the base one is fine.

00:13:58   Eight gigs of RAM, again, not ideal for development,

00:14:01   but will be fine.

00:14:02   The one thing you do want to spec up is the storage.

00:14:05   Now if you want to, like, you know,

00:14:06   hack around with external things, you probably can.

00:14:09   It's a little bit tricky to try to make Mac OS map

00:14:12   some of the folders onto external storage and everything.

00:14:14   If you just don't wanna deal with that

00:14:15   and you just want these storage to work,

00:14:16   I would strongly suggest a baseline of 256 gigs of storage.

00:14:21   That does bring the price up to $1,000.

00:14:24   But, I, again, I strongly recommend,

00:14:26   like that's the one thing, like,

00:14:27   Xcode development eats up screen space,

00:14:31   which you can do what you want here,

00:14:32   and it really eats up disk space.

00:14:35   Everything else it can be pretty flexible on,

00:14:36   but you need disk space.

00:14:38   So at least 256, I would say on that.

00:14:40   So that does put you up to $1,000,

00:14:42   but that's still, you know, if you already have a monitor,

00:14:44   that is still considerably cheaper than a similar spec iMac.

00:14:48   - Yeah, and I think too on the storage side,

00:14:50   it's the, if you're going into it as a developer machine,

00:14:53   like you can, development itself,

00:14:58   like I think you'd be fine with, you know,

00:15:00   a 256 gigabyte drive.

00:15:03   Just keep in mind that you're not gonna be,

00:15:05   if you're gonna use it for other things,

00:15:07   like you're gonna be storing your family pictures on it

00:15:09   and so on, like those are the things that I find

00:15:11   will just demolish the storage that you have.

00:15:14   You know, like Xcode takes up space,

00:15:16   like every Xcode, every time I have to download

00:15:18   a new Xcode version and it's four gigs

00:15:22   and then I have to unzip it and it's another four gigs,

00:15:25   like it adds up and it needs a good bit of working space,

00:15:29   but it's just something to keep in mind

00:15:30   that you can make it work, but just be very thoughtful

00:15:33   about what else you put on that if you're getting this

00:15:35   for the sort of like the value option.

00:15:38   But anyway, it's just, it's a really,

00:15:40   I'm very glad that they updated the Mac Mini,

00:15:42   like even just from the perspective of like,

00:15:44   it's just a, it's a great utility machine

00:15:47   and you just never, and like I find that it can fit,

00:15:50   solve a lot of problems, sometimes that you don't

00:15:53   even know that you have, so it's like,

00:15:54   I'm glad that it's there, I think glad that it's

00:15:56   relatively inexpensive and I think it's nice

00:15:58   that it kinda opens the door a little bit,

00:16:00   like the starting point for the Mac is a little bit lower,

00:16:04   which, I mean, part of when I was starting out,

00:16:07   like I came into iOS development,

00:16:09   I mean this is a decade ago, but I came into

00:16:11   iOS development not owning a Mac,

00:16:14   you know, my background wasn't Mac development at all

00:16:17   and so it's nice that they've kind of lowered the,

00:16:20   you know, the baseline to something that if you just,

00:16:23   if cost is your absolute, your absolute king for you,

00:16:27   the cheapest Mac you can get is now not,

00:16:30   you know, it has gotten a nice big boost,

00:16:32   so that's a nice plus.

00:16:34   - There's also the entire world of things you can do

00:16:37   with a Mac in a data center, like,

00:16:39   so there's Mac Mini Cola, Mac Stadium,

00:16:41   I think they just merged, but you know,

00:16:43   you can actually have companies that will host

00:16:47   a Mac for you in a data center as a server

00:16:50   and so that opens up a lot of possibilities

00:16:53   for various types of backend options for your apps maybe

00:16:56   or just other kind of like hosted data center roles,

00:16:59   maybe it's for things, you know,

00:17:00   things like DevOps kinda stuff,

00:17:03   and so that option was kind of questionable

00:17:07   to invest heavily in when it appeared that the Mac was,

00:17:10   that the Mac Mini was going away,

00:17:12   was being discontinued and maybe the Mac Pro also was

00:17:14   and so now that we have, you know,

00:17:16   a promise about the Mac Pro and actual products

00:17:19   with the Mac Mini now being updated,

00:17:20   I think the option of having Mac Minis being hosted

00:17:24   somewhere as a part of your business

00:17:26   or a part of your computer life

00:17:29   has now become more viable and, you know,

00:17:31   a little more future proof going forward,

00:17:33   so that's another whole world,

00:17:34   I've never gone that world,

00:17:35   but we have some friends who have

00:17:36   and it seems pretty cool.

