395: Receive Their Honking


00:00:00   Can I give you a little bit of touchy feely to start the show and a nice convenient place for you to remove it if you so desire?

00:00:06   Sure. Is that like force touch? What are you talking about?

00:00:10   I would like to 3D touch you gentlemen. I told, I don't remember if it was Aaron said it to me or I said it to Aaron.

00:00:20   But when we were debating me quitting my jobby job and being independent, my goal was to last until Declan reached kindergarten.

00:00:30   Because at that point in the before times, there would be a kindergarten to go to.

00:00:35   I was going to say like, did he actually reach kindergarten?

00:00:39   Well he reached it. He's not going to it though. But anyways, he started virtual kindergarten on Tuesday and my first goal for the Casey List World Domination Corporation was to last until Declan got to kindergarten.

00:00:57   Because at that point, like I said in the before times, the theory was he'd be going to school and although it's not that Michaela is chopped liver,

00:01:02   but at the bare minimum, it would be nice if the elder child would be able to be gone before I had to seek employment.

00:01:11   Because at that point, I'm cheating Michaela, which still stinks, but at least I'm not cheating both of them from time with me.

00:01:17   But Tuesday, I made it. So I made it that long. And now the stretch goal of Michaela is what, like two and a half years away, two years away, something like that.

00:01:25   So you never know. But that is a very random way for me to say thank you to anyone who listens to the show, to anyone who is a member of the show.

00:01:36   And I will be that sleazeball that turns this into a roundabout pitch. And say ATP.fm/join would be a great way to continue to keep me home with my kids, which would be lovely.

00:01:46   Masterfully done.

00:01:47   But no, seriously, it is...

00:01:49   Listen, otherwise Casey's kids will starve.

00:01:51   They will starve! No, but all kidding aside, it is a really unbelievable... I was going to say achievement, but that sounds too back patty of myself.

00:02:03   It is an achievement. You are part of the show.

00:02:05   Well, I don't want to sound gloatey. I want to sound appreciative that it's because of the show and other things, not just the show, but a lot this show, that I've been able to be home with the family.

00:02:16   And that's super awesome. And I thank anyone who listens to the show, who patronizes sponsors of ours, who is a member of ours, all of you. You have made my life better and I appreciate it.

00:02:28   Mine too, so thanks. Go team.

00:02:31   Let's see if we can't get that second child, first child treatment. Keep Casey independent through all of his children's kindergarten.

00:02:38   Something tells me that we're all going to have things to say about technology for at least the next two and a half years.

00:02:43   I hope so.

00:02:44   Just a guess.

00:02:45   All kidding aside, I have a genuine fear that... I don't know if it's better or worse, that I have a genuine fear that one of you is going to just be like, "Mm, I'm done."

00:02:56   Either because it's like a "screw you guys" or it's just a "Mm, I don't feel like it anymore."

00:03:01   And the thing that's funny to me though is that that fear is stronger to me than the fear of one of you getting hit by the proverbial bus.

00:03:08   Given that we're all homebound now, I guess that does make sense. But prior to us all being homebound... I don't know.

00:03:14   Given that we've been doing this for like seven years and we've never even had an argument about anything...

00:03:20   That's true. Except for show titles.

00:03:23   And given that I live on an island with no buses, I think we're mostly in a low-risk category right now.

00:03:29   There's the sand bus. You could be out there taking a walk on the beach. Sand bus comes. You can't hear it. Totally silent. Boom. Kills you.

00:03:36   You know, this might be destroying your OPSEC, so hopefully I left you a clean edit point. But yeah, I was made aware of the sand buses on the island in which you live.

00:03:47   And it was described to me either via text or verbally. I don't recall how. And then I saw a photograph of it and it turns out, "No, holy crap. There is a little, you know, a short bus not in the like, you know, I don't know, demeaning way. It's just physically a short bus."

00:04:02   And it's driving on the sand. I would have expected it to be like lifted with like, you know, humongous tires on it or something like that. But no, it looked like a regular bus except, you know, a short bus.

00:04:13   But a regular short bus just driving up the sand casually.

00:04:16   Well, they are, they're pretty, you know, knobby tires. They're like, you know, half inflated. So they're pretty, you know, flat to the ground for traction.

00:04:24   And they are modified to be 4x4 buses.

00:04:27   Oh, that's wild. That's super cool though. And yeah, you could get run over by it. And it is quieter on the sand, I would assume, than it would be on the pavement. So be careful out there.

00:04:34   They're not that fast though.

00:04:35   Fair enough. And you're a runner now, so you can outrun them.

00:04:38   Yeah, the running on sand sucks.

00:04:40   I tried that a couple times years and years and years ago because everyone, everyone makes it look like it's so fun and delightful. And I'm not even talking Baywatch. I'm saying like literally people I've seen in person make it look like it's so delightful and fun. No, no. Not in my experience.

00:04:52   No, it's like somebody decided running, running, okay, needed to be made worse. Someone said, you know what, this running I'm doing is too enjoyable because everyone loves running so much. We need to find ways to make it harder.

00:05:07   And so some people decided to try to run on sand. That is not something I would recommend and certainly not something I have any interest in doing.

00:05:16   By the way, I did want to take a very quick apology here. Last episode during the exercising segment, we made a reference to running and how California with its awesome weather is an easier place to run.

00:05:29   This was a terrible time to reference California's great weather because California is going through some terrible stuff right now. It's really on fire. It's not in a good place. So we're sorry about that.

00:05:39   Yeah, I think I piled on with you on that because making fun of the Californian weather is one of my favorite pastimes and I feel like a big jerk. So my bad.

00:05:47   I agree. You two did sound like big jerks. I'm glad I didn't say anything.

00:05:51   I have picked out my favorite listener of the show.

00:05:56   6668 guy?

00:05:58   James Neil, who donated $6,668 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. You are, bar none, my favorite listener of the show.

00:06:11   And thank you, James, for doing the service that all of us, but really me, needed so badly, which was moving me off of the leaderboard on the St. Jude website.

00:06:22   James, just yesterday, as we communicated via email, just yesterday, not one, but a veritable handful of ATP stickers was dispatched in our failing United States Postal Service to send to you.

00:06:34   And so I would like to publicly thank James Neil, my favorite ATP listener, for buying my love 6668 times by donating to St. Jude.

00:06:45   And by knocking Casey Star Aaron Liss off the top of the list. After only about a day, it really wasn't that long.

00:06:51   It was not long at all. And you know what? If you're going to troll somebody, you're going to do it, you've got to do it the way James did.

00:06:58   You've done good by donating a genuinely extraordinary pile of money to what I believe to be a really great charity, a hospital and all that.

00:07:08   And beyond that, the message was James Neil, Star, or asterisk I should say. You're welcome, Casey.

00:07:14   Just masterfully done from top to bottom.

00:07:16   And an extra thanks for all of our members, or all of our listeners who donated to St. Jude, which Casey is probably about to resell you all on.

00:07:24   An extra thanks for all of that, not only for donating to this amazing cause, but also for the hilarious Casey trolling that so many of you did in your name and description fields.

00:07:34   So many people were like, you know, name Star, other name, or like Casey, like where the A was made of stars.

00:07:41   Like, oh, it was glorious. It was so great to be able to laugh so much at Casey's expense about this thing that is a really good cause.

00:07:51   And that is actually resulting in meaningful amounts of money being donated to a really, really good cause.

00:07:57   So thank you all for both the goodness that came of this and also the amazing trolling of Casey in the process.

00:08:02   I was laughing my butt off that whole next day reading all those names.

00:08:05   I am happy to be trolled in this way. Additionally, I am really perturbed because I swear to you, I looked and quickly proofread the form where I did Casey, Ampersand, Aaron, Liszt.

00:08:17   But there have been Ampersands all over these different names, so I gotta be wrong. I gotta be wrong.

00:08:22   As many people have proven you wrong.

00:08:24   Everybody has proven that it does accept Ampersands.

00:08:27   Yeah, I must have fat-fingered it. I swear I looked at it.

00:08:31   Again, I'm not debating. I must be wrong. But my lived reality, let's talk politics now.

00:08:37   My lived reality is that I swear I looked at that Ampersand, but I guess not.

00:08:41   That's alright. So anyway, what are we talking about?

00:08:44   So in September, it is National Cancer, is it National or Worldwide? I don't know. It doesn't matter.

00:08:50   It's Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

00:08:51   And so Relay FM and associated people like us are trying to raise a whole pile of money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

00:08:57   St. Jude is a hospital where they treat all sorts of things, but particularly childhood cancers.

00:09:02   And they do so for free in the sense that they do not charge the families, just not even a cent.

00:09:08   And it's such an incredible thing, and it's such an incredible place, and it's near and dear to all of our hearts in many, many ways.

00:09:15   But in no small part because our dear friend, Stephen Hackett, his eldest son, his life was saved by St. Jude.

00:09:23   And I mean that literally, and that's really incredible and really phenomenal.

00:09:27   And if I have to get trolled a little bit every September to try to pay that back, it's well worth it to me.

00:09:34   So if possible, please go to stjude.org. S-T-J-U-D-E dot org slash ATP and throw a few bucks their way.

00:09:43   It would be great if you could throw five, ten, fifteen, a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand dollars, whatever, whatever you have.

00:09:50   That's cool. Whatever you have would be great.

00:09:52   Again, I'm doing the easy sell. Hopefully Marco will do the mean sell here in a second.

00:09:58   But any amount of money you can donate to this cause is really great.

00:10:01   And we're trying very hard during the month of September to raise money for St. Jude.

00:10:06   So S-T-J-U-D-E dot org slash ATP.

00:10:09   So yeah, in addition, by the way, before I forget, live listener Weed Mountain in the chat has an amazing idea.

00:10:16   They say, "I think someone should do $6,669 as Casey Star Aaron lists."

00:10:23   I was just going to say, so James Neal is at the top of the leaderboard now, but that doesn't mean you can't beat him,

00:10:30   person who's listening now who has this much money who wants to give.

00:10:33   You just have to do one dollar more, then you're at the top of the leaderboard.

00:10:36   And yes, Casey will send you stickers because I'm volunteering him to do it right now.

00:10:39   Yes, I will.

00:10:40   Every person who reaches the top of the leaderboard will get stickers until Casey has no more stickers left, and then he'll order more.

00:10:45   We can order more stickers if there's actually so many people who do this.

00:10:49   There's a freaking question about James Neal, by the way. I don't want to reveal anything because I have no idea.

00:10:54   I don't know anything about James Neal other than what he entered in the form, which is just James Neal space asterisk space.

00:10:59   You're welcome, Kamikaze.

00:11:01   Lots of people have been asking, "Is this the famous hockey player?"

00:11:05   I don't know. If it makes you feel better to think it is, sure. Why not? I don't know. Maybe.

00:11:10   I do not think so, but I don't know.

00:11:12   Yeah, it could be, but maybe not. I don't know. Anyway, if you want to beat James Neal, whether or not he's a professional hockey player, $6,669, that's all it takes.

00:11:22   And then you too, you can put whatever you want to say up there until someone else donates one more dollar and beats you.

00:11:28   Are we turning this into Bode McBoatface all over again?

00:11:31   Hey, if it keeps raising this much money, I think it's worth it.

00:11:34   It's great that James Neal did this, but statistically speaking, there's got to be more people who listen to the show who can't afford to give that much to St. Jude.

00:11:43   It just feels like too much to do for a stupid podcast prank, but I'm here to tell you it's not.

00:11:47   It's not like you're donating money into the air. You're giving it to this amazing cause. This is incredible.

00:11:54   And I will repeat my sales pitch slightly from last week.

00:11:57   In summary, we are all, many of us who listen to the show, about to spend stupid amounts of money on Apple hardware we don't really need because it's that season.

00:12:06   And so if you are lucky enough to be able to set money on fire every fall to upgrade a one to three year old computing device that still works fine, but there's just a new flashy one that you just want more,

00:12:18   I have to have the camera for my kids. Whatever your excuse is, we all know that this is mostly a prick just because we like these things and they're nice, not necessarily out of need.

00:12:29   Or at least we don't need them as much as we say we do, or as frequently as we actually upgrade them.

00:12:35   So if you fall into that camp, if you are lucky enough to be able to get all these fun gadgets in a less needful way, you can probably also afford to drop a nice donation to St. Jude on the order of like 50, 100 bucks, something like that.

00:12:50   More if you can, but if you're not in the setting money on fire kind of capability range, I'm sure you can at least give them like 50 bucks, 100 bucks.

00:13:00   So please give what you can and thank you very much.

00:13:04   All right, let's do some follow up. We have a lot to go through, but I'm sure it'll be quick, right?

00:13:09   Tell me about, Jon, a GUI for APFS snapshots, if you please.

00:13:13   I was asking ATP last week where someone was asking about how to get that space back that's being taken up by snapshots.

00:13:19   And I was saying you can use the TM-Util command line, but it's kind of fidgety and maybe you don't want to delve into that.

00:13:24   And it would be nice if the OS had a GUI for it. We had two main suggestions for how to solve this problem.

00:13:29   One was that Boot Camp Assistant, like the little app that comes with your Mac that you run to essentially set up Boot Camp on your Mac,

00:13:36   as part of the process where it like, you know, makes a new partition where it's going to install Windows or whatever,

00:13:42   it first apparently purges all snapshots just to like free up space and everything.

00:13:47   So some people saying, hey, if you just want to clear the snapshots, just run Boot Camp Assistant.

00:13:52   I suppose that would work, but I'm a little bit leery of going through the process of Boot Camp Assistant and being confident that I'm not like hitting the next button in the little wizard like one time too far,

00:14:04   because I don't actually want to install Boot Camp on my main drive.

00:14:08   And so just using it for the side effect of cleaning snapshots seems not great to me. But anyway, that is an option if you like that better.

00:14:15   Second thing that was suggested is Carbon Copy Cloner, which is a great disk cloning program that I own and use for various purposes.

00:14:22   Lots of people said that had a GUI for snapshots. It does have a GUI for snapshots, but it shows no snapshots for my disk,

00:14:30   whereas TMUtil, this local snapshot, shows seven snapshots. So there's some disparity between what that GUI shows and what's actually there.

00:14:37   It may just be showing the snapshots that you make with Carbon Copy Cloner because it can do a bunch of APFS snapshot stuff. It's very cool.

