00:00:05 ◼ ► And I'm David Smith. Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes, so let's get started.
00:00:09 ◼ ► So last year around this time, as we were heading into the kind of like, you know, any minute now,
00:00:19 ◼ ► We had this fun episode where we basically said, "Let's spend Dan Riccio's hardware budget."
00:00:25 ◼ ► And the idea here, Dan Riccio is Apple's Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering.
00:00:30 ◼ ► And the idea behind this, in a similar way of like, people on podcasts like us often will talk about,
00:00:39 ◼ ► The idea is every year, you know, technology moves forward and, you know, things get better and more efficient.
00:00:46 ◼ ► And usually when it comes to hardware, usually every year's, or whatever, every generation of hardware
00:00:55 ◼ ► And so you get this kind of surplus that, well, what do you do with the gains that you've made
00:01:04 ◼ ► And you can do things like, you know, just bank it and just have better battery life and lower heat.
00:01:09 ◼ ► Or you can like, spend it by making the battery smaller and therefore making the whole device thinner and lighter.
00:01:37 ◼ ► The ones are like, we talked about how, you know, while I'm sure they could spend their battery budget on an always-on display,
00:01:44 ◼ ► like, they're never going to do that. That's completely inconceivable and that's exactly what we got.
00:01:49 ◼ ► Right. The Apple Watch would never have an always-on display. It could never power it all day. That's impossible.
00:02:02 ◼ ► But I do think this year, especially on the Apple Watch, speaking of that, I think it's going to be a really interesting year.
00:02:09 ◼ ► Like, I think we're going to have a lot more, a lot of movement in a variety of directions.
00:02:30 ◼ ► It's clearly not something that they were wanting to sort of go forward in sort of the future direction of the platform.
00:02:43 ◼ ► And I imagine with that comes thickness constraints that they could potentially take advantage of,
00:02:49 ◼ ► where whatever width in the screen or in the package was used for the touch sensitivity.
00:02:58 ◼ ► And two, there's just always, I'm sure there's a battery sort of benefit from this as well.
00:03:03 ◼ ► Because whatever that technology is, I don't understand exactly how the force sensitivity worked,
00:03:07 ◼ ► but it's going to be taking power because it's a thing, so it's going to have to take power.
00:03:15 ◼ ► And I think two is that I think, and I hope, this is like a big fingers crossed for me as a watch developer,
00:03:28 ◼ ► It's been around for so long and is kind of the odd man out in the Apple Watch lineup now.
00:03:44 ◼ ► and it has all these different constraints and things in terms of the way watchOS works.
00:03:50 ◼ ► It has a completely separate set of complications than the modern infographic style of complications.
00:04:03 ◼ ► And I think it's clearly that it's around now because they can make it so inexpensively.
00:04:22 ◼ ► But I don't love that right now for me, it is the most popular Apple Watch in my analytics by far.
00:04:55 ◼ ► And those two things coming together makes me think that Apple is going to have a really--
00:05:35 ◼ ► But my guess is more likely that we would see some kind of situation where the Series 6 Apple Watch
00:05:44 ◼ ► and whatever they're doing with this extra battery budget they have from dropping Force Touch.
00:06:04 ◼ ► And I really hope they replace it with something that adopts the modern hardware design
00:07:07 ◼ ► But the other thing to consider is that Series 3, in addition to being the last of the old Apple Watch screen sizes
00:07:37 ◼ ► And there are plenty of reasons technically why they would want to get rid of that relatively soon.
00:07:58 ◼ ► And Apple does have a lot of very strong competition in the low-price segment of that market.
00:08:03 ◼ ► There aren't a lot of nice multi-hundred dollar smart watches that are competing well with Apple.
00:08:16 ◼ ► And so I don't think they're going to get rid of it for just sales reasons any time soon.
00:08:40 ◼ ► Also, I wonder if they consider that there's a minimum price they want to sell an Apple Watch for.
00:08:54 ◼ ► at a certain price, does it diminish or start to impact the sale of their high-end device too much?
00:09:10 ◼ ► it seems like right now a lot of people are really interested in tracking and monitoring their health,
00:09:22 ◼ ► And I think it's the interesting question of you walk into the Apple Store or go online
00:09:29 ◼ ► And if on the one hand, right now, I think the entry-level price for a Series 3 is, I think, $199,
00:09:40 ◼ ► I don't think it's ever been quite this much of a jump where the entry-level Apple Watch was half the price of the next one up.
