389: One Branch Leads to Yes


00:00:00   We are not testifying before Congress this week. They haven't asked us yet, but it's not too late. We're available.

00:00:07   I would be happy to. Actually, no, I would not be happy to. It sounds terrifying. My dad had to testify before the SEC once for work-related reasons. He was not in trouble at all. He was like a witness or something for the SEC. And I remember my dad doesn't get scared, doesn't get shaken easily, and he was terrified for months leading up to this.

00:00:29   Like, absolutely freaking terrified, and I don't blame him. So as much as I joke about, "Oh, yeah, I'll go to Congress. Sure, why not?" I don't know. That seems unenjoyable for anyone.

00:00:39   I've never worked on anything that could have led to serious consequences if I did anything wrong. I've always worked on fairly low-stakes things. I felt a lot of pressure to keep the site up, but if I messed up, I didn't go to jail, and nobody died, and it wasn't major problems happening if I screwed something up.

00:01:02   I might lose my job if I screwed something up badly enough, but I wouldn't be criminally liable for anything. And there's so many jobs that that's not the case. There are significant ramifications if you mess something up, including personal liability ramifications for you personally.

00:01:20   And so I consider myself very lucky that I've dedicated most of my career to helping people waste time, basically.

00:01:29   You know, it's funny you bring that up. I've told this story on other podcasts, and probably on this one, but there's a window of time I worked for a company that wrote navigation systems for very, very large boats, like cruise ships and stuff like that.

00:01:41   And at one point, I was doing a bug fix for the mob feature, MOB, and at first I was like, "I don't even know what that means." And then I quickly learned that that meant "man overboard."

00:01:52   And the idea was it would try to use whatever it knew about winds and currents and the speed of the boat at the time you hit the button and so on and so forth to do a little bit of like, this is a terrible use in this context, but to do dead reckoning to try to figure out like where's the person that's overboard so you can swoop around and hopefully go pick them up.

00:02:09   And it was when I was working on this feature, this bug, that I realized, "Hm, unlike the job before when I was working on bingo machines that were allegedly masquerading as slot machines, but they were really just bingo machines, this stuff, this actually kind of matters.

00:02:24   This is kind of a big deal, and it's funny because that particular job, that was far and away the most difficult job to get any code change into source control because you had to do all sorts of testing, you had to have independent testing, all of which is good.

00:02:43   I don't think any of this is bad, but it was very, very challenging going from a completely grab-hiney organization that I had come from with the slot machines where it was like, "Yeah, whatever, whee! Shoot from the hip, pew, pew, pew!"

00:02:57   And next thing I know, we were using the rational suite for source control and issue tracking, which was awful, and you couldn't do anything to the code without associating it with a bug that you were fixing, which was a pain.

00:03:12   But all of this was for good reason, and it was like a CMMI level 3, or 2 or 3, I forget which one it was, but, which basically means that when we had said, "It will take six months to get that feature done," the first thing everyone said was, "You're kidding, this is the smallest feature in the world,"

00:03:28   but the second thing that happened was, it took six months to get the feature done, because there was so much like, this was waterfall taken to the extreme, right, and there was so much like red tape and pre-planning and so on and so forth, that the good news was, by the time you actually got to writing code, it was almost already done at that point.

00:03:47   So we shipped very reliably, even though it was just suffocating, a suffocating place to work, and it wasn't, again, like, for good reason, I'm not really complaining about it, but yeah, outside of that, I've done nothing that matters in my entire career.

00:04:01   I don't know, that was a very weird tangent, huh? I'm in a little bit of a goofy mood tonight, I'm sorry.

00:04:05   Us?

00:04:05   Yeah, I know, right? You know, I don't know if this is not in good taste, I think it's fine, but I was listening to, I believe it was Today's Dithering, speaking of tangents, and they were covering the testimony that was going to happen today, and oh my goodness, like, the entire, the dithering is so good to begin with, but that particular episode, I don't know if you two have heard it yet,

00:04:32   but I felt like every single ounce of it was so incredibly accurate and well done, and if you are a dithering listener, I really encourage you to listen to that episode, do not skip it, and if you're not, I definitely encourage you to try it. It is very, very good. Have you guys heard Today's?

00:04:49   No, not yet, but I will echo the endorsement for listening to Dithering. I find it wonderful. I listen quite a lot. It's like, because they released it, this is the, you know, drunk Uber, Ben Thompson, $5 a month, paid 15 minute each episode, what, two or three times a week? Three times a week, whatever it is?

00:05:06   It's really good. It's not just like the talk show, you know, it's something new, and I really enjoy it, and I definitely recommend, you know, many of you out there have been on board with the paid podcast train recently, and if you're on that, if you're on board that paid podcast train, add this one to your list. Yeah, to the ring, we'll link to it.

00:05:26   I don't know, I haven't really paid any attention to this stuff today. I probably should have, if I'm honest, but I just didn't have the energy for it. Have you guys watched it all or listened to it all?

00:05:38   It's in the topic list, for crying out loud, scroll down.

00:05:42   Alright, well, alright, so if we're gonna do Bad Cop, then I'll also join you in being Bad Cop. Jon, you've done way too much homework this episode.

00:05:50   There's a ton of Jon homework here.

00:05:52   Apparently not enough, because both of you tried to talk about a topic before we even...

00:05:57   No, that is absolutely irrelevant, or tangential to this conversation. Why are you doing so much homework?

00:06:03   Well, this is like, I don't know, this has been in there for a while, and like I said last week, we don't have static content hosting, and I didn't want Marco to work on it, so I just uploaded all the images to my website, but then you need all the links, and that's fine.

00:06:14   Now, to be fair, even though I am being Bad Cop, because I like to think of myself as a nice guy, now I have to backpedal a little bit, so the homework I'm referring to is that later on, certainly not now, Jon, we're going to talk about Big Sur's new look.

00:06:27   Big Sur.

00:06:29   As Jon just said, not only has he uploaded all of these helpful images to his website, not only has he provided URLs for all of these, but he actually, and this is how you know Jon is actually a nice guy, even though he likes to play Bad Cop, he actually put markdown-ready links in our show notes.

00:06:48   So for me, because I typically are the first stage in completing the show notes.

00:06:52   That's how you know I don't trust you to do it, that's why.

00:06:54   That's also true, that's the less charitable take. Here it is, I'm trying to bring this back around to being Good Cop.

00:06:58   Leave the HTTPS off a bunch of links, you know.

00:07:03   Anyway, let me just try to compliment you, even though you don't deserve it, you jerk. I appreciate the fact that you've put all this work in, so I do not have to.

00:07:09   I'm using some of the skills that I learned at my jobby job, which is if you just put in a bunch of images, people think you did a lot of work.

00:07:14   So look at all these images, that must have been a lot of work.

00:07:18   Like it's easier to paste an image than it is to write stuff.

00:07:21   I write 100 bullet points, it's like, "Ah, you did nothing." I paste in one image, it's like, "Wow, you did a lot of work."

00:07:25   A lot of work that day. Oh my word.

00:07:30   Alright, so I guess we should do some follow-up before Jon gets really upset.

00:07:34   And we should say that Jon, it seems like you may have solved your Mac Pro waking up for no good reason issues.

00:07:42   No, of course not. This is one of those follow-up items where so many people suggested it that I need to talk about it on the program, because it doesn't work.

00:07:49   So this is a thing, I had already tried this many, many moons ago, but people suggested it a lot, so I wanted to reinforce this does not work.

00:07:57   So my problem to recap was, my computer would be dead asleep, my Mac Pro is dead asleep.

00:08:01   Fans are not spinning, the computer is asleep.

00:08:04   And then a reminder will happen, and it will wake my Mac up, so it can put the little notification reminder on the screen.

00:08:12   And as I said last show, I do want notifications enabled for reminders on my Mac, because when I'm sitting there using my Mac, it's nice to get a reminder of a thing.

00:08:20   Maybe my phone's not with me, I want reminders to be there.

00:08:23   I do not want reminders to wake my Mac up when I'm not even home.

00:08:27   Because then my Mac wakes up in this hot little room with no air conditioning, and I have my Mac set up to not go to sleep for a very long time.

00:08:35   In general, I like to manually control, when I put it to sleep, I want it to stay asleep, and when I wake it up, I want it to stay awake.

00:08:41   That's just how I use my Mac Pro.

00:08:43   But, reminders has other plans.

00:08:45   And I didn't say this last week, and no one mentioned it, but I'm assuming that what's waking it up with reminders is not push notifications or listening on the network.

00:08:53   But just basically, you know, if I were to look at my sleep logs, it would be like, "Wake Reason RTC", which is like real-time clock.

00:08:59   Like, it's just time-based. If it knows it's going to be a reminder, you know, the same way my computer wakes up every night and does a backup, right?

00:09:05   The same way I have my timed, super-duper backups.

00:09:08   Like, that all happens while I'm sleeping. You can schedule wake from sleep and shutdown in the Energy Saver thing.

00:09:14   Anyway, same deal.

00:09:15   So, there's an option in the notifications preference pane under the "Do Not Disturb" item.

00:09:19   There's a checkbox that says, "Turn on Do Not Disturb", and it has a bunch of conditions under which you can turn on.

00:09:26   "Turn on Do Not Disturb when the screen is locked", "Turn on Do Not Disturb when mirroring to TVs or projectors", and "Turn on Do Not Disturb when the display is sleeping".

00:09:33   And I have all those checked and always checked off and always have. Doesn't matter.

00:09:37   Because, yes, technically I suppose the display is sleeping when the entire computer is asleep, but that does not prevent reminders from waking my computer up.

00:09:46   I think what they mean is when your computer is awake but when your display is asleep. I honestly don't even know.

00:09:51   So anyway, as far as I can tell, there is still no way to stop reminders from waking up your Mac, except for just turning off reminders.

00:09:59   Turning off the notifications for reminders entirely.

00:10:02   Alrighty, and then it sounds like Intel is not in a good spot. What's going on here?

00:10:09   We just got done answering a question of what happened to Intel, what's the deal with them, and of course Apple moving to ARM and everything like that.

00:10:15   We said they were behind on their process and they just had another announcement that their next process shrink to 7nm is delayed.

00:10:23   Here's a quote from Apple, Intel CEO Bob Swan.

00:10:27   We now expect to see the initial production shipments for our Intel-based 7nm product, a client CPU, in late 2022 or early 2023.

00:10:37   That's not good news. Apple is going to be shipping 5nm Macs this year.

00:10:43   And they're saying their 7nm process, which is roughly comparable, 2022 or 2023.

00:10:50   The hits keep coming from Intel, and in the same press release story, they hinted at the possibility of "this is not going to stop us, if Intel needs to".

00:11:03   I figured what the euphemism was, but it was like "additional fab resources".

00:11:07   They basically said "maybe we'll get someone else to make our chips for us because we're really bad at it".

00:11:11   And then it's got all the people speculating that maybe they'll get out of the fab business and just give up entirely and just be entirely fabless.

00:11:18   Anyway, Intel's not doing well. And I'm sure people were saying "Oh, Apple dodged a bullet on that one".

00:11:25   This is the type of thing that Apple would know well before we would, because they're partners with Intel.

00:11:29   But even without this announcement, just the 10nm delay was so crippling and terrible that that was more than enough to justify Apple's decision to get off of Intel.

00:11:39   Too bad for Intel.

00:11:42   We are sponsored this week by CryptoPro, the all-in-one cryptocurrency tracking app.

00:11:47   You can view market prices, read news, set price alerts, and monitor your crypto portfolio.

00:11:53   CryptoPro is fully native, with support for iOS, iPadOS, WatchOS, and macOS via Catalyst.

00:12:01   And they support all modern Apple features that you would expect.

00:12:04   They have a "Today" widget to view prices or your portfolio or news.

00:12:08   They have complications for WatchOS, so you can view complications right on your Apple Watch.

00:12:12   They have a macOS menu bar widget. Full Siri support. You can do things like "Hey Siri, Bitcoin price".

00:12:18   They also support Face ID or Touch ID, so you can lock your portfolio.

00:12:22   And they are built for privacy first. So they use iCloud for sync.

00:12:27   And they have no user data collection. Sensitive credentials are stored using Apple's keychain, so they really respect and protect your privacy.

00:12:36   For iOS 14 coming up soon, they hope on day one to be able to offer iOS 14 native widgets and Big Sur Catalyst app improvements.

00:12:44   So they really are on the ball with modern Apple tech and getting it out there updated natively and quickly as the platform moves forward.

00:12:51   CryptoPro is also taking all this great talent and making a great stocks portfolio app coming soon.

00:12:57   You can see more and maybe join the TestFlight beta at our link, CryptoPro.app.

00:13:02   So, you are listeners. If you want to get CryptoPro or learn more about the CryptoPro stock app coming up soon, go to CryptoPro.app for more information.

00:13:11   And you can use code ATP for one month of free premium service.

00:13:16   This gives you real-time prices, portfolio sync from exchanges and wallets, advanced charts, and curated market updates.

00:13:23   So once again, CryptoPro at CryptoPro.app, this wonderful cryptocurrency tracking app.

00:13:29   And using code ATP, you can get a free month of CryptoPro premium with real-time prices, portfolio sync from exchanges and wallets, advanced charts, and curated market updates.

00:13:38   Thank you so much to CryptoPro for sponsoring our show.

00:13:42   Now am I allowed to talk about the CEO testimony?

00:13:48   Yeah, look at that. Wow. Here's a timely topic that we can discuss.

00:13:52   Imagine that.

00:13:53   Oh, look at that.

00:13:54   Some tech CEOs had some testimony to Congress today.

00:13:56   I didn't pay attention to any of it, and I hear it was a ride and not a very good one.

00:14:02   Did you watch it, Marco?

00:14:03   I didn't really watch it either because…

00:14:06   How many people do all day?

00:14:07   Well, life. Anything else? I mean, here's the thing.

00:14:12   Like, you know, I read all the recaps. I saw some of the quotes and some of the clips and everything of what, you know, what was actually noteworthy.

00:14:19   You have a bunch of big corporate CEOs being interviewed by some clueful but many clueless idiot politicians.

00:14:32   That's not going to provide that much value.

00:14:35   All it's going to do…

00:14:36   First of all, it's not going to do anything in regard to making any meaningful change happen with any of these companies and their practices and everything.

00:14:43   It's also way too broad of a panel.

00:14:46   Each of these companies should be investigated separately for separate issues that they have to just invite all of these big tech company CEOs to one big barrage of people basically grandstanding at them and beating them up and saying, "Why is my phone broken and why don't you let conservative viewpoints on your platform that actually empowers them more than it should?"

00:15:07   You know, there's so many issues here.

00:15:10   This is not going to achieve anything except making everyone look bad at best.

00:15:16   And I think based on what I saw, I think most of them did look bad.

00:15:20   I think Tim Cook looked the worst out of all of them because I know the most about what he was talking about and he proved himself to be one of the biggest BS artists there.

00:15:29   Apple's peddling a lot of BS when it comes to their App Store policies and I hope they know it because if they don't know it, they're really clueless.

00:15:37   In this case, I hope that they know all the BS they're peddling instead of actually believing what they're saying.

00:15:43   But regardless, the rest of them, you know, Zuckerberg is always a dick.

00:15:50   Let's be honest.

00:15:53   The other ones basically didn't surprise anyone.

00:15:57   But I think Apple is continuing to have a very, very bad look around this topic because they look at best like liars.

00:16:09   And that's at best because the way that they are excusing a lot of their behavior or the way they are trying to rewrite history or the way they're trying to reframe the conversation, all of which point to

00:16:18   they're just basically being like, you know, exactly what you'd expect from a typical fast and loose playing CEO politician kind of combo.

00:16:29   And we expect better than that from Apple and that's not what they're giving us.

00:16:32   Yeah. At one point, I forget if it was in the initial, like they all had like these little introductory letters that they read or whatever, but it was something about I know because Gruber was riffing on a thing that he wrote that like Apple said they make products they're proud to, they'd be proud to have their friends and relatives use or something like that. Remember that bit?

00:16:51   Oh, yeah.

00:16:52   So when I watched these type of testimony things, I don't know why I watched them. I do. I do. It was on the background while I was working and believe me, it goes slow enough that it's perfect for the background. Lots of long breaks and lots of parts you can just ignore.

00:17:04   But this little thing where you have like important business people or whatever come before Congress to quote unquote testify is one of the many, many things I would be very embarrassed to explain to somebody who doesn't live in this country.

00:17:18   What is this again?

00:17:20   It's like, yeah, so they tell the half people come and you would think they're going to ask them questions.

00:17:28   But that's not what this is about. Everybody gets a tiny amount of time during which they can do almost nothing.

00:17:35   The they ask questions that they already know the answer to and don't want you to answer. They don't care what your answers are.

00:17:41   And there is no rhyme or reason for the entire thing, especially in this where they have these four CEOs or whatever. And the questions are all over the map. Like what was the point of this exercise?

00:17:51   The point is exercise is for politicians to try to score points with people who might vote for them. That's about it. Like no actual.

00:18:01   Like you said, Marco, nothing actually happens here. Nothing nothing will change based on this. Things might change, but not based on the six hours they spent today. This isn't purely political theater.

00:18:13   The CEO is certainly treated that way. They're a very disciplined regime of how they act in these scenarios. And it looks inhuman.

00:18:21   Not just Zuck, but all of them. Like no human being. Zuck always looks inhuman. No human being would interact with other humans in the way that tech CEOs do. Or any business people do when they're in front of.

00:18:33   That's why I kind of miss jobs. Because he would at least make it more fun to watch or something because he wouldn't be so controlled.

00:18:38   And the politicians are just doing a little show for, I don't know what they're doing for like who even watches this. You did.

00:18:47   Yeah, I mean, it's not in the background. Anyway, and it's disconcerting because some guy will come on and talk about how like, you know, robots are stealing his medicine, right?

00:18:59   And the next person will be like, thank, they'll thank the distinguished gentleman. What distinguished gentleman? The guy just talked with a nut job.

00:19:06   Like this sort of artifice where they have to pretend they respect each other when A, they absolutely don't and B, they shouldn't. Some of them aren't deserving of respect because they're completely bonkers.

00:19:16   So yeah, it's depressing. But I didn't want to go too far into that. Like that's why, you know, it doesn't matter what happens here.