00:14:43   But it doesn't, it seems like it's not a general purpose GUI for removing snapshots, because like I said, it didn't show any,

00:14:50   but I know I have some because I can listen from the command line tool. So that's all I've got so far, but I just did want to list those because many, many people wrote in to tell me about them.

00:14:58   And then tell me about the Xbox Elite Series 2, if you please.

00:15:02   That's a super expensive controller that I talked about as part of a sponsorship last week.

00:15:07   A couple of things that I forgot to mention. One, I was talking about the trigger activation point, like how it's good that you don't have to pull the triggers as far,

00:15:14   but it feels kind of bad because they hit these stops, right? So you have to decide between a good trigger feel and faster reaction time.

00:15:20   Another option that I saw when I was setting it up but decided not to go with is the software that you use to configure these.

00:15:26   It's Windows software, so I was in Windows when I was doing this.

00:15:28   I'm so sorry.

00:15:29   That's where I'm playing Destiny anyway. You can set the trigger activation point in software, so you can leave the triggers on their full throw,

00:15:38   but tell it to activate when you just push them down 10%, which seems like, oh, that gives you the best of all worlds.

00:15:44   Now it's the good trigger feel and also it activates immediately.

00:15:47   But to me, that just felt weird to have sort of a hair trigger, like the trigger has this huge amount of travel, but only the first 10% of it counts, then after that it's just wasted.

00:15:56   So I decided not to go with that, but if you want to, it's an option.

00:15:59   Also, a lot of people asked about reliability of these controllers.

00:16:03   Obviously, I just got it, so I have no idea what the reliability is, but I have heard from a lot of people who had the original Elite and the Series 2 that a surprising amount of issues with Switch is going bad after a short period of time.

00:16:15   Always after the warranty runs out because apparently the warranty is not very long, but a shorter period of time than you would think.

00:16:20   That makes me think about, I don't know, I've never owned a luxury car, so I don't know if this is true of luxury cars, but the idea that if you're going to make hundreds of thousands of a thing,

00:16:32   and you're going to sell it for years and years, you can afford to do a huge amount of reliability testing, whereas if you're going to sell a hundred of them, maybe you didn't test every single little part of it so that it's completely durable.

00:16:44   So if you get some kind of boutique car that they only make a hundred of, it could end up being significantly less reliable than a Honda Civic that they are going to make thousands and thousands of.

00:16:54   I think it might be the same way with console controllers, where the controller that comes with your PlayStation or Xbox has been tested to death, because they know they're going to ship thousands and thousands of those.

00:17:05   It's not the world's greatest controller, it's not super expensive, it's not metal and magnetic and you know, have all these fancy features, right? But it is extremely well tested in whatever those durability testing machines, so that it's not going to go bad.

00:17:17   That's why you don't hear about, oh, don't get the Xbox because the controller grows bad after a year. People buy Xboxes and they use the controllers for years and years and years and they're fine.

00:17:24   Yes, all controllers can eventually break and if you spill water on them, you have problems and so on and so forth, but they're pretty durable. But this boutique $180 controller, apparently, maybe they didn't do enough durability testing or it wasn't, you know, monetarily worthwhile for them to do enough durability testing, but it seems to have worse reliability than the super cheap controllers.

00:17:44   That's one possibility. The other possibility is that every time it breaks, someone wails out so loud that the whole internet hears them because they spent $180 on a controller and something broke on it, so it could be magnified by that.

00:17:55   And the final thing is, a couple people recommended the PS4 back button attachment, which lets you put paddles on the underside of a PS4 controller. I had been watching that thing when it came out, but I didn't decide to buy it.

00:18:06   And then I said, "You know what, I should just get that." Like, months and months ago, I figured, "I should just get that. I should try it." But then they were out of stock everywhere. I don't know if Sony just stopped making it or whatever, but I did manage to find one, thanks to a listener who gave me an inside connection to get one of these, so I have the PS4 back button on its way to me and I will let you know how that is when I get it.

00:18:23   Nice. So last week, I somehow allowed you two jerks to force me to talk about my culinary habits, and I talked about this particular kind of rice-a-roni that I make occasionally, and we'll talk about that in a second, but in the process, I was telling a story about how I came from a family wherein mom made a meatloaf once and she threw it out in the backwoods in Connecticut, and we had tons of deer there at the time, and it never got eaten after like a week.

00:18:48   And then you guys very rightfully pointed out, "Well, wait a second, aren't deer herbivores?" And that never crossed my mind before. And then Matt Harmon saved the day and wrote in to say, "I'll save you guys some videos of deer eating birds," but they are technically opportunistic omnivores.

00:19:02   Aren't we all?

00:19:03   Yeah, and I should have known this because where we live, there's a huge problem of deer eating people's trash, and they don't just eat the plants out of the trash. They'll eat any kind of food that's in there. They'll eat pretty much any food they find. So I guess I should have known that, but didn't. Sorry to all the deer out there who I misstated your food preferences for.

00:19:28   I'm excited to see a video of a deer leaping through the air and biting a bird out of the air. I mean, I guess maybe they eat them after they're already dead? I don't know.

00:19:36   Yeah, I don't know if they... I've never considered them as like hunters of other animals, but yeah, maybe I don't want to see that. I don't know.

00:19:46   Either way, and then with regard to the rice-a-roni, I only got a little bit of feedback. Thank you, listeners, genuinely, for not lighting me up about this, but there were a couple of very angry people about this rice-a-roni thing. Let me just make it clear. This happens like two, maybe four times a year. This is not like a weekly rice-a-roni night. So everyone, don't worry. Aaron cooks us nice, nutritious meals pretty much all the time. I would if I wasn't a disaster in the kitchen, obviously, because I'm cooking rice-a-roni when I'm cooking. So yeah, we're okay. We're not going to keel over and die, I promise.

00:20:15   I had a request for help with regard to replicating a Synology from one place to another. A lot of people wrote in to tell us a couple of things. Thomas Burak was the first person, or perhaps the best summary, I saw. And Thomas wrote, "Hi, Hyper Backup is the client. Hyper Backup Vault is the server."

00:20:36   So as with Apple TV, Apple TV Plus, Apple TV the App, Apple TV the Hardware, all these things, I feel like the Synology naming convention is truly terrible. But again, Hyper Backup is the client. Hyper Backup Vault is the server. Thomas continues, "Put the Vault in the Synology at your parents' house." This is the one that was going to receive the backup. "And use Hyper Backup to copy your entire Synology. This is better than Sync. If you delete a file on your Synology and you're syncing, it gets deleted on the synced machine. A regular backup allows you to go back in time and get files that are no longer on your home Synology.

00:21:05   Hyper Backup can do incremental backups, so the first one is the longest." So I have not yet tried that because my parents' internet connection is still wonky for reasons that I can get into in the post show if you care, but you probably don't.

00:21:17   And then finally, Evan J. was the first I saw, but many, many, many people wrote in with a video from Linus Tech Tips, which I'd heard of but never seen before. And there was an episode where, I think it was a sponsored episode if I'm honest, but nevertheless they talked about setting up a Synology and they very briefly ran through how to set up Hyper Backup and Hyper Backup.

00:21:34   And that was very convenient for me to watch, so thank you for all of you who wrote in with regard to that.

00:21:40   We are sponsored this week by a new podcast called Bring Back Bronco, the Untold Story. This is the story of a truck and the story of a country. The rise, fall, and rebirth of the Ford Bronco is a metaphor for the last 50 years in America.

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00:23:49   [music]

00:23:53   I took my fancy pants flashlight, Marco, and I took it into a big long tunnel.

00:23:58   All right, how did it go?

00:24:00   It went very well, actually. I appreciate the suggestion. It occurred to me that in order to have the privilege of touring the tunnel before it opens, I donated the princely sum of $100 to this foundation in order--I mean, $100 is a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not that much.

00:24:17   So anyway, I donated $100 to this charity thing, to the Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation in order to help them turn this into a park sort of thing. And then it occurred to me earlier today, I spent $100 for the privilege of going in and what, $70, $80 on the stupid flashlight in order to take it through the tunnel? I mean, I'll use the flashlight other times.

00:24:40   I believe it's about $70, yeah.

00:24:41   So it was funny to me that it was almost the entire cost of the trip, if you will, to go and see this thing. But yeah, the Blue Ridge Tunnel, I'll put a link in the show notes. I think we talked about it briefly a few episodes ago.

00:24:51   But suffice to say, it's a nearly mile long tunnel that was dug in the mid-1800s, and it was dug from each direction toward the center. And when they met, they were like six inches off or something like that.

00:25:01   No, it was even better than that. It was like a quarter of an inch or something.

00:25:05   Yeah, whatever it was, it was preposterous. And so I did tour it. The first hundred or so meters/yards were a little creepy, I'm not going to lie. But the flashlight worked well. It was plenty bright, even on the high but not turbo setting.

00:25:21   And once I got through the first hundred yards or so, I felt like, oh, actually this is just cool. It's not creepy at all. And again, I'm very glad I had the flashlight. The turbo setting, which is the thing where it's like 1100 lumens or something like that and can only last for a couple of minutes, that thing's bright, man. That thing is super bright.

00:25:38   I wish it could go more than two minutes, but it gets seriously hot. I don't remember if I ever talked about it on the show, but if you shine the flashlight against your hand with a couple inch gap between the flashlight and your hand, in the turbo mode, which is this 1100 lumen mode, your hand starts to hurt from the heat after just like five or ten seconds. It's preposterous how much heat that thing throws when it's in the turbo mode.

00:25:59   So again, I appreciate the recommendation. We'll put a link in the show notes if you care. The flashlight worked out super well. And if you happen to live in West Central, I guess, Virginia, over in the Waynesboro area, supposedly sometime in the next couple of months, the Blue Ridge Tunnel will be open to the public. And I highly, highly, highly recommend it. It was an extremely cool experience. So you should check that out.

00:26:20   All right. Tell me, Jon, about other people who have similar woes as you with regard to their beloved Mac Pro.

00:26:27   This is Jan Hulsman, who says that he experienced the same Mac Pro problems as me and he went through the same things as me. SMC reset and VRAM or whatever, and he just gave up.

00:26:36   I was like, well, I'll just hope Beta 6 fixes the issue. And he's happy to report that since Beta 6's release with the new boot ROM, apparently it fixes the issue.

00:26:46   And we have the versions that are included with Beta 6. Maybe we'll put them in the show notes, but they're so long. But it's good. And I got this report from a lot of other people that basically Beta 6 came and their Mac Pros that previously wouldn't wake from sleep do wake from sleep.

00:26:58   This makes me happy, not because I'm planning on installing betas, but because I had this fear in the back of my mind that my obscure problem, like maybe with some weird one off thing with my computer or whatever, and it would just never get fixed.

00:27:09   And then the final version of Big Sur would go out and I'd be afraid to even install the release version because I'm like, well, what if I install the release version and I can't wake from sleep? I could be in the same situation again.

00:27:18   But it sounds like Beta 6 fixed it, so I feel better about the release version now unless it breaks again in Beta 7. So I'll be watching for that.

00:27:24   Did you notice that you probably don't even use SMB very much, but SMB is completely hosed in Beta 6 now that you have to manually load the CACs each time you reboot in order to get it to work?

00:27:36   I saw you say that, but I'm not booting into Big Sur anymore except from the DTK and when I'm on the DTK I'm just using Xcode. I have not noticed that, but that sounds crappy.

00:27:44   Yeah, it was not. Because I happened to see it, I think it was Daniel Jalkat that had put a tweet of his own or somebody else's in front of me, and if it wasn't for that I would never have figured out what was going on because it looked like a networking failure rather than a, I don't know what Samba is right now, failure.

00:28:02   So yeah, it was very, very peculiar, but I have decided that even though I was very enthusiastic about Big Sur at first, I'm kind of backpedaling on that a little bit and I think I'm going to wait it out for at least a month or two.

00:28:16   Oh definitely. First of all, if you're a podcaster, many audio apps, including I think still everything by Rogue or Miba, which we all depend on a lot, simply don't work in Big Sur because they changed some critical functionality that these apps use and so it basically doesn't work yet.

00:28:33   They're working on it, but I don't think it's ready yet. And so that's one problem. And then also, Big Sur is such a big change to so many parts of just basic stuff like window chrome, the way widgets are drawn, it's a huge change to the OS's fundamental functionality, really.

00:28:54   And so much of it is really still very rough around the edges. We've been in beta now all summer, summer's over, we're nearing likely release times, and I don't think it's anywhere near ready yet.

00:29:08   I really hope that they don't push too quickly to get the first Apple Silicon Max out there, which will require this and therefore will probably require it to be released, but it's so not ready. And it's still, here we are in mid-September, and it's like every time I use Big Sur, which isn't even that often because I'm using it only on the laptop.

00:29:30   Every time I use it, I run into graphical glitches and other weird behavior stuff. Heck, even iOS 14, the last couple betas of iOS 14 have been buggier than the earlier ones in the summer.

00:29:43   So we're coming in hot with the software this year. Among other issues I've had with it, Spotlight has stopped working sometimes and requires a reboot. Apps, instead of zooming in when you launch them, instead of zooming in from their icon, they sometimes will get stuck sliding in from the right. Who knows why.

00:30:03   And my favorite bug of all time, the other night my phone wouldn't charge via Qi charging until I rebooted it. Oh, neato. That was a fun one. So yeah. I would say, don't jump on these releases on version .0 if they come out any time soon. Give it some time. They could use a bit of time.

00:30:23   However, I have amazing follow up. A bug has been fixed. I have been complaining on this show for about 14 or 15 months that ever since iOS 13 beta 1 last summer, there was a bug in iOS mail where periodically new messages would stop appearing in the list.

00:30:52   And the only way to see your new messages was to go out of the inbox view to the root screen and then go back into your inbox view and then they'd be there. And this was infuriating because you just seemingly stopped getting mail.

00:31:05   And what was actually happening is the messages were being inserted at the bottom of your inbox instead of at the top so you just weren't seeing them if you had more than five messages in your inbox.

00:31:13   But it was really frustrating and that's a horrible bug because you could be missing email without realizing you're missing anything. That bug persisted through every single version of iOS 13 to the best of my knowledge.

00:31:26   I don't know if it's in 13.7. However, I can verify that bug has been fixed. Not in iOS 14 beta 1, not in iOS 14 betas 2 through I think about 5 or 6. However, as of the last few weeks, that bug is fixed.

