Under the Radar

97: iPhone X and LTE Watches


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar,

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

00:00:04   I'm Marco Arment.

00:00:05   - And I'm David Smith.

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

00:00:08   so let's get started.

00:00:10   So this week was exciting.

00:00:12   It was the iPhone event,

00:00:14   I guess the fall Apple event,

00:00:17   as they would technically call it.

00:00:19   And it was an interesting one in some ways,

00:00:21   because I feel like we knew a lot more than normal

00:00:24   going into it about what to expect,

00:00:26   which as a customer and as an Apple fan

00:00:30   can give me some slightly mixed feelings

00:00:33   in terms of going into an event

00:00:34   not really knowing what to expect,

00:00:36   or knowing what to expect.

00:00:38   Whereas as a developer,

00:00:40   I was very relieved in some ways

00:00:42   to be going into the event

00:00:43   with some amount of knowledge and expectations

00:00:46   about what to expect.

00:00:48   And so I could sort of plan a little bit accordingly.

00:00:51   And while I tend to at this point,

00:00:54   I don't tend to build new features

00:00:56   or go down the road too far of building things,

00:01:00   just based on the rumor,

00:01:01   I do start to think about it and sketch things out

00:01:04   and kind of get an understanding of like,

00:01:06   well, if that rumor turned out to be true,

00:01:07   what would I actually do?

00:01:09   And so this year was a great example of that,

00:01:14   where it's sort of like,

00:01:15   think on the rumor and then build on the news,

00:01:17   and Tuesday we got the news.

00:01:20   This is where we can actually,

00:01:21   we know what the fall's gonna look like.

00:01:23   I mean, from a hardware perspective,

00:01:25   we pretty much know now what our hardware landscape

00:01:28   will look like for another year.

00:01:30   We know all of the final things that are in iOS 11

00:01:33   and watchOS 4 that we're not gonna deal with.

00:01:37   Presumably this year,

00:01:38   we'll have additional point releases

00:01:40   and Apple has introduced more

00:01:43   in their point releases recently,

00:01:44   but that's way too much to even worry about it now.

00:01:47   But we got a lot of stuff to think about

00:01:50   and a lot of changes I think

00:01:51   that we're both going to have to be making

00:01:53   to our apps this year.

00:01:55   I mean, at the very least,

00:01:57   diving into updating apps for the iPhone 10

00:02:01   is just a world of complication,

00:02:04   both in terms of gestures that now don't really work,

00:02:09   the layout issues, the new status bar stuff,

00:02:12   and just from a design perspective.

00:02:15   It is a, at least in my experience

00:02:17   from when I was playing with it,

00:02:18   unless you have an app that's naturally very tall,

00:02:22   it feels kind of odd to stretch things out

00:02:25   to fill the space,

00:02:26   'cause it's pretty narrow and very tall.

00:02:29   So I don't know, it's gonna be a busy fall I think.

00:02:32   - Oh yeah, I mean, the design changes alone.

00:02:35   Even if you can get past

00:02:36   some of the weird technical details of it,

00:02:38   just the design of trying to make a UI

00:02:41   that is not only usable on this phone,

00:02:44   but looks nice on this phone,

00:02:46   while also scaling to the old phones

00:02:49   that are still being sold in great volume

00:02:52   and all the way down to the iPhone SE size,

00:02:55   that's a real challenge,

00:02:57   and it's gonna take us developers and designers a long time

00:03:01   before we really understand

00:03:03   how to use this new phone's display.

00:03:05   'Cause keep in mind, Apple tells you,

00:03:07   don't try to even hide the notch or the rounded corners.

00:03:10   You basically embrace it, make your stuff flow around it.

00:03:14   Anything that has to operate in landscape

00:03:17   has additional challenges on how you flow around that.

00:03:20   But just in general, I think what we're seeing is

00:03:24   you're gonna have to pull things away

00:03:26   from the edges basically.

00:03:27   It's gonna be harder for anything to go edge to edge

00:03:30   and have that not be a problem somewhere.

