386: No More Holes in My House


00:00:00   So the masks that I have worn most of the time

00:00:03   since the mask era began.

00:00:05   I've tried a few different ones, and I ordered back months ago,

00:00:10   I got these masks from a company that makes fish and Grateful Dead themed merchandise.

00:00:15   And it doesn't say "fish" on it, but it has the Fishman Donut pattern on it,

00:00:23   which is that pattern of the pinkish circles on the bluish background.

00:00:27   It's in my Twitter background. Fishman Donut?

00:00:30   Spell that?

00:00:31   Fishman spelled F-I-S-H-M-A-N.

00:00:34   It's the drummer John Fish.

00:00:37   Anyway, so it's a long story.

00:00:39   But this is like a symbol of fish.

00:00:42   And it's not an obvious one for people who don't know it.

00:00:44   It's like it's a subtle thing that was not subtle,

00:00:47   but it's this thing that people who are not fish fans don't recognize as a fish thing.

00:00:51   It looks like measles.

00:00:52   Right. So anyway.

00:00:53   Nothing to the germ theme.

00:00:57   So I got a mask featuring this pattern.

00:01:00   And yes, it's just the same pattern as my Twitter background,

00:01:02   if you want to look at it quickly.

00:01:03   I'll make it the chapter art for this chapter.

00:01:05   So anyway.

00:01:06   Bloody Cheerios.

00:01:07   Yeah.

00:01:08   And it's a fish thing.

00:01:09   Anyway, I don't need to explain what it is.

00:01:11   You don't care.

00:01:12   But the point is, it's like a symbol of fishness and fish fandom

00:01:16   that even many fish fans might not immediately notice it as such.

00:01:20   And so it's especially nerdy and only fish fans would know what it is.

00:01:25   No regular person would ever know what this is.

00:01:27   And I walked my dog every day, even during the pandemic,

00:01:32   I would still walk my dog.

00:01:33   I would just be careful.

00:01:34   I was in the suburbs away from people, walking on the sidewalk.

00:01:37   I'd cross the street if someone came the other way, etc.

00:01:39   So, you know, careful.

00:01:40   But I was still outdoors in public for months wearing this mask.

00:01:45   And zero people back at home ever seemed to notice what it was, ever said anything about

00:01:51   it.

00:01:52   And over the course of a few months, I probably passed a few hundred people.

00:01:55   Not a single person said a word.

00:01:57   I come to the beach town.

00:01:59   Day one, I get two people saying, "Hey, nice mask."

00:02:03   And I'm now having people, like as I'm walking my dog, I'm now having people just start talking

00:02:09   to me about fish without even asking if that's what it is because they just know.

00:02:14   I was petting some cute puppy today and the owner was like, "So you catch the '89 show

00:02:20   they aired last night?"

00:02:21   And I didn't even bring it up.

00:02:23   It's funny.

00:02:24   I feel like this is what normal people have with sports fandom that I've never had.

00:02:30   The way you can just wear a hat for a sports team or something and you can walk down the

00:02:35   street and strangers will be able to have small talk with you about that sports team

00:02:40   that you both understand.

00:02:42   This is something about normal society that I've never been able to participate in because

00:02:46   I've never had anything about sports.

00:02:48   I don't have that in me.

00:02:50   And so I always felt like this weird outsider, like no one likes the stuff I like.

00:02:55   You know, being a nerd, that's part of life.

00:02:57   But you know, it's like no one likes the stuff I like.

00:03:00   No one understands who I am.

00:03:02   And around here, I'm walking around with my fish mask.

00:03:05   It's like fish fans seem to be nowhere.

00:03:08   When you're the guy who likes fish in the room, you have no support from me in almost

00:03:13   any room that you're in.

00:03:14   Right?

00:03:15   Hey buddy, you gotta hang out on more college campuses.

00:03:17   And like around here, it's like they're everywhere.

00:03:22   My people are everywhere.

00:03:24   It's amazing.

00:03:25   Stoners, you mean?

00:03:27   I don't know if that's it, but I'm not even one of those.

00:03:30   I don't even know if that's it, but there's some significant overlap between those groups

00:03:35   for sure.

00:03:36   But no, I think it's just like a certain kind of music nerd.

00:03:40   And for some reason, I have none of them where I live the rest of the year.

00:03:44   And here, it's just everybody.

00:03:46   It's amazing.

00:03:47   You should get the moo moo.

00:03:49   Just go for it entirely.

00:03:50   I agree.

00:03:51   I would love to see that, please.

00:03:53   I can't believe the drummer for the band, is that why the band is named P-H-I-S-H?

00:03:57   Is it named after him or is it just a coincidence?

00:03:59   It's named after him.

00:04:00   His nickname is Fish.

00:04:01   His last name is Fishman, but they spell it P-H and he spells it F.

00:04:05   I don't know why.

00:04:06   I don't think I knew that.

00:04:07   It's like Eddie Van Halen with a P-H. Van, P-H-A-L-E-N.

00:04:12   Eddie Van Faitland.

00:04:13   Yeah.

00:04:14   Why didn't he just use F-I-S-H?

00:04:16   I don't know.

00:04:17   Why is he wearing moo moo?

00:04:18   I don't know.

00:04:19   Why does it have red blood cells on it?

00:04:20   I don't know.

00:04:21   We've gone from measles to bloody Cheerios to red blood cells.

00:04:27   It's been a journey, fellas.

00:04:29   We're only just beginning.

00:04:30   All right, so our first stretch goal was me taking over the pre-show audio, which as much

00:04:36   as—

00:04:37   No one's keeping track of these, are they?

00:04:38   We just want to say these things and put out ridiculous numbers that we're never going

00:04:42   to achieve and just make stuff up.

00:04:43   Someday we're going to hit one of those numbers and someone's going to remind us and we're

00:04:46   going to have to do it.

00:04:47   That's fine.

00:04:48   So the Fisherman—what?

00:04:49   Fish Relief Fund?

00:04:50   What did you call it?

00:04:51   Fishman Relief Fund?

00:04:52   Fish Relief Fund?

00:04:53   I can't even say it fast.

00:04:54   Fisherman's Friend Fund.

00:04:55   Yeah, Fisherman's Friend Fund.

00:04:56   That's the winter version.

00:04:58   Yeah, right.

00:04:59   They keep Marco and bad-tasting cough drops forever.

00:05:02   Yeah, they do taste like garbage, but they do work.

00:05:05   They do work.

00:05:06   Anyway, we're going to cut this from the release show.

00:05:10   Hi, future Marco.

00:05:11   But I just wanted to thank everyone who has become a member because—oh, wait, what do

00:05:16   you mean, "oh yeah"?

00:05:17   I wasn't even talking about the Hamilton part, you dick.

00:05:21   Just everything you say he was saying, "oh yeah."

00:05:23   Everything that Gacy says, just cut it right out.

00:05:24   It'll make so many people happy.

00:05:25   No, I just wanted to say that we reached an undisclosed milestone in membership, and we

00:05:30   will keep it undisclosed, but that meant a lot to all three of us, and that's very

00:05:33   kind of everyone who has joined.

00:05:35   No, this is going to go in the show.

00:05:37   This is in the show.

00:05:38   This is good.

00:05:39   Our members are awesome.

00:05:40   We had a lot of them now, and it's really good.

00:05:41   We're very happy.

00:05:43   Thank you, everybody.

00:05:44   You're being awesome, and we're very happy, and we're very thankful.

00:05:47   And I'm still working on the bootleg feet.

00:05:49   Haven't had a lot of time to work this week for unrelated reasons, but nothing horrible.

00:05:54   Just, you know, life got busy, but yeah, we're getting there.

00:05:58   Yep, but I just wanted to say thank you very much, because we have been overjoyed, and

00:06:05   some of us, namely me, have been flabbergasted by the response, and especially for not really

00:06:11   getting a whole lot in return at the moment, and so it is incredibly kind of every single

00:06:17   one of you, and we are deeply appreciative of it.

00:06:21   So thank you.

00:06:22   Also, thank you for proving me right.

00:06:24   When we first started talking about doing this, we were trying to argue, as we've mentioned

00:06:30   in the past, we each had different bets on how many members we'd get, and so far, everyone

00:06:36   is proving me right and not proving Casey right, and I think, Jon, you're still kind

00:06:40   of in contention, right?

00:06:43   Yeah, no, I think we've exceeded my expectations now, too.

00:06:46   Right.

00:06:47   Not by a lot, but by a little bit.

00:06:49   We're still less than half of your optimistic number, though.

00:06:51   That's fine, but by reverse prices are at rules, I still win, so here we are.

00:06:54   All right, sure.

00:06:55   Well, no, that's not true, right?

00:06:57   Because you've guessed over the actual amount, so it's closest without going over.

00:07:01   Oh, you said reverse.

00:07:02   Oh, you said reverse.

00:07:03   I'm sorry, I missed that part.

00:07:04   Yes, sorry.

00:07:05   Closest without going under.

00:07:06   It's double secret probation.

00:07:07   Right?

00:07:08   What is that from?

00:07:09   I know that.

00:07:10   You don't get that reference.

00:07:11   No, I know that.

00:07:12   What is that from?

00:07:13   You don't know that.

00:07:14   It's from Animal House.

00:07:15   Hey, Marco gets a reference.

00:07:16   What's going on?

00:07:17   I've seen that.

00:07:18   I've seen Animal House.

00:07:19   Wow.

00:07:20   Marco saw a movie.

00:07:21   He's wearing a college t-shirt.

00:07:22   I actually don't remember liking Animal House very much, but it has been forever since I've

00:07:25   seen it.

00:07:26   No, it's probably not a good movie.

00:07:28   Okay, moving on.

00:07:29   Let's start with some follow-up.

00:07:30   Hey, guess what?

00:07:31   There's no target disk mode in our Macs, which I guess is a bummer, but to be honest, I think

00:07:36   I've only used target disk mode a couple of times in my life, so I don't know.

00:07:42   Is this a bummer?

00:07:43   Yeah, it's a bummer.

00:07:44   I mean, look, target disk mode is one of those things that most Mac people never know is

00:07:48   there, but the nerds know it's there.

00:07:50   And it occasionally comes extremely in handy because what it does, for anyone who doesn't

00:07:55   know very quickly, what it basically does is it's been featured in Macs forever, and

00:08:00   it allows you to boot up holding down T or Option T or something.

00:08:03   John can correct me.

00:08:04   And basically, the Mac that you're booting up in target disk mode doesn't boot the OS.

00:08:10   Instead, it basically turns itself into an external hard drive enclosure for the drives

00:08:15   that are inside of it.

00:08:16   And then you can connect a different Mac to it over various cables over the years.

00:08:20   That's evolved as the ports have changed over time.

00:08:23   The second computer can access the drives on the first computer as if they were connected

00:08:28   just via an external enclosure.

00:08:30   And so it's a way to boot a hosting computer into a disk read mode so that you can usually

00:08:38   transfer its contents to a new computer.

00:08:41   So it's great when you're changing, when you've got a new Mac or your Mac is dying

00:08:46   and you have to get stuff off of it and it can't boot all the way or the screen is

00:08:49   dead and you just want to get stuff off the disk or whatever.

00:08:52   And it's a very useful troubleshooting and migration tool to just read stuff over the

00:08:56   cable directly.

00:08:57   Now in recent times, it is less necessary as you have migration assistant getting better,

00:09:03   but it still serves a very nice role.

00:09:06   And it's probably still more flexible than migration assistant because you don't have

00:09:12   to be doing a migration to do it.

00:09:14   If you have a dying laptop, you can put it in target disk mode and connect some of the

00:09:19   computer to it and just pull off whatever you want.

00:09:21   It just shows up as a disk.

00:09:23   And so that's certainly getting complicated over the years as things like full disk encryption

00:09:28   have happened.

00:09:29   And I would imagine the reason it's different on the ARM Macs is related to that somehow.

00:09:35   It's related to the physical security of the data on the disk or something like that.

00:09:39   I'm sure they've enhanced it even further, etc.

00:09:42   So they probably have good reason for changing it, but it's probably going to be slower

00:09:49   and worse the way they're doing it over SMB instead.

00:09:52   So I do more in the loss of target disk mode.

00:09:55   I don't use it often, but when I do use it, it's really nice to have.

00:09:58   Yeah, like when I was saying, you can still do something like this, but instead of exposing

00:10:04   it as an external hard drive, it exposes it as a server that speaks SMB.

00:10:08   And you authenticate against it, presumably using the credentials that belong to the Mac

00:10:14   that you're connecting to.

00:10:15   You're doing everything over SMB, and SMB is going to be slower and less feature-rich

00:10:18   than directly mounting the drive.

00:10:20   And I also assume the reason they're not doing it is because, well, first of all, iOS

00:10:23   devices don't have it, and the ARM Macs owe a lot hardware-wise to iOS devices.

00:10:28   And second, there may be even more security when dealing with the internal storage and

00:10:33   iOS devices than there is with Macs, and maybe this was just the path of least resistance.

00:10:36   We'll see.

00:10:37   Related to this, by the way, we didn't mention this last time when discussing how the startup

00:10:40   process has changed on ARM Macs.

00:10:42   There was that session that we linked to last week that I think contained this information,

00:10:45   but it's worth mentioning for people who didn't watch it.

00:10:48   Marco mentioned not being able to remember what key you hold down when you boot into

00:10:52   different things.

00:10:53   Command-Option-P-R, the Shift key, hold down R. Oh, no, it's Command-R now.

00:10:57   It's very confusing.

00:10:58   Apple has unified all of that.

00:11:00   For the ARM Macs, you just hold down the Power key, or I guess the Touch ID key or whatever.

00:11:06   Well, we're going to talk about that later, I think.

00:11:08   The unlabeled button.

00:11:11   The one button that's on your computer that's not a mouse button or keyboard thing, the

00:11:14   Power key, and that will apparently bring up a little miniature interface that will

00:11:18   allow you to select what you want to do instead of having to memorize all these weird key

00:11:21   combos.

00:11:22   So more arcane knowledge will be uselessly stuck in people's heads forever, and people

00:11:29   will just need to know you have to hold down one key, which is useful.

00:11:32   There's a bunch of stuff about the new Macs where they can boot more of the OS.

00:11:36   That's one of the APFS volume rolls.

00:11:38   A miniature OS that has enough of the OS to get something going, including potentially

00:11:45   graphs acceleration and stuff.

00:11:47   Lots of the other modes you used to be able to boot into, like hardware diagnostic mode

00:11:50   or even recovery mode.

00:11:51   A lot of the times, it feels worse and slower because it loads limited graphic drivers,

00:11:56   or it's not a real GUI at all, or it used to look like classic Mac OS for years even

00:12:00   though you're running Mac OS X.

00:12:03   This is all going to improve matters by booting something closer to a full-fledged OS where

00:12:09   you can run actual stuff.

00:12:10   So I welcome this unification, although I'll also miss target disk mode because that was

00:12:15   very handy.

00:12:16   And mostly the reason it was handy, it was the speed.

00:12:20   Directly connecting a hard drive is always faster than connecting to a server, especially

00:12:23   back in the bad old days of Apple file, APFS, whatever.

00:12:27   I can't remember the acronym anymore.

00:12:28   It's been so long.

00:12:29   That's it.

00:12:30   Yeah.

00:12:31   So.

00:12:32   Yeah.

00:12:33   And just think all those websites that you have to like, whenever you can't remember

00:12:35   the key combination and you have to search the internet for Mac recovery key combo and

00:12:41   you get these garbage websites that are filled with ads that all you're doing is digging

00:12:45   for the one stupid three-word combo in the middle that tells you what you actually need

00:12:49   to know.