00:19:23   Now the thing is, it does matter what whoever controls our government in the future decides to do about this, if anything, because they can change things.

00:19:33   Things happen, right? But this little theater thing is not part of that. Like no one is trying to get information out of them.

00:19:41   No one's trying to learn anything they don't already know. None of those CEOs are going to provide any information that anyone doesn't already know.

00:19:48   But getting back to Marco's point, it is an opportunity for you to be disappointed in people, right?

00:19:54   They are going to do that very disciplined thing of, you know, wasting time, burning up their five minutes, never saying anything of substance, pretending they don't know anything about the company they run, saying noncommittal things.

00:20:08   But then, you know, so Tim Cook, I think the reason that a lot of people are disappointed is because we do hold Apple and Tim Cook to a higher standard than the others.

00:20:18   Like we just know Zuck is just going to be a lying piece of garbage all the time, whatever. But Tim Cook, we have higher standards for, right?

00:20:26   And so when he comes on, and well, there's two things. One, we shouldn't be disappointed in the Congress people, like the sane ones, because we should have low opinions of them too, but they didn't prepare well.

00:20:41   Like their staff should explain things to them and say, "You're going to get five minutes, ask this one good question." And they didn't. None of their questions.

00:20:49   Like you could tell some of them thought they had a good question, and then the tech CEO would just like give a noncommittal answer, and then they'd be confused and be like, "But my staff told me that would be a killer, and I don't actually understand the issue enough to pursue it, but I guess I'll just go to my next question."

00:21:01   It's like, "Boy, this is going badly." They just don't know. They don't know what they're asking. These are the ones who are trying to do a good job, not the ones who are just talking about aliens or whatever, right?

00:21:09   The ones who are trying to do a good job are not doing a good job, right? And that gives, you know, you feel like that would be, "Okay, well, Tim Cook should have no problem. He can answer all the questions honestly, and still nothing will happen, and there'll be nothing of substance."

00:21:24   It wouldn't have hurt Tim to answer all the questions mostly honestly, because people asking questions didn't know enough to press him on anything, but that's not what he did.

00:21:33   He had a bunch of instances where he was lobbed softballs, and he just said things that are absolutely, positively not true.

00:21:41   And there's no reason he had to say that they were not true. He could have just told the truth. And watching him do this is making me think, "Does he not know?"

00:21:50   Yeah. It's concerning, right? Because either he's lying, or he doesn't know a pretty important detail about how a pretty important part of his company works.

00:21:59   And one thing, I know this is not a political show, we're not going to get super political, but I'm just using this as an example. At one point, one of the Republicans who was off in La La Land talking about how they're persecuted on the internet said to him—

00:22:11   I'm sorry, can you narrow it down, please? You're being kind.

00:22:14   Yeah, I know. One of the Republicans said to him, "Do you support the cancel culture mob?" or something like that, right?

00:22:21   And, you know, whatever. You see what he's pursuing. It's like, "Is this supposed to be about antitrust? That's just what the Republicans were doing. They're off on their own little thing."

00:22:30   But when they said that, it became clear immediately that Tim Cook seemed like he had no idea what the phrase "cancel culture mob" means.

00:22:38   He didn't know what it meant to the Republican, and it seemed like he had never heard it before.

00:22:42   He said, "I'm not up to speed on that," or something, and honestly, he seemed like he genuinely didn't know.

00:22:51   And then you start questioning, "Okay, well, it seems like Tim Cook wasn't well prepared either," because if he was prepared, they would have said, "Look, some people are going to ask about this. You're also going to get a bunch of questions.

00:23:01   I know it seems weird, but you're going to get a bunch of questions about this other issue, which is not related to anything Apple, but just be ready for it."

00:23:06   But he didn't know, and he gave some noncommittal answer, and he's like, "Well, I think people should be allowed to have their opinions," or some mealy-mouthed thing, whereas if he actually knew what it was, I think he would have deflected more deftly.

00:23:21   So that thing makes me think, maybe he doesn't know the intricate details of what goes down in his company.

00:23:29   To give some examples of what things did he say that were flatly untrue, there's a couple of them, and some of them are just opinions, like, "We think Apple did this great thing," or when he talks about how the App Store changed software distribution because before you had to pay a lot to brick-and-mortar retailers.

00:23:42   Even that, you could say, "Well, everything he said is true. He's just omitting stuff. He's omitting the fact that you could sell over the web. That's self-serving, but it's not flat-out wrong."

00:23:50   That's a big, big omission. That, I think, is really bordering on a lie. The way they use it.

00:23:59   But no one pressed them on it because they didn't know. I feel like if pressed, he would have said, "Yes, people could sell on the web." The worst thing about that one is there's an actual answer.

00:24:07   "Yeah, you could sell on the web, but the App Store was easier for people, and that's the value we added." But no one pressed him on that. I'm giving him not a pass on that, but I'm saying that's not as egregious as some things that he said are just wrong, and it makes me think he doesn't know what his company's doing.

00:24:20   One of them was that Apple treats all apps the same, which we all know for a fact is not true.

00:24:28   You would have to know some technical details to get into this. What do you mean all apps are the same? You have to have it back and forth. To give an example, some security entitlements, some apps are allowed to have certain entitlements, and some apps are not allowed to have them.

00:24:42   It's based on Apple's discretion. Again, we're not even welding into if this is good, if this is bad, if this is anti-trust. Factually, it's factually not true that all apps on the App Store are treated the same.

00:24:54   Now, just to give a quick little bit of further explanation about that. So as an example, I cannot just up and decide, unless something's changed anyway, I cannot just up and decide that I would like to offer a CarPlay app.

00:25:06   I need to have, and Marco, jump in whenever you're ready, I need to have some sort of communication with Apple where they bless my app as being CarPlay capable, and then I believe, Marco, you get a special cert or something like that, a special certificate or something?

00:25:19   You get an entitlement in your dev profile, yeah?

00:25:21   So that allows you to tell Apple, "Look, my app," you know, Overcast in this case, "is allowed. You guys have told, you folks have said this app is allowed to vend a CarPlay app."

00:25:33   And there are many, many instances of this. And was it Peter Steinberger, I believe, went through, I'll see if I can dig it up and put it in the show notes, went through a whole bunch of examples of this.

00:25:42   And this isn't just limited to Apple apps, and it isn't just limited to things that seem innocuous at first, like CarPlay. There are many different occasions where somebody, some app has been given preferential treatment and been given entitlements that allow them to do things that other apps cannot.

00:25:58   And I just wanted to make that a little more plain.

00:26:00   And I wouldn't even say it's about the entitlements thing, because that's like on a technical level, I think anybody is welcome to apply for certain entitlements. And so I don't think it's a great argument to say that, but I think the bigger problem is stuff like business deals, like what the EdiQ email about the Amazon commission was raised.

00:26:18   Like, they clearly have business deals with certain big apps, or they make exceptions to the rules for certain big apps, because they're strategically important and they can't afford not to. And that's the angle that I think you can very easily nail that comment on.

00:26:34   Because clearly we have documented history of them having special deals with certain big apps that other developers don't get, or having certain compromises on the rules than how they're enforced on certain big apps because they are strategically necessary.

00:26:50   We talked about this before, with all the app store rule debates that have gone on recently, clearly there is preferential treatment given to strategically important apps. And to say that all developers are treated the same, not only is it untrue, but it's impossible to actually expect that to happen in reality.

00:27:11   I think that is what Apple wanted to happen, and I think in many ways that is what happens for a lot of the app store mechanics and a lot of the app store rules. But it's simply impossible to expect all these big companies with all these competing interests and all these various power struggles and different battle fronts.

00:27:32   Of course there's going to be special deals made, of course there's going to be certain big companies that you just have to work with because you can't afford not to. I'm sure Apple had the best of intentions when they set all this up and they launched the app store.

00:27:46   I guarantee you they really intended to treat everyone the same, but that's never going to happen when you have big companies doing stuff like this. And it didn't happen. And clearly we now have evidence that it didn't happen.

00:27:57   And so for them to continue to peddle that line that treat everybody equally, now when we know that that's not what actually happened, it's just insulting to all of our intelligence.

00:28:07   The reason I brought up the entitlements is that it's like a concrete thing. You can just pull the binary from someone's phone and look at what entitlements it has, and you'll see that some developers get entitlements that others don't.

00:28:20   And again, this is not a value judgment. I'm glad that Apple gives entitlements to apps that want to have them want to do things. To give some examples of apps that I use, and like Panic has special entitlements for some of their stuff.

00:28:32   BBEdit has it as the Apple events entitlement to be able to send and receive applicants more freely. Microsoft has a bunch of them for user files, select the executable file, and the passkit presentation.

00:28:47   These are important applications that Apple gives these special entitlements to so they can do things that no other application can.

00:28:56   There's no process by which you can get this entitlement. You can ask for it and Apple will probably say no because you're not strategically important.

00:29:03   But it's proof that if they say, "Oh, I see BBEdit. This is an app on the App Store and they do this thing. I'm going to make an app that also does that same thing."

00:29:10   And you're like, "Wait a second. How does BB edit do that? I can't do that." And you find out they have a special entitlement and then you ask Apple for the entitlement and you never hear anything from them because Apple doesn't even have to answer your email and probably doesn't know and care who you are.

00:29:21   But entitlements are concrete. There are bits in someone's SSD that you can look at and see, "Clearly, all apps are not treated equal. Clearly, there's not one set of rules for everybody."

00:29:34   Because if there was one set of rules for everybody, everybody can do what these apps do and they can't. They went even further on this in terms of things you can concretely look at in a binary.

00:29:43   Tim went so far as to say, under questioning, because someone pursued this slightly, that Apple's apps are also subject to the same rules.

00:29:56   And it's like, "Are you kidding me?" The Apple's Clips app, when it was first released, got access to the camera without asking for permission.

00:30:07   Apple's apps use private APIs, which you can verify by looking at the binaries and saying, "Wow, look at this Apple application that I downloaded from the App Store. It uses APIs that if I use them and submit to the App Store, I would be rejected for using private APIs."

00:30:21   They also give them some notification permission without asking for a lot of their built-in apps. That's real nice.

00:30:26   Right. When I want to use the camera, I always have to ask the user for permission. Why doesn't this app?

00:30:31   And again, I'm not saying this is bad. It makes perfect sense that Apple would be able to do things that other developers can't, because it's their platform, and why would they apply the same rules themselves?

00:30:41   I'm not passing a value judgment on the rules at this point. Just like Margo said, giving different rules to different companies, as we've said on many past shows, makes sense. That's the real world.

00:30:51   There's no sense in hurting everybody by applying the same set of rules to Netflix as you do to some random application. It makes some kind of sense. You might not like it.

00:31:04   And it's inevitable.

00:31:05   But yeah, it's just a practicality. What I don't understand is Tim Cook saying things that are not true in front of Congress, because the truth has an explanation and is arguably defensible and is straightforward to explain.

00:31:22   No, we don't subject our own Apple apps to the same app review as third-party apps, because we're Apple and it's our platform. Why would we do that? That doesn't make any sense.

00:31:33   And no, we don't have the same rules for everybody, because everybody's not Netflix or Amazon.

00:31:38   And then the final thing, as Margo has alluded to, is an email from some congressional stuff they've done, showing the email from Eddie Q to Jeff Bezos saying, "Yeah, okay, here's the deal. This is from 2016."

00:31:48   As we've talked about on the show many, many times, I think it was just rumored, but here was concrete evidence. Here's the email.

00:31:53   "Yeah, as we discussed, Amazon Prime's going to get 15% -- you only have to pay us 15% instead of 30. Why? Because they're Amazon and they did a deal with Apple. That's Amazon's app. Everyone else has to pay 30% for an app purchase, but Amazon gets to pay 15% because they're Amazon."

00:32:08   Again, understandable. It's a thing that we all knew, which is now confirmed in black and white.

00:32:13   No one asked him about it, but he did say several times over that they're the same rules that apply to everybody and that includes Apple apps, and I don't understand why you would say that.

00:32:22   It makes me think maybe because, as Margo said, that seemed like it was the intention from the start, maybe he thinks that's how it actually is.

00:32:31   Maybe he thinks the Apple Clips team submits their app to App Review and then waits a week and gets a weird rejection from metadata and submits it again.

00:32:38   Does he think that's what happens? Does he think their apps get run through the binary things that check for private APIs?

00:32:43   Does he think they get rejected for using entitlements that no one else has?

00:32:47   I don't know. I'm sure he knows how his company works. Or, more cynically, he's just relying on the fact that nobody in this entire thing has any clue about any of the stuff I just discussed.

00:32:55   Which, granted, is weird and techy, but that's kind of the point. You should have your staff prepare for this so you know enough to ask these questions.

00:33:03   I don't think they were gotcha questions. I think they were softballs.

00:33:07   It boggles my mind why Tim Cook didn't tell the truth and say facts. Instead, he spun a fiction that doesn't exist.

00:33:17   Maybe we should be more discussing, like, "Okay, well, do we think this is right?" and so on and so forth.

00:33:22   I'm just mostly boggled by this weird theatrical thing in which Tim Cook made what I feel like a bunch of unforced errors.

00:33:29   Either way, either he's lying or he is totally negligent in his responsibility in preparing for this hearing and knowing how his company is run.

00:33:39   This was clearly a hearing that was going to be about their App Store practices. I'm sure that Tim Cook is a careful person.

00:33:48   He always seems to know his stuff when asked about the stuff that he is supposed to know about as the CEO of his company.

00:33:55   On earnings calls or any kind of public questioning, he always has a lot of information ready to go.

00:34:00   So obviously, they spend a lot of time preparing beforehand, like whenever there's going to be an executive who's going to be questioned.

00:34:07   Obviously, he does his research. He prepares very well. I can't imagine that he would go into a congressional antitrust hearing that was probably going to focus on App Store policies and developer interaction and stuff like that

00:34:22   and not have prepared enough to know that these things were wrong. I find it so unfathomable that he would be ignorant of how these things work that I can only conclude that he was willfully lying.

00:34:35   The other possibility is that lawyers advised him that if you use the wording that he used, the specific wording of like, "Yes, Apple's apps are subject to the same process."

00:34:43   It doesn't mean the same rules apply. It means they go through the same process, but the process has a conditional in it that checks whether the developer is Apple-like.

00:34:50   There's all sorts of lawyerly wording. I wasn't parsing his words very carefully, but I can imagine he actually did use very careful wording that any human listening thinks this is absolutely not true.

00:35:02   But if you look at the individual words, it's like, "Well, he said process. Let me show you the process."

00:35:10   He pulls out the process diagram, and in the process flowchart at the very top is, "Is the app by Apple? If yes, approved." See, it's the same process for everybody.

00:35:20   It's just that when other people's apps go onto that part in the flowchart, they go to the other branch. It's the same process.

00:35:23   Either way, he's BSing us like crazy. That's unacceptable to me. I expect that from Zuck. Zuck is a turd. I expect so much better from anybody from Apple. Apple really owes us better than that.

00:35:41   Zuck feigns ignorance of things that we all know he knows. Tim Cook, though, I think, was just like, "Oh, what about all those apps that have their own title?" It's like, "You don't understand. Here, let me show you the process again. See this part here where you can send us an email asking for an entitlement? One branch leads to, 'You never hear from us, ever,' and the other branch leads to, 'Yes.'"

00:35:57   And so it's the same process. It's just that we answered Microsoft's email, and the 8,000 other people emailed us, we didn't answer. But the process is the same. There are ways you could lawyer weasel-word your way out of this. It's just, you know, it's disingenuous. It's common sense person listening thinks what they actually meant is that.

00:36:14   And here's the thing. It doesn't matter. I know people are like, "Oh, well, they're under oath and blah, blah, blah." But all that matters, as we've learned so painfully over these past many years, all that matters is what someone will pursue and enforce.

00:36:26   The actual law is meaningless if someone decides that it's never going to be enforced. So anything having to do with enforcing any sign of conditions on giant corporations is entirely a political exercise that has almost nothing to do with right and wrong, legal or illegal, moral, immoral.

00:36:45   It's just, it's totally outside the realm of any of that. So everyone could be correctly calculating that not only did this hearing not mean anything, but what you say is not going to mean anything because we're not going to hold you to anything that you said.

00:36:59   And all that matters is the political winds in the next several years to see how this all shakes out, right?

00:37:06   And you can even see it from the other side. They "asked questions," but again, they don't want you to answer. They're not really asking questions. They just have some stuff they want to say.

00:37:18   If you just let all of the people "asking the questions" read a 10-minute speech, same effect. They have their opinions. They have the things they studied. And to be fair, some people, like with these emails that are coming out, a bunch of people's staff did study up on this issue and learn things.

00:37:33   But none of that was revealed in this exercise. So I think it was just a depressing day for everybody. The good thing slash, well, maybe a good thing for Tim anyway, when he was watching it, it was clear that no one wanted to ask Tim anything.

00:37:46   And everyone's asking the more cartoonishly evil people things, right? Asking Zuckerberg things about Facebook, asking Google about their taking over search and everything, asking Amazon about screwing third-party sellers and strong-arming vendors.

00:38:01   There was so much left to go around that for a long time you just didn't even see Tim Cook. And I just wish they showed his camera the whole time because his camera's on the whole time.

00:38:09   And he's got to like, he can't just check his phone and pick his nose. He's got to pretend he's paying attention with that grim Tim Cook face and he must have been bored out of his mind.

00:38:19   He was like six hours of testimony and he got like half the amount of questions of any other person. So most of the time he was just sitting there, probably be happy that no one's asking questions, but like, oh my God, when is this end?

00:38:31   That face did not look happy.

00:38:33   Yeah, I'm sure he's glad it's over with and then we can go back to the backroom deals that caused everything to really take place in politics.

00:38:40   It seems like almost every question from a congressperson to execs like this, it's kind of like when you're at a conference session and they open it up to Q&A.

00:38:50   It's more of a comment.

00:38:52   Yeah, this question's more of a comment and then it's like just everyone's up there just like say their piece and there's no actual real questions that like actually are going to get answers in many meaningful way.

00:39:02   It's just so low value.

00:39:05   Yeah, and they structure it in such a way that prevents it from ever being productive because each person only gets five minutes, which includes the answer time.