00:03:32   So pulling things in from the edges,

00:03:35   but while also leaving enough space in the UI,

00:03:38   or rather using enough space in the UI

00:03:41   to make sure it still fits on the iPhone SE

00:03:45   and the other smaller phones,

00:03:46   that's gonna be a major challenge.

00:03:48   I bet even Apple hasn't really had time

00:03:51   to fully optimize the OS or their apps

00:03:53   to strike that balance yet.

00:03:55   It's going to take them a while,

00:03:56   and it's gonna take us a while.

00:03:58   I think the best thing we can do going into this

00:04:00   is not only keep an open mind,

00:04:03   and also I would also suggest

00:04:06   don't make any major irreversible decisions

00:04:08   until you've actually used the hardware,

00:04:10   which is gonna be a while out still.

00:04:13   But we have to get to know the hardware as well

00:04:15   before we know what's good on it

00:04:17   and what works really well and what doesn't.

00:04:21   The more you can move away from extremely custom UI

00:04:25   or complicated UI kit hackery or fanciness,

00:04:29   the more you can move away from that the better.

00:04:31   Apple is rewarding people who stuck to the stock stuff

00:04:35   by making it easier on them.

00:04:37   And most of the work I'm going to have to do

00:04:40   is gonna be around moving around my custom stuff again

00:04:43   and rehacking things that might need to be rehacked

00:04:46   and rethinking complex things that I've done.

00:04:49   Geez, I don't even know what I'm gonna do

00:04:52   with Overcast's Now playing screen,

00:04:54   because not only do I have the big challenge

00:04:57   of fitting the height between these two very different models

00:05:00   but also the whole idea of my sliding up cards

00:05:03   doesn't work so well if I can't black out the status bar

00:05:06   and have it look right.

00:05:07   So that's gonna be a problem that I might have to rethink

00:05:10   and make everything full screen again.

00:05:12   So we'll see.

00:05:14   I have a lot of work to do.

00:05:15   I imagine everyone else does too.

00:05:17   But it should be very, very interesting

00:05:20   as we all, Apple included and us,

00:05:23   figure out how to design for this phone

00:05:26   while also not ruining the old phone designs.

00:05:29   - Yeah, I think the thing that is most frustrating to me

00:05:32   is the delay in physically getting our hands on one.

00:05:36   I have all these ideas.

00:05:38   I have all these things that I want to try

00:05:40   and things that I want to do with my,

00:05:44   or try out with my designs.

00:05:45   And you really can't know how it's going to feel, I think,

00:05:49   until you actually have it in your hand.

00:05:51   I mean, and so there's gonna be this weird period

00:05:54   where I want to do a lot of work.

00:05:55   I want to get ahead and I want to have things ready

00:05:59   in my app so that when people download,

00:06:02   when they get their new phone and download my apps,

00:06:03   that they look great on day one.

00:06:06   Like that would be a great goal, but it's gonna be awkward.

00:06:08   I mean, I've even taken to,

00:06:10   I mean, it's only been a couple of days,

00:06:11   but I've started,

00:06:12   as I've been doing my initial bits of this work,

00:06:14   I've taken to using a plus test phone

00:06:19   and then adjusting the view port of the app

00:06:23   as it runs inside of the app,

00:06:25   as it runs on the plus phone

00:06:27   so that it's the same dimensions as the iPhone 10 will be.

00:06:32   So it just has a black border around the top and side.

00:06:35   - Wait, how are you doing this?

00:06:37   - So when I add my root view controller

00:06:42   to the, when I add my root view controller

00:06:46   to the main window in my app delegate,

00:06:49   I put the, its view inside of a wrapper view

00:06:52   that is shrunk, that then shrinks it down inside.

00:06:57   - That's awesome.

00:06:57   - So that there's a view that is the entire screen.

00:07:02   And then I put the actual content view

00:07:04   and everything inside of a view that's inside of that,

00:07:07   which is a terrible hack and doesn't really work.