00:12:50   What are all those sites going to do now?

00:12:51   Apple's putting them out of business.

00:12:52   You don't have to go to a website to find out where the power button is.

00:12:56   Where is the power button in iMac anyway?

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00:15:05   WidgetKit and third party watch faces.

00:15:07   What's going on here?

00:15:08   I don't know how much we talked about WidgetKit, but it's that SwiftUI way to serialize widgets

00:15:14   into a bunch of instructions for SwiftUI so that they can run without your application

00:15:19   running and it's what's used to make the widgets in the sidebar and Big Sur and it's very similar

00:15:25   to the complications that run on watches.

00:15:27   In all those cases, every complication in every widget doesn't have an associated app

00:15:32   running constantly behind the scenes to power it because that would be incredibly inefficient,

00:15:35   especially on the watch.

00:15:36   That's one of the things that WidgetKit does.

00:15:38   We also talked about third party watch faces, the ability to vend multiple complications

00:15:43   on the new watch OS of the same type.

00:15:45   You can basically fill the entire screen except for the little area that has the digital time

00:15:50   with a bunch of content that essentially comes from third party apps, but it's not really

00:15:53   a third party watch face.

00:15:54   Well, a couple of people have noted that there is a private API called underscore clock hand

00:16:01   rotation effect in WidgetKit, which doesn't necessarily mean that WidgetKit is intended

00:16:05   to make third party watch faces.

00:16:07   You can imagine making a widget on your Mac that is itself an analog clock or doing some

00:16:11   other kind of animation that uses a clock hand style rotation effect, but it does show

00:16:16   at least somebody was thinking about using WidgetKit to make something that looks like

00:16:20   a clock.

00:16:22   And if Apple was going to make a third party watch face thing, it would probably work similar

00:16:27   to complications in that, again, you wouldn't be allowed to have an app running on the CPU

00:16:32   all the time powering the watch face because that would be very inefficient.

00:16:35   There would have to be some very limited system just like there is for complications for drawing

00:16:39   your watch face.

00:16:40   So if something is going to eventually mature into third party watch faces, it could be

00:16:44   the similar API to what they use for complications.

00:16:47   Yeah, which to me is actually very promising.

00:16:50   I've been going under the assumption for a while now that they're never going to actually

00:16:54   allow custom watch faces, and I still think that's the most likely outcome, but I agree,

00:16:59   John.

00:17:00   I think if they're going to do it, this is clearly the way they're going to do it for

00:17:03   power reasons.

00:17:04   Basically, you can give us a SwiftUI archived view or whatever, how are these complications

00:17:09   working, I don't know enough about SwiftUI yet to describe it better, but basically you

00:17:14   can do it with these rudimentary SwiftUI operations from this preset library of things that we

00:17:21   allow clock faces to do.

00:17:24   And those are all things that then the OS can do extremely efficiently without calling

00:17:28   your code constantly at all.

00:17:31   That's probably how they would do it if they were to ever do it.

00:17:34   John, tell me about unified memory architecture and a future ARM Mac Pro, if you please.

00:17:39   There's not much new information about this.

00:17:41   We talked a couple shows ago about how Apple was pushing the unified memory architecture

00:17:45   as a way to turn a potential con into a pro by saying, "Well, you know, it's not that

00:17:50   we don't support discrete GPUs, it's that our integrated GPUs are so amazing."

00:17:55   And like I said, that's mostly true.

00:17:58   Like again, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X both use "integrated GPUs" and they're

00:18:06   really powerful.

00:18:07   So right up to the point where everything up to a real gaming PC you can do with an

00:18:13   integrated GPU.

00:18:14   So if you're worried that, "Oh, my MacBook Pro won't have a discrete GPU anymore, the

00:18:18   graphics are really bad," don't worry about that.

00:18:20   The only place you've got to worry, of course, is the Mac Pro where it can have four discrete

00:18:26   GPUs, eight discrete GPUs, depending on how you pack them in there, and that's just not

00:18:30   going to work integrated.

00:18:31   But anyway, the unified memory architecture of sort of having the CPU and the GPU all

00:18:36   share memory has advantages.

00:18:37   They're closer to each other, it can be faster for a certain operation, so on and so forth.

00:18:40   But of course, the disadvantages that you're fighting for memory with the rest of the computer

00:18:43   and dedicated GPU memory can have a much wider bus width and other advantages that usually

00:18:50   aren't true of the system memory.

00:18:52   What I related to this is a bunch of existing technologies that are used to mediate between

00:18:59   the CPU and the GPU trying to coordinate with each other and share a pool of memory while

00:19:07   also having dedicated memory for dedicated GPUs.

00:19:10   One of them is called, this is a fun acronym, Cache Coherent Interconnect for Accelerators,

00:19:17   which is CCIX.

00:19:18   Let's say Cache Coherent, I get the CC, I for Interconnect, for accelerators is an X?

00:19:25   Accelerator?

00:19:26   I don't know.

00:19:27   Anyway, and it's pronounced C6.

00:19:29   If you thought Mac OS X was hard to pronounce, C6.

00:19:32   This is not consumer facing.

00:19:35   No, no.

00:19:36   But anyway, this is an existing standard for doing this type of thing.

00:19:39   AMD GPUs also support what they call HSA, which allows the CPU and GPU to share memory

00:19:45   while also having their own dedicated memory.

00:19:47   The HSA, it's heterogeneous system architecture.

00:19:51   There's a bunch of standards for doing this.

00:19:52   This is not unknown technology.

00:19:54   And as we discussed last time, the easiest thing that Apple could do is just support

00:20:00   external GPUs on our Macs.

00:20:01   That's totally a thing they could do.

00:20:03   Lots of rumors now based on W2C slides not listing discrete GPU support or saying, "Oh,

00:20:07   Apple's not going to do that.

00:20:08   They're going to do everything integrated," which seems unlikely to me for the aforementioned

00:20:12   reasons that you can't put eight giant 100 watt GPUs inside a system on a chip.

00:20:17   It's too big.

00:20:19   Or that Apple's going to make its own external GPUs, which sure, why not?

00:20:24   They're going to make their own cell modems.

00:20:25   They're making their own system on a chip.

00:20:26   They could make their own GPUs if they wanted to.

00:20:29   Still, it seems the path of least resistance would be, "Eh, just stick with AMD and support

00:20:34   them on only one model, the big giant Mac Pro."

00:20:37   And on every other model, you get a very, very, very fast "integrated" GPU, which is

00:20:41   another thing that Apple emphasized in all their sessions.

00:20:44   They have this advice in their documentation and in their talks, "Don't assume when the

00:20:49   GPU is the integrated GPU that it's the slow one."

00:20:52   That's not true for the Apple ones.

00:20:54   Apple's integrated GPUs are fast.

00:20:57   They're saying it mostly from a programmer's perspective.

00:20:59   Don't make assumptions about ... I think they have this attribute that says, "Is low power

00:21:04   or is GPU is low power," and I think the Apple ones return true.

00:21:08   And they're like, "Yeah, they're low power, but they're also really fast."

00:21:11   So don't use low power as a proxy to mean slow.

00:21:15   Anyway, I'm still very optimistic about the potential GPU performance on all of the ARM

00:21:22   Macs.

00:21:23   The only one that's question mark is the Mac Pro, and I think that's probably going to

00:21:26   come much later in the transition.

00:21:28   So we look forward to seeing what Apple has to offer there.

00:21:31   But in the meantime, if you're worried, don't be because ... Well, I said don't be because

00:21:35   technologically speaking, Apple can absolutely put a GPU in all their laptops that will more

00:21:40   than satisfy your needs, right?

00:21:43   The iMac, maybe it's a question mark, but overall, Apple could choose to have wimpier

00:21:49   GPUs just because they don't think that's an important area to spend die space.

00:21:55   I just don't think they'll make that choice.

00:21:56   Based on how good the GPUs are in the fanless iPad, I'm very optimistic about the GPUs in

00:22:02   upcoming Macs.

00:22:03   Cote: Tangentially related, a few hours ago, Renee Ritchie tweeted kind of out of nowhere,

00:22:08   and maybe there was a kerfuffle about this and I just wasn't privy to it, but as far

00:22:12   as I could tell, it was out of nowhere, and he writes from Apple, "Over a decade ago,

00:22:17   Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop Thunderbolt, and today our customers enjoy

00:22:21   the speed and flexibility it brings to every Mac.

00:22:23   We remain committed to the future of Thunderbolt and will support it in Macs with Apple Silicon."

00:22:28   Which is good news.

00:22:29   Eric Meyer Yeah, that was no brainer.

00:22:30   Like I said, Thunderbolt is now royalty free.

00:22:32   You don't need an Intel chip to do it.

00:22:34   USB 4 is basically Thunderbolt 3.

00:22:36   Intel is building it into their new CPUs.

00:22:42   Everything is completely lined up for Apple to get anything to support Thunderbolt.

00:22:45   Thunderbolt 4, interestingly, it doesn't get any faster.

00:22:50   I just looked this up because I didn't know what the deal with Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4

00:22:53   was.

00:22:54   I was confused and thinking USB 4 was Thunderbolt 4, but no.

00:22:56   USB 4 is Thunderbolt 3.

00:22:58   Not confusing at all, I know.

00:22:59   Thunderbolt 4 is just Thunderbolt 3, everything the same speed, but it supports hubs with

00:23:04   four ports and has more stringent requirements for cables and other stuff like that.

00:23:08   So if you look for something that's Thunderbolt 4, you'll know you're getting a bunch of

00:23:11   stuff that's optional on Thunderbolt 3.

00:23:14   But yeah, there's no reason Apple can't support all of that.

00:23:18   I mean, upcoming iPads could support quote-unquote USB 4, which is actually Thunderbolt 3.

00:23:23   It's all lined up for Apple to be able to do that without including an Intel chip and

00:23:27   build right into their system on a chip, so it'll be fine.

00:23:30   Let's talk more about Apple platform unification and ARM Mac hardware.

00:23:35   Upgrade already beat us to it, but I thought this was a good topic that tied into a previous

00:23:39   discussion about Apple platform unification, which mostly was we ended up going down a

00:23:42   rabbit hole of APIs, the ATP being ATP.

00:23:45   But also I was trying to talk about the overall experience of what it's going to be like

00:23:50   to use that, what kind of applications will be available to you, and how they all have

00:23:54   to live together and work together and seem like a coherent whole and not seem like you're

00:23:58   running a bunch of VMs.

00:24:00   That's all look like one thing.

00:24:02   The flip side of that is what does the hardware look like?

00:24:05   We already talked about on the WDABC show that touch Macs are coming.

00:24:10   All signs point to that.

00:24:13   The first ARM Macs will have touch screens, and if they don't, I think a lot of people

00:24:17   will be very surprised because everything in Big Sur and all the APIs and all the other

00:24:23   stuff points in that direction.

00:24:25   And it just makes sense with Apple's line, but the episode of Upgrade 304 that we'll

00:24:29   link in the show notes, Jason and Mike went through even more detail about the stuff that

00:24:34   Touch Macs might have.

00:24:40   I think Jason also wrote an article about it.

00:24:42   I couldn't find the URL of that one, but if we can find it, we'll put that in the show

00:24:45   notes too.

00:24:46   I thought it was worth summarizing here because I basically agree with everything they said,

00:24:49   but just to give all the listeners of this show a heads up, what can you expect from

00:24:55   the first ARM Mac hardware aside from it having a touch screen that you will be confused about

00:25:01   how to use because you haven't used anything except for a Mac for a long time?

00:25:04   Did either of you two listen to the show or read any of those articles?

00:25:07   Have you been spoiled?

00:25:08   I have listened, but I have not read.

00:25:10   I have not.

00:25:11   All right, well, you should let Marco go.

00:25:13   Marco, describe the upcoming ARM Mac hardware, all the hardware features that it will have.

00:25:18   Because I haven't read everything?

00:25:19   Yeah, I just want to see if your opinions line up with theirs.

00:25:23   Okay.

00:25:24   Well, besides the stuff that's been reported of things like changes to the boot process

00:25:29   or whatever else, I'm guessing we're going to have really nice thin laptops.

00:25:36   Probably at least the lowest end ones won't have fans, and I think we'll have incredible

00:25:42   battery life.

00:25:43   I do think, I agree, that we're going to have touch screens.

00:25:46   I don't think that they're going to have touch screens right away.

00:25:48   I really don't.

00:25:49   I concur that it will happen.

00:25:51   I just don't think it'll happen immediately.

00:25:52   I think the reason why they are bringing over iPhone apps from day one, I think there's

00:25:58   two reasons.

00:25:59   Number one is to give this new platform a vast amount of content, a vast amount of software

00:26:06   from day one.

00:26:07   But I also think that the reason why iPhone apps will work so seamlessly on the Mac is

00:26:13   because they will have touch screens.

00:26:15   If you don't have touch hardware, then you have a much larger chance that arbitrary iPhone

00:26:24   apps just won't work as expected on Macs.

00:26:26   I don't think Apple would want that kind of customer experience.

00:26:30   I hear you.

00:26:31   Well, you two are both thinking small.

00:26:34   Marco's thinking small.

00:26:35   Granted, Marco didn't read the article here, but I was listening to them talk about it.

00:26:40   I was like, "I hope they talk about this," and then they did.

00:26:42   Then I hope they talk about that, and then they did.

00:26:44   My visions of this hardware exactly match what they discussed.

00:26:47   Casey, you seem like even though you've read all the stuff, you think if that stuff's coming,

00:26:50   it's not going to be right out the door?

00:26:54   Based on no facts whatsoever, I would suspect that what we see initially, like the very

00:27:01   first ones at the end of the year, I think will have something novel about them, but

00:27:06   I don't think it will be this masterpiece that Mike and Jason have envisioned.

00:27:13   I think that would mean something like, for example, maybe Face ID, which they spoke about,

00:27:17   maybe Face ID would be in the laptops right when they're released.

00:27:23   That would be something novel and interesting, but not altogether unreasonable.

00:27:29   The one thing that I will say that really had an exploding head emoji when I heard them

00:27:35   talk about it, which seems so obvious in retrospect, which means it's probably going to happen,

00:27:39   is rounded screens in the same way that the iPad and the new iPhones have it.

00:27:44   I never would have thought of that in a million years, and as soon as they said it...

00:27:47   It's because you don't watch WWDC sessions, that's why.

00:27:50   Safe area insets.

00:27:52   Mike's doing his homework.

00:27:53   If you haven't watched the sessions, a bunch of Mac stuff has safe area insets now, and

00:27:57   if you've done iOS development, you know what safe area insets mean.

00:28:00   Guess what?

00:28:01   Rounded corners are coming to Mac screens.

00:28:03   Oh, no, I don't want that.

00:28:05   I don't have a particularly negative opinion.

00:28:10   In fact, I like the rounded screens on anything I'm using today, but it would be weird having

00:28:13   that on a Mac.

00:28:15   But I think my vision is that their first release, which they've said would be this

00:28:21   fall, and I'm envisioning it as being laptops, but maybe it wouldn't be, but I would envision

00:28:25   laptops that may or may not have a wildly different industrial design, but I think will

00:28:31   have something novel for sure.

00:28:33   And again, Face ID is a great example, but maybe it'd be something different.

00:28:36   But I don't think that there'll be a grand departure.

00:28:39   Another possibility, although I don't think it would be the case, is like maybe they look

00:28:42   the same, but you can optionally include the cellular radio that Marco and I have been begging

00:28:47   for for years.

00:28:49   It's not earth-shatteringly different, but it's novel.