00:17:37   - Yeah, and I think that world is certainly interesting

00:17:39   for, you know, you imagine the earlier topic

00:17:41   of like the continuous integration

00:17:44   in those types of situations,

00:17:45   I think it becomes very interesting if you have a,

00:17:47   you know, you have a team that's not all in one location

00:17:51   or those types of situations,

00:17:52   you could imagine, you know, a Mac Mini

00:17:54   that's sitting out somewhere,

00:17:55   like it's, the nice thing about it,

00:17:56   like it's, obviously you can set up a Linux server,

00:17:59   you know, very inexpensively and run a tremendous amount

00:18:02   of things, but there's certain things like Xcode

00:18:05   that are just for the Mac,

00:18:06   and so if you need to do something

00:18:09   that is very Mac-centric, if you need a Mac,

00:18:12   it's certainly nice that you can put it in a data center,

00:18:14   it can be, well, you know, climate controlled

00:18:16   and have, you know, beautifully regulated power supplies

00:18:20   and all that kind of stuff that, you know,

00:18:22   would you get the benefit from a data center

00:18:24   rather than just putting it in a closet,

00:18:26   so it just certainly is an interesting thing

00:18:27   to keep in mind and I'm, you know,

00:18:29   I imagine the people who have, you know,

00:18:31   if you have Mac Minis that have been running

00:18:34   important servers for you right now,

00:18:36   I imagine getting the update is gonna be well received

00:18:39   after, you know, several, several years of nothing,

00:18:42   that you're just, you know, running whatever you had

00:18:44   and hoping it just didn't fall down.

00:18:46   - All right, next up, iPads,

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00:20:06   So the iPad Pro was updated in a pretty big way.

00:20:09   And for developers, obviously there's the direct ramification

00:20:14   of if you work on an iPad app, there's a new iPad out,

00:20:19   and so sales will probably go up for a little bit

00:20:22   and things like that, so there's kind of the obvious things.

00:20:25   What are some of the non-obvious implications?

00:20:28   I mean, to me, there's two major areas here.

00:20:31   There's like, are there any new markets for apps

00:20:34   that the new iPads open up?

00:20:36   And number two, I think, are there new ways

00:20:40   that developers can use iPads for our work?

00:20:44   - Yeah, I mean, the biggest thing that comes to mind for me

00:20:47   is that I see this device, and I see it's in

00:20:52   the initial kind of benchmarks that people

00:20:53   seem to be running about it,

00:20:54   and they talk about how fast it is.

00:20:55   And I see this in a, like, per our earlier discussion,

00:20:58   I want the smallest, lightest developer machine possible.

00:21:01   Like, that's what I want.

00:21:03   And I see this device, and I'm like,

00:21:04   why can't I run Xcode on this?

00:21:06   Like, I really would love, like, it seems like a great fit

00:21:10   for that kind of purpose, and who knows if it'll ever come,

00:21:13   but I see this, and that's what I, I love that thought.

00:21:16   And then even just looking at it, it's one of these, like,

00:21:19   and I have to temper this because aspirationally,

00:21:21   I've always thought, oh man, it'd be great to use an iPad

00:21:23   as part of my developer, like, situation.

00:21:26   I can use a pencil, and I can sketch things out,

00:21:28   and I could do a lot of things with it.

00:21:30   - That's exactly my rationalization, like,

00:21:31   oh, I want to be able to sketch things with a pencil,

00:21:33   'cause it's like, I never use paper for that purpose,

00:21:35   but for some reason, I think I'll use an iPad

00:21:37   for that purpose.

00:21:38   - And so, like, I have enough,

00:21:40   and enough self-awareness to know that

00:21:42   that isn't actually going to happen.

00:21:44   That isn't actually what I do.

00:21:46   But I see this device, and it's just beautiful.

00:21:48   And I think it's very, it seems like it is,

00:21:52   its current capabilities are way lower

00:21:55   than what its potential is.

00:21:57   And I think that is interesting to me,

00:21:59   that I think the, I would love a world where this became

00:22:03   my travel development setup, and I could do all the things

00:22:07   that I could do from it, 'cause it's just, it's gorgeous.

00:22:09   I mean, it's, like, visually, I haven't seen one,

00:22:11   and I think you have, so you can speak to this

00:22:13   a bit more strongly, but it just looks like

00:22:16   an amazing device, and it's remarkable to me

00:22:18   that it's thinner than an iPhone.

