316: MacBook Hierarchy of Needs


00:00:00   So I'm seeing people all over Twitter say, "Oh my god, update Chrome right away."

00:00:04   Hmm. I can't for the life of me figure out how to update Chrome.

00:00:08   About Google Chrome? About?

00:00:12   Yeah, that's always where it is. Oh, updating. Well, mine's updated already.

00:00:16   I'm on the beta channel, though. Why? What's going on on the regular channel?

00:00:20   What's the issue? I haven't bothered to look yet. Everyone's saying update now.

00:00:24   Maybe they're just finally getting the new ugly tabs? I don't know.

00:00:28   That I've had for like three months now? What happens if your Chrome

00:00:32   colon slash slash help is spinning?

00:00:36   That seems not good. You go to the task manager window that

00:00:40   Chrome has. Oh god. I just don't know how

00:00:44   people tolerate Chrome. It's so... I like Chrome.

00:00:48   Oh god, how can you be such like a Mac person?

00:00:52   Seriously, like you're preach. I'm not gonna say it's Mac-like. You won't even own an

00:00:56   Xbox because Microsoft makes it.

00:01:00   Microsoft doesn't make Chrome. Oh god. Marco, I could not

00:01:04   agree with you more. I am right there with you, dude. Like, you might as well be using Windows.

00:01:08   Chrome is so bad. It's not Mac-like, but it is a good

00:01:12   web browser. It is not a Mac-like web browser, but it is a good web browser.

00:01:16   And its dev tools are still better than Safari's. Yeah, that you're probably right about.

00:01:20   I can't really say, but like, if you're not a web developer,

00:01:24   I don't understand why you would use Chrome for anything besides, I mean,

00:01:28   I guess I use it for like Google Docs. That's about it. It's like

00:01:32   ugh, I just, I don't like it. It's so wrong. Everything it

00:01:36   does on the Mac is just so wrong. Like, it just behaves

00:01:40   horribly. Nothing is where it should be. Not to mention

00:01:44   like all the battery life issues on laptops and stuff. It's just bad.

00:01:48   Yeah, I wouldn't use it on a laptop if I... Oh, it is so rough.

00:01:52   I mean, I do use it on a laptop all day, but my laptop is plugged in all day. But battery life,

00:01:56   forget it. It's brutal. But no, it loads all my web pages, and

00:02:00   sometimes Safari doesn't. It's like the unreliable keyboard. I just

00:02:04   need you to always load web pages. Sometimes Safari decides it is not going to do that anymore, and it makes

00:02:08   me angry. And I run both web browsers all day long. I'm always running

00:02:12   both. I'm never just running one. So it's not like I'm picking favorites, but

00:02:16   I like Chrome. I could not agree with you more, Marco. Like, Chrome

00:02:20   is so... I am not one of those people that's

00:02:24   super angry about things being not Mac-like. Like, Slack is a

00:02:28   sh*t show, and Chrome is probably second place for that.

00:02:32   Chrome is worse than Slack. Yeah, I agree, actually. It is less

00:02:36   Mac-like than Slack. Well, and because like Chrome, you have alternatives. Like,

00:02:40   Slack, it's like if you have to run Slack, you probably have to run it because

00:02:44   of a decision other people have made that you need to interact with. So it's fine.

00:02:48   Like, you know, you run it, you deal with it, it's no big deal. Whereas with Chrome, like,

00:02:52   that's less defensible. Like, you can just run Safari, and chances are

00:02:56   everything you need to do probably works in Safari. So like, why would you not run Safari?

00:03:00   Why are you running Chrome, oh god, it's so bad.

00:03:04   I gave you a reason because of those web browsers. Looking at this tweet that, just in one of our channels, also, seriously

00:03:08   update your Chrome installs. It sounds like a security thing. Some kind of security flaw in existing

00:03:12   Chrome. Yeah, that's why I tried to figure out how to update Chrome

00:03:16   for a good, like, two or three minutes before giving up and asking you guys.

00:03:20   The about box. Of course, why is this the about box? Every other update, every other,

00:03:24   so I, first I checked the Chrome menu for like a check for updates thing. Then

00:03:28   I went over to the help menu, because sometimes things put it in the help menu. Then I went to preferences,

00:03:32   which of course is not a real preference window, it's just this crazy URL that opens up the preferences

00:03:36   in the browser. And I'm scrolling through all these things that make no sense, like, and then it's like, well,

00:03:40   it's not here, I click on advanced, and it's nowhere in any of those either. Like,

00:03:44   for god's sakes, like, where the hell do you have to do this app?

00:03:48   I would never have thought to go to the about box. I would have done the exact same steps.

00:03:52   Uh, you just gotta know that. Whoever goes to the about box of anything.

00:03:56   So, Chrome is so aggressive about updates, though, like,

00:04:00   there should be an icon in your toolbar that's like a colored arrow, whether it's green or

00:04:04   yellow if you've been waiting a while, like, Chrome totally wants to update itself.

00:04:08   And will update itself whether you ask it to or not.

00:04:12   But if you need to do it in a hurry, either quit and relaunch, which I think will also do it,

00:04:16   or the about thing. Well, you can't even quit it anymore. You gotta, like, hold down

00:04:20   the quit button. The about, they don't even have an about window either, by the way, just in case

00:04:24   you think they're actually gonna pop up a dial. No, of course not. Like,

00:04:28   it's like, everything about Chrome is just a giant

00:04:32   middle finger to the Mac, but I like the Mac, so it's like a giant

00:04:36   middle finger to me. I hear ya.

00:04:40   I really do. Alright, let's start with some follow-up.

00:04:44   A lot of the internet wanted to write in and tell us

00:04:48   in generally very gentle ways that we are all idiots

00:04:52   and there is a fix for the springboard rearrangement

00:04:56   woes that Jon was talking about last episode. So, if you didn't

00:05:00   hear last episode or would like a brief recap, Jon was lamenting in the way that only Jon

00:05:04   can, and I mean that in the best possible way, that it is nigh impossible

00:05:08   to rearrange things using springboard, you know, using the

00:05:12   home screen on Apple devices these days. It is just an exercise in frustration from

00:05:16   top to bottom. And I was quietly and silently cheering along with Jon

00:05:20   as he made this entire rant because I could not have agreed more. However, I

00:05:24   forgot, and I bet Jon also knew this and also forgot, that there is a pro-level

00:05:28   maneuver to fix this problem. Jon, can you tell us about this?

00:05:32   I did not forget about this suggestion that many

00:05:36   people think is a better way. Some people said

00:05:40   easier, some people said less error prone, some people, you know, whatever. But

00:05:44   there is another way to rearrange things, which is to use two

00:05:48   hands. And you may be asking yourself if you think like me,

00:05:52   adding a second hand to the surface of the screen

00:05:56   does not make this operation any simpler. But their theory is

00:06:00   okay, it is more complicated but it is less error prone because yes, you have to put two

00:06:04   hands on the surface of your thing or at least be very dexterous with your one hand

00:06:08   and have one finger holding the icon and another finger swiping across or whatever.

00:06:12   But the advantage you get is that you do not have to hit the edge of the

00:06:16   screen, which is true, but now

00:06:20   like you are still hovering over, you are still, the

00:06:24   icon or icons, you can do multiple that you are holding, you are still hovering over the screens

00:06:28   as you swipe past them. And unlike the edge thing, you are not

00:06:32   guaranteed that you will advance to the next screen at the fastest possible rate

00:06:36   because you have to swipe a second time. So that gives you even more

00:06:40   time to perturb the icons on the screens that you are passing through.

00:06:44   And I think a multi-handed, multi-finger gesture actually is more

00:06:48   difficult and more likely to screw you up, especially if you foolishly

00:06:52   grab multiple icons because then when you accidentally drop those somewhere, it is all over.

00:06:56   So I do not think this actually makes things any easier. Yes, it is an alternate way

00:07:00   you can do it. It works a little bit better on the iPad where you have a chance of perhaps

00:07:04   sitting on a table or you have more space to put two hands or whatever, but

00:07:08   it does not change the fundamental problem which is that there is no undo

00:07:12   and it is very easy to accidentally mess up things that you did not want to mess up.

00:07:16   And then even when you get to where you want to go, there is a very small

00:07:20   ill-defined safe area where you can actually hover where it will not cause something

00:07:24   you do not want to happen. To me, like the multi-finger

00:07:28   drag and drop thing has the similar kind of

00:07:32   value proposition and also downsides in practice as

00:07:36   the rest of the iOS drag and drop system that was introduced in, what was it, iOS 11.

00:07:40   It adds a bunch of delays to things that used to not have delays like

00:07:44   tapping to get a menu in Safari or things like that or you know, it accidentally

00:07:48   starts a drag when you might not want to start a drag. See also, forced touch

00:07:52   which has similar problems. But it brought

00:07:56   the great advance of being able to hold down something

00:08:00   with one finger and use a second hand, but you can use a second finger

00:08:04   to like scroll a view or to navigate the interface such that you can drop

00:08:08   the thing with the first finger somewhere else in the interface. And it is great

00:08:12   that they added that to Springboard, but it has the same problem that that has everywhere which is that

00:08:16   not only is it a big delay to get into that mode and it is very error prone to enter

00:08:20   the mode or to not enter it depending on what you want to do, but once you are in the mode

00:08:24   it is also very error prone to move around with the second finger because a lot of times

00:08:28   what you do with the second finger when you think you are going to swipe or scroll, you actually end up

00:08:32   picking up a second item. And if that is what you want it to do, great, but

00:08:36   the problem with this whole system is that it is kind of unreliable and

00:08:40   as John said, very error prone. So in practice, you know, I have known about the second

00:08:44   finger trick since iOS 11 or whatever it was released

00:08:48   and I have been using it, but I would say I fail and it

00:08:52   does something I don't want it to do probably at least half the time that

00:08:56   I am actually trying to use it. And I have the, honestly I have the exact same error rate

00:09:00   with drag and drop on the iPad as well and the exact same error rate with

00:09:04   reordering things in Overcast. Like I had my own

00:09:08   drag handles before and then when this system came in, not only

00:09:12   did I want to implement the new system, but it also broke my hack that gave me drag handles

00:09:16   before, so I figured I was kind of forced to implement the new system. And

00:09:20   it is just like the rest of drag and drop on iOS, like I find it very error prone. And when it

00:09:24   works, it is great. Like when you can pick up one or two things and then scroll

00:09:28   with another finger, that is great. But in practice, it is

00:09:32   very error prone and does something I don't want it to do a lot of the time.

00:09:36   Yeah, you know, I had completely forgotten about it. And it is

00:09:40   funny, this is a tangent, but as I have been using my iPad Pro more

00:09:44   and more, I do really, really like it. But it is

00:09:48   apparent to me, even as I have adjusted a lot of my

00:09:52   workflows is overkill for what I am describing, but like

00:09:56   my process for doing things, it occurred to me just in the last

00:10:00   month or so when I was trying to like send a link to somebody

00:10:04   but I didn't have messages open or something like that, or maybe it was an image, I don't remember exactly

00:10:08   what I was doing, but I can, oh wait, wait, wait, I can tap and hold and that will start a drag

00:10:12   operation and then with my other hand, sound familiar, I can swipe up to get

00:10:16   the doc and open messages and then flick, not really flick, but kind of

00:10:20   drag the other thing that I picked up over to messages, drop

00:10:24   it there and be good. Which is actually really, really

00:10:28   nice and fairly intuitive once I thought about

00:10:32   what I needed to do, but because I grew up with an actual, well I shouldn't say an actual

00:10:36   computer, oh my god, please don't email me, but because I grew up with a traditional

00:10:40   oh god, because I grew up with a traditional computer,

00:10:44   it's just very foreign to the way I think and I'm trying to get better

00:10:48   about embracing the touch way of life

00:10:52   and I am getting better about it, but it's definitely a slow journey

00:10:56   for me that has taken longer than I expected.