00:31:43   I have confirmation it is fixed. Finally, the Apple mail bug that prevented new messages from showing up sometimes is fixed since last year. I am so happy. Finally, something's getting better.

00:31:58   So, I can honestly say iOS 14 is better than iOS 13 in this one very important to me way.

00:32:05   Oh man. Well, that's exciting. So maybe since you're having such good luck, you can get some changes made to app review.

00:32:13   Mmm. That's... Yeah.

00:32:17   Yeah. I don't even know what to say about this. So supposedly, Apple is implementing some of the promised changes to app review and you can now suggest changes to the guidelines and there's a place where you can do that online.

00:32:32   So this was announced earlier this summer, I think right after WBC or like the second David or something and we talked about it. How this was potentially really, you know, it sounds really groundbreaking that they were making these couple of changes.

00:32:45   Seemingly, like directly in response to the Hey! Brouhaha that happened right before WBC. So basically, yeah, two things that they weren't going, they were no longer going to delay like minor bug fix updates over guideline violations except for those legal issues.

00:33:03   That's nice. That basically they wouldn't like delay your like 1.0.2 update because they disagree with your in-app purchase stuff. Like they would give you a chance to get that bug fix out and then work on whatever they want you to work on like in the next version.

00:33:18   And yeah, as you mentioned, Casey, they also said that you could appeal decisions more easily, which is kind of already had that, but also that you could suggest changes to the app store rules.

00:33:30   John covered it well when this came out. You know, it's hard to suggest changes to the rules and expect those to go anywhere because you're suggesting the changes to the rules to Apple who made the rules.

00:33:44   And the judge in any argument you make is Apple who made the rules. And so I can't imagine that this is actually going to result in any meaningful changes because if Apple thought the rules should be different, they would change them.

00:34:02   If you, if Apple says, here's the rule and you say, I disagree with that, what are your chances of them saying, oh, okay, you know what? We were, you know, turns out you changed our mind. We're going to change this rule now for everybody.

00:34:15   Like that, it just, it seems like this is much more likely to end up in just some lip service and no real meaningful changes.

00:34:24   Well, the way I'd phrase it is that it's not, it doesn't, you know, this sounds good from a PR perspective, but the chances are probably about the same as they ever were that things will change because in the past Apple has certainly changed the rules.

00:34:35   And in the past, people have complained about the rules. It's just that there was no official formal system defined for this. Right?

00:34:41   So I think the odds of the rules changing are the same as they've ever been. App store rules change all the time and developers give feedback all the time.

00:34:47   And those two things are connected in some way, but now there's an official channel for them to be connected. Like there are already examples of people saying, oh, this Apple is doing something dumb because they didn't have a rule that covered my specific case.

00:34:59   And I used the new system and said, hey, my thing should fit within the rules and Apple agreed and they changed the rules.

00:35:06   That happens all the time and has always happened all the time. But it's, it's like you were saying, Margot, is it going to happen more now that we have this official channel?

00:35:14   No, it's just a more formal recognition of a process that was already happening informally. And your odds are probably about the same as they ever were.

00:35:22   If you, if you point something out and Apple's like, huh, we haven't thought about that, they'll change the rules. And they always would have done that.

00:35:28   It's just that now that you'll get like, essentially like with Margot's bug report, now you'll be able to see I did a thing and they told me in response to that thing, they changed the rule as opposed to the old system, which was you complain about it.

00:35:38   And at some point in the future, the rule changes if Apple agreed with you, but they never say, oh, we changed this rule specifically because you asked about it.

00:35:45   Right. And in the same way now, like they may tell you we fixed this bug because you reported it, but they might have already known about the bug and a duplicate and multiple people could have reported it.

00:35:53   It's a similar system. So these are all good positive changes. And sometimes just having an official channel is a perceived advantage, even if in practice it doesn't increase your odds of getting any changes.

00:36:07   The one thing they fumble on this, though, was the bug fix is no longer delaying guideline violation issues or whatever.

00:36:18   When they announced that and then like the next week, someone was like, I tried to send the 1.0.1 update and Apple blocked it because I have some problem with IAP.

00:36:28   I thought they said they weren't doing that anymore. And Apple's response was, I don't know if this is an official Apple response, but someone said, you know, secondhand, they heard that, oh, well, that whole thing about not delaying bug fixes, that starts when iOS 14 ships.

00:36:41   I said, well, don't announce it and then say, oh, we're not doing that yet. So there's a whole bunch of people who said, I thought they weren't doing this anymore. They said they weren't going to delay things.

00:36:48   And so that's the main reason I put it in the follow-up is apparently it didn't have to wait for iOS 14 release. But as of now, I guess, now Apple won't delay. Now, why did it have to wait? Why couldn't as soon as they announced it, that be the rule?

00:36:59   I don't know. Like, it takes a long time for big companies to do anything. But starting now, those things they said they were going to do, they're going to do. So good job, Apple.

00:37:07   All right. So I should have mentioned this earlier. Apparently, Jon, you've also gotten a bug fix by Apple.

00:37:15   Yep. Just wanted to update that bugs do occasionally get fixed. There was a simple bug in the Finder that I reported on, like, one of the early Big Sur betas, and it actually got fixed. And it wasn't a duplicate, so I got to actually see that it got fixed without just noticing that it got closed when the duplicate got closed.

00:37:29   So there we go. Bugs are being fixed. It's exciting.

00:37:32   Imagine that. All right. And then tell me about the Big Sur menu bar, please.

00:37:37   So this is interesting. We've talked about the Big Sur menu bar and how, not how translucent it is, but how much it shows through, what's behind it in a weird kind of smeary way.

00:37:48   I actually took a run at trying to fix this a while back. What I was trying to do, I was actually just doing this part of switch glasses, like, "That'd be a cool extra feature to have that maybe I can make the Big Sur menu bar be opaque. Wouldn't that be cool?" Right?

00:38:00   And my idea was to just put a big white window behind the menu bar. And so I messed around with that, and I was pretty sure that I could get a big white window behind the menu bar, but the menu bar did not care.

00:38:13   It's like, "Yeah, I've got a window underneath me, but I don't care." Like, the menu bar in Big Sur was, as of the betas that I was doing, was hard-coded to only look at the desktop background picture and decide based on the desktop background picture to do a smeary thing.

00:38:28   And so then the other option is like, "Okay, well, how about you just put a big white stripe at the top of your desktop picture?" Apparently, the menu bar, the way it sort of samples the desktop picture, it's not simply sort of showing through the pixels that are behind it.

00:38:40   So even if you put a white stripe at the top of your desktop picture, it doesn't quite do what you expect. It's a complicated algorithm. So A, it doesn't care what's behind it, and B, it doesn't just show through the pixels that are behind it.

00:38:52   So that seems to -- and I gave up. I'm like, "Well, I guess this is not going to be a feature of Switch Glass," so I just let it go by.

00:38:58   But Tyler Hall has a good web page explaining his attempt to hack this. Is it clever? It's a type of approach that I would have dismissed without trying it, and I think I continue to dismiss it and not want to try it, but it shows how desperate people are for this to work.

00:39:17   So Tyler found the same thing that I did, that you put a window behind in the menu bar. It doesn't do anything, right? But you can put a window on top of the menu bar.

00:39:26   [laughs]

00:39:28   I was like, "Okay, okay, Tyler. Yes, you're right. You can do that, but if you put an opaque window on top of the menu bar, you can't see the menu bar anymore."

00:39:36   He's like, "Aha!" But the way I fix that is -- can you guess without reading the article?

00:39:40   No.

00:39:42   You make the window slightly transparent?

00:39:45   You just read the names of the menu and draw them yourself on top of your window that you put in the menu bar.

00:39:51   Oh my god.

00:39:53   So he's basically drawing the menu bar. The good part is you get to choose your own font and whatever, but he just draws the words on top.

00:40:01   And they don't highlight yet. He had the highlighting sort of working.

00:40:05   But as you can imagine, trying to get that to work and be responsive and keep up with changes in the menu bar is an absolute nightmare. I don't think this is a valid solution to this problem, but it's ten points for desperation programming.

00:40:20   I'm just going to draw the menu bar myself. I don't need the OS to do that.

00:40:23   That's incredible.

00:40:25   But the main reason I put this in there is kudos to Tali for trying this out, but in the article where he talks about this, he brings up some stuff that I had forgotten about all the past keynotes.

00:40:37   One of them was -- I talked about this on past shows, how Leopard was the first translucent menu bar and that Apple wimped out because it was just too darn translucent and they made it more opaque in the shipping version.

00:40:50   When Leopard was announced on stage, there was a segment where they were talking about the new desktop in Leopard. This is when Steve Jobs was still alive, so you can watch the little segment. It's like a two-minute clip that he has there.

00:41:00   And one of the things that was on one of the slides about the features of the new desktop was prominent active window. That was listed as a feature of the new look of the desktop.

00:41:11   Basically, that you can tell which window is active, which is something we talked about on past shows with Big Sur. It's hard to tell.

00:41:17   So, titles also got videos showing active versus inactive windows in Big Sur versus what they were like in Leopard. Another big selling point in Leopard, by the way, was unified appearance.

00:41:28   They basically got rid of brushed metal and made all the windows look the same. But it's just funny to see prominent active window on an actual slide with Steve Jobs standing in front of it as a feature of their new OS.

00:41:38   And this is the same presentation where translucent menu bar was also pitched. So, there's some good and there's some bad. Take them both and there you have what, Casey?

00:41:47   The facts of life.

00:41:49   You got it.

00:41:50   Yeah! Alright. God, I was really put on the spot there. I'm sweating.

00:41:54   Yeah, it was a paraphrase for the first part, but you got it.

00:41:56   That's intense. I guess I can just check out for the rest of the episode, right?

00:42:00   Yeah. I don't know, Marco, are you going to get that one?

00:42:03   No.

00:42:04   Okay.

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00:44:15   So Epic and Sign In With Apple. This is gross.

00:44:21   Is it?

00:44:23   Well, so when I first read this, I was like, this is disgusting. And then I thought about it. Well, Epic broke the rules. Epic is being a bunch of jerks.

00:44:31   But then, well, but it seems like if Apple wants you to treat this as like a, what is it? A common carrier?

00:44:38   I think when he made this point a few episodes ago before I was able to, and it really made me mad.

00:44:42   But like, you know, if Apple wants to treat so many of their services as like a thing that you can rely on always, you know, including the app store, then they should act like that.

00:44:54   And, you know, there are there are a million and seven reasons why Sign In With Apple may not work with Epic anymore.

00:45:01   It could be something as simple as a certificate that expired that they can't recreate. But it's a bad look, man. I don't dig it.

00:45:09   As of this recording, all we have is a tweet from Epic that says this is from Epic Games itself. It says Apple will no longer allow users to sign into Epic Game accounts using Sign In With Apple as soon as September 11th, 2020.

00:45:19   If you sign in with Apple, please make sure your email and password are up to date. So this is Epic communicating out to its customers.

00:45:24   And I have a Web page that I'll put in the show notes. It says, if I was using Sign In With Apple, what do I do now? Because Sign In With Apple is going to stop working. Right.

00:45:32   And the angle Casey was taking on this of like, oh, you know, Epic broke the rules and this is a consequence and so on and so forth, I feel like is the the power, crime and punishment angle, which is not constructive in this debate of like they did something bad and they deserve to be punished.

00:45:50   But how severe should the punishment be? How many lashes would the stick have? Or are they signed a contract? They have to agree to it. Here are the consequences.

00:45:59   I continue to want to frame this as if you are Apple, you should do what's good for your business and the ecosystem and not spend all your time thinking about exactly how harshly the rule breaker should be punished as a lesson to the others or something, unless that somehow you somehow think that's going to further your long term goals.

00:46:19   So in this case, there's a bunch of complicated technical factors, as we discovered when we were looking into using Sign In With Apple as the in the ATP membership program, ATP.fm/join.

00:46:29   Nice.

00:46:31   We discovered that in order to use Sign In With Apple, you need to have an app. Like it's basically made for like apps, whether on the Mac or on an iPhone or iPad, you need to have an app because when you go to to create a Sign In With Apple thing, it says just tell us who your app is.

00:46:44   And you can't get past that part as far as Marko told us anyway, without putting in some kind of app. So we talked to Apple about that and said, is this do you actually need an app? Can we just make like a dummy app or whatever? And they were like, you know, like you can technically yes, you can just make an app and have it just be a dummy app.

00:47:00   But it just seems like it's not made for that. So we said, okay, well, it's not it really wants you to have an app and we're just not gonna use it for our purposes. You can see where this is going with Epic. Epic Games entire development account was terminated.

00:47:12   And so if Sign In With Apple only works with an app, and then app was part of an account that was just terminated, you can see all sorts of technical reasons why Sign In With Apple may eventually stop working with the associated app that no longer exists in the account that no longer exists.

00:47:29   So obviously Apple's back end is complicated and they have all sorts of databases and stuff and they probably only soft delete things and it's not like they're actually deleting this stuff or whatever. But you can imagine that their system is not set up to support Sign In With Apple associated with an app that no longer exists because the account that belongs to was terminated.

00:47:45   So there are technical reasons to explain why this might be bad. But again, I don't want to take the Crime and Punishment angle and I don't want to take the, oh, technically this is hard angle.

00:47:54   The real angle is Apple. Do you want Sign In With Apple to be successful? Do you want people to use Sign In With Apple? We know the stick with Sign In With Apple and we've talked about it, which is like, hey, if you make an app and you use any kind of third party login, login with Facebook, login with Google, you have to also offer Sign In With Apple.

00:48:11   That was a good move because Sign In With Apple is good and you don't want all these apps using a login system that you don't control and you just have to have as an option, you're not forcing people to use it.

00:48:19   Sign In With Apple then has to compete with Sign In With Google, Sign In With Facebook and creating your own account. Or if apps don't want to use Sign In With Apple at all, they can just have their own sign in system.

00:48:28   So I was a proponent of that rule. But now after this, everyone is looking at this right or wrong. Developers are looking at this right or wrong and saying, oh, I don't want to use Sign In With Apple because if Apple can yank it away at a moment's notice and yanking it away is like, okay, well, you're yanking it away from the developer.

