410: The Comfort Is Killing Me


00:00:00   I am typing away, blazing away, podcasting away on my 13 inch screen.

00:00:05   That sounds super fun.

00:00:08   I've begun some light travel in the sense of going from the beach back to regular life for a couple of weeks.

00:00:16   So when is the iMac Pro due back? Do you have any idea?

00:00:20   It's mattering less and less as I get used to the M1.

00:00:23   Oh, here it is, here it is.

00:00:25   But I haven't heard back yet. The estimate still has I think another week on it at least.

00:00:29   Being that it's Christmas week and I'm sure shipping parts and getting people's hours is all tricky this week.

00:00:37   I told them no rush anyway, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's actually another week or two after this.

00:00:43   But ultimately, man, every time, so I'm using the M1 full time this whole week and doing my regular work.

00:00:52   Doing some coding, doing podcast editing and stuff.

00:00:56   And it is so fast.

00:00:58   Stop, I don't want to know. I don't want to know. Stop.

00:01:02   It's almost deceptive. You don't realize how much faster it is at a lot of things.

00:01:08   Because it's hard to quantify and benchmark some of the things that are faster about it.

00:01:14   But what you notice, stuff that with every Mac you've gotten for the last 10 years,

00:01:20   certain things have just been slow the whole time.

00:01:24   Certain animations were always jerky. Certain processes were just like always,

00:01:28   you get a new Mac and it would be maybe a little bit faster, but not that much faster.

00:01:31   And then with this, certain navigation through apps, like navigating in Logic, zooming in and out of waveforms,

00:01:37   and all my sound editing programs. It's just faster, way faster.

00:01:42   Going from a few frames a second to 30 or 60 frames a second.

00:01:46   Massively faster at certain things.

00:01:49   I think what I'm feeling is all that memory bandwidth.

00:01:54   I think that's what's going on where it seems like the throughput of the system in certain ways has massively improved.

00:02:03   Because certain tasks that, I don't know that much about the low-level CPU design stuff,

00:02:09   but in general terms, modern processors are starved for things to do.

00:02:15   Because most of the time they're waiting on something else. They're waiting on memory access, or IO, or network,

00:02:23   or just God knows, they're waiting. They're waiting so long.

00:02:26   And they can't frequently use their full power or their full capabilities 100% of the time,

00:02:32   or even close to 100% of the time, because they're so often waiting on some other subsystem to give them the data they need

00:02:38   and keep them fed with instructions and data to process.

00:02:41   And it seems like the M1 architecture is just significantly better at keeping that CPU fed with stuff to do

00:02:50   and with the data it needs. I don't know whether it's the unified memory, whether it's the memory bandwidth,

00:02:55   who knows what it is. But whatever, well they know, I don't know, but whatever it is, it makes a significant difference.

00:03:03   And that's I think part of the reason why these feel so fast.

00:03:07   If you look at the benchmarks you can say, "Oh, it's whatever it is, like 30% faster, single threaded, similar to machines XYZ, multi-threaded stuff."

00:03:15   But it feels like more than that because significant architectural things have changed, and you can feel it in a lot of apps.

00:03:24   And that is I think what's going to get me to most likely stick with this full time and probably trade in my iMac.

00:03:33   Not to prolong our usual pre-follow-up diversion any longer than it used to be, but the one test that I saw that a lot of people posting videos about,

00:03:43   you mentioned it as well, is zooming the timeline in Logic. So people know Logic is an audio editor,

00:03:49   and if you can imagine it as having a bunch of horizontal stripes that show audio waveforms stacked on top of each other.

00:03:54   Those are all the different tracks. So if you have multiple people on a podcast, it's all the different audio tracks.

00:03:58   Anyway, zooming on the timeline is showing smaller and smaller portions of time in the same width of your screen, or bigger and bigger portions of time.

00:04:07   And if you look at that task, it's rectangles of color with little waveforms in them.

00:04:15   So it's not graphically intensive, and you might think, "Well, that should always zoom in and out quickly. Why would it ever take a long time?"

00:04:24   But if you watch people doing it on their tricked-out Mac Pros with gigantic GPUs that crush the integrated GPU, even in the M1 MacBook Air, you'll see it being kind of jerky.

00:04:37   I mean, you see something like that, it's like, "Okay, well, it's not GPU-bound, because here's this machine with this monster GPU that's being jerky here.

00:04:45   So it's not like we're waiting on the GPU to do something. The GPU can do this no problem."

00:04:50   It's probably not CPU-bound, you would think, because this is a fast CPU.

00:04:54   So then you start looking for things like Marco was talking about, where every component in this system can do this job well.

00:05:01   I mean, you can run an amazing 4K game that's doing these amazing graphics at 100 frames per second.

00:05:07   Surely zooming some rectangles with some little lines in them is not taxing any part, but it's the combination of pieces.

00:05:13   It's somewhere in the connection between, "Okay, how is logic drawing the timeline? How does it draw the little squiggles that represent the waveforms?

00:05:22   How does it redraw the timeline things, and how does that communicate? How does that turn into drawing calls? How does it affect memory access?"

00:05:30   Just how all the pieces fit together. Obviously, on Intel Mac Pro or on iMac Pro and other systems, there's some kind of hitch in that chain of things,

00:05:43   just because it's like, "Well, zooming the timeline, it works well enough."

00:05:47   It's not like before Marco got this M1 MacBook Air, he was like, "Oh, I can't edit in Logic. The timeline zooms too slowly."

00:05:53   It was just a little bit jerkier. You didn't know it was jerky until you saw, "Oh, look, now it's not jerky anymore."

00:05:58   That type of thing makes me think of the Pro Workflow team. They talked about things like this, where some dialogue that was taking too long to come up.

00:06:07   Do you remember the story? The Pro Workflow team said this story about how they were doing something in some video editor.

00:06:13   It's like, "Every time I do this thing, I've got to bring up this dialogue, and it takes three seconds to come up, and I don't understand why I'm waiting three seconds."

00:06:18   It turned out to be—I forget the details of the story—but it was something you would never think of.

00:06:22   It was like a bug in the GPU driver that was causing a dialogue to take a long time to appear.

00:06:29   Because, I don't know, it was spinning his wheels doing something.

00:06:31   Because the Pro Workflow team had people saying, "Here's the thing that annoys me in my workflow. Find out what the deal with this is and fix it."

00:06:40   They tracked it down into something that no one ever would have thought of, and they fixed it.

00:06:44   It seems like with the M1 Macs, yes, they are faster and everything, but for something like this, where you know the hardware on any modern Mac should have absolutely no problem zooming a timeline full of tracks,

00:06:56   especially since on our podcast it's not 700 tracks, it's a small number.

00:07:02   So you know it's not like the hardware is too weak, so it's not the M1 advantage of it being a faster CPU, and it's not the integrated graphics versus the discrete because the discrete stomps all over it.

00:07:12   And in the case of the Mac Pro, it's not memory bandwidth, because Mac Pro has tremendous memory bandwidth, much more than the M1 MacBook Air, as we talked about in a past follow-up.

00:07:19   But what it is is how everything works together.

00:07:22   And when Apple makes all the things, they can make sure much more easily and confidently that everything really does work together.

00:07:30   And in fact, I'm not even sure they would have to do this work for the M1 Mac, because you know on iOS devices that they've been killing themselves for a decade or more now

00:07:40   to make what started out as being relatively slow CPUs and GPUs show good animations on a dinky little phone on battery power, right?

00:07:50   So they've already put in all of that work to get rid of all the hitches and the video drivers and the GPU and the CPU and the way redrawing works and all that other stuff.

00:07:58   And you know, I'm not saying they just didn't have to do anything for the Mac, because apparently they did have to fiddle things around in terms of texture formats and special instructions on the M1 that aren't on the iOS ones

00:08:08   to handle stuff that Macs do that iOS devices don't. But finally really controlling the whole stack and not having to rely on third parties for anything means that any kink that's in the system

00:08:20   either has already been ironed out or can be ironed out pretty easily.

00:08:24   And so that's what it makes me think when I see, I wish we had a link to the tweet or whatever, but the animation showing, here's the most powerful Mac money can buy zooming logic timeline.

00:08:33   Here's the $999 MacBook Air zooming the logic timeline. And you know it's not power. It is just, you know, that thing where people are like, only Apple can do this because they control everything.

00:08:42   It's like, sure, what's the benefit? Someone actually asked us this once in an ask. What's the benefit of Apple controlling everything? And I'm going to chalk this up in that column and saying, when Apple controls everything, and when they're using a tech stack that they that came up on a, you know, that was used to build phones on much weaker hardware.

00:08:56   I think you get results like this. This is totally speculative, but that is my guess.

00:09:01   All right, so let's do some follow up.

00:09:03   So you know, if I do a big diversion, all of a sudden we're all ready to get the follow up. Yeah.

00:09:09   Secret. I just got to ramble myself and then be like, God, can we get the follow up?

00:09:14   All right, so we have some information about the AirPods Max and we start with some information from Barney who writes some clarity on your discussion tonight on the battery situation of the AirPods Max. Both batteries are housed in the right ear cup and use the yoke to conduct and pass the power into the left ear cup.

00:09:31   And our friends at Snazzy Labs have a video that demonstrates this. We'll put a link in the show notes.

00:09:36   It's pretty interesting. I mean, last year we realized that that obviously there has to be an electrical connection because as Mark pointed out, that there's only a charging port on one side.

00:09:45   So electricity's got to get to the other side somehow. I was surprised to see that both batteries are in a single side.

00:09:52   You'd think they'd split them up for weight purposes, but I guess it's offset because I think all the electronics are in the other side.

00:09:57   But yeah, the electrical connection between the ear cups is kind of interesting.

00:10:02   The Snazzy Labs video didn't zoom in too much on it. I would have liked to see a closer picture, but it was described as being kind of like brushes, like brushes on an electrical motor, you know, like little metal things pressing against other pieces of metal.

00:10:14   So that the yoke, the big stainless steel tube that you use to adjust that goes over your head, that thing, that goes into the ear cup into like this ball joint kind of thing.

00:10:24   And then there's these little brushes apparently that rub against that stainless steel yoke and that's used to transmit electricity to the other side.

00:10:32   I mean, this was just described verbally and shown at a distance on the video, but we'll put a link in the video and you can check it out yourself.

00:10:38   But it's interesting. Both batteries in one side. Pretty weird. And you look at the batteries and they're actually pretty small.

00:10:43   So I guess it's pretty amazing this thing gets 20 hours of battery life from these two postage stamp size battery packs.

00:10:48   Well, headphones don't need that much power. I mean, Bluetooth headphones for a while have existed.

00:10:54   And even with like the most ancient ones, with the most ancient battery technology, weight was never a big problem with Bluetooth headphones.

00:11:02   Like they've always been able to be made pretty lightweight because they don't need very big batteries.

00:11:06   Oh, by the way, speaking of these Apple AirPods Pro Max, I think I have decided to return them.

00:11:13   I tried them earlier today because they would be perfect for what I'm doing right now.

00:11:18   I'm away from my primary office for a couple of weeks and wanting to get work done, having to record and edit podcasts.

00:11:24   And so I brought them, intending to use them a lot. And I used them all day today.

00:11:27   And they're just not, the comfort is just killing me. I can't do it.

00:11:30   And as soon as I put on any other wired headphones, they're great.

00:11:35   And I just don't have a place in my life where I really want amazing sounding but uncomfortable wireless headphones.

00:11:43   And if I'm going to plug them in and use a wire, not only can I do that with other headphones, but it's better with other headphones because the wire is not so short and not in the way.

00:11:52   Like with this one, if I'm at a desk using a mouse next to the laptop, the wire is just completely in the way.

00:11:59   Because it goes down from the right ear cup into the right side headphone jack on the MacBook Air.

00:12:05   And my mouse, that's between the computer and the mouse, if you were right handed.

00:12:10   So it's just constantly in the way. And the cable is too short so I can't loop it around the back of the laptop and go around the left side. It's too short for that.

00:12:18   And so if I'm going to use cabled headphones, I'd rather have it be a more convenient cable and a more comfortable headphone.

00:12:25   And so the only way these would be useful to me is if I really needed wireless, great sounding, but uncomfortable, full-size headphones.

00:12:32   And I just don't. For all of my wireless contacts, the AirPods Pro are great.

00:12:36   So I guess Apple is one for three on Marco Arment satisfying AirPod products.

00:12:41   Because the original AirPods didn't fit your ears right? You love the AirPod Pros, but these ones, it's for the same reason, a comfort factor.

00:12:48   And I guess secondarily the wire thing.

00:12:50   By the way, people who are wondering why Marco keeps talking about the wire on the Apple wireless headphones is because he's talking about monitoring during podcasting where you need to be connected by a wire for zero latency.

00:12:58   Exactly, yeah. Or editing where it's really awkward and frustrating to try to edit audio when the playhead in Logic is like a half second ahead of what you're hearing in your ears.

00:13:13   It's very annoying. I've done it. It's not good though.

00:13:17   And yes, you could get an extension cable for the wire. But really, I feel like your main complaint, well, I would characterize you have two main complaints.

00:13:24   One, they're not comfortable on you, which is the same complaint you had with the original AirPods.

00:13:28   And that I feel like is a thing potentially Apple can address with better ear cups or whatever.

00:13:33   And then two, I think what your real problem is you already have tons of headphones that you spent years finding ones that you like.

00:13:41   So it's really a difficult and competitive environment for the AirPods Max to come into.

00:13:47   If you don't already own three or four favorite set of over ear headphones that you like, maybe the Max will have a better place in your life.

00:13:54   But for Marco, it's stiff competition.

00:13:57   Yeah, and I mean, if all you need is wireless stuff and if you mostly don't need or want the AirPods Pro, like if you want something bigger than the AirPods Pro and you never really need to use it wired.

00:14:10   Then they're great. Again, I'm kind of regretting how bad they feel on me because I love the way they sound.

00:14:18   And I like the functionality of the AirPods integration and smartness and everything.

00:14:22   That's all great. For me, it's just about these weird physical things about it.

00:14:27   I've heard from a lot of people and seen a bunch of reviews where they say these are super comfortable.

00:14:31   So if that's you, great. If you think these are comfortable, awesome. Good for you.

00:14:36   I'm proud of you. I'm happy for you. Enjoy them. I'm going to enjoy my AirPods Pro in my 770s.

00:14:40   So Tiff isn't interested in them either. Has she given them a fair shake or no?

00:14:44   Not yet. I'm going to see. We have a bit of time, so we're going to try that in the next few days.

00:14:49   But most of what she does with headphones is also podcast related. So I don't think the result is going to be different.

00:14:56   That's fair.

00:14:58   Alrighty. And then have you done extensive battery testing on the SmartCase purse, underwear, whatever, for the thing that you're about to return?

00:15:07   No, because it takes three hands to get them in and out of the thing. And I only have two.

00:15:11   Delightful. Well, nevertheless, just FYI for the headphones that you're seeing to return,

00:15:17   the AirPods Max SmartCase makes little to no difference with regard to battery life as per 9to5Mac and from Apple's own support documents.

00:15:27   Yeah, the Apple support document puts the details in here explaining exactly what the timings are in the low power mode.

00:15:33   And there is a difference between when it goes into super low power mode when it's in the case versus when it's out of the case.

00:15:38   And Apple doesn't really spell this out. But if you look at it, you'll see that what the reason is,

00:15:43   is that when it goes into ultra low power, you can't use Find My anymore. Right.

00:15:47   So if you just leave your headphones somewhere, you want them to stay in regular low power, not ultra low power for a longer time.

00:15:57   So you can use Find My to find where you left your headphones. Whereas I guess Apple's assuming if you put them in the case and put them away,

00:16:03   that's more of a deliberate move, showing that you're done using them and you're putting them away.

00:16:07   At least that's my thinking on the logic and the different times. But either way, even in the middle low power mode,

00:16:14   it takes a long time for the battery to drain. So unless you're going to leave them there for days, it's not a big deal.

00:16:20   So you look at the timings yourself and see what you think. But these things already have all day battery life.

00:16:24   And if you don't plan on leaving them unattended somewhere for days and then picking them up later, I don't think you have to worry about it.

00:16:30   Now, Marco, I know that you are the world's biggest superfan of the LG Ultrafine 5K. But I have bad news, as it turns out, it also has a fan.

00:16:44   This, I haven't been able to verify this yet. Have you seen any pictures?

00:16:49   I looked for it before the show because I said, well, I don't have one of these, so I can't look for myself.

00:16:54   But I said, surely there's a parts diagram online and I could not find anything.

00:16:57   So I was hoping Marco would be able to confirm this. But I have no reason to doubt Joseph Duffy who sent this in, saying that the Ultrafine does indeed have a fan in it somewhere.

00:17:08   And you can see it when the stand is removed.

00:17:10   Yeah, once I get back to mine, I intend to check this. I think that's the most hilarious thing ever, if that's actually true.

00:17:18   It's, you know, one more, I guess one more vote in the XDR category or one more vote that both of these monitors suck.

00:17:26   Noise has not been your complaint about the LG 5K. And you also mentioned that the LG 5K was revised in 2019.

00:17:35   And we talked about this earlier off air. You said that you have the older revision rather than the new one?

00:17:40   Yes, there's actually been like four revisions of it, but only two kind of official versions.

00:17:45   The very, very first one where the serial number ends in A, that was the one, if you remember back when the Ultrafine's first launched in 2016, they had Wi-Fi interference problems.

00:17:55   And they quickly recalled them and added shielding around them. And then they released the B version that already has the shield, that basically shipped with the shielding.

00:18:05   Mine on the back says A-B, which I think means it was originally manufactured without the shielding.

00:18:12   The shielding was retrofit to it and then it was sold. I think that's, based on my research, I think that's what that means.

00:18:17   And those were all the ones that the video signal had to be Thunderbolt. It could not be a USB-C display video signal. It had to be a Thunderbolt video signal.

00:18:27   And so it was never compatible with iPads or like the 12-inch MacBook or anything like that.

00:18:32   And so a couple years later they released a revised version that used a new generation Thunderbolt controller from Intel.

00:18:39   I think it went like Alpine Ridge to something else Ridge. I've lost track of the Thunderbolt controller names.

00:18:44   But anyway, it used a different Thunderbolt controller and it could take USB-C 5K input from iPad Pros.

00:18:51   And that's, I think the serial number is like N and L or K for that one, something like that. I don't have that one.

00:18:57   So mine is the first generation model. It is fixed for the shielding, but it does not have the newest Thunderbolt controller.

00:19:04   So it's possible that new ones are more reliable. Maybe they've fixed some of the glitching of the ports.

00:19:09   But based on what I've heard from people who are reporting in their opinions and experience with this monitor over the last couple of weeks,

00:19:17   it sounds like most of them are not very reliable. There are frequent problems with image retention over time,

00:19:25   with the electronics inside dying over time, with the backlights dying over time.

00:19:29   So it sounds like it's just kind of an okay to mediocre monitor for a lot of people. It's not just me.

00:19:35   And if I got a new one, maybe some of it would be fixed. And actually my current plans, I think, probably involve getting at least one additional one for various practical reasons.

00:19:47   So we'll see how that goes. But anyway, there are multiple versions and I have the first one.

00:19:53   Just to read out the actual serial numbers, it's 27MD5KL is the 2019 revision and 27MD5KA is the original one.

00:20:03   And according to an article that we'll link in the show notes, another upgrade of the current 2019 L version is that it also has 94W power delivery with the Thunderbolt port.

00:20:12   So you can charge a connected MacBook while you use it.