00:28:52   And then I think sometime in 2021, if the world hasn't ended by then, then I think that's

00:28:59   when they start to really unleash the crack and start doing really new, interesting, and

00:29:04   different—I would normally say novel, but I don't think I want to say that right now—new,

00:29:08   interesting, and different stuff.

00:29:10   But Jon, I get the feeling you think they're going to come out of the gate fierce.

00:29:14   So what do you think is happening?

00:29:15   Well, just briefly on the rounded corner thing, I think I mentioned this in the last show,

00:29:19   and Jason mentioned it in an upgrade as well.

00:29:20   The original Mac had rounded corners.

00:29:22   Not actual physical rounded corners on a CRT, but he would draw black pixels in the corners

00:29:26   of the screen to black out that area, right?

00:29:29   So it looked like it had rounded corners.

00:29:30   So you're saying, "I can't imagine rounded corners on a Mac."

00:29:32   That's true.

00:29:33   I actually had to look—I remember a couple years ago, I had to look and think, "Wait,

00:29:37   are the corners still rounded on the Mac?"

00:29:38   And I was shocked to learn that they were not.

00:29:41   I just assumed they were rounded, but obviously the radius is going to be bigger.

00:29:47   Presumably it's more like an eye.

00:29:48   But if you want to know what the radius is going to look like, just take a big CIR window

00:29:50   and drag it down to the corner of your screen and see how that radius lines up.

00:29:54   Imagine the screen matched that perfectly.

00:29:56   That's a good bet.

00:29:57   But yeah, no, I think—first of all, there's always the possibility, as we said several

00:30:01   shows back, that they do the Intel thing.

00:30:03   It's like, "Look, if we want to get our Macs out the door ASAP, we should do as little

00:30:08   redesign as possible and just take our existing cases and put ARM stuff inside them and ship

00:30:12   them and they'll be boring in that way."

00:30:14   And I think the only reason they would do that is time constraints.

00:30:17   Like this is how we can get them out the door the fastest.

00:30:19   This is the simple, easier first step.

00:30:22   But if they do that, which I really hope and think they won't, that's just a time-constrained

00:30:30   step to what I think they're shooting for, which is a Mac with a touchscreen with rounded

00:30:35   corners on it with FaceTime, with Touch ID, with a cellular modem.

00:30:39   Like all the things they list in these articles, there's no reason we're not going to get

00:30:45   all of them eventually.

00:30:46   This is the new face of Mac hardware.

00:30:51   And it would match up perfectly with the iPad.

00:30:55   Oh, and one more iPad thing, ProMotion.

00:30:59   All the stuff that's available on the iPad, when a Mac is just a bigger and more powerful

00:31:04   iPad, you get that stuff "for free."

00:31:06   You don't have to do any extra work for ProMotion.

00:31:09   iPads already support it.

00:31:10   Rounded corners, that's a bunch of OS and software changes.

00:31:12   They're already committing to that.

00:31:13   Touchscreens, you've got to move controls around.

00:31:15   That's all there.

00:31:16   Face ID, it's very…

00:31:19   Support for things like the Apple Pencil.

00:31:22   Remember the DTK that we're not allowed to talk about.

00:31:26   Reports tell us that what's inside there is very much like an iPad.

00:31:30   Right?

00:31:31   iPad already does all of these things.

00:31:33   It's like they would have to take it out for you not to get it.

00:31:37   Now, does that mean…

00:31:39   What are they going to do for things like the Pro Display XDR that does not have rounded

00:31:43   corners?

00:31:44   You can just do what the original Mac did, but just don't draw on those pixels.

00:31:47   Then you can have the same cohesive experience.

00:31:50   Maybe on the Pro Displays, obviously, individual applications can choose to draw over those

00:31:53   areas and it wouldn't be like some hardware feature that's stopping you from doing it.

00:31:58   That I think is the…

00:32:00   Apple platform unification is what makes…

00:32:03   When you look at a Mac and an iPad next to each other, in the beginning, they looked

00:32:07   and behaved very different.

00:32:09   I think a year or two from now, they're going to look and behave very similarly.

00:32:13   They'll be able to run a lot of the same applications.

00:32:17   Their aesthetic design will be similar.

00:32:20   They will support all the same input methods.

00:32:22   The Mac will be able to have more stuff going on at the same time and be able to have more

00:32:25   RAM and more storage and more screen space, more of everything, but not different by nature.

00:32:33   Most of the time when you're using an iPad, you'd be using the touch screen, but it

00:32:36   supports a trackpad and a keyboard.

00:32:37   Most of the time when you're using a Mac, you're using a mouse and a keyboard, but

00:32:40   it also supports a touch screen.

00:32:43   That's the future of Mac hardware.

00:32:46   I don't see any reason for that not to be the future of Mac hardware.

00:32:49   Like I said, I think it would be harder for Apple to not implement those features because

00:32:53   they're already there.

00:32:54   I mean, obviously you need OS support and there's big hurdles to overcome, and that

00:32:57   could be another reason.

00:32:58   The second reason that Casey's idea of them being boring in the beginning could be true

00:33:02   is one, stopgap hardware, but two, software support takes longer than they expected.

00:33:09   Lots of times hardware is delayed at Apple because the software isn't ready.

00:33:12   So integrating Face ID into Mac OS or integrating cell modem support into Mac OS may take longer

00:33:19   and they won't bother shipping the hardware until it does.

00:33:21   Hell, I can imagine a Mac laptop with a U1 chip in it.

00:33:25   Why not?

00:33:26   Like, you know, that's a Mac laptop that someone holds up to do AR stuff, right?

00:33:31   Especially if it's a foldable convertible.

00:33:32   That was funny.

00:33:33   Mike and Jason were also talking about the ideas of convertible Macs that can fold over

00:33:40   and be tablets or whatever.

00:33:41   Apple I think was the probably the first article I ever wrote for Mac World magazine back when

00:33:45   it was a paper magazine.

00:33:48   It was an article about just that.

00:33:49   It was an article about a Mac that was a laptop, but you could fold it over on itself and then

00:33:54   it would run iPad apps, but it was Intel, right?

00:33:56   So it would run Mac OS on Intel and it would run iOS apps also on Intel, just like they

00:34:02   run in the simulator, right?

00:34:04   Because iOS was already running on Intel, so it's no problem having an Intel machine

00:34:10   that can run both.

00:34:11   Apple went the other direction and made both of them are.

00:34:13   But I'm not willing to commit to the convertible yet, although obviously I've had that idea

00:34:19   for a long time, but all of that other stuff, all the input methods, all the features, all

00:34:25   the aesthetics, I feel like that's going to be the future of Mac hardware, especially

00:34:30   on the laptop line.

00:34:32   Things get fuzzier with the Mac Pro and the iMac, but if you can envision an iMac as,

00:34:37   as we said in the last show, a really, really, really big iPad with way more power, it makes

00:34:44   perfect sense to me.

00:34:45   Yeah, I do think that that is the eventual end.

00:34:49   I'm less convinced that it's the near term, but if I'm Apple and if I'm worried about

00:34:59   what people will think about this transition, like if I think I'm concerned that your average

00:35:05   consumer is going to be scared off from buying a Mac because of this, which I don't think

00:35:09   an average consumer would, I don't think anyone in that category really cares, but take it

00:35:13   for a moment that they're worried that the average consumer is going to be pessimistic

00:35:17   about this sort of thing.

00:35:19   The easiest way to get your average consumer to get over that is to say, "Oh, well look

00:35:23   at this new hotness you can get."

00:35:25   You can get touch, you can get face ID, you can get all of this stuff that you're familiar

00:35:30   with from your iPad or your iPhone, and you can now have it on your Mac too.

00:35:34   How amazing is that?

00:35:35   I think I said on the WWDC episode, if I'm not mistaken, the number one way to get me,

00:35:43   not that I really count in the grand scheme of things, but the number one way to get me

00:35:45   to upgrade from this computer I bought a month ago is if there's some sweet new industrial

00:35:51   design or some sweet new capability that I don't have now.

00:35:55   I don't know if I would ditch the computer that I just bought strictly for a cellular

00:35:59   modem, but if it had a cellular modem, and if it had touch, even though I don't think

00:36:04   I want touch, but everyone I know who's done it loves it, if it had touch, if it had face

00:36:08   ID, all this put together, suddenly I'm going from a computer that I thought I was

00:36:12   going to use for years to a computer that I used for like six months.

00:36:16   Suddenly I'm on the Marco timetable of laptop upgrades.

00:36:19   You remember the last time they did the transition from Intel, whether it was a conscious strategy

00:36:25   or not, one of the effects of them essentially leaving the Macs the same but just switching

00:36:29   out the guts was a comforting factor.

00:36:31   Oh, a Mac is still a Mac.

00:36:32   It looks the same as it did, because what was important at that time was our customers

00:36:36   really like Macs, don't rock the boat, they're going to be scaled by this transition, sell

00:36:39   them something that looks and behaves exactly like it did before, and they will feel comfortable.

00:36:42   They won't even know it's running Intel.

00:36:45   But today Apple's in a very different situation where most of Apple's customers don't care

00:36:50   about the Mac.

00:36:51   They don't own a Mac, and they don't care about the Mac.

00:36:54   They're the iPhone company, and iPhones and maybe to a lesser extent iPads.

00:36:59   So the way to make people comfortable with a new line of Macs is to make them more like

00:37:03   phones and iPads.

00:37:04   That's what people like.

00:37:05   Apple, I don't think, is as worried about disturbing the Mac users.

00:37:09   And even on the Mac side of it, Apple is playing catch up here.

00:37:12   PCs, quote unquote, PCs have supported touch screens for a very long time.

00:37:17   Microsoft itself has a big giant tablet computer that's a giant iPad.

00:37:23   If people, you know, it's for the people who are in the market for a Mac, they're aware

00:37:28   that personal computers exist and they see what features they have.

00:37:31   Windows Hello, the thing, you know, Microsoft Face ID.

00:37:34   Those things have been around for a long time.

00:37:36   People might use that at work, even if they have a Mac at home, right?

00:37:38   So making the new line of Macs, A, more like iOS devices, and B, catching up to the capabilities

00:37:46   that PCs have had for years, that's the, you know, quote unquote, safe bet here, not to

00:37:51   just keep them the same.

00:37:53   Keeping them the same, if it's done at all, would be, you know, again, for expedience

00:37:57   and they just need to get them out the door.

00:37:58   They didn't have time to send out the fancy ones.

00:38:00   But all of those redesigns are more attractive to customers, not less.

00:38:05   Like there's no one who's going to be scared away by that.

00:38:07   Yeah, we'll see.

00:38:09   I'm extremely excited to see what late in this year brings and also scared because I

00:38:15   don't want to spend another pile of money.

00:38:16   I don't really have the pile of money to spend at this point.

00:38:19   If they put out a small fanless laptop, you know you're going to buy it.

00:38:22   Like, you know you're going to get it.

00:38:24   It's going to have face ID and it's going to have a touch screen and the battery's going

00:38:27   to last forever and it's going to be way faster than your door was and you're just going to

00:38:30   buy it.

00:38:31   And the excuse you're going to make is, oh, well, it's not replacing my big six inch.

00:38:34   I still love that one, but I wanted to get this one for my little laptop and then you'll

00:38:37   just use that little laptop for everything.

00:38:38   Well, I'm going to have a 12 and a 13 inch because remember I bought a 13, not a 16.

00:38:41   That's right.

00:38:42   Sorry.

00:38:43   But yes, now you will, yeah.

00:38:45   And it'll be faster than your 13, which will be really sad for you.

00:38:48   Yes, it will.

00:38:49   I was just today doing some, I'm working on something new.

00:38:55   We're hopefully going to talk about that in the post show, but I was working on something

00:38:57   new and I needed to plug in a physical device for reasons that are uninteresting.

00:39:01   And I had power plugged into my laptop already.

00:39:05   I was doing work on the laptop because I was doing it in Big Sur because it's new stuff.

00:39:09   And I had power plugged in and then I just grabbed a USB-C to lightning cable and just

00:39:13   plugged it in as well.

00:39:15   Did you know, gentlemen, how convenient it is to have more than one friggin' port on

00:39:20   a laptop?

00:39:21   Oh my goodness, it's amazing.

00:39:23   That's the only part I'm not optimistic about, about RMAX, the port situation.

00:39:28   Because iOS devices are not known for their proliferation of ports.

00:39:32   Yeah, that's true.

00:39:33   So I'm not sure.

00:39:34   One more thing, and again, Jason already beat me to this.

00:39:38   I don't remember if he mentioned it on the show, but he definitely wrote an article about

00:39:40   it for Macworld.

00:39:42   Another factor in potential RMAX hardware is the touch bar.

00:39:47   The touch bar, if you squint, can be viewed as a way to bring touch to the Mac without

00:39:52   making touch Macs.

00:39:54   And we're not big fans of it in the show.

00:39:57   Some people hate it, some people love it, but most people are indifferent to it, I feel

00:40:01   like.

00:40:03   When your whole screen is a touch screen, the touch bar makes far less sense for a bunch

00:40:09   of reasons.

00:40:10   In all fairness, it makes pretty little sense now, but we still have it on everything.

00:40:16   And again, I think I'm on the same page with Jason.

00:40:17   You can go two ways with this.

00:40:18   One, get rid of it.

00:40:19   It's a great time to get rid of it.

00:40:21   The hardware is going to be amazing.

00:40:22   It's going to be distracting.

00:40:23   Apple can save face by just being like, "Look at all this amazing new stuff!"

00:40:26   And the touch bar will go away, and if they get asked about it, they'll be like, "Well,

00:40:29   the whole screen is touch now."

00:40:30   It's a perfect PR answer, where Apple never has to admit that the touch bar never really

00:40:33   caught on, or whatever.

00:40:36   And honestly, the things that you can do with the touch bar, you can do much more with an

00:40:40   entire touch screen.

00:40:41   It's not quite the same, because some of the stuff, while you're on the keyboard, is harder

00:40:45   to do, even if it's just up a little bit on the screen, but it's not quite the same.

00:40:47   The second way they can go is really lean into the touch bar and have a touch screen

00:40:52   on your laptop, and then a much bigger, touchable area above the keyboard.

00:40:57   Maybe twice or three times the height, sort of an extension of the screen, a second touch

00:41:01   screen.

00:41:02   But that seems far less likely to me.

00:41:05   And for one of the reasons that Jason cited, the way the touch bar works now is the little

00:41:11   T-whatever, T1 or T2 chips drives the touch bar, and that's its own little separate-armed

00:41:16   computer that runs its own little weird OS that draws the touch bar and does all that

00:41:23   stuff.

00:41:24   Apple's not good.

00:41:25   And that's how it's architected in Mac OS, this whole big second little computer running

00:41:30   a thing and communicating to it.

00:41:32   They would have to completely re-architect that, because they're not going to put two

00:41:34   ARM chips inside the ARM Macs.

00:41:37   They're not going to have a big system on a chip and then a smaller system on a chip

00:41:39   just to run the touch bar.

00:41:40   That would be an incredible waste of resources and power and everything.

00:41:44   To do that, if they wanted to run it, they'd have to run it all off of one chip, but that's

00:41:48   an entirely different architecture.

00:41:49   Nothing would be running Bridge OS anymore.

00:41:51   It would be quite an investment.

00:41:53   And so I don't think they're going to make that investment to bring the touch bar over

00:41:57   unless they have plans to enhance the touch bar.

00:42:00   They haven't really enhanced the touch bar.

00:42:02   Certainly have enhanced it hardware-wise.

00:42:03   It's been more or less the same.

00:42:04   And software-wise, you haven't heard much about it lately.