00:07:10   Like a lot of, like, if you do anything modally,

00:07:13   it'll bypass this and so on.

00:07:14   But like, it gets to a point where it's like,

00:07:16   I'm starting to do these kinds of tricks and hacks

00:07:19   to get a sense of it,

00:07:21   because I think that's the thing

00:07:23   that is gonna be so weird to get a feel of.

00:07:25   And then to deal with this, you know, these,

00:07:29   I think the swipe up gesture

00:07:31   is going to mess up a lot of apps.

00:07:33   Like, I mean, I would obviously like the biggest example,

00:07:36   I mean, for you, it's like swiping up,

00:07:39   you're now playing, you know, Control Center thing.

00:07:43   - That's a problem.

00:07:44   - Like, it's not gonna work, really, in a lot of ways.

00:07:47   - Well, it will work, but it will be a lot more error prone.

00:07:50   And that's, so basically, I shouldn't do it anymore,

00:07:52   or I should find a significantly different way to do it.

00:07:56   - Yeah, I mean, that reminds me of

00:07:58   when they introduced Control Center, even.

00:08:00   I remember at the time,

00:08:01   I had a weather app called Check the Weather,

00:08:04   which one of its key features

00:08:06   was that you would swipe up from the bottom

00:08:08   to access the radar, like in the weather app.

00:08:12   And it's like, all of a sudden I was like,

00:08:13   well, there goes that feature, because like,

00:08:16   I was using almost exactly the same gesture

00:08:18   that Control Center started to use.

00:08:21   And so then I needed to move away,

00:08:22   and I did it to, I think, where you pushed a button,

00:08:24   like when you tapped on it,

00:08:25   it expanded rather than swiping up.

00:08:28   But in this case, too, like, I even was thinking

00:08:31   there's gonna be so many situations where,

00:08:35   like, inadvertent or accidental taps,

00:08:37   I think are going to happen in apps,

00:08:38   because you push the home button on your phone

00:08:42   on a very consistent, regular basis.

00:08:45   It isn't something, like Control Center,

00:08:46   you access often, but not all the time,

00:08:50   but you probably push your home button

00:08:52   thousands of times a day,

00:08:53   and so putting any kinds of active controls

00:08:56   anywhere near the bottom of the screen

00:08:59   is gonna be really problematic.

00:09:00   I mean, I even think about how most,

00:09:03   like, certainly some of my apps,

00:09:05   and I know many apps will have,

00:09:07   if you're advertising-based,

00:09:08   you'll put the ad in a banner at the bottom of the screen,

00:09:11   which is kind of awkward now when there's this,

00:09:17   I mean, in some ways it's good,

00:09:18   in the sense that I imagine there'll be

00:09:19   a lot of accidental taps if you have an ad

00:09:23   just above the safe area now,

00:09:25   because you're gonna reach your thumb down

00:09:28   to grab the grabber to slide up to go home,

00:09:32   which is what you have to do to leave the app.

00:09:35   You're putting your thumb awfully close to things,

00:09:37   and so it's gonna be a really awkward

00:09:41   and nuanced time to kind of work that out.

00:09:45   And then, like, on the flip side,

00:09:47   it's all these weird, all this,

00:09:50   in some ways it's like my own fault,

00:09:52   but I think about the number of,

00:09:54   now I'm gonna have to go searching through some of my apps

00:09:55   looking for the number 20,

00:09:58   which, since the beginning of time,

00:10:00   has been the height of the status bar,

00:10:03   which is now no longer the height of the status bar.

00:10:06   And so anything that I've ever done

00:10:08   that has any kind of assumptions that the status bar is 20,

00:10:12   or honestly, more often it's 64,

00:10:15   which is the height of a nav bar

00:10:17   plus the height of the status bar.

00:10:19   I'm sure there are, if I do find and replace

00:10:22   in my projects for 64,

00:10:25   it's gonna come up all over the place,

00:10:26   because it's one of those things that it's,

00:10:28   while it's, it was me being lazy,

00:10:31   it has been, it's worked fine for, you know,

00:10:33   whatever, nine years, so it's fine,

00:10:37   but there's gonna be so many of these little things

00:10:39   that are just gonna, it's gonna be rough.