00:11:00   So getting used to stuff like that, like this, you know, part of it is just

00:11:04   like you said, what you grew up with and what you are accustomed to

00:11:08   but there is another aspect of it, you can actually measure

00:11:12   people's performance with different operations and

00:11:16   certain things are more friendly to the way

00:11:20   people work than others. So to give an example of like

00:11:24   the original Mac and using a mouse, this comes up a lot when

00:11:28   someone digs up some old computer stuff, maybe in my attic,

00:11:32   maybe on eBay, the original Mac came with a

00:11:36   guided tour, it was a floppy disk, it was a guided tour, but it also came with

00:11:40   an audio cassette that you would play while the floppy disk was in because you can't fit

00:11:44   that much audio on a floppy disk, that would be madness. And one

00:11:48   of the first things they taught you on the guided tour was how to use the mouse and they had a little

00:11:52   animation and they showed when you move it on the horizontal surface of your desk

00:11:56   the cursor moves to match it and they had a little graphic that was showing that and the voice

00:12:00   is explaining it to you, because you had to explain to people how to use the mouse.

00:12:04   But touch is a much more direct interface where it's like, well, there's something

00:12:08   that looks like a button on the screen and we say hit the button and you just shove your

00:12:12   finger in, you know, and we all see with our toddlers how quickly

00:12:16   you don't really have to be taught that much about that once you realize

00:12:20   I can just put my MediPause on the screen, I can do something. That's an example of improving

00:12:24   an interface. Before there was an indirection, however slight

00:12:28   it might be and however easy it was for people to overcome it, but it was still an indirection.

00:12:32   Getting rid of that is better. But the same token, all these things we just

00:12:36   described with rearranging icons and starting drag operations and holding

00:12:40   your finger down and using another finger to swipe through, that's never going to get

00:12:44   more friendly than it is. That is inherently an

00:12:48   awkward error prone thing to do. And there's no amount of

00:12:52   culture or getting used to things that's going to make that a more friendly interface

00:12:56   than alternatives that don't require that kind of both mental

00:13:00   and physical gymnastics. It's just more difficult things for people

00:13:04   to do. It's not impossible. You can do it. You know, toddlers can learn how to do it as well. Like

00:13:08   you see a two year old doing the same operation. But all things being equal

00:13:12   compare that to an operation where you get to split the

00:13:16   task up into pieces. First set the icon aside. Next find

00:13:20   the destination. Then put the thing in. It's less error prone.

00:13:24   It may actually be mentally, there may be more cognitive load to do the multi-step

00:13:28   process because you have to sort of understand what you're going to do. But if you were to test people

00:13:32   for their error rates or whatever, you'd see that it's more error prone to do

00:13:36   the other thing. Especially if you tested a wide swath of humanity. This is a thing that Apple used to do

00:13:40   back in the day that they stopped doing Roundabout when

00:13:44   Steve Jobs came back. Which is, you know, you don't have to just have your

00:13:48   intuition and gut about what is better for

00:13:52   usability. You can test this. You can use science to determine.

00:13:56   Given a wide swath of people of varying ages and

00:14:00   abilities, whatever thing we're trying to make happen here, we want people to

00:14:04   be successful. We want them to be fewer errors. We want them to feel less frustrated. We want them to be able to accomplish

00:14:08   a task in a small amount of time. We want them to remember how to do

00:14:12   a task across a long period of time. You can pick what your goals are

00:14:16   and then you can test your interfaces against those goals and find out how miserably you're doing on them

00:14:20   and compare multiple approaches. Bruce Tognazzini

00:14:24   if I'm pronouncing his name right, has a, what, asktog.com or something.

00:14:28   He's got a website. You can go through all the old tests they did to figure out

00:14:32   to come up with the Mac interface. How many buttons should a mouse have? How should the menus work?

00:14:36   You know, all that stuff. Which it doesn't mean like once you test it

00:14:40   once that's it forever and ever because things get refined over time and we come up with improvements.

00:14:44   But you don't just have to guess about these things.

00:14:48   But Apple today tends not to do that much of that type of formal research.

00:14:52   More, you know, if you read about Ken Kachenda's book where they're like

00:14:56   doing that but in an informal way like amongst

00:15:00   other engineers in the hallway, "Hey, I tried this and here's how it felt" or whatever.

00:15:04   Which is better than nothing. Like if you read a lot of usability books, especially about web usability, they'll say

00:15:08   like it doesn't take much to get a, you know,

00:15:12   60 to 70% of the value of usability testing. You don't need this big

00:15:16   complicated usability lab and a big one-way mirror and cameras on

00:15:20   people's faces and, you know, pulse monitors. You can just, informal testing with

00:15:24   your co-workers is much better than no testing.

00:15:28   But I would say, you know, there's still a place

00:15:32   for that sort of actual scientific testing to

00:15:36   come up with something better. Because right now the reason we have all these weird interfaces in

00:15:40   iOS is because there's nothing obvious and better.

00:15:44   Like if you want this capability, if you want to be able to do all these things, it's cool that you can

00:15:48   do them. It's awkward. But it's not obvious

00:15:52   how you would be able to do those same things with less

00:15:56   awkwardness and fewer errors, other than the things I just suggested, which is like

00:16:00   a shelf to put things on or using an interface on a

00:16:04   different computer.

00:16:08   On a personal computer. If you could use a mouse and a keyboard and a much larger

00:16:12   screen, I could rearrange Springboard and some holding areas and stuff.

00:16:16   And a trial commit interface, it would be much easier to rearrange

00:16:20   Springboard. Even iTunes was better, I think. But even that could be improved

00:16:24   upon. So I look forward to rearranging

00:16:28   the Springboard on our Apple Glasses in 2035,

00:16:32   being a much simpler, less error-prone experience.

00:16:36   Oh, God. Alright, speaking of simple and error-prone,

00:16:40   Apple supplier Corning is working on flexible glass for foldable displays.

00:16:44   There's a post on The Verge where this is discussed.

00:16:48   Apparently, someone from Corning, the CEO or R&D person, whatever,

00:16:54   has said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're working on this foldable glass thing."

00:16:58   And they have a very fascinating GIF that they have provided that is at the top of the page

00:17:04   that I could watch all day. And there isn't too much to say here,

00:17:08   I don't think, other than this is, I guess, a subtle hint that

00:17:12   Apple, who uses Corning and their Gorilla Glass for iPhone displays,

00:17:16   Apple could, hypothetically, use this forthcoming

00:17:20   glass that they say is coming in the next couple of years for a foldable display, if they so choose.

00:17:24   So that's good news if you're into it. That's definitely an Apple-style thing to do

00:17:28   because, like I said at the last show, plastic, no matter how good that plastic is,

00:17:32   if you're constantly going to bend it, plastic is not known for its ability to be

00:17:36   bent back and forth many, many times and not show any signs

00:17:40   of wear. Same thing, plastic is not known for its ability to resist scratches,

00:17:44   like it's just generally a softer material than

00:17:48   glass or metal or other things. So there's kind of, you know,

00:17:52   there are many reasons that Apple settled on aluminum and glass for basically all of its products.

00:17:56   They have the properties that make the products

00:18:00   pleasant to use and stand up to wear and tear.

00:18:04   Plastic, less so. The original iPhone almost had a plastic display, but they

00:18:08   dodged that ball at the last minute. The iPod Nano did have plastic

00:18:12   over its display and that was very bad. So here's hoping

00:18:16   Apple can figure out the bendy glass because that would be a hell of a way to

00:18:20   enter the bendables market. Is that a thing? We got wearables

00:18:24   and bendables. I think foldables is what you're looking for. Isn't that what a mic and Jason... Bendables.

00:18:28   It's like phones that fold in half, bendy straws.

00:18:32   What else is in that market? iPhone 6 Plus. Ooh. Yeah, I guess.

00:18:36   Folding chairs. Yeah, I would love to

00:18:40   see if bendable glass can actually be a thing. I mean,

00:18:44   I am no expert in materials. That sounds impossible

00:18:48   to me. Transparent aluminum. But yeah, I mean... It could be worth something to you.

00:18:52   If it can be done, that sounds great because, you know,

00:18:56   I think it is a critical problem. You know, if folding

00:19:00   phones are going to take off, we are going to have to get over this issue of right now

00:19:04   all we know how to make the front of the screens out of is plastic and plastic kind

00:19:08   of sucks as screen material. Like, you know, it works. It's fine. But if we

00:19:12   can have glass, we'd rather have glass. And it makes a pretty big

00:19:16   difference in niceness if we can have glass. So that would be great.

00:19:20   But I mean, I'll believe it when I see it, I guess.

00:19:24   Computer? Computer. What was that? Star Trek 4?

00:19:28   Is that right? Marco hasn't seen it. That Star Trek

00:19:32   should not have worked. Now I'm going to get everyone emailing me about how it didn't work.

00:19:36   But I loved that one. I thought it was hilarious. Everybody loved that one. Really? Oh,

00:19:40   I assumed it was just me. It was universally beloved. But it shouldn't be.

00:19:44   It's terrible. It's a good movie that makes people happy. It is a good movie that makes

00:19:48   people happy. But can you just concede that if you look at the description of

00:19:52   "Oh, all these future people are going to come back in time to get some whales," like, come on.

00:19:56   It's fish out of water. It's beloved. Beloved characters.

00:20:00   Coming back there. And we get to see the

00:20:04   crew that we know and love being in a fish out of water type scenario.

00:20:08   And it's fun. Again, I agree with you. If you

00:20:12   were to look at it only on paper, I maintain that it should not have worked even though it did.

00:20:16   Bats aren't bugs and whales aren't fish.

00:20:20   Anyway, alright, moving on. We have

00:20:24   more riveting USB naming related news.

00:20:28   And this actually is kind of cool. Apparently USB 4

00:20:32   has been kind of announced in a way. And that is that

00:20:36   Thunderbolt 3 is not... patent encumbered isn't what I'm

00:20:40   looking for, is it? It is... the specification has been

00:20:44   made royalty free. There you go. And Intel has given the spec to

00:20:48   the USB Implementers Forum, which are the people that decide how USB works.

00:20:52   And so Thunderbolt 3 will eventually be called USB 4.

00:20:56   And that's actually really cool because that theoretically paves the way for what we

00:21:00   know as Thunderbolt today to be more universal and not require maybe a

00:21:04   Intel CPU. Hint hint Apple, hint hint.

00:21:08   Yeah, this is a smorgasbord of USB, Thunderbolt, and

00:21:12   naming stuff. So first the royalty free nature

00:21:16   we've covered that before. That's been a while coming. I guess this is the

00:21:20   one of the most prominent fruits of that labor. Second is that Intel is building

00:21:24   Thunderbolt and the new USB into its CPUs so that will make both

00:21:28   much easier to implement. You don't have to have a separate chip for it. If you get an

00:21:32   Intel CPU it's got it built in. It being open, anybody else could do the same thing.

00:21:36   Hint hint Apple could make ARM CPUs and build in Thunderbolt. And then

00:21:40   you have the USB 4 spec

00:21:44   being a superset of Thunderbolt 3 and all the USB 3.2 stuff

00:21:48   which makes sense. USB 4 is not here yet. USB 3.2 is like this year. USB 4

00:21:52   is like out next year somewhere. And then finally,

00:21:56   just to add a little bit more ridiculous naming,

00:22:00   all the other versions of USB were like USB space 2.0

00:22:04   USB space 1.1. But USB 4 removes the space between the

00:22:08   B and the number. So it's USB 4 because it has to be different.

00:22:12   Everything they do is like, it's so close

00:22:16   to good and they do something to make it either bad

00:22:20   or confusing or both. They're going to run out of variations.