00:42:07   So I feel like this is the perfect opportunity for Apple to ditch the touch bar and save

00:42:12   face.

00:42:13   I hope they don't double down on it and make a much bigger touch bar, because I'm not a

00:42:17   particular fan of that.

00:42:19   Or if they do, please just put some space between it and the keyboard so we don't accidentally

00:42:22   hit the Siri button.

00:42:24   Please?

00:42:25   Anyway, it just seems like it would be a waste of resources and space and power and just

00:42:30   everything.

00:42:31   And if these R Max are, as I described with all these features, there's so much cool new

00:42:37   stuff that even the people who really love the touch bar, I think, will be placated by

00:42:42   how much amazing stuff they get in return.

00:42:44   Yeah, I think this also probably-- first of all, I think I'm with you.

00:42:48   I don't see them bringing it over if we do get touch screen max.

00:42:54   And if this is indeed where we're going, which I think is likely, it certainly does give

00:43:00   one possible justification for why the touch bar has not been touched-- sorry-- really

00:43:07   much at all since they launched it.

00:43:09   It has almost changed zero.

00:43:12   Ever since it was unveiled almost four years ago now, almost nothing about it has changed

00:43:18   or gotten better, including all the bugs that are still in it.

00:43:22   No, that's patently untrue.

00:43:24   It got better when it got smaller and we got the escape key back.

00:43:26   OK, fair enough.

00:43:27   Fair enough when they chopped pieces of it off.

00:43:30   That was much better.

00:43:31   But the actual functionality in and of the bar itself really has not changed in four

00:43:37   years.

00:43:38   And it is kind of-- for many reasons, it's baffling why they still ship it because it

00:43:42   is so mixed reviewed and it's baffling that it's still required and everything.

00:43:49   But yeah, I think this does give them that chance to save phase and say, all right, well,

00:43:53   look, the touch bar, it wasn't a failure.

00:43:55   It paved the way for touch screen max.

00:43:58   Just ignoring the iPad.

00:44:00   But we'll let them have this one.

00:44:02   It paved the way for touch screen max.

00:44:04   And now the whole screen is a touch screen.

00:44:06   And they just quietly just don't ever mention the touch bar again.

00:44:10   That I think would make a lot of sense.

00:44:12   I just did a search in the developer app.

00:44:13   I don't think there were any touch bar sessions at this WWDC.

00:44:17   And I think the earliest one I could find was from 2017, WWDC 2017.

00:44:21   Apple did make a push for third party developers to support the touch bar.

00:44:24   Support the touch bar in your app.

00:44:25   Here's how you use it.

00:44:26   Here's how you can customize the controls based on what's going on in your app.

00:44:29   And lots of apps did adopt that.

00:44:30   So did Apple's apps.

00:44:31   And they showed them off and so on and so forth.

00:44:33   But the evangelism surrounding the touch bar has really slowed down.

00:44:37   So I mean, it could slow down for a bunch of reasons.

00:44:40   One, it could slow down because they're going to double down on it and make a giant super

00:44:43   duper touch bar.

00:44:44   But two, it could be slowing down because it's just going to go away when the max go

00:44:46   touch.

00:44:47   Maybe the touch max will be like, what was it, the Nintendo DS where the keyboard is

00:44:53   a screen and the screen is a screen?

00:44:56   We talked about that when we were in the depths of our keyboard despair.

00:45:00   That, oh, they added a touch bar and soon the whole keyboard is going to be glass and

00:45:05   it's just going to be a dual screen situation.

00:45:06   It seems like they're not going that direction.

00:45:10   And luckily, they fixed the keyboard.

00:45:13   I can picture in my head, especially the laptops, what these laptops look like.

00:45:17   I just see them in my head.

00:45:18   I see them.

00:45:19   I see them, their shape and their size and just their iPad-ness and all the features

00:45:23   they have and the specs and then Big Sur fits right in there and you throw Big Sur up there

00:45:28   and you run a bunch of iPad apps on it and it all comes together in my mind.

00:45:33   It's starting to really make sense.

00:45:35   The iMac and stuff are a little bit different.

00:45:39   I'm not entirely willing to believe that the first iMac out the door is going to be, what

00:45:43   is it called, Surface Studio Pro, like the big drafting table thing.

00:45:49   I don't think Apple is there yet.

00:45:50   That would be quite a bold move for the first iMac out the gate.

00:45:53   I think they could ship a more traditional iMac without a touchscreen, like no touchscreen,

00:45:58   big 27-inch iMac, new industrial design, but with Face ID, no cell modem.

00:46:05   The iMac is, I think, going to end up being the more conservative one out of these unless

00:46:08   they go full Surface Studio, which I would love, but I feel like that's more of an ask

00:46:13   because laptops are their bread and butter and I feel like that's where they're going

00:46:16   to concentrate all their effort to wow us out of the gate.

00:46:18   Look at this new line of laptops.

00:46:20   They are amazing.

00:46:21   They do things no Apple laptop has ever done and they're faster than the Intel ones and

00:46:24   they have all these features.

00:46:25   Like that's such an easy sell.

00:46:28   Trying to explain a drafting table iMac is harder, I think.

00:46:35   Just ask Microsoft.

00:46:36   For artists, sure, it makes perfect sense for them, but for everyone else, they're like,

00:46:40   "I'm not quite sure about that."

00:46:42   If it doesn't do that, if it doesn't fold down like that, having a touchscreen on an

00:46:46   iMac is pointless.

00:46:48   That really is ergonomically bad.

00:46:51   Even though, yes, I know people still stab at the screen on their iMacs and their kids

00:46:54   do too.

00:46:55   I understand it makes as much "sense" just because every once in a while I want to dismiss

00:46:58   a dialogue with my finger.

00:46:59   I get it.

00:47:00   I totally get it, but a touchscreen of that size with that kind of digitizer resolution

00:47:05   and refresh rate is quite an expense just so you can dismiss a dialogue.

00:47:10   So I feel like until and unless the iMac folds down like a drafting table, it's not touchscreen

00:47:17   time.

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00:49:08   [Music]

00:49:12   So there have been some app review changes over the last, I don't know, month or so.

00:49:17   And we were aware of this, but we've had so many other things to talk about that we haven't

00:49:20   really had a chance to discuss it.

00:49:22   And honestly, I haven't even really looked that much into it, so I'm going to need some

00:49:25   help from you guys.

00:49:26   But one of you, I think John, has put some very helpful things in the show notes, so

00:49:30   I will kick off the conversation by reading that, quote, "Two changes are coming to the

00:49:34   app review process and will be implemented this summer."

00:49:37   This is a quote from Apple.

00:49:38   "First, developers will not only be able to appeal decisions about whether an app violates

00:49:41   a given guideline of the App Store review guidelines, but they will also have a mechanism

00:49:45   to challenge the guideline itself."

00:49:48   What?

00:49:49   "Second, for apps that are already on the App Store, bug fixes will no longer be delayed

00:49:54   over guideline violations."

00:49:55   What?

00:49:56   "Except for those related to legal issues.

00:49:59   Developers will instead be able to address the issue in their next submission."

00:50:03   This sounds good.

00:50:05   I don't think I've said that about the App Store in a little while, but this sounds very

00:50:08   good.

00:50:09   Is this not very good?

00:50:10   So the thing about App Store rules is that Apple is judge, jury, and executioner.

00:50:16   Like, Apple, like, there is no, like, when you make an appeal, like, I understand the

00:50:21   process, like, okay, well, we're going to talk, let me talk to your manager, essentially,

00:50:24   is what you're asking.

00:50:25   But the manager works for the same company as the other employee does.

00:50:29   Like, at any time, Apple can make any decision about anything, right?

00:50:33   And we know things are enforced inconsistently, and people have different experiences with

00:50:40   seemingly similar problems at different times at the same time.

00:50:42   Like, it's all very arbitrary and confusing.

00:50:45   So when they say, "We're going to have, you know, you have your appeal, but you can also

00:50:51   challenge the guidelines," like, well, how does that work?

00:50:56   Like, if you appeal and they say, "No, actually, you are in violation of the guidelines," and

00:51:00   you say, "Well, I think the guideline is dumb," then Apple will say, "Well, that's the guideline."

00:51:04   I mean, like, I don't understand the process by which an individual developer has any hope

00:51:10   of changing Apple's mind about what a guideline could be, that they could, you know, they

00:51:15   were unsuccessful during the appeal for their app, but then somehow they're going to be

00:51:19   successful.

00:51:20   There's no jury, there's no judge, there's no impartial third party, there's no, like,

00:51:26   you're always talking to the same person.

00:51:27   It's like, "Oh, okay, well, argue with me in a different way.

00:51:30   Okay, well, now, it's just..."

00:51:32   Apple does change its mind in response to developer feedback.

00:51:34   This is a process that happens.

00:51:35   The App Store rules have evolved over time, but I have a hard time being optimistic about

00:51:40   these individual policy changes.

00:51:43   Even the stuff that bug fixes no longer being delayed over guideline violations.

00:51:45   That's another one of those things that's like a thing that annoys developers, you know,

00:51:49   we want to hear that that's not going to happen, but it's still going to happen, right?

00:51:53   It's still going to sometimes, and even though they said it wouldn't, right?

00:51:57   So I feel like what Apple's saying is, "We're going to do better," which, good, great, I

00:52:01   love for them to do better, and I think it's good for them to say that, and they're saying

00:52:04   all the right things, but it strikes me as a little bit theatrical to give new venues

00:52:11   for you to talk to the same entity and keep pleading the same case and hearing them say,

00:52:15   "No, we disagree."

00:52:16   I just, I don't know, maybe I'm going to pass the message to them today.

00:52:21   Yeah, I don't see how this works any other way.

00:52:24   I mean, because you're right, it's not like there is some kind of unbiased third-party

00:52:29   arbitration board handling these complaints.

00:52:33   Apple is not going to be very likely to override their own guidelines and allow you or everyone

00:52:42   an exception if you just make a good case for why it should be, because Apple has their

00:52:47   own good case for why it should be, and they're going to say, "Well, you believe you should

00:52:51   be able to break this rule, and we've decided you shouldn't be able to break this rule,

00:52:54   and in addition, we've decided the rule is valid."

00:52:58   People reacted to this pretty positively when they discovered it, but I have a hard time

00:53:04   envisioning before we actually get any actual outcomes here from people actually challenging

00:53:08   the system, which apparently isn't even in place yet.

00:53:10   It says it's being implemented later this summer, so who knows when people can actually

00:53:14   start filing such challenges against the rules.

00:53:17   But are we really going to get exceptions to the rules?

00:53:21   And furthermore, is there a precedent here?

00:53:24   If one developer gets them to make an exception for the rule, does that exception apply to

00:53:30   all developers?

00:53:31   No, of course not, right?

00:53:32   So what this could do, if anybody actually gets challenges approved to the rules, it

00:53:39   just makes the playing field less level for everybody else, which we already know it's

00:53:44   not really a level playing field because big companies and strategically important apps

00:53:48   already get a softer hand applied to them for a lot of this stuff than small indie apps

00:53:54   do.

00:53:55   And as you mentioned so geniously, John, the rules are kind of gerrymandered to allow exactly

00:54:01   all the apps that Apple can't really afford not to have, and they can't allow these

00:54:10   things for everybody.

00:54:11   So what this does is, best case scenario, it gives developers a way to get themselves

00:54:18   advantages by bugging Apple a lot, basically, for a rule to be changed, possibly.

00:54:23   And so that makes the playing field unlevel for everybody else.

00:54:27   So I just, I don't know, we'll have to see how this works out in practice.

00:54:31   It doesn't sound as good as what I think people want it to be.

00:54:37   Yeah, I think there are, I mean, first of all, pulling back again, this is Apple saying,

00:54:43   we are going to make changes to make your life better.

00:54:47   So like, forget about the details.

00:54:49   Big picture wise, this is a positive thing.

00:54:52   Apple is trying to do something to make the app store review process less annoying for

00:54:58   developers.

00:54:59   You give a thumbs up for that, but it's always difficult because there's only two parties

00:55:01   here, and they do have their interests, and this is Apple, this is Apple bending a little

00:55:06   bit and saying, okay, we have been holding the line, but we're going to change ourselves

00:55:11   now.

00:55:12   We're going to be nicer to you.

00:55:13   Like the bug fix is not delayed over guideline violations, right?

00:55:17   At least now, when Apple says that publicly, when that happens to you, you can cite something

00:55:22   that Apple said and say, hey, you're not supposed to be doing this.

00:55:25   You said you weren't going to do this.

00:55:26   And then they might say, oh, yeah, you're right.

00:55:28   Okay.

00:55:29   Right.

00:55:30   And sometimes they might say, actually, this is one of those exceptions, right?

00:55:31   But still, like, mostly positive, but that's the problem with this process.

00:55:35   It's very fraught.

00:55:36   Like, another thing that real, quote unquote, real court cases have is that usually the

00:55:39   public record, you can see the proceedings of the court case, whereas you can't even

00:55:42   see other people's radars, right?

00:55:43   That's why open radar exists, right?

00:55:44   So it's not like you're going to see, speaking of precedent, it's not like you're even going

00:55:47   to be able to know, I think, what other people, when they go to challenge the guideline, have

00:55:52   said in defense of that guideline, where it's all just a private thing that happens individually.

00:55:57   I think, from Apple's perspective, having, you know, can I speak to your supervisor?

00:56:02   Can I speak to your supervisor?

00:56:03   Supervisor.

00:56:04   And then, on another level, to go up, again, it's kind of like going into a fast food restaurant

00:56:09   with no shirt, no shoes, and the person at the register is saying, you know, it says

00:56:16   no shirt, no shoes, no service, and you say, I demand to talk to your manager.

00:56:19   The manager comes out and says, yeah, the sign says no shirt, no shoes, no service.

00:56:22   I demand you talk to your manager.

00:56:23   And then that person's manager comes out, yeah, the sign says no shirt, no shoes, no

00:56:26   service.

00:56:27   Can I talk to the CEO?

00:56:28   And the CEO says, yep, that's our rule, no shirt, no shoes.

00:56:30   Like, you can keep asking again and again if they really believe that's the rule.

00:56:35   But having those escalation paths is one more step that developers think they can take before

00:56:43   running to the press, which, as we know, never helps, which brings us to A.com.

00:56:47   How do rules in the App Store actually change in practice?

00:56:53   Does it change because one developer yells about it?

00:56:55   Well, maybe if they're Microsoft or Adobe or Netflix or Amazon.

00:56:59   Maybe that's how it happens.

00:57:00   But really, things in the App Store change when they become a big enough problem for

00:57:05   Apple that it is in Apple's interest to change them.

00:57:08   It's stopping a lot of apps from being put on the store, or a bunch of developers have

00:57:13   the same complaint, not just one of them.

00:57:17   That's when things actually change.

00:57:18   The only time an individual developer can change things is when that individual developer

00:57:22   makes a lot of noise and makes a big press story.

00:57:25   And then suddenly that one developer becomes a problem for Apple because Apple hates bad

00:57:29   PR.

00:57:30   Every company does.

00:57:31   Who wants to see your company's name in a bunch of stories going around the web where

00:57:36   you are put in a negative light?

00:57:38   Oh, Apple's at it again.

00:57:40   Their App Store reviews are hurting this developer.

00:57:42   The developer is the victim.

00:57:44   Apple is the big baddie.

00:57:46   That's not a story that Apple wants to see.

00:57:47   And that's why I'm saying having another level to escalate gives you one more step before

00:57:51   people feel like, "Well, I have no more recourse."

00:57:53   I had a thing.

00:57:54   I appealed.

00:57:55   They rejected it.