00:20:15   Right. Mine was before the MacBooks went up in power. So it supplies, I think, 85W max.

00:20:22   Also, there is a firmware updater. Yes, I have run it. I have the latest firmware. Still sucks.

00:20:28   Probably for the fan control. Speaking of the 10 minutes right stands to say that Marco, even after a month of usage, I didn't even know that the XDR had a fan until I listened to last week's episode of ATP.

00:20:39   So we're sorry for telling people listening to the show that their XDR has multiple fans, not just one.

00:20:44   Yeah, and I have heard from a number of people, I don't know if they want to be named, but I've heard from a number of people who use XDRs who have basically said either you don't notice the localized dimming at all, like what you said, Jon, in regular use.

00:20:59   Or some people have said you do notice it when you have like a 100% black background on something and then something has to go over it.

00:21:06   But that's relatively uncommon and easily fixed by making, like if you have a desktop background, you shouldn't have it be pure black.

00:21:13   Well, I don't have that. I run my Mac in light mode, I have a light blue background, so that I wouldn't be likely to see.

00:21:19   But it's hard for me to get over the localized dimming thing. I really don't like that.

00:21:25   So I am very suspicious of reports of people thinking they can see the haloing with their naked eye and I'll tell you why.

00:21:30   Go get an OLED TV, bring up a pure black background and put some white text in the middle of it.

00:21:35   With your eyes, you'd be like, wow, look at all that haloing. And you know the OLED's not doing haloing because individual pixels are controlled.

00:21:42   But your eye sees haloing because it has bright light from these thin letters that blooms out.

00:21:47   It's always going to look a little bit bloomy because that's how things look to our eyes when there's something bright white in the middle of a black background.

00:21:53   Actually detecting the little square sort of, you know, the haloing due to the dynamic backlight is much more difficult to do with the naked eye.

00:22:01   I don't doubt that people can do it under the right conditions. I'm just saying I've never seen it in real usage and I know that whenever they test this on televisions,

00:22:07   they always have to screw with their camera settings because it's very difficult to see with the naked eye.

00:22:12   Real time follow up from the chat room, Shappy has put a link in to a picture of the fan in the LG 5K.

00:22:19   Yep, there it is. Okay. I guess it does have a fan.

00:22:23   Is that the A revision or the B revision though?

00:22:25   I don't know.

00:22:26   Can't quite see the serial number from the sticker. I believe they said earlier that they have the same version as me though, so it's probably the A.

00:22:32   I mean, usually Thunderbolt, I don't know what the needs of modern monitors are in terms of like their internal circuitry, but Thunderbolt specifically,

00:22:39   Thunderbolt controllers have usually run really hot. Like if you've ever had a Thunderbolt disk enclosure or anything like that, they almost all have fans because they run really warm.

00:22:47   Like I've been trying out the last week or so, I have the CalDigit TS3+ Thunderbolt hub.

00:22:52   Oh, it did come in.

00:22:53   Yeah, I have that. I have a couple of minor issues with it. Like the Ethernet port just doesn't work and that's actually a fairly common problem if you look at reviews.

00:23:00   Oh, cool.

00:23:01   Yes, I've tried all of the support. I've tried their firmware updater. I've tried all the different things where you remove your network configurations and you re-add it and look for the Thunderbolt port zero, whatever.

00:23:09   Yeah, trust me, I've tried all of it. It doesn't work. Simple as that.

00:23:13   And if you look at reviews, a lot of people seem to get these things with dead Ethernet ports.

00:23:18   Anyway, other than that, it works fine, so I'm going to decide what to do about that later.

00:23:21   But in the meantime, I will say that the whole thing is a giant block of aluminum and it gets noticeably warm.

00:23:28   And again, this is true of all Thunderbolt gear I've ever seen. I'm assuming Thunderbolt chips just run hot.

00:23:34   They just seem like they're complicated things and they're non-trivial to implement and so they just run hot.

00:23:41   Neat. All right, Jon, your favorite pet project, Chrome is bad. What's going on with that now?

00:23:48   Well, this was actually, I think this update actually had been put out last week, but we just didn't get it in the show.

00:23:54   So there's obviously a bug report, probably multiple, but one main bug report of this at Chrome,

00:23:59   where they're trying to get people to perform a series of steps to do diagnostics to try to track this thing down.

00:24:05   And if you are a developer and you ever had to deal with bugs like this, you know how frustrating it can be to have a bug that is

00:24:12   widely reported that you can't reproduce and that you also can't even think of any reason why it could be happening.

00:24:19   So here from Norberg at Google.com is this comment that we'll link to in the show notes that I thought was a funny glimpse into a frustration

00:24:27   that I think most programmers have felt. It says, "At this point, we have still not been able to reproduce the issue.

00:24:33   We only have guesses as to what might cause a Windows Server performance issue that apparently occurs when none of our binaries are running

00:24:40   and is reported to be resolved by removing a software package that does not present a UI."

00:24:44   Ouch.

00:24:45   I mean, that sounds passive aggressive, but it's just like...

00:24:49   Sounds?

00:24:50   I mean, but it's also just frustrating. I mean, like I said last time, you can think of all sorts of plausible ways that this could happen.

00:24:57   For example, you think your thing's not presenting a UI, but actually it's using some kind of off-screen buffer as part of some Apple framework

00:25:03   that you don't even realize you're using, and the Windows Server is freaking out redrawing it.

00:25:06   You could be dragging a bug in the Windows Server, right?

00:25:09   All I can say we can take from this is that the Chrome folks are on it, they are just as frustrated as everybody else

00:25:15   in the totally non-reproducible nature of this, and I would also say that if you look at this issue,

00:25:20   I don't see a lot of action and movement in narrowing it down, so I'm not sure how much progress they're going to make on this phantom bug.

00:25:29   Until someone can reproduce it, or reproduce it at least once and give them some kind of diagnostics,

00:25:37   it's going to be difficult to track this one down, so I will be following this issue just to see in three or four years if anything ever comes of it.

00:25:45   But if you want to follow it, we will have the link, and you can see how it goes.

00:25:50   I think ultimately the best way for this to ever be resolved, if it's going to be resolved, is for Apple engineering to be able to get a machine in their hands

00:25:59   and then just like sample it or whatever they know how to do so that they can figure out what is this coming from.

00:26:07   Whether it's one of their problems or whether it's one of Google's problems, I think it's going to take Apple engineers to figure out what the problem is.

00:26:13   I have faith in the Chrome engineers that if they had access to a reproduction, that they could figure it out pretty quickly whether it's their problem or Apple's problem.

00:26:23   Because they have the source code to Chrome and they have the source code to Keystone, and if they find out that everything is fine until we step into an Apple framework and then it goes nuts, they can say, "Well, that's not us."

00:26:32   They don't know what the problem is, but at least they know, "Hey, it's not us."

00:26:36   I feel like the other point about this is if you are willing to believe that the Chrome developers are being forthrighted in this public bug report, which I have no reason to believe they're not,

00:26:45   is that they're not doing anything. Chrome is not doing anything. They say, "Oh, it must be that really sneaky thing we're doing where we call this private API or inject something into some exploit."

00:26:56   They're not saying, "Yeah, it's that super dangerous risky thing we're doing and we'll look into it."

00:27:00   They're just like, "We don't think..." They haven't mentioned anything like that.

00:27:04   I really doubt that they're doing something very strange and nefarious.

00:27:07   It should just be a plain old bug where it's like, "Oh, we made a mistake in our program," as in a plain old bug, or a bug that they are triggering elsewhere in the system, or neither of those things, which is also in contention.

00:27:18   All right, so honorary fourth host of ATP at this point, Jonathan Dietz, has written in with some more clarification.

00:27:26   Multi-chip module, MCM, or multi-chip package refers to placing more than one silicon die on the same organic substrate.

00:27:33   Intel, AMD, and Apple have all been doing this for years.

00:27:35   A chiplet is an informal... That is delightful. It's almost...

00:27:38   Sounds delicious. Chicklet gum.

00:27:40   Yeah, it was chicklet. Is that what you just said?

00:27:43   Okay, yeah, I was trying to remember what it was called.

00:27:45   A chiplet is an informal term for the relatively small dies resulting from the disaggregation of a system on a chip.

00:27:54   These smaller dies can then be combined into various configurations using a high-speed interconnect fabric and either conventional substrates or silicon interposers.

00:28:01   Is that like some sort of kid like slur at this point, an interposer?

00:28:05   Anyway, to create multi-chip packages.

00:28:07   AMD successfully executed a chiplet strategy with their Zen architecture.

00:28:11   Breaking up a system on a chip increases the total die area, power consumption, latency, and complexity.

00:28:16   The only reason why AMD went this route was because they were broke.

00:28:19   And then conversely, Apple has currently preferred access to the most...

00:28:25   Excuse me, Apple currently has preferred access to the most advanced manufacturing process available,

00:28:30   and the capital and engineering resources to help TSMC climb the yield curves if it comes to that.

00:28:36   They're not going to give up on any of these benefits of integration until they are forced to.

00:28:41   This was in response to a previous feedback we were getting about multi-chip modules and how awesome they are and how you can...

00:28:47   You know, you don't have to make one big chip. You can do these multiple things.

00:28:50   And this, the clarification is what...

00:28:52   Multi-chip modules is different than chiplets.

00:28:54   Chiplets is what AMD is doing, but they're only doing it...

00:28:56   I mean, being broke was hyperbole. There was a paragraph here at the Casey's Kip that gave more detail about...

00:29:01   The bottom line is, AMD was not in a position to make chips that are all on a single die,

00:29:10   despite the fact that that is better.

00:29:12   It's better in terms of, as you said, power consumption, latency, complexity, everything about it is better,

00:29:17   except that it is harder to get access to that process or whatever.

00:29:21   So if you're thinking that Apple's solution to making a chip for the Mac Pro based on our architecture is to do chiplets,

00:29:30   that seems unlikely.

00:29:32   And if you're thinking it's going to be multi-chip modules, that's the thing that Apple and Intel and AMD have been doing for a long time,

00:29:37   and it's subtly different than chiplets.

00:29:39   So, you know, Apple...

00:29:41   I think it's putting it mildly to say, Apple has access to the preferred access to the most advanced manufacturing process.

00:29:48   Apple has all the money, right?

00:29:50   They apparently have the best chip designs, they have tons of money, and they have partners that want that money from them,

00:29:56   so they are first in line to get all the good stuff.

00:29:58   The only thing holding them back is something we talked about in previous shows with the...

00:30:01   What was it called? Risk production?

00:30:03   Apple can't really do that, because anything they need chips for, they probably need millions of them.

00:30:10   And so Apple kind of has to wait until the process is ready to make millions of something,

00:30:15   whereas a small upstart competitor could, in theory... A small upstart like, say, Microsoft, which sells relatively few Microsoft service pieces of hardware,

00:30:24   that scrappy little upstart Microsoft, maybe they could get access to a better process technology a little bit sooner than Apple.

00:30:31   But even that is doubtful, depending on how ironclad Apple's contracts are about preferred access to the good stuff.

00:30:38   And then Jonathan Dietz continues to school us, this time with regard to Thunderbolt hubs and controllers.

00:30:43   "OWC is taking pre-orders for a four-port, one upstream, three downstream, thunderbolt/USB4 hub for $150. That should be shipping any day now.

00:30:52   This is possible because Intel is finally making a Thunderbolt controller with more than two ports.

00:30:56   The controller in question is the "Goshen Ridge JHL8440 Thunderbolt 4 controller."

00:31:02   And so there's a couple links to the Thunderbolt hub, the previous Thunderbolt dock,

00:31:08   and also there's an interview with OWC about Thunderbolt 4, which I presume Jon has provided for us,

00:31:16   including a nice convenient timestamp. So we'll put that in the show notes too.

00:31:19   Yeah, Thunderbolt 4 was confusing. We talked about it before, how it's really just Thunderbolt 3 plus a bunch of things that you have to satisfy.

00:31:24   So you can watch this interview if you want to get the gory details.

00:31:27   But, you know, for many past shows, many years you were saying,

00:31:30   "Why aren't there any good USB-C hubs that multiply the number of USB-C ports?"

00:31:34   This isn't that, but this is kind of that for Thunderbolt.

00:31:38   So if your computer has one Thunderbolt port and you want more than one Thunderbolt port,

00:31:43   you can buy this hub, and like an old-fashioned USB hub, you plug in one thing into your computer,

00:31:48   and what you get is a box with three of those same things on it.

00:31:51   And, again, the only reason I'm able to do this is because Intel finally made a Thunderbolt controller that does that.

00:31:56   In theory, now that Thunderbolt is open, anybody can make a controller that does this,

00:31:59   but the Intel ones presumably are the best that you can get.

00:32:02   So there are many more options, and also it's not just this $150 hub,

00:32:06   there's also one called, what is it called, the Thunderbolt Dock that has SD card reader and Ethernet and all the other stuff in it, right?

00:32:15   So these are OVC products, but they're just basically wrapping around an Intel reference design,

00:32:20   and I suspect you'll see more of these coming out.

00:32:22   So your CalDigit TS3 thing that you have, Margo?

00:32:27   Yeah.

00:32:28   This may be, I mean, this is certainly newer.

00:32:30   I'm not sure it'll be better, any more reliable or less reliable,

00:32:33   but it is certainly more capable in that you can actually multiply some of your ports now,

00:32:37   and that may, for some people, solve some of their connectivity problems a little bit better than existing solutions.

00:32:42   I ordered it this morning.

00:32:44   Which one did you get, the hub or the dock?

00:32:46   The big one. Yeah, I got the big dock thing, because it's very similar to the CalDigit in its general capabilities,

00:32:53   and if it works, I'm going to send back the CalDigit and just keep that thing.

00:32:57   But it's so hard to know with this stuff, because I've had so many reliability issues with various USB-C hubs and dongles and everything.

00:33:05   It's been such a mess. It's such a cheap, crappy category for the most part.

00:33:10   And even before that, many people, including me, have had a hard time in the past finding reliable USB hubs, even, just regular USB hubs.

00:33:17   It's a product category that is full of a bunch of garbage and a couple of good ones,

00:33:20   and often it's hard to know what the good ones are without just trying them for a few months,

00:33:24   and then you know, "Oh, did this one that got great reviews, did it actually work for me reliably, or was it garbage after a few months?"

00:33:31   Like so many of them are.

00:33:33   I eventually did find a good USB-A hub, but of course, once you know it's good, they don't make it anymore.

00:33:38   Of course.

00:33:40   So, anyway, this is why I hate hubs so much, and why I have so often preferred the desktop livestock,

00:33:46   because with desktops, usually you either don't need hubs because they have enough ports,

00:33:50   or you can get away with fewer or smaller or simpler hubs, and there's more ports on the desktop itself,

00:33:57   where you can plug in your most critical stuff that can't be flaky.

00:34:01   And then you can put your iPhone charger or whatever on the USB hub.

00:34:07   And Thunderbolt promises allegedly to get a lot better at this.

00:34:11   You know, Thunderbolt products that actually have the logo and are officially licensed and approved,

00:34:17   those go through significantly more testing than most other stuff does, especially most stuff in the USB ecosystem.

00:34:23   And so, to be Thunderbolt certified means something, so I'm hoping that Thunderbolt versions of these hub products

00:34:32   are significantly more reliable and have a much higher chance of being good long-term than just USB-C ones.

00:34:38   But the downside is, of course, not only are they much more expensive, and they're usually significantly larger,

00:34:44   and I think almost all, if not all of them, require external power, so that's all significantly less convenient

00:34:50   for any kind of mobile setup or mobile needs, but they also have this massive bandwidth stuff,

00:34:58   and so they have relatively few ports. And when I look at what I actually plug into USB ports,

00:35:04   the only thing that I really plug in that needs massive bandwidth is a screen.

00:35:08   Everything else, like everything that's not a screen, is like a keyboard dongle,

00:35:14   or the cable that runs to my iPhone for Xcode development, or like my sound stuff,

00:35:21   but sound stuff is all USB 2.0 at the hardware level, it doesn't need 3.0 speeds for anything.

00:35:27   Like, that's most of what I'm plugging in, and so it almost feels wasteful to get a Thunderbolt port multiplier/hub thing

00:35:34   when it's like, "Oh, you can get 40 gigabits per second for all those ports."

00:35:38   Like, "Yeah, but I'm gonna be using that to charge my iPhone."

00:35:40   Like, that's really what that's gonna be, or it's gonna be running this USB 2.0 sound module.

00:35:46   This is not, I don't need massive bandwidth with a small number of ports, the laptop gives me that.

00:35:52   I need almost no bandwidth with a huge number of ports. I just want those ports to be USB-C for cable convenience reasons.

00:35:59   I don't even need them to be USB 3.0 half the time. But, you know, if this is what I have to do to get a bunch of ports,

00:36:07   is get one of these $250 Thunderbolt dock things and have it actually work well, then I'll take that.

00:36:14   That'll be an acceptable compromise, if that's my option.

00:36:18   Yeah, so this is, I mean, the big deal about this is that it actually does have more than one USB-C connector-shaped hole on it, right?

00:36:25   So it multiplies them, but as you said, it's a waste because, you know, you don't need the 40 gigabits from those ports.

00:36:32   But if you just think of them as, "Okay, one of them I need 40 gigabits and I'll connect something, my monitor, whatever to that."

00:36:37   But the other two I don't, but just think of them as low-speed USB-C-shaped holes, and they'll work fine for that purpose.

00:36:44   I actually have a little bus-powered Thunderbolt SSD, which actually does use some of the bandwidth, maybe not all 40 gigabits.

00:36:53   But it's nice to have that. I love bus-powered drives because I hate those power adapters and everything,

00:36:59   and USB-C is a nice connector for them, and having it be Thunderbolt instead of actual USB gives it a higher bandwidth overhead.

00:37:06   And just to let everyone know, if you haven't followed the link already, the dock thing that Marco got has three Thunderbolt 4 ports on it,

00:37:12   gigabit Ethernet, and then it has three USB-A ports on the back and one USB-A port on the front, plus an SD card, plus a headphone jack.

00:37:21   And yeah, it does have an external power adapter. So it's got a lot of ports on it, and if they all work reliably,

00:37:31   like having four USB-A-shaped holes on it, that should solve all your low-speed needs.

00:37:36   And then you've got three of the high-speed ports, one of which is a monitor, and you've got two of those free for any random other USB-C-shaped peripheral,

00:37:43   or for faster stuff if you happen to have a little portable drive. So it looks like a pretty good product.

00:37:48   I have an OWC USB-C dock at work where I haven't been in ages, and it was flaky and slightly unreliable,

00:37:57   but only during the connect/disconnect. Once everything was set up and working, it was very reliable,

00:38:02   but since I'm using it with a laptop, I was constantly connecting and disconnecting it.

00:38:05   So yeah, I would hope that the Thunderbolt 1 would be more reliable than my USB-C one was,

00:38:10   but I still have affection for it because when it was working, it did give me all the ports that I was missing, and it was nice.

00:38:15   Yeah, I'm hoping, because the whole promise of Thunderbolt is to help laptops have most of the benefits of desktops.

00:38:24   That's the whole benefit here, is like, okay, we gave up a lot when the laptops went to USB-C. Gave up a lot.

00:38:33   But the promise is, oh, now you don't need all of your, quote, "legacy" ports to be built into the laptop,

00:38:40   because you can just turn this one amazing universal port into whatever else you need with these commonplace adapters and things.

00:38:48   And I mean, there's a lot of problems with that logic, especially when you realize you don't always have your adapters with you,

00:38:53   or you don't have the right adapters, and they all cost money and all that stuff.