00:22:24   What do they do for 5? Oh, Roman numerals. They haven't done Roman numerals yet.

00:22:28   So, USB V. Can't wait. There you go.

00:22:32   I have to keep saying it's pronounced 5.

00:22:36   Now this is very cool though. I am really enthusiastic about Apple being able to use

00:22:40   Thunderbolt 3/USB4 on their

00:22:44   forthcoming ARM computers. Am I right? Yeah, and Thunderbolt 4, I think

00:22:48   we talked about that before, but Thunderbolt 4 is also a thing. So I don't know if that has to be

00:22:52   in a separate chip, but seeing Thunderbolt built in to CPUs

00:22:56   and subsumed into USB means that it is much more likely to be

00:23:00   a part of everyone's future than it was before. Moving on,

00:23:04   we had talked last episode, I think it was in Ask ATP, about

00:23:08   hey, how do I know what my 32-bit apps are on my iPad

00:23:12   so if I upgrade this or update the software,

00:23:16   what am I going to lose? And we weren't entirely sure how to do this, but

00:23:20   unsurprisingly there is a post at iMore that describes exactly what to do,

00:23:24   which apparently is settings, general, about applications

00:23:28   and then in there it will show you an app compatibility screen that will

00:23:32   tell you which apps are no longer going to be compatible in the future.

00:23:36   Everything is in the settings somewhere.

00:23:40   That's why they have search. But the search doesn't work. The search never works. Yeah, exactly.

00:23:44   I think I've had the search work I think one time out of

00:23:48   the probably at least five or six times I have tried to use it to find something.

00:23:52   I don't know how they possibly implemented the search in settings

00:23:56   to make it so bad at finding things that I'm typing the exact name of.

00:24:00   Does it work for anybody? It works okay for me. It's kind of like the search

00:24:04   it reminds me of the search in System Preferences on the Mac, remember when they added that and they were

00:24:08   That actually works! Right, but it's hand-tuned. They added like, I think

00:24:12   attached metadata, like you could type wallpaper, which is not a word that Apple uses to describe

00:24:16   desktop background, but it would find that preference pane because they put a bunch of synonyms in.

00:24:20   But in iOS, like either

00:24:24   it's not hand-curated like that or they didn't do a very good job of attaching

00:24:28   metadata because you'll type a word that is a reasonable synonym for what you're looking for and it won't

00:24:32   find it. And as you pointed out, sometimes you'll type in a word that you think is an exact match and it still won't

00:24:36   find it. So I'm not sure what data it is searching across

00:24:40   but it's certainly not doing a full text search of all text that

00:24:44   appears on the screen in settings screens. No, like you can type literally

00:24:48   a word that is in the title and the thing you're looking for will not

00:24:52   show up. Like it isn't even like a failure of synonym search or a failure of

00:24:56   a spell check or anything like that. Like it's literally not indexing the words that

00:25:00   show up on screen. I feel like it doesn't go very deep. Like I remember I was looking for something that was like

00:25:04   three or four screens deep and it could never find it and maybe it just does like the first

00:25:08   two layers or something. I don't know. Anyway, once you have a search in your UI

00:25:12   it's probably a sign that something is amiss. I'm still not

00:25:16   entirely convinced that the idea that your settings are in a settings

00:25:20   application rather than within the apps themselves is long term

00:25:24   the way to go because settings just gets tremendous and it's not like

00:25:28   we haven't figured out ways to put screens

00:25:32   for configuring your applications within your application and most apps do it anyway. So

00:25:36   it's weird. Indeed. Cirilla writes that Microsoft

00:25:40   already has Xbox Game Pass which is a quote unquote Netflix for Games

00:25:44   service with millions of subscribers. I had no idea this existed

00:25:48   but I also have not owned an Xbox since the original Xbox way back

00:25:52   when. Yeah. What I was getting at on the last show which was not very well communicated was

00:25:56   like how different the phone game market is

00:26:00   than console games. Like PlayStation has something similar where you subscribe to PlayStation

00:26:04   Plus and you get like a bunch of free games each month. It's not the same thing as like a subscription

00:26:08   service but it is a subscription service but you don't get access to a ton of games

00:26:12   you get like one or two hand pick free games a month or whatever. But both of those things

00:26:16   like both Xbox and PlayStation have a large game

00:26:20   library of sixty dollar games of fifteen to sixty dollar

00:26:24   games that people want to play each of which is

00:26:28   you know significant and worthwhile.

00:26:32   Kind of like Netflix with a whole bunch of movies whereas Apple has

00:26:36   a collection of literally hundreds of thousands of

00:26:40   mostly very bad games that most people don't want to play

00:26:44   and a small collection of good games that are already either

00:26:48   selling well or getting people to download for free and then selling them in game

00:26:52   stuff. And I'm not sure your typical iOS gamer

00:26:56   feels like they would derive enough value from any

00:27:00   reasonable subscription because most people I see playing

00:27:04   games on their phones don't go through enough games

00:27:08   to make the subscription work. Because iOS games are so cheap

00:27:12   or free if the subscription was five dollars a month they'd be like why don't I just spend that

00:27:16   five dollars on games. I spend one dollar and fifty cents on games a month

00:27:20   and you want me to subscribe I guess I would have access to way more games

00:27:24   but history has shown that I only play three free games and

00:27:28   one ninety nine cent game and one fifty cent in app purchase

00:27:32   per month on average so it's harder to come out ahead

00:27:36   versus sixty dollar Xbox games where if I can get access to a huge library of sixty dollar Xbox

00:27:40   games it's easy to see how that math work out if you have enough time to play games.

00:27:44   I don't know, it remains to be seen. There could be some untapped market for people who want access

00:27:48   to a hundred thousand games of which they're going to play too but we'll see.

00:27:52   And this to me, this is just one more argument for why it makes

00:27:56   way more sense to have this as part of a bundle than to try to

00:28:00   sell it as a stand alone service because it like

00:28:04   you know I see why it makes sense on game consoles even then it isn't for everybody but like

00:28:08   I see why it makes sense for some people on game consoles but yeah like everything you said was correct

00:28:12   about the iOS market it's just so different for games that I don't

00:28:16   see people wanting to pay separately for this but

00:28:20   if it was part of a bundle they would think

00:28:24   aspirationally like that's great I would use that you know even if they don't end up

00:28:28   actually using it for much like it would add to the perceived value

00:28:32   of the bundle and it would help people justify purchasing the bundle if it includes

00:28:36   games and stuff you know and just all sorts of things that they may or may not actually use in practice whereas if you try

00:28:40   to sell it separately there's going to be a lot more like scrutiny on

00:28:44   that purchase and after even after they subscribe for the

00:28:48   people who do if they aren't really playing the games they'll be way more likely to cancel

00:28:52   that pretty soon whereas if it's part of a bundle they

00:28:56   aren't going to be scrutinizing every single part of that bundle every month to say

00:29:00   am I still really using this or not so again it's ever more reasons

00:29:04   why I think and hope this is all going to be

00:29:08   one big bundle rather than individual services

00:29:12   and interestingly I think they can like basically give away access to tons of games without

00:29:16   being afraid that they're going to end up paying out a huge amount of the subscription

00:29:20   fee to the developers because most games are free

00:29:24   and I can't imagine in-app purchases being part of the subscription because

00:29:28   that's the way they make all their money so you can get the

00:29:32   games for free but the games are probably free already anyway

00:29:36   maybe it'll open up a slightly larger market for a 99 cents game than exists now

00:29:40   but yeah once you know all the popular

00:29:44   games are free and then they get in there and you buy whatever thing they're making you buy in the game

00:29:48   and Apple can't allow that to be part of your $5 subscription

00:29:52   because everyone would subscribe just so they could play Candy Crush

00:29:56   without whatever limitations they put in your way. Just oh unlimited in-app purchase go go go

00:30:00   it breaks the whole model that they've

00:30:04   painted themselves into. It's not a thermal corner, what's a word other

00:30:08   than thermal? It's like a CINO corner. I don't know

00:30:12   it's the game market

00:30:16   on iOS is so strangely shaped from a historical perspective

00:30:20   it's fine that it works for Apple and people enjoy it but I'm not sure how

00:30:24   you could throw a subscription into there and it's almost like

00:30:28   like Margaret was getting at it. It seems valuable from the outside

00:30:32   but in reality it's pointless because no money really changes hands and it just

00:30:36   makes you feel better about a bill you're already going to pay anyway.

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00:32:32   I don't really

00:32:36   know what this next topic is about. So what we're going to

00:32:40   talk about is Apple and Nvidia. I know enough to know that

00:32:44   Nvidia and Apple used to be chummy and now they're not.

00:32:48   Because I am not someone who really cares about 3D cards and

00:32:52   fancy graphics cards and things of that nature, I've never really spent the time to

00:32:56   really dive in and understand the history here. But luckily

00:33:00   I have a John Saracusa that can tell me all about it. So John,

00:33:04   what's going on here? As we approach MacPro Day, which

00:33:08   could be today. It could be the day you're listening to this.

00:33:12   It's time to revisit this, especially in light

00:33:16   of semi-recent development.

00:33:20   We talked about Nvidia and Apple in the past and

00:33:24   particularly Nvidia's place in the 3D market.

00:33:28   They have had the best, fastest cards

00:33:32   for gaming for a long time. The lead

00:33:36   used to swap between Nvidia and ATI, AMD, and

00:33:40   whoever else every once in a while, but we've been in a long phase where Nvidia is in the lead.

00:33:44   They also have the most mindshare and market share in

00:33:48   AI applications with their CUDA language.

00:33:52   And for a long time Apple has not been including Nvidia

00:33:56   GPUs in any of its products. That's not that big of a deal

00:34:00   if Apple doesn't make any kind of computers that are focused on

00:34:04   gaming or really GPU intensive

00:34:08   AI, Pro 3D, machine learning, yada yada yada stuff.

00:34:12   But in theory the MacPro could be targeted at some of those markets.

00:34:16   And so it's an open question. Hey, this MacPro

00:34:20   Apple is going to learn from all its past mistakes. Is Nvidia

00:34:24   going to be an option on the new MacPro? Either from Apple or

00:34:28   separately. Like if you buy one but then you could upgrade the

00:34:32   card if the thing is indeed upgradable. And on that front you're like, well

00:34:36   if they make it any kind of computer with replaceable cards

00:34:40   Apple doesn't need to participate in that. They can ship it with an ATI

00:34:44   card, AMD card, I keep calling it ATI, whatever. Same company now. They can ship

00:34:48   it with an ATI card, but if it gets old or

00:34:52   you don't like it you can buy an Nvidia card and swap it in and you'll be fine. The wrinkle

00:34:56   there is you need drivers for it and Nvidia

00:35:00   in recent months and years has been very willing to write drivers for Mac OS

00:35:04   but they've hit a snag. And the snag is

00:35:08   that in the latest version of Mac OS, I forgot when they did this, they've been locking down kernel

00:35:12   extensions for a long time in Mac OS and the current iteration

00:35:16   basically, and this is a quote from Nvidia in one of their support forums

00:35:20   Apple fully controls drivers for Mac OS. Unfortunately

00:35:24   Nvidia currently cannot release a driver unless it is approved by Apple. That's not strictly

00:35:28   true. You could tell people to boot with a VRAM ARG that disables

00:35:32   the system protection and loads unsigned kernel extensions, blah blah blah. I think they could

00:35:36   get around it in that way, but that's not something people want to do and it's not really feasible for a consumer product

00:35:40   but what they're complaining about is that

00:35:44   you have to be like a licensed developer and you have to sign your kernel extension

00:35:48   and Apple has to co-sign it essentially to say "Yep, we're okay

00:35:52   with this kernel extension shipping." And for whatever reason, political

00:35:56   technical, bureaucratic, apparently Nvidia

00:36:00   can't get drivers for its latest GPUs to

00:36:04   go through the process that's required to get them to load on Mojave

00:36:08   Macs. And so this is upsetting for people to say like

00:36:12   "I can't even just buy, I can't do it on a Hackintosh, I can't take my old

00:36:16   Mac Pro and put in one of the new cards because there are no drivers for it."