00:39:12   So all of the people being asked questions, they all begin with the stupid preamble. I want to thank you for asking me the question.

00:39:17   They're burning time. They're just trying to burn the clock, right? Because when the five minutes is up, they go to the next person.

00:39:22   Five minutes is not enough to have a substantive back and forth about anything.

00:39:27   And so the "question asker" asks a question, the answerer gets three words into their non-answer, gets interrupted, and they're on to the next question because they didn't want to hear what you have to say.

00:39:38   They already know the answer to the question based on the research.

00:39:40   The reason they're asking is trying to get you into some moment that they can use as a clip later, and you're never going to do that because you're a very disciplined CEO and you're never going to give them an actual answer.

00:39:49   And so it's like, "Is it true that you stole the loaf of bread, Congressperson? I believe that the--" "Okay, well, but did you steal the watermelon?"

00:39:57   "Wait, what about the bread?" It's like, we don't care what the answer to the bread is about. I just want to get to my next question so I can ask that.

00:40:03   I already know all the answers I want to hear, and I'm going to have a little speech at the end. It's just pure, stupid theater. It's very depressing.

00:40:12   This is why I never watch this stuff. Any time I know that it's going to be some politician thrown a bunch of BS or some CEO thrown a bunch of BS back, I don't watch.

00:40:21   This is why I almost never watch any interview Tim Cook gives because it never has any value in it.

00:40:27   And I almost never watch anything from the current president or usually most of Congress because there's so little actual value because everyone is just so prepared, so defensive, so--

00:40:39   they're giving such fluff and BS responses to everything. It's not worth it. It's not worth watching any of these people.

00:40:45   Even Tim Cook, I don't think we would have guessed 10 years ago that the CEO of Apple would be somebody so boring and so guarded during interviews that you wouldn't even want to watch them.

00:40:54   But here we are because that's the reality of who we have. This kind of stuff, this was never going to serve any purpose.

00:41:00   It only shows so many problems we have about things like how little our government officials understand technology at all.

00:41:10   And even just having this meeting, even just having this group of people together, these are such different companies, amazingly different companies.

00:41:20   They all are run by computer nerds. That's it. That's the only similar--and even Tim Cook, he's not even a computer nerd.

00:41:26   They all started as tech companies, but these are such different companies with such radically different antitrust issues that have nothing to do with each other at all.

00:41:37   And they weren't asked about it. Half the questions had nothing to do with antitrust, right? One person asked about a bunch of stuff that Twitter did.

00:41:43   I was like, "Twitter's not here today, sir. Sir, this is a Wendy's."

00:41:47   It's as if the government is like, Congress or whoever organizes this, they're just like, "Let's get the computer guys in here. We'll grill them for a while."

00:41:58   If you look at the stuff they pulled from records and everything, I think the staff of the few actual smart, conscientious Congress people are actually doing work related to potential antitrust stuff.

00:42:13   But that's not what you're here to demonstrate. You don't have enough time to show your actual homework, and the people who asked the questions didn't understand any of this stuff.

00:42:21   So you can tell when people have smart staff based on the questions they get, but you can also tell when the people reading the questions don't know.

00:42:28   Someone put the questions in front of them and they just read them, but they're not able to follow up because they don't actually understand the issues.

00:42:35   There are one or two good exchanges with actual people who understand the issues that are affecting their constituents and trying to hold their feet to the fire, but it's five minutes and the CEOs are never going to answer.

00:42:45   So there's tiny flashes of potential competent public servants, but mostly it's just depressing. And that's Congress for you. What can you do?

00:42:54   The thing that was for me, and this is something that I think Marco especially has said in the past, is that for some of us Apple is kind of our team, right? Like this is our sports.

00:43:05   And I was, I'll speak for myself now, I've always been kind of smug that Tim Cook up until very recently seemed to be the only CEO that actually gave a crap about things that mattered, like really and truly gave a crap about the environment and about LGBTQIA+.

00:43:22   I hope I got that right, people. And stuff that I think really is important in a way that Steve Jobs didn't and a lot of other CEOs don't.

00:43:32   And I always felt like, and I guess this is my own fault, but I think for me I put him on a little bit of a pedestal, like, "Ha! Our star player, our MVP, he's better than your MVP.

00:43:42   Look at him, he cares about stuff that matters, he's doing the right thing." And yeah, ultimately they're just making shiny rectangles, but at least they're trying to do it in a nice way and they're trying to give back and so on and so forth.

00:43:52   And then he starts being buddy-buddy with Trump and it's like, "Well, it's kind of his job, but this is starting to feel a little icky."

00:44:00   And then you see all this where he's either completely obtuse or just downright lying and it's just like, "Man, he may still be a really good CEO, he may still be my MVP of my team, but man, that was a crappy game he just played and that stinks and that really let me down."

00:44:17   And I don't know, it just kind of bums me out a little bit that this guy who for so long seemed so infallible, seemed so controlled and so in control, just from everything I gathered, having not watched it to be fair, from everything I gathered, it just seems like he was kind of, it was a real letdown.

00:44:36   But I think that's all true. Like all the things you said, I think he does care about those things and he is doing good things. That's the thing about people. It can be more than just one thing. Everything you said about him that's good, I absolutely believe.

00:44:48   Even in this thing when he was asked about stuff that he's actually passionate about, he was the Tim Cook that we all know and love, but it's like he's obviously willing to do what's expedient through gritted teeth, see the Trump thing, and compromise that part of himself to further his aim.

00:45:05   And this thing I think was actually a Tim Cook thing worth watching because I had never seen him do this, which is give an incorrect answer for no advantage. Which is again why I'm thinking to myself, maybe he doesn't know.

00:45:18   Because it wasn't, I mean maybe it was a smart move, like I said, if you do the lawyer wording thing, but it's like, you're not hiding anything. All the facts that I just said are known and knowable.

00:45:30   Like this Eddy Cue email I got from some congressional email, something Congress found, right? They know this already. So Tim Cook giving a BS answer about it doesn't protect him from anything. That's why he called it an unforced error.

00:45:44   And I haven't seen that from him. Occasionally when he does things that we disagree with or we think are not up to his normal integrity standards, like well I understand why he did it, I don't agree with it, but here's why he compromised himself.

00:45:56   But here he's compromising himself for no gain. There is no advantage to doing this. You are not hiding any information from anybody. If anything, you are opening yourself up to more potential liability if someone actually decided to pursue you on this because now you basically just lied in front of Congress, right?

00:46:10   And so it's baffling and confusing and sad and obviously you can't expect everybody to know everything, but like I feel where you're coming from Casey. I still think he's an awesome guy. I still think he's been a great CEO, but nobody's perfect.

00:46:22   I mean with Steve Jobs, we would talk about what a jerk he was in real life, but he was a really good CEO and we had no problem with that balance of like well, Steve Jobs is a real jerk and has done these terrible, terrible things.

00:46:33   But on the other hand, great CEO. And we're basically saying the same thing about Tim Cook. They only reverse. He's a great CEO, but sometimes does bad, he's a great person, but sometimes does bad CEO things. You know what I mean?

00:46:43   Casey, the things you cited as like things that we care about, things that are good with, things like the environment and social causes, yeah, they're pretty good at those things and they should be commended for that.

00:46:53   Apple has always had a kind of dark side though when it comes to things that affect their bottom line in significant ways. The way that they do a lot of those causes is playing against strengths they already have.

00:47:06   So for instance, they pushed so hard into privacy in part because they already had that strength and they already were very weak on things like big web services and data collection and they didn't have their own giant ad network.

00:47:17   They had iAds, which was not giant or good, but they were already playing to their strengths. Environmentalism is something that they can add without destroying their financials, without having a major impact.

00:47:31   And it's something that they are pressed to do by their customers and by their investors and everything. And so it's all like they're not taking a massive risk of the company by making something a little bit more environmentally friendly or by adopting certain social causes for the most part.

00:47:47   They don't take major risks. They do good things and the things they do have major impacts, but that's not putting the bottom line at a major risk. Whereas the areas in which they seem to suffer in these moral challenges, but they seem to do it anyway, things like,

00:48:07   like Steve Jobs was no stranger to this, like the wage fixing scandal with the non-competent employees, whatever that was, like that was a whole problem. Some of the Amazon e-book stuff that Steve Jobs was involved in was indeed anti-competitive and illegal and everything.

00:48:22   And like he did this too, so this isn't only on Tim, but when it comes to things like, Tim's like BS moving around about stuff like taxes, international relations, the China supply chain, politics where they have to please China, so things like the Taiwan flag and the HK Live maps thing.

00:48:42   They, Apple has a lot of significant mis-moves or like flubs or like inconvenient truths about how they operate because those are in ways that they can't really afford to fight very much or they choose not to. Those are ways that it costs them way more money if they lose those fights or if they take on those fights than some of their other causes that you cited as good things.

00:49:03   So like they're doing a lot of great stuff in these areas because those areas are less expensive to them. That being said, Tim is also a CEO of a public company that is at the, you know, at the grace of the board and the investors.

00:49:19   If he were to take on something really big and expensive, he'd be fired or the investors would sue them. There's all sorts of realities here. Again, it's just like earlier saying how like, you know, expecting all apps to be treated equal was a fantasy that doesn't survive the real world.

00:49:35   Expecting the CEO of a public company to take on a challenge that will actually cost them tons of money for the good of the world is unrealistic because they'd be fired immediately or sued. So like it's hard to deal with as a fan of Apple.

00:49:51   It's hard to deal with when they make one of these like, you know, teeth clenching or disappointing moves for something that doesn't have major ramifications, that they're just being stingy or cheap or too controlling. And so much of the App Store antitrust issue here falls into that category.

00:50:11   So much of it is like, and we, you know, we got some more documentation today like, yeah, it is a lot of their money, turns out. I think it was something like 6% of Apple's income is App Store revenue or something like that. This is money that matters, but they are putting a lot on the line and taking a lot of PR blunders and angering a lot of people and risking a lot of antitrust regulation that will interfere with their business in order to save a pretty small amount of money relative to what they make.

00:50:40   And that's one of the things that's kind of hard to watch. It's like, you're going to have this big fight over some single digit percentage of your money and what's it going to cost you to do that? And that's the area where I have been most disappointed in Tim Cook particularly.

00:50:58   He will spin a whole bunch of BS in order to save a few percent on his taxes or on Apple's income or something. And that's where you see he's really just a CEO. He's not some ideologue in this kind of way when it comes to money. He's a CEO and he'll spin whatever BS he needs to spin to save 2% on his taxes for his company.

00:51:21   And on one hand, again, if he doesn't, maybe he'd be fired. On the other hand, it's disappointing when you expect more from him.

00:51:29   Yeah, that's kind of one of those things that I think Casey has talked about this with his dad and the jerky CEO. You don't get to be the CEO of Apple if you're not flexible in that way. It's not as if you can somehow have an entire career that gets you to be the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world and then all of a sudden reveal your incredible backbone in the face of pressure.

00:51:52   The things where he compromises and the things that he cares about, that's what got him to be CEO. If you were strident and always wanted to do what you think is the right thing on your specific issues, you would never make it up to VP level, let alone make it to be CEO.

00:52:07   And to expect somebody to be compromised and practical right up to the point where they become CEO and then somehow, like you said, convince the entire board not to fire them when they have a complete change of heart and act in a way that does not maximize the success of the company is kind of unrealistic.

00:52:26   And it's not like it's a strategy. He is who he is. He was able to rise to this level. I don't think he can't sleep at night because he's so sad about how he compromised himself when he was a senior VP five years ago or ten years ago or whatever it was. This is who he is.

00:52:41   And again, Steve Jobs was perhaps an even more compromised person and CEO. Again, if Steve Jobs was here, it would be much more entertaining, but he'd be even more jerky about this stuff because Steve Jobs really believed that Apple deserved everything and the developers are just annoyances.

00:53:00   So it's difficult. I still admire his admirable qualities and I'm still disappointed in the places where he falls down. Like I said, the baffling case here where he just made a bad move where there was no reason for him to give an incorrect answer.

00:53:20   Again, I keep going back to the more cynical thing. I'm not cynical enough and I have to think that he knew he could get away with that and he is going to get away with that and no one will ever hold him to it.

00:53:32   And in the end, it won't matter because this is either going to happen or it's not going to. And what he said today is not going to make a difference. So why not put on the best face on all of this? Which is what he tried to do.

00:53:43   And I guarantee you, anybody who watched that who doesn't listen to ATP, I bet they thought his answers were great. I bet they thought his answers were straightforward, honest, easy to understand.

00:53:53   And really, Apple seems very blameless in all this, especially compared to the other CEOs who all seem kind of shady. Because they don't know. They don't know these weird techie details that we're talking about here.

00:54:03   So maybe it was a correct calculation that you can just give. Certainly the congressmen didn't know, the congresspeople didn't know that he was not telling the truth because they would have pressed them on it. At least one of them would have, but none of them knew.

00:54:15   And no random person watching this on C-SPAN knew either. The only people who know are tech nerds and we don't matter in terms of this kind of stuff. So, oh well.

00:54:23   Oh, and one more thing about, Marco, what you're saying about costing money. I think the environmental thing is the closest. I don't think investors like it when Apple wants to make their entire supply chain carbon neutral.

00:54:34   Because they're like, "How is that helping my investment?" And the board, like, that whole environmental issue is one of the most costly good things Apple does.

00:54:44   And so I think it's like it's just on the border of what the big wigs with money will accept. And again, all those big wigs with money, the people on the board, all the big investors, how did they get to be on the board of Apple? How did they get to be big investors?

00:55:00   Those people are who they are and got where they are and travel in the circles they travel where there is, like, the norms of that group are different.

00:55:09   This gets to the email. One of them was from Eddy Cue saying how Barnes & Noble wasn't doing what Apple wanted until Apple rejected one of Barnes & Noble's apps and then they came around. Did you see that email?

00:55:20   No, I don't think I did.

00:55:22   It was something about, like, Apple wanted to do a deal with Barnes & Noble. I don't even remember. It was Random House, not Barnes & Noble.

00:55:28   Random House wanted to do a deal with them for the iBook store and they were having trouble negotiating and they were like, "We just want you to do this one thing," and Apple's like, "No, it's all one big thing." And, like, just sort of the cutthroat world of corporate politics, where you use every advantage that you have and pressure people with the power that you have and Apple have the power of the app store and they use that as a pressure.

00:55:47   In that world, these are just the rules of the game. When you look from the outside, it seems, "Wow, isn't that awful, Apple using its power to get what it wants?" But if you're in that game, then that's just the way it's played at the highest level of these big companies.

00:56:01   That's just the way the world works and it seems perfectly normal because all of your CEO and COO friends are doing the same thing and you're friends with them and you talk about these things and it's just, it's like, that's being a good business person, right?

00:56:13   It's just from the outside with our set of norms about how our non-CEO world works, it seems kind of jerky because if somebody did that at a micro level, you know, in dealing with you over something small and not giant deals between corporate giants among people who are already fabulously wealthy, it feels and is different.

00:56:31   And so that different set of norms is another thing I also keep in mind when I see Tim Cook do something like this where it's like, you know, I don't think he has trouble sleeping at night. I think he just has a slightly different set of norms when you travel in those circles.

00:56:46   What do you do when you're testifying before Congress? This is what you do because everybody knows that. At the Yacht Club, we talk about this all the time and then we all know this is the thing that you do, right?

00:56:55   And yeah, all these big companies give to both political parties because that's what you do. You just give to both of them because then no matter who wins, you're fine, right?

00:57:03   And how do you square that with everything else? Like, well, look, this is, what is the phrase? I need Marlin for this. It's in the game, in the game. Sure, I'm using it wrong. Anyway, that's depressing. Let's move on to more exciting topics.

00:57:16   We are sponsored this week by Hay.com. Email has been broken for a long time. Hay.com fixes it. They believe after so much experience using email and working on it that email should not be overwhelming.

00:57:32   One of the core features of Hay is the screening. You screen your calls, so why don't you screen your emails? When you get an email from a new sender, it ends up in a section called the screener. You thumbs up and they're let in. You thumb it down and you never hear from them again.

00:57:48   Or you can also give people your speakeasy code and they're allowed in instantly like a private club. And all this is designed to help you work better and smarter with email. This is all designed by the people at Basecamp. They know how to make really great apps. They know how to make really well designed apps. They really think things through and they're really good at ease of use.

00:58:08   They're also really good at privacy because privacy is very important to them. Hay is not an email client that just asks your email password and connects to some other account. Hay is a full on email provider. They never read your emails, sell your information to companies, or show you ads ever, ever, ever. Gmail and Yahoo can't say the same thing.

00:58:29   Hay is also, for privacy, blocking the vast majority of tracking pixels automatically. A lot of people don't realize that marketers and salespeople are spying on you all the time trying to see when and where you open your emails so they can sell you more stuff and steal more of your attention.

00:58:44   So not only does Hay block these spy trackers, they also notify you when someone is trying to spy on you and tell you even which tool they are using to do it. See all this for yourself at hay.com. You can try it with a free 30 day trial. Once again, hay.com, try it today with a free 30 day trial.

00:59:04   Thank you so much to Hay for really rethinking email and for sponsoring our show.

00:59:09   So, was it yesterday, the day before, something like that, there was a post on Seeking Alpha that indicated that there are a bunch of release dates coming up and here they are.

00:59:24   You know, we all knew there's going to be some sort of iPhone event in September, there's probably going to be some sort of iPad event in October, but here on Seeking Alpha they said, well here's the dates.

00:59:34   And so what did they say? They said, next month, we are almost in August as we sit here right now, next month on August 19th, new iMac, new AirPod Studio, I'm not sure what that means but it's interesting.

00:59:46   With the over ear headphones?

00:59:48   Maybe, maybe. New HomePod 2 and new HomePod mini, and we can come back to that in just a second, let me get through the different things they've said. September 8th, iPhone 12, iPad, Apple Watch Series 6 and the AirTags, and then October 27th, which I thought was very interesting.

01:00:06   Apple Silicon MacBook and MacBook Pro 13 inch, MacBook may be coming back, may happen, iPad Pro and Apple TV 4K, and then the most interesting thing in this, which kind of made me not want to believe the rest of it, and now I'm quoting, there's also big expectations for renewed AirPower charging mat?