00:48:45   But the real impact is the tens, hundreds, thousands, potentially millions of users who use Sign In With Apple with your account and now you have to communicate to them and say, oh, because of something that you don't care about having to do with us fighting with Apple, all of your user accounts are about to disappear so you better come to our website and enter an email address and associate with the thing before it all goes away.

00:49:04   Again, right or wrong, you can say, well, they have the wrong picture of it. It's actually all Epic's fault or whatever. Events like this make developers feel less safe using Sign In With Apple and that is Apple's problem.

00:49:18   Not how much should I punish Epic, not what are the technical limitations of terminating someone's account and so on and so forth. Apple's real problem is if you want Sign In With Apple to be successful, you have to make developers confident in it, especially now where it's a new feature.

00:49:30   It's not well established yet. It's just getting going. Something like this can really make Sign In With Apple unattractive because you're forcing everyone to offer it if they have it with Facebook or Google.

00:49:41   It's not like it's going to disappear from apps, but it's going to make developers less likely to promote it, more likely to keep offering Facebook and Google and Twitter or wherever else as alternate sign in services and in general, just being more wary of it.

00:49:54   And that's bad for Apple. So I hope Apple is looking at this and thinking we should do whatever it takes on our back end to make sure Sign In With Apple continues to work for Epic under these extraordinary circumstances.

00:50:06   Not because we like Epic and not because we think they didn't deserve it or do something wrong because we totally did and we'll get to that in a second like Apple really is mad at Epic.

00:50:13   But because if we want Sign In With Apple to be successful, we need to make developers feel comfortable using it that it's not going to go away. Even if developers are irrational or wrong or not understanding the limitations, the fact is every single sentiment I saw from a developer online today was, "I am now more scared of Sign In With Apple than I was before." And that's bad for Apple.

00:50:38   See, I actually am going to take a slightly surprisingly forgiving approach on this particular point. I mean, you're right that pragmatically Apple has a problem on their hands with PR with Sign In With Apple because of this.

00:50:52   However, I think that, you know, a lot of people are saying Apple is taking this away and I am one of the people who assumes that this is actually a technical side effect of the developer account disappearing. I don't think Apple separately decided to do this to them, to take this away from them.

00:51:11   I think this is just what happened because, you know, as John and Casey said, Sign In With Apple is one of many Apple online services related to apps that depend on some kind of, you know, certificate or identifier or something that is associated with the app.

00:51:27   And so if the developer account gets terminated and the app is gone, then it is reasonable, I think, that some of these services will stop working. Like, if the account is totally gone and the app is totally out of the store, people at Apple who were designing these services presumably thought, "Well, that business is over. That app or that service is over if the app is just gone and the developer account is gone. That's a significant business disappearing thing."

00:51:54   This, I think, is somewhat unique that Epic's app is gone from the store and the developer account is gone, but they still are trying to run a business. They are still, like, that wasn't something that they did intentionally. Well, asterisk, they basically did.

00:52:10   And people still have the app installed. That's the most important feature. Even though it's gone from the store, people still have it installed. And what you're saying is why I mentioned, like, it may be irrational for people to be wary of it because if you think about it, it's like if you are a developer and you're afraid of this scenario happening to you, what it means is you develop an app, your app is about Sign In With Apple, then Apple removes your app from the store and deletes your developer account and you're like, "Yeah, but I still want Sign In With Apple to work." You still want it to work with what? They deleted your account and removed your app. You have way bigger problems than Sign In With Apple.

00:52:39   So, like, from a rational perspective, it's like developers shouldn't be worried about this scenario because if this scenario happens to them, they have so much bigger problems than Sign In With Apple not working. But it doesn't matter. Perception is what matters. And the perception is Sign In With Apple. I've got to be careful of that because Apple could "take it away at any second." Apple can take anything away at any second. They can take your app away. They can take your developer account away. That's part of the whole Apple having lots of power.

00:53:06   So, rationally speaking, I don't think this instance should make people more wary, but I think it does make people more wary. And that's why, despite everything you said about the technical limitations, I think it would be a smart move for Apple to go to heroic measures to preserve Sign In With Apple for their bitter enemy because it will make people more confident using Sign In With Apple.

00:53:27   Even if Apple totally terminates my account, at least I won't have to deal with the headache of dealing with user accounts. And all my users will still have account identifiers that I can map back the whole nine yards. That's what you have to do sometimes with services like this.

00:53:40   Yeah, but I don't think Apple has the, like, first of all, I don't think they can make web services that are that resilient to these edge cases. They have shown repeatedly that they can't, or at least that they won't. But, I think ultimately, as a developer, this shouldn't affect your choice whether to use Sign In With Apple or not. This should affect your choice whether to have an iOS app or not.

00:54:01   Because, like this, if my app is gone from the store, whether or not my developer account still exists, if my app is gone from the store and I'm not allowed to put it back, my business is over. That's it. Overcast is done. It's over. If I don't have an iOS app, it's done. That is the bigger risk here.

00:54:18   Now, I think what this means, and what you're saying, John, with Apple's problem here and being more pragmatic, this just goes to show you shouldn't be offended that Sign In With Apple is going to stop working. You should be offended that Epic's developer account was suspended.

00:54:36   Because that's the actual cause here, and that's the part that seems like it might have been an overreach with this dispute that they're having.

00:54:46   Removing Fortnite from the App Store for violating the rules seemed, at the time, to be, you know, well, yeah, of course they're going to do that. That is, you know, whatever you think of the rules, that is a reasonable reaction for Apple to have had.

00:55:01   That is a reasonable counter action for Apple to take. Epic's app violated the rules blatantly. Okay, so it gets kicked out of the App Store until and unless they decide to fix it.

00:55:11   That's one thing. But then to also kill their entire developer account, like whatever it was two weeks later, that seemed like extra punitive and an extra overreach.

00:55:24   And that had much more destructive outcome than, you know, just removing the app from the store temporarily while they worked this out.

00:55:31   And that's the part that if you want to be mad at Apple for something, get mad at them for that. Get mad at them for killing this entire account, you know, two weeks after they removed the app from the store, seemingly out of spite.

00:55:45   Like, the account removal was seemingly out of spite. Like, it wasn't, it doesn't seem like they really needed to kill their developer account.

00:55:52   It seems like they found a justification to do it and then did it. And that's what's causing the extra ripple effects of all this other stuff.

00:56:01   So get mad at that, but I don't think this has anything to do with Sign In With Apple. And I don't think developers should draw any conclusions related to Sign In With Apple based on this.

00:56:12   Draw conclusions about the cause of this problem, that this business that everyone, that all these users and this company expects to go on in other ways and eventually possibly back in this way, that this business is going on, but the developer account was killed.

00:56:28   That's the real problem here.

00:56:30   I can just hear the crime and punishment people saying, "But Mark, you don't understand. The contract clearly said if you violate the rules, we can terminate your account.

00:56:36   And so, Epic had to know this would happen and therefore it is all valid and useful." And again, I would say the crime and punishment angle of what did the rules say, what did you agree to, what did the contract say.

00:56:45   This is not a court. We're not debating whether it was legal to do these things, right? There actually is a court case going on about that now.

00:56:52   But coming back to the same perspective, was this the best move for Apple in terms of the whole big picture, the future, long-term, developer relations, customer satisfaction, whatever, continuing to have Fortnite on the store.

00:57:08   There are so many factors that mix in here and any time Apple does not use a holistic lens to guide its decision making but instead falls back to perhaps the crime and punishment mindset, which is like, "They broke the rules and these were the rules, therefore we're going to do it.

00:57:22   Uses the contract you signed, it said we could terminate your account. Guess what? We're terminating your account." That's fine and maybe that will hold up in court. We'll see.

00:57:30   But that doesn't mean it's necessarily the right move. The right move isn't the maximum extent that you are legally entitled to according to your lawyers. That's not always the right thing to do.

00:57:40   Again, corporate relationship management. Sometimes it's more important to smooth over the relationship than to "win the argument."

00:57:49   And speaking of arguments, as you would expect in all these type of giant corporate legal cases, Apple is counter-suing Epic. We know that Epic was suing Apple to say, "Give us all our things back."

00:58:00   And of course, in all these cases, the other party says, "Well, guess you're suing us. We're suing you because you can sue anybody for anything."

00:58:06   And these companies have a lot of lawyers, so they are, if you want to read Apple's complaint document, it's filled with all sorts of flowery, expressive language about how terrible Epic is and how mean they are.

00:58:20   And speaking of being mean to each other, the latest mean thing that Epic did and the final bit, I promise, on the Epic Apple thing.

00:58:27   Epic, before, I don't know when they did this, but on the same day that the Epic Games account was terminated, Epic, through their server-side stuff, turned off in-app purchase in Fortnite.

00:58:40   So now the only option is to buy the V-Bucks directly through Epic. Before it had the in-app purchase and also the Epic one, and they said, "See? 50% of the people chose the cheaper option."

00:58:50   Right now, as we're saying this, the only option available in Fortnite, if you still have it installed, is to do it through Epic.

00:58:57   Probably because you can't do in-app purchase if you don't have a developer account anymore.

00:59:00   I was going to say, that actually might be forced on them as well, and it almost certainly is.

00:59:03   Right, but there you go. Just one final wave goodbye.

00:59:08   Which is, "All right, see ya." Millions of people have this installed and they'll be giving us money, but maybe not because this new season started and they can't play it.

00:59:15   Everybody's a loser, as usual, and the court cases wind on. Yep.

00:59:21   But John, here's the thing. You know, iOS is the most secure platform, and it's the most secure because it has rules, man. It has rules and policies. What do you expect?

00:59:29   Crime and punishment. You knew the rules, you disobeyed them, now you get the punishment. Is the punishment just? Is it what's best for all of us as a collective?

00:59:38   I don't know, but it's the punishment, so now you will receive it, and that is just.

00:59:41   Crime and punishment people, I don't want to say the A-word. Authoritarian, not the other A-word.

00:59:50   I was thinking the other one, actually.

00:59:53   Just rush to the aid of whether it's rushing to the aid of Epic, this billion dollar company, or rushing to the aid of Apple just to say they are the power wielder that I subscribe to, and therefore their written rules and their contracts are automatically just and the best thing to do.

01:00:12   I continue to argue this from the perspective of trying to help Apple help itself by doing the right thing for the collective, and the collective being, as we've said before, customers, developers, and Apple itself.

01:00:27   The thing that bothers me is I hear people say, "Well, we care about the user experience here at Apple. We care about the user experience, and the user experience is paramount. That's all Apple cares about is user experience. It trumps everything, darn it."

01:00:44   And that's why Apple only allows in-app purchase through Apple's thing, because it's safer, and people can trust it. It's for the better user experience. It's better than having to enter a credit card. It's better than any other way.

01:00:58   Oh, and by the way, we're taking away Fortnite because somebody was mean. Is that better? Is taking that away better for me, the Fortnite player? Well, I'm not actually a Fortnite player, but you know what I mean. Is that better for me, a Fortnite user? Mmm, doesn't feel like it.

01:01:12   It doesn't feel like this is better for Fortnite players to have Fortnite disappear from the App Store. It doesn't feel like it's better for Fortnite players to have no access to the next season or whatever they call it.

01:01:22   I don't know. I do have some amount of sympathy for the Crime and Punishment people, because yeah, there was a clear set of rules that were broken. But at the same time, you can't say that Apple only cares about the user experience, and then in the next breath say, "But we made the user experience way crappier."

01:01:39   And, oh, oh well. But what you're getting at is not a Crime and Punishment angle. What you're getting at is that if you let big companies violate the rules because they're important, see Facebook or whatever, if you just let Epic get away with this and didn't take Fortnite off the store, that's bad for the big picture.

01:01:55   Not from a Crime and Punishment angle, like we must punish to show that we have the power. Everyone knows Apple has the power. If you let Epic get away with that and give them no punishment, that's bad corporate relationship management too.

01:02:05   But now you're announcing to the world that you can walk all over us and do whatever you want, and if you're a big enough company, we just won't say anything. You do not want that to happen. You want to work it out between the companies, which apparently whatever those talks were, they fell down, or if they happened at all.

01:02:21   But you don't want to think, "What do I do to make sure I don't look weak or that I punish them so I scare other people away?" That's not a good dynamic. It's also not a good dynamic for it to be a free-for-all. So you have to strike a balance. When you're striking the balance, if what's in your head is saving face or trying to intimidate other things, or worst-case scenario, if you just get angry and you're like, "I want to punish them because punishing them feels good," that's the worst headspace to be in.

01:02:49   And again, I'm personifying Apple, which is a big company with lots of people, and I'm sure they talk this out and have lots of strategies, but in the end, it is run by people, and people are people. So why should it be, Casey?

01:02:59   Well, Apple's run by people with pretty thin skins in certain areas, and I think this does appear—I said, I believe, the second week in, they seem like they lost their cool a little bit on this, and that's how it seems. I mean, you're right. They had to do something. Epic basically walked up and punched them in the face. What Epic did totally justified removing Fortnite from the App Store.

01:03:23   That I have no argument with. Not only should Apple have removed Fortnite from the App Store, they had to. They absolutely had to. Epic blatantly violated the rule, intentionally punched them in the face.

01:03:38   So yeah, Apple had to enforce the rule as they enforce it to most other places. They had to kick it out of the App Store. They didn't have to do the developer account. And the developer account suspension has caused so many of the knock-on problems that are not so clear-cut in Apple's favor.

01:03:58   It even caused the judge in the court case to basically tell Apple that this was a bit much.

01:04:05   The judge said it about deleting the other account, the other one that the Unreal Engine has developed on.

01:04:10   Which Apple was going to do if the judge didn't like—

01:04:13   Yes, the judge stopped them.

01:04:14   Which was even more of an overreach. So Apple, clearly, the App Store removal is justified. The developer account suspension, and what Apple even wanted to do was to bend in the other one about the SDK.

01:04:29   That is clearly—it looks so much like Apple lost their cool with that. And they're doing things out of spite or anger or just wanting to flex in such a big way that they intimidated Epic out of being able to fight the main in-app purchase policy part of this fight.

01:04:48   Almost all the parts of this that make Apple look really bad are a result of that area of what they did, not just removing it from the App Store for violating the rule.

01:04:57   If you look at this from the big picture, again, you have all these corporate relationship issues, you have the developer relations issues, which just keep compiling or keep compounding, rather.