00:22:20   And iPhones are pretty thin, and it's, you know,

00:22:22   it's this gorgeous, teeny, but tremendously capable

00:22:26   and powerful device that, you know, like,

00:22:29   the initial Geekbench scores that people seem

00:22:32   to be finding for it indicate, I mean,

00:22:34   or even just comparing it to an iPhone XS or XR,

00:22:38   like, the A12 chip is, you know, faster than most of the,

00:22:43   most of the MacBook line, and for certain operations,

00:22:47   it is probably faster than, you know, it is faster

00:22:50   than all of the MacBook line, and it's like,

00:22:51   it's kind of a crazy thing that it's,

00:22:54   it feels like this tremendous tool,

00:22:56   and I'm just frustrated I can't use it,

00:22:58   or at least I can't use it for the core thing that I do,

00:23:01   and I have to kind of invent reasons and justifications

00:23:04   for using it, which, in practice,

00:23:06   has never actually worked for me.

00:23:08   - I'm the exact same way.

00:23:10   I want this object so badly.

00:23:12   It is so cool, and I use an iPad all the time.

00:23:15   Like, I use an iPad Pro in my house constantly.

00:23:19   It is my, like, kitchen and living room computer, basically,

00:23:23   and, but, you know, but it's doing basic consumption tasks

00:23:26   most of the time.

00:23:27   It's doing overcast playback and web browsing

00:23:30   and email and Twitter and stuff like that,

00:23:32   and so I have no need for one of these things,

00:23:35   but man, do I wish I did, and I might buy one anyway,

00:23:38   because they're just that good.

00:23:39   Like, they are exactly as good in person as you think.

00:23:42   Like, I had some brief hands-on time with it.

00:23:44   It is exactly as good as you think it is.

00:23:46   Like, it's fantastic.

00:23:47   The new Pencil, and that's, so, the Pencil is the one area

00:23:50   where I think, like, what opens up new possibilities here

00:23:54   is, you know, if you had an app that, like,

00:23:59   couldn't be on the iPad for some reason,

00:24:01   it probably still can't.

00:24:03   Like, with very few exceptions, like,

00:24:05   the new iPads haven't really added new types of apps

00:24:08   that can be made.

00:24:09   They have just made everything better

00:24:11   that was there before.

00:24:12   There is one exception, and that is if your app

00:24:14   was very dependent on the Pencil,

00:24:16   or needed that secondary Pencil gesture,

00:24:19   where now they have the double tap on the Pencil

00:24:20   to switch tools or have your app interpreted

00:24:23   however it wants to interpret it.

00:24:25   I feel like the new Pencil being,

00:24:28   having that permanent on-top attachment,

00:24:30   and having it always be charged and everything,

00:24:32   I think the result, you know, a lot of us bought iPad Pros

00:24:34   over the last couple years, and Pencils,

00:24:37   and a lot of us have used them, but a lot of us haven't.

00:24:39   A lot of us, like the Pencil, is lost or sitting

00:24:42   in a drawer discharged most of the time,

00:24:44   or at the bottom of a bag 'cause it fell off,

00:24:46   and, you know, it's discharged also.

00:24:48   And so to have a Pencil that is always there

00:24:50   and always charged is a pretty big shift

00:24:53   in how easy it is to use the Pencil if you have it,

00:24:57   and how often you are likely to use it then.

00:24:59   So any app where Pencil input was important or required,

00:25:04   I think that kind of app will now see a boost,

00:25:07   and now has opportunity to capitalize on these new models

00:25:10   where most other apps, the result will just be,

00:25:12   you can do what you could do before faster.

00:25:14   - Yeah, and the other thing with the iPad

00:25:16   that I think about, and I always get stuck on it,

00:25:18   it's like I love the thought of making apps for it,

00:25:23   but I still don't feel like there's

00:25:25   a rich enough marketplace for it.

00:25:27   Like the device feels too specialized and too,

00:25:32   like, I don't know, like the economics of it

00:25:35   just never quite work out on my mind.

00:25:37   I mean, I have a couple of iPad apps,

00:25:38   and it's just, it's such a, it's a really,

00:25:42   it's lovely, but it's just not quite there

00:25:44   when you compare it to its big,

00:25:45   it's like its little brother, the iPhone,

00:25:47   just crushes in terms of volume,

00:25:50   and all of the things that you kind of have to,

00:25:52   if any aspect of your business model

00:25:54   has to make it up with volume,

00:25:56   the iPad isn't there at this point.

00:25:58   And I think especially the iPad Pros

00:26:00   are like even smaller of a subset, of a subset.

00:26:04   Like it's the, most iPads I imagine that are sold

00:26:08   are gonna be the inexpensive, basic iPad,

00:26:13   and they're used primarily,

00:26:14   like the iPads I see in the world,

00:26:16   I see are, it's children either watching shows

00:26:19   or playing games or those types of things.