01:00:26   What?

01:00:27   And smaller wireless charger AirPower mini, as well as Apple Glass, the reported augmented reality smart glasses.

01:00:33   I'm just going to throw an Apple Glass at the end there, this giant litany of dates and products, and I'm like, also by the way, Apple Glass.

01:00:39   Yeah, I think you can read this as like, somehow this tipster got information about these events, which may or may not be real, and then here's the speculation dump at the end.

01:00:53   That there was no actual information about this, but here's just like what, quote, we expect in the rumor mill that it'd be happening sometime soon, possibly maybe, but I think that last paragraph, you can throw that right out.

01:01:04   There's nothing, there was clearly no actual information to back that up, whereas they claim to have actual information on these specific dates with these specific products in mind.

01:01:15   Yeah, that's why I put this in here, I don't want to spend too much time on it, but someone's willing to put their stake in the ground and give dates with actual numbers, August 19th, not the 18th, not the 20th, 19th, and say at each of these events, here's what's going to be announced.

01:01:31   And it's not just like one event and one product, it's a whole bunch of them, so I just want to read it out here so that, I mean, we'll forget probably, but I won't forget, I made calendar events.

01:01:39   When October 27th comes, we'll be like, did that rumor bear out? Because if they nailed every one of these, that's going to be pretty amazing, but probably they didn't.

01:01:46   So I just admire the chutzpah to do all this. I didn't pronounce that very well.

01:01:52   No, you got it.

01:01:54   Anyway, and honestly, looking at them, there's some obvious ones like, all right, September iPhone event, all right, we all know that's going to happen, it happens every year, right? And so that's kind of a gimme. Is it on September 8th?

01:02:09   This type of stuff you can predict anyway just based on the first or second Tuesday of the month based on past years and all that other stuff, but there's much more specifics.

01:02:16   HomePod mini, HomePod 2, AirPod Studio, iMac, all in August, and presumably an Intel iMac, right? And putting the stake in about the first silicon MacBook and MacBook Pro 13-inch and Apple TV in that event.

01:02:29   There's just so much random stuff. I just thought it was fun. So this is mostly, we're just mostly putting a marker here so we can revisit in a month or two.

01:02:37   I mean, even if somebody accurately predicted these three dates as having product launches on them, that would be an incredible leak.

01:02:47   Because Apple is, they keep their dates so private until such the last minute. And I don't think anybody really has ever done anything like this in the rumor game of, here's the next three events dates.

01:02:59   You can do that. You could have done that in years past based on just like the first or second Tuesday or Wednesday or whatever and you can do it, but like in these COVID times, like even if these were literally the dates on Apple's calendar right now, what are the odds they don't move?

01:03:11   Like so much changes, you know? Like how can you, can you actually plan for something that's going to happen on October 27th? I'm having trouble playing what's going to happen next week.

01:03:19   So even if there are product launches on these three days, that's an incredible prediction slash leak slash rumor or whatever you want to call this thing. And then if they actually come out and all of these products or even most of these products are announced at these particular events, this will be like the leak of the century.

01:03:37   Yeah, Germin will be real jealous.

01:03:40   What I find interesting about this is I have asked friends at Apple, like, you know, rank and file people at Apple, you know, when did you know about WWDC? Because they never ever tell me in advance. I wish, God, I wish they would tell me in advance when it was. And I always ask sometimes casually, sometimes not so casually and fairly directly, but one way or another, I'm not, they never tell me anything. They never ever tell me anything. And that's probably for the best, especially because I don't want them fired. But anyway,

01:04:04   That's why they still have jobs. Right. But the thing that that stuns me about this is from what I can tell, and maybe I have this dead wrong, but the implication from having conversations with several different people at Apple is that a lot of times rank and file, particularly in engineering, doesn't know. Like they'll know WWDC is in June, just like all of us do, but they don't know if it's the first week or the second week until pretty close.

01:04:27   And for things like, you know, Apple special events, whatever they call these things that are, you know, product releases, product keynotes, a lot of times, I don't think they know until super, super close, like perhaps just a couple of days before, you know, maybe a couple days before press starts getting invites.

01:04:42   And I mean, again, I might have that wrong, but for these dates to be this far out, it's either somebody doing some real triangulation, like you guys were saying, or this smells to me like it might be a leak from marketing of all places or something closer to marketing than like just rank and file engineering, which is very, very surprising to me. That is, that is a very, very tight ship that's run over there. And I can't fathom that someone in marketing would have leaked all this. I don't know. I don't know where this came from, but I do think it's interesting that it exists for sure.

01:05:10   Also regarding the possible like MacBook coming back thing, just a quick little thing. I mean, we could talk about all of these, you know, potential product rumors for a long time. We probably shouldn't, at least not yet. But I think, you know, we heard the first rumor a couple weeks ago that I think Ming-Chi Kuo was saying that the first ARM Mac would be the, excuse me, the first Apple silicon Mac would be the MacBook Pro 13.

01:05:34   And this rumor suggesting that the MacBook will also launch at the same time, I believe this more because I suspect that when Apple launches their first Apple silicon Macs, they're going to want to flex a bit. They're going to want to show off a bit, like look at how amazing of a thing we were able to create by doing this transition.

01:05:55   And the MacBook Pro 13 is not one of those things. It's like a right down the middle of the road product. It's kind of boring. Whereas if they can bring back the MacBook with a magic keyboard, maybe two ports, maybe. But if they can bring back a MacBook with a magic keyboard, an incredible battery life, which the MacBook never had. And incredible performance, which the MacBook never had.

01:06:18   That would be a really impressive thing. And I just, I know Apple would want to demonstrate how amazing their silicon is and how much better it is and the kind of product they can now make that they couldn't make before at launch.

01:06:34   And so this to me holds water. I hope they do this. And I wouldn't be surprised if they do this, that they launch the MacBook and maybe the MacBook Pro 13 as well at the same time. Fine, whatever. That's again, that's a nice middle of the road kind of dull product.

01:06:49   But an Apple silicon MacBook that was really great, that would be impressive. And I bet they're going for it.

01:06:55   I'm disappointed in this one that just has Apple TV 4K. I'm disappointed it doesn't say Apple TV 4K A14Z powered with game controller. Like on the whole, like Apple's gonna make a game console and it's the new Apple TV and all this other stuff.

01:07:09   But no, it just has Apple TV 4K. There already is an Apple TV 4K. You have to tell me why they would make a new one. What features would it have?

01:07:15   And the only thing that is even remotely exciting about it would be, because it already does all the things, right? It's plenty fast to play video. It does it in 4K. It has variable frame rate. Like I think it supports all the audio standards.

01:07:26   The only reason you would care about it is, okay, this is the one with the way faster CPU and GPU and Apple first party controller and it's like a little miniature game console, which there have been many, many rumors about. But no, this rumor doesn't say that. It just has Apple TV 4K. So there we go.

01:07:41   No, the reason why, in a similar way that Casey's purchase of a brand new 13 inch Intel MacBook Pro enabled the ARM transition.

01:07:49   You're welcome.

01:07:50   I recently had to purchase another Apple TV 4K. And I was sitting there like, do I really have to buy this? Like, I mean, cause how old is this? Like three or four years old now? It's not young. It's still exactly the same price as when it launched.

01:08:05   It still has that stupid 32 64 gig distinction. You don't know. We still don't know why.

01:08:13   And I'm like, I haven't, I mean, I've probably bought, I think three or four of these things so far of this exact model over the years. And I'm just every time I'm just like, Oh, well, and it's this time in particular, it's like, man, I can't believe I'm buying this again at this price in this year.

01:08:30   We are sponsored this week by Linode Cloud Hosting, my favorite place to run servers. Whether you're working on a personal project or managing your entire enterprise infrastructure, Linode Cloud Hosting has the pricing, support and scale you need to take your project to the next level.

01:08:45   They have 11 data centers all over the world, all of them featuring enterprise grade hardware and the next generation Linode network. So Linode delivers the server performance you expect at prices that you might not expect.

01:08:56   I personally have been a Linode customer for almost a decade now and the entire time they have been an amazing host. I've tried a lot of web hosts in my career and once I found Linode, I pretty much stopped trying other ones because they're just really great.

01:09:09   They've been a great value the entire time. Whenever technology advances and they're able to offer you more for your money, they always do. And it's like a one click migration to get like the newer, bigger server for the same price you were paying before or even maybe for even less money sometimes.

01:09:22   It's just wonderful. I need their support sometimes and it's always been fantastic. They have amazing capabilities to support whatever my needs have been. So if you have low needs, you can start with their $5 a month plan.

01:09:35   You still get root access to a server with I think that's one gig of RAM so far today and of course in the future they'll probably make that even better, even bigger. And you can run a bunch of stuff on there. You can run things like WordPress, a LAMP stack, you can run game servers for things like Minecraft on Linode because you have root access. You install whatever you want on your servers.

01:09:51   They have also all sorts of great documentation and some like pre-configured scripts. You can actually save some time on a lot of the stuff. It's just wonderful being a Linode customer.

01:10:00   Whether you're doing one of those $5 a month plans or whether your needs are higher and you can scale up to things like dedicated CPU plans, GPU compute plans, all sorts of specialty needs, Linode has you covered.

01:10:11   You also, if you happen to need a job at Linode, you can do that even at linode.com/careers. For everybody else, check out their wonderful cloud hosting with a $20 credit using promo code ATP2020 for new accounts.

01:10:24   Visit linode.com/ATP to learn more and once again don't forget that ATP2020 promo code for a $20 credit. Thank you so much to Linode for hosting all my stuff and sponsoring our show.

01:10:38   [Music]

01:10:41   John, you have done way, way too much homework, which I both appreciate and am deeply concerned about. Please don't cancel the show, John. So, what's going on here?

01:10:51   So, this is where we're going to take a visual tour on an audio podcast of Big Sur's new look. We tried to talk about it before, but we didn't have pictures in front of us and it was hard to do. But now, at least all three of us will be looking at pictures and I think that will really help talk about some of the issues. Some of these we covered before, but now we have concrete stuff in front of us.

01:11:10   And since we last discussed it, Beta 3 of Big Sur came out, has a couple changes here and there, but nothing too radical. Most of these pictures are from the Beta before, except for one or two that are from after.

01:11:21   So, let's start with active window. We've had this whole discussion of like, a bunch of people have said that it's tricky to tell what the active window is in certain scenarios on Big Sur because of the styling changes.

01:11:34   And since we've talked about it on the show, I've heard more people discuss this, unprompted, not people listen to ATP, but people just say, "Hey, it's kind of weird. I tried Big Sur, but I can't tell what the front window is." I'm like, "Aha!"

01:11:45   Like, it's not just me. Not even computer nerd people. So, one thing, Ryan Booker sent us a screenshot of dark mode, which we didn't talk about before, but it's worth talking about because a surprising number of people, at least among computer nerds that I know, use dark mode.

01:11:59   I just forget it exists because I'm not super into it, but then I see someone's Mac or see someone on YouTube and they're like, "Everything is running in dark mode." I'm like, "Oh, yeah. You can run your Mac that way if you want."

01:12:09   Anyway, dark mode, you can see in the top screenshot here, is more like the traditional scenario where the rear window is dim. It's kind of reversed, right? Because dark mode is the reverse of everything else, right?

01:12:25   So, it's having the front window be "brighter" in dark mode makes some kind of sense because how much more black can the rear window be? And the answer is none, right? None more black, right?

01:12:38   So, you have to make the front one brighter because you can't make it blacker, really. Never mind that nothing in dark mode is really black. It's all this grayish thing. I think Apple did a really good job with this.

01:12:48   But if you look at the screenshot, all these screenshots will be in the show notes, by the way. Not chapter art because they won't all fit, but check the show notes.

01:12:56   I think the front window in dark mode is fairly obvious. And I also think that Big Sur didn't really change this. I should have included this, but if you took dark mode from Catalina, it looks similar.

01:13:07   Obviously, the spacing and the controls and the toolbar stuff is different or whatever, but in terms of how you tell what the front window is, I think it's fairly clear. What do you think?

01:13:15   It's clearer. I don't think it's... I don't know if I would even go so far as to say "fairly clear." Because to me, the contrast is mostly in the difference between the more white-looking iCloud Drive and the more dark gray-looking iCloud Drive. Like, literally the words "iCloud Drive."

01:13:31   That's where the most obvious difference is and contrast is. The windows themselves, the way they look, are not different enough for me to be able to easily tell. Yeah, you know what it is? It's the iCloud Drive and the stoplight in the upper left. Those are the two big differences.

01:13:47   I think I'd have to take a digital color meter app to see what the difference in color is, but it looks like the front one. It may just be the increased contrast. But I think even just stuff like the window widgets, which if you're not running in graphite mode, I think they stand out more against the black background as compared to the one in the back that doesn't have the colored window widgets, right?

01:14:07   Right, right. Anyway, so let's look at the window below that, which is like a regular window. And here's where we start to see some of the difficulties we were discussing before. Even though it's more or less doing the same thing as dark mode, because the entire background of the window is light, the stoplight widgets kind of blend more with that and don't serve as well to distinguish.

01:14:30   It still has basically the same thing. The body of the front window is bright white, which as we discussed is not really like, we'll see when we get down to the future windows or the past windows, because we have a bunch of screenshots from past Mac OS to see what from what tradition does the Mac spring for the front window and rear window.

01:14:49   Anyway, the text is all dimmed out in the background. In this one first screenshot, it seems kind of reasonable. I tried to get more challenging scenarios. So the next screenshot showing three overlapping terminal windows, you back away a little bit from that.

01:15:03   And you start to go a little cross side because you got three windows and they're overlapping. And if you look at it, it's actually like, well, duh, the one with the the brightly colored stoplight widgets is the front one. How is that confusing?

01:15:15   And yet, if you just glance at it, all the windows look exactly the same. And like, I don't know, I don't know, I think it's like one of those, those optical illusions were like, how could how is it that it's not immediately clear that the middle window is the front one?

01:15:29   I think it's because it's not immediately clear that there is a middle window. All the windows themselves just sort of blend in this, you know, human centipede connection of windows here. Same thing with the fact that the title of the window, it's totally black on the front one and really dim gray on the back one. And that should distinguish them. But I don't think it really does. And then the final one, I think this is the worst one. The three terminal windows and it's kind of a triangle configuration.

01:15:52   Yeah, this is bad. Again, if you intellectually look at it, like, how can you not tell? Only one window has brightly colored window widgets. The other ones have very, very dim gray window widgets. But the overall aesthetic of Big Sur, especially I'm using the default Big Sur, like abstract color background, serves that such that if you back away from this, just glance at it. And if you had to, like, quick, pick the active window, it's like you have to kind of look like you have to train yourself to look for the widgets at a glance.

01:16:21   They all look exactly the same, and they're not. They're not the same, but they look the same. I don't know. Someone who knows more about, like, the science of, like, human perception and vision will tell us why these things look the same. But like what I'm hearing from people is that in practice, it's more difficult to find the active window. It's not actually difficult. It's just they require it's like this more cognitive load.

01:16:44   Like, you have to actually have something to latch onto, whereas the other techniques that we're used to in past versions of the Mac operating system didn't require us to know the trick of, like, look for the window widgets or know the trick of looking for the darker title. We just, like, we just sort of sensed it instinctively and can just find the active window.

01:17:03   Yeah, this is bad. The terminal where they're all spaced out, the three terminal windows all spaced out and kind of tiled is particularly just brutal. And I don't think it's unreasonable to want more contrast or more, I don't want to, I don't think it's unreasonable to want this to be more obvious. And it hasn't happened yet. And that's really frustrating.

01:17:24   Yeah, I think what it needs is like, like, because the majority of the window is not the window widgets, and it is not the title, the majority of the window is all the other space. And so in this case, which I think is not uncommon, sometimes the body of the window, like looks kind of the same, like text documents look like text documents here, there's empty terminal windows, right? And the title bars, you know, like, like the parts that distinguish it are small. So mostly what you see is three white squares, and you really have to find the details to get them. And so Jack Welborn sent a bunch of screenshots of past versions of the operating system.

01:17:53   To show how they distinguished. So here's, we'll start with the oldest one. This is like system six, or even earlier, just monochrome. At a glance, the title bar of the active window having pinstripes on it totally changes it because it's like a monochrome screen, like it's dark. And the inactive window is light, right, which is the opposite of what Big Sur does, right? Again, you squint your eyes back away, squint your eyes, forget about the pinstripes. Like the body of the windows are mostly the same, but the scroll bar, like the bottom of the window is the same.

01:18:22   The scroll bar is dark on the active window and not on the other one. And the title bar is dark on the active window and not on the other one because of the stripes. And the body, the center of the square is about the same. But it's totally the reverse of Big Sur, and it's also very easy to tell from a distance.

01:18:38   The next one is system seven. Same deal. Inactive window is bright white. The title bar has no stripes. The title bar has no window widgets in it. Like the window widgets are entirely gone. Same deal with the system six one. It's just one window widget. But now that there's more than one, it stands out more. The text is dim, so on and so forth. Again, front window, dark. Rear window, light. As if in a fog, in a haze.

01:19:02   And then this is like 8.5 or 9, Mac OS 8.5 or 9. It's getting much more of a 3D look. The difference is less here because now the back window is not bright white in the title bar. It's gray. But the active window is still darker because now it's got sort of 3D-ish lines. Again, the background window does not show the window widgets at all.

01:19:24   This was before you could click on the window widgets in the background, which you can totally do in Mac OS X, so it has to make different choices. But yeah, this is trying to show the history. Historically, the active window has been darker. And in Catalina, which I didn't include here, the active window has a darker title bar. Not much darker.

01:19:41   The comparison is getting less and less obvious. Arguably the monochrome one was the most glaring and getting more and more subtle. But now with Big Sur, they reversed it and the front window is bright white and the back ones are gray, which is weird.

01:19:56   So yeah, I know this is a podcast, but check the show notes, tap the links, look at the images. The next bit is the menu bar, which we've already talked about a lot about its transparency and everything like that. But the menu bar has some pretty severe failure modes.

01:20:12   I filed the menu bar thing as a bug. I filed a bunch of aesthetic UI-related bugs in Big Sur for all the good it's going to do. But this screenshot is, I think, like, so this is a default Catalina, like showing the island, not Catalina, this default Big Sur showing Big Sur with the ocean and the road and everything like that.