00:10:41   And I mean, the weird thing too is,

00:10:43   it's hard to know how big of an audience

00:10:46   this phone is going to have.

00:10:48   It's a much more expensive phone,

00:10:49   it's a much, in some ways it's sort of,

00:10:52   it's a bit more exclusive in that regard.

00:10:54   It's not, it doesn't seem to be intended to be the,

00:10:57   like the default choice for people,

00:11:00   but at the same time, it's also like the best phone.

00:11:03   And so I'm very curious to see,

00:11:07   as a percentage of my user base,

00:11:09   how big of a proportion this screen size

00:11:13   and these, all these weird considerations

00:11:16   we're gonna have to do, is going to have to,

00:11:18   it's gonna actually be in practice.

00:11:19   Is it going to be something where 20 or 30% of users,

00:11:22   eventually, a year from now,

00:11:24   will it be 20% of users are using this screen,

00:11:27   or is it going to be 2% of people?

00:11:30   And while I'll obviously wanna make my apps work well

00:11:33   on that screen, it's gonna be a little weird if,

00:11:38   you know, it's putting a huge amount of effort

00:11:40   into something, if it is a very marginal device.

00:11:43   Even if I use it on my, you know,

00:11:44   and maybe in some ways even I'm more worried

00:11:46   that I expect to get one and use one as my daily phone.

00:11:50   And if I, you know, then I'm sort of becoming blind

00:11:54   to the situation of how people use my apps

00:11:57   when they're using it on whatever is

00:11:59   the most popular screen configuration,

00:12:01   which, you know, right now is like the iPhone 7 size,

00:12:05   you know, which is shared between the 6,

00:12:07   the 6s and the 7, at least in my apps,

00:12:09   like that seems to be by far the most popular.

00:12:13   And, you know, in some ways I think maybe I need

00:12:15   to make sure that I keep going back and revisiting

00:12:18   that in daily use just to make sure

00:12:19   that I'm not going down roads that are like awesome

00:12:22   and cool on the fancy new phone.

00:12:24   But I started to ignore, you know,

00:12:27   the broader range of my users.

00:12:29   - Yeah, that's always been a concern I've had

00:12:30   with like whether I pick the, you know,

00:12:32   4.7 or the 5.5 inch phone for my own personal phone.

00:12:36   And the decision I've made so far ever since the iPhone 6

00:12:39   is I always pick the 4.7, not only because

00:12:41   I personally preferred it, but also because

00:12:43   it was the most common screen size among my users.

00:12:45   And because it was between the two other ones

00:12:48   that also kind of helped that it was like,

00:12:49   well, if I design for this, it'll look decent on the Plus.

00:12:55   And because it'll just be basically this size

00:12:56   blown up a little bit.

00:12:58   And then I can, you know, whenever I do

00:13:00   my simulator development, I usually simulate it

00:13:02   on the SE size, so that way, 'cause I see that a lot too,

00:13:05   so I can at least make sure like nothing's getting clipped

00:13:07   on the small screen.

00:13:08   Now though, that's out the window.

00:13:09   Now it's like, well, you still have to do those,

00:13:11   you still have to maintain those three screen sizes.

00:13:13   But now there's this fourth one that not only

00:13:15   is a different screen size, but is also

00:13:17   a very different aspect ratio, and also has these

00:13:20   weird gesture and screen and notch areas

00:13:23   and different behaviors.

00:13:24   So it's totally different.

00:13:26   I mean, I would honestly like this solution

00:13:29   that this might be like the day phone, night phone thing

00:13:32   where UI designers actually keep using both phones

00:13:37   on a regular basis, just so you can not lose track

00:13:40   of the app you're responsible for the design for

00:13:44   on phones that a lot of people are using.

00:13:47   'Cause you can't just ignore the iPhone 10.

00:13:49   You have to optimize for that.