00:38:57   But that entire promise, the upside of that promise, is predicated on the assumption that these adapters will exist,

00:39:05   and that they will work, and they'll be reliable, and there will be an ecosystem of good ones to buy.

00:39:10   And that's been really hard to actually have happen in practice. It almost never has happened in practice.

00:39:18   So if the Thunderbolt ecosystem is now finally getting to the maturity and to a broad offering of products to actually make that dream come true,

00:39:30   then great. If this can make our laptops work better and we have to use them more like desktops, which a lot of people do, that's fantastic.

00:39:37   I just hope we're there, because we keep being promised this, and it keeps not quite happening for a lot of people.

00:39:44   One day, one day. Imagine they had different cables with different ends for when they served different purposes. Wouldn't that be amazing?

00:39:55   Yeah, imagine if you could just look at a cable and know whether it would work or not.

00:39:58   That would be so awesome.

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00:41:53   I would like to tell you a story. I have tried Apple Fitness Plus.

00:41:58   Ooh.

00:41:59   And I actually kind of really liked it. And now I don't know what to do with myself.

00:42:03   It is not perfect. It is not without flaws. There is nothing that is so perfect that it cannot be complained about.

00:42:08   Hi, John. But I actually really liked it. Now, Marco, as the more prolific exerciser of the two of you, have you tried this yet at all?

00:42:15   I have not had a chance yet. No, because of all the various logistical things that we've been doing.

00:42:20   But I heard it launched and I'm actually looking forward to trying it. But first I want to hear what you have to say.

00:42:27   Right. So Apple Fitness Plus is their new like exercise video streaming service thing.

00:42:34   I believe it is part of the most expensive, what is it, Apple One? I can't even keep it all straight anymore.

00:42:40   It's the Apple Two bundle. The One is the cheaper one. The Two is the more expensive one.

00:42:45   Yeah, that's right. That's right. And it's II, not the new one.

00:42:48   It's pronounced "E". The Apple "E".

00:42:52   So anyway, if you were to do it as a standalone thing, it's $10 a month or $80 a year.

00:42:58   And if you get a new Apple Watch, you get three months for free. And guess who got a new Apple Watch just a month or so back.

00:43:03   So I started my free trial. I don't remember off the top of my head specifically which exercises I did.

00:43:09   But I've done it two different days and I've done a sum total of I think five workouts.

00:43:14   And the workouts, like leaving aside some of the integration which is I think the more interesting stuff to talk about.

00:43:21   We'll talk about that in a second. The workouts I thought were pretty good.

00:43:24   For context, and I think I've talked about this briefly and/or obliquely in the past.

00:43:29   But Erin has gotten considerably more into her personal health and fitness over the last couple of years.

00:43:36   And has been a very devout exerciser. And has typically been using this service called Beachbody On Demand.

00:43:42   And you might know of Beachbody because of P90X several years ago.

00:43:46   You might know them because they are definitely a disgusting dirty MLM, a multi-level marketing thing like Mary Kay and things like that.

00:43:54   However, their exercise videos taken only the exercise videos and none of the BS around it.

00:44:00   They're actually, in my personal opinion, I'm not a doctor, I know nothing about health, they seem pretty good to me.

00:44:06   And I've done a couple of different programs on there and I've really liked them.

00:44:10   So if you can leave aside, you know, "Oh, become a coach, become a coach, become a coach, sign people up, sign people up, sign people up."

00:44:15   If you leave all that aside, which if you're just watching the videos you don't really see any of that, I actually like them.

00:44:20   And typically the programs I like to do are more like lifting weights with a little bit of high, what is it, high impact?

00:44:28   High intensity interval training I believe.

00:44:30   There you go, thank you. That's it, that's it. So I do those sorts of things.

00:44:33   I recently completed a boxing themed program which is a very not Casey thing to do but I actually kind of liked it.

00:44:38   Is it the opposite of unboxing? You take electronics and you put them into boxes?

00:44:42   That's right, that's right.

00:44:45   So anyways, that's the context for which I'm coming to Apple Fitness Plus.

00:44:50   I never have had a personal trainer. Now I certainly have no interest in it with all the COVID stuff going around.

00:44:57   And in a perfect world I'd love to have a personal trainer but I'm too cheap and too scared of the inside and too scared of other people.

00:45:05   So I'm just doing this in a very amateur way.

00:45:07   You know they can do it over video chat, right?

00:45:10   That's true.

00:45:11   This is what we've been doing. Like Tiff and I, our trainer moved before COVID but we've been still using him just over FaceTime.

00:45:18   It's like an Apple commercial before they even had their own fitness thing.

00:45:21   We had Apple watches, he can see the stats and we do workouts over FaceTime and it's totally fine and we've been doing it for like a year.

00:45:30   I probably should look into that at some point. But again, I'm just trying to establish context.

00:45:33   So I came to Apple Fitness Plus, a very amateur veteran of a specific flavor of workout video.

00:45:42   And so I thought, well this seems on the surface like it's effectively equivalent.

00:45:46   And so let's take a look.

00:45:47   And once you upgrade to the latest version of iOS, in the Fitness app you can go in and there's a new tab in the center called Fitness Plus.

00:45:56   And once you've enabled your free demo or if you've paid for it, then you get just basically a list of exercises.

00:46:03   And I don't love a lot of the user interactions and setup in the Fitness app.

00:46:10   Like it's good but not great which is very typical of Apple these days.

00:46:14   However, once you pick a workout, and in my case what I was doing is I was using my iPad Pro hooked up to their 70 or whatever dollar it is.

00:46:25   USB-C to HDMI dongle and then HDMI into my TV.

00:46:30   And I'm doing this all because this is in the bedroom where we do have an Apple TV but it's one of the like OG pre-installable apps.

00:46:37   Apple TVs, you know what I'm talking about? Like with the old remote, the old silver remote.

00:46:41   And the reason I have that in the upstairs, I'm saying all this because I don't want to get email.

00:46:44   The reason I have that in the upstairs is because we have a 1080 semi-modern Apple TV downstairs that is hooked up to our 4K TV.

00:46:52   And as I've complained about several times recently, I've been waiting for over a year to get the Apple TV that's surely going to be refreshed tomorrow.

00:47:00   And surely will have been refreshed tomorrow for every tomorrow for the last 365 tomorrows.

00:47:05   And I've been waiting to get a new 4K one for downstairs and the 1080 will get bumped upstairs.

00:47:09   And then I won't need to do all this junk with my iPad and so on and so forth.

00:47:13   Because Fitness Plus does have its own dedicated Apple TV app.

00:47:16   But nevertheless, that was my setup. So I have an iPad connected to a TV and I've got my watch.

00:47:22   And I went in and I selected a workout and I knew that this was the way it was supposed to work.

00:47:29   But all of a sudden my watch buzzes and I look down and it says, "Okay."

00:47:33   You know, I forget exactly what it was but it's, "Okay, strength with Greg."

00:47:36   And it shows that on the TV, it shows it on my watch and I hit play on my watch and sure enough the TV starts playing.

00:47:42   Again, it's really my iPad. And it's all integrated.

00:47:44   You know, I control it with my watch, the TV changes. If I pause on the TV, the watch pauses its workout.

00:47:48   It already knows what workout I'm doing. I don't have to go in there and say, "Well, I'm doing a strength workout."

00:47:52   It immediately knows not only that I'm doing a strength workout but I'm specifically doing strength with Greg for 20 minutes.

00:47:59   So that's pretty neat. I like that so far.

00:48:02   So then I start the workout. And up in the upper left, I can see, you know, like the progress in terms of time through the workout.

00:48:09   In certain workouts, you can see, I forget what they call it, like a little bar that indicates basically are you a worse exerciser than the other people who have done the same exercise or are you better?

00:48:19   Ouch!

00:48:20   Yeah, which is motivating but also a little unnerving.

00:48:25   And especially because on the one I did that did have this bar, I wish I could remember the name of it and I forgot to write it down.

00:48:31   But I was like all the way on the good end, which is really surprising because I'm not a terribly fit person.

00:48:39   I mean, I do workout pretty much every day but I'm still not the most terribly fit person in the entire world.

00:48:44   And so I'm all the way on the one end, which makes me wonder--

00:48:47   I think you're significantly more fit than the average Apple test engineer is what you're seeing.

00:48:51   Well, maybe. Or is it that I'm unfit and I'm working so darn hard in order to keep up that it's like, "Wow, you're kicking ass over here."

00:49:00   Meanwhile I'm like, "Ahh! Ahh!" You know, dying or whatever. But anyway.

00:49:05   So they do this workout and of course it's like this beautiful Apple commercial basically in terms of the set and the staging.

00:49:12   And in the workouts I've done it's typically like the main host, if you will, the trainer.

00:49:17   And then there's two other trainers in the background and they're not like fill people, you know?

00:49:25   They're not like the red shirts from Star Trek. These are like other actual trainers.

00:49:30   No, just like dancing in the background.

00:49:32   Yeah, exactly. But they're other legit trainers. It's not like there's only the one star and then those knuckleheads off the street.

00:49:38   Like these are other stars in the context of Apple Fitness Plus, but they're doing somebody else's workout instead of leading their own.

00:49:44   And so I start the workout, you know, I see the progress in the upper left and in the upper right I see my rings.

00:49:50   Which is such a dumb thing, but I gotta tell you it is super frickin' satisfying as you're doing this workout.

00:49:58   Watching your green ring go further and further around. Watching your red ring go further and further around.

00:50:03   It is deeply satisfying. And it's updating, I mean, perhaps not real time, but near as makes no difference.

00:50:10   It seems as though it's real time. And so I'm just doing my thing, doing my exercise.

00:50:15   And the trainer, I've had a couple of trainers now, and they're good. They're varying levels of cheesy, which is to be expected.

00:50:24   And various levels of synthetic happy, which is to be expected. That's not unusual.

00:50:28   But they're good. And they're personable and mostly relatable. And I enjoyed them. And I enjoyed the workouts.

00:50:36   And in and of itself, if you're doing something to move your body and this thing is successfully making you move your body, then I'd say it's a success.

00:50:48   But where it gets really frickin' cool is during the workout they say something like, "Oh, your heart should really be racing or your heart rate should really be spiking right now."

00:50:58   And sure enough, the heads-up display that shows your heart rate highlights your specific heart rate instead of showing your current heart rate of 120 beats per minute or whatever.

00:51:07   It says, "Okay, your current heart rate is 120 beats per minute. By the way, your lowest heart rate was 70 and your highest heart rate was 160."

00:51:14   I'm making up the numbers, but you get the idea. And this is changing on screen perfectly with the trainer saying, "Oh, your heart should be spiking right now. Your heart rate should be spiking right now."

00:51:26   It's such a dumb trick. It's such a stupid thing. And really, I don't feel like it's that technically challenging a thing to implement when you own the whole widget.

00:51:35   But gosh, if it isn't so cool to see as you're in the middle of this workout. It's just very, very, very cool.

00:51:42   And then another time, the trainer was like, "Oh, you should be closing those rings right about now," or something like that. I forget what they said.

00:51:52   And sure enough, the rings on the upper right-hand side of the screen, they get much bigger and they start showing you or highlighting the fact that you're very close or whatever the case may be.

00:52:00   And if you close your move or exercise or whatever rings as you're working out, it does a whole animation in sparklies and whatnot to call to your attention that, "Hey, you've finished your exercise ring."

00:52:09   The integration is so cool. It's so silly but so neat that if I smash the space bar on my iPad Pro to pause it, sure enough, like I said a minute ago, the Apple Watch workout pauses.

00:52:24   And when I'm used to doing these Beachbody workouts, it is not a difficult thing to hit pause on both my watch and my iPad.

00:52:31   But it is so convenient not to have to. It's so dumb. I know it's dumb, but it's so convenient.

00:52:38   And then they also have really, really good music, which is not surprising from Apple.

00:52:44   One of the funny things about the Fitness+ workouts is that as you're selecting them, if you're looking through the title cards, so the super, super small view, like the gallery view.

00:52:57   So for example, I'm looking at, "Try something new. Strength with another trainer," which is Strength with Sam, "30 minutes pure dance."

00:53:03   And so you see right there on the tin what kind of music it is. And then you can drill in and you see that it's Sam Sanchez, it's 31 minutes pure dance.

00:53:12   Apparently it was new today. You'll need a mat, dumbbells, it's total body.

00:53:17   And then if you scroll down a little bit, it has one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine different songs.

00:53:22   And they tell you exactly which songs they are, who they're by. And they give you a nice little thing to listen to Apple Music if you're an Apple Music subscriber, which I'm not because as much as Spotify is evil, I really like them.

00:53:31   So nevertheless, you can play the music that they play in the workout right there in your phone or your iPad.

00:53:40   And additionally, they do like a little card, like a YouTube-style card on the top of the screen when the music changes.

00:53:46   And all of it was just so incredibly, incredibly well done. And I really, really, really liked it a lot more than I thought I would.

00:53:55   I have some complaints about the UI in the phone and the iPad in terms of selecting a workout, but any questions on the workout itself or any thoughts about that?

00:54:04   Do they have a jam-band version?

00:54:07   No.

00:54:08   No one can dance to that, Marco.

00:54:10   Well, nobody can dance well to that. Unfortunately, they do have some like, some like chill, I forgot the other word for it, downtempo is a genre that I can't define well, but I really like.

00:54:21   This is like Massive Attack or Zero Seven. And I went searching for some of that just based on music, not based on the exercise.

00:54:28   And unsurprisingly, the only exercises that had that kind of music were like yoga and stretching and stuff like that, which is perfectly fine, but not what I was looking for at the time, which was a bummer.

00:54:37   But no jam-band stuff that I saw, although one of the workouts I did see has Never Gonna Give You Up as the first song in the workout, which I thought was quite funny, or whatever the Rick Astley song is, you know what I'm thinking of.

00:54:49   It's one of the limitations, at least you can tell me it's a limitation, I think it is, that's been bothering me a bit about this, especially with the onscreen prompts and everything, is that you can only, it only works for one person at a time, right?

00:55:01   That is my understanding. Coincidentally, Aaron and I had planned to do a workout together today and we just didn't get a chance to.

00:55:07   So I'm not 100% sure, but I am almost positive that that is correct, that I think whoever is the assigned account, so for Aaron and me, the Apple TV is signed into me by default.

00:55:20   So I think, having not done this, that other Apple watches in the vicinity would pick up the correct workout, but the things that are shown on the screen are specifically for me and my watch, as far as I know.

00:55:34   Yeah, that seems like the biggest gap for a version two, and it's not like people have giant gyms in front of their televisions, but very often, especially in these quarantine times and everything, one of the things that can motivate you to work out is someone else who lives with you also encouraging each other to do it.

00:55:48   So if someone is not in the mood to make the other person do it, but you can't kind of do the workout together if the feedback is only going to one person, or if it doesn't track both of them or whatever, so it would be interesting for you guys to try that, to see what happens if you try to do it with two people in front of the television.

00:56:03   When you did the Beach Bod things, did you do them just by yourself, or did you do them with Aaron?

00:56:07   Almost exclusively by myself, and she'll be downstairs with the TV in the living room, in the good Apple TV, and then I'll be up again with my iPad upstairs.

00:56:17   We have done them a couple times together, specifically the early boxing workouts. We had done the first few together, and then for uninteresting reasons ended up not being able to complete them together, like finish the program together.

00:56:28   But Beachbody has no sort of integration of any kind. In fact, from my limited experience, and again, basically all I do with the Beachbody app is go in, pick a workout, and do it.

00:56:37   I don't explore the app or anything like that, but my limited experience says that there's no real integration with the Apple Watch. They don't seem to really acknowledge that the Apple Watch even exists.

00:56:48   It's just straight up, it's like Netflix for exercise, which is ostensibly what Fitness Plus is, but Fitness Plus has the music integration, and the Apple Watch integration, and all that, whereas Beachbody has none of those things, as far as I can tell.

00:57:04   Now, conversely, I've never done anything with Peloton, and I feel a little scared bringing up Peloton because I feel like they're really, really devout fans, and I don't want to upset any other groups.

00:57:14   I've already ticked off Tesla and Google and everyone else.

00:57:18   Well, I feel like on the scale of totally fine to Tesla, or maybe Joe Rogan being the worst, Peloton on this scale is not very high ranked, but they're also not zero.

00:57:30   That's fair, that's fair. So anyway, I have not done anything with any Peloton. Everyone I know who has one, and I know a handful of people that have a Peloton device now, all love them. Like, not just a little, they love them.

00:57:45   And my limited understanding is that there's some amount of integration there, but again, I don't have one, I've never tried it, so I don't have any particular facts to share, but I think that there is more than zero integration with Peloton.

00:57:57   Yeah, I've tried my for like two seconds once. I too have a few friends who have them, and they all love them, just like that. They have remarkable customer loyalty and seemingly customer satisfaction, as far as I can tell, just anecdotally.

00:58:11   Yeah, and there's no question, I think Peloton is probably the most direct alternative or competitor to this, but Peloton requires you to buy the bike, which is not only a pretty large commitment in terms of you better know that you're going to like it, but also it's a ton of money up front and takes a ton of space in your house.

00:58:30   And so it's really like, it's much more of a thing to get into than what Apple's doing, which is, well, take the stuff you already have and maybe like move the couch back a bit so you have some space to move around and do this thing, which is significantly easier to get into, even though it might not reach the same levels of competitiveness and lifestyle change that something like Peloton might.

00:58:52   It's more like the entry level version of that probably, but that's actually probably where there's the most room for improvement and where Apple can make the most difference.

00:59:01   So I'm actually, I'm very much looking forward to trying this. I don't know how much I will use it because I see, Tiff and I do the FaceTime with the trainer twice a week, and many of the other days of the week, that's when I do my rowing workouts.

00:59:17   So what I can see this, where I can see this being useful is maybe like one or two days a week, instead of rowing, I do this. Or if we are, you know, once we can travel again, if we're traveling, and you know, maybe we do it on those mornings where we can't easily do the other things or whatever.

00:59:34   So I'm looking forward to just having this as an option that's always ready, that's always there so that if I need it or if I feel like doing it, I don't have to schedule with anybody, I don't have to rely on having any particular equipment with me as long as I have my Apple Watch and any of my other devices that can play the video stuff, then that's good.

00:59:53   I do share Jon's reservation about not having like multiple people in the room support, because Tiff and I often work out together, and to have this be so individual, I hope that's only a version one limitation and not something that they intend to keep that way long term.

01:00:12   Maybe they didn't want to pay the in-app purchase tax, and so it has to be an individual to individual experience being transmitted, you know, remember? No? Nothing? No one remembers that from like two months ago? Anyway, I tried, it was a good joke.

01:00:25   Anyway, no it wasn't. So I noticed, I'm curious to get your take on this Casey with the experience of it, one of the things that people have reported so far that I don't know, I hadn't really thought about how they would do this, but I was kind of assuming that the feedback loop would exist in some way and be a little bit more dynamic with like what they say on the video versus how you're actually performing, and it sounds like that's not the case.

01:00:53   It sounds like it's just a static video, and the video is the same no matter what you're doing, and it's just overlaying your stuff on top of it. Is that right?

01:01:01   That is my impression. I don't know that for sure. And since I have the floor, let me give you a little bit of real time follow up on a couple of things you just mentioned. First of all, I believe that you do not have to buy a Peloton bike anymore.