01:20:34   This is an Apple bundled background. I'm not sure if that's supposed to be the default or the color one is the default, but anyway, they're both included with the operating system. This is Apple's own background and it's a dynamic background that changes with the time of day.

01:20:45   And because it changes and because the menu bar is so transparent, as the time of day changes and the sky changes color from like bright blue to midday to sort of an orange at sunset to like a dark blue or black at night, that shows through the menu bar so much that what Big Sur does is it changes the text in the menu bar to either be black or white depending on what the background is.

01:21:11   Right. So when the background is the black of night, the text is white so you can see it because the background shows through the menu bar like almost entirely.

01:21:20   Similarly, if the sky is bright, bright blue, the text is black so you can see it against that background. In any type of sort of programmatic scheme where you have to figure out what color you should make text so that it is readable on a background.

01:21:33   And especially if your only two choices are black or white, there are some bad failure modes. So this one shows a sort of peach colored peach pinky kind of sky at sunset.

01:21:43   And like what the hell color do you choose there? Should that be black text or white text? Apple's algorithm chooses white and it is like invisible to old person eyes. To any people's eyes. It's like an eye test. White text on a light peach background with a drop shadow under it.

01:22:05   It's like a bad joke. I sent this exact screenshot with my feedback. I said look, this is no good. You can't read this text. It's like what's next? Like light gray text on a slightly lighter gray background?

01:22:20   It is incredibly low contrast. It is not readable. And the thing is, no matter what choice you make, do I pick black text or do I pick white text? There are failure modes. I can choose a background, color or picture that makes the menu bar text unreadable.

01:22:38   It's not hard to do if those are your only two choices for the text color. So this is just disappointing. I will give Apple credit for not reproducing the sins of the past of making it actually transparent.

01:22:50   Instead what it does is it just basically makes the background of the menu bar a solid smear of a color that is very similar to the color behind it. But it does not show through tiny details.

01:23:00   So if you make a checkerboard pattern, you won't see the little checkers in the menu bar. Instead you'll see a gray smear because half of it is white and half of it is black. It's one of Apple's weird algorithms for doing blurred backgrounds.

01:23:11   But the menu bar color, the text color in the menu bar, which by the way cascades down to the menus as well, and they have to pick a color that's the same.

01:23:20   So if the title of the menu bar file is in black, everything in that menu is also going to be in black. But for all you know, that menu could display over a part of your desktop background as a different color than the color that was behind the menu bar that made it choose black.

01:23:34   The failure modes on this are all over the place. If you just make the menu bar opaque and make the menus opaque, then you can make the background white and the text black and everyone can read it and go, "Oh, God, why are they doing this?"

01:23:47   I'm sorry, John. It's like it's frustrating to see them try to take on such heavy translucency as a design element because we've been here before. It never works. It always leads to severe legibility and contrast problems.

01:24:04   There's a reason why most graphic design does not involve putting text to be read by the user on a translucent background that will be displayed over arbitrary contents. It just doesn't work. It's not readable.

01:24:20   We learned that with Windows Vista. And then again with whatever version of Mac OS that first did the translucent sidebar in Windows.

01:24:29   Yosemite maybe. Like I said, we learned it in Mac OS 10.0 when the inactive Windows had Vista-like glass title bars and they were unreadable and they were stacked on top of each other.

01:24:39   And the thing is, I thought Apple had learned all they needed to learn about this because they had since, since all the things we discussed, really toned it down. And I think the pinnacle of their learning was dark mode because dark mode pulls color from the background in an incredibly subtle way that I think is aesthetically pleasing but never really alters it from being basically blackish.

01:25:02   Dark mode is dark all the time. There is no background you can put behind dark mode that makes it look bizarre and bright and weird. It's just always pretty darn dark gray, which is as it should be. But they mix color into it in a very subtle and interesting way.

01:25:17   Ditto for the sidebars. They really tamp down the transparency of the sidebars. They pull from the background, but in general the sidebars are grayish in like regular non-dark mode and there's just a slight tint of the majority color in the background. I think very interesting and aesthetically pleasing and never compromises readability.

01:25:35   And then they just forget everything into this menu bar where it's like, "Forget all that! Everything's out!" Like you said, Marco, arbitrary text on a transparent background. And it's so transparent that we can't even use a single text color.

01:25:50   So we'll just use black and white. And, "Go ahead, pick any background you want." And just, "What happened? What happened to all the things you learned?"

01:25:58   So subtly pulling a dominant color from a background onto Windows was a nice aesthetic touch. I don't understand why that... By the way, that's what they used to do. That's what they do in Catalina with the menu bar. If you look at your menu bar in Catalina, it's not opaque. It pulls through a color from your background. So do the menus.

01:26:16   But it does it in such a subtle way that people probably just think it's opaque and they don't even notice. "That was the right way. This is the wrong way." So fingers crossed on fixing this. Sliders, is that what these things are called?

01:26:28   I have many problems with these sliders.

01:26:30   So the sliders are the things where it's like a slot and you have this little thing that you slide in the slot from left to right or vertically up and down or whatever.

01:26:38   This is... Well, there's a couple of issues with this. One, I'm going to say, and this is going to be a recurring theme, contrast. The text around the slider is black. The background is light gray. We're fine with contrast there.

01:26:52   The filled portion of the slider, like a thermometer filling to show what it's up to, is solid blue in my color scheme, very easy to read. But then the little thumb that you grab basically disappears into the background and the rest of the slider is light gray in a light gray background. It totally disappears.

01:27:12   If you close your eyes and open them, it's like there's half a slider on the screen. There's the blue part and then the ghost of a control that used to be there. The evil spirit of a slider that used to be there. This is the lowest contrast graphic I've ever seen anyone ship in an operating system. It basically disappears.

01:27:30   I have their most expensive, most highly calibrated monitor, so it's not like my monitor is screwed up and it shouldn't look like this. It is incredibly low contrast. The final thing is, I think it is butt ugly because it's got these little notches. It looks kind of like train tracks or something.

01:27:46   The other one had this elegant little chevron based, it was like a little upside down house with a pointy triangle that would point to the little parts that you'd bring it through. If you make a slider with segments, where it's like a segment at 25%, 50% or whatever, however many segments, it looks like the spine of an alien creature or just a train track.

01:28:08   I don't know what it looks like, but I find it inelegant and ugly and spiky and just aesthetically unpleasing. That's my least important complaint about it. I just want to say opinion wise, I don't like how this looks, but then practically speaking, the incredibly low contrast of the right half of the slider is another nonsensical mistake.

01:28:26   That's only some of its problems. My biggest problem with these new sliders, besides agreed they are butt ugly, but let me give you, if anybody out there is running the beta, go to system preferences, try to go to the battery or the energy saver, now it's called battery.

01:28:41   First of all, the icon in the system preferences window for the battery section, the positive side of the battery that has a little nub on the battery is on the left. I've never in a million years seen any battery icon in any OS ever where the nub positive side of the battery was on the left.

01:29:00   But then it flips.

01:29:01   Right, you click it and then in the battery pane, the big battery graphic has it on the right.

01:29:07   I'm sorry, I'm not with you on this thing. It's arbitrary. There is no inherent rightness or leftness of the nub on the battery. It's an object that can face you the direction.

01:29:15   It always faces right and at least, and it does literally everywhere else in the OS except that stupid icon in the system preferences window for some reason. So it should at least be consistent with itself.

01:29:24   But okay, so ignoring that for a moment because this is way better than that old battery icon they had in beta one.

01:29:30   Yeah, they fixed the battery icon in beta three by the way.

01:29:32   Yeah, exactly. So besides that, I wanted to adjust the time it took my laptop to go to sleep.

01:29:39   Now if you open up the energy saver dialogue in previous versions of Mac OS, there's a slider that says turn display off after.

01:29:47   And you can set different values based on whether it's on battery or whether it's plugged in power.

01:29:51   And not only is the slider significantly nicer looking in the old version of Mac OS, but there are labels and they're not linear.

01:30:00   There's one minute, fifteen minute, one hour, three hours, and never. That's what's labeled.

01:30:05   And again, the way they're laid out is not linear. So the space between one minute and fifteen minutes is almost the same as between fifteen minutes and one hour.

01:30:15   And it's the same as between one hour and three hours. So as you go past different intervals, you're kind of accelerating the value.

01:30:22   So you don't really know exactly what value it is unless you hover over it.

01:30:30   If you hover over the scroll thumb in Catalina or earlier, it will tell you the value.

01:30:34   Or when you are dragging the scroll thumb, a label appears on the right side that tells you the exact value you are selecting.

01:30:42   This is the only way to know. Unless you're picking one of the preset values, this is the only way to know what the value that you're picking is.

01:30:48   So as I'm going between fifteen minutes and one hour, it's telling me on the right side twenty minutes, twenty-two minutes, etc.

01:30:54   So you know. Otherwise, because it's a non-linear slider, you have no way to know otherwise.

01:31:01   So let's go over to the Big Sur one. This is in Beta 3, so we've had time now.

01:31:07   So first of all, the battery pane has been totally redesigned.

01:31:12   Turn display off after. Now, the entire slider here looks disabled.

01:31:18   It looks like you can't interact with it because it is all dim grays.

01:31:22   Every single, as John said, it's a contrast thing, but this doesn't even have the blue left half of the bar to show the current value.

01:31:30   No, it's just all gray.

01:31:32   As you move it, oh, if you hover over the thumb, instead of telling you the value, it says in all lowercase, "Display sleep settings."

01:31:40   And as you move the thumb, you have absolutely no idea what the value is that you're selecting.

01:31:46   None whatsoever, because that label's gone.

01:31:49   Who knows where it went? Who knows if it'll come back?

01:31:51   Who knows if all lowercase "Display sleep settings" is kind of like, you know, pound to do in here in this interface, like that somebody has not finished this yet?

01:32:00   So it looks like it's disabled, and it's less functional because you can't actually tell the value that you are choosing.

01:32:10   And this has been a pattern of so much of Big Sur for me.

01:32:16   This is a microcosm of many of the problems I have with Big Sur that it seems like, you know, some of the changes they made are nicer.

01:32:26   Like, for instance, I had this on my laptop, so I use it about a third of the time of my computing life currently.

01:32:32   And one of the things I like a lot about it is when I want to use my AirPods, I can go to the new control center and go into the new Bluetooth section.

01:32:40   And a couple of clicks in, I can connect to my AirPods, and that is way easier than the old way of doing it, and that will actually allow me to get rid of a couple third-party apps that made this easier.

01:32:50   That's great. I love that functionality.

01:32:52   However, what this dumb little UI experiment shows me is that they undertook this massive system redesign for an OS that they historically have not been very good, especially recently, have not been very good at quality.

01:33:11   And they took on a system-wide redesign, and I've had so many little paper-cut bugs.

01:33:17   Now, granted, I'm running a beta. I know. That's what I signed up for. It's a beta.

01:33:22   But I also know no matter what, they're going to release this in a couple months.

01:33:27   And then all these bugs are just going to sit there.

01:33:30   Because Catalina had a ton of bugs. They didn't fix any of them. Instead, they just sat there. They keep adding more, actually.

01:33:37   And it worries me that they did this kind of, honestly, this half-baked redesign that a lot of things are still very unfinished and a lot of things are bad, like the menu bar design and the slider design is just bad.

01:33:52   And they're just going to shove it through on this OS that they're never really going to make high quality because they can't.

01:33:59   Because they can't multitask to save their lives, especially when it comes to software quality on the Mac.

01:34:05   So I'm really concerned here. I'm concerned that this redesign was undertaken for this platform because I think they started a project they can't afford to finish.

01:34:15   And I'm concerned that this OS that we all hold so dear has now gotten this redesign forced upon it, and now they have even less time to spend on fixing the old bugs.

01:34:27   They have way more new bugs they have to fix because they did a system-wide redesign, and everything has just so many rough edges and paper cuts all over the place.

01:34:37   It's turning into Windows. That's what we criticize Windows for.

01:34:42   And they've taken this awesome platform that was mature and needed some help in the quality department and have blown it up, basically.

01:34:51   And if they are really committed to amazing software quality on the Mac and to really fixing all these bugs and ironing out all these design flaws, great.

01:35:03   I welcome the change. But that's not where they're coming from. History has not shown that's what they're doing on the Mac.

01:35:09   And so for a brand new redesign to be rough and then to probably get neglected for a while is really not what this platform needed.

01:35:20   I have some faith that they're going to fix the aesthetic stuff. That's why I filed all those bugs. I filed them in Beta 1.

01:35:25   Because I'm like, "Look, historically speaking, they have fixed graphical stuff, whether it's the contrast being too low and these sliders and a bunch of other elements.

01:35:34   They already fixed the ugly battery icon with an entirely new graphic that somebody had to make.

01:35:41   I think a lot of these things are fixable. If I didn't think that, I wouldn't be filing the bugs.

01:35:46   And yes, I have to wait for it to do the giant, just diagnose, and it takes a long time.

01:35:50   You don't have to.

01:35:51   I know about the secret preference to turn that off. But I'm being dutiful. I'm like, "Fine, good. Do all the things."

01:35:56   So these sliders, maybe you can't fix the ugly because someone thinks this is a good design with the little notches and everything.

01:36:03   And by the way, Marco, the thing you were complaining about with the battery thing, I don't have a big Sur machine in front of me.

01:36:08   The DTK is over there and it's noisy, so I don't want to turn it on. But I added, based on your discussion, a screenshot of the pre-Beta 3 battery just so you could see how ugly it was.

01:36:19   Oh yeah, it's bad.

01:36:20   But in that one, look at that screenshot I just put it in the chat. Take a look at that, Marco.

01:36:29   In this one, it shows the slider with the blue portion and it shows the slider with values underneath it.

01:36:33   So I'm not sure what happened in Beta 3 if all that is missing from your computer. Could be a bug.

01:36:37   The values are still under the notches in this one. But yeah, the blue bar is gone. The values are still under the notches, but as you're adjusting it, you can't see what the value is when you're between the notches.

01:36:47   Yeah. All right, well, anyway, I don't understand why the blue is gone because it should be filling the portion that you're...

01:36:55   I know.

01:36:56   The next screenshot we have here is showing system preferences with a bunch of sliders.

01:37:01   I mostly put this in here to emphasize exactly how much the right half of the sliders disappears because they're incredibly low contrast.

01:37:06   But also because, again, step back from this window and defocus your eyes a little bit.

01:37:10   Everything in this window is incredibly low contrast. Look at the segmented control.

01:37:15   It's practically disappearing into the background. It's so shy.

01:37:19   Did you know, by the way, that there's like a well, you know, the whatever, like the well control, like the region that's slightly darker.

01:37:25   Can you even see that? If I didn't tell you, would you know it's there?

01:37:28   You know what I'm talking about? Like the segment control has a little recessed area that's like sunken in where the controls are.

01:37:35   That is like the most subtle like difference in contrast. It's an eye test. I swear to you this is like an eye test.

01:37:41   Like a field set, right?

01:37:43   It's testing, yeah, whatever. It's testing your monitor essentially.

01:37:47   Like I can see it, again, on my incredibly expensive calibrated at the factory Apple monitor. I can see it.

01:37:53   But if I didn't tell you about it, I guarantee that there are people who are going to do this on their like, you know, crappy, you know, cell phone with a really old screen or something.

01:38:03   Or like a really bad monitor who will literally not be able to see this thing because the grays won't be enough.

01:38:08   Like I've experienced this myself sometimes with playing games on my gaming monitor or whatever.

01:38:11   Sometimes there is a difference in color that is not within the abilities of your monitor to distinguish.

01:38:18   So on your monitor, it is literally the same color. Like if you took a camera, you know, shot of it with the camera or measured it with a color meter, it's literally the same color.

01:38:25   I guarantee there are people's monitors with these two things of the same color.

01:38:28   And if you have that low contrast between elements, like why have them at all? Like it's just pointless.

01:38:35   Next item is app icons. I took a bunch of screenshots of the dock to show all the different app icons.

01:38:42   We saw the icons in the keynote. It's like, oh, now they're all sort of round, rect, squircle things just like they are on iOS.

01:38:49   And it makes sense because you're going to be running iOS apps with that.

01:38:51   And Apple made the distinction that on the Mac, although my screenshot doesn't show it on the Mac, the sort of overlaid tool or image is allowed to extend outside the squircle,

01:39:00   which means the squircle itself isn't actually the full size of the icon.

01:39:05   And that distinguishes Mac apps from other apps. And it's like, oh, this all makes sense intellectually, yada, yada, yada.

01:39:09   You may not like it. Some of the icons are ugly, but you're like, OK, I get what you're doing here.

01:39:13   It makes sense from an Apple platform unification perspective.

01:39:16   And I was more or less on board with it, plus or minus the icons that are ugly. Right.

01:39:21   Because whatever, sometimes icons are ugly.

01:39:23   But when I found myself actually using Big Sur, I was incredibly surprised to see that the sameness of the icons was screwing with me.

01:39:34   That you think, they're not the same. I mean, look at that messages icon. It's bright green.

01:39:41   Are you telling me you're getting that bright green icon confused with the poop brown contacts icon next to it?

01:39:48   How different can an icon look? And you're telling me you're getting confused about where an icon is?

01:39:54   I'm as surprised as you are. I'm just telling you me from practical experience, I would go down to the dock to click on an icon and they would just all blend together.

01:40:03   And obviously, we're going to get into this a little bit later. Like identifying things on your screen is a complex process.

01:40:10   Color is obviously a factor, depending on if you're colorblind, less or more. Right.

01:40:15   Shape is a factor. Size, position, those all factor into it.

01:40:19   But I think I massively underestimated how important dominant shape is for me identifying icons quickly.

01:40:28   Because there's no other explanation. Because these are all the same shape, but they're so incredibly different colors.

01:40:34   How is my brain like tripping up trying to find like where is photos in the dock? Like it looks nothing like the other icons.

01:40:42   But because they're all squirkels, my brain just like scrambles them for a second.

01:40:46   I don't know if I have some kind of, you know, disability that's causing this problem.

01:40:51   But like the sameness of these and I don't experience this on iOS. Maybe it's because I don't have a dock with a million things in it or something.