01:05:07   Certainly what's going to amount out of this is increased regulatory scrutiny.

01:05:13   I don't think—the judge in the case is going to look kindly on Apple's actions on this, because they sure haven't so far.

01:05:20   And so there's all these other bad outcomes for Apple or negative effects from Apple that come from them having pushed too far with the punishment, way further than they had to with the developer account terminations.

01:05:34   I feel like Apple was not thinking strategically when they went for that. They were just thinking with anger and with spite and with a big giant flex to show their power to try to intimidate this first lawsuit out of existence.

01:05:49   And that's not a good look for Apple and also, strategically, probably unwise.

01:05:55   And it's kind of hard to see—again, it's hard to see this company that we like acting this way that seems not only mean but also ill-advised.

01:06:06   If I cared more about Epic, I would—all these things I'm always trying to give Apple advice on what I think they should do, it's because I care much more about Apple than Epic. I could give advice to Epic to say, "Epic, if you want to do what's right for your customers and for your business, that what you're doing is stupid."

01:06:23   And that would also be true, but I care so much less about Epic that I don't make that—maybe if Bungie ever gets in a fight with Apple, it will be harder for me to pick sides.

01:06:31   But the reason I'm arguing from the perspective of Apple is trying to say, "Apple, what you're doing is stupid for yourself."

01:06:37   Epic's doing is also probably stupid for themselves, but I don't care that much about them.

01:06:42   So just want to make that clear. Even though I'm always coming in "on the side of Apple," what I'm doing is telling Apple they're making the wrong choices for all of us.

01:06:51   Yeah, I mean, that's why we do every Apple complaint on this show, because we like Apple. We love being their customers, we love their products, most of them, and if it was something that we didn't like, we don't talk about Windows that much, because none of us like Windows.

01:07:08   So we don't need to nitpick every detail about it, because it's just not something we even care enough about to do that.

01:07:15   We don't really talk about Android even when they do stupid stuff, because we don't care about Android, because we don't use it and we don't love it.

01:07:22   We love Apple's stuff, and that's why we care so much about the parts of it that aren't right.

01:07:29   So John, what would you do if you were Apple right now?

01:07:32   Oh, I mean, boy, this ship has sailed on so many things.

01:07:37   That's the thing. What would you do today?

01:07:39   Yeah, I don't know. At this point, I feel like with the court cases in motion, usually what tends to happen is that both parties have to get to the point in the case where they can smell which way the wind is blowing, and then you cut a deal based on who has an advantage.

01:07:55   I don't think now is an optimal time for Apple to try to deal, like that time has passed for them, but when these court cases go through and the lawyers on both sides have an idea of like, "Does it look like we're going to win this, or does it look like they're going to win this?"

01:08:07   Then you end up with a settlement to just make it all go away, and the settlement is structured based on both of their reckons about who is probably going to win or not.

01:08:15   So I feel like that's the time to deal. But yeah, what you do is you make some kind of deal.

01:08:19   Like, Epic clearly thinks their cut is too much, and I've said this, that Apple's cut is too much.

01:08:24   We said this on past programs, that I personally have absolutely no problem with Apple cutting favorable deals with Netflix and Amazon and all these things.

01:08:33   In fact, I want them to cut more deals. And I don't think it is unfair or anything that an individual developer doesn't get the cheaper price and Amazon does, just because that's the way the world works, right?

01:08:45   That would be successful corporate relationship management. The big powerful partners you have, try to keep them happy and in a mutually beneficial relationship, even if it is "unfair" because for how long did Netflix get a better deal than everybody else?

01:09:00   Who knows? And if you were a developer of an app, that might seem unfair to you, but bottom line is we're all happy we had Netflix for that time.

01:09:07   And it makes sense because your app, you are not Netflix, right? So you don't have that kind of clout, right?

01:09:12   So I have no problem with that structure. An alternative would be if Apple just can't stomach that and really wants to ride this whole train of where we treat everybody equal, which has never been true, but if they really want to go that way, fine, Apple.

01:09:23   The way you make a deal with somebody who's upset about the cut you're taking is you work out something with them that you have to give something to.

01:09:30   If what you have to give is, I know they already gave by doing 85.15 for the second year of subscriptions and that was good, make a similar gesture. Lower the rate for everybody, lower the rate for everybody subject to a certain new set of rules that just happens to be gerrymandered to include Fortnite.

01:09:45   There's tons of options you can do that Apple has done in the past. It just seems like these two couldn't quite get it together and now it's an all-out shooting war, right?

01:09:54   You don't want it ever to get to that point, but here we are having a bunch of court cases. But anyway, when it comes time to settle, yeah, depending on how the things go, Apple may have to give a little bit, right?

01:10:05   That's how these things work. Everybody has to come out unhappy about something, right? There's no magical deal where you can smooth it over with Epic, but Apple gets everything they want and vice versa.

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01:12:20   So there's an Apple event next week. Yay! I gotta say, I'm having a hard time being excited about Apple's new stuff right now because their attitude is so off-putting. This is going to be a hard Apple season for me to get excited.

01:12:42   I don't have that problem. I'm very excited about it. I know Marco is very upset about this. He's very disappointed and his good friend Apple is doing things that he doesn't like. I'm disappointed too. But I am super excited about RMAX and whether or not RMAX arrive in this event. They're supposed to be coming before the end of the year.

01:13:00   I'm getting a lot of pressure in this household to get another laptop for the kids to do remote school stuff and I am mightily resisting that because now is not the time I want to buy an Intel laptop. And I keep saying, "Just wait. Just wait at the ARM." But when are they coming? I'm like, "I don't know, but before the end of the year."

01:13:16   So I am excited about RMAX. I'm super excited about all that stuff. I'm even kind of excited about iOS 14 because I had to install it on my iPad to use the Xbox controller thing.

01:13:30   Well, let's talk about the invitation. The invitation with another weird treatment of the Apple logo. The words underneath it are "Time flies. Period. Please join us for a special Apple event from Apple Park. Watch online. Blah, blah, blah. September 15th. 10 a.m. Pacific time." Time flies and the logo is a swirly kind of Apple thingy.

01:13:50   The criminology in this that I've heard is one, the obvious one, Apple Watch is one of the things that is rumored to be announced here. Time. That makes sense. Time flies. Apple Watch fits perfectly.

01:14:01   Another is time of flight sensors, which have been rumored to appear on a bunch of Apple devices where it sends out something and sees how long it takes to bounce back and using that information judges depth as a better way to do depth for AR and everything.

01:14:13   Don't we already have that on the iPad Pro that changed nothing except that?

01:14:17   Is that the LiDAR one? I forget. But anyway, the rumor is that it's coming to the phones, though. But this isn't supposed to be a phone event.

01:14:25   And then the final one I feel like is time flies is the whole COVID time warp where time has no meaning anymore and no one knows what the date is. And it's like, time flies. Is it time for an Apple event? What's happening? I don't know.

01:14:35   But anyway, the rumors are that I've seen in this is that don't expect iPhones because in the earnings call, Apple said the iPhones are going to ship later this year by a few weeks or whatever. The fact that the iPhones are going to ship later doesn't necessarily mean they have to be announced later.

01:14:50   So that's not a confirmation there won't be iPhones. But it seems like the sort of hinting to the world of leakers and other news sources is trying to set expectations that you shouldn't expect an iPhone.

01:15:02   So if we're not expecting an iPhone at this September 15th event, what should we expect?

01:15:08   I think watches seems most reasonable. Maybe iPads? I mean, I could see them lumping watches and iPads together and then saving the phone for later.

01:15:21   I could also see actually we're probably due for Apple TV and come to think of it, if you look at Apple.com, or at least if last I looked a day or two back, oh no, they changed it. A day or two back though, Apple.com was like nothing but Apple TV stuff or Apple TV Plus or whatever the hell it's called.

01:15:36   Oh, that was because of the Emmy awards. When you say iPads though, I think what you mean is the low end iPad getting a nicer version. There's a bunch of rumors like the one that's not going to have face ID but it won't have a home button either.

01:15:51   Basically bumping the bottom end ones because the iPad Pro just recently got updated. So this would be, I forget, did they just call that one?

01:15:56   They got updated but it was literally only that little sensor on the back.

01:16:01   They enabled the other GPU core.

01:16:03   Yeah, right. And I think they might all have the full RAM now instead of just the big one, something like that. But it was not a real update.

01:16:10   But anyway, the only iPad rumors I've seen have been like, oh, the low end iPad is going to get the look of the Pros but it won't actually have face ID. One of the rumors was like touch ID would be in a power button on the side or something. It's a really confusing crop of rumors.

01:16:24   But anyway, low end iPads potentially. The over ear headphones I saw floating around in the rumor mills. Obviously we're not keeping up too much with the rumors on this but there's a bunch of things that could potentially be announced.

01:16:37   Plenty to fill an event, especially an online event where they don't have any kind of minimum time they have to fill. They'll just announce a bunch of products and when they're announcing it, the thing will be done.

01:16:46   Potentially also the first ARM Mac. I mean, you know, maybe like they said before the end of the year but September, I don't know. It seems early for me for Mac but that's what I'm rooting for 100%. I have no expectations but I would love to see an ARM based laptop up here because I would immediately order it for one of my children.

01:17:03   Yeah, so I don't know if I'm really in the market for anything because I was on Clockwise earlier today and one of the questions was what are you excited for at this event? And I would like a small watch, what is it 40mm?

01:17:17   Yup, it's a wonderful size.

01:17:19   It is a wonderful size but with cellular it's not the best battery life. I don't even use the cellular that often and my phone is almost always near my watch unless I'm going for a run. And man, the battery life on mine has been not good recently.

01:17:34   Do you have the beta?

01:17:35   No, no, no, no, no beta, no beta, nothing like that. I just feel like it's not beta on my phone, not beta on my watch, nothing. And so I really feel like battery life, more battery life on the small watch particularly with cellular would be welcome but there's nothing else about this watch other than battery life that I'm like, "Mmm, it's time to upgrade."

01:17:57   Because it's a Series 5, it's very nice and I do like it a lot. But I don't know what else I really want. I guess blood oxygen sensing would be kind of convenient right now, wouldn't it?

01:18:08   Yeah.

01:18:09   But I mean I don't know what else I want. But I always say this and then they announce something that seems mundane but I've decided it's going to change my life and about half the time I end up buying that hardware because it's going to change my life even if it doesn't. So who knows? But I don't know. In terms of hardware, the watch is pretty good right now, battery life aside.

01:18:29   I'd really like a new Apple TV though actually. I would really like a new Apple TV because I am still rocking my original, I don't remember what generation this is, but the original of the swipey remote 1080 Apple TV that's on my fancy 4K screen.

01:18:44   And I've been waiting for a year now to get a new 4K Apple TV and move this one to bedroom duty but it hasn't happened yet. And I feel like it's imminent, right? Right? Anyone?

01:18:56   Those are slow too.

01:18:58   I want to talk about the Apple TV angle but I want to give Marco a second to talk about any other things that he's looking forward to or expects in this event.

01:19:05   The Apple Watch, I'm interested. I'm watching it. I'm interested. The Series 5 with the Always On Screen was a huge departure. I should plug also our last episode of Under The Radar where David and I basically did our annual thing of spend Dan Riccio's hardware surplus.

01:19:30   Which the idea is like technological progress marches on and every year you kind of get like some efficiency gains through the progress of technology and so how do you, how would we want Apple to spend those gains?

01:19:46   Sometimes they spend those gains making the things smaller and lighter and thinner. Sometimes they spend those gains making the things faster. Sometimes they spend those gains adding power hungry features.

01:19:56   Or sometimes some balance of all of those things or some of those things.

01:20:00   And so the Series 5, you're right Casey, the battery life at least in the 40mm, the small one which is the one that I wear as well.

01:20:06   The Series 5 battery life is not great if you do battery hungry things like running more than like an hour of workout mode or cellular streaming especially streaming audio over cellular is pretty rough on the battery.

01:20:21   And so I have had actually a couple times when my watch ran out of battery before the day was over during those heavy usage days where I was doing a workout.

01:20:31   Like doing a run outside recording the GPS of the run while streaming audio over the cellular is about the worst thing you could possibly do to it.

01:20:39   And on those, like if I did like you know say a half hour run with workout mode, cellular, GPS, audio streaming then that evening it'll be at like 15% or 10% or it'll have to go into low power mode.

01:20:53   So that's not a great thing. But the Series 5 had this amazing always on screen that like spent a lot of that like surplus battery that we had in previous generations.

01:21:05   So what I mostly want from the Apple Watch is just a small evolution of that. It's already like processor wise it's already fast enough for everything that I need to do with it.

01:21:15   All I want is more battery life out of the watch. And what I especially want, again this is stealing from under the radar so it goes into that please.

01:21:22   But what I especially want is for them to, if they're gonna spend battery surplus on some kind of new feature for the watch, I want it to be letting apps update more often in the background and letting them use more CPU time when they do.

01:21:38   Because the software restrictions on watchOS of how incredibly stingy it is with giving apps any kind of CPU time or letting apps background update more frequently or letting complications get updated more frequently.

01:21:53   Those are all for power needs, you know to minimize power usage. And those are really just massively holding back what apps can reasonably do and do well on watchOS.

01:22:04   And so anything they can do to raise those limits or to let apps update more frequently, whatever, all those, that will have significant like hard to see and hard to quantify but real benefits to the watch in practice.

01:22:22   How it actually is to use the watch with Apple's apps and especially third party apps.

01:22:26   I've given up on wanting custom watch faces, you know, and that's more of like an OS thing anyway. We would see that kind of thing probably at WBC not during the hardware event.

01:22:37   So that's already looks like it's not gonna happen this year. I still want it to happen but I don't think they'll ever do it.

01:22:43   I mostly just want for the watch like an evolutionary, you know, let's have series 6 make everything a little bit nicer and maybe add one little novelty somewhere. But you know, if we're looking at like our traditional exit interview of the outgoing model as it's about to be replaced.

01:23:01   I think the series 5 is mostly great and I don't have many complaints that aren't related to every Apple watch.

01:23:06   I have some complaints, believe me, but it's like they aren't things I expect to change and there are a lot of them are like, you know, design nitpicks about the faces and stuff.

01:23:16   So anyway, moving on to other items. I would like to see an update to the iPad mini for totally selfish reasons.