01:01:12   I think it's like obviously state or it's if my understanding is that it's really designed around having the actual device, but I thought that you could actually bring your own device to Peloton. So you set up like an iPad in front of your own bike or something like that.

01:01:27   And it does work for my understanding, but the integration obviously is not there the way they're used to, and it's not really meant for that, but you can do it, I think. Second of all, you spoke about rowing and one of the categories in Fitness Plus is rowing.

01:01:52   You could absolutely, whatever your rowing day is next, set this up on your phone or your iPad or what have you, and pop in your beloved AirPods Pro and you could row with one of these trainers.

01:02:02   And I would really encourage you to try that. In the same way that I think I was predisposed to like Fitness Plus because it's slotting into a very defined space in my life.

01:02:12   I'm already doing workout videos basically by myself as it is, you know what I mean? And so I don't have the multi-person concerns, not to say that I don't echo, but you know it's not a need that I think I have to fill because Erin typically has her own workouts, which are typically much harder than mine to do by yourself.

01:02:29   And then I have my workouts that I do by myself. And so for me it's not a big deal, but I basically wanted something that will show me decent exercise videos and that I can do for somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes on an average day.

01:02:44   And it's worked really well and actually something I didn't bring up and one of the things I really like about it is typically when I've done these Beachbody exercises, I'll go through a program.

01:02:53   And so typically every exercise will be 30 minutes or 40 minutes or what have you and it's the same trainer every day and it's a slightly different thing every day, but you're doing the same basic idea.

01:03:02   With the boxing program you're boxing every day. Now maybe you were doing these moves this day and those moves that day, but it's always boxing and that's fine. It's not a complaint.

01:03:09   But one of the things I really liked was the second day that I did Fitness Plus workouts, which was a couple days ago, I basically just went in there and said, "Well, you know what? I'm going to start with a little strength training."

01:03:18   And I did I think a 10 minute strength workout and then I did a 10 minute HIIT workout and then I did a 10 minute core workout.

01:03:23   And I kind of made this like, you know, I almost felt like I was Link, you know, cooking at the little pot in the Zelda game.

01:03:30   You know, I was making my own recipe of my own workout and I actually really liked that.

01:03:35   I liked that I could, if I wanted to, do like a 30 or 40 minute work, you know, strictly HIIT workout or strictly strength workout.

01:03:41   But it was really kind of nice to be able to just mix and match. And there's nothing in Beachbody that like prevents you from doing that, but that's not really, in my experience, it's not really what it's meant for.

01:03:51   It's meant for you're going to do this program, you're going to do it top to bottom, start to finish, and you're going to do it in the order that they expect you to.

01:03:57   And I've mixed and matched it before, but it's not as nice. And a lot of these programs are 40 minutes and I only have but about an hour window of time that I've allotted for exercise.

01:04:07   So I'm not exactly going to mix and match two 40 minute workouts in an hour, you know what I mean?

01:04:12   And so, yeah, for that reason I've really, really enjoyed it. I feel like you actually had a specific question for me 20 minutes ago, but I've already forgotten what it was.

01:04:21   It was about like whether the staticness of the videos is something that's a problem or like does it feel like you're just kind of doing this in the void?

01:04:30   Because like one of the big advantages of Peloton, and I don't know how the other systems do it, but one of the big advantages of Peloton is that it has this live class mechanic and these leaderboards and everything.

01:04:41   So there's all this like live and dynamic functionality so that you get feedback about what you're doing and it can be called out by an instructor or it can be integrated into some other functionality.

01:04:53   If you're a competitive person, which I'm actually not at all, but if you're a competitive person there's angles to that that can appeal to you and everything.

01:05:00   With version one this seems a lot like you're just alone in the void, right? Is there anything to like draw you in besides your own satisfaction?

01:05:09   Not really. So there's that red line that I spoke about earlier, but literally all it is is an icon on a line, you know what I mean? So it's not what you're talking about. It's not like, "Oh, good job, Blista, for doing that really good work."

01:05:23   That's a throwback. If you don't know what I'm talking about, that's a throwback.

01:05:27   But there's no, there's actually Casey's Apple ID as well. Don't tell anybody.

01:05:31   No, it's not. But anyway, there's no like calling out or anything like that. To the best that I can tell, the videos are completely static. There's no real editing or real-time modifications.

01:05:44   So if you're heaving on the floor and clearly not doing the workout, they're not going to yell at you or anything like that.

01:05:50   The tough thing about a trainer, especially in a workout video, is that for me it's a very, very, very fine line between being like the life coach and being like synthetically upbeat.

01:06:07   Be like, "Yeah, you can do this, man. You can do this. You've got it. Just give me three more." And like it's real easy with me to just go way off the deep end on that for me to just find it super gross.

01:06:17   Those are crappy trainers.

01:06:19   Yeah, and then you can have like the super clinical like, "Three more reps. Two more reps. One more rep."

01:06:25   Those are also crappy trainers.

01:06:26   Right, exactly. And so there's this very fine line where you have some amount of enthusiasm and some amount of like personality, but not so much that you're like, "Oh my God, like relax with this."

01:06:39   And I actually felt like the trainers have walked that line pretty darn well. They're not exceedingly like super crazy bubbly for the most part, but they're not robots either.

01:06:51   And they've dripped in like just enough of their personal histories as you're doing these workouts that you kind of start to see them as people and not just trainers.

01:07:00   Like as an example, Greg mentioned like offhandedly that he used to live in New York and now he lives in LA and he made some mention about like some crappy apartment he had in New York or whatever the case may be.

01:07:08   And like obviously I don't remember specifically what was said and it doesn't really matter, but that's nice to have this human connection with these trainers so that you feel like they're people.

01:07:18   And no, they're not saying, you know, "Let's just pick it up," or, you know, "Oh, great job on this one."

01:07:23   But at least there's enough personality to them that you can tell that they're people.

01:07:29   And actually, interestingly, I forgot to mention, if you go looking through the Fitness+ app or the Fitness app in the Fitness+ tab, as you find a trainer, they'll talk about like their brief history and whatnot and prominently is a link to their Instagram account.

01:07:43   So you can presumably follow them on Instagram.

01:07:45   And also I should note, I'd heard rumblings, I forget where, that they were instructed to learn at least the basics of sign language so they could like greet or say goodbye with sign or say thank you with American Sign Language, which I've seen a little bit of, which I thought was really cool.

01:08:02   Also, there's a pretty diverse cast of trainers, which is great.

01:08:05   And one of the strength training exercises I did was with Amir, who had lost one of his legs due to an accident.

01:08:12   So like here it is, I'm huffing and puffing doing these leg workouts with two perfectly functional legs.

01:08:17   And this guy is down a leg and is still instructing, which I think is super cool.

01:08:22   Like, I don't know, maybe that's lame or not very woke of me, but I think it's cool that they have people that are differently bodied that are able to not only participate, but instruct on these workouts.

01:08:33   And it's been really great.

01:08:34   And there's some British people on there.

01:08:36   There's a handful, obviously a bunch of Americans.

01:08:38   Those are the only experiences I've had so far.

01:08:40   There very well could be, you know, other cultures and whatnot.

01:08:43   But again, I've really, really been impressed with it.

01:08:46   I don't know for sure if I'm going to stick with it, but it's a pretty good chance that leaving aside like iCloud storage and Apple Music and all the other things that come with the bundles,

01:08:55   I would probably, I'm almost sure that I'm going to pay for at least Fitness Plus because I've been really, really impressed with it in the short time I've spent with it.

01:09:03   And when do you just give up and get the whole bundle?

01:09:06   When do you buy Apple II?

01:09:08   I probably will, to be honest, but I haven't sat down and looked at it and looked at what I do and don't want from the bundle, from the Apple E bundle and see if it's worth it.

01:09:17   But my expectation is I probably will do exactly that.

01:09:20   Yeah, you're probably already in the black in terms of how much you would spend based on that stuff, especially if you start factoring in iCloud backups of kids' iOS devices, which will become more important as they get older and get actual data.

01:09:34   Yep, yep, yep.

01:09:35   Now this whole Fitness Plus thing, we talked about it before when it was first announced and released, but just hearing you talk about it again, it reminds me of what a weird technological middle ground this is.

01:09:47   So we have things like Peloton, which is kind of a different thing, we can put that aside.

01:09:51   But for all the tech and controlling this whole tech stack, if this really is, as Casey described it, it's like a fancied up version of the VHS aerobics videos my mother would do.

01:10:03   Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely.

01:10:05   You'd rent the VHS tape or buy it more likely, you'd stick it in and you'd have the instructor encouraging you to go on, and it's the same tape every time.

01:10:11   Now obviously this changes, right, and they have different instructors and different classes, so it's better than just that one tape, but you could in theory keep buying new tapes, right?

01:10:17   And Peloton is slightly different than they have the live classes, but a lot of the live classes aren't every moment of the day, so there are the pre-recorded ones as well.

01:10:26   But now I'm thinking of something that is at the other extreme, we have the VHS tape on one side, and at the other extreme is not Peloton, certainly not Apple Fitness Plus, it's something like Wii Fit, right?

01:10:39   Where it is entirely interactive because it's a video game, and if you do start lagging and slow down, like the whole point is constant feedback.

01:10:47   You're doing this poorly or you're doing really well, or keep up with this or whatever, and granted there's rubber banding and all the other gamification things they use to try to match your skill level, but it is 100% interactive with what you're doing.

01:11:02   And if you don't do the exercise or don't do it well or satisfactory, there's no question about it.

01:11:07   Whereas if you put in a VHS tape and you just get tired and sit in front of the tape eating Oreos, the tape doesn't know, right? It just keeps playing, right?

01:11:14   And Fitness Plus, it sounds like what they've done is, well it's like the VHS tape but we have an overlay of your info and we can highlight it at certain points.

01:11:22   Which is kind of a shame because a very basic choose your own adventure style interactive thing, where depending on how well you're doing, the second half is either more intense or less intense, right?

01:11:35   Or even something as simple as it looks like you're really slowing down and struggling based on the accelerometers in your watch, so we will cut to the part where we slow it down and give you some encouragement and tell you what to do if you're having trouble.

01:11:50   Just anything.

01:11:52   Modify, make it a little bit easier.

01:11:54   Yeah, exactly. I'm not saying go full Wii Fit because that's obviously not people on video, it's computerized thing. Things like with the balance board where you're trying to do some exercise and they're showing you where your center of gravity is and everything like that.

01:12:07   You can't have that level of interaction with actual humans who at some point have to be in front of a camera because you can't have them do every possible thing that they might need to do.

01:12:14   But you can have some sort of dialogue tree or whatever where depending on what you're doing as detected roughly by the accelerometer that you're wearing and your risk and your heart rate monitor and everything like that, have a few branching paths.

01:12:30   Maybe they do that because Casey's only done a few of these and if they do it seamlessly, he might not even notice if you just stay within the happy path. It could be they do do those divergences, but I feel like that kind of interactivity is exactly what Apple should be doing along with what they're already doing, which is, hey, let's integrate all the devices we already have and the multi-user thing because like Peloton, I mean, whether you have the bike or you get your own bike, it's only one person on a bike.

01:12:53   So you got to have two bikes no matter what. And once you have two bikes, you got it's instanced, right? That's their sharding mechanism. You got two bikes, you got two screens, you got two Peloton, you're fine.

01:13:01   The whole point of this one is you got one big TV and especially if it doesn't do any forking, you have two people in front of it.

01:13:08   Like I know it gets more complicated when you have multiple people in front of TV and how you can adjust to multiple people or whatever. But that I feel like is the challenge.

01:13:14   That's the middle ground between full interactive Wii Fit, where it's a literal video game that's reacting to you in real time, which is difficult to do.

01:13:23   And by the way, Nintendo does have their Fit Ring thing, which is a similar type of exercise.

01:13:28   Not that kind of exercise, a similar type of endeavor of interactive fitness. But you got that way over there and you've got the total non-interactive VHS tape over there.

01:13:36   And in the middle of this do-it-home technologically powered workout is something like Apple Fitness Plus. And I feel like they need to move more towards the interactive side of things.

01:13:45   To not necessarily the gamification side of things, because I feel like Peloton may appeal to a different type of personality than Apple Fitness Plus does.

01:13:53   But certainly everyone can benefit from something like a workout being tailored to them better.

01:14:00   It's the why you might pay an actual human to help you do workouts, because they are literally a human and watching you and saying, "Okay, I can tell that you're struggling."

01:14:08   No computer program or pre-taped forking path thing is going to do as well as an actual human, but you want to do better than the VHS tape.

01:14:17   Something that Marco said earlier I think is extremely astute, which is that some of these, especially the HIIT exercises, those typically don't require any sort of equipment at all.

01:14:29   And if you're the kind of person like me that when you travel, or whatever that was called when we went to other places, is it called travel? Is that what it was called? It's been so long.

01:14:38   When you travel, you could hook up to a hotel TV and do a HIIT session or whatever and do that with nothing but the stuff you already had in your go bag, which is really convenient and really cool.

01:14:52   And again, you could do this with Beachbody just as much as you could do it with Apple Fitness Plus, but I don't know, I really enjoy the flexibility of it.

01:14:59   I keep obliquely mentioning some complaints. I don't love the information architecture within the app.

01:15:06   At the top, it shows all the different kinds of exercises you can do, and then it shows you more of what you do.

01:15:11   And try something new, and new this week, which is fine. And they do have a beginner section, which is great for people that have never done this sort of thing before.

01:15:19   But I don't know, I don't love that when I'm trying to figure out something to do, I'm just blindly clicking around.

01:15:26   I feel like it would be cool if I could, for example, filter by how long I want to spend, which I can do once I decide what exercise I want to do.

01:15:34   But everything starts with what exercise do you want to do? And then you can figure out, okay, who do you want to do it with? How much time do you want to spend? Etc.

01:15:41   And I wish there was a little more flexibility in that regard. But, all told, the app is not bad by any means.

01:15:47   I don't like that when it's on the iPad hooked up to a TV, it's using mirroring, it's not presenting on the TV.

01:15:55   So if I hook up Plex to the TV, it's taking up the entire TV, whereas I'm getting the vertical letterboxing when I use Fitness Plus, because it's just mirroring the iPad display to the TV.

01:16:07   It's not playing properly. And something that I've heard a lot of people complain about that I haven't tried myself is that AirPlay either doesn't work or is similarly, what is it, Pillbox, Pillarbox, whatever it's called.

01:16:19   And then I feel there was something else that somebody had said that they had tried where they got audio only but no video, presumably because of DRM.

01:16:27   I tried taking some screenshots and, of course, all I got was the HUDs, the heads-up displays, because the video was DRMed and so it was blacked out, which is really frustrating.

01:16:35   But in the grand scheme of things, again, I was definitely predisposed to like this because I'm taking something that isn't 100% by Apple but is largely doing the same thing, and I'm replacing it with something that is 100% made by Apple.

01:16:49   They own the whole widget top to bottom. And of course I enjoy it. Of course the production value is ridiculous. Of course the music is not only well chosen but extremely good quality.

01:16:58   It's not just some silly canned music that they bought from the Shutterstock of music or whatever online. It's all extremely well done, extremely pretty, extremely well shot, etc.

01:17:10   I was predisposed to like this and guess what? I really like it.

01:17:14   I wonder if they can use Apple's market power and connections to get a couple of occasional guest trainers that are celebrities of some kind. Can I have Joe Pesci talk me through a workout? Or Eddie Vedder?

01:17:29   Oh god.

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01:18:39   So I was looking through the show notes doing my pre-flight pre-flight a couple hours ago, and I noticed something interesting in the show notes.

01:18:50   And it reads, "John is thinking of upgrading to Big Sur. Talk him out of it."

01:18:55   And that was really interesting to me because I am thinking of upgrading to Big Sur and would like someone to talk me out of it if necessary.

01:19:02   To quickly set the stage, for me, my laptop, my MacBook Pro, is on Big Sur and has been since shortly after it launched.

01:19:10   But my iMac Pro is not. It is still on Catalina or whatever the hell came before Big Sur.

01:19:15   And so I haven't upgraded it for fear of messing with something that's mostly working.

01:19:21   John, what is the new shiny that is getting you to ask this question?

01:19:25   Before we get to that, Marco, are you thinking of upgrading to Big Sur? I mean, you're already using it now in your M1, right?

01:19:32   Yes. On the M1, I'm already using it. On my iMac, I was not using it.

01:19:37   And I even told the AppleCare people, like, if you have to do a reinstall, please keep it on Catalina if you can.

01:19:42   But that being said, I am also torn on this issue.

01:19:47   So, you know, for most of the last month or whatever it's been that I've had the MacBook Air, I've been going back and forth.

01:19:55   Like, when I still had the iMac also, I was going back and forth between the iMac and the MacBook Air.

01:19:58   So iMac and Catalina, MacBook Air on Big Sur.

01:20:00   And whenever I would go back to Catalina, I wouldn't miss anything about Big Sur.

01:20:07   Like, it wouldn't seem weird. Everything didn't look ancient or outdated.

01:20:12   There was nothing about Big Sur that I missed when I would go back. Absolutely nothing.

01:20:16   Which, honestly, Big Sur is a really weird sideways move.

01:20:22   Like, some things are a little bit better, some things are a little bit or maybe a lot worse.

01:20:27   Like, it has a lot of weird rough edges in its new design, which I've complained about many times.

01:20:33   It's just, it's a weird OS. And a lot of things just don't work as well.

01:20:38   A lot of things work slightly better. It's just, it's weird.

01:20:41   And so, but I think it's telling that when I would go back from it, go back to Catalina for a while,

01:20:48   there is like nothing I would miss about it.

01:20:50   You know, see also the Touch Bar.

01:20:52   Like, I had the exact same feeling about the Touch Bar.

01:20:54   It's like, I can use it, it's fine, I guess. I don't prefer it.

01:20:57   And then whenever, now that I'm on a laptop that doesn't have the Touch Bar, I don't miss the Touch Bar at all.

01:21:03   Not even for a second. There's nothing about the Touch Bar that I miss, now that I don't have it anymore.

01:21:08   And so, you know, looking at Big Sur, it's not that great, honestly.

01:21:12   However, that being said, also using Big Sur, like, it's functioning, like I'm able to use it, I'm not constantly hating it.

01:21:22   It's fine. And Catalina is not great.

01:21:28   Like Catalina, like, it seems like, you know, Catalina has always been a train wreck.

01:21:33   The entire, like, I've had so many problems with Catalina over this past year that I've never had the previous versions of macOS.

01:21:40   Just in terms of general system stability, performance, and I don't think it was Google Chrome at fault.

01:21:45   All sorts of craziness with Catalina that's just been awful.

01:21:49   And it seems like it's a very, it's an OS full of weird subsystem bugs and performance problems.

01:21:55   And Big Sur still has some of that, no question.

01:21:59   But Big Sur is the one they're actually working on right now.

01:22:03   I'm pretty sure Catalina has stopped receiving any meaningful engineering attention.

01:22:10   And so when you already, when you have a really rough OS release, like Catalina was,

01:22:18   and the engineers all move on a year later to the new version and there's no more bug-facing happening to the old one,

01:22:25   the strongest reason to stay on the old one would be if it had reached a more stable point than the new one.

01:22:33   I don't think that's actually happened with Catalina.

01:22:36   I don't think Catalina, Catalina's latest version, I don't think is any more stable than Big Sur.

01:22:42   I have no fewer problems with Catalina and it's like, you know, whatever it is, .4, .5, whatever it's reached.

01:22:50   That is just as stable or buggy to me as Big Sur 11.0 and 11.1 have been.