00:57:56   The other thing is complain to the world about the injustice that has been visited upon me.

00:58:00   I, the developer, the hero of this story, I'm trying to do a thing.

00:58:04   And Apple, the villain, tells me I cannot do the thing.

00:58:07   And Apple is mean.

00:58:08   And let me tell the world about it, right?

00:58:10   So the Hey.com thing, we don't want to rehash.

00:58:11   It was a couple shows ago where we talked about it.

00:58:13   You can look it up on the web.

00:58:14   We'll put links in the show notes to see the whole big drama.

00:58:17   But one last we left it, Apple had sent a letter to the Basecamp folks and said, "Here

00:58:22   are some things you can do to make your app compliant."

00:58:25   One of the examples was, "You could consider a Hey.com."

00:58:27   Hey is an email app, by the way.

00:58:29   "Hey, you could consider having the app function as marketed.

00:58:31   An email client that works with standard IMAP and POP email accounts where customers can

00:58:36   optionally configure the Hey email service."

00:58:38   So that's one of the complaints was people download your app and it does nothing.

00:58:41   I forgot the exact quote.

00:58:43   You get the app and if you don't have a Hey.com account, the app doesn't do anything.

00:58:46   And of course, you can't tell them how to get a Hey.com account in the app.

00:58:50   You can't actually give them an account in the app and you can't link them to the website.

00:58:53   All these stupid rules, right?

00:58:54   So saying someone could download your email app, think it's supposed to be an email app

00:58:57   and get it and just be staring at it and going, "I can't use this to read my email."

00:58:59   So they said, "Why don't you just make the Hey app into an email app that you can use

00:59:06   with any POP or IMAP email server?"

00:59:09   And that also happens to work with Hey.com.

00:59:12   That would be a way you could put the app on the store.

00:59:15   So what Basecamp did in a genius PR move is they said, "We just sent the Hey app 1.0.3

00:59:23   to the App Store and it introduces a new free option for the iOS app.

00:59:27   Now users can sign up directly in app for a free temporary randomized Hey.com email

00:59:32   address that works for 14 days."

00:59:35   That's so smart.

00:59:36   You can get the app and you can write in the app, you can do a thing, which is get a free

00:59:43   thing for 14 days.

00:59:45   There's no in-app purchase because you're not actually making a purchase.

00:59:47   You can do that all in the app.

00:59:50   So now the app does function.

00:59:51   If you want to see what Hey is like, you download this app, you do the thing, you get a random

00:59:54   temporary email address that lasts for 14 days.

00:59:57   The genius of it was announcing that to the world.

00:59:59   That's part of their ongoing PR campaign to say, "Here are the mean things Apple's doing

01:00:03   to us.

01:00:04   And by the way, here's this giant webpage listing other apps that do the exact same

01:00:06   thing we're doing but that got approved."

01:00:08   The whole PR campaign that has essentially been won by Basecamp in this scenario.

01:00:13   By pre-announcing that they have submitted 1.0.3 to the App Store and describing how

01:00:19   it works, they're daring Apple to reject them.

01:00:24   Now Apple did not say that this would be acceptable.

01:00:29   They said, "You can make it an IMAP or a POP client."

01:00:31   And Basecamp said, "We're doing this."

01:00:34   And they didn't make it a POP and IMAP client.

01:00:36   What they did was not one of the example things listed by Apple that Apple said, "Here are

01:00:41   things you could do to your app to make it acceptable to us."

01:00:44   Basecamp did none of those things.

01:00:45   It doesn't mean that the thing they did also wasn't going to be acceptable because Apple

01:00:48   didn't give an exhaustive list.

01:00:49   They just said, "For example, here are some things you can do."

01:00:52   But Basecamp didn't do them.

01:00:54   Basecamp did its own thing.

01:00:57   The result was Apple approved a 1.0.3.

01:01:01   So it's in the App Store.

01:01:03   The beef has been settled.

01:01:04   I would consider this a massive victory for Basecamp.

01:01:07   They essentially bullied Apple in the public sphere into Apple doing what we all think

01:01:12   is more or less the right thing, which is let them have their app.

01:01:14   It's not the end of the world.

01:01:16   It's going to be fine.

01:01:18   There are other apps that work like this.

01:01:19   The world doesn't end.

01:01:21   Apple correctly surmised this is not worth fighting.

01:01:26   In reality, the "Hey app," being on the App Store with this trial thing is not a big deal.

01:01:30   No, it's not a POP and IMAP client, but what they did is good enough.

01:01:38   It fulfills the things.

01:01:39   We can say face publicly because what we said in public was, "Oh, you download the app and

01:01:42   it doesn't work, and now you download the app and it does do something and we're happy

01:01:44   with that."

01:01:45   So I don't mind the utility of a randomized email address that works for 14 days is of

01:01:49   questionable value.

01:01:50   But either way, I think it was fine even before they added that feature.

01:01:56   This is one of the ways that is not available to most people to change App Store rules.

01:02:03   Make a big stink in the public about it.

01:02:06   Be a well-known, beloved company like Basecamp.

01:02:11   Be a loudmouth like DHH.

01:02:14   Make noise and tell the world about what you think is unjust about what's happening to

01:02:21   your application.

01:02:23   And then fight with Apple in public.

01:02:26   Apple did it too.

01:02:27   Apple sent their response to other websites before they sent it to them.

01:02:32   Like they said, "We're going to respond to you, but we're also going to respond to a

01:02:35   bunch of websites."

01:02:36   And the websites got the response even before Basecamp did.

01:02:40   But then Basecamp coming back and saying, "In public, we just submitted 1.0.3."

01:02:44   And normally, the only people who know this is Apple because who else sees our op submissions?

01:02:47   But let me tell you, the public, what we just submitted to Apple so that you know later

01:02:50   when they reject us that it's like, man, it was a game of chicken, but it was perfectly

01:02:58   lined up, not by any grand plan, but just accidentally, to be right before WWC when

01:03:04   Apple wanted this story to go away.

01:03:06   And again, honestly, the right thing to do was always just to let the app be in.

01:03:11   They followed Apple's existing, not particularly nice rules as best they could, and there are

01:03:16   other apps that do the same thing, and the world doesn't end, and someone who downloads

01:03:19   the free Hey!

01:03:20   app and doesn't figure out how to use it can just delete it, it would have been fine.

01:03:25   But in the end, Basecamp won this.

01:03:29   And would they have won a similar process if they had appealed – I mean, I think they

01:03:34   did appeal the original thing – but if they had challenged the guideline itself, would

01:03:39   they have been as successful as they were with a giant public blowup before WWC?

01:03:42   I'm going to say no, because a one-on-one conversation with the challenge the guideline

01:03:49   committee, that's very easy for Apple to go, "Yeah, no, we think you should do something

01:03:52   different."

01:03:53   Right?

01:03:54   It's much harder for Apple to take that same stance when everything's out in public

01:03:59   and someone's making a bunch of noise about it and there's a million stories all over

01:04:02   and it's leading up to WWC.

01:04:04   So it's an imperfect system that we have, but Marco mentioned an impartial third party

01:04:11   or some kind of arbitration.

01:04:13   Not that anybody in this situation is impartial, but the third party in this is the public.

01:04:18   They are the third stakeholder – developers, Apple, and the users.

01:04:22   And the only way users become a stakeholder is mediated through the press.

01:04:27   When people find out, "Oh, Apple rejected this app," and someone reads a story and

01:04:31   says, "That doesn't seem fair, I would like that app," or "I think that app should

01:04:34   be accepted," or "It would be cool," or whatever, enough of those people get worked

01:04:37   up from stories they see in the press, that influences Apple because users are stakeholders

01:04:41   in this situation and they're the ones who buy Apple's products.

01:04:47   That's why I was mentioning the court trials or whatever are usually public.

01:04:51   In this case, that's so we know there are no secret tribunals or whatever, but in this

01:04:54   case, it's kind of important that this stuff happen in public because without that happening,

01:04:59   users have no say in the process.

01:05:01   It's just between Apple and developers, and Apple can stomp on developers much more

01:05:06   easily in private than it can in public once the users know what's going on.

01:05:10   Yeah, I thought it was extremely well executed by the Basecamp folks or the Hey folks, which

01:05:15   – why is it all caps?

01:05:17   I'm not in love with the name, but I can see why they did it, but all caps?

01:05:21   Come on.

01:05:22   Anyways, it was so deftly and so well executed.

01:05:28   I think if my recollection serves me well, which it almost never does, I think Marco

01:05:33   called this move for move before this all shook out.

01:05:38   Marco had said, you had said that this is what's going to happen, and that's exactly

01:05:42   what ended up playing out.

01:05:43   I remember looking at this all happen in real time and being like, "Well, Marco nailed

01:05:46   that one."

01:05:47   Yeah, you could see as soon as they started making us think about it, you're like, "Well,

01:05:51   Apple's not going to like this.

01:05:52   They're going to want to make this go away."

01:05:54   They've done this a million times before.

01:05:56   Whenever there's a big stink, it's very easy for Apple to come up with a face-saving

01:06:00   compromise to make the story go away and live to fight another day.

01:06:03   And right before WWC, they're very motivated to do that.

01:06:07   Yeah, and both companies were.

01:06:09   In this case, both companies had taken very strong public stances.

01:06:15   Both companies had a lot to lose by backing down to the other's demands.

01:06:21   And so they found a way to not back down.

01:06:25   They found a compromise that made it sound like both companies were really happy with

01:06:29   the way everything went, and both companies were getting exactly what they wanted.

01:06:33   And the reality is probably both of them were gritting their teeth the whole time.

01:06:36   But it doesn't matter.

01:06:38   It let them get out of that conflict without either side really giving ground on the principles

01:06:45   that they brought to the public as, "This is what we stand for, period."

01:06:50   Yeah.

01:06:51   It helps that Apple's... when it was secret, before it was out in public, Apple's reasons

01:06:56   for rejecting the app were slightly different than the reasons when it became public.

01:07:01   Apple's reasons always started shifting.

01:07:02   That tends to happen.

01:07:03   Like, "Why am I getting rejected?"

01:07:05   You get a bunch of different reasons.

01:07:06   So it was like, "Is the most recent reason I was given the real one, or was the first

01:07:10   one the real one?"

01:07:12   The remedies suggested seemed not to address the reasons the thing was rejected in the

01:07:16   first place.

01:07:17   It's always so confusing.

01:07:18   But by having those different answers, it allows Apple...

01:07:23   Apple gave them enough room by giving them examples.

01:07:25   And even though they didn't implement any of the examples, they implemented something

01:07:29   similar.

01:07:30   And so Apple can say, "Yeah, there you go.

01:07:32   You changed your app, and we let you in.

01:07:35   Everybody wins."

01:07:36   And honestly, Basecamp didn't really change their app.

01:07:39   They added one minor feature, which must have been a pain to implement.

01:07:42   But still, the app itself works the way it always did.

01:07:47   I think Basecamp considers the app to be the app for people who have already signed up,

01:07:50   and this whole thing that they had to add for the trial is only there to appease Apple.

01:07:55   But really, they just wanted their app to be for sale.

01:07:58   So success for them.

01:07:59   And Apple...

01:08:00   Like, you'd have to know what Apple's real reason for rejecting was to know how satisfied

01:08:04   they are.

01:08:05   I can tell you Apple is not satisfied to have a big public fight and look like the villain

01:08:11   and, you know, have this compromise.

01:08:13   They would much rather be, you know, everybody loves them and they're coming from a position

01:08:18   of strength and developers are clearly in the wrong.

01:08:20   That's not what happened here, right?

01:08:22   But if you knew in Apple's heart of hearts, if a corporation could be said to have one,

01:08:26   what was the real objection here?

01:08:29   Was it the fact that they don't get 30% of all, "Hey, subscriptions?"

01:08:32   Was it the fact that the app doesn't work when you download it?

01:08:34   Like, was it the fact that it doesn't work as a regular email client?

01:08:38   Was it misleading to people in the store?

01:08:39   Like, if Apple's concerned about misleading apps in the App Store, I have some news for

01:08:42   them about other apps they might want to look at before the "Hey, email" app.

01:08:46   So they say a bunch of things.

01:08:48   It's always so hard to help with the real rejection.

01:08:49   So since we don't know what the real objection was, we don't know how satisfied they are

01:08:54   with the app as it exists.

01:08:56   I feel like they just want it to go away and it's like, "Fine, you can have your app in

01:08:59   the store."

01:09:00   It makes me wonder how little could Basecamp have done and still gotten the app back into

01:09:05   the store.

01:09:06   Doing nothing probably wouldn't have worked because Apple would have said, "Well, we're

01:09:08   all at an impasse.

01:09:09   You didn't change anything about your app."

01:09:10   But if they had changed literally anything about their app, like, "We made the icon

01:09:13   a different color now.

01:09:14   Can we go in?"

01:09:15   Apple would be like, "Okay."

01:09:18   You changed your app.

01:09:19   It's a compromise.

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01:11:32   [Music]

01:11:33   >> Yakob Rosen wrote, "I will be upgrading my laptop to the new MacBook Pro in a few

01:11:41   weeks," which honestly is probably like six weeks ago now but sorry.

01:11:44   "I was curious, what are your methods and views on data migration?

01:11:47   Do you guys tend to bluntly mirror everything over with Migration Assistant or rather do

01:11:51   copy data over by hand, leaving potential trash and unneeded junk behind?"

01:11:56   We've covered this a few times in the past but it gets asked constantly so it's worth

01:11:59   covering again.

01:12:01   As I've said a few times recently, I view basically all of my computers with the exception

01:12:05   of the Synology as ephemeral and there's very little, if anything, on any of my computers

01:12:10   that I am unwilling to lose at a moment's notice because everything is duplicated somewhere

01:12:15   else like code is on GitHub, pictures are on the Synology, I don't know, anything, bookmarks

01:12:22   are in iCloud, all that stuff, my mail is in Gmail, all that stuff exists somewhere

01:12:29   else.

01:12:30   The good side of that is that when I get a new Mac or if I want to reinstall an OS on

01:12:36   a Mac or if I want to put a beta OS on a Mac, it's not really a big deal.

01:12:41   There's not that much I have to copy.

01:12:43   It's all coming over from other places.

01:12:47   If you can get to this life, which is not easy, I will be the first to tell you and

01:12:52   you oftentimes need like a multi-thousand dollar NAS or hundreds of dollars in web services

01:12:58   that you're paying for like online storage each month, but if you can get there, it's

01:13:01   amazing.

01:13:03   And very quickly, I'm not going to belabor the point now, but two things that I can point

01:13:07   you to that will be in the show notes.

01:13:08   One, I wrote a post in 2016 about the sorts of things I do before getting rid of a Mac

01:13:14   and when creating, or when doing a new installation like settings and things like that, but more

01:13:19   recently, last year, at the end of last year, I wrote about Homebrew Bundle, which if you've

01:13:25   used Ruby's Bundler, it's basically the same thing but for Homebrew, and it can also do

01:13:29   things like Mac App Store apps, it can do GUI apps, and it's basically just a way to

01:13:33   just very, very quickly get all of your dependencies installed.

01:13:38   And if you haven't tried this or played with this, I really, really recommend it.

01:13:42   Marco, last I remember hearing, I thought you were a migration assistant person.

01:13:46   Is that still the case?

01:13:47   >> Yes, I am.

01:13:48   Yeah.

01:13:49   I will occasionally, like every few years, I will start my laptop over.

01:13:54   I almost never start my desktop over.

01:13:56   I think I've started my desktop over like twice ever in Mac land.