01:23:26   My son's is slowly dying or slash being killed and it is I think about almost 2 years old now but it's still the most current one.

01:23:36   And so I would like to see an update so that if and when it gets fully killed if I decide to replace it, I'm not just replacing it with the exact same one for the exact same price that I bought two years ago.

01:23:49   That wasn't dying, what's dying about it? The lightning port is having significant problems charging and based on some research and some Twitter responses, this is actually a known issue specifically with the current generation of iPad mini.

01:24:03   You know, part of it is due to, you know, the way kids are kind of heavily used iPads. They're always plugged in so there's always like some pressure on that charging port as they're like holding the iPad with the charging cable in it, using it so there's like, you know, flexing that goes on.

01:24:17   But there's also apparently some like significant firmware issues specifically with this model and charging where charging cables often aren't recognized for a long time after they're plugged in and it seems buggy as well.

01:24:29   So there's some kind of issue with this that we are hitting that I'm not super happy about.

01:24:34   But anyway, separately from that, yeah, I'm with all the rumors, I don't expect to see iPhones quite yet and so beyond that, you know, this could be the other accessories, things like headphones, I would love to see the over ear headphones.

01:24:48   It's probably too soon to see any kind of significant AirPod update but, you know, over ear versions of the AirPod Pros would be very interesting to me for like, well, if I ever travel again.

01:24:59   And then finally, I would also love to see Apple TV like everybody else, you know, that's, I keep having to buy them because they keep either dying or we keep buying more TVs and I feel terrible having bought so many of the old Apple TV, the very old Apple TV 4K.

01:25:17   I don't even know what I would want out of a new one. I mean, I've given up on the remote ever being better. I don't think they're, I don't think, as long as Alan dies in charge of what Alan dies in charge of, I don't see anything like that getting better.

01:25:28   So, and he still is so I don't expect changes there. But, you know, we can dream. I just don't want to have to again say anything to Apple Mini, I just don't want to have to keep buying the same thing for the same price it's been for years and years.

01:25:43   Like, either make it cheaper or make it better. Like that's what technology does. But ultimately, I do have concerns as voiced earlier about where the software is right now. I don't think iOS or Mac OS are really in a very releasable state right now.

01:25:59   iOS is closer. Like iOS 14 could be released and, you know, I guess it would be in some ways, like my mail bug, it could be in some ways better than iOS 13 has been for a year.

01:26:13   As soon as they fix that mail bug, you're like, "Ship it, that's it."

01:26:15   Yep, yeah, right. But there are still like little bugs in Springboard and stuff that feel very beta. That being said, you know, some of these hardware releases are probably going to be nice and even though I'm kind of mad at Apple right now in general, I think they'll probably get me to buy some stuff.

01:26:31   I think they will.

01:26:32   Your wallet will get over it.

01:26:33   Yeah.

01:26:34   So back to the Apple TV and transitioning to this item that I'm probably going to clear out of the notes here. The item is from June 11th and in the notes it reads, "PS5 hardware reveal." That's right, the PlayStation 5 hardware was revealed in June, but we're not in June anymore.

01:26:53   But anyway, the reason I want to talk about it today is related to the Apple event and it's related to the Apple TV and it's related to the Xbox, which also made a bunch of announcements actually recently, as in like yesterday or the day before or whenever it was.

01:27:05   So the PlayStation 5 hardware reveal briefly, I don't know if you two probably saw it, what it looks like is a regular game console that's kind of swoopy and it's like vertical and all the photo shots or whatever.

01:27:18   The thing you don't realize when you look at it is just how huge it is. You thought Xbox was huge? LOL. PS5 is huge. LOL.

01:27:24   It is the biggest console you've ever seen. It's like comically big.

01:27:28   And like Sony is careful not to put it next to other hardware, but in all the sort of scale drawings that people had, it's like I don't even know if it's going to fit in the place where my place was.

01:27:38   Anyway, it looks like a new controller, it's white and blah, blah, blah. The interesting part of it as compared to the PS4 announcement is they announced two models, one that has an optical drive and one called the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition that does not have an optical drive.

01:27:53   In typical Sony fashion, at least in the release of PlayStation 5, first they showed the controller and we talked about it on the show, then they showed the console.

01:28:00   They still haven't announced, I think, as of our recording, a shipping date and they still haven't announced prices.

01:28:06   And since June that's been the case. Maybe they're waiting for Microsoft to go first, maybe they just haven't decided yet.

01:28:12   But that led to a lot of speculation looking at the PlayStation 5, the one with about the optical drive, saying, "Alright, well, I'm not going to use the optical drive. I've never even had an optical disk in any of my PlayStations. So I'll get the one without the optical drive."

01:28:25   Will the one without the optical drive be cheaper? If it is cheaper, how much will it be cheaper? Because that Blu-ray drive is not that expensive in terms of the components, right?

01:28:36   But maybe they'll make the other one cheaper as a loss leader or, my hope, and this is not going to happen, but I would have loved it if they made the Digital Edition one without the optical drive, made it more expensive and gave it more internal storage.

01:28:47   Because, like, hey, you don't need, you know, who doesn't need optical disks? People who are willing to pay more to store everything on internal storage or to use the external storage expansion, which will also be very expensive because it has to be the super fast SSD that qualifies according to their specs or whatever.

01:29:03   So make the digital one more expensive. People's heads would explode if that happened. I don't think it's going to happen, but anyway, I'm probably going to get the digital one.

01:29:11   This is all relevant and relevant to Apple TV because Microsoft, in typical Microsoft fashion, has now announced all their stuff and they didn't hold stuff back. They'd shown the Xbox Series X a while ago. It's that black monolith thing I think we talked about on the show.

01:29:26   And it's Xbox Series X and the whole naming scheme was like, "This is Series X, but we're going to have other Series that are different versions of this console."

01:29:35   Xbox naming is a mess. It makes Apple's naming look beautiful. But this generation of console is going to consist of, as far as we know now, the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S.

01:29:49   And these are not the Xbox One or the Xbox One S or the Xbox One X?

01:29:55   And the Xbox One is not the first Xbox.

01:29:58   So, Microsoft has two consoles as well. We'd seen the Series X, which was their big powerful one, and we compared them. We talked about how they were going to use a constant clock speed and big fans and this big vertical tower thing, and it looks weird and everyone's using SSDs and all those stuff.

01:30:12   The Series S was the other shoe to drop. The Series S is the smaller, much smaller, like 60% the size of the Series X, less powerful console, lacks an optical drive.

01:30:25   So if you look at it, you're like, "Oh, it's just kind of like the PlayStation one." The only difference is the PlayStation just took one giant console and just removed the optical drive, but Microsoft has their optical drive, which is actually smaller. How can it be so much smaller?

01:30:36   Well, the smaller one doesn't do games at 4K. It's up to 1440p at 120 frames per second, whereas the big Xbox Series X one is up to 4K at 120 frames per second, right?

01:30:49   So this is for if you don't have 4K TV or you don't care about 4K, because the Series S will upscale to 4K for your 4K TV, but if you don't care about the resolution, this plays, like what games is it?

01:30:59   This plays, in the previous generation I could say, this plays Xbox One games. What the hell do I say now? This plays Xbox games? This plays Xbox Series X/S games.

01:31:09   They both play the same games, is what I'm saying. This is a next generation console. This is Microsoft's next generation console. They both play the same games, but the Series S doesn't play them at 4K, but that's the only difference.

01:31:19   So maybe you wouldn't even notice the difference, depending on how far away you sit from your TV, because again, it will upscale to 4K if you need it to or whatever.

01:31:25   It can play video streaming at 4K, so you can watch Netflix in 4K and everything like that, but it's way smaller, presumably maybe quieter or whatever, but here is the killer.

01:31:34   Microsoft announced prices and a ship date, so their ship date is released on November 10th, pre-order starts September 22nd, so now it's up to Sony to say what they're going to do.

01:31:43   Both of them are aiming for a holiday this year, but Sony hasn't announced yet, but here's the pricing.

01:31:48   The Xbox Series X is $499, which is less than a lot of people expected. $500 is still a lot for a game console, but it's a launch console of their most powerful thing.

01:31:57   The Series S is $299. You know what else is $299? The most expensive Apple TV.

01:32:06   This is Apple TV's problem, as Marco said. Either make it good or make it cheaper.

01:32:10   Wait, it's that expensive?

01:32:12   The Apple TV, the 64GB Apple TV is... Oh, wait, no, maybe I'm getting this wrong. Am I getting this wrong?

01:32:17   No, it's like $199. It's $179 versus $199, right?

01:32:20   Still embarrassing. $199 versus $299. The Apple TV does not play games $100 less well than the next generation Xbox console that just doesn't happen to do 4K.

01:32:33   I know the Apple TVs are powerful. I know the GPU is good, but as a gaming platform, to be even within shouting distance of the next generation Xbox console, granted the wimpy one without an optical drive,

01:32:48   the Apple TV doesn't have an optical drive either. That's a bad situation for Apple TV to be in.

01:32:53   That box is just... I don't know what they're thinking with the Apple TV. What market are you aiming at?

01:33:00   Because I don't feel like it's a particularly premium experience in terms of streaming stuff.

01:33:05   I think some of the built-in software on television is starting to compete with Apple TV.

01:33:09   Maybe the Roku stuff and the Fire Stick are still a little bit janky, but some of the TV building stuff has the advantage of being built in.

01:33:15   And can be pretty snappy and has a good pressure quality and supports all the features. Anyway, Apple TV has got serious problems.

01:33:21   They need to fix the remote, they need to fix the price, or they need to make it a high-end thing or whatever.

01:33:24   But back to the console world, this pricing is a problem, potentially a problem for Sony, and potentially the ship date is a problem,

01:33:31   because that Series S console, if you set aside the sort of spec wars and just sort of, I don't know, desire to have the best of everything,

01:33:45   if people are honest with themselves, and especially if they don't have a 4K TV, there's no real reason as far as we can tell right now to get the Series X.

01:33:54   The Series X also has double the internal storage as 1TB SSD instead of 512 or whatever, but $299 is a very attractive price for a launch of a next generation console, even if it's the wimpy version.

01:34:06   And everyone thinks, and I agree, that the PlayStation 5 will not be able to come close to $299, either one of them.

01:34:14   People are thinking that the good PlayStation 5 is going to be $600, and then they're saying, "Well, how much can they remove?"

01:34:19   They remove the optical drive, because that, as far as I know, is the only difference. I mean, obviously they could do storage size differences if they wanted,

01:34:24   but it seems like the only difference between the two PlayStation 5s is one has an optical drive and one doesn't.

01:34:29   How much can one optical drive cost? $10?

01:34:31   Yeah, $30 maybe? We're not talking a lot of money here.

01:34:34   How much does it cost Sony to buy that optical drive?

01:34:38   And they're going to sell millions of these things, and they probably buy tons of optical drives for their actual Blu-ray players if they still sell those, right?

01:34:44   So the parts cost isn't that much, so if the big, good PlayStation 5 is $600, can you imagine the digital edition being less than $500?

01:34:54   And $500 is the price of the good Xbox with all the features.

01:34:57   So this is going to be interesting, and also the ship date of November 10th.

01:35:00   The fact that Sony hasn't even announced the ship date, does that mean Sony's not even sure if they're going to hit holiday season?

01:35:06   Or is their ship date going to be later?

01:35:08   If Sony ships after Microsoft, like if their ship date is after November 10th, I don't know. I think Sony has some problems here.

01:35:18   Sony still has a good reputation with gamers, people like it, people like the exclusive titles, everything's going for it, it's the leader in this generation of consoles.

01:35:26   But come holidays, especially in these COVID times, you want to get the kids a new next generation console, one of them costs $299, and the other one starts at $500.

01:35:37   Boy, that's going to be a tough sell. I'm still getting a PlayStation 5, obviously, but I'm a little bit worried about Sony in this generation, and I'm also worried about Apple.

01:35:48   With the Apple TV, which now has a competitor, a next generation gaming console for $100 more than an Apple TV, and it comes with a controller.

01:35:57   Well, Apple will sell you a set of Mac Pro feet for that same price, the $299.

01:36:02   But the Mac Pro feet are the next generation console feet for your computer. At least they're the best. That's what you were saying.

01:36:10   If you're going to make a set-top box or whatever thing, if you're going to make an Apple TV type thing, and you want it to cost a bazillion dollars, at least just make sure it's the best.

01:36:19   I think we agree those are the best wheels available for the Mac Pro, so yeah, you're paying way too much for them, but when you get them, you're like, "But they are nice wheels."

01:36:27   You get that Apple TV, and you're like, "Is it really that nice? Eh."

01:36:32   I mean, you can play games at 4K, I suppose, but you can't play the kind of games that you're going to be able to play on the Xbox or PlayStation.

01:36:40   Yeah, and what Apple would probably argue is, first of all, they don't care about what value they deliver.

01:36:46   Second of all, there is that $329 iPad in the lineup, so I think that is their $300 gaming device, not the Apple TV.

01:36:55   Apple's heart was never super into Apple TV gaming, and it also seems like Apple's heart is not super into the Apple TV hardware product at all in general.

01:37:03   It's always been kind of like the Mac Mini. It remains a product in their lineup, but it's never much of a priority for them.

01:37:11   I think what has become clear is that there's not much market for that kind of device anymore, especially not much market for a premium, if you consider the Apple TV premium,

01:37:23   which in some ways it is, and in some ways it isn't. The ubiquity now of smart TVs, quote, "has really taken a lot of wind out of the sales of this market for premium TV-connected streaming boxes."

01:37:39   Now you have these two massive competitors that when the Apple TV was first coming up didn't exist. You have extremely cheap streaming things you can plug into TVs that will also play Netflix and stuff like that,

01:37:55   and you have smart TV stuff being built into almost every new TV. You can't buy most good TVs without all that smart stuff built in.

01:38:04   It's there whether you want it or not. If you buy a halfway decent TV, it's going to have all these built-in apps and stuff, and so there's a decreasing need for Apple to even make the Apple TV at all.

01:38:16   And I think their effort in the product line reflects that. And that being said, it also doesn't help that the most recent generation of Apple TV has been so mediocre.

01:38:28   And I'm not talking about just the 4K. I'm including the whole Siri remote generation. It's been so mediocre in so many ways.

01:38:35   So much of what Apple seemed to want for it in the app ecosystem didn't pan out. The Apple TV, the app-based Apple TV, was always a mediocre entrant in the market, and now the market's gone.