00:13:51   And I would say anybody, any developer out there,

00:13:53   if you have the means to buy new phones on a regular basis,

00:13:57   you really need to get an iPhone 10 for yourself

00:14:00   to test your apps on and to redesign your apps for.

00:14:05   Because that's very important, and it's gonna only

00:14:07   get more important over time.

00:14:09   But yeah, also you can't lose track of the phones

00:14:12   that the rest of your user base are gonna be using

00:14:13   for quite some time.

00:14:15   - Yeah, I mean, it's a, yeah, it is such a funny tension.

00:14:20   Like I like in some ways that these challenges,

00:14:23   not when they come up, but it feels like we've gone

00:14:27   through several of these transitions over the years

00:14:29   where we have to adapt to something new.

00:14:31   And learning from those experiences,

00:14:34   like I expect our initial passes at trying to make

00:14:38   our apps look good on this new phone

00:14:41   are almost certainly going to be wrong initially,

00:14:45   or at least slightly misguided,

00:14:47   that in practice we find we do things differently.

00:14:49   I mean, I remember when the plus models came out,

00:14:52   there was a lot of talk and focus around having this kind

00:14:55   of rich and different landscape experience.

00:14:58   - Oh yeah.

00:14:59   - Which was something that like, you know,

00:15:00   it's like, and you know, Apple was saying,

00:15:02   oh, and they had this, their keyboard,

00:15:04   it has all these extra buttons,

00:15:05   and maybe this is something that we should do to try

00:15:07   and like that plus phone was gonna be a commonly used

00:15:11   in landscape.

00:15:12   Turned out, as best I can tell, that's not the case.

00:15:14   And I believe in iOS 11, they actually got rid of a lot

00:15:17   of the landscape plus sized stuff on the keyboard even.

00:15:21   Like that turned out to be a dead end

00:15:23   that didn't really happen anywhere.

00:15:25   And like, I'm sure there are gonna be similar things

00:15:28   with the iPhone 10 that we have to navigate

00:15:31   where right now, everyone, you know, right now it's all,

00:15:33   oh, embrace the notch and, you know, make your app,

00:15:36   you know, don't hide it, embrace all the rounded edges

00:15:39   where everything's rounded and everything's inset.

00:15:41   And like, maybe that'll end up not being the case.

00:15:45   That maybe that'll actually not work for, you know,

00:15:48   for users, even if from a design perspective

00:15:50   or from a visual perspective,

00:15:52   that's what Apple is recommending.

00:15:54   Like maybe it'll be confusing or annoying

00:15:56   or frustrating to users.

00:15:57   And so we'll end up having to pull things back.

00:16:00   And so like, I think I'm definitely expecting to take

00:16:03   kind of a two phase approach to this where my initial,

00:16:07   like my initial phase will be a series of updates that,

00:16:11   you know, to my apps that will make them functional,

00:16:15   that they won't look broken or weird or letterboxed.

00:16:18   Because if you haven't updated,

00:16:21   if you don't use the iOS 11 GM SDK,

00:16:25   or you don't use a launch screen,

00:16:28   your app will show up letterboxed on an iPhone 10.

00:16:31   So I want to make sure that I'm not letterboxed,

00:16:33   but it's like this first pass might just be to make sure

00:16:35   it looks reasonable, but nothing's, you know,

00:16:38   covered or broken.

00:16:40   And then like in a couple of months,

00:16:42   I'll be able to actually go and do this properly.

00:16:44   'Cause like, that's probably the most reasonable approach.

00:16:48   But I mean, I will say one thing.

00:16:49   I am very glad that none of my apps

00:16:52   involve a landscape orientation anymore.

00:16:54   - Oh, you're so lucky.

00:16:55   - 'Cause the landscape situation on iPhone 10

00:16:59   is just painful.

00:17:02   Like it is really awkward in so many ways

00:17:07   to like have this like bite just taken out

00:17:11   of the corner of the screen.