00:09:50 ◼ ► Yeah. I don't think they're going to cut the price of the Series 5 in half in one year.
00:09:54 ◼ ► No. And so that makes me think that they would need to either build a device that is purpose-built for being cheap.
00:10:09 ◼ ► Or, yeah, it's like they keep selling this, but if they keep selling the Series 3, would they go to $149 or something?
00:10:22 ◼ ► This device is this anchor around watchOS development for probably at least the next two years
00:10:31 ◼ ► If they add it another year, it's just we're going to be supporting this until watchOS 9.
00:10:39 ◼ ► And it's tricky because the Series 3 Apple Watch is for fitness tracking and basic Apple Watch-y stuff is really good.
00:10:51 ◼ ► And I think there are also probably some people who also kind of like that it's physically very small.
00:11:08 ◼ ► And it's definitely a noticeable and tangible thing for something that has a bigger sort of fashion
00:11:43 ◼ ► I mean, they probably will just keep having this high-end sort of Apple Watch model that's $400 to $500 range
00:11:55 ◼ ► So there's a lot of interest in the higher-end thing, but they're just going to have to keep putting pressure there
00:12:04 ◼ ► And I think the Always-On Display is a big thing that I think is certainly a compelling feature.
00:12:21 ◼ ► I mean, I'm just too used to the Apple Watch, but it becomes less compelling to get the fancier, more expensive model
00:12:33 ◼ ► Like, if you picked up a used Series 5 Apple Watch, if they stopped selling it, or refurbished, or whatever.
00:12:54 ◼ ► As a user interface paradigm, I think it was just kind of a failure on the Apple Watch.
00:13:23 ◼ ► I think most people didn't know that it would have certainly interacted within normal life,
00:13:29 ◼ ► where people didn't know that they could change and configure the complications on their Apple Watch
00:13:34 ◼ ► on their Apple Watch, because in order to do it, you had to force press to activate the editor view.
00:14:00 ◼ ► And so I think it just never really worked, and so it makes sense to drop it as a feature,
00:14:08 ◼ ► in terms of hardware that they can pull out and not actually negatively affect the device,
00:14:14 ◼ ► it makes total sense, and they'll use that for some reason in terms of cost savings, battery life, whatever,
00:14:21 ◼ ► but it just kind of makes sense that it'll just go away and just, you know, it'll only be missed.
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00:16:39 ◼ ► So for the Apple Watch, as you mentioned, we will probably have a bit of a surplus this year, at least.
00:16:45 ◼ ► Possibly more if they do a generational leap since Series 5 was not really faster than Series 4.
00:16:57 ◼ ► Sure. I mean, I think the biggest things that I think they should do on the flagship model is they should give it ridiculous battery life.
00:17:04 ◼ ► Like, whatever they can spend it, I think it's fast enough. I don't think performance is a problem.
00:17:09 ◼ ► I think this is the year to go big on battery life, especially because sleep tracking is now like a first-party supported use case for the Apple Watch.
00:17:20 ◼ ► And then on the small side, I think ideally is creating a modern-looking Apple Watch as cheaply as they can.
00:17:29 ◼ ► And if that still has the old battery life and the old performance, that's fine, but just make it look and sort of physically behave to the OS
00:17:45 ◼ ► Basically my opinion was these savings that you have, this is the year to bank them, not spend them.
00:17:51 ◼ ► Because last year we had this massive power expenditure of adding the always-on screen.
00:18:02 ◼ ► So much so that we were saying, "You should spend this. This is too much battery life. Spend it on cool features."
00:18:15 ◼ ► And if I do, say, an hour-long workout in the morning, and I have the always-on screen, if I wear that all day,
00:18:22 ◼ ► I mean, I'm also on the beta, so that doesn't help, but I have occasionally run out of power in the evening.
00:18:28 ◼ ► Or when I go to bed, I'll notice it's at like 15%. Okay, well that was cutting it a little close.
00:18:33 ◼ ► If I did, say, more than one hour of workout mode, or if I was trying to use streaming to stream music or something,
00:18:43 ◼ ► So this is the year for the Apple Watch that I say bank the savings and just improve the battery life
00:18:52 ◼ ► So I'm also going to always add here my constant wish, which I already know from watchOS 7 that we didn't really get,
00:18:59 ◼ ► but my constant wish is to apply whatever savings possible in the battery area to watchOS
00:19:06 ◼ ► and the limitations that it imposes on third-party apps to raise those limits on our apps to some degree.