01:40:57   I don't think this is actually a reason Apple shouldn't pursue this strategy because I get what they're doing with the unification.

01:41:02   I just want to say that I was surprised at how much trouble my brain continues to have.

01:41:07   It's not a lot, but it is something that I can feel when trying to distinguish, trying to find the icon that I want.

01:41:14   Despite the fact that, again, they look entirely different. It doesn't make any sense, but they are all rounded rectangles.

01:41:20   Have any of you experienced this? Have you used Big Sur at all?

01:41:23   Yeah, I use it on my laptop and I'm on my laptop more often than I would expect.

01:41:28   And I can't say I've experienced this. Now, I have mixed feelings about the icons.

01:41:33   I don't feel terribly strongly one way or the other.

01:41:36   I will point you to this week's upgrade, which is Episode 308, The Adventures of Dr. Icon,

01:41:40   where Jason and Mike and Steven Hackett go through a lot of the icons and do like a little draft about what's good and what's bad.

01:41:47   Most of them, I mean, whatever. I don't think I care that much one way or the other.

01:41:52   But I will say that this bright green messages icon really annoys me.

01:41:58   And it shouldn't because it's what I see on my iPhone all the time.

01:42:00   But something about it in the context of a Mac just really, really annoys me and I find it frustrating.

01:42:05   But in terms of searching for icons, no, I can't say that I have that problem very often.

01:42:10   And Marco, what about you? You said you're also running it on your laptop, right?

01:42:13   I am, but the way I use multitasking and app launching and the dock, especially on a laptop where I have the dock auto hidden,

01:42:21   I don't see the icons that often. So it doesn't really bother me in that way.

01:42:25   I think of all the Big Sur design flaws, the icons are pretty low on my list of things to complain about, honestly.

01:42:32   Yeah, I know people have a lot of hate for the messages icon. I don't mind it, but I can see why people are annoyed by it.

01:42:37   The icon style, I don't really have any objection to. And the shape thing makes sense to me.

01:42:44   I was just very surprised that it actually did affect me and that the effect is not really going away.

01:42:49   The obvious losers, just to get this out of the way, the obvious losers in the ugly race are things like QuickTime,

01:42:54   where it's like QuickTime used to be this queue is very distinctive, they've changed the style of that queue,

01:42:59   and it's like, guess what, queue? You're going in a squircle.

01:43:02   And it's like, no, I don't want to go in. Well, so what kind of style are we going to do?

01:43:07   It's like, we're just going to put you in a rounded rectangle. That's it. That's the icon. That's the icon.

01:43:12   Queue inside rounded rectangles just does not work aesthetically.

01:43:17   Same thing with Time Machine. Time Machine is a circle. It's like that compass, the watch, the spinning thing.

01:43:22   It's like, how are we going to put that in a rounded rectangle? I have an idea.

01:43:25   What if we make a white rounded rectangle and put the existing icon inside it?

01:43:29   Some of them don't work. The terminal doesn't work because it looks less and less like a CRT monitor,

01:43:38   or whatever the hell it was supposed to be.

01:43:40   The next screenshot we'll have in the show notes is the utilities folder, where utilities is always fun to look at,

01:43:44   because not only do these applications get a lot less attention, so do the icons.

01:43:48   It's like, who even goes in the utilities folder? Who really cares?

01:43:54   But there's some doozies in here, like keychain access. It's like, it's a bunch of keys on a ring.

01:43:58   How are we going to fit that in a rounded rectangle? It's like, wait, I got it. I got it.

01:44:02   OK, we put it in a rounded rectangle and then you put tiger stripes horizontally in the right.

01:44:07   It's like, what are the tiger stripes? I don't know. It's like, it's like stripes, like key stripes.

01:44:13   I don't know. It doesn't make any sense. What is that? Is it in front of Venetian blinds? Is it wood?

01:44:22   Is it like the wall to a storage unit?

01:44:24   Why does the storage unit have the corrugated door on the garage door type thing?

01:44:32   That is a reach. Why is it that color? And why is it a store?

01:44:38   Oh, it's, and it doesn't look good. Like, the bottom line is it doesn't look good. But anyway, the thing to look at in the utilities is you see some actual examples of what I was talking about.

01:44:46   Like, the much-maligned digital color meter with the gravity-defying liquid inside the dropper.

01:44:52   You know, for all you know, it could be, you're just in a different inertial frame of reference and that icon is actually spinning, so there are explanations for this.

01:44:59   The dropper extends out of the rounded rectangle. In Boot Camp, the anachronistic hard drive icons that the OS itself doesn't even use anymore are bursting out of the rectangle frame.

01:45:11   Script Editor has the pen tool bursting out of the rounded rectangle frame. I like the icons better when they do that because it distinguishes them as Mac icons.

01:45:19   System information is combining two of our favorite things. One, put it in a rounded rectangle, and two, make that rounded rectangle so low contrast that you think it's not even there.

01:45:30   Everyone, look at system information. If I didn't tell you that rounded rectangle was there, would you see it?

01:45:35   Probably not, no.

01:45:36   It's friggin' invisible.

01:45:38   Oh, I had to use the accessibility zoom, you know, like where you control mouse wheel. I had to use that to see the top edge of it.

01:45:43   You can't put it in a white rounded – and it goes like the calipers, like the existing icon goes so close to the edge. Boy, what a mess.

01:45:52   Toolbars. We're almost done, I promise. Toolbars are interesting. We talked about this in the keynote show, I think.

01:46:01   Apple's big push to make their UIs sort of like more scalable across devices and even within devices, and part of that is basically not requiring app developers to make custom icons for all their toolbar and sidebar icons.

01:46:19   Because some apps have a lot of those, and it is actually a pretty big graphical burden to make those and make them look good.

01:46:24   And then if we tell you you have to do them in 17 different sizes, so they work on iPad and iPhone and on the Mac, it's actually quite a burden.

01:46:31   So Apple is choosing a style partly to alleviate this, to say the style is going to be sort of, you know, outline line art, right?

01:46:42   So no beautiful shading, no 3D rendered things, not even really any color.

01:46:47   And they're actually template images, which means we can color them any color we want, and you can pick an accent color for your app, and then all your sidebar and toolbar icons will be that color, but you can actually override that color if you want, and the user can override it.

01:46:58   It's like this whole system that's very flexible, where it's like, you have given me a template image. I think they're vectors.

01:47:03   Or they could probably be, perhaps. I don't know what the rules are.

01:47:06   But anyway, it's a very simple image that can be colored and put onto any background, and you just do it once, and it works in every context.

01:47:12   And they can be resized, because the vector ones can be made to be any size.

01:47:17   And on top of that, Apple has its symbols library font, whatever, that has hundreds and hundreds of icons that you can use in your app for free, the SF Symbols thing, right?

01:47:30   And so not only do you not have to draw a bunch of beautiful custom icons, you don't have to draw any icons.

01:47:35   Go ahead and use our icons.

01:47:38   Like, SF Symbols has them. We give you an application so you can browse them, find one that's probably one that looks like more or less what you wanted.

01:47:44   We made these for you. They scale beautifully. You can color tint them, and your app will look like other apps.

01:47:50   All of this, like, I commend all of this. Aesthetically, you can have complaints about it, but practically speaking, it's mostly Apple trying to do a good thing.

01:47:59   They're trying to define a consistent look for their applications, and they're trying to make it easy for developers to adopt, and they're trying to make it work across all their platforms.

01:48:06   I give all that thumbs thumbs up. But then we get to where the rubber meets the road, which is, okay, but if they do all that, how does the UI actually look and work?

01:48:17   You can't really complain that they're low contrast, although arguably this is a little bit of a lighter gray than you would want, but in general, it's not like these lines are disappearing.

01:48:25   These icons aren't disappearing. You can see them. They're there. The lines are fairly high contrast on the background.

01:48:32   The tint colors are very strong. They don't disappear. Even the yellow ones are very visible.

01:48:37   This gets back to what I was saying about the icons before. Dealing with these toolbar icons, two things strike me.

01:48:43   One, I am reminded again about how much, apparently, my brain, how much value my brain puts on, like, silhouette.

01:48:53   And you may look at these and say, "Well, what are you talking about? All these are different silhouettes. They're all totally different shapes.

01:48:58   They're not all in rounded rectangles. They're all different. The trash can is a big vertical thing and the arrow pointing to the left is a swoopy thing.

01:49:05   Like, they don't look like they have the same silhouette at all. But what I'm discovering is that silhouette is different than outline.

01:49:11   Like, because these shapes are not filled, if they were just completely filled black, they would sort of define, like, they would be like a shadow of themselves.

01:49:19   They would define a silhouette, an outline. Whereas now their line art, and to my eyes, because everything is outlined and empty, the lines just start to blend.

01:49:28   Where, like, if you look at this image that shows list view, column view, gallery view, and icon view, all those icons, at a glance, is just like, "Eh, it's just a bunch of vertical and horizontal lines."

01:49:40   Like, they all become the same. Even in the mail application with the arrows and all the other stuff, I find it harder to identify, again, this could just be a me problem, but I find it harder to identify the actual icons because they're all just a bunch of lines.

01:49:55   They're high contrast lines, they're perfectly visible lines, they're aesthetically pleasing lines, but they're just a bunch of lines.

01:50:01   And the second thing is, of course, color is gone from helping you find them, for the most part. I put a screenshot in here where you'll see, like, the flag icon is yellow for some unknown reason, right?

01:50:11   You can give them an accent color, but it's not like you latch onto, like, the trash can is gray, the delete toolbar button is red, like, as in solidly colored, drawn in, like in the old world.

01:50:22   They all look very samey. So, without the silhouette, and with everybody using lines, and with nobody really using color, I find it more difficult to quickly find, identify, and understand what a button is going to do.

01:50:36   I have to spend more time thinking about it. This may fade over time when you just learn what the icons are and the position they are and your brain adapts, but I think for, like, quick glanceability and identification, this scheme is worse than the other one.

01:50:50   That said, that may be offset by all the advantages described of it scaling perfectly, of you getting it for free from Apple, and aesthetically, in isolation, I think each of the icons looks perfectly fine. I kind of like the look of it.

01:51:01   But from a practical perspective, when it says, you know, "It's time for you to quickly identify the toolbar icon you want, find it, and click on it," these are a slight downgrade. What do you think?

01:51:12   This is my single biggest complaint about the Big Sur design, is the handling of toolbars and their icons. I have found in practice, I don't think I found a single app where I think it looks better this way, that I did the old way, and I found a similar thing in practice where it basically has just slowed me down a lot.

01:51:31   That I have to look harder to find things, I have to spend longer distinguishing between what is what. Some of that stuff has moved in a lot of apps, like mail is a big one, like my mail toolbar is destroyed, and I don't know what the hell it did to it.

01:51:46   It's funny, for a while, the first couple of weeks I was using this, I thought that search was broken in mail because it was not finding anything outside of my inbox. You know where I'm going with this?

01:52:00   I thought you were going that you couldn't find the search, because sometimes it's a little magnifying glass, and sometimes it's the field, and there's a bunch of bugs around that, but go ahead.

01:52:07   Right, well that's one thing. That's one of the issues, I got over that quickly. But by default, I always search all mailboxes. For whatever reason, that preference was not carried over in the upgrade of the beta, and so it was only searching the inbox, but I had no idea that it was only searching the inbox.

01:52:25   So I would do my search, it would show nothing, and I would think, well, spotlight's index broke or something's been updated, and I guess it's just broken, mail search is broken, oh well. Mail search is really important to me.

01:52:35   But anyway, so it took me until yesterday to finally be exploring the interface enough to realize that when you search, it only searches the current mailbox by default, but the way you change it to search all mailboxes, this new thing appears in the left, in the source bar on the left that says search on top, and that's where you can pick all mailboxes versus something else.

01:53:03   They moved everything around so much to try to preserve the integrity of this toolbar that is already very ugly and confusing. Everything is moved around in these weird, oftentimes half-assed ways. But anyway, that's a larger complaint.

01:53:22   Specifically about toolbars, though, this is where I just have the hardest time using this new interface, and it's not that I can't use it, it's just slower, and it's harder to find things, and it's worse, and I think in many ways it is uglier, because they have all these monochrome line art icons all over all these toolbars now, but then there is no separation between, like visually, between the toolbar and the content below it,

01:53:47   or between the icons in the toolbar and the search field that's on the right in many windows, or between the icons in the toolbar and the title on the left, or between the title on the left and the back forward arrows to its left that are in many windows, especially finder windows, or like system preferences also is a bad one.

01:54:07   And so you end up with just this jumble of various monochrome line art all over the top of windows, and it's not, it is not visually separated by sections anymore. Like it used to be like, here was a bar that contained all these things.

01:54:25   The bar itself had subdividers in many cases. The title was reasonably placed, the back forward arrows were buttons, so they had borders. What we see, what we're really suffering from is a severe lack of differentiation between the icons themselves, and the lack of any borders or shading makes it so that it just looks like one big visual jumble.

01:54:49   And this is another area of Alan Dye design. When you see ideal cases of a nice looking window title bar, this might look really nice in screenshots, but in the real world there's a lot more stuff in a lot of windows, and it just falls apart. It just does not work nearly as well as the old way.

01:55:05   And I'm not saying that there is no way to move forward, I'm not saying that the old way has to be the old way forever and I never want the look of Mac OS to change. I just want it to change in good ways. And there are some significant design flaws in this new redesign here.

01:55:20   And toolbars I think exemplify the biggest problems. The window title bars, in so many real world cases that I've learned, even from using this only on my secondary computer, only part of the time, instantly I ran into all these problems.

01:55:35   And I continue to run into them every time I use it, of just like, here's a jumble of undifferentiated monochrome lines, find the thing you're looking for, good luck.

01:55:45   You mentioned differentiating the buttons, so the toolbar buttons also do the mouseover thing that the iPad does. I mentioned a couple shows ago that all the stuff about the iPad cursor, if you watch the W2C session, almost all of it is eventually applicable to the Mac.

01:56:01   I think it will have to have a slightly different solution, but I would put an eye towards that. But anyway, if you look at what it does, when you put your cursor somewhere near one of the toolbar icons, it gets the little outline just like it does on the iPad.

01:56:13   And also related to that, the toolbar icons themselves are fairly widely spaced, to allow for your finger to press them, which helps so that they're not shoved together so much, but it also kind of, the visual rhythm kind of just adds to the confusion because they are so widely spaced.

01:56:31   Then like the line art plus the spaces between them kind of blends, there's a screenshot in the list that shows the Mac arrow cursor getting close to some icon in the toolbar and maps, and you can see it gets the sort of the little outline.

01:56:43   When you're talking about the toolbars, I went back and looked at the ugly battery before beta 3 image, but I was looking, when you were talking about the toolbar, I was looking at the toolbar of that window, pull that one up again, and look at the, you're talking about the search box, look at the search box.

01:56:59   This is system, look at the search box and system preferences.

01:57:03   I mean, another example of like, it's like a game where they said, how low contrast can we make in this search box?

01:57:10   And it's still like, you can kind of see the word search and the magnifying glass fine.

01:57:15   What about the box? That box is really testing your acuity.

01:57:19   It's testing your monitor. It's testing your eyes. It is almost invisible.

01:57:25   And I bet people are, you know, regardless of whether you like the aesthetic, I bet some people listening to this and saying, well, that's what accessibility is for old people.

01:57:33   There's accessibility preference pane, and there's a thing that says increase contrast. Why don't you just turn that on?

01:57:39   Accessibility settings are great, but I think I've said in the past, and I'm going to reiterate now, accessibility settings are to try to serve people whose needs do not fall in the fat part of the bell curve.

01:57:53   Human ability and acuity is sort of a bell curve distribution you would imagine, where most people are in the fat part where they have most of their senses the same as other people, but some people are at the various extremes depending on what sensory challenges they have.

01:58:07   You need to design your interface so that by default, without changing anything, it serves the most possible people.

01:58:16   Otherwise, you would make it like, this can only be used by 11-year-olds who have had a lot of sugar.

01:58:22   It's like, well, what's your problem? Just go to accessibility, grandpa.

01:58:26   But 11-year-olds who have had a lot of sugar is not a lot of people.

01:58:29   There's many, many more people you need to serve, so try to get as many as possible for whom your interface works out of the box.

01:58:36   And then you add accessibility features to help in the areas that people need help.

01:58:41   But if you had an operating system, to the extreme, that nobody could use without turning on an accessibility feature, then why did you design it that way?

01:58:50   I think elements in this interface are so low contrast that they are far outside the fat part of the bell curve.

01:58:57   I don't want to turn on increased contrast everywhere, because frankly, I think it makes the UI ugly, and I don't need it, except for these extreme situations where you've intentionally made a UI element incredibly light.

01:59:08   So I'm not saying the accessibility setting shouldn't be there, and I'm not saying because I had to use the accessibility setting, therefore your UI is ugly.

01:59:17   I'm just saying that I think that the big Sur UI as it exists now does not serve the fat part of the bell curve, does not serve the largest number of people.

01:59:26   It skews in one direction or the other, and it leaves a lot of people behind.

01:59:30   And I don't think that's a good UI, especially since aesthetically speaking, which is apparently what they care a lot about, it makes the OS uglier to have to turn these features on.

01:59:38   I don't want to have to turn on a feature like that.

01:59:41   It's like reduce transparency. That'll fix the menu bar, right? But it gets rid of transparency everywhere, and I kind of like it in the other places, right?

01:59:48   I just need, you know, we need settings that say "fix the most egregious accessibility problems, but don't do it across the board."

01:59:56   Because I don't, like every other part of this window I can see, but there's a couple places that you really screwed up, so I hope they do fix that.

02:00:02   Also, increased contrast is, I would call this incomplete at best. So not only, I mean, it's pretty hideous looking for sure, but also, like, it actually decreases contrast in a lot of key elements, such as in that panel, you can see the segmented control, where you're switching between the display, cursor, and color filter sections.

02:00:22   And in that panel, you can see that the parts of segmented controls that are not selected actually get significantly lower contrast with increased contrast enabled.

02:00:32   Nice.

02:00:33   It becomes this, like, dark gray with black text in it.