00:17:12   'Cause fair enough, it's in vertical orientation,

00:17:16   it's still cut out, but it's cut out of the status bar,

00:17:19   which is usually we're not expecting things

00:17:22   to be up in the status bar.

00:17:24   It's just, you know, it's the nav bar, status bar,

00:17:26   like that's sort of dead space

00:17:28   from a content perspective typically.

00:17:30   But the sides of the screen, like in that it moves,

00:17:34   it's there as you scroll through a list or things.

00:17:36   And so you end up just, I mean, honestly,

00:17:39   I kind of expect that if I was going to go landscape

00:17:41   in any of my things, it's like, I'm almost tempted

00:17:43   in that case to just bump everything in

00:17:46   and pretend that it doesn't exist.

00:17:49   Because otherwise it's gonna be really awkward

00:17:52   or visually going to look really strange and obvious

00:17:55   in a way that's probably slightly uncomfortable.

00:17:58   - Yeah, 'cause again, like this is one of the reasons

00:17:59   why I said earlier, like pull content away

00:18:01   from the edges in new designs.

00:18:03   Because, you know, clearly with this phone,

00:18:05   like we've been going all the way to the edge

00:18:07   for quite some time with a lot of our designs

00:18:08   'cause that tends to look best.

00:18:10   But now we have the situation where the edges

00:18:12   are all hazardous in some way or broken up by a giant,

00:18:17   excuse me, sensor housing.

00:18:18   It's not a notch, it's a sensor housing.

00:18:21   And it's very, very hard to adapt edge to edge designs

00:18:26   to this phone at all.

00:18:28   What you really need, you know, the way Apple shows

00:18:30   like going around the notch and everything in landscape

00:18:32   and getting around the home indicator area

00:18:35   in any orientation, especially in portrait,

00:18:38   what you need is for things to not be going to the edge.

00:18:40   Like, you know, now the home indicator,

00:18:42   it shows part of your UI like flowing under it.

00:18:46   But you can't have anything around it or under it directly

00:18:49   because then people wouldn't be able to hit it

00:18:50   and it would look bad.

00:18:51   So what you really need is a margin there.

00:18:53   You need like a flowable margin that could just go under that

00:18:56   and not look weird.

00:18:57   Well, you know, you mentioned earlier the case of the ad.

00:18:59   Like I have that problem on my now playing screen

00:19:01   where I have the ad flush against the bottom.

00:19:04   And now I can't do that unless I make the ad weirdly tall

00:19:07   and just give it the margin.

00:19:09   But it's, see this is gonna take a lot of change.

00:19:12   And this is why like I think as developers,

00:19:14   A, we have a ton of work to do.

00:19:16   But then also as owners of, or potential owners

00:19:21   of the iPhone 10, I bet it's gonna be a while

00:19:24   before a lot of apps are really updated

00:19:26   to take advantage of it because it is not easy.

00:19:28   It is way more work than any previous

00:19:31   iOS screen size has been.

00:19:33   So it would not surprise me if it takes like a year

00:19:37   for a lot of apps to really get this down

00:19:39   and to really issue updates

00:19:40   that take advantage of that screen.

00:19:43   - Yeah.

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00:21:13   - So the other thing that I guess

00:21:14   would probably be worth touching on too is from the event

00:21:17   was that this year we finally get LTE on the Apple Watch.

00:21:22   Which I think, and these kinds of things are so impossible

00:21:26   to kind of predict ahead of time.

00:21:28   But it seems to me like a bit of a,

00:21:33   it's a distinctively important step

00:21:36   in the evolution of this product.

00:21:37   Because it suddenly takes it from something

00:21:40   that was so dependent on its paired iPhone.

00:21:45   That it couldn't, I mean initially it couldn't do anything

00:21:47   without its iPhone.

00:21:48   Now it could do some stuff.

00:21:49   And then suddenly going into a world where,

00:21:52   while the device I think is still expected

00:21:54   to have this parent that it's very dependent

00:21:57   on a intermittent basis.

00:21:59   They will now, there's this reasonable expectation

00:22:01   for users that they will be able to go in

00:22:03   for extended periods of time without their iPhone with them.