00:36:20   And, you know, the Mac Pro

00:36:24   has a chance for Apple to fix all of its mistakes and to make a great new computer.

00:36:28   It's not the end of the world if they continue to have this vendetta

00:36:32   against Nvidia and say "We are just never going to deal with them." But

00:36:36   it is kind of a problem for Apple that Nvidia is the leader in so many different markets

00:36:40   and continues to have the "best cards"

00:36:44   for many different purposes. And Apple apparently not only

00:36:48   refuses to ship things in there but refuses to even let Nvidia do

00:36:52   all the work itself and ship things that can work with Macs. I hope that's not true.

00:36:56   I hope something else is going on and maybe behind the scenes they are working with Nvidia and these things will

00:37:00   come out with Nvidia cards and it will be great. Another possibility is that

00:37:04   ATI takes the lead again. They just released a new card

00:37:08   I think they were the first to market with a 7nm GPU.

00:37:12   The new architecture, new process,

00:37:16   it's impressive, but they did not take the lead. Like this new card

00:37:20   they came out with that's on a smaller process than Nvidia is currently shipping at

00:37:24   just barely matched an existing year old Nvidia card.

00:37:28   So ATI has not regained the performance lead. I think

00:37:32   this is actually a little bit of a problem. Obviously some of the stuff Nvidia does

00:37:36   competes with Apple and its metal initiatives and maybe this is all a mood if Apple starts making its own

00:37:40   GPU so who the hell cares about Nvidia and ATI. But in the world we live in today

00:37:44   a Mac Pro produced by a company that

00:37:48   refuses to have anything to do with Nvidia and also refuses to let Nvidia

00:37:52   ship anything that can work inside a Mac Pro is slightly lesser for it

00:37:56   and I really hope that's not how things turn out.

00:38:00   Of the many things that we'll all be watching for on Mac Pro Day, one of them is

00:38:04   does it ship with an Nvidia card and the second one is can someone put an

00:38:08   Nvidia card into it, a good modern Nvidia card into it after

00:38:12   the fact and have it work. We've heard

00:38:16   various rumblings and rumors and things from alleged employees for

00:38:20   years now about how there's this massive bad blood between Apple and Nvidia

00:38:24   and lots of reasons for it. The main reason I heard

00:38:28   stemmed from back a few generations ago Nvidia had those

00:38:32   GPUs and Mac Book Pros that died a lot and caused a lot of expensive repairs

00:38:36   for Apple and basically Apple blamed Nvidia, Nvidia blamed Apple and

00:38:40   Apple had to eat the bill for all that and kind of shunned Nvidia from all their product

00:38:44   and so if that is indeed the reason why we haven't seen a lot of Nvidia stuff

00:38:48   from Apple in the last few years, I think that's

00:38:52   a dumb reason. If there is bad blood between these companies

00:38:56   and it is within Apple's power to fix it

00:39:00   I think they should fix it because as you said

00:39:04   there's pretty strong demand from high end

00:39:08   GPU users for Nvidia support. By continuing

00:39:12   to not offer Nvidia GPUs, I think Apple

00:39:16   is hurting itself and its customers more than

00:39:20   whatever any dispute is worth.

00:39:24   The interesting part is it's not that Apple has to ship

00:39:28   Nvidia cards, they just need to not prevent their customers

00:39:32   from using Nvidia cards. That's a, like they've talked about how they're

00:39:36   changing their attitude about the Mac Pro and they're going to make the computer that pros want

00:39:40   but part of it is Apple's stance. The idea that Apple would

00:39:44   sell you a computer knowing that the people who buy it are

00:39:48   going to change it after they get it, whether that's

00:39:52   upgrades or even just component swaps, that

00:39:56   mindset which Apple used to have, that they would sell you a computer with the

00:40:00   expectation that whether it's you're going to buy third party RAM or you're going to buy a hard drive

00:40:04   from someone else and slap it in there or you're going to buy a second GPU and put it in

00:40:08   or you're going to replace the GPU that it comes with with a different one, selling you essentially a platform.

00:40:12   A modifiable platform. Obviously that's not

00:40:16   appropriate for laptops, for your iPhone, for a Mac Mini even.

00:40:20   But the whole point of the Mac Pro is to be different from those other computers.

00:40:24   It's different than an iMac Pro, different how? Because they sell it to you and it's got card slots

00:40:28   or expansion or whatever. I don't know if they're going to go that far. Maybe they're like, oh yeah

00:40:32   it's expandable but it's only expandable with Apple widgets.

00:40:36   You have to buy components from Apple and stick them in there and if Apple doesn't sell it, tough luck.

00:40:40   But I feel like that's leaving money on the table. If they really

00:40:44   want to be serious in the pro market, part of what makes something pro is the

00:40:48   idea that you can buy the chassis

00:40:52   and the guts and be able to upgrade components as you go along.

00:40:56   That's what you're paying all this money for, to have an upgradeable, reliable

00:41:00   sturdy core computer that you can augment and build

00:41:04   just the machine that you need for whatever you're doing. And again, that doesn't

00:41:08   require Apple to deal with Nvidia at all. All it requires is them to allow

00:41:12   Nvidia to do what it apparently wants to do, which is sell cards to Mac

00:41:16   users and write the drivers itself. And then it's between those customers and Nvidia.

00:41:20   If the drivers suck, then it's like anything else.

00:41:24   People used to sell like raid cards and their own video cards and their

00:41:28   own USB cards

00:41:32   for Macs that had an older version of USB. That's part of what makes

00:41:36   or part of what has historically made a Mac pro is the ability to do things like that. So this

00:41:40   situation where apparently Nvidia can't even get its drivers to work on Mojave because of

00:41:44   signing things, I really hope is some kind of misunderstanding.

00:41:48   On the bad blood front, the only company I can think of that Apple has had

00:41:52   worse bad blood with, if that makes sense, than Nvidia is Qualcomm.

00:41:56   And Apple's solution to that is they're going to make their own freaking modems.

00:42:00   Short term solution is we're going to have Intel do them. And long term is we're going to make them ourselves.

00:42:04   Which, fine, if Apple's short term solution is we're going to

00:42:08   use AMD ATI GPUs and all our stuff and our long term is I'll make

00:42:12   our own GPUs, fine, then do that. But right now, we don't know that that's the

00:42:16   plan. Right now we just see Apple about to release a Mac Pro

00:42:20   that before it's even released, smart money is that

00:42:24   it will not have GPU performance that is competitive with the best GPUs

00:42:28   offered in PCs. Yeah, it just seems so obvious to me

00:42:32   that this is, as you guys said, this is a problem that

00:42:36   from what we can tell, Apple needs to fix. And being

00:42:40   stubborn and petulant doesn't seem to do anyone a service.

00:42:44   It doesn't help the users, it doesn't help Apple, it doesn't really

00:42:48   help anyone. And I feel like

00:42:52   my perception of Apple is that they can be extraordinarily

00:42:56   stubborn and extraordinarily petulant if they so desire. And often times, not always,

00:43:00   but often times it's for at least understandable reasons, if not good reasons.

00:43:04   But geez, this time I don't think so.

00:43:08   From everything I know, which admittedly is little, it seems like they just need to

00:43:12   put this all to bed and start fresh. So

00:43:16   are you going to put an NVIDIA card in your forthcoming Mac Pro, Jon?

00:43:20   If it's possible to do so, I can imagine

00:43:24   doing that, because I have had multiple GPUs in

00:43:28   the Mac that's sitting right next to me right now, and I don't see why I wouldn't

00:43:32   upgrade the GPU in my future Mac Pro, assuming that's a thing that is possible.

00:43:36   And speaking of that, will you be able to configure that Mac Pro, Jon?

00:43:40   This is on the other end of the spectrum. This is a couple of old articles, I've got to look at the dates on these.

00:43:44   This was January, I believe. Yeah, one from Jason Snell

00:43:48   and then Gruber chimed in about it. But the end of configurable

00:43:52   Macs. Some of it is looking at the

00:43:56   products that Apple has released recently, and some of it is just tea leaf

00:44:00   reading and thinking about where all this is going.

00:44:04   I think Jason was mostly inspired by the MacBook Airs.

00:44:08   The fact that there's only one CPU option, which is

00:44:12   fairly unheard of for Apple laptops, usually.

00:44:16   They have a fast CPU and a regular CPU and they charge you a couple

00:44:20   hundred bucks to get a small amount of clock speed increase and people wonder whether

00:44:24   they should buy it. Sometimes they'll do like an i5 or an i7.

00:44:28   This has historically been a way for Apple to boost its margins because

00:44:32   they'll charge you a lot more than it costs them to get the

00:44:36   faster CPU, more RAM, more storage, so on and so forth.

00:44:40   On the iOS line of

00:44:44   computers or computing devices, there's configurability, but it is

00:44:48   along fewer axes. Mostly just storage. You can't

00:44:52   get an iPhone or an iPad with the faster CPU or more RAM.

00:44:56   Or if you do get more RAM, it's part of the more storage model.

00:45:00   I forget which one, the big iPad Pro I think had more RAM with

00:45:04   one terabyte of flash or whatever.

00:45:08   And so eliminating things that you can vary, like

00:45:12   you can get more storage but you can't get more memory, you can't get more CPU,

00:45:16   maybe you can't get anything at all, maybe this is just the way it comes.

00:45:20   It seems to be the direction Apple is going and so the

00:45:24   open question is, can we envision a future where

00:45:28   all of the Macs, except probably the Mac Pro and maybe the

00:45:32   iMac Pro, have

00:45:36   far fewer things that you can configure about them. Maybe color would still be in the mix

00:45:40   because that's the thing that everyone wants to pick, but that you wouldn't have a choice of CPU

00:45:44   across any of the Macs, except maybe the super duper Pro models.

00:45:48   MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, all those would come with just one

00:45:52   CPU. It is the one and only CPU that they come with and it is a good one and it's made by

00:45:56   Apple, for example. It's all ARM CPUs, it comes with the, we went through this before,

00:46:00   the M11, the X12, whatever the heck letter and number

00:46:04   combination that Apple comes up with for the Macs. And all of the

00:46:08   MacBooks come with that. All of the MacBook Pros come with the M37

00:46:12   or whatever it is going to be. And you don't have a choice. There's not clock

00:46:16   speed differences, there's not, you can't get different amounts of RAM in them or whatever. Storage

00:46:20   I can imagine them still, you know, they need some

00:46:24   I feel like they need some dial that they can turn to charge people

00:46:28   more money so I can never imagine them being totally unconfigurable and just having one price

00:46:32   one product just because they make so much money by

00:46:36   charging you more for more storage. But other than storage

00:46:40   I can totally imagine, especially if Apple is making the CPUs on all of them

00:46:44   no longer doing what they have done when other people are making the CPUs which is

00:46:48   always getting, you know, different binned parts and charging you a couple of

00:46:52   extra hundred bucks for a minor percentage

00:46:56   clock speed increase. And not only can I see them doing that, I don't think

00:47:00   it would be that big of a deal. I mean, witness the new MacBook Air.

00:47:04   It only comes with one CPU, nobody cares. There wasn't even like a fake

00:47:08   controversy article about it. Like the best we got were these articles, which is like

00:47:12   hey look at this, they only offer one CPU on the MacBook Air.