02:00:36   Like this, clearly, like, if you rely on this setting, don't upgrade yet. Like, this is what I'm saying, like, this is a major redesign that's coming in really hot, and these issues are not going to all be ironed out in two months when this presumably ships.

02:00:51   It's going to be bad for a while, and even if they suddenly have had a change of heart about how much they prioritize Mac OS software quality way more than they have for the last five years, and even if they devote just as many people to Mac OS to achieve this as they would on, say, iOS, where it's typically a higher priority, I still don't think they could fix all this in two months.

02:01:16   Like, it's so incomplete, it's so rough that they shouldn't have taken this on this year.

02:01:23   Like, if they were going to do it at all, this is too half-baked of a design, both in implementation and in design itself.

02:01:30   This is, again, like, I welcome the idea of moving Mac OS's design forward, and there are parts of this that are good, but there are so many severe shortcomings that seem, it almost seems unreal to think that this platform that is known for such amazing design has all these major flaws that are, most of which are probably going to ship in a few months.

02:01:55   I still like, on a macro level, I like the look of Big Sur. Big Sur. Big Sur. I like the look of it, but I don't really disagree with anything that you guys have said.

02:02:09   And as you were talking, I was thinking to myself, I feel like the Big Sur design is two different F's.

02:02:14   It's very, very fashionable, but I'm not entirely convinced it's incredibly functional.

02:02:21   And they have a few others.

02:02:22   And that's really tough. And I don't feel like I am disrupted as much as Jon seems to be.

02:02:30   And I don't know if that's the few years difference between us speaking. I don't know if that's just I don't have 30 years of Mac OS experience like Jon does.

02:02:40   I'm not sure what it is. We're just different people. Maybe that's all it amounts to.

02:02:44   But there are definitely times that I'm like, wait, what? Huh? And some of the toolbars in particular, I think, as you guys have mentioned, are some of the times I get most tripped up.

02:02:53   And the lack of contrast, I completely agree with you, is very frustrating, most especially with active versus inactive windows.

02:03:00   But if I look at it as a piece of art, which I know that sounds ridiculous, but if I look at it as a piece of art, I think, this looks good. I stand by.

02:03:07   I still think it looks good. But I think what you guys have spent a lot of time discussing, and I think rightfully so, is that I don't think it functions very well.

02:03:17   Or at least not as well. Not today. And I don't remember which one of you or both of you said, you know, maybe it's just that we're going to get used to it and we're not there yet.

02:03:26   And I agree. Maybe we will get used to it. Maybe we're not there yet. And plus, there's still changes to be made, for sure.

02:03:31   But as much as I love the look of it as an art installation, as a tool with which I complete my work, it is definitely not as good as it used to be.

02:03:43   Yeah, I don't think anyone's going to get used to it if you're one of those people who just got kicked out of the bell curve, right?

02:03:50   So, like, you know, I'm complaining about the contrast, but the thing is, I can see the low contrast stuff.

02:03:55   My eyes are still good enough that I can see all of it, but I know lots of people who previously could use the Mac without any accessibility settings.

02:04:03   There's no way in hell they're going to be able to see that search box. Because they're old.

02:04:07   But they could use it. They don't have increased contrast on now, but they're going to have to turn it on.

02:04:13   Because if I try to tell them, go use a search box, they're going to laugh at me. They'll be like, what search box?

02:04:17   And when I show them this thing over there, and they're going to say, are you kidding me? You wanted me to find that?

02:04:21   There's no way I would have seen that if you didn't tell me about it. And then I have to show them how to turn on increased contrast, then everything looks ugly, and then they complain about that, right?

02:04:28   That's, there's no getting used to it for those people. It's just going to be a pure downgrade.

02:04:33   What I hope to see from Apple in some kind of design turnaround someday, obviously it's not going to happen anytime soon, but what I hope to see from them someday is an acceptance that it's not bad to see things that serve functions.

02:04:53   And I'm not, I know it sounds ridiculous, I'm actually not joking. So much of their design in recent years has been hide everything away, tuck it all away, make everything disappear, and then make it somehow magically appear sometimes when you need it, or just hide it away and never show it again.

02:05:11   Like, something that appears on hover. Like I was saying a couple of years ago, complaining about how the music app hides timestamps now until you hover over it for some reason. By the way, I also find the new iPad music app and the now playing being a full screen overlay to be a significant regression, but that's for another day.

02:05:28   But like, so much of Big Sur is going the same direction of just like hide things by default, hide as much as possible, and then maybe when you hover near them or when you click into them, they expand.

02:05:42   The search box having low contrast, they do that because they want it to be invisible. Everything that becomes lower contrast, it's to make it invisible. Why do toolbars blend into the window now, and there's no more visual separation in many cases? Because they wanted to hide everything.

02:06:01   And hiding everything does make things look nice to a certain aesthetic. I get why they do it. If your focus is primarily on appearance and beauty, and less on functionality, you will hide more than you need to.

02:06:16   However, these are computers. These are not like art installations. They are computers. This is software. They serve functions that people need to be able to see and find, and so much of Apple's design has been at the incredible expense of discoverability.

02:06:34   And this continues into just amazing minutia, like the document proxy icon in Finder Windows. Now, you have to hover over the title, and it slides over. That's a terrible design. That's objectively terrible.

02:06:52   It makes it weirder when you're using it because your title moves out from under you when your mouse is in the wrong spot. It makes it harder to find that icon if you're looking for it. It makes it harder to use it. It makes it slower to use.

02:07:03   Totally undiscoverable.

02:07:04   Totally undiscoverable. And to what end? You hid something out of the interface. Why?

02:07:10   They put the tabs in the Safari icons. They put the icons in Safari tabs. They had to get the icons out of someplace else. So it's fine. You can have favicons in your Safari tabs, but we're taking the proxy icons out of the Finder.

02:07:21   By the way, I filed a bug on that. The bug does show the proxy icons when you don't have the sidebar visible, the toolbar visible, I believe. Basically, if you take a Finder window that's in sidebar toolbar mode where the proxy icon is hidden, and then you do command option T to hide the sidebar toolbar, the proxy icon appears, but you can't drag it anymore.

02:07:44   No, wait. It's command click. You can't command click the title anymore. It's not the proxy icon. Sorry, I'm confused. But anyway, there's a mode change where command click on the title bar, which again, is not particularly discoverable that I'm old school Mac user, so I know about these things, just stops working.

02:07:56   Right. So totally reproducible. I filed it as just a bug. I hope they fix it. But yeah, like the proxy icons have been really at first I thought they got rid of them. Then I discovered the slide over and was annoyed. And it's just it's so much more cumbersome to have to hover and wait for the animation and grab it and then remember that there used to be distinction with carbon and cocoa for the proxy icons.

02:08:16   I don't think you to remember this, but back when I was when I was in the as they say, Hey, you get to believe me today. The I forget which is which. So someone will tell me the correction. But like in cocoa, let's just pretend I'm getting this right.

02:08:33   You would have to click and hold without moving the mouse to activate the proxy icon dragging and then start dragging and you would get it and carbon you'd have to click and immediately move for it to understand that you wanted to get the proxy icon.

02:08:48   And it was there depending on what API the and it wasn't just the proxy icon. It was it was like a whole bunch of things. But like depending on what API the app used, it was two different gestures and the reverse wouldn't work.

02:08:58   If you were in a cocoa app, for instance, and you clicked and immediately dragged, it wouldn't drag it. And if you were in a car map and clicked and held still for a second, they wouldn't drag it at all. So it was incredibly frustrating.

02:09:08   I think the one we have now I'm just gonna check in the finder because I'm sure it hasn't changed. I think the one we have now is the one we have now is click and hold for a long time. So if you if you go to Catalina finder and you go to proxy icon in your finder window and you click and immediately drag it drags the window, which is I think the right behavior because you're probably just trying to grab the title bar to move the window.

02:09:27   Right. Which is another problem in Big Sur, by the way. Have fun trying to find a quote unquote safe place to grab the title bar with a million things in it because it's got all the toolbar icons and the back button and all the other stuff.

02:09:38   Right. But if you want to drag the proxy icon, you have to click on the icon, hold still for a second and then drag. And now you get the little ghostly icon. That's a little bit too subtle for most people. Proxy icons are kind of a pro thing, but hiding them just I mean, maybe that's their logic.

02:09:52   It's such a pro thing that we don't want it to be in other people's faces, but like it's a useful tool and you know, I want to see the icon so well and also it conveys important information.

02:10:02   The proxy icon on a document shows its icon. The proxy icon on a finder window shows its folders icon. That's useful. Like when you have your home folder open in Catalina, it's a little house.

02:10:14   It's very distinctive. So it's it's a yet another like just more visual information to inform and to reinforce your, you know, just to see. So you know what's going on.

02:10:25   You can identify things quickly via these very differently shaped pictures, like when it's a special folder, the home folder or the applications folder or, you know, like or, you know, there's other modes that finder was airdrop like so many of these modes that are that finder windows can be in are more easily differentiated visually at a glance because they have little icons.

02:10:43   Next to the title bars that are very clearly labeled and you can see what they are in Big Sur. It's a big black and white jumbled mess with no icon unless you happen to be hovering in the exact right spot. In which case you will see the new home icon, which is not at all recognizable at that size.

02:10:56   Or a little house right or it's I think it's there, but it's like embossed in a tiny little blue icon. It's just like every other folder like it's all the other folds application documents, movies, pictures there. They're embossed home is like that now too.

02:11:08   Yeah, and so it's just again. It's like more visual information has been removed or the contrast or differentiation has been reduced. And so you have an interface where everything looks the same all the time and it's very hard to visually scan it and find things quickly.

02:11:25   And you have information being hidden in these modes like you mentioned how the proxy icon showing and hiding has some bug behavior. Of course it does. It's a different mode the window can be in. So there's all sorts of potential bugs. Every time things get hidden behind like toggle on/off or reveal and hide and conceal and reveal.

02:11:45   All those different modes that these items can be in that are dynamically hidden and shown introduce potential for bugs. That's why Big Sur has so many bugs around toolbars and search fields. Again, because it's more modes. More complexity. More error cases.

02:12:01   This is going to affect all Mac apps for a long time because there's all these new modes and odd little things that all their widgets can be in. And it's all to achieve this design goal of hiding everything all the time.

02:12:17   Which is fundamentally based on the assumption that all this stuff is bad. That all this stuff shouldn't be seen. Apple always cites the example of letting users focus on their content. But we are on computers to do something. We use these as tools to create or to manipulate files or to edit.

02:12:39   We use these things to serve functions and they have to reveal their functions to us with some kind of interface. And if the interface is constantly trying to hide itself as much as possible, that is not good design because it doesn't work as well.

02:12:55   It makes everything harder to discover, harder to operate, less accessible to way more people. That's not good design principles for the UI of a computer interface. That's good design principles for a magazine page. Hide as much as you can. Make a really minimalistic magazine ad. Great.

02:13:11   That's not how you design software. Software is an interactive machine made to be operated with different features that should be easily visible to the user and should show them the information they need to know at all times. And should make it as clear and simple as possible for them to do what they need to do with as few mistakes and as little friction as possible.

02:13:29   And Big Sur goes in the opposite direction on all of those fronts.

02:13:57   >> What's wrong with that, I think I have in the grand tradition a terrible car analogy for you. It's like someone is designing a car and they're like we really want the road ahead to have the most prominence in the interface. We want people to be able to see the road ahead. That's the most important thing. That's where the cars are, that's where you're driving, that's where you're steering. It's really important. That's the equivalent of the user's content.

02:14:21   Obviously the most important thing is that road out in front of you and what the other cars are doing and all of that. Right? Which I think people would agree. Like when you're driving the car, the most important thing is the view out the front of the car and all around. Because that's how you drive. If you can't see, if something is obscured, if you're in a Camaro that has a little slit for a window and the visibility is bad, you need to be able to see out. It's really important for safety and for comfort and just enjoying driving. To be able to see the road ahead is what's most important.

02:14:50   Imagine cars were not physical things but were UIs. To achieve that, we're going to make the shifter and the turn signals and the steering wheel and the pedals all basically invisible and very, very small. They only appear when you bring your foot or your hand near them.

02:15:05   I was like, "Wait a second. I do have to drive the car." I know you want to emphasize the content but I have to do things to the content. You can't make that stuff harder to get to or hidden because what's the point of my content if I can't actually grab a tool to use it or find the file as an icon and drag it to a different folder?

02:15:28   What's the point of the car if I can't steer it or if I can't find the brake pedal until I hover my foot over it and then a tiny brake pedal comes up from the bottom and then I compress it but then when I take my foot away, it moves again?

02:15:38   If I can't find the turn signal until I wave my hand near it and then a little tiny thing pops out, that's a bad interface for a car.

02:15:46   Even though we all agree that yes, the view out the front is important and I think we would all agree if you had a car where it was like the car was invisible, kind of like the quadrillion dollar F35 has that helmet that you can put on that makes the plane invisible and you can see in all directions.

02:16:00   That would be great but guess what? You still got to be able to find the steering wheel and the pedals and the shifter and the turn signals. It's super important that those not be invisible in low contrast and those be always visible and not come out when you hover your hand near them.

02:16:13   And that's what a lot of these sort of interfaces look like and the old web analogy was mystery navigation where there's an image on the screen, you don't know what the hell anything is until you hover your cursor over everything and then get a tool tip or some other thing.

02:16:25   So I think we've figured we beat that dead horse enough. I think we can finish on a couple of bright spots at least for me. There's a few of them here. One is control center.

02:16:35   Yeah, I like control center.

02:16:37   Yeah, same. I really like it.

02:16:39   I think it uses every single element we just complained about. It is transparent on top of an arbitrary background.

02:16:46   It has icons that all look the same.

02:16:49   Like it has rounded corners, it extends down from the menu bar and suffers from the same transparency problems. I'm not sure if it chooses the text color but it might.

02:16:58   But here's the thing. Everything has its place. Control center is not the primary place for any of these things. It's for quick access and it overcomes the limitations that I just described by being big and chunky.

02:17:10   Right? Everything in it is Fisher Price size. Look at those sliders. I would kill for those sliders in the rest of the operating system. They are big, they are clear. You just want to grab them and move them.

02:17:21   They look like you can move them with your finger, don't they? They're so big. All the buttons are really big. All the text is big. There's a couple of icons and they're pretty clear and they stand out.

02:17:32   And this is just quick access. This doesn't have the burden of being the important one interface for this. And it's being transparent. It's supposed to be a transient overlay.

02:17:43   So I like it. And the most important thing is Apple platform unification. This UI doesn't look like an iOS or iPad UI but it looks like it would be at home there.

02:17:54   It's a beautiful blend of the Mac and controls that you can have on the Mac. iOS has control center but it doesn't look like this. This looks like a Mac control center which is exactly what it is and you can also use it with a finger. So thumbs up on this.

02:18:08   Yeah, and it also suffers from hover. Like in your screen shot here you can see that there's a disclosure indicator on the Bluetooth menu which is great because it means you can tap into the Bluetooth menu and there's a second level to that menu.

02:18:21   It's like the old convention of if a menu item in a menu bar has an ellipsis after it, that means that something else will appear before this action happens. Like there's going to be an X step so you kind of know that.

02:18:33   In this case you know if there's a little carrot you can click on that and there will be a second level of this. But that little carrot only appears on hover. Why?

02:18:41   Yeah, that annoys me.

02:18:43   Like there's no reason. You have the space. Like the space is reserved for it. Nothing moves out of the way. Why couldn't the carrot show on everything that has a second level? It wouldn't look worse. It would just show more information in a subtle way that people would learn eventually and oh that's what that means. Okay.

02:19:02   Why? These are all such unforced errors. This could be made so much more usable and so much more intuitive and so much more discoverable with a couple of tweaks that would add slight visual information.

02:19:21   But again, what are we here for? What is this computer for? It's not to make your design look nice. It's a tool that we're using to achieve something. So if you can make something easier to achieve, that is a better design no matter how it looks.

02:19:35   This is supposed to be the positive example, Marco. You're ruining it. I'm more forgiving from the foibles in this because it is like a temporary UI, a quick access thing. I'm willing to forgive excessive stylishness in sort of the more frivolous areas of the UI.

02:19:54   Or the areas of the UI where you want to go off in a particular direction. I'm much more critical of the Bluetooth preference pane itself than it would be of this quick access thing. Not to say that it couldn't be improved, but I'm more forgiving of it and in general I like it.

02:20:09   The new battery icon, we'll include the picture of it, but now we've also included the old one too so you can compare. The new battery icon is fine, but the old one was so bad that it just makes the new one feel like a breath of fresh air.

02:20:21   We'll include an alert too. We've already talked about this before. Center text. No good. There's a reason books don't have center text. It's not great for reading a lot of texts. You have all these widows where this one says "do you want to log out?"

02:20:38   "New line centered now?" It's just ugly and it's hard to read. The vertical orientation I'm surprised that I'm mostly getting used to even though it is totally alien. It's the text that screws it all up. Love those fat buttons. Good for fingers.

02:20:51   The alerts are made to be tall and skinny because they're made to look like iOS alerts. That makes sense in iOS because iOS devices tend to be tall and skinny, but Mac screens are stout and wide. Even center text aside, which is a huge issue, these don't need to be designed to be tall and skinny. In fact, it actually fights against the Mac screen aspect ratio.

02:21:20   The Mac screens are big enough though that they can support that. I get why they did it. They did it for family resemblance because it would be super weird if your iPad app threw up one of these but your Mac app throws up a horizontal one. I wish that they were not like this, but I understand for the family resemblance and honestly I think if they fixed the text justification it would be reasonable.

02:21:40   Mac screens are all so big. You're never going to get an alert that doesn't fit on a Mac screen because they did it vertical instead of horizontal. If you have that happen, you have serious other problems with that alert anyway. It just doesn't happen.

02:21:51   I hope so.

02:21:53   I thought it was super jarring at first, but it's one of the things that I have gotten used to. I appreciate the big buttons because again, fingers. But even just with mouse cursor. Speaking of fingers, this is silly criminology, but a bunch of people pointed it out and I figured I'd just throw it in there anyway.

02:22:09   Apple has screenshots on their website, especially when it's a preview of an OS. Most of the screenshots are 100% fake. They're just made by someone in Photoshop. Maybe they were made before the OS was at the point where all those elements worked. Maybe they're not real.