00:19:12 ◼ ► So let us run more CPU time, give us more background refresh time, give us the ability to update complications more often,
00:19:20 ◼ ► whatever, like all these limitations that are in place in watchOS for what third-party apps can do
00:19:25 ◼ ► and how often they're woken up and stuff like that. I would love for some of these savings to be spent raising those limits.
00:19:36 ◼ ► I don't think we have too much to say here. What do you think the technology savings should be spent on on the iPhone?
00:19:41 ◼ ► I mean, I think the iPhone is just a funny platform because it's so old and so mature in a good way.
00:19:46 ◼ ► I think when I think of what would I want in an iPhone this fall? I mean, I've bought an iPhone every fall for the last decade,
00:19:57 ◼ ► But what I think about mostly is frustration with face ID, I think is certainly going to be something that I don't know if they could have dealt with it by this point,
00:20:12 ◼ ► But other than that, my iPhone is already so fast. From a performance perspective, there is nothing that I do on my iPhone on a regular basis that feels at all slow.
00:20:27 ◼ ► And it's weird because some of the things like battery life, I know the battery life improved with the iPhone 11s,
00:20:33 ◼ ► but I don't even really notice that now because I never leave the house. I don't go anywhere.
00:20:41 ◼ ► I'm not on a plane and want to make sure that I can watch three movies in a row on my phone without plugging in.
00:20:46 ◼ ► These aren't situations that are just part of life right now. So for it to be compelling, I feel like the main thing for me is just bettering authentication.
00:20:56 ◼ ► And I've heard the general rumors that there might be a smaller but modern style iPhone as part of the lineup.
00:21:14 ◼ ► And in some ways, that's spending the battery budget because smaller phones tend to have smaller batteries.
00:21:18 ◼ ► But if they can do so and still maintain the battery life that I'm getting currently on my 11 Pro, that would be a great win for me.
00:21:30 ◼ ► I'm so happy you mentioned the small phone. I had that on my list as well because I too am looking forward to this rumored 5.4 inch display phone.
00:21:50 ◼ ► And I'm not looking forward to that because my number one request for the iPhone is not necessarily for the size to change, although I will appreciate that.
00:22:02 ◼ ► The last few phones have been significantly heavier and more dense than the phones that came before them.
00:22:09 ◼ ► But now that we're going to have, you know, if we have a technological generation where we can spend some of the gain, I would say make the phone lighter.
00:22:18 ◼ ► And that could come from lots of different ways. It can come from, you know, obviously different case materials.
00:22:28 ◼ ► Batteries are very heavy. And so if we can do that while still maintaining reasonable battery life similar to what we have now or within kind of, you know, the ballpark, I'd be very happy with that.
00:22:38 ◼ ► The one other thing I would put a request in for the iPhone, this is again, we all have like our little specialty nitpicks.
00:22:48 ◼ ► And my thing on the iPhone is the iPhone 11 series has such an advanced camera system in the software that when you open up the camera, it tends to terminate almost all of your other background apps.
00:23:12 ◼ ► And I have to really, and I still sometimes get little blips when you open the camera, you'll hear a little blip in the audio.
00:23:28 ◼ ► So using some of the technological gain to, I guess, either add more RAM or, you know, keep the real time stream going a little bit better on the audio side would make my life easier.
00:23:39 ◼ ► But otherwise, for the most part, as a user, I'm looking forward to on the iPhone, I would love that smaller one if it's any good.
00:23:58 ◼ ► I don't know. At least in my use, like I think ever since the iPhone 10, like this form factor with the full, like sort of the edge to edge screen.
00:24:06 ◼ ► It's got plenty of screen as it is. And I think even you making it a bit smaller, I don't think I would feel cramped or problematic.
00:24:15 ◼ ► And it's like in terms of things like the notch, like every now and then you hear people talk about, oh, they might shrink the notch or make it smaller.
00:24:21 ◼ ► It's like, it doesn't matter. Like the first week I had an iPhone 10, it may have felt a little weird.
00:24:31 ◼ ► And in some ways I'd rather them just focus on other things about the phone than shrinking down the notch.
00:24:45 ◼ ► What do you want to see, it's a weird year obviously, because we're going to be going into the switch to Apple Silicon any minute now.