01:38:51   And so while I still use them almost every day, and I'd rather -- like, I have smart TVs now, and I don't want to use the TV's built-in garbage because, you know, the Apple stuff is nicer in many ways, and I trust Apple more with privacy stuff.

01:39:08   But I have to admit the difference is getting smaller and smaller. Like, we recently had to set up a new TV, and I was out of HDMI cables, and so I couldn't -- I have an Apple TV ready to go for it, but I couldn't hook it up because I didn't have a cable for a few days.

01:39:24   And so we just watched Netflix using the built-in app on the TV, and it was a little worse in some ways, but it was mostly fine. Like, I always hear, whenever I invest heavily in the overcast UI, I will often hear from, like, pragmatic users or friends, like, you know, it's not really worth investing so much into this, because for the most part you, like, hit play, and then most of the time you're using the app, you're not looking at or operating the UI.

01:39:53   Like, you're just listening to your podcast, right? That's kind of how TV stuff is. You know, when they showed all these demos of, you know, browsing real estate listings on your TV and buying clothes on your TV and stuff, like, that kind of stuff, the OS and platform sophistication might matter.

01:40:12   But what most people ended up actually doing with their Apple TVs is watching Netflix and stuff, and the difference between the Apple TV watching Netflix and any other device in the universe watching Netflix is not that big of a difference.

01:40:25   And whatever differences there are are kind of minimized by the nature of watching stuff on TV, you know, like the podcast app of, like, you can design it as much as you want, but the reality is you're hitting a few buttons and then you're just laying down the remote and watching something.

01:40:41   So the actual time you're interacting with this stuff is not that high, especially as the percentage of time you're using it, and the differences are getting smaller and smaller over time as the built-in TV stuff is getting better.

01:40:53   And I don't expect any of these built-in smart TV makers to ever be as capable of making good software experiences as Apple is. Notice I'm saying "capable," not, like, Apple is capable of making great experiences.

01:41:08   They largely haven't on the Apple TV, but they are capable of it when they try. But I just don't see how this market matters anymore.

01:41:17   And even Apple, they even brought their own content services to other TVs now, because I think even they saw, you know what, this market's a...

01:41:27   This is not a hill to die on. Like, trying to get somebody to pay an Apple-relevant price for an Apple version of something every set-top box is, or every TV is including for free, that's a harder and harder sell as time goes on.

01:41:41   So I think for the same reason why Apple just bowed out of the Wi-Fi router business, it wouldn't surprise me if they just kind of let the Apple TV business slowly die, because their contribution is less and less relevant.

01:41:55   And what they really want is services revenue now, because they can now get by spreading their content services onto everyone else's TVs. So the Apple TV, it's less and less necessary.

01:42:08   Yeah, that's totally the reason why they put Apple TV under the platforms, is when you have a services business, you don't artificially limit yourself by saying you have to get an Apple TV. That would be ridiculous, right?

01:42:17   But I think Apple should absolutely continue to make the Apple TV, they just gotta figure out, like you said, which direction they want to go. You've gotta make it way cheaper, which they can do.

01:42:25   Like, Apple is totally capable of making an Apple TV that does essentially all the things that it does now, except for maybe not play games as well, for way less money in one of those little tiny stick form factors.

01:42:36   Or they have to actually make a high-end streaming box that has high-end features, that has a remote that people like, that more people recognize the value in.

01:42:47   You know, that it's not just a little bit better than the built-in TV features, but a lot better in ways that people appreciate, and then you can sell that for more money.

01:42:54   What they can't do probably is compete with gaming consoles, because again, if you look at the Xbox Series S, I don't know what wattage it's taking, but it's probably like 100, 200 watts in there, it's got a gigantic fan.

01:43:06   If Apple wants to compete with that level of gaming power, it has to compete with that level of electrical power, which is a whole different ball of wax. You can't have these tiny little things with silent or non-existent fans inside them.

01:43:17   It's not the puck market, right? But they can compete in a premium streaming box with an updated version of the Apple TV with a much better remote and better OS and features, right?

01:43:27   And the reason I think they need to stay in this market is, it's not so much that selling the hardware is important, it's that Apple, I think, needs to continue to have an app platform connected to your television.

01:43:39   Televisions will all have all these apps built in, right? They'll have Netflix and they'll have HBO and so on and so forth, but maybe if you buy a TV and then a new, you know, whatever, Hulu and CBS All Access go out of business because Disney dominates them and a new service pops up.

01:43:57   How long is it going to take for your TV manufacturer to have an app for that service versus how long would it take for an Apple platform to have an app for that service?

01:44:04   Apple, I think, needs to continue to cultivate something you can buy for your TV that runs apps vended from an app store that's run by Apple.

01:44:12   And that's just the cost of doing business for them. I don't think they're ever going to be an important player and they'll have to pick a direction for the hardware to be either cheap or good, but I think they need to have that platform because that platform is an advantage.

01:44:25   The advantage of like, we don't know what people are going to do with this, but you can make games and you can make this and you can make that and it turns out shopping for sweaters in real estate is not the killer app feature, but if there is a killer app feature, if Apple doesn't have a platform that connects to your TV, they're not going to participate in it.

01:44:39   So I think it is important for Apple to continue to be in this market. They should and they should just accept it as a cost of doing business.

01:44:47   They just need to figure out how to make their product a little bit better so it'll be more palatable. Whether it's a hobby or not or whatever, they just need to be there because if they're not there, someone else will fill that void and one of the other players will become, "Oh, they're the app platform that if there's some new killer app for television that no one ever thought of, it's going to appear on their platform. It's going to appear on Roku, on Amazon Firesticks, on the Google TV things or whatever."

01:45:12   Because all the competitors are there, Apple needs to be there because I think apps that you can download from a store and run on your television is a reasonable idea and we've seen lots of useful versions of that.

01:45:26   It's mostly streaming apps from now, but gaming is a potential thing, but who knows? Who knows what the future will hold? So I really hope Apple doesn't give up on this like the Wi-Fi. Hell, I want the Wi-Fi routers again, but I really hope Apple doesn't give up on this. They just need to do a little bit better.

01:45:39   I know, I echo what you were saying, Marco, that when I first got my 4K TV, which is an LG, I started using the onboard apps and like Disney Plus, we still use all the time because I want to watch in 4K and I don't have a 4K Apple TV yet.

01:45:54   And the Disney Plus app is not demonstrably worse than the Apple TV app. It is not great, but it is not worse than the Apple TV app in my personal opinion.

01:46:05   Plex, I haven't tried in a while, but Plex was definitely way better on the Apple TV than it was on my actual TV, although I really am not the biggest fan of some of the UI changes Plex has made recently, and so I should actually go back and try the TV's Plex app one more time.

01:46:21   But, all told, I agree with you guys both that I still want an Apple TV and I still am looking to buy an Apple TV to plug into there, but I think I could survive without it. And that was not the case just a couple of years ago.

01:46:36   And, well, granted, I hadn't bought a TV in like 10 years, but you get the point. It wasn't that long ago that I don't think that that was the case. And I hope that Apple doesn't give up on this particular platform, but I think of all the platforms that I participated in of Apple's, this would be the one that I would shed the fewest tears over if it did go away.

01:46:58   And, by the way, the sort of no-brainer updates that Apple needs to do just for the keeping up with the Joneses things, they need to update the HDMI 2.1, they need auto-latency mode, they need variable refresh, they need just all the features, basically all the features of the new HDMI standards and all the features that the new television support.

01:47:14   That's just to keep up, right? I think that Apple's already got Dolby Vision and I think they've got the HDR standards handled and they have the adjusting frame rate from previous releases, but those HDMI 2.1 features I mentioned, all the TVs support them now.

01:47:28   And I think the new streaming boxes are going to follow. If Apple continues to not update their thing, eventually, not only will it not be premium, but it will be recommended against because you won't be able to play games at a higher frame rate or play games with less input lag with the auto-latency mode.

01:47:44   There's a bunch of features that modern television support that Apple needs to keep up with. So even if they do nothing except for give you another puck with that horrible remote, they just need to bump the internal specs, maybe give it more storage, and let it support all the new standards of HDMI 2.1.

01:47:59   And to me, the number one thing they need, from my point of view, is to drop the price. Because it's so egregiously out of line with the rest of the market right now. It's one thing when Apple has a premium offering and they charge a premium price and you can look at it and say, "Well, it's more expensive than the competitors, but it's so much better. It's worth it.

01:48:19   It's not just the "Apple tax." It's actually a better product and you're paying to get something nice." And I'd say that's true of many of the products Apple sells, that you are actually paying a reasonable price for the quality you're getting and for the competitiveness that you're getting.

01:48:33   That's not true for the Apple TV. I don't think it ever has been, and it's less true now than it's ever been because the competitors are so capable and so cheap and so ahead of the curve on a lot of those spec things. And the Apple TV is just sitting there, just ancient and super expensive still and pretty half-assed.

01:48:56   I've got an Apple solution for that. That gets back to the price comparison to the Xbox Series S. Ship a new Apple TV with updated HDMI, like I said. Maybe fix the remote. Include a gaming controller. Keep the price the same.

01:49:10   Because the expensive Apple TV plus a $50 gaming controller is now within $50 of the Xbox Series S. And I think an Apple TV with a gaming controller doesn't suddenly become more capable of games, but it becomes more capable of games for people who don't want to buy another controller to use with their Apple TV and if they don't want to pair one of their console controllers.

01:49:31   I know it doesn't seem like a big barrier, but it's like, "Hey, if you've got a PlayStation, just pair it with your Apple TV. If you've got an Xbox, just pair it." But that is a barrier. If you buy this thing and for the same price it came with a first-party Apple controller, more people would view it as a potentially viable gaming platform.

01:49:46   Granted, maybe just for young kids or whatever, but like, "Look, it comes with a gaming controller. Here you go." And yes, you can play games with a remote. And yes, you can buy third-party controllers. And yes, you can pair other ones.

01:49:55   It's just a psychological barrier. If Apple wants this to be taken seriously in any way as a gaming platform, and it is perfectly capable for many genres of games, even if Apple doesn't have the big AAA titles, you've got this good GPU in there, even on the current model.

01:50:09   For a new one with a better GPU and a better CPU and system on a chip and the whole nine yards, supporting the new HDMI standards with high frame rate and 4K output, ship it with a controller and then you can keep the price the same.

01:50:20   And then it will seem more reasonable because, hey, you're getting a free $50 controller.

01:50:24   But I don't want a free $50 controller. I don't have any interest in having a game controller.

01:50:28   Well, keep the price the same with the controller and then make the one without the controller $50 less.

01:50:32   Yeah, because, I mean, the reality is, Apple TV gaming has been such a flop for so many reasons, really. Not having the controller in every box is a big reason for sure.

01:50:43   And their early requirement for the first few years of the TVOS version of Apple TV, their early requirement that all games must also work with the little stupid remote and couldn't require a controller, that rule is now gone, but it used to be that way for a long time.

01:51:01   So the combination of those two things really did make it so that it was basically dead in the water. But even if Apple really tried to make the Apple TV a serious gaming platform, a gaming platform at all today, I don't think they would succeed.

01:51:18   I don't think, first of all, their heart is just not in gaming. All of Apple's success in gaming on iOS has been inadvertent. It has kind of happened to them, not as a result of anything they did.

01:51:29   Actually, even with Apple Arcade, I don't think the Apple TV needs to be a gaming device, and I don't think it ever will succeed at being one, even if Apple were to really try and do things like put a controller in every box.

01:51:43   Ultimately, their heart is not in it, their expertise is not there, and Apple already has gaming in the casual way locked up pretty well with the iPhone and iPad, and that's where they will continue to do well.

01:51:59   I don't see the Apple TV ever succeeding as a gaming platform. I think they're better off. I did everything ideally for them when TV OS first came out. I went and bought the Steelcase Nimbus controller, and I eventually bought the HORI Ultimate because everyone said it was better.

01:52:19   So here I am sitting there with two MFI-compatible controllers, each of which was extraordinarily expensive for a lark that I was taking, and I downloaded a whole bunch of Apple TV games back before people knew that it was going to be worthless to make them.

01:52:33   So there was actually some good effort put into them, and I had a lot of fun with one or two games, and then that was it. The types of games that succeed in iOS, and iOS-like platforms like TV OS, these types of games that succeed are casual games.

01:52:51   They're usually much smaller in scope, much simpler than what you get on a console from a major publisher, and that's great for the phone in your pocket when you're standing on the line at the bank, or when you're just trying to kill some time with your phone or your iPad.

01:53:08   That's one thing. But if you're going to have a home console-like experience, you're going to sit on the couch with a controller that you had to pay $60 for separately, that you have to then get the games installed on your TV with this clunky interface, and you're going to sit down and play a game on your big TV on your couch,

01:53:26   the standards are pretty high for the quality and depth of those games, because the console world is so mature and has so many amazing games, that if you're expecting that kind of experience, you're not going to find it in the iOS game world.

01:53:42   Even if you can get past all the hardware requirements, the controller being there or not being there, Apple's ecosystem of software and of games does not contain a lot of those super high quality games with lots of depth.

01:53:59   They contain a lot of really simple games you can play with your finger on your phone when you're waiting in line, and that's a huge market, don't get me wrong, but most of those people aren't wanting to then play this on the big screen on their TV with a controller on their couch.

01:54:14   They're happy to keep playing those games on their phone while someone else watches TV with whatever built-in smart crap is in their TV.

01:54:21   I just don't see the Apple TV as a gaming device, and I think that's probably because I just never use it as a gaming device, and there may be tons, dozens of people even that use it as a gaming device, but I personally do not know of anyone that plays games on it.

01:54:35   Now we're going to get all the email about the people who play games on it.

01:54:37   Well, it's even worse because even Apple seems to have significantly backed away from the Apple TV as an app platform when they introduced the TV app for Apple TV and made that the default home screen.

01:54:50   So now, if you want to do anything on an Apple TV besides watch TV in the TV app on Apple TV TV, they fight you at every turn.

01:54:59   Now it's extra button presses, you've got to go back a level, and then every time you hit home it goes back to that, and you have to go change that setting if you really want to, which no one probably does.