01:13:59   But yeah, I will occasionally start my laptop over with a clean install and everything,

01:14:03   but that's, again, that's rare.

01:14:04   That's not the common case.

01:14:05   Otherwise, I'm using Migration Assistant.

01:14:07   >> All right.

01:14:08   John?

01:14:09   >> I've been Migration Assistant for many, many years and so far it hasn't steered me

01:14:15   wrong.

01:14:17   I haven't done a fresh one in forever and, yeah, Migration Assistant's been working for

01:14:22   me.

01:14:23   I have trepidation because I never -- well, last time it was ten years.

01:14:26   But it's always so long between times that I do it, I'm like, did I do Migration Assistant

01:14:30   last time?

01:14:31   Did I use Ethernet?

01:14:32   Did I try to do Direct Connect?

01:14:33   Did I connect with FireWire?

01:14:35   Did I take out my hard drive and clone it to the other one?

01:14:39   All those other things go through my mind, but in the end, I usually just end up doing

01:14:42   Migration Assistant.

01:14:43   I think for this one, I did -- what did I do?

01:14:47   Did I do Migration Assistant with -- I think it's a Migration Assistant with an external

01:14:51   drive or with a time machine backup.

01:14:53   I don't even remember.

01:14:54   The point is my Mac is the same everywhere.

01:14:56   They're not ephemeral.

01:14:58   It's a real lived-in place with stuff everywhere.

01:15:01   So I bring the whole thing with me.

01:15:03   I need all the stuff.

01:15:04   This is only when I'm going from one Mac to another.

01:15:06   When I do things like installing Big Sur and stuff, none of my stuff is there.

01:15:10   That Big Sur isn't even signed into the same Apple ID.

01:15:12   This is all an abundance of caution from being a Mac OS X reviewer.

01:15:17   Do not let beta OS's have any access to your real data.

01:15:20   And I don't.

01:15:21   I don't have multiple Apple IDs.

01:15:22   So there I have none of my stuff.

01:15:23   I don't even like keeping my other drives mounted.

01:15:25   Like I frantically unmount everything as soon as I put it into Big Sur.

01:15:28   You don't see those disks.

01:15:29   Ignore them.

01:15:30   There's nothing there.

01:15:31   I do have Big Sur signed into iCloud, which is risky.

01:15:34   I will be the first to tell you that your approach is safer.

01:15:36   But I also agree that I unmount -- it always asks, well, do you want to mount Macintosh

01:15:42   HD, which is my Catalina installation?

01:15:44   No.

01:15:45   No.

01:15:46   No, you do not want to mount that.

01:15:47   I do not want that.

01:15:48   That should be a member stretch goal.

01:15:51   Get Casey to rename his hard drive.

01:15:52   I saw it with your Big Sur thing.

01:15:54   Everything was called Macintosh HD, and it was called Macintosh HD Big Sur or something.

01:15:58   Just rename your hard drive.

01:16:00   Give your computer some personality.

01:16:01   I know it's a fair rule, but give it a name.

01:16:05   What is your actual computer called in the sharing thing?

01:16:07   What is your local DNS name?

01:16:10   I think it's Casey's My Mac Pro.

01:16:12   Casey's My Mac Pro.

01:16:14   Casey's My Mac Pro.

01:16:17   Casey's My Mac Pro.

01:16:18   Yep.

01:16:19   It's terrible.

01:16:20   It's the worst.

01:16:21   If you don't give it a name, we'll come up with a name for you.

01:16:23   Like you can have a theme.

01:16:24   Like naming your computers.

01:16:26   And my suggestion is name your computer and name your boot hard drive the same as your

01:16:29   computer.

01:16:30   So you don't have to think of one name then and have it themed on something that you like,

01:16:33   right?

01:16:34   And give it a custom icon if you can convince stupid APFS merge volume thing to accept your

01:16:38   custom icon, which is getting very difficult.

01:16:40   But I still do it.

01:16:44   Casey's MacBook Pro.

01:16:45   That's the other one.

01:16:46   Yeah, we'll put it on the list of stretch goals.

01:16:48   No, it's not even stretch goals.

01:16:49   You just need to do that.

01:16:50   I don't even know what a good theme would be.

01:16:51   Think about it for next week.

01:16:52   I'm going to put it in follow up.

01:16:54   What has Casey named his computer?

01:16:56   I'm not going to do it, Dad.

01:16:57   I'm not going to do it.

01:16:58   Frank Hertz writes, "Do you all run Ethernet and drill holes and do that sort of thing

01:17:02   yourselves?

01:17:03   Do you hire people?

01:17:04   In order to have my office computer..."

01:17:05   Oh my God, as I'm reading this, Jon is literally moving the dock around and writing next week

01:17:11   what has Casey named his computer.

01:17:12   Don't forget otherwise.

01:17:13   It's in there for next week.

01:17:14   What has Casey named his computer?

01:17:15   Computer's parenthesis S. I'll delete it later.

01:17:18   Don't worry.

01:17:19   And I'm not going to give Marco a good edit point because I think that's funny.

01:17:21   No, I'm leaving that in.

01:17:22   As Frank continues, "In order to have my office computers on Ethernet, I've had to stick with

01:17:26   coax files so the Verizon router can be in there getting files from coax.

01:17:30   Ethernet from Fioswitch would need new cables everywhere."

01:17:33   So I think basically what Frank is saying is he was living in my old world where I had

01:17:36   coax coming into my router and it had to be the Verizon router because of that and then

01:17:41   I had Ethernet to some degree away from there.

01:17:44   So now I do have Ethernet coming into my router, so I'm using an Eero because I genuinely do

01:17:52   like it, although they did send this to me.

01:17:55   But in terms of wiring the house, I have not done so.

01:17:58   What I will say, however, is that, and we've talked about this in the past, you can get

01:18:03   a Mocha Bridge, which is basically a thing that goes either from Ethernet to coax or

01:18:08   the other way, from coax to Ethernet.

01:18:09   So I have two of these.

01:18:10   I have one in the office and one downstairs in the entertainment center.

01:18:14   And what that allows me to do is if you get fancy ones, and I was sent some by a very,

01:18:19   very kind listener, if you get fancy ones, they can do near gigabit speeds.

01:18:24   And so I tested like a week ago, coincidentally, I tested using fast.com what the speeds were

01:18:32   downstairs.

01:18:33   So this is Ethernet from the laptop to a hub or switch, I guess actually, then from the

01:18:39   switch to the Mocha Bridge through coax to the office, Mocha Bridge to Eero, and I was

01:18:46   getting something like 650-ish megabits per second down when I have gigabit service.

01:18:52   So it's not perfect, but it's a heck of a lot easier than wiring your whole darn house.

01:18:56   So in a perfect world, I would have wired the house or had a house that was already

01:19:02   pre-wired.

01:19:03   But if you're too lazy like me and you don't need a whole bunch of drops, I would really

01:19:07   consider looking into a Mocha Bridge or a pair of Mocha Bridges.

01:19:09   It can work out quite well.

01:19:11   Jon, you have an ancient home, and as you would like to describe it, it is always falling

01:19:16   apart.

01:19:17   So I assume you have Ethernet only in your office?

01:19:20   Jon Streeter So the bad thing about having an old house

01:19:23   is I have no earthly idea how to run cables through these walls that are covered with

01:19:27   horsehair plaster and, you know, lath and just filled with old newspapers and dead mice

01:19:33   and ridiculously large ancient dimensional lumber that honestly I don't want to drill

01:19:39   through.

01:19:42   Trying to run wire to someplace where it isn't is extremely difficult.

01:19:46   The good thing about having an old house is there's lots of holes in it.

01:19:51   When it came time for me to run cables, my Ethernet cables, it just so happens that the

01:19:56   main places I needed Ethernet cables already had existing fairly gaping holes in my ancient

01:20:02   house between them.

01:20:03   So someone, you know, the previous owners had already drilled a gigantic hole, presumably

01:20:08   for coax cable, to the television area from the basement.

01:20:11   You know, the first floor television is right above the basement.

01:20:15   And that hole was huge.

01:20:16   And so yes, it does have coax going through it to the television, but it also has Ethernet.

01:20:19   So I just I ran that myself.

01:20:21   Just you know, basically all my wire running has been in the basement, right?

01:20:25   The files comes in my basement, and the basement is not it's half finished, but the finished

01:20:30   part has a drop ceiling.

01:20:31   It's in holes, and the rest of it is not finished.

01:20:33   So I basically ran the Ethernet cable myself from the Fios thing.

01:20:37   There's a router in there.

01:20:38   My Synology is in the basement, and there's a whole bunch of stuff down there.

01:20:41   And then from that big cluster of stuff, the Ethernet continues.

01:20:44   One of them goes along my basement up to my television.

01:20:47   Another one goes along my basement and into my computer room, which is just on the opposite

01:20:52   side of a wall from the television.

01:20:54   And there's a gaping hole there because it used to be like a three-season porch that

01:20:57   they closed in, but they didn't close in on the inside.

01:20:59   So I have an easy place to get Ethernet into here.

01:21:02   Those are the only places the Ethernet go to my house.

01:21:04   They go to my television, and they go to my computer room.

01:21:07   Everyplace else is Wi-Fi.

01:21:09   I would love to have Ethernet up in the second floor somewhere, but that's what Eero is

01:21:14   for.

01:21:15   And you know, the only thing we use it up there for is like just sitting in bed looking

01:21:18   at the iPad, which is plenty fast for that.

01:21:21   And then I do actually have coax going to the second floor because the people who own

01:21:25   the house before me ran coax everywhere, including to the kitchen.

01:21:29   Remember in the '80s when it was cool to have cable TV in your kitchen?

01:21:33   There is a coax cable in my kitchen behind my refrigerator, you know, hanging there just

01:21:39   doing nothing because we don't have a television in the kitchen.

01:21:41   Yeah, there's coax everywhere.

01:21:43   And by the way, the technique for running coax back in the day was, "So the coax is

01:21:47   in your basement.

01:21:48   Oh, you want it in your bedroom?

01:21:49   Let's do this.

01:21:50   I'm going to drill a hole through the wall of your house to the outside, and then you

01:21:54   shove the coax through there.

01:21:56   Then I'm going to bring it up to the second floor, and I'm going to drill a hole from

01:21:59   the outside of your house into your bedroom, and I'm going to shove the coax in there,

01:22:02   and then I'm going to squirt some silicone caulk into two holes."

01:22:04   Let me remind you, when I got my gigabit service done, I had told the guy, "Oh, you know, I'm

01:22:09   really sorry, but the ONT is in the back of the house, and my office is in the front right

01:22:13   — you know, the opposite corner of the house, literally, upstairs in the opposite corner.

01:22:18   You know, I've scoped out, 'Here's where I think you can go through the walls, blah,

01:22:21   blah, blah.'"

01:22:22   And he listened.

01:22:23   He said, "Well, here's the thing.

01:22:25   I'm not allowed to drill through any — I'm not allowed to do any sort of interior work

01:22:29   whatsoever.

01:22:30   So, sorry."

01:22:31   I'm like, "Well, what are you going to do then?"

01:22:33   So he takes this three-foot drill bit, and I think he was in my office, and pushed that

01:22:39   into the wall, and drilled right outside — just drilled all the way to the outside — and

01:22:45   ran Ethernet cable around the bottom of the trim of our house, from the back left, if

01:22:50   you will, from the back left corner, all the way down and around to the right, and then

01:22:54   went all the way up to the second floor, and then, just like you said, sprayed some silicone

01:22:57   — or — silicon —

01:22:58   >> Silicone, in that case.

01:23:00   >> Oh, God bless.

01:23:01   I'm going to get this right when I'm dead.

01:23:04   But anyways, sprayed some of that stuff in there and called it a day.

01:23:07   And it's worked for a year and a half now, so I can't really complain.

01:23:10   >> And when we got our house re-sided, I got to fix all of the terrible cables that had

01:23:14   been drilled out, you know, and all the siding was off the house, I could finally fix it.

01:23:17   So that's — I even — the only one that I —

01:23:19   >> Yeah.

01:23:20   >> — could really entirely get rid of is the Fios, because that comes from outside

01:23:22   of the house, but I cleverly tuck that underneath the new siding.

01:23:27   It's — so there's no more holes in my house, which I'm glad about.

01:23:30   But yeah, I would love to have Ethernet in more places.

01:23:32   My suggestion is, if you're trying to do this, you can run Ethernet yourself.

01:23:35   Like it's a very thin light cable.

01:23:37   You can have these little clips that hold it on or whatever.

01:23:40   But you know, the difficult part is always getting through the walls.

01:23:43   Don't try to do that yourself, unless you're very handy, because there's things in the

01:23:46   walls that you don't want to hit with a drill, like electrical wires, and even worse, probably,

01:23:52   if you survive the electrical wires, plumbing.

01:23:55   So yeah, there's lots of terrible failure in those.

01:24:00   And here's the thing.

01:24:01   Professional electricians obviously are way better at this than random people, but professional

01:24:05   electricians are not magicians.

01:24:07   Depending on how your house is set up, like there is no physical way to get wires from

01:24:11   one place to the other without drilling holes in things.

01:24:12   Like that's how the wire gets there.

01:24:14   Do you already have conduit in your walls?

01:24:16   Right?

01:24:17   Probably not.

01:24:18   And if you don't, they're going to have to drill holes.

01:24:19   It's not magic.

01:24:20   And so if you want holes in your house and in your walls, no matter how carefully you

01:24:25   fish things, it's a difficult business.

01:24:28   Obviously, if you're building your own house, building conduits for all the wires so that

01:24:31   you can string new wires in when the new fancy fiber optic stuff comes out in 20 years or

01:24:36   whatever.

01:24:37   But if you're in your own house, see if you can find weird little holes or little crevices

01:24:43   or walls that you won't notice a wire along.

01:24:45   You can get pretty far just with some tape and little clips and some wire that is colored

01:24:53   in an inconspicuous way.

01:24:55   Like with speaker wires, I don't have any place to send speaker wires, but I have surround

01:24:58   sound, quote unquote, I have 5.1.

01:25:00   The speaker wire is all just out there.

01:25:01   I've just hidden it behind sofas or on the mantle behind all the photographs so you can't

01:25:08   see it, right?

01:25:09   There's lots of ways you can run cable and be less conspicuous.

01:25:13   And in the end, you eventually just don't have to care that much, right?

01:25:17   What I wouldn't suggest is just stringing it along your floor because you'll trip over

01:25:21   it forever and break everything and it'll be terrible.

01:25:23   Even if you try to tape it down, that won't work either.

01:25:25   So don't do that.

01:25:26   But right up until that point, get creative because having Ethernet in places is great.

01:25:31   >> Marco, your approach is to just buy a house with it already in there, I assume?

01:25:37   >> You can find one.

01:25:38   No, my approach is whenever I have access to inside the walls of my house, which is

01:25:43   not very often, it's like if you're doing a major renovation, then have them install

01:25:48   wiring then because the walls are already open and accessible.

01:25:52   Otherwise, what John said is pretty spot on.

01:25:55   I think there's an important little lesson in the middle of this, which is find an area

01:26:01   where you can run cables, quote, for free.

01:26:04   So a basement or attic usually is perfect for this.

01:26:07   Because Ethernet cables can be very long and still work fine.

01:26:11   And take advantage of that.

01:26:13   If you can get from the source room or whatever to either the attic or the basement, then

01:26:19   you can run whatever because no one cares what it looks like there.

01:26:23   So you can just run it across the insulation beams in the attic or whatever or clip it

01:26:27   to the ceiling with wire clips in the basement and then pop up wherever you want it to be.

01:26:33   And so that way you are making holes or drilling through way less of the pretty finished part

01:26:40   of the house.