00:47:16   Basically what Apple is revealing is nobody

00:47:20   like, it's not a thing that people want. Past MacBook

00:47:24   Airs you had choices of CPU speed and all it did was require the customers to

00:47:28   make another decision in the purchase process. They'd have to think, hmm, do I want this, do I want that

00:47:32   and probably the decision most of them made was, oh, minus $99

00:47:36   minus $200 minus whatever or like, you know, do I have to charge this much more

00:47:40   for some number decimal point to go up that I don't care about? Forget it, I'm skipping it.

00:47:44   And so I feel like this is an entirely safe thing to do

00:47:48   for CPU speed. Probably also a safe thing

00:47:52   to do for RAM. Again, they've done that before. I think there's some, is it MacBook Airs? Some Mac

00:47:56   models I think only come with one amount of RAM. The 12 inch only has one option. Yeah.

00:48:00   Like, I think that's mostly safe on the low end, especially

00:48:04   if they give you a reasonable amount. And that just leaves storage, which

00:48:08   is where Apple can put all their money by charging their normal exorbitant prices

00:48:12   for additional storage. And they will. So I'm

00:48:16   I think this is a reasonable prediction. I think we're already

00:48:20   most of the way there and I think it's both a good move and

00:48:24   no one will care about it. What do you guys think? Well, first of all, some real time follow up before everyone emails us. Apparently

00:48:28   the 12 inch now does come with configurable RAM up to 16 gigs.

00:48:32   It didn't when it first came out. The 12 inch? Really? Wow. Yeah, now the high end 12 inch

00:48:36   can go to 16. Yeah, that's been the case for at least a year, because mine is 16. I'm almost sure.

00:48:40   It hasn't updated for at least a year. Well, that's true. Actually, that's a very good point. What are you going to do

00:48:44   with all that RAM? I don't think the CPU can work its way through all that RAM. No reasonable amount.

00:48:48   Don't even get me started. I was just thinking to myself just a couple days

00:48:52   back. I still do love my little MacBook Adorable. It is a great

00:48:56   machine. It is exactly what I wanted in the sense that it is hyper portable more

00:49:00   than anything else. But holy crap is this thing slow.

00:49:04   Getting the iPad Pro was the worst mistake I've ever made when it comes

00:49:08   to continuing to enjoy my Adorable, because it's just painfully

00:49:12   slow. It really, really is. Like when I was not comparing

00:49:16   it to an iPad, it wasn't that bad. It didn't

00:49:20   seem that awful. Of course, it's slower than my iMac. You know, that's to be expected. But

00:49:24   holy cow, the iPad Pro is so much quicker than this thing.

00:49:28   So I'm kind of of the camp of bring on the ARM Macs, because clearly that will solve

00:49:32   all our problems. But to answer your question, do we

00:49:36   want configurable Macs? Ten-ish years ago, maybe a little

00:49:40   more than that, I would have been probably offended. And I choose that

00:49:44   word on purpose. I would have been maybe offended at not having any

00:49:48   choice as to CPU options and many, many RAM options

00:49:52   and storage options and this and that and the other. But now, I

00:49:56   mostly don't care. And I think Gruber's point at the very, very end of his

00:50:00   link to Jason's post, I think it's perfect. And I agree

00:50:04   with it. Gruber wrote, "I want Apple's system architects to do all the work to make the decision

00:50:08   for me to find the perfect balance." And I agree with that. I

00:50:12   think storage, especially while it's still pretty expensive, I think it makes

00:50:16   sense for that to be something that you can tweak. I'm

00:50:20   less convinced that RAM is also on that list. I kind of feel like

00:50:24   within financial reason, just dump as much RAM as you can into

00:50:28   these laptops until you can't anymore because it's just unaffordable.

00:50:32   Storage, it makes sense. I'd also love a configurable cellular radio.

00:50:36   But we know that's not going to happen. So... By the way, why not?

00:50:40   Why is that not going to happen? I know you're right, but just for the sake

00:50:44   of putting Apple's feet to the fire, you're like, "Why does cellular

00:50:48   seem like it's something that everyone is just okay with not happening?"

00:50:52   We have it in the iPad, and it's great. Other PC makers

00:50:56   have it in laptops, and it works for them. Why can't we have it in

00:51:00   Macs? That seems like... Well, let me tell you, Marco. It's because when I

00:51:04   try to tether to my phone from my Mac, you know, and I don't touch my phone,

00:51:08   it works flawlessly every time. It never has a problem.

00:51:12   Plus, everyone loves draining their phone batteries, right? Mm-hmm. That's right. And plus,

00:51:16   there's no mechanism for having like a software-based SIM card, so you'd have to

00:51:20   add another door to the laptop, because we haven't figured that out yet either.

00:51:24   But it's okay. Nobody has unlimited data plans. Those don't exist yet, and

00:51:28   definitely are not widespread. So I understand why they wouldn't want Macs to burn all your data.

00:51:32   Oh, God, I agree with you. Although, all kidding aside, where would you

00:51:36   put the little plastic piece for the cellular

00:51:40   antenna, though? Where do they put all the other antennas? Yeah, but I don't know.

00:51:44   I think they hide them in the hinge right now. They find places to put antennas,

00:51:48   because laptops are made out of metal, and they have a lot of wireless radios in them. So like, they

00:51:52   find places. This is a solvable problem. All of these are

00:51:56   solvable problems, and solved problems in many other devices,

00:52:00   including Apple's own devices. This is why

00:52:04   I'm just, it makes me so angry that they don't have cellular, because PC manufacturers

00:52:08   have been shipping cellular in laptops for over a decade. Apple has been shipping

00:52:12   cellular in iPads since the very first iPad, well, since 30

00:52:16   days after the very first iPad. But like, it blows my mind,

00:52:20   like, why? It would be so useful, and as

00:52:24   time goes on, we have more and more justifications

00:52:28   for it. It isn't like the need for cellular in laptops is going down

00:52:32   over time. It's actually going up over time, as more and more people, first of all,

00:52:36   want to avoid, like, you know, using public Wi-Fi, for God's sake.

00:52:40   You know, second of all, as like hotel Wi-Fi and everything gets

00:52:44   all crapped up with people trying to download the entire internet worth

00:52:48   of video all at once, and so it becomes, you know, decreasingly usable. And like,

00:52:52   again, and you have, you know, huge increases

00:52:56   of unlimited data plans, which neutralizes a lot of the

00:53:00   arguments that, like, Mac OS is not optimized for, you know, conserving

00:53:04   cellular data, which, by the way, is true, but is also

00:53:08   a solvable problem. Apple introduced the NSURLSession cellular

00:53:12   permission flags years ago, and those

00:53:16   same flags exist on Mac OS, and I don't know if Apple

00:53:20   knows about these yet, maybe, I don't know, but they could have rewritten all of their

00:53:24   apps to use these. So it's like, it's not, it isn't a big

00:53:28   deal, I don't think, to add support for this kind of stuff.

00:53:32   And again, over time, we have unlimited data plans becoming more and more common

00:53:36   anyway, and cellular carriers making it easier

00:53:40   and easier to add additional devices to your account that have cellular

00:53:44   modems besides just phones. Things like watches, smartwatches, iPads.

00:53:48   So, the reasons to exclude

00:53:52   cellular from Macs keep, you know, getting eroded away

00:53:56   over time, and there's all the more reason to, like, the only reason

00:54:00   you can say for not having it is, well, you can tether to your phone.

00:54:04   And yeah, that's true, but why do they have it in the iPad then?

00:54:08   If tethering to your phone is good enough, why have cellular in the iPad?

00:54:12   The reason why is because it's way, way better

00:54:16   than tethering, and there's lots of reasons to do it besides

00:54:20   just tethering, and the same things all apply to laptops.

00:54:24   So for God's sake, put cellular in laptops. Anyway,

00:54:28   sorry for this massive interruption. Please continue with upgradeable Macs.

00:54:32   So, I have to ask you and continue your interruption, because I agree

00:54:36   with you, if you had to choose only SD card slot, have I asked you

00:54:40   this already? SD card slot or cellular radio, what do you choose?

00:54:44   Cellular, no question. I would use it more often, and it's harder to add later. Fair enough.

00:54:48   I agree with you. I'm not going to argue, but I'm slightly surprised, because I know

00:54:52   you really, really miss your SD card slot, so. I do, but I

00:54:56   would use cellular a lot more. Like, because I have it on my iPad. I use it all the time.

00:55:00   And there's lots of places where, like, you know, I would take my laptop, but I end up taking the iPad

00:55:04   because I know it'll be easier to just quickly get online and check stuff on the iPad because it has

00:55:08   built-in cellular. But I would like to use my MacBook for a lot more of those things.

00:55:12   Anyway, so, regarding upgradeable Macs,

00:55:16   I do have a small rant on this, too. I think

00:55:20   people are really bad,

00:55:24   and I mean this, I know lots of people, I'm friends with people,

00:55:28   but people are really, really bad in general at

00:55:32   estimating or guessing or deciding which hardware

00:55:36   features or upgrades on a computer purchase are going to be useful and important

00:55:40   and necessary for them, and which ones are worth the money and which ones aren't for them.

00:55:44   I can't blame people for this, because it's,

00:55:48   these things are marketed in certain ways that make you think that you need certain things

00:55:52   or that certain things will be insufficient for you and you need to upgrade X, Y, or Z

00:55:56   to, in order to do application, you know,

00:56:00   A, B, or C, the reality is many, many, many of these

00:56:04   upgrades that they sell you are things that you don't actually need or that have

00:56:08   way less of an impact on actual usage than

00:56:12   you might think. And CPUs, I think, are

00:56:16   the number one offender here. And this doesn't apply to all the product lines. Like the ones,

00:56:20   the product lines where you have meaningful differences in, say,

00:56:24   the number of cores between different options. Like the iMac Pro, you can

00:56:28   spec the iMac Pro from, what's the base model, six cores? All the way up to

00:56:32   18. You know, there's a massive difference in core count there.

00:56:36   Even then, it's not a linear increase in performance, because the clock speeds

00:56:40   come down as the core count goes up, but you still do get a substantial

00:56:44   improvement in performance between those low-end options and those high-end options

00:56:48   for, you know, things like the iMac Pro or the Mac Mini, where you have

00:56:52   huge differences in CPUs that are available to you. But in most of the products,

00:56:56   and especially the portable products, and this is because of power constraints,

00:57:00   the difference between the lowest-end CPU offered and

00:57:04   the highest-end CPU offered, the difference in performance is usually very small.

00:57:08   Way smaller than you would think from the numbers that are on the page.

00:57:12   And it's usually on the range of like 10 to 25 percent,

00:57:16   maybe. And so you might be paying like $300 extra

00:57:20   to improve your CPU performance by 15 percent.

00:57:24   And it seems like it'd be more than that, but the numbers that are on screen, but because of things like

00:57:28   turbo boost and thermal limits and power limits, it actually ends up being

00:57:32   less than you think in practice. But people tell themselves

00:57:36   wonderful marketing lies, like, "I want to be doing video editing,

00:57:40   and so I have to get the absolute highest-end thing possible."

00:57:44   And it often has very little relation to what their actual hardware needs are in practice

00:57:48   and what the thing that they're saying will actually use in practice

00:57:52   and will actually need in practice, or the difference it'll actually make. And so many

00:57:56   people are totally fine for their needs to be solved by the lowest-end

00:58:00   option in a lineup, or at best the mid-range option in a lineup.

00:58:04   CPU-wise. RAM-wise, I find

00:58:08   I don't even know how much RAM to buy when I buy computers.

00:58:12   Let alone, I can't even imagine how other people make this decision.

00:58:16   And I think it's based on the same kind of voodoo. It's like, "Well, I want to edit

00:58:20   video, so I guess I'll get the biggest." Or, "I'm only browsing

00:58:24   the web most of the time, so I'll get the smallest." And the reality is,

00:58:28   how are people supposed to know whether they need 8 or 16 gigs of RAM?