00:22:07   And as a result, we'll have expectations that the apps

00:22:10   that exist on the Apple Watch can take advantage of that.

00:22:14   And I mean, I think of how,

00:22:15   while the iPhone was transformative to sort of phones

00:22:20   and computing in general,

00:22:23   I think one of the biggest things that it did

00:22:25   that was like enabled so much of the change

00:22:27   in the capability was that it was this always connected

00:22:29   internet device.

00:22:31   And now that the watch is that as well,

00:22:34   I still don't really know what's gonna be possible,

00:22:37   but I expect it's going to be a lot.

00:22:40   And as someone who makes a lot of apps for Apple Watch,

00:22:42   like it's a really exciting time for me

00:22:44   to kind of be exploring what an always connected

00:22:48   Apple Watch will be like,

00:22:50   both from a technical perspective,

00:22:51   as well as just from a user, using it perspective.

00:22:54   Like I think people will use their Apple Watches more

00:22:57   in some ways or in more context

00:22:59   and rely on their Apple Watch more,

00:23:02   because there may be many more situations

00:23:04   where that's their only computing device.

00:23:06   And so like the bar kind of gets raised for what's possible

00:23:10   and what these watch apps are capable of.

00:23:13   - Yeah, I mean, this is one of those things,

00:23:15   this largely remains to be seen,

00:23:17   but this is a huge change to the watch

00:23:19   and to the potential for watch apps.

00:23:23   Keep in mind, like before,

00:23:24   like you were kind of fighting with the watch sometimes

00:23:27   because you could always be like,

00:23:28   well, I could just take out my phone and do this faster.

00:23:30   Well, now there's gonna be a lot of people

00:23:32   using a lot of watches and a lot of situations

00:23:34   where their phone is not with them.

00:23:36   So there is suddenly a lot more demand

00:23:38   and a lot more need for good, polished, capable watch apps

00:23:42   that can be independent of their phone.

00:23:44   So that's gonna be a huge change right there,

00:23:46   just in demand and in use cases.

00:23:48   And now, I think largely what we need to see

00:23:52   is watchOS needs to catch up to this new capability.

00:23:55   You know, we still, the tools that we have at our disposal

00:23:58   to make apps on watchOS are still kind of like

00:24:01   making baby apps.

00:24:03   Like when Steve Jobs famously described

00:24:05   old web browsers on old phones before the iPhone

00:24:07   as accessing the baby internet

00:24:09   and showed off how awesome Safari was on the new iPhone.

00:24:12   The watch has been baby apps all this time

00:24:16   and they've gotten a little bit better,

00:24:17   you know, a little bit better here and there.

00:24:19   Your blog post was great about comparing them

00:24:21   to different stages of children.

00:24:24   But we still don't have the kind of capabilities

00:24:29   that we have on the phone, not even close.

00:24:32   And it goes from basic things like UIKit

00:24:35   down to more nuanced and advanced things.

00:24:37   Like my issue was the audio frameworks not being there

00:24:41   or background audio being very limited.

00:24:44   Now that you have independent apps,

00:24:45   you're gonna have to deal with things like

00:24:47   independent push notifications, sync engines,

00:24:49   background URL tasks to keep things up to date.

00:24:52   Stuff like that that the watch either doesn't have

00:24:55   or only has like a baby very limited version of.

00:24:58   And so this has amazing potential

00:25:03   but it's gonna require, I think, a few more years

00:25:06   of watchOS evolution and hardware evolution

00:25:09   before we really see a lot of that potential

00:25:11   being taken advantage of.

00:25:12   - Maybe, I mean I hope that it will be quicker than that.

00:25:16   It's certainly on the SDK side.

00:25:17   Like I hope that we see,

00:25:20   I mean I would love even for watchOS to get better

00:25:23   in its point releases substantially this year.

00:25:25   That we don't have to wait till June

00:25:27   and then the following fall before we actually see

00:25:30   sort of bigger changes that are embracing

00:25:34   a more independent Apple Watch.