02:22:26   In one particular case, there were a bunch of screenshots that showed a very tiny Mac and they have to put an image on the screen. I think it was an iMac and they put an image of Big Sur on the screen. But if you zoom in on that image, that almost certainly fake image, because it's not like it took a real screenshot and shrunk it, the menu bar on this presumably fake image is huge.

02:22:49   So look at the picture in the one with the red background. It's like 50% bigger than the actual menu bar. It is extremely tall. It's like the height of an iOS icon and the little tiny text of maps file edit view window is just floating in there.

02:23:05   Does that mean anything? No. Lots of people point out, like, look, there's the little round touch cursor kind of on one of the screenshots. Again, those probably aren't real screenshots and there's lots of sort of screen recording things that show your cursor like that. I don't read too much into it.

02:23:20   But it's interesting to see that whenever someone was mocking this up, maybe they made it tall just so it's readable at small sizes. That's entirely plausible. But if you want to get a feel for what the menu bar on a Mac would look like if it was really made big enough for a finger, here's a screenshot straight from apple.com and see what you think of it.

02:23:37   Honestly, I wouldn't mind it too much, but, you know, there is I tweeted this. I think we linked it in the past show. There is an option in Big Sur to change the size of the menu bar and it changes by like the tiniest amount you've ever seen in your life.

02:23:52   So you can make the menu bar taller and all the text in it bigger. And I'm posting it, tweeted an animated gif showing the difference. It's like, why even have that setting? But they do.

02:24:00   And it requires you to log out and back in to make the setting active. And then after all that logging out and back in, you will not be able to tell. Like, that's why I made the animated gif, because by the time you log out and back in and look at it, you're like, is that the big size or the small size?

02:24:14   You literally can't tell without seeing them side by side. They're so subtle. So I really hope they change that setting to make the big one extra big. And speaking of that, this is a WDC.

02:24:23   And I think we talked about this, but just to emphasize this, one of the big messages in WDC is that controls on the Mac now have a large size buttons, pop up menus, check boxes, radio buttons, segmented controls, text fields, search fields, you name it.

02:24:38   There is now a large size, the fat size, the big, big size. There's in the past, there has been miniature sizes and a standard size. Now everybody gets a large size.

02:24:50   And as you can imagine, the large ones are mostly thicker, taller. The push buttons are taller. The pop up buttons are taller. And like it's all about being not so teeny tiny.

02:25:03   Why would they do this? Maybe so your finger can hit them. I don't know. They didn't really push that you should change all your controls to be tall. The large controls, there's no sort of dynamic way to change all your controls to be large because it would break all your layouts.

02:25:15   But just FYI, it is possible to make a Mac app using Mac native controls in AppKit or Swift UI or whatever the hell you want and make everything really, really big.

02:25:26   And honestly, for certain classes of applications and the screen sizes keep increasing, I'm kind of starting to think this should be the default.

02:25:33   That unless otherwise, unless you know you really need to jam those controls in there, why not make the buttons bigger? Like the alerts are a good example that when you make the text and the buttons a certain size, the buttons become full width like they are in iOS.

02:25:49   If you're going to make the window vertical and you want it to match iOS, I don't mind that the buttons are that big. Aesthetically, it's not quite the Mac style that I'm used to, but bigger buttons are easier to hit and easier to see.

02:26:00   What are you saving all that space for? What were you going to put there anyway? Like, I feel the same way about checkboxes and pop-up buttons and radio buttons. You make a checkbox a tiny bit bigger.

02:26:09   I don't mind it. Like, do I really need to jam in one extra checkbox and really shove things in the interface? And if as a side effect it's easier to use with fingers, all the better.

02:26:20   So, let me give people a heads up on that. Large controls exist and if you're making a Mac app, consider it. Consider making it at a Fisher Price. People hear that and they think it's derogatory, but I'll cite like Oxo Good Grips and all these things that are made to be usable by people with arthritis.

02:26:36   Turns out regular people like Oxo Good Grips do because they're easy to grip and give you better mechanical advantage and have more comfortable handles and everybody likes that, not just people with arthritis. So, consider large controls.

02:26:48   So, here's a question. I think, you know, chances are, you're right, chances are this is heading towards a touch Mac future, possibly near future. I don't know how you could look at this and come to other conclusions based on the world we live in.

02:27:03   So, you know, I agree with that. However, touch devices don't have hover states. So, what do you think happens to all of these, you know, junk drawer design hover states that are in this OS and all of its applications if you're running on a touch screen that has no hover state?

02:27:22   Do you think everything is shown? Yeah, right. Or do you think nothing is ever visible and everything hidden behind a hover state now is some kind of like tap on, tap off, hack or just missing?

02:27:34   Well, the whole pitch between about having touch on the Mac or for that matter having a trackpad or pencil on your iPad is that there's no expectation that the entire UI will be usable from this secondary interface. It's just like where it makes sense and use it for what it's good for and augment the other controls.

02:27:56   So, I think the most likely possibility is you can't get to the Bronx icon with your finger. You just can't. There's just, you know, in the same way that with the trackpad, you can't do a five finger Fruit Ninja swipe, because that's just not how the trackpad works because it wouldn't know where the hell you're swiping on the screen because it's not an absolute positioning system for your screen.

02:28:17   It's a different proportion, it's a different size, it's not even a scale version, right? It's just not how trackpads work. It's like, well, how do I play Fruit Ninja without trackpad? You don't, you use the touch screen because the trackpad just augments the iPad, right?

02:28:28   But touch is the main interface. On the Mac, the cursor, you know, whether it's a trackpad or mouse is the main interface. Touch augments it for the things that touch is good at. Ditto for the pencil, right?

02:28:38   I think that is the most obvious answer, but there is another possibility on the Mac, which is a change that I have never really liked and still don't like, but it has ample precedent on the Mac, which is the user interface changes depending on what input device you're using.

02:28:53   The dreaded hidden scroll bar is arguably one of the earliest signs that Apple wanted to hide everything that was on the screen despite the fact that it gives you information.

02:29:02   To this day, in, you know, system preferences, we have the settings for the scroll bars and the options are show scroll bars always, as in the entire history of the Mac up to the point when this option was added, when scrolling, which means you don't see any scroll bars at all until you scroll, and then finally automatically based on, I used to say input method, I think, but automatically based on mouse or trackpad.

02:29:27   So automatically means if you're using a mouse, we show scroll bars the whole time, but if you're not using a mouse, we only show it when you're scrolling because you're using two fingers swipe on your trackpad or whatever.

02:29:36   I think seeing especially proportional scroll bars gives you valuable information. So I always leave it on always, right?

02:29:42   But if you put it on automatically and you're using a trackpad, they hide, but then when you plug in a mouse, they suddenly appear and they unplug the mouse and they hide.

02:29:50   I don't know how the hell you do that with a finger because it's not like it knows whether you have a finger or not. You know what I mean? It can't make the scroll bars appear based on your finger or whatever.

02:29:58   It can't make the proxy icon appear when it knows you're about to use touch because, you know, maybe if they have proximity sensors or something.

02:30:05   But that idea that the interface could change based on what it thinks you're going to use to poke at it, they already have one preference like that.

02:30:14   I can imagine if you add some preference that says I'm mostly going to use this Mac with touch, suddenly proxy icons don't hide themselves anymore and they're always visible.

02:30:21   It's less likely than I suggested before, which is just a tough luck, right? Because that makes much more sense to me.

02:30:27   But it's plausible that they could add a similar option or alter the interface in a way when you tell it, hey, I'm going to be using touch.

02:30:34   I know you don't know that because unlike plugging in a mouse, you can't tell that there's suddenly a finger peripheral attached to your computer.

02:30:40   But I got 10 of them and they're ready.

02:30:46   Real time follow up that actually isn't very real time. If you are on Catalina or older and you go into system preferences and go into security and privacy, look at the texture on the lock in the bottom left.

02:30:58   Oh, is that the background?

02:31:00   I think that's the background from the keychain access icon.

02:31:04   Storage locker.

02:31:06   Jelly pointed that out.

02:31:08   That makes more. But it looks so much more like a master lock made of layered plates.

02:31:13   Right. That's what they're trying to show. Like this locks, they're made by a bunch of plates that are put together to be more resistant to tampering.

02:31:18   But in the in the utility icon, it doesn't look like those plates anymore.

02:31:23   They're too thick. Like the plates are actually if you look at an actual like master lock, they're pretty thin.

02:31:27   Like they're thin slivers of metal, whereas these these in the utility icon, they look very thick.

02:31:33   Like it's the wrong scale. Like the keys are one scale.

02:31:38   And now it's like you're zoomed in with a microscope on the lock icon from before. It's it's a mess.

02:31:43   It's aesthetically terrible. And you know, I hope they change that one.

02:31:47   Also, just just so I'm not insulting only Alan Dye in this process.

02:31:51   For the record, every one of those panels that has the click the lock to make changes.

02:31:56   That's a terrible UI. That's always been a terrible UI.

02:32:00   I don't mind the UI. I just mind the fact that the lock icon seems to be different on every single one of those.

02:32:05   They're all subtly different sizes. It's not vector.

02:32:08   I'm annoyed when I have to click to unlock it, but I understand the security things.

02:32:12   And I honestly I'm not sure how I would do that UI better because it does try to gray out everything.

02:32:18   And it does show the lock locked and then it unlocks it. Like it's annoying to have to do it.

02:32:23   But still, it's like like, you know, people always say like, oh, you know, all these these new designs are making Mac OS easier to use.

02:32:29   No, they're not. You want to make Mac OS easier to use? Get rid of DMG's and those stupid lock icons.

02:32:34   Yeah, well, you need some feature like the lock icons to lock out certain features.

02:32:39   It's a terrible design, though. It's like, you know, this screen is mostly disabled. Why?

02:32:44   How do you change these settings? Oh, you got to notice this thing at the bottom that has to have a text label next to it saying,

02:32:51   "Click the lock to make changes," because it's such a bad design. It's not self-explanatory.

02:32:55   They have to label it with instructions on how to use it.

02:32:59   Yeah, but the alternative would be to have something blocking the information.

02:33:03   Sometimes you just want to look and not modify. Right. So I wouldn't want a big overlay that dims the whole thing.

02:33:08   How about everything is enabled? But when you like so suppose like in this case, the security privacy window, you know, allow apps downloaded from there's radio buttons, app store or identify developers.

02:33:17   And right now the whole thing's dimmed out. I haven't had an authorizer. What if everything was enabled?

02:33:21   But if you try to change that setting, you click on one of those other radio buttons, then it puts up a password sheet.

02:33:27   Then that dialog needs a thing that says, "Also keep it unlocked for the rest of the time I'm using this," right?

02:33:32   It's a little bit. Yeah, it's better than that. Better than click the lock to make changes being hidden at the bottom there.

02:33:37   I kind of like the lock. All I was going to say is at least the lock is always visible.

02:33:40   If you had to hover for the lock to appear, that's what they're going to do in Big Sur.

02:33:44   Give them time. That'll be next. No text. And also the lock icon doesn't appear until you hover over it.

02:33:49   And then it's the dimmest gray outline of an icon you've ever seen.

02:33:54   In short, Apple look at my feedbacks. I don't know what the numbers are. I filed a whole bunch of them.

02:33:59   I gave you screenshots. And let's root for more contrast. I think we have to move on.

02:34:04   Thanks to our sponsors this week, CryptoPro, Hey.com, and Linode.

02:34:09   And thank you to our members who support us directly. You can do that yourself at atp.fm/join if you want to join up.

02:34:14   And we will talk to you next week.

02:34:18   Now the show is over. They didn't even mean to begin.

02:34:23   'Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

02:34:29   John didn't do any research. Marco and Casey wouldn't let him.

02:34:34   'Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

02:34:39   And you can find the show notes at atp.fm.

02:34:44   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

02:34:53   So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

02:34:58   And T. Marco Arman S-I-R-A-C.

02:35:03   U-S-A, Syracuse. It's accidental. It's accidental.

02:35:09   They didn't mean to. Accidental. Accidental.

02:35:14   Tech broadcast so long.

02:35:19   I still haven't done anything about overcast work yet.

02:35:24   I was just about to ask you. You haven't done anything about it.

02:35:29   You were saying, "Okay, you're free to work on overcast now."

02:35:30   I was free to work on overcast. Then I broke our site and I broke our feed.

02:35:34   And then I had to unbreak it.

02:35:34   And I've been doing overcast stuff, but it's been all server stuff.

02:35:39   Well, that was overcast work, though.

02:35:44   When you broke the site, that's overcast work you were doing, right?

02:35:47   No. On this one Linode server, we have two checkouts of the CMS that runs atp.fm.

02:35:50   One for atp.fm and one for neutral.fm.

02:35:59   It's just two different directories in the file system and I have different checkouts for each one.

02:36:04   They are, at any given time, possibly running different versions of the CMS software.

02:36:11   We launched this CMS and then after launch, I did a whole bunch of little bug fixes and tweaks and expansions and performance improvements.

02:36:25   I was just mainly all doing that on the ATP side.

02:36:30   And the neutral checkout was falling pretty far behind.

02:36:35   It was like a month behind the ATP checkout.

02:36:39   I kept committing more code and doing more tweaks.

02:36:42   And one of the things that I had done was to improve performance.

02:36:46   I didn't realize.

02:36:50   People wonder why Squarespace has the feed item limit for podcasts.

02:36:53   It's not because they don't know what they're doing.

02:36:58   I learned podcast feeds get hammered.

02:37:01   With tons of requests from all over the internet, they get tons of traffic.

02:37:05   And our feed is a full feed, so we have almost 400 episodes in it right now.

02:37:10   The feed itself is almost a meg when it's uncompressed.

02:37:15   So you're talking about serving a lot of data.

02:37:19   The server-side code to generate that feed has to load a lot of item entries, like the feed.

02:37:21   Whatever is based on posts, episodes, whatever.

02:37:26   So you're loading hundreds of episodes worth of data out of a database.

02:37:29   You're generating a megabyte of XML, basically, through some kind of programmatic means.

02:37:33   Text filtering, like if you do your markdown rendering live on serving

02:37:39   rather than statically baking in the markdown to HTML conversion.

02:37:45   You're doing that for 400 items every single time somebody requests your feed.

02:37:50   And so as you can imagine, this actually adds up quite a bit in bandwidth, in processor time.

02:37:55   And so I had to add a whole bunch of optimizations along the way

02:38:02   to just make our server perform adequately.

02:38:07   And the whole time I was conscious of the fact that, okay, I have a server that can run multiple instances of the same CMS.

02:38:09   So any caching that I do to a shared resource, like a memcached instance, for instance,

02:38:18   I have to make sure that I am prefixing the cache keys with some kind of unique prefix that is to this installation.

02:38:23   So that way you can run multiple copies of the same code simultaneously for different sites,

02:38:32   in this case, ATP and neutral, and not have the cache data from one of them accidentally be read or clobbered by the other one.

02:38:38   And I successfully did this for all my memcached keys.

02:38:44   I have a central place to do this in the framework that I use, so it's easy to do.

02:38:49   And then later on, I also realized that I could save even more time and performance and everything

02:38:53   if I used, PHP over the years has had various in-process cache modules for it.

02:38:59   The old one used to be called APC, and there were a couple other ones.

02:39:08   And there's a new one called APCU, and I thought, great, I can save even more of this CPU time

02:39:12   that I'm spending generating all these feeds and slowing the server down by saving some of the data

02:39:17   in the APCU cache, which is like process local to PHP as it's running, so it's wonderful.

02:39:23   I forgot to prefix those keys for the installations.

02:39:28   So the bug existed where multiple installations of the software running this cache code

02:39:32   could clobber each other and serve the wrong data or overwrite each other's data, so that's no good.

02:39:41   I didn't know this, though, because I was only ever updating the ATP checkout in the code.

02:39:46   I was never actually going to the neutral directory and doing git pull or updating it in any meaningful way.

02:39:52   So the neutral directory was falling further and further behind.

02:39:58   At some point, I'm like, okay, this is technical debt, this is gonna bite me someday.

02:40:01   If I never update the neutral directory, and then someday I have to make some quick bug fix to the CMS

02:40:05   that affects it, and I update it, and it hasn't updated in like two years,

02:40:09   and something's gonna break, and it's gonna cause problems.

02:40:14   So let me just update it now, try to keep up to date as much as possible.

02:40:17   And I thought, this will be a quick thing.

02:40:21   I knew there were a few constants I'd have to define for dark mode support, which I'd added later, but fine.

02:40:24   So I go to neutral, checkout, I do git pull, everything updates, site's broken.

02:40:30   Of course, it's those constants for dark mode.

02:40:36   Go fix that, and then I think I'm done.

02:40:36   And then about an hour later, Casey messages me saying,

02:40:41   hey, people are saying that all of neutral is showing in,

02:40:44   or no, all of ATP was showing in the neutral feed,

02:40:49   and also the neutral artwork was showing on everyone's member feeds.

02:40:53   I was like, uh-oh, something went wrong.

02:40:57   It took maybe a good 10, 15 minutes to actually get it all sorted out and fixed,

02:41:01   and send pings to Overcast to make it update itself

02:41:06   and get rid of all those bad feed entries.

02:41:09   It was a bad time, but I did get it fixed.

02:41:12   But anyway, this is what I was doing

02:41:15   instead of making my iOS 14 widgets.

02:41:17   And Overcast's work has been, admittedly,

02:41:20   just life has gotten in the way,

02:41:24   and I haven't had a lot of concrete, long spans of work time.

02:41:26   But all these things keep coming up that make me only have,

02:41:31   oh, I have an hour right now, but I don't have four hours,

02:41:36   so I'll do what I can in an hour, great, okay.

02:41:39   But it's very slow going, and life has been very busy for us.

02:41:42   And so it's been a very slow development summer

02:41:47   for anything meaningful.

02:41:50   But I have had the chance to do a lot of fluffy light work.

02:41:52   So my web backend is better than ever,

02:41:52   I have much better admin tools.

02:41:57   However, I still have not tackled any iOS stuff

02:42:00   for this summer.

02:42:04   That's gonna be perpetually next week.

02:42:05   It's always next week.

02:42:08   I'm starting it next week, I swear.