01:22:58   I don't think there's much reason to stay on Catalina because Catalina wasn't very good

01:23:03   and never reached that good or mostly good point that you expect an OS to reach once it's being replaced by a newer OS.

01:23:12   It never reached that point.

01:23:13   So you're not really taking any steps backward because Catalina never went forward.

01:23:19   So from that point of view, I say the update doesn't actually matter that much.

01:23:24   The main areas that has affected me are simply its design changes, which again I think are a mixed bag,

01:23:32   many of which are significantly worse, some of which are fine, and some minor functionality changes,

01:23:39   like the way, like stupid stuff, like the way searches now work differently.

01:23:44   The standard command F to find stuff in most apps now works differently and is clunkier.

01:23:50   The command option F, like the main search box in something like mail or notes, now works differently and is clunkier.

01:23:57   And mail even searches different things by default.

01:24:00   So there's stuff like that with the built-in apps or the built-in UI widgets that are still a little bit rough.

01:24:08   But the OS as a whole, Big Sur seems not worse than Catalina in stability and system services and performance and stuff like that in my experience.

01:24:21   So your mileage may vary, but for me it's kind of a toss-up.

01:24:25   I'm not super motivated to update my iMac to Big Sur, but I also don't really know what I'm waiting for because Catalina is not good either.

01:24:34   That's kind of my question about, you know, I guess the heart of what I was saying.

01:24:39   What am I waiting for? Why have I not upgraded already? Am I afraid that I don't want to upgrade because I have software that's not compatible?

01:24:45   Well, no, I don't. Am I afraid that there's some amazing new feature that I need that I desperately want to have?

01:24:53   Not really, but there's two main threads here. One of them is like what Marco said.

01:24:59   Big Sur is where the development is happening. New versions of Big Sur are coming out, and each new version brings with it hope that whatever it is that's annoying you will be fixed or better.

01:25:08   And the second thing is new features that I wanted, which I'll get to in a second, but getting back to the original question of what's stopping me, upgrading is a pain in the butt.

01:25:18   It takes a long time. If it goes wrong, you have to restore from a backup. That takes a long time. It's just a whole thing.

01:25:23   And given my podcasting schedule, there's never a good time to destroy my computer accidentally.

01:25:30   I already did that once when I had the, coincidentally, the Big Sur beta that hosed my firmware that took me a million years to figure out that was a big disaster.

01:25:39   That's a pain. So my thinking and the reason this topic is in here is like, well, over the holidays, I'll probably have a big hole in my podcasting schedule because no one wants to podcast around the holidays.

01:25:49   So that's a good time. Finally, there'll be a good time for me to dive in and upgrade. And my thinking is the same as Marco's.

01:25:56   Well, not quite the same. The whole idea is I don't want to leave because everyone's telling me that Big Sur has stability problems because it's new, but Catalina is rock solid.

01:26:05   Well, my experience with Catalina hasn't been rock solid, but it hasn't been bad either.

01:26:11   But on the flip side of that, I have Big Sur running on the other computer in this room, and I don't have any problems with that in terms of features or stability either.

01:26:17   So it seems like it's like a lateral move in terms of stability.

01:26:21   Normally, you would think the OS that's been out for an entire year would have really settled down and gotten solved and the new one will be flaky.

01:26:27   And in my experience, the one that's been around for a year, stability and features and everything and bugs seem fine.

01:26:34   And so does the one that just came out, Big Sur. And is it because Catalina never really got that stable?

01:26:40   Or is it because Big Sur actually is very stable and it's 0.0 and 0.1? I don't know.

01:26:44   But either way, it doesn't feel like a risk in that regard.

01:26:48   The UI stuff I know is going to annoy me because it annoys me on the other computer that has Big Sur on it.

01:26:52   But I do know this is the end of the line for Catalina.

01:26:55   It'll get security patches and new versions of Safari and that's it.

01:26:59   And every once in a while, I'll see a program come out that's Big Sur only and I'll be like, "Oh, I can't run that because I'm not on the latest thing."

01:27:06   So I'm getting that itch to go to the latest thing.

01:27:08   And as I mentioned before, the new features that I actually care about, the things that are making me want to go to Big Sur, one of them, in case you just put in the notes and I'll steal it from, the new version of Messages.

01:27:18   It always annoyed me that the Mac version of Messages couldn't do all the things.

01:27:21   And yes, I know it's weird and has UI issues or whatever, but I want to just get that updated in the hopes that, again, that's where all the development effort is happening.

01:27:31   Mac Messages has not had much development effort poured into it over the past couple of years.

01:27:35   And now that it's newly, what is it, as a catalyst? I forget.

01:27:38   Yeah.

01:27:39   Now that it's newly catalyst, I'm hoping that'll get better.

01:27:42   But the second one, this is going to sound dumb, but it's going to be predictable for me.

01:27:46   The main feature that's making me want to upgrade is that I think about what my big Mac Pro does most of the time and mostly what I have to babysit it doing.

01:27:56   I'm not using it for hours a day. I use it during podcasting and I use it during the day to do my own computer stuff or whatever.

01:28:02   Unless I'm in a big project, unless I'm working on one of my apps or I'm trying to make a Destiny video or whatever, but most of the time the computer is just kind of like hanging out doing its thing.

01:28:11   But one thing it does do every day, every week, every hour, is it backs itself up.

01:28:18   Right?

01:28:19   And it's not backing up a lot because I'm not producing a lot of new data each day, but I do want to have a recent backup.

01:28:27   So every week it does a super duper clone and every whenever it does a time machine back up to two different locations.

01:28:33   And it's been annoying me how long it takes to do an incremental time machine backup of my four terabyte drive with a hoejillion files in it.

01:28:41   And I have seen from personal experience that time machine in Big Sur, because of its taking advantage of new APFS features, is much, much, much faster.

01:28:51   In fact, this is way down in the show notes. I need to scroll to find it.

01:28:53   We'll put a link in case you scroll way down to get this.

01:28:57   Ars Technica in its Big Sur review from ages ago did a benchmark of how long does it take to do the initial backup and then an incremental backup in Catalina versus Big Sur.

01:29:08   And the difference is pretty big.

01:29:10   You know, for a local backup, the initial backup took 44 minutes in Catalina and 16 minutes in Big Sur.

01:29:17   This is apples to apples, same computer, same number of files, same everything.

01:29:20   A local backup took eight minutes in Catalina and two in Big Sur.

01:29:25   I'm assuming these numbers will scale.

01:29:27   Fortunately, a network backup was one hour and 52 minutes versus one hour and 15 minutes.

01:29:31   Big Sur is way faster at doing incremental backups.

01:29:36   And this is important to me because one of the things I have my computer do is while I'm asleep, it wakes up, it mounts one of my internal hard drives to the time machine back and goes back to sleep.

01:29:44   And I'm looking at how long that's taking and I'm like, "Geez, it takes a long time." Or sometimes there's another backup already running and it tries to stop that backup and that takes a long time and the cleaning up step is taking a long time.

01:29:56   And I'm like, "What I wouldn't give for my time machine backup speeds to be cut in half because they just seem unreasonable."

01:30:04   And I know I have a lot of files.

01:30:06   I understand that just, like the main problem is like it's spending most of its time figuring out what is it that I need to back up.

01:30:13   And you can see it, especially when I do my nightly one because there's more stuff that's built up.

01:30:17   The preparing to back up step, and especially since it's doing to a spinning disk, the preparing to back up step is like I need to figure out what changed since the last time I did a backup.

01:30:25   And then eventually it figures it out and it's like 100 megs of stuff and writes 100 megs of stuff fairly quickly.

01:30:31   Not as quickly as you would imagine because you think copying 100 megs of stuff would take two seconds, but a reasonable amount of time.

01:30:37   I think it spends like 10 to 20 times more time figuring out what needs to back up and that's exactly where the new version of Time Machine and APFS on Big Sur excels.

01:30:46   In that it has a more efficient way to figure out what has changed since the last time I back up.

01:30:51   At least that's my understanding of what's making it faster.

01:30:53   But either way, the benchmarks show that it's getting way faster.

01:30:56   So that's probably the most demanding thing my computer does.

01:30:59   Again, when I'm not editing video and not compiling an exode, doing backups is the most demanding thing.

01:31:05   I don't notice the demand, like my fans don't get any louder, my computer doesn't get any slower, but what does happen is I notice a little Time Machine icon, like it is right now, with a little arrow in my menu bar.

01:31:15   And what it means is, "Oh, I was going to put my computer to sleep when I got up and left it, but I should just let it finish its backup."

01:31:21   So I don't put it to sleep. I just leave it and I don't have it set to go to sleep by itself.

01:31:26   I'm like, "I'll come back later when it's done with the backup and I'll put it to sleep."

01:31:29   And I come back later and it's still not done.

01:31:31   And then I go back and I have lunch and take the dog for a walk and I come back later and it's still not done.

01:31:36   I'm like, "Oh my God!" And then I just give up and put it to sleep, but now I haven't completed a backup.

01:31:40   It's frustrating to me.

01:31:42   Big Sur is attracting me with APFS-accelerated Time Machine backups of all things.

01:31:50   And the Messages app, I suppose, and other new apps.

01:31:53   And so I'm tempted to take this holiday break/week/whatever to be the time when I do all my last backups and do the big update and hope I don't hose myself and find out all my programs that might be broken, even though I think there aren't any of them.

01:32:10   There's always one or two hiding somewhere and deal with all that stuff and update it.

01:32:14   And I was hoping one of you would tell me, "Don't do it because..." Is 11.1 even out yet?

01:32:19   Yeah.

01:32:20   Anyway, I haven't heard anything bad keeping me away.

01:32:24   And I do want faster backups. I've just been afraid to bite the bullet.

01:32:28   But Casey, what's attracting you to it, besides Messages?

01:32:31   So Messages, in part because it's... Oh yeah, 11.1 is out, huh?

01:32:35   Messages in part because it is so kind of messed up on Catalina.

01:32:41   But I have come to really, really like... I forget the name of...

01:32:45   It's called pinning in the user interface, but I don't know if it has a marketing name. But I've come to really, really like the thing in iOS 14 and in Big Sur where you can put a group...

01:32:54   Or you can move someone so that they're always at the top of the Messages list. Always.

01:32:59   So for example, on all of my devices except my iMac, Erin is the very top of the list on Messages.

01:33:05   Always, always, always. She will never move because I've put her there.

01:33:08   And then I have like a handful of other people. It strikes me as very... What was it? Like top 9 or whatever on Myspace?

01:33:15   I would never really use Myspace, but you know what I'm thinking of?

01:33:17   It was like you would put your bestest friends up there. And that was like very political from what I gathered.

01:33:23   Well anyways, it's kind of like that.

01:33:25   I have a... It's top 6 on the phone and I do the pinning as well.

01:33:29   And here's the problem I have. You can tell me if you have this problem as well.

01:33:31   So I put my family as the top. I have my wife and my two children. And then I have my parents.

01:33:39   And then there's one spot left.

01:33:42   Oh, that's the worst. Yep.

01:33:44   So who gets... And you don't want it to not be symmetrical.

01:33:47   And so you can pick another relative. But then what I...

01:33:51   See, you think you're ranking them. It's like, "Okay, well my family should be there first because that just makes sense."

01:33:56   And I message them. And then for the next rows, do you prioritize people in terms of your relation?

01:34:02   Like, "Oh, it should be my parents," or something like that?

01:34:04   Or do you put people there who are the people you actually message more often?

01:34:08   For me, I have 9 now in my phone. And it's funny you say that because for the longest time I had 6.

01:34:15   I have Aaron, a group chat that's between my parents and Aaron and me.

01:34:19   My three brothers... Excuse me, my two brothers, or three of us total.

01:34:22   My two brothers and myself. I count good. My two brothers and myself. That's the top row.

01:34:26   And then the two subsequent rows are almost entirely group chats.

01:34:31   But generally they're just the people that I'm constantly either wanting to send things to or just happen to talk with all the time.

01:34:38   And so that represents the next two rows.

01:34:41   But it's funny that you bring up the empty space thing because for a long time I felt like I wanted to move from two rows to three rows.

01:34:48   So from 6 to 9 of these pinned messages.

01:34:51   But I couldn't come up with an even 3 for what I wanted on the new row.

01:34:55   So I just didn't do it until I finally came up with what I felt like was the good next row of people.

01:35:01   Or of group chats, I think the case may be.

01:35:04   The other thing about doing it based on frequency is if you really do message them frequently, they'll be at the top anyway.

01:35:09   Right below the pinned ones because that's how it prioritizes.

01:35:11   So I spend a long time trying to figure out who should be in these top ones.

01:35:15   I feel like you have to put your own family as the top top ones just because you do message them all the time.

01:35:20   Like why not have them be static.

01:35:22   But everything else is harder because I have group chats too.

01:35:24   But I'm like yeah but they're always at the top anyway because they're active.

01:35:26   So why do they need to be pinned and group chats have a different kind of icon.

01:35:30   It's not just one person's face and everything.

01:35:32   It's actually causing quite a problem.

01:35:34   It's like home screen rearrangement for.

01:35:36   Don't get me wrong, I love this feature.

01:35:38   I'm glad it's there because I like having the known place where you can touch things.

01:35:41   But it's not very flexible and it really tickles the sort of whatever the part of my mind when I want things to be like arranged symmetrically.

01:35:49   And have no blank spaces or whatever.

01:35:51   Yeah and you know somebody in the chat is saying pinning an entry in a list is rather boring as a big macOS release feature.

01:35:58   Like on paper I understand the point but this genuinely has been extremely nice.

01:36:04   And I've really liked having it and having it consistently across all my devices except my iMac Pro.

01:36:09   Now with that said even though I do love messages on Big Sur.

01:36:14   However one of my favorite bugs almost as much as the MMS bug which I'm still fighting here and there.

01:36:20   Is if you happen to be on a Big Sur Mac and if you hit command N in messages to create a new message.

01:36:27   And type someone's name like for me I'll type Marco.

01:36:30   And then if you hit enter because it drops down you know it highlights Marco's phone number.

01:36:36   Which I will read now. No just kidding.

01:36:38   It highlights Marco's phone number and you would hit enter in order to actually compose the message to Marco.

01:36:43   At this point the first responder should be the thing at the bottom potentially.

01:36:47   Or at the very least you could tab to the message space at the bottom.

01:36:50   But what ends up happening in Big Sur is that when you hit enter it just clears it.

01:36:54   Yeah I've hit this every time. Like every time I have to create a new message I have to do it like two or three times.

01:36:59   Yep every time. You can click on the list and clicking works no problem.

01:37:03   But if you try to arrow around it doesn't work.

01:37:06   And if you try to just hit enter and accept the top answer it doesn't work either.

01:37:10   And it drives me crazy.

01:37:12   But other than that I really like messages on Big Sur.

01:37:14   And so that's one of the things I'm really interested in.

01:37:17   I think had I properly done any research I probably could come up with some other examples.

01:37:22   But you know this is even dumber than the messages thing.

01:37:26   I really really have come to like BitBar and its recent I'll call it a replacement although it's not really called SwiftBar.

01:37:34   Which is basically a reimplementation of the same thing.

01:37:36   We've talked about this in the past I believe.

01:37:38   Basically you can run shell scripts and it will put the results on your menu bar.

01:37:42   I really really like it and it really works for me.

01:37:46   And SwiftBar in particular is really nice because it's been completely rewritten and it seems to work a lot nicer.

01:37:53   Well one of the features in SwiftBar is that you can use SF symbols.

01:37:57   Which is this like kind of sort of font that Apple provides in order to let you use like these different glyphs.

01:38:05   In place of like emoji for example. It's similar to emoji but not exactly the same.

01:38:09   It's mostly about like things you would find in a user interface.

01:38:13   Oh my god it's the new Wingdings.

01:38:15   Yeah in a lot of ways yeah it really is.

01:38:17   But anyways one of the features in SwiftBar specifically for Big Sur is that you can use SF symbols.

01:38:23   And so those work really really nicely because I like to have a monochrome menu bar.

01:38:28   And when I use emoji which I could do in BitBar and I could do in SwiftBar in Catalina.

01:38:33   It's adding color in a place that I don't particularly want color.

01:38:36   Yes this is a dumb thing to get worked up about but hey have you met us?

01:38:40   So anyway well I really like that you can use SF symbols in Big Sur.

01:38:44   And so I would really like to do that.

01:38:46   And a corollary of putting all my devices on Big Sur is that then I could stop all these.

01:38:51   You know if I'm on Catalina emit emoji.

01:38:53   If I'm on Big Sur emit SF symbols and clean up all my scripts.

01:38:56   Of which there's only like three of them but still that would be nice too.

01:38:59   And it's these dumb things that I know I don't really need any of this.

01:39:05   But it would just be nice to have it.

01:39:07   And so yeah I'm thinking that since none of you are doing what I wanted you to do.

01:39:11   And tell me for the love of God don't do it.

01:39:13   Then I'll probably be doing it sometime in the next week or two.

01:39:16   Yeah I mean that's the thing.

01:39:17   I think the reason all three of us are thinking about it is because no one is saying.

01:39:20   Oh my God don't upgrade it's going to hose everything.

01:39:22   None of your software will work. It's incredibly buggy.

01:39:24   Everything will break. It's super annoying or whatever.

01:39:27   It's a known quantity because we all have Macs that run it.

01:39:30   And you know as Marco would say it's fine.

01:39:33   Yeah I mean like I'm using it full time for the next two weeks.

01:39:35   And have for the last week and yeah it's fine.

01:39:38   Like it's I don't love certain parts of it but I didn't love Catalina either.

01:39:41   And therefore like I'd rather at least be on the one that they are still working on.

01:39:46   Yeah same thing with the messages thing.

01:39:48   It's a catalyst app with weird inconsistent non-Mac like behavior.

01:39:51   But you know they're not working on messages in Catalina.

01:39:54   And that thing has a bunch of weird behaviors too.

01:39:56   Even though it was a Mac app and it's missing a bunch of features.

01:39:58   So even though the one in Big Sur is you know buggy and strange.

01:40:03   They're going to keep working on that I hope.

01:40:05   That's the hope anyway.

01:40:06   Right and also like a different way to look at it is like.

01:40:09   Holding on to an old OS is itself it's kind of a friction point.

01:40:15   Like it's hard it's harder to do that over time.

01:40:17   There are things that will require the new OS that come out all the time.

01:40:21   Apple certainly pushes it hard.

01:40:23   Like holding on to the old OS over time becomes its own like downside.

01:40:28   And its own amount of work.

01:40:30   And so there has to be a good reason that you're holding on to it.

01:40:33   And with you know if you're just on Catalina.

01:40:35   If you're on something older than Catalina there's lots of reasons.

01:40:37   But just going from Catalina to Big Sur.

01:40:39   There doesn't seem to be any strong reason besides the UI annoyances of Big Sur.

01:40:45   But those aren't that big of a strong reason.

01:40:48   And there's like I'd rather be on the one that they're fixing the bugs for.

01:40:52   Apple's really working on me with this release.

01:40:54   Because not only do I have the red badge on system preferences.

01:40:56   That I can't get rid of because apparently you have to install an MDM thing.

01:41:00   To use the software update dash dash ignore thing.

01:41:02   Apparently that only works if you have like a mobile device management profile installed or something.

01:41:07   Which is annoying.

01:41:08   But on top of that there's a bug in Catalina slash the Catalina Mac App Store.

01:41:12   Where it shows apps like hey there's a new version of Keynote.

01:41:17   And so I have two updates that it wants me to install.

01:41:20   But they're for Big Sur only things.