00:58:32   If I can't even tell you whether I need 8, 16, 32, or 64,

00:58:36   I have no idea. I usually get something near the middle because

00:58:40   I can, and I figure I'll probably use it. But I don't know what I'm actually

00:58:44   using. How can anyone else know? And the reality is, I have

00:58:48   used high-end Macs, like this wonderful iMac Pro I'm using now that has

00:58:52   pretty high specs, and I've used mid-range Macs, like my MacBook Pro

00:58:56   which has, you know, it's a 13-inch MacBook Pro, it has nice mid-range specs

00:59:00   there, and I've used the 12-inch MacBook.

00:59:04   And the crappier one, like the, I think it was the second generation one that I used

00:59:08   briefly, I felt some difference between them with the

00:59:12   things I did, but it wasn't like, it wasn't as big

00:59:16   of a difference in most operation as most people think.

00:59:20   Like my MacBook Pro, which, you know, by the numbers

00:59:24   should be like a quarter of the speed of my iMac Pro, isn't

00:59:28   actually that much slower. In the things I do, even things like building overcast from scratch in

00:59:32   Xcode, it's not that much slower than the iMac Pro. When I was testing the Mac Mini,

00:59:36   that, I found the same thing, like, you would expect the Mac Mini to be a lot

00:59:40   slower than the iMac Pro, but it wasn't that much slower. It was only, it was like,

00:59:44   it matched it in CPU performance for the things I was actually doing, and it was

00:59:48   just slower in a few other ways. But like, you know, so people are

00:59:52   really bad at guessing what they need and

00:59:56   what they should spend their money on for upgrade budgets and everything, and I think

01:00:00   the two worst areas of that are CPU and RAM. So if Apple is

01:00:04   removing CPU customizability from low-end

01:00:08   and/or thermally constrained products, that's fine.

01:00:12   Because the fact is, we don't have that much choice there now.

01:00:16   We just have different ways to spend arbitrary amounts of money to get performance gains that are actually

01:00:20   way smaller than we think that we probably won't even notice. RAM

01:00:24   is a little more noticeable if you get it wrong,

01:00:28   but the base model RAM in most of these machines is what most people buy anyway, and it's

01:00:32   fine. You know, we have SSDs now, so running out of RAM when you have an SSD

01:00:36   is a lot less of a performance penalty than it used to be when you had spinning disks.

01:00:40   And so, if we're getting less configurability

01:00:44   in these two areas, that's fine.

01:00:48   For most products in the lineup, that's fine. Now, that is not fine for something like an

01:00:52   iMac Pro, where the potential range of processor options and the

01:00:56   potential range of RAM amounts is way bigger, and you have more

01:01:00   outliers at the high end because these are like pro machines for pro workloads and everything

01:01:04   and who knows what pros need. So anything that is targeting a high-end

01:01:08   use where thermals and cost aren't necessarily constrained

01:01:12   very much, it makes sense to offer huge options.

01:01:16   Whatever the chipset can handle, whatever the power can handle, offer the biggest options you can

01:01:20   and give people a range to pick from. But as you get further down the line, when you're in the smaller

01:01:24   products, like especially the small laptops, it totally makes sense

01:01:28   to just lock in like one CPU option, one or two

01:01:32   amounts of RAM, and then whatever storage customizability you can afford

01:01:36   to put in there. Because those are the things, like the CPU matters

01:01:40   almost not at all when you're deciding between like, like the

01:01:44   12 inch is offered in three different CPUs. If you actually look at the difference

01:01:48   between those three, it's very, very small. Why? Why

01:01:52   is it three different CPUs? The answer is Apple wants free money, right? Like that's basically what

01:01:56   it is, and so does Intel, right? Because some of it's them. But like the reality is

01:02:00   like if somebody has the top end, what is it, the 1.4

01:02:04   gigahertz processor? Yeah, the top end, the 1.4.

01:02:08   If you substituted that out for the 1.2, the base model,

01:02:12   I bet they wouldn't even notice. I bet almost

01:02:16   no one who has the 1.4 would notice if you swapped it out for the 1.2.

01:02:20   And that's a $250 premium option. The fact is

01:02:24   like at these, with the small processors, the small laptops, the small thermal envelopes,

01:02:28   this stuff doesn't matter. So, fine, with the new Air,

01:02:32   we have one option. I have heard zero buyers of

01:02:36   the new Air and zero potential buyers of it complain that there is only

01:02:40   one CPU option. Literally none, I've heard it from none of them.

01:02:44   And you know, same thing, I don't know if the RAM's configurable, is it? But if it is, like

01:02:48   that's a lot less important as well. Storage doesn't make

01:02:52   a lot of sense to have configurable because storage is something that is

01:02:56   hugely variable in people's needs and is extremely

01:03:00   expensive. So you can't just put in the biggest amount of storage and call it a day

01:03:04   because that would drive the price of the machine way too much. So that makes sense.

01:03:08   And also storage is a hard limit. With a CPU

01:03:12   you can edit video on a 12 inch MacBook. It'll just take

01:03:16   longer. Yeah, it just takes longer.

01:03:20   You can do it and it's a soft limit. You'll just be delayed.

01:03:24   But it still has the same capability. You can still do the task

01:03:28   you want to do, it'll just take longer. RAM, similar.

01:03:32   You can still do most things you want to do, whether you have 8 gigs or 16, it'll

01:03:36   just take a little bit longer if you don't have the high amount. Storage is a hard wall.

01:03:40   You can't just fill your hard disk up bigger if you just do it more

01:03:44   slowly. You don't get more space by filling it up slowly.

01:03:48   And so that's one thing where it matters a lot more to have

01:03:52   that be, to give that a high ceiling for people to configure.

01:03:56   And because it's so expensive you can't just give everybody the same high ceiling.

01:04:00   So, yeah, I'm on board with this. There really hasn't

01:04:04   been an area that Apple has removed customizability

01:04:08   from recently that I have really run into as a real

01:04:12   problem. I do have problems with other things that Apple makes non-customizable.

01:04:16   Like the fact that they use the same keyboard for all of their computers.

01:04:20   That I have a big problem with. But that has never been customizable.

01:04:24   That Apple has, as long as I have been an Apple

01:04:28   customer, which was since the PowerBook G4, they have

01:04:32   used the same keyboard in all of their laptops.

01:04:36   I never thought that Apple would introduce third party keyboard support for their laptops, but then they did it!

01:04:40   Right, like

01:04:44   We used to think that about iOS and they actually added a third party, "Oh, like a third party keyboard?"

01:04:48   No, they'll never do that. For the RAM question, if you're wondering how much RAM

01:04:52   you should have or whatever, we all know this as developers

01:04:56   but customers probably don't, but iOS

01:05:00   started as a RAM constrained environment. It was a very

01:05:04   different fitness criteria for applications than iOS.

01:05:08   So iOS devices can get away with a fixed, very small amount of RAM.

01:05:12   The Mac has a different history. And yes, even with all those iOS apps coming

01:05:16   over to the Mac, that's not going to change anytime soon. So I would

01:05:20   say on the Mac, if you're wondering whether you should get 8 or 16,

01:05:24   if you're going to run a web browser plus Slack plus one other app, get 16.

01:05:28   Because if you haven't looked at Activity Monitor

01:05:32   lately, just look at how much RAM your Chrome tabs

01:05:36   and Slack are taking by themselves. It is obscene how much RAM they take.

01:05:40   Not the virtual memory. Measuring memory is very complicated. There's no one

01:05:44   thing you can look at and add up in numbers and come up with a thing that's saying it's very, very complicated.

01:05:48   And yes, SSDs are way faster than spinning disks, so it's much

01:05:52   less important than it used to be, but SSDs are still way slower than RAM.

01:05:56   So if you ever have a choice between 8 and 16, and you can stomach

01:06:00   Apple's prices, which are ridiculous for that extra 8, get

01:06:04   the 16. But you don't need 32 unless you know you need 32. So

01:06:08   that's the tricky part with RAM, is that even on the low-end models, if Apple

01:06:12   standardized on 8, it would be bad. If Apple standardized on 16 right now,

01:06:16   that would be fine. So whatever the inflation adjusted equivalent of 16 is,

01:06:20   they would have to revisit that number once in a while, but 16 is fine for

01:06:24   pretty much everybody. But 8, it's not

01:06:28   you don't have to be running fancy applications to use up

01:06:32   all of 8. And then you're swapping to an SSD, and yes, it's fast, but it is not

01:06:36   as fast as RAM. But I'm also eager with everything else that Marco said. And it's making me

01:06:40   think... Real-time follow-up, I'm currently, apparently I have

01:06:44   64 gigs of RAM in my iMac Pro.

01:06:48   And I'm currently using 39 gigs.

01:06:52   What are you running?

01:06:56   Things have dots under them in the dock.

01:07:00   Oh boy, how much time do you have? Finder, Mail, Messages,

01:07:04   Safari, Things, iTunes, TextMate, Chrome,

01:07:08   Xcode, Dash, Terminal, Tower, Slack, Preview,

01:07:12   Calendar, Notes, Silver, Numbers, Tweetbot, Photos, ReadKit,

01:07:16   AudioHijack, Colloquy, Skype, and Activity Monitor.

01:07:20   So that's a lot of apps. But you're just over the threshold

01:07:24   of a 32, so you wouldn't be fixed, fit into a 16.

01:07:28   I'm only using around 8. I am running Safari, BB Edit,

01:07:32   Terminal, Colloquy, Chrome, and

01:07:36   Slack. And AudioHijack and Skype.

01:07:40   But there is a gig of swap in use, and

01:07:44   I closed all of them. I don't actually have a lot of windows or tabs open at this point

01:07:48   because I closed everything down when I podcast for the most part. But anyway, yeah.

01:07:52   8 is a little bit too little to have breathing room.

01:07:56   Especially when... There's another reason people spend the extra money for the faster CPUs.

01:08:00   They feel like it's going to give them more longevity out of the machine. And it might, but RAM will give you much

01:08:04   more longevity than CPU will. Because there's some,

01:08:08   you know, say you bought RAM not knowing that Slack would come into existence, then it

01:08:12   becomes an important part of your life, and you just realized how much of a RAMPig it was going to be and the fact that it's going to

01:08:16   be running all the time and potentially has a memory leak. On the Mac, that's the

01:08:20   type of thing that can happen. On iOS, it can happen because anything that was that much of a RAMPig would never

01:08:24   run for more than 60 seconds at a time before being killed.

01:08:28   What the hell is Adobe Desktop Service? It's half a gig right there.

01:08:32   Yep. What column are you looking at? You can't really... This is the

01:08:36   memory. You have to look at real memory.

01:08:40   Real memory? Okay. Memory is the virtual memory. But even real memory, it's not... You can't just

01:08:44   add up all those numbers. It's way... Wait. Real memory is way more than memory for some of these.

01:08:48   Like it says photos, 4.5 gigs. But real memory is 4.5.

01:08:52   Memory is 730 megs. I don't know.

01:08:56   I thought memory was V size and real memory is RSS in PS parlance.

01:09:00   Yeah, see, it's very hard to actually know, like, how much RAM

01:09:04   is an app actually using because it isn't that simple.

01:09:08   Real memory says R size, which itself is a complicated concept when you mouse

01:09:12   over it. Private memory is R...

01:09:16   I think I did... I tried to do an article about this once. Explain

01:09:20   exactly how RAM is divvied up and, like, there is

01:09:24   no number you can get out of PS where you can add up a bunch of things

01:09:28   and get two values that's like, here's how much is in the RAM

01:09:32   and here's how much is in the SSD. You'd have to

01:09:36   go page by page and figure out who's sharing this page from this shared library and is it

01:09:40   in RAM. Like, you'd have to dump the whole page table. It's ridiculous. Anyway,

01:09:44   it's very difficult to express this to users, but you do know when swap is in use because you

01:09:48   can see things getting paged in and out and you can feel things getting slower.