01:55:08   So Apple has backed away significantly from the app model, and any chances of being a game platform I think they have also probably backed away from, even though, yes, I'm very much aware that Apple Arcade games are required to also work on the Apple TV.

01:55:23   I don't think, first of all, I don't think Apple Arcade is that successful, honestly, but also I don't think that matters.

01:55:30   I don't think enough people are doing it on Apple TV for that to be a thing or to notice.

01:55:34   So ultimately, I hope that Apple gives Apple TV what it actually needs, which is make the process of watching video content better, which would be things like some software tweaks, MIUI tweaks, and the new remote,

01:55:50   and make it more appealing to the market by dropping the price. That's what Apple TV really needs. Better TV experience and lower price.

01:55:59   And if they have to really cut its abilities as a game platform to get there, that's what they should do, because those things are more important to that product's actual future than a gaming ideal that they will never achieve.

01:56:12   Can you imagine what a first-party Apple console controller would look like given what that remote looks like? Like what would that be?

01:56:20   You thought the original NES controllers had bad ergonomics? Wait till you see this.

01:56:24   I feel like because they've been selling the Nimbus controller, I feel like they'd be much more cowed by the established form of a console controller. They wouldn't make something totally weird, but I also don't think it would be a good controller at all.

01:56:40   I feel like they would make something console controller-shaped, but then in all the surface details, they would do some kind of thing that's in the spirit of the current terrible remote and make it smooth and featureless so you can't feel the edges of the buttons and just like this hairline cutout where they press in.

01:56:55   Something terrible like that, where when you're trying to feel where the face buttons are with your thumb, you can't feel them because they're all flush. I don't have much faith in their ergonomic design.

01:57:05   I like their keyboard, but their mouse I don't like, their remote I hate with a fiery passion, and I just can't imagine what their console controller would be like.

01:57:14   Thanks to our sponsors this week, Linode, Mack Weldon, and Bring Back Bronco. And thank you to our members who support us directly. You can join if you want to at atp.fm/join. Thanks everybody, and we will talk to you next week.

01:57:29   [music]

01:57:31   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin, cause it was accidental. Oh it was accidental.

01:57:41   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him, cause it was accidental. Oh it was accidental.

01:57:52   And you can find the show notes at atp.fm, and if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S, so that's Casey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, N-T Marco Arman, S-I-R-A-C, USA, Syracuse.

01:58:18   It's accidental. They didn't mean to, accidental. Tech podcast so long.

01:58:31   So John, I would love to know what it's like to teach someone how to drive. Actually more importantly, I would love for you to get your son on the horn so I can ask him what it's like to learn how to drive from you, but to the best you're willing to share, what's it like trying to teach a smallish person how to drive?

01:58:51   I don't know if I'm just an amazing teacher or my son is an amazing student, but he's doing great. He is doing fantastic. I've been taking him on driving pretty much every weekend, both days for months now, ever since he got his permit, and we did the whole thing.

01:59:11   We start off just in a parking lot and then work our way up to back roads and then we work our way up to driving back and forth through the parking lot. We're doing a lot of stuff that's like drills for the actual test, so we're doing parallel parking drills and three-point turns.

01:59:23   And apparently in Massachusetts, you have to back along the curb for 50 feet. I've never even heard of that one, but that's another part of the test.

01:59:30   So we do a lot of teaching to the test, but we also do plain old driving on the roads, do errands, go around in the various difficult intersections in the neighborhood and practice. And this is all on a stick shift car, which I didn't give him an option. I didn't say anything about it. I said, "Guess what? We're going to go learn how to drive." And he just accepted it as the reality and he's doing great.

01:59:52   We found a parking lot that has a hill in it. It's one parking lot and there's a lower level, there's another parking lot. And we use the hill to do hill starts. So we just go to the bottom of the hill and we just go up like a foot and then come to a complete stop, then go up another foot and come to a complete stop, and the hill gets steeper as you go.

02:00:08   So the contest was how many stops and starts can you get before getting up the hill, right? And if you stall the engine, you're disqualified. So we did that game for a while and he's graded hill starts. Now he can just basically do an infinite number of them all the way up the hill.

02:00:25   It's a little bit tricky in the top part. He's annoyed that the hill hold on the Accord is a little bit unreliable, but I think that's great because it teaches us not to rely on the hill hold. The hill hold gives up after like a fraction of a second. It will hold you and then it's like, "Well, you better be ready to go."

02:00:38   We've been doing driving around the neighborhood through intersections. We recently got up to the point where he was saying, since we're doing real world driving, it's like sometimes you need to get out onto the road a little bit quicker because you're trying to get into a spot in some busy traffic. So he asked me, "How do I get out onto the road a little bit quicker?"

02:00:59   I said, "Now we're going to learn how to do burnouts." And we learned how to actually give the thing some gas. First thing I tried to get him to do is like, "You're going to find where the red line is and you're going to see what a rev limiter is."

02:01:11   Wait, did you do that? Did you have him bounce off the rev limiter without the car in motion?

02:01:16   No, no. With the car in motion. It's a stick shift car, it's got a tack, and he's just been tooling around shifting it like 2,000, 3,000 RPM or whatever because he's going slowly. By the way, when we started doing this, we went to this parking lot, like an office complex. On the weekends, there's nobody there, so it's great for learning to drive. There's a whole bunch of office buildings and a whole bunch of parking lots. We've been sort of touring them all.

02:01:39   But at some point, maybe like two or three weeks into this, other people learning to drive started to show up. So now the parking lot is filled with people stopping and starting and parallel parking. We're widely separated. It's big parking lots.

02:01:52   But when I was trying to have him bounce off the rev limiter, he was embarrassed to do it because other people who are learning to drive are going to think that he doesn't know what he's doing.

02:02:01   So we learned how to start quickly. We learned how to start quickly without spinning the wheels. We learned how to start quickly with spinning the wheels. We learned what it feels like to hit the rev line. We learned to do fast shifting, first, second, third.

02:02:15   But do first, second, third, and get up to maybe 5,000 RPM between shifts. We're not doing performance driving here, but we did enough to know here's how you can squirt into traffic.

02:02:25   The reason I wanted him to do burnouts is to show him this is what you don't want to do because this will not get you into traffic quickly. This is if you mishandle the clutch and the gas. You will just sit there spinning your wheels and instead of getting into traffic quickly, you will just be making smoke and ruining my expensive tires. So don't do that.

02:02:39   We did emergency stopping. Emergency stopping so you can feel the ABS pulsing the brake pedal. All sorts of drills like that.

02:02:49   I thought you were doing this in Tina's car, no? Yes. That's all my wheels.

02:02:57   I see how it is. Here's some accessories we got. We got a set of cones, collapsible cones so I can set up parallel parking so we're not parallel parking with an actual car. We're parallel parking with a Phantom car made up of cones.

02:03:09   Which is actually trickier because the cones are low to the ground and you can't really see. Since they don't want you to look at the backup camera during various maneuvers, I block the backup camera with a towel so we can't look at that during the maneuvers.

02:03:23   I got some student driver magnets that I slap on the back of the car whenever we go out to prevent people who are behind us from honking. It works about 50% of the time.

02:03:33   Before I had them, people would honk because you're behind a new driver and they're like "why aren't they going?" or "the light changed?" or whatever new drivers do, people are going to honk at you.

02:03:42   With the student driver stickers on, it takes about half the honks out. But I like the honking because as I've been telling him, the part about being a new driver is that people are going to honk at you because you're going to do stupid stuff.

02:03:53   The worst thing you can do as a new driver is get freaked out by the honking and do something stupid. Just accept that they're honking, receive their honking, take it within you and say "yes, I am learning to drive. I have done the thing that perhaps deserves to be honked at."

02:04:08   But you honking is not going to make me suddenly squirt out into traffic and get hit by a cement truck because I don't feel like it's safe for me to go right now.

02:04:16   So feel free to honk and I will still not get so nervous that I stall the car and not do something stupid. So it's great experience being in the car and having people honk at you and just learning to accept the honking and not do something.

02:04:29   Because honestly, he deserves to be honked at. But he's just learning, right?

02:04:32   But anyway, I've been amazed. He picked up the clutch brakes, gas stuff so quickly. He pretty much never stalls anymore unless he's super duper nervous. Maybe we're doing one stall and two hours of real world driving.

02:04:47   If that, I think we just had a trip today. I had him drive us to the high school to drop off a booklet he had to drop off. He did that driving there and back, no problem.

02:04:56   This weekend I think he had one stall maybe during several hours of driving. So overall I think he's doing great.

02:05:04   Like I said, I credit to my... I've been the only person teaching him because I feel like my wife is a little bit too nervous about her dying but also a little bit maybe applies more pressure to him.

02:05:19   I try to remain calm despite the fact that I feel like my life is in my hands sometimes and I feel like that calming influence is helping him understand.

02:05:26   And I did, by the way, start the teaching procedure with a classroom portion before we got in the car.

02:05:33   Of course he did.

02:05:34   The classroom portion was me drawing terrible pencil drawings of conceptually the engine, the clutch, the transmission, the drivetrain, the gearshift to explain how it all works behind the scenes.

02:05:49   I wish I could have found a good YouTube video but drawing it was fine to just say like, "This is what happens when you press the clutch and when you don't press it. This is what the gearshift does. This is what it means when you're in neutral. This is what the engine is doing. This is how an engine works."

02:06:02   I'm not sure my daughter will tolerate the level of detail I want to do but I think it really helped just to conceptually understand what's going on because then it becomes less abstract of like, "Which pedal do I push when?"

02:06:10   You understand what they're doing and you understand what the engine is doing and the whole nine yards.

02:06:16   So I have a question then. Is your son going to be a manhole or is he going to drive like a New Yorker?

02:06:25   Neither. He's a very calm, sedate driver. He drives gently. He's not in a hurry. Right now, mostly he's in test-taking mode. You'll find out but I feel like this generation of kids is very attuned to test-taking because there are so many more standardized tests and so much more teaching to the test.

02:06:45   So this is just another like, "Oh, I know this mode. I'm going to be tested on something and I have to learn it." So it's just like, "Let's do three-point turns. Let's parallel park. Let's back up along the curb." Why? Because it's on the test.

02:06:55   And that type of stuff. The same thing with the double stopping. There's a bunch of stuff that they want you to do in Massachusetts like stop at the stop line and they also want you to after you stop at the stop line when you creep up again so you can actually see.

02:07:07   Do a full stop again. Don't roll through that second part. Do a full stop again and then go because that's something they want you to do for the test. And it's also good driving habits.

02:07:17   But anyway, I feel like he's going to be a fairly calm driver at least until he gets way more confident because he's not nervous driving but he drives carefully and sedately.

02:07:29   He's a new driver so new drivers don't know where to look and so that's why they get hit by cement trucks and stuff, right? But I'm in the car with him making sure that I'm at least being aware of everything else.

02:07:39   I'll let you know when he gets up to the hooligan level but I feel like he's generally a very calm and careful person who will most likely get into accidents due to inattention and not hooligan-ness.

02:07:50   I see. I don't know. I just, having spent the beginning of my driving career in Connecticut, relatively far away from the Massachusetts border but not that far.

02:08:02   I remember that the pecking order was Connecticut drivers were fine. New York drivers were jerks but generally skilled jerks.

02:08:09   Massachusetts drivers were jerks but didn't know what they were doing and then there was Jersey which was just a whole new disaster in every way, shape, and form.

02:08:20   So, I mean, they don't even pump their own gas there. They don't know how. You can't trust them with it.

02:08:25   We did that too. Every time we're in the car, I make them go get gas if we need gas and I make them pump it to learn how to do that.

02:08:31   That's the part he likes the least. Like, "Why do I have to get gas?" He feels like it's beneath him because that's part of driving. I pay for it. He should be happy with it.

02:08:40   I tap my phone on the gas meter thing. That's the hard part. I still miss SpeedPass.

02:08:46   Wait, SpeedPass isn't the thing? Oh, you're talking about the mobile thing or whatever it was.

02:08:49   Yeah, they used to just be the little thingy on your keychain instead. Now I have to take my phone out and do face ID and it's worse.

02:08:56   Like an animal.

02:08:57   Like an animal. Well, I'm glad that you're teaching him. I'm glad that he's enthusiastic about it too because your son is not the most overtly enthusiastic person I've ever met.

02:09:09   And from what I understand, teens these days, the kids these days, aren't generally enthusiastic about driving anyway.

02:09:17   So I am very impressed that he has been taking it so seriously and doing so well. That's awesome.

02:09:23   Yeah, I mean, it's a fun thing to do. And you know, when you first learn to drive, driving is fun.

02:09:27   So, you know, I think he's I don't think he has a views it as a utilitarian thing, as in once I can.

02:09:32   Like when I was viewing, he's like, "Now I want to ride my bike to the mall and I want to buy a model at the model shop.

02:09:37   Now I'll be able to drive there." And because the mall was 20 miles away or whatever. Ten miles. Fine. 20 miles round trip.

02:09:44   Now I'll be able to drive. So it has utility in my life. I don't think he sees that angle because in this modern age, the car has no utility to him, especially since we live near public transport.

02:09:55   If he really wanted to go somewhere, he could just take the T. But driving is fun. And so I think it's kind of like a real life video game.

02:10:02   In the good sense, again, he's not being reckless or whatever. But but boy, driving is complicated.

02:10:07   And you don't realize it until you're trying to teach somebody new about all the different places you have to look and why and when and how to how to judge the behavior of other cars and what blinkers do and don't mean.

02:10:17   And Massachusetts was this totally invisible lane markings that rubbed off three winters ago.

02:10:23   And it's intersections that don't line up and it's signals that are all hidden in the bushes.

02:10:28   Like just Massachusetts setting aside the whole mess whole New York driver, Connecticut driver, whatever Massachusetts roads are a mess.

02:10:37   The pavement is a mess. The alignment is a mess. The signage is a mess. Everything like conspires to make it difficult.

02:10:45   It's not like those driver videos where you're in some beautiful place with like wide open roads where the signals are suspended directly over your lane.

02:10:52   All the lanes are clearly marked and there's huge soldiers. None of that here. So I feel kind of bad for him in that respect.

02:10:58   But that's why we're that's why we're driving around on railroads and learning about where the worst intersections are and how to successfully navigate them and alternate escape routes.

02:11:07   If you can't manage to get through this intersection, you can make, you know, three rights instead of a left.

02:11:11   And it's easier in this place.