01:41:22   So I can't get rid of those update badges in the Apple menu either.

01:41:25   Because the Apple menu says you have two new app updates.

01:41:27   And if you go try to update either one of them it says you can't install this.

01:41:29   This is for Big Sur.

01:41:30   Like okay then stop showing it to me.

01:41:32   And because apparently Catalina is not getting any more bug fixes.

01:41:35   I don't know if anyone's ever going to fix that either.

01:41:37   So I have multiple daily badges.

01:41:39   If I peek in the Apple menu I'm reminded.

01:41:41   And down in my dock there's a little red number one on system preferences.

01:41:45   And it was tricky.

01:41:46   Sometimes it's you know like there was a software update recently.

01:41:50   Or a security update for Catalina.

01:41:51   Right?

01:41:52   And that's in system preferences.

01:41:53   And I don't know if I would have ever seen it.

01:41:55   Because I think it still just showed a one.

01:41:56   And when you go there you have to make sure you don't click the thing that says hey update to Big Sur.

01:42:00   Because that's the only button that's visible.

01:42:02   And then there's this little like text like little blue web like link.

01:42:05   That's like oh and there are also some other updates that you might want to look at.

01:42:08   And those are the ones that update Safari and update you know security or whatever.

01:42:12   So just being in this weird limbo state with Apple nagging me to update is annoying me.

01:42:17   And so I feel like the path of least resistance is probably to bite the bullet and go Big Sur.

01:42:22   We'll check in next week to see if any of us have had any disasters.

01:42:26   If anyone has had the guts to actually do this.

01:42:29   Or if we're still just thinking about it.

01:42:31   We are sponsored this week by Linode.

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01:44:18   Alright let's do some Ask ATP.

01:44:22   Chris Lenart writes, "HDR video on the iPhone 12 is phenomenal.

01:44:26   Videos look amazing and they pop so much more than photos or non-HDR video.

01:44:31   But why don't HDR photos get the same treatment?

01:44:33   iPhones have shot HDR photos for years but they don't look nearly as stunning.

01:44:37   I wish my photos looked as good as the HDR videos do."

01:44:40   I am not the right person to ask about this and I'm glad to have you two around.

01:44:45   I don't feel like I notice HDR in video really at all.

01:44:51   Which is probably because I'm not aware of what to look for.

01:44:55   The only thing I notice is the rest of the screen dimming as I'm watching an HDR video.

01:45:00   So what is it that I should be looking for to see this pop or to see what makes it so much better?

01:45:06   It's not the rest of the screen dimming.

01:45:08   It's the thing you're watching being brighter.

01:45:10   I know it seems like the same thing.

01:45:11   The reason I put this question here is because it's an interesting overloading of the HDR term.

01:45:17   So HDR video, when we talk about that, the easiest way to think about that is

01:45:21   if you think about non-HDR video as having a brightness level from 0 to 100,

01:45:26   where 0 is black and 100 is white.

01:45:28   HDR video in very oversimplified terms is like, "Now imagine the white went to 200."

01:45:34   You're like, "Wait, it's already white at 100. How can it be more white?"

01:45:39   Well, it can just be brighter, right?

01:45:41   I mean, like turning up the brightness on your screen, right?

01:45:43   So say you've got a white screen on HDR and the white is a brightness level of 100.

01:45:51   Imagine you could turn the brightness up even more and it would be at 200.

01:45:54   There's more to HDR than that.

01:45:56   But basically, the dynamic range between the brightest thing on the screen and the darkest thing

01:46:00   is wider in HDR video, right?

01:46:02   And the darker on OLED is not going to be darker than black.

01:46:05   So, you know, none more black, right?

01:46:07   But the brightness is brighter, which is why when you watch HDR video

01:46:11   and it has some sunlight or a highlight or a sparkling thing or whatever,

01:46:15   it seems like the rest of the screen got dimmer in comparison

01:46:19   because the bright highlights are much brighter.

01:46:21   Like, to compare it, like the UI on my Mac that I'm looking at now,

01:46:26   the UI on the Pro Display XDR using Apple's profile is 500 nits.

01:46:30   Nits is a level of brightness, right?

01:46:32   They show the whole UI in 500 nits.

01:46:34   So if I make 100% white, it's white at a brightness level of 500 nits.

01:46:38   But this screen goes up to 1600 nits.

01:46:41   If they did the UI in 600 nits, you'd burn your eyeballs out.

01:46:45   You don't want to be looking at white terminal windows and white web pages at 1600 nits.

01:46:50   It's too darn bright.

01:46:52   I think a lot of us have had, especially in the days of LED backlights,

01:46:54   monitors that you could buy, especially like third-party monitors,

01:46:57   where you could turn the brightness up way brighter than anybody ever wanted.

01:47:00   It's like, oh, I can't. It's like staring into the sun, right?

01:47:03   But for video, where you're trying to watch something cinematic or whatever,

01:47:06   the reason HDR looks so much nicer and better is you're not putting --

01:47:11   it's not like a white web page that's on the screen in a movie.

01:47:14   It's like a sunset, and the little sun part of it is super bright,

01:47:18   and that looks more sparkly and bright, and that's why HDR video is more stunning.

01:47:22   Now, photos -- Apple used the same exact word for the similar reason for photos

01:47:27   when they introduced HDR, Smart HDR photos,

01:47:30   but that's a slightly different kind of dynamic range.

01:47:32   So when you're taking a picture and you want to expose a sensor to some light,

01:47:36   if the sensor doesn't have any light, hit some part of it, that's just black, right?

01:47:40   If you're lucky.

01:47:42   But sensors can only take in so much light input,

01:47:46   so after a certain amount of light over a certain amount of time,

01:47:49   eventually the pixel just says, I'm just white. I'm overloaded.

01:47:53   This is how much light you can send me, right?

01:47:55   And that, in film parlance, that exposure of saying,

01:47:58   how much light are we letting through the aperture,

01:48:02   and how long are we exposing the sensor to that light?

01:48:04   Like a piece of film, if you just take in and expose it,

01:48:07   open the aperture entirely and expose it to light

01:48:09   and just hold it there for 15 minutes, everything's just going to be white, right?

01:48:13   Because it'll just be completely overloaded,

01:48:15   whether it's film or a sensor or whatever, right?

01:48:17   And that dynamic range that sensors can handle,

01:48:20   it's like, I can handle this much light input before I go full light,

01:48:22   and of course, black is just black, right?

01:48:25   Sometimes when you're taking a picture,

01:48:27   like a person standing in front of a window,

01:48:29   the window has bright sunlight coming through it,

01:48:31   and so you take a picture and the phone has to figure out,

01:48:34   okay, if you want to see this person's face,

01:48:36   I have to expose so I get enough light from this person's face

01:48:40   so that you can see it.

01:48:41   And that means I have to keep the shutter,

01:48:45   quote-unquote "shutter" open for a certain amount of time

01:48:47   to gather enough light from this person's face

01:48:49   so you can see their eyeballs and their nose and their mouth and everything.

01:48:51   But once you've done that and correctly exposed their face,

01:48:54   the light coming from the window behind them

01:48:56   has overwhelmed all the pixels that it hit in the sensor,

01:48:59   and now the sky outside that looks blue to human eyes

01:49:03   looks totally white in the picture.

01:49:05   So the sky is what we call blown out, overexposed,

01:49:08   because the sky was so bright

01:49:10   that it totally overwhelmed those pictures,

01:49:12   but you needed to leave the shutter open for that long

01:49:14   and expose it to that much light so you could see the face.

01:49:17   If you did the opposite and exposed it just for a short period of time

01:49:19   so the sky looks blue,

01:49:20   the person who's standing in front of the window,

01:49:22   their face looks like it's totally in shadow and, like, black,

01:49:25   and you can't see their face.

01:49:26   You've surely seen this in photos.

01:49:28   If you take a picture of somebody in unfavorable lighting

01:49:31   and you expose it wrong,

01:49:32   either the sky is blown out or the person's face is too dark, right?

01:49:36   HDR photography is a way --

01:49:39   it's kind of like exposure bracketing,

01:49:40   which I think we'll also put a link in the show notes to this thing --

01:49:43   is where they do multiple exposures,

01:49:45   one where they leave the shutter open a short amount of time

01:49:47   to get the blue sky,

01:49:49   and then they take another picture where they leave the shutter open

01:49:51   a long amount of time to get the face,

01:49:53   but now the sky is white.

01:49:54   And sometimes they do multiple pictures at different exposures,

01:49:58   one right after the other,

01:50:00   and then computationally combine them

01:50:02   so you have a blue sky and a person's face

01:50:05   that you can actually see that's not in shadow, right?

01:50:08   But think about what I said before.

01:50:10   None of that has anything necessarily to do with,

01:50:13   "Oh, make the white brighter than it was before."

01:50:16   It's just about exposing a camera element

01:50:20   variable amounts of time,

01:50:21   then combining it into a single picture

01:50:23   so you get a higher dynamic range,

01:50:25   as in, "Oh, if you had exposed it long enough to get that face,

01:50:29   now the sky would be white,

01:50:31   but if you exposed it short enough to get the blue sky,

01:50:33   now you can't see the face."

01:50:34   Well, we're going to do both of those.

01:50:36   So you're able to make the pixels have a larger dynamic range,

01:50:41   make them not be so sensitive,

01:50:42   like, "Oh, these poor pixels, they get so much light in them,

01:50:44   they just blow out entirely," right?

01:50:46   And so that's why,

01:50:49   especially if you're looking at smart HDR photos,

01:50:52   on an iPhone that predates having HDR capabilities at all,

01:50:57   the brightest thing in that picture

01:50:59   is still just going to be that white at a level 100.

01:51:02   Hopefully it will look better

01:51:03   and that things will be exposed better

01:51:05   and, you know, things won't be blown out

01:51:06   and you'll be able to see all the things you want

01:51:07   with the computational photography,

01:51:09   but they use the same term for it, HDR,

01:51:12   but it doesn't necessarily mean

01:51:15   that the whites can be at a level 200

01:51:18   instead of a level 100, right?

01:51:20   So that's why it's confusing about,

01:51:23   "Oh, I had a 'HDR picture,'

01:51:26   but it doesn't look as impressive in HDR video."

01:51:28   Chances are good that that picture that you took,

01:51:30   the brightest element in that picture is only, whatever,

01:51:33   500 nits or whatever level that the camera

01:51:36   is taking that picture at,

01:51:37   whereas HDR video, depending on the video source,

01:51:40   the brightness can go up much brighter.

01:51:42   Now, the final thing I'll say about this

01:51:43   is that HDR video is complicated by the fact

01:51:46   that the HDR standard, like all the various,

01:51:48   you know, Dolby Vision or HDR10 and HDR10+,

01:51:51   there's a whole bunch of standards for HDR video.

01:51:54   The standards go up to brightness levels

01:51:56   that I'm pretty sure no actual man-made device can do,

01:52:00   no $30,000 reference monitor, no nothing,

01:52:03   'cause they go really, really high.

01:52:04   Like, they're not as bright as the sun,

01:52:06   but I think it goes up to, like, 30,000 nits

01:52:08   or some ridiculous number, right?

01:52:10   That's how bright you're allowed to go,

01:52:12   but when you make video, like, make a movie or whatever,

01:52:17   the person who makes the movie can choose what is,

01:52:20   how bright will the brightest element on this screen be,

01:52:23   and if you look on YouTube, you'll see tons and tons of videos

01:52:25   of people saying, "Okay, so a new version of the movie came out,"

01:52:28   or say some recent movie, a Marvel movie

01:52:30   that just came out on Blu-ray, and they have an HDR edition,

01:52:33   and they will measure, "Okay, well, we play this whole movie,

01:52:36   and during the course of the whole movie,

01:52:37   here is a graph of the brightness levels,"

01:52:39   and they can say, "Hey, this Marvel movie,

01:52:42   nothing on the screen is ever gonna be higher than 600 nits."

01:52:45   So if your TV can do 600 nits on, well, there's different,

01:52:50   if you have an OLED, it can't do that brightness

01:52:52   on the entire screen just on a smaller, but anyway,

01:52:54   they can tell you it doesn't go over 600.

01:52:56   Sometimes they'll give you an HDR movie

01:52:58   where the max brightness is not really any brighter

01:53:01   than the non-HDR version,

01:53:02   'cause that's how it was mastered, and it's like,

01:53:04   "Well, why did they get to label that as HDR?"

01:53:06   Like, "Oh, well, you can see there's this one little thing

01:53:08   that for a second goes above the levels of the SDR video,

01:53:11   but it's not that impressive," whereas other movies will say,

01:53:14   "In this one bright scene, it goes up to 1,200 nits," right?

01:53:17   That's baked into the video that you're getting,

01:53:20   because the video tells you how bright, you know,

01:53:23   based on the HDR standard, each thing should be, right?

01:53:26   And so I have no idea what the capabilities of the phones are,

01:53:28   what is the maximum brightness of the iPhone 12 screen,

01:53:31   but you have to always match that up with,

01:53:34   "Okay, the video that I'm looking at,

01:53:37   encoded in that video,

01:53:39   what is the brightest element that it's trying to display?"

01:53:42   And as long as this thing is trying to display a brightness

01:53:45   that is within the range that the phone actually can display,

01:53:47   you're getting the full experience,

01:53:49   but chances are it's possible that you're watching a video

01:53:52   that has a maximum brightness of 1,200 nits,

01:53:54   and the phone just can't do 1,200 nits,

01:53:56   and so you won't see that, right?

01:53:58   So HDR is complicated.

01:54:00   Now, the only final question I have for two of you,

01:54:03   'cause I don't have the answer to this one,

01:54:05   do the new iPhones with HDR screens take photographs

01:54:10   in which the brightest element

01:54:13   can be brighter than the non-HDR things?

01:54:17   In other words, can I take a photo of the sun,

01:54:19   and when it gets displayed,

01:54:21   the sun in the photo will be encoded

01:54:23   as a brightness level of, like, 800 nits or something

01:54:25   that's higher than it could have been normally?

01:54:27   -I don't know the answer to that.

01:54:29   -I don't think so. Yeah, neither do I.

01:54:31   -I don't think so either. -I don't think that's the case.

01:54:33   -Yeah, and I'm not entirely sure,

01:54:35   because you can take HDR video with that same sensor,

01:54:39   so it seems plausible to me that that could be done,

01:54:42   but in general, the challenge in photography is not,

01:54:45   "Hey, how bright can I make the brightest element?"

01:54:47   The challenge is, "How can I correctly expose

01:54:50   everything in the frame so you can see what you need to see?"

01:54:53   because you really don't want the bright sun

01:54:56   blowing out everything in the foreground in a photograph,

01:54:58   whereas if you're taking a movie of a sunset,

01:55:00   maybe that is what you want.

01:55:02   -There's also a few other concerns with photos

01:55:04   that have nothing to do with, like, the sensor.

01:55:07   They actually might.

01:55:09   So one concern is video is lower resolution than photos,

01:55:12   and so it's possible that the sensor

01:55:14   or the image-processing pipeline might be able to do

01:55:17   a certain degree of HDR bracketing

01:55:19   to get the super-big range.

01:55:23   That might be possible to do on video but not photos

01:55:26   or to do it quickly or to do it without other trade-offs.

01:55:29   Other practical concerns might be, like,

01:55:31   I don't know if the storage format --

01:55:33   Does Heaf and Heak, do those support the storage of HDR data?

01:55:37   Are there existing standards in place?

01:55:40   Like, if a photo is shot in HDR

01:55:42   but then it's viewed on a non-HDR screen,

01:55:45   are there standards in place for the file formats

01:55:47   and the display pipelines and everything

01:55:49   to display an acceptable version of that

01:55:51   without it looking like it has the wrong gamma set?

01:55:54   Like, it's super dark or super gray.

01:55:57   Is there the infrastructure in place to do that?

01:56:00   But then also, from a practical standpoint,

01:56:02   the way HDR video is displayed on iPhones

01:56:07   and the Pro Display XDR is, as you said, Jon,

01:56:12   like, these displays can peak for a second or two

01:56:15   or for part of the screen

01:56:17   at this higher brightness than usual,

01:56:19   but it can't sustain that forever.

01:56:21   Or, you know, in the case of an iPhone,

01:56:23   like, if it did sustain that forever,

01:56:24   you might have battery problems 'cause, like --

01:56:26   -It's area. It's not time period.

01:56:28   Like, so the way it's rated is, you know, like, on OLED TVs,

01:56:32   they can do their maximum brightness on a 10% window,

01:56:34   they call it, where 10% of the screen is white,

01:56:37   and that's where they can reach their maximum brightness.

01:56:39   And as you go up from more than 10% of the screen being white,

01:56:41   the maximum brightness goes down, down, down

01:56:43   until, like, on an OLED screen,

01:56:46   how many nits does it put out when it's 100 --

01:56:48   when it's just entirely white from edge to edge

01:56:50   versus how many nits does the white square put out

01:56:52   when it's at 10% and there's a big range there?

01:56:54   But still, at 100%,

01:56:57   it's higher than the SDR,

01:56:59   the usual SDR television level of nits

01:57:01   that people would comfortably watch something at.

01:57:03   So the XDR is similar in that it can only do 1,600 nits

01:57:07   on a limited range, which is strange,

01:57:09   'cause it's not an OLED, but I think the 100% coverage

01:57:13   is still, like, 1,200 nits, or maybe it's only 800.

01:57:15   But either way, it's brighter than you ever want to look at.

01:57:17   Trust me. You do not want to crank up --

01:57:20   Like, there's a reason they put it in 500 nits.

01:57:22   And that's 500 nits maximum, by the way.

01:57:24   So that's 500 nits if you have the brightness

01:57:26   turned up all the way, like, on your keyboard

01:57:28   if you hit the brightness thing.

01:57:29   That's 500 nits.

01:57:30   So I'm not even looking at 500 nits now

01:57:32   because I do not have my brightness on max

01:57:34   'cause, you know, it's nighttime.

01:57:35   I blow my eyeballs out, right?

01:57:36   So you don't have to worry about, you know,

01:57:40   it won't be bright enough for you,

01:57:42   except maybe when you're watching, like, a movie

01:57:44   or a television or whatever that actually tries

01:57:46   to put elements on screen that are that bright.

01:57:48   But at a certain point, like, you know,

01:57:51   movies of the sun are one thing,

01:57:53   but there's a reason we don't go outside

01:57:55   and stare into the sun.

01:57:56   'Cause you don't want it to be literally

01:57:58   as bright as the sun.

01:57:59   We'll all go blind, right?

01:58:00   So we do want it to be a more dramatic experience,

01:58:05   but we don't want to actually damage our eyeballs.

01:58:09   So there is a balance there.

01:58:10   - Yeah, and I can imagine there's all sorts

01:58:12   of complexities with, you know, applying this to photos

01:58:16   where, you know, you have to consider things like

01:58:19   what if someone sets one of these photos

01:58:22   as their wallpaper?

01:58:23   Does it have to always show that brightness?

01:58:25   - Oh, interesting.

01:58:26   - You know, what if they put it in a widget?

01:58:27   What if they display a photo like this

01:58:29   and they just leave their screen on

01:58:31   and they leave their phone on the desk full brightness

01:58:33   and they leave the screen on for a while?

01:58:34   Like, what happens?

01:58:35   Does it dim after a while?

01:58:36   Like, there's all these, like, UI

01:58:38   and practical considerations so that anywhere

01:58:41   that you're not seeing HDR applied yet,

01:58:44   it might just be because Apple still wants

01:58:46   to figure that stuff out or they have to wait

01:58:49   for, like, the Heath standards body to get the next

01:58:53   encoding standard out to specify dynamic range properties

01:58:57   in photo formats or something like that.