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01:11:48   Anyway, your discussion before of like cellular

01:11:52   and the configurability of laptops and everything, is making me think

01:11:56   of something I've been thinking about for a couple weeks now, but I haven't been able to come up with a good visualization

01:12:00   so I suppose people can make a bunch of charts and then spam them at us.

01:12:04   And I just wrote it in the thing,

01:12:08   the notes doc to remind myself to talk about it as the MacBook hierarchy

01:12:12   of needs, but it's not really a hierarchy, it's not really what I'm thinking of. It's like

01:12:16   so, new laptops. New laptops are coming. We're all excited about them.

01:12:20   There's a bunch of things that could potentially come in new laptops.

01:12:24   And I was visualizing them as kind of like an

01:12:28   ordered list, and as you go down the list,

01:12:32   like if you went down the whole list, it's a short list, it's maybe like 5 or 10 things,

01:12:36   probably less than 10 things. If everything on the list appeared

01:12:40   like in the new laptops, you'd be like, these are the best laptops ever.

01:12:44   Apple is amazing. And if none of them appeared, you'd be super mad

01:12:48   because they didn't fix anything, they're still crappy like they are now.

01:12:52   And it's a ranked list, so the top item

01:12:56   is the one that you say Apple has to do this, this is the most important thing for them to do.

01:13:00   And the second one is like, oh here's the second most important. And you have to decide

01:13:04   as you go down the list, sort of like a color coding, at what point do you draw a line

01:13:08   and say, this is the line of acceptability, like let's say.

01:13:12   Where if they do this one or these two or these three things,

01:13:16   they will have acceptably addressed the shortcomings of the current laptops.

01:13:20   And then there's the next line which is like, if they do these four

01:13:24   or these five things, they will have really good laptops. And then if they do

01:13:28   these six or seven, they will have great laptops. And if they do eight, nine, and ten, they have the best

01:13:32   laptops ever. And I'm sure we all have different

01:13:36   lists, but I can imagine a diagram and sort of like

01:13:40   a temperature bar thing or color again. What I'm referring to by the way with the MacBook

01:13:44   hierarchy needs is Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which is actually kind of inverted where

01:13:48   it's like the basic things that everybody needs is

01:13:52   like, what is it, safety is the bottom? No, actually

01:13:56   the Wikipedia page says psychological is the bottom need. Anyway,

01:14:00   there's safety, then there's love and belonging, then there's esteem and there's self-actualization.

01:14:04   So you need safety, because if you don't have safety, if you don't have physical safety, who's

01:14:08   worried about self-actualization, right? That's the idea, that there's certain things you need to address

01:14:12   because they're like serious concerns and you can't worry about the other things until

01:14:16   you address that. But as you go up in the Maslow's hierarchy of

01:14:20   needs, you get to things that are sort of more nice to have

01:14:24   or at the very top is like, I've got everything else going on in my life and

01:14:28   my final thing is self-actualization, right? So the inverted version

01:14:32   of that in the MacBook hierarchy of needs is I'm assuming we can all agree number one is keyboard.

01:14:36   And I would say if you have to subdivide that, you

01:14:40   would say keyboard reliability, because you can't start addressing key layout or

01:14:44   key feel or anything else you care about keyboards until you do reliability, right?

01:14:48   And then we can start arguing about what number two and three and four are, but I think the most

01:14:52   interesting part there is where would you draw the line? Like

01:14:56   let's say the line of acceptability where they introduce new MacBooks

01:15:00   and the new MacBooks have a reliable keyboard, right, as determined over the next

01:15:04   six months or whatever. Do you draw a line right after that and say

01:15:08   they will have crossed the line of acceptability? If everything else about the laptops doesn't

01:15:12   change or like is awash, doesn't get any better, but they have reliable keyboards

01:15:16   is that acceptable or is there a second item and a third item? I don't think we have to solve this now

01:15:20   but I am visualizing like a color-coded rainbow chart that we work our way down

01:15:24   during the keynote and I know they're not really ordered and I know Apple could like introduce items

01:15:28   number one, five, and seven, so there's probably some visualization that would let us know

01:15:32   ahead of time, so we sort of for our own personal opinions and say

01:15:36   here's what I think if they hit X, Y, and Z

01:15:40   here's how I'll feel about it. And doing that before the announcement as opposed to

01:15:44   just seeing what they announced and then deciding how you feel about it is a way to

01:15:48   keep yourself from going off the deep end and saying this one pet thing that I

01:15:52   wanted, whether it's like an SD card slot or cellular or whatever, isn't there and therefore

01:15:56   I think these laptops are crap even though they have like five of the items that I said I wanted and

01:16:00   they've passed into the line of greatness or whatever. That's tough

01:16:04   because on the one side I want to snark and say, oh well

01:16:08   obviously if they don't have a good keyboard I can't buy it, but that's not really

01:16:12   true, I'm going to buy anything that has... It's not a question of like

01:16:16   whether you're going to buy it or not, it's like the line of acceptability is basically have they

01:16:20   improved on the current models. Let's say they just kept giving the current models

01:16:24   butterfly keyboards, they update the CPUs, they give them more RAM, they're like blah blah blah

01:16:28   it's not like we wouldn't buy them because we'd have no choice, they'd be the only Mac laptops

01:16:32   but I think we would all agree that they have not addressed any of the problems

01:16:36   that we see with the current laptop lineup. We feel like the current crop of laptops of the last three

01:16:40   years or so have problems, we want to see those problems addressed and I feel like

01:16:44   the line of acceptability is, okay Apple you have acceptably

01:16:48   you've addressed enough of the problems from our personal estimations

01:16:52   with the current laptops that I feel like, you know

01:16:56   okay, alright, maybe they're still not my favorite laptops in the world

01:17:00   but you've gotten out from under the dark shadow that is

01:17:04   the butterfly keyboard for example. And then from there of like

01:17:08   oh these are good laptops or these are great laptops or these are the best laptops Apple has ever

01:17:12   made, like all the way up and/or down the hierarchy depending on

01:17:16   how you invert your pyramid. Yeah, for me I mean

01:17:20   I agree with your definition of the pyramid, like you know it's not necessarily

01:17:24   what I buy it because we all know I'm going to buy it no matter what it is, but it's

01:17:28   more like you know what will make it fixed

01:17:32   like what will be like this is now on the right track or this is

01:17:36   no longer a product category that is on fire or covered in asterisks

01:17:40   and yeah for me keyboard is number one and

01:17:44   if they did nothing else except give it a

01:17:48   good keyboard again and I define good there as

01:17:52   multiple facets, reliability is number one, but if all they do

01:17:56   is replace the keyboard with a good keyboard again

01:18:00   I consider that good enough. I would like to see more improvements

01:18:04   than that. Cellular is very high on that list but

01:18:08   other than that like it's literally just a good keyboard is

01:18:12   the only single required thing for me to

01:18:16   say this product is back on track. Yeah, it's so tough

01:18:20   I don't know. I think I'm less disgruntled with the

01:18:24   current laptop line than you are Marco

01:18:28   and John hates anything that you can move around so obviously

01:18:32   he doesn't like laptops. It's tough for me to say

01:18:36   I have definitely had some keyboard problems with my MacBook

01:18:40   but they haven't yet been egregious enough to make me really

01:18:44   angry about them. I actually quite like the feel of the keyboard even if

01:18:48   I don't particularly care for the reliability. So I

01:18:52   don't know man. I don't feel like

01:18:56   there's anything really holding me back from buying another one today except

01:19:00   that I don't particularly feel like I need one and in terms of in general

01:19:04   is the line back on track then yeah I think it's what you said it's a reliable keyboard

01:19:08   and probably little else. Now John earlier on you had

01:19:12   said basically oh if this this and this happened it would be the best portable

01:19:16   computer ever made. I think for me that would be

01:19:20   continued extreme lightness because

01:19:24   that's the kind of laptop I favor these days. All day battery

01:19:28   which is obviously indirect. Which your laptop does not have. Yeah

01:19:32   and I can't have them both right. I can't have it be extremely portable and light and

01:19:36   also have an all day battery. Something that's reasonably

01:19:40   speedy with a reasonably nice screen. Another thing that Marco I know you're really

01:19:44   bothered by that doesn't bother me as much is not having true

01:19:48   pixel doubling at least by default you know so

01:19:52   that I can understand why that annoys you but it's not something that I'm

01:19:56   particularly bothered by. And that isn't like a huge deal. Like that is like

01:20:00   I consider huge deals to be like things that I don't

01:20:04   like or that I'm worried about pretty much every time I use it.

01:20:08   And really the number one thing on that list is the keyboard. Like I don't I never

01:20:12   like it no matter how long you know I've been using these keyboards on and off now for

01:20:16   almost three years and I still don't like them.

01:20:20   But I'm also always worried that it's going to break.

01:20:24   And I'm afraid like I use my laptop very

01:20:28   gently and I'm afraid to use it in a lot of conditions where I'm totally

01:20:32   fine using my iPad because I'm not worried about like getting a speck of dust on it. But like

01:20:36   I'm afraid to use my laptop in a lot of conditions because I know

01:20:40   how incredibly fragile that keyboard is. And if a speck of dust goes

01:20:44   near it just the wrong way there goes seven hundred dollars and a

01:20:48   week of not having my laptop. It's a constant worry and for anybody who has these

01:20:52   machines if it isn't a constant worry for you it should be because they

01:20:56   are that fragile and it is that random and capricious when

01:21:00   they stop working and it is that much of a pain to get them repaired.

01:21:04   So it's like that to me like it's it's that

01:21:08   overshadow is everything. The rest of it like the USB-C

01:21:12   only thing. The lack of the card reader. The lack of MagSafe.

01:21:16   The higher price. Like all that stuff is stuff that I have

01:21:20   had I've had you know two and a half years to very

01:21:24   slowly come to terms with. And I mostly have the

01:21:28   touch bar also like I still don't like the touch bar.

01:21:32   But if my only option on the next laptop is a good

01:21:36   keyboard that happens to also have a touch bar. Fine I'll take it. Like

01:21:40   everything else is everything else I can say fine I'll take

01:21:44   it. But not the keyboard reliability that and

01:21:48   in general the keyboard design but the reliability is the number one problem. Like

01:21:52   I worry about that every single time I use the computer and that

01:21:56   negatively impacts when and how I feel

01:22:00   comfortable using the computer. And so that's bigger than everything else.

01:22:04   I was thinking of this I was mostly thinking of it not so much as I mean the line of

01:22:08   reliability is an interesting question but I was thinking of it in terms of

01:22:12   how if they go down the entire list they'd make the best laptop

01:22:16   Apple has ever made. Because in many respects Apple's current laptops are the best

01:22:20   they've ever made for example in terms of size and weight and

01:22:24   sturdiness of the chassis. They're better than they've ever been. They're thinner than they've ever been.

01:22:28   They're very sturdy. They look really good. Like that aspect of the design is great

01:22:32   it's just they've dropped the ball in other areas. So I was thinking like if they just go down this

01:22:36   whole list they'll be great. I haven't really drawn lines but I've typed

01:22:40   up while we've been talking what I think is my personal list

01:22:44   and it's not that long it's like seven items long and if they did

01:22:48   all seven of these things potentially this is the greatest line of laptops

01:22:52   Apple has ever made. So my number one is keyboard reliability

01:22:56   my number two is screen resolution like you know native

01:23:00   2x all the stuff we've talked about. That's just important enough to me I feel like

01:23:04   it's fundamental just like the keyboard. I'm talking about the Pro laptops by the way. I'm not

01:23:08   talking about the MacBooks I'm saying the MacBook Pro. In particular I'm thinking of the 15 inch but you can

01:23:12   map to 13 inch. It's a true retina res at

01:23:16   least the old number of points.