00:26:21   Like that is the primary use

00:26:22   that I see for iPads in the world.

00:26:25   And the iPad Pro is a tremendous device,

00:26:27   but it just seems, doesn't seem,

00:26:30   like you have to either have the,

00:26:34   such a rich and sophisticated application

00:26:37   that enables workflows such that people are willing

00:26:40   to pay substantial amounts of money for it,

00:26:43   or the economics I just don't think work,

00:26:45   work out, because it's not the kind of thing

00:26:48   that you'll ever make up in volume,

00:26:50   that you're gonna be selling, you know,

00:26:51   sort of thousands of copies rather than tens

00:26:54   or hundreds of thousands of copies of,

00:26:57   just because the device volumes are just so much lower.

00:26:59   And I think that's disappointing.

00:27:01   Like I, I mean, I remember when the iPad first came out

00:27:03   and I was super excited

00:27:04   and I launched a whole bunch of apps for it.

00:27:06   And it was like, there was a period

00:27:08   where the iPad did have that sense

00:27:11   of a sustainable ecosystem around it,

00:27:14   but I just don't feel that now.

00:27:15   And I know that it's like,

00:27:16   I hear from people who spend a lot of time in that area

00:27:18   that, you know, that maybe I'm wrong,

00:27:19   maybe there's, it's sort of gradually growing

00:27:22   and getting better over time.

00:27:23   But, you know, for me and myself,

00:27:25   I've just never quite gotten to that point.

00:27:27   And it's disappointing.

00:27:28   And it kind of makes me sad.

00:27:29   And I think, I guess the more people who are like me,

00:27:32   who are just kind of sad and don't do anything about it,

00:27:34   are part of the problem.

00:27:35   But, you know, that was also kind of the reality

00:27:38   of where it is.

00:27:39   - Yeah, it's tricky with, you know, the economics,

00:27:41   as you said, like it's very tricky,

00:27:42   because like, as a developer, you,

00:27:44   it's the most sensible course of action

00:27:46   is usually to optimize for the phone,

00:27:50   have a version for the iPad that's kind of just like

00:27:53   a big layout for the phone version, and call it a day.

00:27:56   And there's not a lot of reason for most people

00:27:59   to specialize for the iPad.

00:28:01   And that's unfortunate, because like,

00:28:03   I think like the very first wave of apps,

00:28:05   and games even, for the iPad, were specialized for it.

00:28:09   'Cause everyone thought that would be like a bigger market

00:28:11   or a sustained market.

00:28:13   And then, as iPad has gone on,

00:28:16   I think the economics of everything caught up with everybody

00:28:18   and everyone, you know, kind of contracted and optimized

00:28:21   and realized like they're better off

00:28:22   just making iPhone versions bigger economically.

00:28:25   But I do feel like that is holding the platform

00:28:27   back in some way.

00:28:28   That's why, you know, maybe the upcoming marzipan stuff

00:28:31   might actually be really good, because in the sense that like

00:28:33   it merges the iPad and Mac software market to some degree.

00:28:38   And the Mac market has big apps that are custom made

00:28:42   to be big and to be productive and everything else.

00:28:45   So to have that be merged, I think,

00:28:47   might actually be really good for both the Mac and the iPad

00:28:50   in the software ecosystem.

00:28:51   - Yeah, and I think you can just see it as something that,

00:28:54   there seems like there's tremendous potential here.

00:28:57   And I think we're going to have to wait probably

00:28:59   till next June and next WWDC to really see

00:29:02   if that potential is gonna be realized.

00:29:04   And when it is realized, what that would look like.

00:29:07   'Cause I think if June comes around

00:29:08   and there's not a compelling new story,

00:29:11   it's kind of a disappointment.

00:29:14   But it's very possible with a device this capable,

00:29:17   this beautiful, this like everything,

00:29:19   like everything's turned up on it.

00:29:20   Like it is, there's not much compromise.

00:29:23   There's a lot of potential there.

00:29:25   And I hope that Apple is able to take advantage of that

00:29:27   in the future.

00:29:29   - 'Cause it's so nice, I just want one.

00:29:31   I think I might just buy one anyway,

00:29:32   but I wish, I want it so badly

00:29:35   'cause it's just such a nice device.

00:29:36   I hope that in the future I can get more

00:29:39   of my work done on it.

00:29:41   - Me too.

00:29:41   - Anyway, thanks for listening everybody.

00:29:43   And we'll talk to you next week.

00:29:44   - Bye.

00:29:45   [ Silence ]