01:58:58   Like, there could be lots of other reasons

01:59:00   besides, like, straight up hardware ability

01:59:03   on why you might see HDR in videos

01:59:06   before you see it in photos or in different ways

01:59:08   or in limited ways.

01:59:10   - I talked about this when I first got my HDR

01:59:12   way back when about going to the screensaver system

01:59:18   and system preferences and seeing one of the screensavers

01:59:22   that plays video and making it play HDR video,

01:59:24   and what you would see is the little preview

01:59:26   of the screensaver in that tiny little window,

01:59:28   and that tiny little window is HDR.

01:59:30   There's a whole article at Applehood Hub recently about --

01:59:32   they have some acronym for this.

01:59:33   They call it EDR or whatever, but basically the ability

01:59:36   to have a screen that is essentially a regular

01:59:39   "SDR Mac monitor" with maximum of 500 nits,

01:59:43   but then in any region, any individual region of the screen,

01:59:46   they can say, "But in this region, we're going to show

01:59:48   the full HDR range," right?

01:59:49   And that's their software stack that's lying under this.

01:59:51   Obviously, the hardware can do it, you know,

01:59:53   because you can make anything and anything

01:59:54   on your brightness you want, but there --

01:59:55   the display driver software -- Mac OS software stack

01:59:58   is able to handle this situation,

02:00:00   and it looks freaky because your entire screen looks normal,

02:00:03   but then there's this little tiny window

02:00:05   that looks almost, like, surreal,

02:00:07   where, like, everything is just brighter

02:00:08   in that little tiny window

02:00:09   as it shows, like, in Italian countryside.

02:00:11   Like, wow, it's like a portal through my plain computer monitor

02:00:14   into the real world, where everything is bright and sparkly.

02:00:17   It's kind of cool.

02:00:19   I don't actually know the answer to this.

02:00:22   Again, maybe people will write it and tell us,

02:00:24   but I suspect that my iPhone 12 Pro

02:00:28   is able to take pictures with a higher dynamic range

02:00:32   than the UI is displayed in,

02:00:35   because when I go through my photos,

02:00:37   if you look at them in the UI, it's like whatever sort of,

02:00:40   you know, 500-nit equivalent, you know,

02:00:42   whatever the UI, the iPhone UI is shown in, right?

02:00:45   Again, subject to your brightness settings, yada, yada, right?

02:00:47   But, like, in the UI, in, like, a scrolling table view,

02:00:50   I see my photos, but when I tap on one

02:00:52   and it shows the photo exclusively

02:00:54   on a black background,

02:00:56   I do think it suddenly becomes brighter.

02:00:58   And, yes, I know it's, you know, it's on a black background,

02:01:00   so, of course, it looks brighter to you,

02:01:01   but I think there's, like, a little flash

02:01:03   where it goes from, you know, SDR to HDR.

02:01:06   -Oh, yeah. -I might just be imagining it.

02:01:09   It's really hard to tell with my eyeballs.

02:01:11   The other thing is that I think the maximum brightness

02:01:14   of the iPhone 12 screen is not that high.

02:01:17   Like, it's not 600, 1600 nits, I'll tell you that.

02:01:19   Like, OLEDs in general have lower peak brightness

02:01:23   than LED-backed LCDs, right?

02:01:26   So the phone is OLED.

02:01:28   There's no way it's getting to 1600 nits, I don't think,

02:01:31   unless it's way easier to make them brighter in small things

02:01:33   and just for battery life reasons.

02:01:35   But my monitor has LED-backed lights,

02:01:38   and that can get much brighter.

02:01:40   So maybe the HDR is not that much brighter

02:01:45   than the SDR on the phone,

02:01:47   but I think the camera actually is taking pictures.

02:01:50   And because it's Apple end-to-end,

02:01:52   when I bring them into photos on my Mac,

02:01:54   I think it's the same deal,

02:01:55   where when I'm looking at them in the UI of photos,

02:01:57   they look like normal photos.

02:01:58   Like, they don't look blown out. They don't look weird.

02:02:00   But then when I put them full screen on a black background,

02:02:03   maybe it goes into HDR.

02:02:04   So more work needs to be done here,

02:02:06   but sorry for this long answer, Chris.

02:02:08   The reason I put this in there is because I do know the answer

02:02:10   to your other question, which is,

02:02:11   why the heck haven't we had HDR photos for a year?

02:02:14   And that is a different thing.

02:02:16   That happened before any of us had HDR screens.

02:02:18   That was basically taking multiple exposures

02:02:21   and combining them with computational photography

02:02:24   to make a single picture,

02:02:26   where you get the bright thing exposed

02:02:29   and also the dark thing exposed so you can see all of it,

02:02:31   which is kind of a view that never really happened in real life

02:02:35   because when you look with your eyeballs,

02:02:36   when you look at the person's face here,

02:02:37   pupils dilate so you can see the details,

02:02:40   and at that point, the sky is blown out.

02:02:42   But if you look at the sky, ah, your pupils constrict again,

02:02:44   and now you can see the blue sky.

02:02:46   But that's the way our eyeballs work,

02:02:48   looking at a real scene.

02:02:49   When you have a photograph, what they're trying to do is say,

02:02:51   get the constricted pupil view of the sky

02:02:53   and the dilated pupil view of the face

02:02:55   and put them in one picture,

02:02:56   and that never really happened in real life.

02:02:58   But that's what we want to see in a picture

02:03:00   so we can get the benefit of it.

02:03:02   And that happened long before we had HDR video or anything,

02:03:05   and it was called the same thing

02:03:07   because it's the dynamic range they're able to show.

02:03:10   The sky was really bright and the face was really dark,

02:03:13   but we got a photo out of it where you can see everything.

02:03:16   - Real-time follow-up, this is totally doing HDR on photos.

02:03:19   So I got my 12-minute here, and I'm looking through my photos,

02:03:23   like just some recent sunset photos,

02:03:25   and when you have the sun in a picture, like a sunset,

02:03:28   the difference is very obvious.

02:03:29   So as soon as you, when you're swiping through the photos

02:03:31   in the Photos app, before it's like, you know,

02:03:34   been on screen for a moment, it's SDR.

02:03:37   And then when you have, when you open one up to like,

02:03:41   you know, full screen, if you pause for a moment,

02:03:44   it like brightens, it fades up,

02:03:46   and it's pretty clearly doing a transition

02:03:49   from an SDR version to an HDR version,

02:03:52   and like it looks like the entire tone map

02:03:54   of the picture changes, and it is dramatic.

02:03:57   So it is, it looks way better when it loads in,

02:04:00   and it's definitely significantly brighter

02:04:02   than the turning screen.

02:04:03   And the whole screen does not change brightness.

02:04:05   Like if you look at the other UI elements on screen,

02:04:08   they don't change brightness, just the photo does.

02:04:11   So this is definitely doing HDR with photos on,

02:04:15   not even the 12 Pro, on the 12 Mini.

02:04:17   So it looks pretty cool.

02:04:18   - The tricky part is you do need to have a picture

02:04:21   where there was something in the picture

02:04:23   that was brighter than can be represented,

02:04:25   'cause I was just looking at some indoor pictures,

02:04:27   and they don't do that, or they do that to a lesser degree,

02:04:30   because generally indoor is more dim, right?

02:04:32   So like the way you want it to work is,

02:04:35   yeah, the sun and sparkles are super bright,

02:04:38   but if you just take a picture of like,

02:04:40   you know, I was taking a picture,

02:04:41   we've been taking pictures to put in

02:04:43   for our Christmas cookies and our paprika,

02:04:45   which we use to manage our recipes.

02:04:47   So if I put a bunch of Christmas cookies on a plate

02:04:48   and take a picture of them under indoor lighting,

02:04:50   nothing in that really just, oh wow, it's so bright,

02:04:53   because guess what, the cookies weren't sparkling

02:04:55   like the sun, they were just in indoor lighting.

02:04:57   So it helps if you get an outdoor picture.

02:05:00   In the Mac version of photos, on Catalina anyway,

02:05:03   I'm not seeing any kind of pop in full screen,

02:05:06   but also I see that there's still a UI

02:05:09   when I try to go into full screen,

02:05:10   showing me the little explore bar on the bottom,

02:05:12   so I'll investigate a little further.

02:05:14   Like, I'm glad that you see them pop just like I do,

02:05:16   I couldn't tell if it was an optical illusion

02:05:17   based on the black background, but it makes sense.

02:05:19   - No, it's totally a thing.

02:05:21   And so it's, not only is it very, very visible

02:05:23   when you have like a sunset or something,

02:05:24   where you have the sun in the picture,

02:05:26   it's also very visible when you have

02:05:27   your example from earlier.

02:05:28   If there's a window in the picture,

02:05:30   and it's an indoor picture, like I just had two

02:05:32   where like the window brightens up as it looks,

02:05:37   as I'm taking a picture of like my home pod,

02:05:39   and the window in the corner goes whoop,

02:05:42   like it's just super bright.

02:05:43   (laughing)

02:05:44   - That's interesting, I just found a photo

02:05:46   in my camera roll that does that.

02:05:47   I was standing in the garage,

02:05:49   and the girls were on the edge of the garage,

02:05:52   and so behind them is the outdoors,

02:05:55   but I'm standing kind of sort of on the indoors,

02:05:57   and yeah, when you tap on it,

02:05:59   you see it kind of fill in and get even brighter,

02:06:02   and you're right, I always thought

02:06:03   the rest of the screen was getting dimmer,

02:06:04   but it's very clear in this particular example,

02:06:06   and I'm not gonna put it in the show notes

02:06:08   for several reasons, including I don't know

02:06:11   if it would work, but nevertheless,

02:06:13   as I tap in, you see that the picture shows up

02:06:16   in like standard range, like you were saying, Marco,

02:06:19   and then all of a sudden it fills in

02:06:20   and gets considerably brighter

02:06:22   with the high dynamic range kind of turning on

02:06:24   after just a moment.

02:06:25   - Yeah, actually I think it shows that you don't even

02:06:27   have to go to a black background.

02:06:29   In the grid of photos, I'm looking at like a highlight

02:06:31   on my son's back shining in from the window,

02:06:34   and it looks dimmer there than when I just tap on it once,

02:06:38   and now it's HDR, but the background is still white,

02:06:41   and I tap again, and the background turns black,

02:06:43   and I don't see a change,

02:06:44   so I think it's just the zoomed in view that is HDR.

02:06:47   - Oh, actually, that was a shoot.

02:06:48   That was a video I was looking at, not a photo.

02:06:50   My bad.

02:06:51   - We will continue to experiment,

02:06:53   but I'm pretty sure that the phone,

02:06:55   it's the same sensor taking the video and the photos,

02:06:57   and I'm pretty sure it's trying to do as much HDR as it can,

02:07:00   like subject to two things I said before,

02:07:02   which is, number one, how bright of a brightness

02:07:05   is encoded in the source material.

02:07:08   You can choose that as the director of a movie

02:07:10   or as the person who writes the camera app or whatever

02:07:12   to say, look, I'm never going to put in a picture

02:07:15   that demands a higher brightness than X number of nits.

02:07:18   Number two, can the device you're showing it on

02:07:21   actually show that many nits?

02:07:23   So those are the two things that combine

02:07:25   to figure out what the picture's actually going to look like

02:07:27   when you look at it.

02:07:28   So for all I know, this phone could be encoding something

02:07:31   that's 3,000 nits,

02:07:32   but I just have no devices that can show that.

02:07:35   - Wes Chamness writes,

02:07:36   "Is there a way to prevent an application

02:07:38   from stealing focus within macOS?

02:07:39   For example, when I launch an application to do tasks,

02:07:42   but I return to the one I was working from,

02:07:44   the newly opened application steals the focus

02:07:46   and averts my keyboard input."

02:07:47   A couple of examples of this that I've experienced,

02:07:50   the freaking surprise video in Skype for bootleg listeners,

02:07:53   it is not uncommon for me to be in the midst of typing

02:07:56   when Marco initiates the call,

02:07:57   and me hitting the space bar hits the default button in Skype,

02:08:00   which is stolen focus,

02:08:01   which is start the call with video on,

02:08:03   and it drives me bananas.

02:08:05   And I don't know if this is related,

02:08:07   but I am a devout Spaces user,

02:08:09   so I have multiple virtual desktops

02:08:11   pretty much any time I'm using any of my computers.

02:08:13   And oftentimes, this has persisted across several machines,

02:08:17   across several OSes,

02:08:18   I will swipe, you know, do the three-finger lateral swipe

02:08:21   to go to a different window and make it active,

02:08:23   and then all of a sudden, after I'm done,

02:08:26   the entire screen will bounce back to the screen.

02:08:30   The display will bounce back to the screen

02:08:32   that I was on previously,

02:08:33   going back to the app I just left,

02:08:35   for reasons I've never understood.

02:08:36   So, yeah, how do you fix this, guys?

02:08:38   'Cause I wish I knew.

02:08:40   - So, in general, you can't.

02:08:42   This has been a problem forever.

02:08:45   I mean, it kind of makes sense in that,

02:08:47   as you can imagine, in a GUI operating system,

02:08:50   there are calls that you can make

02:08:52   in the various GUI frameworks to bring windows to the front.

02:08:55   This is a really important part of the operating system.

02:08:58   You couldn't write applications if they couldn't do this,

02:09:01   right?

02:09:02   'Cause, hey, what if you're gonna bring up,

02:09:04   someone hits Command-S in your app

02:09:05   and you have to bring up a save dialog?

02:09:07   You want that save dialog box to be in front

02:09:09   and have the input.

02:09:10   Therefore, there must be APIs to make a window,

02:09:13   bring it to the front, and give it the input.

02:09:16   Once those APIs exist, apps can call them.

02:09:19   And when apps call them, they do that.

02:09:22   And so, if an app says, "Hey, me, bring me to the front

02:09:26   and give me the input," that's what happens.

02:09:29   And, yes, it's annoying when you're doing something else

02:09:31   and some other app is like, "No, wait, me, me, me,

02:09:33   bring my window to the front, give me input."

02:09:35   And you're like, "Well, shouldn't they not be able to do that?

02:09:37   Doesn't it know that they're not the front-most app?"

02:09:39   But, like, sometimes there's legit reasons for them.

02:09:42   So the APIs do exist, and since they exist,

02:09:44   apps will call them.

02:09:46   There is no magic system-level way to make that happen.

02:09:49   Apple could build one with some weird heuristic

02:09:52   and set of rules and configurable thing,

02:09:54   but in general, what we're relying on

02:09:56   is application developers to not make their apps

02:09:58   do things that are annoying.

02:10:00   It's like if you download an application

02:10:03   and it just emitted a loud honk every five minutes,

02:10:05   you're like, "Is there some way to prevent that app --

02:10:07   apps from emitting a sound every five minutes?"

02:10:10   It's like, yeah, well, apps can make sounds,

02:10:13   and in general, you shouldn't make your app

02:10:15   just honk every five minutes,

02:10:17   but if you have an app that does that,

02:10:19   your only recourse is to complain to the developer

02:10:21   or stop using the app.

02:10:23   And so this thing in general is one of those annoying things

02:10:26   that apps shouldn't do,

02:10:28   and the only way it can really be the fault of the OS

02:10:30   is if the app tried to do something,

02:10:32   like, three seconds ago, and you switch apps,

02:10:35   and because something is so slow, the app, you know,

02:10:37   finally -- the system call finally gets through the framework

02:10:39   and the OS finally services it and says,

02:10:41   "Oh, I'm bringing that to the front for you,"

02:10:44   but in between that time, when it initiated that,

02:10:46   and now you're in a different app, right?

02:10:48   It's not easy to prevent entirely.

02:10:50   It's not always the fault of the app developer,

02:10:52   but in general, it's an antisocial thing for apps to do.

02:10:55   There are many antisocial things for apps to do.

02:10:58   This is not a problem that can be solved

02:11:00   by any individual developer,

02:11:02   and it's really not a problem that can be solved by Apple,

02:11:04   so the solution is if an app keeps doing that,

02:11:07   complain to the developer or stop using it.

02:11:10   -Yay. Finally, Anonymous writes,

02:11:12   "What's the best way to back up my photo library?

02:11:14   I use Apple Photos.

02:11:16   I pay for increased storage, so it backs up to iCloud.

02:11:18   I'd like to have a physical backup, as well,

02:11:20   but my photo library is larger than the storage space

02:11:22   I have on my MacBook Pro.

02:11:23   What's the best way to get the library

02:11:25   onto an external drive?

02:11:26   I'm guessing I can't use Time Machine in this situation."

02:11:29   I don't even want to talk about this.

02:11:30   I feel triggered because my situation is so awful,

02:11:33   so one of you please handle this.

02:11:35   -I got it. I got it.

02:11:37   Don't worry. It'll be okay, Casey.

02:11:39   The answer here is, you know, if you don't have a machine

02:11:44   that can fit your entire photo library on it,

02:11:47   then obviously you can't back it up

02:11:50   because you don't have a copy of it.

02:11:52   Now, there are lots of ways to get a copy of it

02:11:54   that can fit on it.

02:11:55   I mean, one way is you can use an external drive

02:11:58   and you can relocate the system photo library

02:12:01   to be on that external drive.

02:12:03   Now, granted, this is a laptop

02:12:05   that this person was talking about,

02:12:06   so that's kind of inconvenient if you ever go anywhere,

02:12:08   so that's not a great solution.

02:12:10   You can do the solution, which I have seen and done,

02:12:14   where you can, like, duct tape a drive to the screen lid

02:12:18   that's just always plugged in.

02:12:20   But that's also not a great solution, but it does work.

02:12:24   You lose a port, but it does work.

02:12:27   But another way to do this, if you at all can get yourself

02:12:32   another Mac that can always be on

02:12:35   and that can have a giant external hard drive

02:12:37   plugged into it.

02:12:38   Old Mac Minis are great for this.

02:12:41   I know this is an expense.

02:12:44   The good thing is it doesn't need to do much of anything.

02:12:47   It only needs to be able to run macOS,

02:12:50   run iCloud photo library in the Photos app,

02:12:54   be logged in to your iCloud account,

02:12:56   and then run Backblaze or Time Machine,

02:12:59   however you want to back it up, be able to run that.

02:13:01   That's a great solution,

02:13:02   one that I have used myself many times,

02:13:05   and one that I'm actually using right now.

02:13:07   Because right now, I currently don't have a working desktop

02:13:10   that has enough space to fit my photo library.

02:13:13   And so I have the limited optimized storage version

02:13:16   on my laptop, and then over there in a closet

02:13:19   is an ancient Mac Mini running, I think, high Sierra,

02:13:22   or maybe even low Sierra.

02:13:24   I forget, it's not recent at all.

02:13:26   But that's running iCloud Photos,

02:13:28   and it's backing up to Backblaze.

02:13:30   And it downloads the entire thing

02:13:31   onto a giant external hard drive, and it's wonderful.

02:13:34   That is the solution I would recommend.

02:13:35   If you don't want to junk up your laptop

02:13:38   with external drives,

02:13:40   or deal with anything complicated like that,

02:13:42   if you can at all find, or if you already have

02:13:44   an old Mac that functions,

02:13:46   that can have a big drive plugged into it,

02:13:48   put the photo library on that, and back that up.