01:26:41   That's usually a very, very easy way to do it.

01:26:43   Or as the coax trick, go outside for part of a run, wrap it around the house on the

01:26:50   outside and go back in if there's somewhere you can discreetly hide that.

01:26:55   Otherwise, for actually doing in-wall work, and actually if you want to do a real in-wall

01:27:02   professional job where you have Ethernet jacks as part of the walls and going between rooms,

01:27:08   that's definitely something to hire out to professionals unless you are very handy with

01:27:12   that kind of stuff yourself.

01:27:13   But finding those professionals is tricky.

01:27:17   The good thing is that in recent years, a lot of the custom nice house builders, a lot

01:27:24   of people demand smart speakers in the walls and stuff like that.

01:27:28   Sonos systems run throughout the walls and everything.

01:27:31   And so many more of the installers and electricians and things like that, many more of them have

01:27:38   developed the skill of running network wire because non-nerds have wanted it for more

01:27:44   things.

01:27:45   And so that benefits us nerds because when we say, "Hey, can you just run like Cat6

01:27:49   or Cat7 cable everywhere?"

01:27:50   They're like, "Well, okay, yeah.

01:27:52   So do you also want speakers?"

01:27:53   "No, no, no, no.

01:27:54   I don't want that.

01:27:55   Please don't do that."

01:27:56   "Oh, how about this smart..."

01:27:57   "Nope, don't want that either.

01:27:59   I just want these Ethernet jacks in these places."

01:28:02   And another tip there, I said Cat6 or Cat7, make them install the highest end Ethernet

01:28:09   cable that exists today.

01:28:10   Right now that is Cat7 as far as I know.

01:28:14   Or as John said, if you can get them to install conduit, which is just a pipe in the wall

01:28:19   with like pulls in it, like string pulls.

01:28:21   And so when cables change down the road, they can pull a new cable through the existing

01:28:27   tubes that are already in the wall.

01:28:30   That's a wonderful dream in practice.

01:28:31   Good luck finding that.

01:28:32   And then good luck, if you can't find it, good luck getting it to work.

01:28:35   But anyway, assuming you can never replace the cables easily, obviously make them put

01:28:40   in the highest end cables that exist when you do it.

01:28:43   When I did my house, that was Cat6.

01:28:46   And that was, geez, eight years ago now.

01:28:49   And that's still totally fine.

01:28:51   I can't do like the full 10 gig speeds in most cases, in theory, but that's fine because

01:28:57   I don't yet have any 10 gig equipment.

01:28:59   And it's been almost a decade since I did that wiring, and it's fine.

01:29:03   So that was the best thing at the time, and it's lasted almost a decade.

01:29:07   And it might last longer while still being pretty useful.

01:29:10   So that's certainly, get whatever you can get.

01:29:13   Today it's Cat7, I think.

01:29:15   Whatever is the highest end network wiring, the installer will complain because it's

01:29:20   more expensive, the cables are thicker, they're harder to work with, but you'll be happy in

01:29:25   10 years when it's still relevant.

01:29:27   Finally, this was not strictly speaking in Ask ATP, but one of us spotted it, and since

01:29:33   I don't know, it must be John.

01:29:34   That's the rules.

01:29:35   One of us spotted this and added it, and I think it's a great question.

01:29:39   Shahab writes, "What has been your favorite thing to come out of WWDC this year that flew

01:29:43   under many people's radar or wasn't featured in the keynote?"

01:29:47   For me, it's been the historical stack when long pressing the back button on navigation

01:29:51   bars.

01:29:52   I don't have a good answer for this yet because I haven't really spent enough time with either.

01:29:57   I've spent a fair bit of time with Big Sur, but certainly almost none with iOS 14.

01:30:01   In fact, just yesterday I put it on an Aaron's old iPhone 10.

01:30:05   So I wish I had a better answer for this.

01:30:07   The thing that jumps to mind, though, which certainly is on a lot of people's radar, is

01:30:11   the non-fullscreen phone takeovers, when it just shows as a notification dropping down

01:30:19   from the top of the screen and doesn't take over the entire darn phone.

01:30:23   But I don't have any really good unsung heroes.

01:30:26   John, do you have any unsung heroes?

01:30:29   My obvious answer is the APFS time machine changes, which definitely weren't in the keynote

01:30:34   and didn't even have sessions we found out about afterwards.

01:30:37   My other one, going the other direction of things that were actually at WWDC, was I love

01:30:41   the iPad cursor session.

01:30:43   It's one of those sessions where there's not really much for developers to do.

01:30:46   They always try to spin it like, "Here's how you can make your cursors."

01:30:49   But it really is mostly explaining the philosophy of time, how Apple did its cursor work and

01:30:53   how cursors work in iPad OS.

01:30:55   Because once you understand that, then when you're making your cursors, follow our lead.

01:31:00   And here's a bunch of rules for you or whatever.

01:31:02   I love those sessions.

01:31:03   Speaking of the file system, they sometimes have sessions about the file system that are

01:31:09   like that, where there's not really anything for you to do.

01:31:12   Maybe there's one or two new APIs for doing the APFS clones.

01:31:14   But they really just want to explain, "We're the file system team.

01:31:18   Here's a bunch of stuff we did, and here's why."

01:31:20   And yes, there's always some developer impact angle, but it's really just explaining their

01:31:24   reasoning.

01:31:25   And those are great.

01:31:26   I think those are incredibly valuable because you need to have the low-level sessions where

01:31:29   it's like, "Here's how to do this particular programming task."

01:31:32   But those high-level ones, explaining a philosophy, those really serve people well to understand

01:31:37   when I'm faced with a problem that wasn't discussed at WWDC, what set of values should

01:31:42   I use to make decisions about how to handle it?

01:31:44   If you watch that iPad cursor session, you'd know where Apple is coming from with cursors

01:31:48   on the iPad.

01:31:50   And hopefully, when you're making your cursor, even if they didn't address your specific

01:31:53   need, you can say, "Well then, what would Apple do in this situation?

01:31:57   How does this fit into their philosophy?"

01:31:59   I highly recommend that session if you want to take a look.

01:32:01   And by the way, one more thing.

01:32:03   I know we were talking about Mac hardware, but software-wise, pretty much everything

01:32:08   they said about the cursors for the iPad thing is applicable to the Mac.

01:32:11   The Mac's cursor support is very much like it was in Next Step because that's where it

01:32:15   came from, and it's very much like it was in Mac because that's where Next got it from.

01:32:19   It hasn't changed a lot.

01:32:20   The iPad cursor system is sort of the next generational leap in basic cursor control.

01:32:27   You can't take it exactly as it is and just slap it on the Mac and say, "Done," because

01:32:30   the Mac is a different environment.

01:32:31   But many, many of the ideas, technologies, lessons, everything about it, I can imagine

01:32:36   coming to the Mac in the next year or two, if not sooner.

01:32:40   Marco.

01:32:41   I haven't had a lot of time to look into many of the sessions yet, unfortunately, because

01:32:45   life has been very busy for me recently.

01:32:47   But I think so far, what I'm most excited to look into are the split view changes and

01:32:54   all the new stuff in SwiftUI.

01:32:56   It's not quite under the radar in the sense that everyone was talking about the SwiftUI

01:33:00   stuff, but stuff like the lazy stacks that basically I had to make much more performant

01:33:07   lists and tables and stuff like that.

01:33:10   And the split views having really finally a native three-column mode and how that reacts

01:33:15   between the Mac and iPad and phone, I'm very interested in diving into that.

01:33:20   Cool.

01:33:21   All right.

01:33:22   Thanks to our sponsors this week, Hover, Linode, and Bombas.

01:33:25   And thank you very much to our members who support us.

01:33:27   Go to atp.fm/join to join us, and we will talk to you next week.

01:33:31   Now the show is over.

01:33:36   They didn't even mean to begin.

01:33:38   'Cause it was accidental.

01:33:40   Oh, it was accidental.

01:33:42   John didn't do any research.

01:33:45   Marco and Casey wouldn't let him.

01:33:49   'Cause it was accidental.

01:33:51   Oh, it was accidental.

01:33:53   And you can find the show notes at atp.fm.

01:33:59   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:34:09   So that's Casey, Liszt, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

01:34:13   And T. Marco Arman, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A, Syracuse.

01:34:20   It's accidental.

01:34:23   They didn't mean to.

01:34:26   Accidental.

01:34:28   Tech podcast.

01:34:30   So long.

01:34:33   I feel like I can give you the long, drawn-out story and put the punchline at the end.

01:34:41   But I'll pull a Hamilton and put the punchline at the beginning.

01:34:44   Skip, skip, skip. Go ahead.

01:34:46   I'm the damn fool that's considering shooting vignette.

01:34:50   And in other words, I'm...

01:34:52   You're so living in 2015.

01:34:53   I know I am. It's so bad.

01:34:55   I am really, really genuinely considering...

01:34:59   What is the official Silicon Valley...

01:35:01   Sunsetting.

01:35:02   Sunsetting. Thank you. Sunsetting vignette.

01:35:04   No, that's for Destiny weapons.

01:35:05   Oh, God. Oh, God. I've awoken the beast.

01:35:08   So anyway, I'm thinking about...

01:35:10   You thought fish was bad. You entered Destiny territory now.

01:35:14   I was having fun this episode, but it's all taking a turn.

01:35:17   Actually, it's the same. You're trying to think of the Silicon Valley euphemism for when they're getting rid of a product and they're trying to make it seem nicer.

01:35:24   They're using the term in exactly the same way in Destiny.

01:35:26   They're getting rid of things in the game, but they don't want people to be mad about it, so they're literally calling it "sunsetting."

01:35:31   They learned about watching you, tech industry.

01:35:34   Oh, Dad.

01:35:37   Alright, so anyway, let me kind of set the stage.

01:35:40   Oh, wait, hold on.

01:35:41   And thank you very much to our members who support us.

01:35:43   Go to ATP.FM/join to join us.

01:35:45   You really need to just write down, like, the spiel.

01:35:48   You had the spiel down for seven years, and now there's been monkey wrenches thrown into it.

01:35:53   We're just going to put it in a document and we'll workshop it together.

01:35:58   Yes, I'm going to put it in the middle.

01:36:01   Editing works wonders.

01:36:03   Oh, God.

01:36:04   Remember when I made you say "Bullsiri"?

01:36:06   Alright, moving on, gentlemen.

01:36:10   So here's the situation.

01:36:12   For a while, ever since Vignette was released, it had in, I'll call it extreme circumstances, but not necessarily that extreme.

01:36:23   It had some memory management problems.

01:36:25   I don't know to this day what I was doing wrong.

01:36:28   I don't doubt I was doing something wrong, but I don't know what I was doing wrong.

01:36:31   But it was having some memory management problems.

01:36:33   You should rewrite it and go.

01:36:35   Well, it's funny you say that. I did rewrite pretty much the entire crawler using NSOperation.

01:36:44   And I actually feel like it's pretty good.

01:36:47   And so I feel like that may be fixed, and that's actually sitting in TestFlight right now.

01:36:53   And that's been a lingering issue that's been really frustrating, and I haven't really, really narrowed down what the root cause is,

01:37:02   other than just plain using too much memory.

01:37:04   But again, I've spent a lot of time on instruments.

01:37:07   Nothing has jumped out at me. It's my fault.

01:37:09   It probably is my fault, but it's not clear to me where or how it's my fault.

01:37:13   Meanwhile, for at least the last six months, Facebook has been deeply unreliable with Vignette.

01:37:21   And one thing that I've found that seems to work for a lot of people is, and this sounds nuts,

01:37:28   I will be the first person to tell you it sounds bananas,

01:37:31   but if somebody reports, "Oh, Facebook is just not working for me,"

01:37:36   I'll tell them, "Switch from Wi-Fi to cellular or vice versa and try it again."

01:37:41   And like eight or nine times out of ten, it all starts working.

01:37:44   I have no idea what that's about.

01:37:46   My current theory is some sort of caching with the URL session subsystem.

01:37:50   So also in TestFlight is a build that cranks the caching down.

01:37:54   So maybe that maybe would fix the problem, but it's been lingering for forever.

01:37:58   And I can never reproduce either of these problems, so for the life of me, I'm just shooting blind.

01:38:04   I don't know what I'm doing, in so many ways, but particularly around these two bugs.

01:38:08   Then about, I don't know, a month ago maybe, Twitter got rid of non-Auth access to profile photos.

01:38:17   So it used to be that you could go to a special URL, and it was not like some super hacky thing.

01:38:23   It was just you had to know what the URL was.

01:38:25   But you go to this URL, and I think for any Twitter user, if I'm not mistaken, even ones that were protected,

01:38:31   you could at least get their profile photo. And that was it.

01:38:35   And that worked for me up until about a month ago, and now they've killed it.

01:38:40   And there's not a lot of really great ways to work around that, work around Twitter.

01:38:47   One thing I could do is start, instead of crawling the web to get this stuff,

01:38:52   I could start registering my app as an actual Twitter app, so it has its own authorization token or what have you.

01:39:00   Now this is different than having a user log in.

01:39:03   The users would still not log in, but the app would be known to Twitter.

01:39:07   And then I believe, I haven't looked at this in a little while, but I believe I get 900 profile requests in a 15-minute window.

01:39:13   Which is okay, but you could have 900 Twitter contacts in a single contact list.

01:39:19   Like I have people writing me saying they have 10,000 contacts, which I think is friggin' crazy, but it is what it is.

01:39:25   So that's not really a sustainable solution.

01:39:29   Meanwhile, while all this is going on since day one, the contacts framework has some very, very interesting API limits.

01:39:37   And I feel like you've run into this, Marco, with audio stuff if I'm not mistaken.

01:39:41   But you can only save but so many contacts to the contacts database in so much time or else it gets angry at you and tells you no, no more.

01:39:51   Okay. Now is this documented anywhere? Of course not. That would be way too simple.

01:39:56   So that's always, that hasn't caused problems often, but it does occasionally cause problems.

01:40:02   So all of that is to say the app is kind of feeling, even to me, like it's creaky and fragile and I'm not really proud of it anymore the way I was when I first released it.

01:40:15   Now I have a couple of options where to go from here.

01:40:19   I could like go all in on it. And I could start doing like login to Facebook, login to Twitter, maybe at that point login to LinkedIn, which is a very popular request.

01:40:31   Because once I'm doing like this OAuth login dance for these services, then it opens up a lot of possibilities in terms of much less hacky, much more reliable crawling of profile photos.

01:40:43   So that would fix a lot of problems. But it's, I just don't want to do that.

01:40:48   Like it feels, it's not gross, but it just feels gross. Like especially since I started marketing it on how it's all about privacy because you don't have to give your credentials to anyone, including me.

01:40:57   I really don't want to do that, but it is a solution to my problem.

01:41:02   But the other solution to my problem is just to friggin kill it.

01:41:05   And sitting here now, not having heard your opinion from the two of you, that is what I'm leaning toward.

01:41:12   And part of that, and a not small part of that, is because I have three different things that I think I want to build that are brand new.

01:41:21   And one or two of them in particular would be, it would be very good if I could do that by the time iOS 14 is out.

01:41:29   Because they're using new iOS 14 things.

01:41:32   So I'm looking at my summer, and what I probably should be doing is doing these vignette fixes and updates and improvements.

01:41:41   But what I want to be doing is the new hotness and the new ideas and seeing if those stick.

01:41:46   And vignette is making money. It is definitely making money, but it's not making a large amount of money.

01:41:52   And it's not making enough money that I feel like I would be really shooting myself in the foot to remove it from sale.