00:24:52 ◼ ► But what do you want to see with the possibly large power savings that we're going to get from that switch?
00:25:00 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, my big hope for this fall is that one of the early Macs that comes out with Apple Silicon is a Mac that makes sense for developers.
00:25:15 ◼ ► And it would be a little complicated, I would have complicated feelings if the first Macs to get Apple Silicon are the 12 inch, like they bring back say like a 12 inch MacBook.
00:25:35 ◼ ► If there wasn't an obvious option for a powerful professional super machine, I would be a little frustrated.
00:25:52 ◼ ► But I would do it with a little bit of reservation and frustration. That I would love to instead, the next Mac I buy is going to be Apple Silicon.
00:26:00 ◼ ► And it would be great if it was a developer class machine rather than a developer compromise machine.
00:26:06 ◼ ► Like whenever I had the 12 inch MacBook as my development machine when I was traveling, it was because it was so crazy light but it could do it.
00:26:14 ◼ ► And if I needed to, while I was traveling, do a build, the fact that it took like three times, four times longer than it did on my iMac Pro.
00:26:21 ◼ ► I just accepted that that was the cost of doing business. But it would be great if instead it was a developer class machine, one of them in the lineup that I could choose.
00:26:31 ◼ ► And then buy that and feel confident about its utility going forward for the long haul.
00:26:38 ◼ ► I agree with you. My concern there is the GPU story. I don't think Apple has super high performance GPUs ready yet and I also can't see them putting like an ATI or Nvidia chip in there.
00:26:55 ◼ ► I can't see them doing that for any of the Apple Silicon Macs. I have a feeling they're going to do their own GPUs for all of them.
00:27:01 ◼ ► But I have a feeling also that the latest rumors say that they're going to have this great GPU in this great Apple Silicon Mac next year.
00:27:10 ◼ ► So I'm guessing the machines that typically have the high end GPUs, which tend to be the higher end machines including the 16 inch, the iMac, the Mac Pro of course.
00:27:19 ◼ ► Who knows what they're going to do there. But I think those machines are going to be the last ones to move over.
00:27:24 ◼ ► Rumors are that they're going to have a 13 inch MacBook Pro and possibly a remade 12 inch. I think that's most likely on the laptop side.
00:27:32 ◼ ► I think the desktop side might be solved with a Mac Mini. You know the dev kit is a Mac Mini and they presumably could just do that because the GPU needs...
00:27:42 ◼ ► Like the Mac Mini is in effect kind of the perfect machine to do that with because it currently today has an amazing processor and a terrible GPU.
00:27:51 ◼ ► And it's fine for developers. The screen situation aside, which is not good, but the machine itself has a good performance characteristic for developers so that's fine.
00:28:07 ◼ ► The Intel chips run so hot under such normal circumstances, I want to see heat reduction.
00:28:13 ◼ ► We still have problems with CPU throttling on the high end laptops, especially when used in clamshell mode or when connected to external displays, which is a very common thing people do.
00:28:22 ◼ ► I want to see reduced heat. And to do that, or when you do that, you can then also reduce fan noise.
00:28:32 ◼ ► I would love, like to me, I think in the modern era, you should never hear the fan noise from a desktop. Ever, ever, ever.
00:28:39 ◼ ► Desktops should always be inaudible. Not to say they shouldn't have fans, but that the fans should be inaudible at all times under all conditions.
00:28:46 ◼ ► We already have many desktops from Apple that do that, but not all of them. I want to see that move to all of them.
00:28:56 ◼ ► I know if you really push that 16 inch class, there's probably going to be some audible fan noise, but I want to see most of the laptops in almost every circumstance be inaudible.
00:29:05 ◼ ► And I think this move to Apple Silicon should be able to do that. I hope it can. So that's my list.
00:29:11 ◼ ► And I think too, with that, it has the advantage of, I don't need my laptop to necessarily have longer battery life in the way that it needs to be 18 hours long or something.
00:29:24 ◼ ► That would be great, but I don't need that. That can be spent in so many better ways than trying to extend it out too far.
00:29:33 ◼ ► But these are our hopes, these are our guesses. I have a suspicion that we are wildly wrong on all of them, but it is still fun, nevertheless, to speculate and discuss.
00:29:46 ◼ ► I look forward to that. Thanks for listening everybody, and we'll talk to you in two weeks.