02:13:52   - Yeah, and if you don't have a second Mac,

02:13:54   and you just want to put it onto an external drive,

02:13:56   you can do some shenanigans by making another user account,

02:13:59   and making the system photo library for that account

02:14:01   be logged into your Apple ID, but be on an external drive,

02:14:03   and all sorts of stuff like that.

02:14:05   There are ways to kind of get around this,

02:14:07   but the bottom line is, you need to have enough

02:14:09   hard drive space somewhere where you can store it,

02:14:12   and if that place is only a disembodied external drive,

02:14:15   that's not going to do you any good,

02:14:16   unless you're constantly connecting that drive

02:14:18   to your one and only Mac.

02:14:20   Otherwise, it's not getting any photos onto it.

02:14:22   And if you're going to constantly be connecting

02:14:24   to your Mac, why not just make that your photo library?

02:14:27   So if you don't want to deal with the multiple accounts,

02:14:30   which honestly, I'm not even sure if it will get angry

02:14:33   at you if you do that, but in theory, it should work.

02:14:36   Having a second Mac sounds like, well, it's that big expense,

02:14:39   but you can just wait until you get a new Mac,

02:14:42   and then your current Mac becomes that second Mac, right?

02:14:44   And the good thing is, as far as I know,

02:14:47   you don't even need to run photos on it.

02:14:48   You just need to have, like Marco said, be logged in.

02:14:51   Actually, do you even need to be logged in?

02:14:53   You have to set up the account with your Apple ID,

02:14:55   but the advantage of using iCloud photo library

02:14:57   is that Apple makes it basically that background demon

02:15:00   as part of the OS, and they will just run in the background

02:15:03   and constantly be pulling down photos from iCloud

02:15:06   if you tell it to get the originals,

02:15:08   and then the contents of that Mac become back-up-able

02:15:12   by any service that can read the file system, right?

02:15:14   So you don't have to do anything.

02:15:15   Like, I do this in my house.

02:15:16   Like, my wife's computer used to be the computer

02:15:19   that had the family photo library on it.

02:15:21   Now I do it all on my big, fancy Mac Pro,

02:15:24   but I didn't turn it off on hers.

02:15:25   Hers is still set to keep originals.

02:15:27   So even though I'm doing everything on my Mac,

02:15:30   I know that anything that goes into that library

02:15:33   eventually appears on her computer.

02:15:34   She doesn't have to do anything.

02:15:35   She doesn't have to launch photos periodically.

02:15:37   She just exists having a Mac with her

02:15:40   because it's on her Apple ID,

02:15:42   and any time I go over to that computer --

02:15:44   and by the way, they're on an external drive in her computer.

02:15:46   It's an iMac, but still, the photos are on external drives.

02:15:49   Any time I go over to that Mac and I launch photos,

02:15:51   the photos are already there.

02:15:53   Like, I don't have to wait for the past three weeks of photos

02:15:55   to download or whatever.

02:15:56   They already did in the background,

02:15:57   and she hasn't been running photos.

02:15:59   So I think it just pulls them down by itself.

02:16:00   And, of course, that computer is being backed up,

02:16:02   and when that computer gets backed up,

02:16:04   it backs up the external hard drive,

02:16:05   and it's all part of the whole big backup vortex thing, right?

02:16:09   So, you know, it's like --

02:16:12   In some ways, it sounds, you know, onerous

02:16:14   to have to have a second Mac

02:16:16   just to babysit that external hard drive,

02:16:18   but it actually is a pretty good solution.

02:16:21   Like, it's the type of, like, extra redundancy

02:16:23   that you get for free, especially if you have desktops.

02:16:26   If it has the hard drive space, just have an account

02:16:29   signed into the Apple ID with iCloud photo library

02:16:32   turned on, set to download the originals,

02:16:34   and now you have a little bit of extra peace of mind

02:16:36   assuming you're also backing up that computer.

02:16:38   And even if you're not backing it up,

02:16:39   if you had three computers in the house

02:16:41   and two of them were doing that

02:16:42   and neither one of them was backed up,

02:16:44   you still have two extra copies of all your photos

02:16:46   on those two computers.

02:16:47   If they're stationary and they have enough hard drive space

02:16:50   and they're just sitting there

02:16:51   downloading the originals all day.

02:16:53   -Yeah, because the point is, like, once you have

02:16:56   the iCloud photo library, like, fully on a Mac,

02:17:00   it's just a bunch of files in a bundle.

02:17:02   And so even though it's not organized in the best way --

02:17:05   Sorry, Casey -- it is still --

02:17:07   Like, you still have your pictures there

02:17:09   as randomly named garbage files.

02:17:11   Like, the data is still there,

02:17:13   and if you ever needed to reconstruct, like, you know,

02:17:16   a nicer folder structure from them,

02:17:19   you could do -- you know, you could pull data out of the

02:17:21   EXIF data from the files, and you could actually have a script

02:17:23   that would, you know, make all that stuff.

02:17:24   So, like, there are options for that if you ever needed them.

02:17:26   But, yeah, so the point of step one is

02:17:29   somehow get a computer set up so that it can fit

02:17:33   the entire iCloud photo library on one of its disks somehow

02:17:36   and then go from there.

02:17:38   -Yeah, and in case people don't know,

02:17:40   this is since iPhoto and the current version of iPhoto.

02:17:44   When you launch the app, if you hold down the option key,

02:17:46   it will give you a dialogue that says,

02:17:49   "What photo library do you want me to look at?"

02:17:51   I think you can also just double-click the photo libraries

02:17:53   in the Finder, but anyway, option during launch on photos

02:17:57   is how you get it to use different libraries.

02:17:59   So if you did move your library to an external drive

02:18:01   and you launched it, and it's like,

02:18:03   "Hey, I don't know where your photo library is."

02:18:05   Like, you can pick the new one or whatever, but, like,

02:18:07   option is how you can switch between them.

02:18:09   And I think that screen also lets you pick

02:18:11   the "system library," and that's the one --

02:18:13   the only one you can use with iCloud photos

02:18:15   on that account. -Correct.

02:18:17   -Yeah, so don't forget about that one.

02:18:19   And it's tricky with this whole, like,

02:18:21   hold down the option key.

02:18:24   Like, you want to hold down the option key

02:18:27   usually between the time that you've launched the app

02:18:30   and the time that the app has finished launching,

02:18:33   sometime in there.

02:18:35   Sometimes if you hold down the modifier before you open it

02:18:37   and you end up doing an option double-click

02:18:39   or an option click, that can end up doing weird things.

02:18:42   It's not really for option, but for other modifiers,

02:18:44   like command, command shift, command option,

02:18:48   you can accidentally do weird stuff.

02:18:50   Like, if you command option click on an app in the dock,

02:18:52   it's not gonna do what you think, right?

02:18:54   I was just trying to launch the app

02:18:55   while holding down command and option,

02:18:56   and it opened the enclosing folder.

02:18:58   It's like, "I know."

02:19:00   So launch the app and then quickly hit down option.

02:19:02   It's a little race you can play with yourself.

02:19:04   -Or just move the photo library and then launch the app,

02:19:06   and it will freak out and ask you where the heck it went.

02:19:08   So you can also just do that. -Yep.

02:19:10   -And this is also -- That's the same trick, by the way,

02:19:12   that whenever I am setting up a laptop

02:19:14   and I want it to only use a certain amount of gigs

02:19:18   for the photo library,

02:19:20   I create what used to be a sparse bundle.

02:19:22   Now I'm using an APFS shared volume with a size quota.

02:19:27   And so you can say, "All right, 50 gigs.

02:19:29   I'll let you use 50 gigs."

02:19:30   So I make a volume called photos.

02:19:32   It's an APFS shared volume,

02:19:34   so it shares the space behind my main disk.

02:19:36   I cap it at 50 gigs, and I move the system photo library

02:19:39   to be on that virtual disk.

02:19:41   And then it will never exceed 50 gigs.

02:19:43   It's great. It's a wonderful little hack.

02:19:45   Anyway, thank you to our sponsors this week --

02:19:48   Linode, ExpressVPN, and FlatFile.

02:19:52   And thank you to our members who support us directly

02:19:54   at atbit.fm/join, if you want to join.

02:19:57   And we will talk to you next week.

02:20:00   ♪♪

02:20:02   -♪ Now the show is over ♪

02:20:04   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

02:20:07   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

02:20:09   -♪ Accidental ♪ -♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

02:20:12   -♪ Accidental ♪

02:20:13   -♪ John didn't do any research ♪

02:20:15   ♪ Marco and Casey wouldn't let him ♪

02:20:18   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

02:20:20   -♪ Accidental ♪ -♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

02:20:22   -♪ Accidental ♪

02:20:24   -♪ And you can find the show notes at atp.fm ♪

02:20:29   ♪ And if you're into Twitter ♪

02:20:32   ♪ You can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S ♪

02:20:38   ♪ So that's Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O ♪

02:20:41   ♪ A-R-M ♪

02:20:43   ♪ N-T Marco Armin ♪

02:20:45   ♪ S-I-R ♪

02:20:46   ♪ A-C ♪

02:20:47   ♪ U-S-A Syracuse ♪

02:20:50   ♪ It's accidental ♪

02:20:52   ♪ Accidental ♪

02:20:53   ♪ They didn't mean to ♪

02:20:56   ♪ Accidental ♪

02:20:57   ♪ Accidental ♪

02:20:58   ♪ Tech podcast ♪

02:21:00   ♪ So long ♪

02:21:03   -So what is going on with your monitors, man?

02:21:06   -Well, I've made some decisions.

02:21:09   Not the ones that you want yet, but I basically decided --

02:21:13   So here's what's going on.

02:21:16   I know that I'm a desktop person at heart.

02:21:19   I love desktops.

02:21:21   I always have. I always will.

02:21:23   Right now, though, I'm at a point in my life

02:21:26   where I'm doing a lot of bouncing back and forth

02:21:28   between two places.

02:21:29   I am really appreciating this new laptop that I have.

02:21:32   It's very, very good.

02:21:35   Like, it probably qualifies to replace the 2015 MacBook Pro

02:21:42   as the official best laptop ever made.

02:21:45   -[ Gasps ]

02:21:46   -I only haven't named it that yet,

02:21:47   'cause it's still young.

02:21:49   I got to give it time.

02:21:51   -'Cause they haven't come out with the 15-inch M1

02:21:54   or 16-inch M1.

02:21:55   Once they do that, maybe it'll pull them in the lead.

02:21:58   -I'm not sure.

02:22:00   Honestly, I love the 13-inch for so many reasons

02:22:03   that are likely -- and the Air, specifically --

02:22:06   that are likely to stay 13-inch Air only.

02:22:09   So, number one, being fanless.

02:22:11   I love that.

02:22:13   And I know that no one's hearing the fan much

02:22:16   on the 13 or the Mac Mini.

02:22:17   I know that.

02:22:18   But the fact that I will never hear the fan, period,

02:22:21   no matter how old it gets, like, that's very nice.

02:22:25   I also, as I mentioned earlier,

02:22:28   really like not having a touch bar.

02:22:31   I really, really like it.

02:22:33   I love that I can just reach out and hit one button.

02:22:37   So often, I am making minor adjustments

02:22:40   to volume or brightness or things,

02:22:42   and then just being able to reach out and tap a button

02:22:45   is so much nicer than having to hit

02:22:47   that little touch target on the touch bar.

02:22:49   Wait, first -- Oh, sorry.

02:22:50   The touch bar fell asleep, 'cause I'm watching a YouTube video.

02:22:52   Got to tap it first to wake it up,

02:22:54   'cause I don't even know where to tap exactly until it's on.

02:22:57   And then I can, at best, do one more tap

02:23:00   if I do the tap-and-hold thing, you know, to drag it around.

02:23:04   The touch bar, ugh.

02:23:06   But -- So I love not having that.

02:23:09   I love the fanless nature of it.

02:23:11   What always kept me away from the previous error,

02:23:14   like, they fixed the keyboard, and now it's super fast.

02:23:17   And so because it -- Like, they fixed so much about it,

02:23:22   and they brought elements of it up to a level

02:23:25   that is fine for me.

02:23:27   Right now, this is my primary computer,

02:23:30   and the only things that I really miss about my iMac Pro

02:23:36   are the screen size, which I can fix somehow,

02:23:39   whether it's the 5K or the XDR, whatever,

02:23:41   the ports, which I can maybe, hopefully, fix

02:23:45   with one of these new Thunderbolt docks.

02:23:46   We'll see how that goes.

02:23:48   And the fact that it's, like, always on

02:23:51   and always, like, in the same spot with all the windows,

02:23:54   in the same spot with the same size windows,

02:23:56   like, that is annoying when I'm going between, like,

02:23:59   plugged-in mode and unplugged mode.

02:24:00   It is annoying that all my windows have to change sizes,

02:24:03   and they move around to different places,

02:24:05   and then when I get back to the big screen,

02:24:07   they're all too small and, like,

02:24:08   in the bottom corner for some reason.

02:24:10   Like -- And, yes, I know there are utility apps

02:24:12   that can help me with that, which I might look into,

02:24:15   but -- So, you know, there are parts of it

02:24:17   that I don't like just being a laptop hybrid setup,

02:24:19   but a lot of the things about what has irritated me

02:24:22   about previous laptop setups before

02:24:24   is either greatly reduced or gone with this new setup,

02:24:28   just because the hardware has gotten so much better now.

02:24:31   And this hardware is really, so far, satisfying my needs.

02:24:37   Like, I have not hit anything where I'm like,

02:24:39   "Man, this is terribly slow. I need the bigger one."

02:24:42   And if the bigger ones come out

02:24:44   and they have, like, roughly the same cores

02:24:48   but just more of the high-performance ones,

02:24:50   which would basically mean very similar overall performance

02:24:53   and very similar single-threaded performance

02:24:55   but just higher multithreaded performance,

02:24:57   I'm actually not entirely sure how much I would go for that

02:25:01   based on the value I get out of this being, like,

02:25:06   small, light, and fanless.

02:25:08   I really like that.

02:25:09   And having no touch bar, very much like that.

02:25:11   Like, I really don't see myself

02:25:13   going for a bigger laptop in the near future.

02:25:15   I'm just loving this too much.

02:25:17   So the only thing is whether I get a desktop or not,

02:25:19   and that's still up in the air.

02:25:21   For the desktop side of things, I am very much into,

02:25:24   at least for the time being,

02:25:26   when I have this kind of mobile need,

02:25:29   I am really enjoying having it just be a laptop.

02:25:32   And, like, the fact that, like, you know,

02:25:34   we left the beach for a couple of weeks

02:25:36   and I'm able to just take my computer home,

02:25:39   not in a giant carrying case with wheels

02:25:42   and have to, you know, unplug a whole bunch of cables

02:25:44   and, you know, like, unplug one cable

02:25:46   and take this little tiny laptop in my backpack

02:25:49   and I just have my computer.

02:25:50   And I have all of my stuff on it and, like,

02:25:52   it's all set up so, like,

02:25:54   there is a lot of benefit to this lifestyle.

02:25:56   And so with so many of the negative parts

02:26:00   of laptop universalism like this,

02:26:02   with so many of the negative parts of them reduced

02:26:04   or eliminated with modern hardware,

02:26:06   I think I might try it for a while.

02:26:08   There is significant value here to me.

02:26:10   And so if that is the case,

02:26:12   I think what I'm gonna want for a while at least,

02:26:16   again, probably not forever,

02:26:18   but what I'm gonna want for a little while

02:26:20   is a monitor at the beach, a monitor here,

02:26:24   and a laptop I bring between them.

02:26:26   Maybe a Mac Mini I bring between them, I don't know.

02:26:28   That could also work.

02:26:30   But the current Mac Mini,

02:26:32   it's basically the same computer as this plus a fan,

02:26:34   but it has all the same limits.

02:26:36   It's still 16 gig or two terabyte limit,

02:26:38   so that doesn't really buy me much.

02:26:40   It does add the ports.

02:26:41   You know, it does fix the port situation slightly,

02:26:43   but ultimately I'm thinking better off

02:26:46   just sticking with this MacBook Air,

02:26:48   just using this for a while,

02:26:49   and having a monitor, keyboard, mouse set up

02:26:53   wherever I need to be.

02:26:55   That's a lot easier to replicate that

02:26:57   than it is to haul an iMac back and forth.

02:27:00   - I wonder to a degree if a Mac Mini

02:27:03   would work in this scenario.

02:27:04   - It totally would.

02:27:06   But why?

02:27:08   It's not better enough than the Air.

02:27:10   - Yeah, that's the problem.

02:27:11   Exactly.

02:27:12   That's the problem I'm struggling with

02:27:13   is other than fixing your ports,

02:27:14   I'm not sure whether it really buys you

02:27:16   in the grand scheme of things,

02:27:17   and it takes away being able to use it on the boat

02:27:19   or in the car or whatever.

02:27:21   Anywhere that's not a monitor.

02:27:22   - Well, I don't need that.

02:27:23   On the boat, I listen to podcasts,

02:27:24   I drive the car,

02:27:25   but the fact is if the Mac Mini

02:27:27   could go to 32 gigs of RAM and four terabytes of disk,

02:27:30   we'd have a different story on our hands,

02:27:32   but it can't.

02:27:33   And so that doesn't really buy me anything.

02:27:35   That doesn't really lift enough limitations off of me,

02:27:40   and frankly, I'm not feeling a lot of limitations.

02:27:42   Really, screen size and the port situation,

02:27:47   that's it.

02:27:48   That's the limitation I'm feeling,

02:27:50   and those are actually addressable.

02:27:52   As much as I complain about the LG,

02:27:54   it's working for me for the last week.

02:27:57   I did everything I needed to do.

02:27:58   It's fine.

02:27:59   The ports on it, I just don't use the ports on it,

02:28:01   and the screen wobbles like crazy,

02:28:03   and I hate every minute of looking at it.

02:28:04   But other than that, it's fine.

02:28:06   And it's not that expensive relative

02:28:09   to all this other hardware.

02:28:11   It isn't that much money if I wanted to get

02:28:14   a second one of those and have the two locations

02:28:16   just be LG 5Ks and keyboard and mouse, and that's it.

02:28:21   I could totally do that and have an amazing mobile situation.

02:28:26   - That's a good excuse for you

02:28:27   to try the new revision of the 5K.

02:28:30   - I have thought about that, honestly.

02:28:32   This is the direction I'm probably going to go.

02:28:37   Or I could get an XDR for the primary place

02:28:41   that's used more often and put the 5K

02:28:43   in the less used place.

02:28:45   Because then I wouldn't need to buy a new 5K.

02:28:48   - That's a big step up in price.

02:28:50   - But same number of fans, apparently.

02:28:53   - Well, no, we only saw one fan in the LG.

02:28:56   There's definitely more than one in the XDR.

02:28:58   - Oh, no, really?

02:28:59   Don't tell me that.

02:29:00   Oh, God.

02:29:01   - Yes, multiple fans.

02:29:02   They're all silent, just like apparently

02:29:04   the one in the LG that you didn't know was there.

02:29:06   (laughing)

02:29:07   You need to, you need to put your hand behind the monitor,

02:29:09   see if you can feel air coming out.

02:29:11   - Yeah, once I get back there,

02:29:12   I definitely am going to do this.

02:29:14   - Maybe it's got a fan,

02:29:15   but it's entirely blocked by the stand.

02:29:17   - Yeah, right.

02:29:18   (laughing)

02:29:19   - It's just futilely blowing air

02:29:20   into the back of a piece of plastic.

02:29:22   - Or it's already full of sand.

02:29:24   - Yeah, check for spider eggs.

02:29:26   (beeping)