00:25:36   But I mean, who knows exactly how that'll go.

00:25:39   I mean one thing I do like though is that

00:25:41   all of these kind of new use cases and new capabilities

00:25:44   are focused in on the most recent and fastest model

00:25:50   of the Apple Watch.

00:25:51   - That's true. - Which at least

00:25:52   is a nice situation where these situations I'm imagining

00:25:57   of someone relying on their watch,

00:26:00   the performance and the experience that you can get

00:26:04   on a first generation Apple Watch

00:26:06   is fine and sufficient maybe but isn't great.

00:26:12   And from everything we hear in terms of

00:26:14   the speed improvements and the capability improvements

00:26:17   especially on connectivity in the Series 3 watch,

00:26:21   it sounds like there's going to be,

00:26:24   like we will hopefully have the horsepower we would need

00:26:27   to actually pull off a lot of the kind of interesting things

00:26:30   that we might wanna do.

00:26:31   And if that does pan out then great.

00:26:36   And then it's like people who are running

00:26:38   first generation watches may benefit

00:26:40   from some of those improvements

00:26:41   but they wouldn't have that same expectation potentially.

00:26:44   But who knows?

00:26:46   I mean people always expect everything

00:26:48   but I'm encouraged in some ways at least

00:26:50   that the people who are going to be wanting to do

00:26:53   complicated things with their watch away from their phone

00:26:56   are most likely gonna be running the latest hardware.

00:26:58   So that makes the experience management perspective

00:27:01   of that a little bit better.

00:27:03   - Yeah, good point.

00:27:05   All right, well we're out of time this week.

00:27:07   What do you think you're gonna tackle first?

00:27:09   - So I'm in the middle phase right now

00:27:12   where we have all this information

00:27:14   and what I spent the last couple of days doing

00:27:16   is doing all kinds of like the rough prototypes,

00:27:20   like the sort of make a branch in my source repository

00:27:24   and just like try 10 things

00:27:26   and throw them all away.

00:27:27   Just trying to understand what's new

00:27:29   and how things, where I should go next.

00:27:31   I'll probably do that for the rest of this week

00:27:33   and then I'll just be going through app by app

00:27:36   trying to update them, trying to make sure the things,

00:27:39   like the first pass will just be compatibility

00:27:41   and making sure everything looks reasonable.

00:27:43   And then after a couple weeks of that,

00:27:44   then I'll dive into it, thinking of new features

00:27:47   and getting sure things are kind of ready

00:27:50   for what's possible now.

00:27:52   What about you?

00:27:53   - I'm still very, very deep into iOS 11 changes.

00:27:58   I honestly have no time to do this new UI stuff yet.

00:28:02   I'm gonna be forced to, so we'll see how this works out.

00:28:06   But I'm frankly pretty underwater right now

00:28:09   and I'm probably gonna be pretty late shipping

00:28:12   what I need to ship, but we'll see.

00:28:14   See how it goes.

00:28:15   - It's fine.

00:28:16   - Yeah, it'll all work out eventually.

00:28:18   - Well, the thing is, it's like, as I used to, I think,

00:28:21   put a lot of pressure on myself about the importance

00:28:23   of it being, everything being there on day one.

00:28:26   And I think in practice, that only sort of matters.

00:28:30   Like being there soon, unless the app just doesn't run

00:28:35   in iOS 11, you install it in iOS 11 and it crashes instantly,

00:28:39   okay, you need to fix that.

00:28:40   Otherwise, you got a bit of time.

00:28:42   You can kind of, it's better to ship something correct

00:28:45   and properly rather than rushing something out

00:28:48   just so that you can be there on day one.

00:28:50   At least, that's the slightly more mature version of myself.

00:28:52   That's what I tell myself.

00:28:54   - Well, I hope you're right.

00:28:56   Thanks for listening, everybody,

00:28:57   and we'll talk to you next week.

00:28:59   - Bye.

00:29:00   [BLANK_AUDIO]