01:42:00   So that is many words to say, I think I want to sunset it and I think I want to put it to bed.

01:42:06   Tell me if I'm wrong. Marco, let's start with you.

01:42:09   Alright, so first of all, I agree with you, you probably, probably should kill it, but we'll get to that in a minute.

01:42:16   The one thing to consider here is that you're not being forced to adhere to a certain timeline of making this decision.

01:42:24   There is no rush for you to decide. Like, you don't have to decide right now, kill it, or work on it all summer.

01:42:30   Like, that's not your only options. You know, you have many other options.

01:42:35   The one that I think you should probably pick from like the most pragmatic point of view is leave it in the store, but just don't work on it anymore.

01:42:47   Now I know that you probably don't want to actually do that. What you probably want is like a clean break to either make it awesome, something that you can be really proud of,

01:42:54   like you just said you're having problems with that right now, or just totally remove it and it's gone forever and that way you don't have to feel bad that people are getting something that's maybe not your best work anymore or something like that, right?

01:43:07   So the reality is that you do have this third option of just leave it there and don't work on it for a while.

01:43:13   Whether you want to take it is up to you, but that is an option.

01:43:17   That is an option, but to briefly interrupt you, I don't love that option because it is currently in the store saying it works with Twitter and it doesn't. It just plain doesn't.

01:43:27   Now I could put in a little update to pull the Twitter out, for example, but I feel like I'm not literally stealing people's money, but I kind of feel like I am, you know what I mean?

01:43:36   So at the very least, if I were to leave it in the store, which is an option, you are correct, I would need to do maybe a day's worth of work in tearing out the things that just plain don't work and rejiggering the way it's presented in the store and stuff like that.

01:43:50   Yeah, so the other things to consider here are the environmental, the macroeconomic conditions that you're in right now. And I'm not talking about the virus. I'm saying you created Vignette right before iOS 13 came out that had that built-in feature to share people's content photos with everyone automatically.

01:44:11   You finished it really fast to get it out there before that WDC and so it had a nice summer where the system had not Sherlock its main functionality. And you got a great amount of sales and it went really well.

01:44:27   So for the initial amount of effort you put into it, it paid off well. Now as you go, it's kind of like a peak oil kind of thing where you got all the easy money out of it already. As you go further, it's going to get harder and harder to advance the app in meaningful ways.

01:44:47   Because all the low hanging fruit is picked. So now you're faced with these much larger things of like deeper service integrations, authentication logins, registering as an API client and becoming like a whole app for these other third party services, which by the way is a terrible business to be in if you can avoid it.

01:45:06   You don't want to have to rely on these third party servers and their logins for your business. That's a terrible idea. It puts you in a terrible spot. They change and shift their rules all the time. You're never going to be a priority for them.

01:45:20   So that's not a good idea in general, but if you can help it to not be one of those. So anyway, to make the app move forward at all or to even maintain its functionality as you have conditions like Twitter messing up their, the method you're using and stuff like that, and Facebook being unreliable.

01:45:38   To fix those things or to potentially even fix those things requires a ton of effort on your part to dramatically change the way the app works, to dramatically expand its problem set and add many more screens and possible error conditions and everything else.

01:45:57   So it would dramatically expand and bloat the app. It would add way more to your workload to extract marginal more money out of an already mature product that is kind of in coasting mode right now, like marketing wise and business and PR wise.

01:46:13   It doesn't make a lot of sense to do all that work unless you think there would be a huge upside on the other side of it. And there probably won't be because in the meantime, your Sherlocking has continued and these functionality, the share my avatar functionality is slowly spreading throughout people's usage.

01:46:33   And so the need for this is going down over time, not up. So for you to be investing a huge amount of effort to what would probably result in a marginal increase in sales in an environment where demand is probably going down over time, that's not smart.

01:46:53   So I suggest you either leave it as is and maybe just like kind of don't mention Twitter in the description anymore. Don't promise something that you can't. So just like remove some of those mentions of that.

01:47:08   Or just take it off the store and move on because no one's forcing you to keep working on this. Like you don't have to feel guilty about that decision. You have new ideas you want to work on, work on them.

01:47:23   Because first of all, you have probably more potential upside financially and professionally. You have more potential upside from working on something new right now than from making like a point update to vignette that you have to break your back over to actually do all this crap.

01:47:40   And that only a small handful of its users will even notice or care about. So you really should, if you have something else that you'd rather be working on, which you said you do, then that is a better place to spend your time right now.

01:47:55   So the only question is what you do with vignette, whether you let it coast or whether you kill it. But working on it significantly I don't think is a good idea.

01:48:03   And I think you're right. I do want to hear John what you have to say. But something I didn't state in my kind of opening monologue is that I don't see this difficulty really changing.

01:48:13   And by that I mean I don't have any leverage over Facebook, over Instagram, over Twitter, over anyone else. And so really at any moment they can pull the rug out from under me or pull the football away from me.

01:48:25   And there's nothing I can do about it. And that's already sort of happened. And I'm looking down this tunnel of this happening over and over again. And I just don't think I want to be on that treadmill.

01:48:36   I don't think I want to deal with that. It's not fun for me. It's not great for my users. It's kind of crummy for everyone involved.

01:48:44   And because of that, that's another big reason why I'm really strongly considering just being done with it and just pulling it from the store.

01:48:52   But John, what are your thoughts?

01:48:55   You fell victim for one of the plastic blunders. You and Marco already just said it. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well known is this never write an application that relies on third party APIs.

01:49:06   There's other ones like this. This is a silly thing. But if you're making an application that has certain aspects to its functionality that make it more difficult to maintain over time, the bar gets raised for how successful that product needs to be.

01:49:28   So the two big categories, that's not even the biggest one. The biggest one is never write an application with a server side component, Marco.

01:49:36   Because to sustain a server side component, both its complexity and its cost, you need a much higher level of success than a wad of code that lands on somebody's device and runs.

01:49:48   You could also say, like the other examples, never write an application that has a huge amount of creative content. So you say games, aren't those ideal? No third party APIs.

01:49:58   And it all runs locally. I'm not going to make a network based game. It's going to be a local puzzle game. It just runs and it's fine. It's like, oh, now you have creative content.

01:50:07   And you think, oh, well, I just need some artwork and some sound. And then eventually you realize how much work that is.

01:50:13   Maybe some magazine articles.

01:50:16   There are certain categories of applications that have attached to them this huge amount of hidden baggage.

01:50:23   It doesn't mean that they're bad to do. Like the best applications, to get back to server side component, Overcast is as good as it is because of the server side component.

01:50:31   The server side component adds value. But you have to make sure you're in a situation where I'm going to put in the work and I'm going to spend the money and the time to do and add the complexity to do this thing.

01:50:43   Because it will make my app more valuable and customers will see that value and give me more money. You need that part to connect.

01:50:51   So if you can do the big game with a huge amount of creative content, or God forbid, you're going to do a network based game with third party API integration and a huge amount of creative content, it better be a pretty big hit game.

01:51:02   Or you better be getting paid a lot by Apple to put it into Apple Arcade or something like that.

01:51:06   And third party API stuff, it's the same deal. As you noted, to quote another thing from an old SNL sketch, you've got to ride the snake.

01:51:16   And the snake is Facebook. They're a bad snake. Or Twitter or any of the other APIs. Like you said, at any moment they can go away.

01:51:24   Now the normal version of this for applications is, oh, Apple is going to release a new update every year or so and that could break my app and that's a pain in the butt.

01:51:32   But users I feel like are much more accepting of on a yearly basis when the new OS comes out, maybe some of my old apps don't work with it immediately and maybe some never make it to the new OS.

01:51:41   They're grumpy about it, but they're less grumpy than just some random day of the week all of a sudden the app that they just paid for stops working for an invisible reason that they can't detect because Twitter changed its API.

01:51:50   And then you're scrambling to be like, oh, I've got to change my app to chase its API because Twitter's not going to consult you when they change their API.

01:51:57   Facebook's not going to consult you. And what if it's just flaky on a particular day and what if they add these invisible limits?

01:52:02   Like tracking Apple's OS changes, at least you get a WWDC and you know it's kind of on a yearly cadence.

01:52:07   But third party API stuff is, you know, and again, the server side stuff, it's like now you have to keep the server up and keep it running and networking problems and just, yeah.

01:52:16   So anytime you're considering an idea for an app, think about how much invisible baggage is attached to this particular kind of application and don't, you know, don't bail on it because of that, but make sure that you factor that into your equation and see if it balances out with, I expect this many customers and I'm going to charge this price.

01:52:36   And if I get this amount of success, does that offset the baggage vignette probably made sense as kind of like an app that you would make for a moment in time and be useful to a bunch of people.

01:52:49   And it was priced, what was the price? It was like $2.99 or something for the online.

01:52:52   $4.99.

01:52:53   Yeah. So that's that. I think it all matched up for what it was.

01:52:58   Right. But as an app that you're going to maintain for years and years across OS updates, across API changes, that doesn't seem sustainable.

01:53:06   Again, unless unless you have a steady stream of fairly significant, a significant percentage of income based on like you have the big burst and then after that it goes down.

01:53:15   If it's gone down to a trickle, you're not it's not worth investing more time to maintain that trickle.

01:53:20   Right. It's the app has done its job like learn learn from underscore like he's got a million apps and he mercilessly cuts them loose when their time is over.

01:53:27   Right. Vignette is very much like a sort of single serving underscore style application.

01:53:35   You know, you'll know you'll know when it's time to invest more time and energy into a particular application.

01:53:42   Maybe it has a service side component. Maybe it does rely on third party APIs, but you'll know based on customer response, based on your own enthusiasm for developing it.

01:53:50   Your own enthusiasm fed by customer response. Right. Like it won't be a mystery when it's worth time to invest more money versus when it's not right.

01:53:59   And I feel like if you if you're leaning in the direction of not continuing it and you have new ideas, it's no brainer.

01:54:04   Go for the new ideas as for whether you actually pull vignette or just take functionality out of it. That's up to you.

01:54:09   I don't know what the steady trickle of income is compared to the amount of effort you put in.

01:54:14   But I think for the two tiny apps that I made, I was very conscious of one of the reasons I haven't written maps is because I'm so conscious of the potential maintenance cost of any application that my apps are intentionally very simple because I'm the only maintenance cost I'm willing to endure is the yearly Apple maintenance cost of their going to be less and new hardware.

01:54:33   And I got to get my stuff working. That's enough for me. I've been resisting adding features to switch glass for a long time, both because I don't want the features and because it's like, look, yeah, I can add this features.

01:54:43   And it'll be fun. And I could rewrite it all using the new Swift UI. I could do all sorts of stuff. But it's like, but is that going to give me any amount of new customers?

01:54:52   No. Do you want do I want those features personally? No. So don't do it. Let it lie. And my things don't talk to any servers, don't rely on third party applications, don't have a server side component.

01:55:03   Again, not saying that's what you should shoot for, but that feature set matches up with the meager amount of income they get. So I'm happy with them and I will continue to maintain them because I need to run them all the time. But vignette seems like the equation tipped a while ago.

01:55:18   Yeah, I think so. And the thing is, I don't have a large support burden, but I have enough of a support burden. I'm getting like a handful of emails a day and some of them are very nice.

01:55:35   Very, very nice. Like, hey, you know, I really tried this and it didn't work for some reason. I'm not really sure why. Is there something I can do to fix it? But most of them are, I don't understand why I paid for this. Give me my money, which, of course, is wonderful because up until sometime soon, I can't give them their money. I have no mechanism for doing so.

01:55:53   The best thing I can do is point them to that page on Apple's website that says, here's how you get a refund for an IAP, you know, in an app purchase and whatever. So I think the support burden, and I don't even answer all of these emails, but I answered more than I probably should bother answering.

01:56:08   And that kind of drags me down. And I'm not really that proud of it anymore. I was when it was new, but it's already gotten creaky. It's already showing its age at all of a year and change. So even though you could make a strong argument to just let it sit in the store or, you know, make whatever small tweaks I need to make so that I don't feel embarrassed by it and then let it sit and just chill in the store.

01:56:32   And that would probably make me at least a little bit of money, but I don't really feel comfortable with that. And I don't think it really does anyone any good. It doesn't do users much good. It doesn't do me much good.

01:56:47   And, you know, the numbers coming in, you know, the checks coming in from Apple are not completely weight, like it's not nothing, but it's not enough to really justify the kind of stress that I feel like I'm carrying by keeping it out there, which is why basically I had already decided to kill it.

01:57:11   And it was just a matter of, are either of you guys going to give me some really strong reason not to? And it sounds like neither of you are providing that, which is fine. That is totally fine.

01:57:20   And, you know, a couple of people in the chat have said, and I don't want to get specific about it, but the trickle from Vignette is considerably less, considerably less than what membership is now providing. So that's even more reason in my mind to just kill it.

01:57:34   Kill it. Look at it this way. It's not like, you know, a death of this app that's like a source of mourning. You're clearing your plate to work on stuff that you're excited about.

01:57:44   Yeah. And the nice thing about Peekaview, which I am still proud of, and it's not perfect either, but I think it's much closer to perfect than Vignette is, but Peekaview, even though it's, I think, responsible for considerably less income, that only relies on Apple APIs.

01:57:59   And that doesn't mean I will never have to do updates. In fact, I think there's a couple I'm going to have to do for iOS 14, but it's not, it's much more like Switch Glass than it is like Vignette. You know what I mean?

01:58:08   Where I'm not beholden to all of these other entities that are massive, and I'm not even on their radar. It's not, you know, it's not like I'm on their radar, but they just don't care about me. I'm not even on their damn radar.

01:58:18   So the more I think about it, the more I think it just needs to go away. And I would think by the time this episode is posted, if not soon thereafter, it will probably be gone.

01:58:29   All right, thanks gentlemen. I really genuinely appreciate it. That was, that was very helpful to make me feel like I'm not totally bananas.

01:58:35   Not totally.

01:58:37   Is there something happy we can talk about? Yeah, not totally. Not for this reason anyway, right?

01:58:40   Should have talked to us sooner. I didn't know I was having all these problems. We could have advised you to ditch it earlier.

01:58:44   Yeah, and I probably should have, to be honest.

01:58:46   We're such good friends.

01:58:47   Yeah, but like having, having support emails and having crash reports and the API is changing and then, but you haven't changed the app like that. I can imagine that being stressful.

01:58:55   That's the last thing that you want is to know that like the app that was working before because of no fault of your own, they just changed their API. Now all of a sudden your app is broken and you have to either scramble to fix it or live with knowing that it's broken. That's terrible.

01:59:07   Yeah, get rid of it. It served its purpose. It did very well. It had a wonderful life. Send it to a farm upstate.

01:59:13   Well, and to that end, like I, part of the reason I hadn't killed it yet was I really thought that this whole NS operation based spider, you know, re-architecture, I really thought that was going to fix a bunch of my problems.

01:59:27   But then like actually Instagram may be broken with what's in the store right now. I don't remember, but it's fixed in test flight.

01:59:35   And then Twitter, when, so Instagram was broken briefly and then Twitter was broke, is broken and like the combination of all of these things put me over the edge and made me just think it's just, it isn't worth it. I just don't think it's worth it.

01:59:49   So that's where I'm currently sitting. And like I said, sometime probably tomorrow or the day after I will just pull it from the store.

01:59:55   Farewell vignette. We knew you something. I don't know. I don't know how this.

02:00:00   We hardly knew you.

02:00:01   There you go. Don't hire me for any funerals.

02:00:04   Goodness. I haven't seen it.

02:00:07   Just got to wait for Shakespeare to come on Disney+.

02:00:10   [beeping]