01:23:20   Number three is the keyboard layout and having a real escape key. So this includes

01:23:24   anything improving the inverted T and you know maybe

01:23:28   an home and end key on the 15 inch and all that stuff. Keyboard layout is my number three.

01:23:32   My number four is SD card just because I have

01:23:36   a camera that uses SD cards. Number five is improved battery life because as bad as the battery

01:23:40   life is with the current things I don't you know it's lower on my

01:23:44   list than all those other things just because I can get by with the battery the way it is like it's ridiculous

01:23:48   when you know WebEx drains my battery in an hour long meeting but

01:23:52   I'm usually not that far from plugs or whatever. So for me battery life is number five.

01:23:56   Six is cellular. I think it's cool but it's

01:24:00   and I would use it but it's below all those other things. Seven is MagSafe.

01:24:04   A return of magnetic attached cables. I can work around that

01:24:08   with a little MagSafe thing that I have from a MacBook Air but it would be great for it to be built in.

01:24:12   And the last item is other additional ports. Whatever those ports

01:24:16   may be I don't really care but just the idea that it wouldn't just be USB-C on the

01:24:20   side. If they did all those things, reliable keyboard, native

01:24:24   2x, improved keyboard layout and real escape key, SD card slot, improved

01:24:28   battery life, cellular, magnetic thing and some other ports, that could

01:24:32   potentially be the best laptop Apple has ever made. We're not going to get all that I know

01:24:36   but I think that list is technologically feasible

01:24:40   let's say. Apple could build this computer and sell it for a reasonable price as the 15

01:24:44   inch MacBook Pro and it would be the best laptop they've ever made. They won't

01:24:48   for reasons that I find personally frustrating but there's that.

01:24:52   Now my line of acceptability is

01:24:56   I have to say, I think it's after number 2. Keyboard reliability and screen res.

01:25:00   That's just my personal opinion but the screen res thing really bothers

01:25:04   me. And I can't live in a world where we just accept from this point on that there will be

01:25:08   non-native res on Apple's Pro laptops forever and ever. It's bad. I don't like it.

01:25:12   So that's my line of acceptability. And then after that things get scrambled

01:25:16   because I don't think they're going to put an SD card in it. I don't think they're going to change the keyboard layout

01:25:20   but those are my next two items. So they're probably going to skip that and maybe go to improved

01:25:24   battery life and then skip everything else. And they'll end up having good laptops.

01:25:28   That's just my current thinking. I'm sure everyone else's

01:25:32   lists vary. If I had to make a similar list for the Mac Pro it would be

01:25:36   a big giant mess. I don't even know. And honestly the Mac Pro is more of like

01:25:40   I feel like with the Mac Pro

01:25:44   I have an out. They don't make a Mac Pro that fits my bill. I'll just buy an iMac Pro.

01:25:48   It's a good computer. I just want them to be back in the market of making Pro

01:25:52   Macs and in hopes that there will be another one

01:25:56   after that unlike the trash can and that they have another chance to take a run at it. Just like with the laptops.

01:26:00   They make a bunch of laptops that we have problems with but they're going to keep making more laptops

01:26:04   so they have more chances to get it right. I just want the Mac Pro to be like that. You know a computer

01:26:08   that they make more of every year or two. That's all. Anyway.

01:26:12   It shouldn't be a lot to ask. A keyboard that works.

01:26:16   That's my laptop list. Maybe I'll refine it before WWDC or whenever we think they're going to announce

01:26:20   laptops and then we can all go down the list and check off and see where we end up on our

01:26:24   our MacBook hierarchy of needs and/or wants.

01:26:28   I'm working on mine as you're talking and I'm not

01:26:32   satisfied with it. I don't know. What I've come up with

01:26:36   which again I'm not terribly satisfied with is improved

01:26:40   keyboard reliability and I'd also like the inverted 2. I do miss that.

01:26:44   And that is pretty much the line of acceptability for me. Again I don't really...

01:26:48   Well, I don't know. Dealer's choice.

01:26:52   Well I said good keyboard but that's a compound item.

01:26:56   If they failed on the inverted T then whatever.

01:27:00   I would be annoyed by it. And they will. I'd be annoyed by it but I would move on.

01:27:04   So to me the line is just a better keyboard. Be that one item

01:27:08   or two. It doesn't really matter to me. I'm counting it as one though. My next thing

01:27:12   is cellular. I would love to see cellular. Again I don't think

01:27:16   it'll happen. MagSafe I don't think it'll happen. That's three.

01:27:20   Four is an SD card slot. Five is improved battery life.

01:27:24   Six is more frequent updates to the line. Even though

01:27:28   I don't buy a computer every year or every month because my name is not Marco

01:27:32   I would still like to see more frequent updates. I mean I don't think you guys

01:27:36   understand how tough it is to be a laptop fan. We haven't gotten updates in like, I don't know, a year.

01:27:40   That's not a feature of our product though. I'm gonna

01:27:44   mix that one. Okay that's fine. That's fine. Like to me what matters

01:27:48   you know some of these things matter. You know like updates matter only on an

01:27:52   extreme scale. Right? Like if a product line only gets

01:27:56   updated every like one and a half to three years like

01:28:00   that matters if you're like trying to, if you're itching to buy one from one year

01:28:04   in and you have to wait and wait and wait for the new models to come out in order to buy something that you think is current. That

01:28:08   sucks. But once you own it that stops mattering.

01:28:12   And there's a lot of these things like once you already own it

01:28:16   things like the release schedule or even like the

01:28:20   a lot of the purchase price or the upgrade pricing a lot of that stuff

01:28:24   is a one time pain before or during purchase

01:28:28   but then after purchase you can move on and it isn't constantly

01:28:32   impacting you. Whereas things like an unreliable keyboard

01:28:36   that impacts you the entire life of the product.

01:28:40   So that's to me like that's way more important. Any factor that

01:28:44   impacts you the whole time you own it is way more important than

01:28:48   one time pains up front. I think that's fair.

01:28:52   So my list then is keyboard and that's where my line is. Better keyboard, more reliable

01:28:56   and inverted T. Then below or above the line however you want to look at it

01:29:00   cellular, mag safe, SD slot, battery life and more ports

01:29:04   because and I think I would move more

01:29:08   ports way the crap up if I was committed forever to only buying an adorable

01:29:12   because I got to tell you it is really nice to use

01:29:16   I believe they're a past sponsor a Luna display with your MacBook adorable to get a lot

01:29:20   more real estate when you're say working on like an iOS app or something like that or

01:29:24   Final Cut. However that is really really

01:29:28   really not as fun when you only have one port and that one port is being taken up

01:29:32   by the Luna display and so I have a like two hour

01:29:36   limit of having multiple monitors on my laptop because only when it comes to

01:29:40   you know using the iPad as a second monitor because after that my battery is dead and I need to

01:29:44   disconnect the Luna display which happened to me just the other night. So

01:29:48   more ports would be like number one on my list if I knew

01:29:52   I was going to buy an adorable and only an adorable for the rest of my life but the fact

01:29:56   of the matter is this is a self created problem because I could have just as well chosen a

01:30:00   different laptop that has at least one more port.

01:30:04   I've got improved battery life somewhere in the middle of my list but obviously the ARM thing we expect

01:30:08   will take care of that like we're going to get that whether we ask for it or not

01:30:12   unlike all the other things on this list other than keyboard reliability. Are we going to get it?

01:30:16   Because any gains that are possible by moving to ARM

01:30:20   Apple could spend those by just making the battery smaller to make the

01:30:24   laptop smaller and thinner. But I don't think they will because I think like the ten

01:30:28   hour battery on the iPad I feel like Apple's line for

01:30:32   acceptability for pearl laptop battery life they're currently below that

01:30:36   line. They're below it because they you know this is the trade offs they've made but I think they're slightly

01:30:40   below it. So I think we're getting improved battery life as a guarantee with the ARM. Not like

01:30:44   fantastically better because like you said they can choose to trade it off but I feel like they're not going to say

01:30:48   the current laptops have about the right battery especially like in terms of peak

01:30:52   performance like if you run it hard how they drain down so

01:30:56   fast. I feel like Apple

01:31:00   would like their current line of laptops to get a little bit better so when they

01:31:04   have the ability to do that they're not going to trade it all away for thinness. I think they're

01:31:08   going to do it for that. And keyboard reliability

01:31:12   I think about this too in my more pessimistic moments like I'm very certain

01:31:16   that they're going to come out with a new keyboard. But I guess

01:31:20   nobody can be really certain that the new keyboard

01:31:24   will fix all their reliability problems. Obviously that's the whole point of the new keyboard is to solve

01:31:28   the problems presented by the old keyboard. But it's not like Apple

01:31:32   set out to make an unreliable keyboard right? So

01:31:36   it's the type of thing where we'll all be happy when they announce a laptop with a new keyboard however

01:31:40   they present it but we still kind of have to take a wait and see attitude

01:31:44   to say okay is it actually more reliable?

01:31:48   Because I don't think it's getting ten times thicker. It's not going back to

01:31:52   the old keyboard. It's going to be a new thin

01:31:56   keyboard that we hope doesn't have problems. But that's

01:32:00   not an easy thing for Apple to make apparently.

01:32:04   So there's that possibility as well. So I'm going to say improved battery life

01:32:08   is even if only slightly is a guarantee with the ARM transition.

01:32:12   Keyboard reliability is a guaranteed thing Apple will try to do and

01:32:16   everything else on this list is potentially able to be

01:32:20   ignored by Apple which I find very annoying because once again everything

01:32:24   on this list is A. available on PC laptops and B. entirely

01:32:28   within the realm of feasibility for Apple to make

01:32:32   without any significant downsides

01:32:36   in terms of oh we have to increase the price by hundreds of dollars or it is

01:32:40   compromised in some terrible way that makes it a worse product. People would love

01:32:44   this product that I listed on all these things. They would love it. Again just for the 15 inch.

01:32:48   Put all these things on the 15 inch. Nobody would say I was going to buy a new 15 inch but I found

01:32:52   that it comes with an SD card slot so screw that computer.

01:32:56   Yeah like if you want to have a minimal laptop that offers as

01:33:00   little as possible despite the hostility it provides to actual

01:33:04   use focus at all on the 12 inch because those buyers relish in that.

01:33:08   Hey guys. Sorry about that. We recovered this on past shows. There's no

01:33:12   room for another port on that computer. It's impossible. Back when people

01:33:16   were much more willing to believe that Apple could do no wrong. Very strongly argue

01:33:20   that there is literally no room for another port on a computer that size.

01:33:24   Seriously if you gave me the same computer or if Apple made available

01:33:28   this exact same computer with all the same internals that I was just

01:33:32   whining about what half an hour ago. If they made this exact

01:33:36   same computer but with a second port and charged me another

01:33:40   $2,500 whatever I paid for this thing for it. I would buy that tomorrow.

01:33:44   I really would. I have great news for you Casey. They do

01:33:48   make that computer. I don't want a Macbook Pro. No get a Macbook Air.

01:33:52   Macbook Air. That's true. You're probably right. The Macbook Air is

01:33:56   almost exactly what you want. The only thing is

01:34:00   it is significantly heavier and bigger.

01:34:04   Going from 2.0 pounds to 2.75 pounds

01:34:08   is a pretty big difference and

01:34:12   going from 12 inch to the 13 inch body. It is noticeably

01:34:16   bigger and heavier. However, the new Macbook Air

01:34:20   is basically a two port Macbook. That's basically

01:34:24   what they made. It's very similar in a lot of ways and it's a lot better in a lot of ways.

01:34:28   Every curve or continuum

01:34:32   has a certain point at which you can make things smaller and

01:34:36   smaller and thinner and thinner and at some point there is an optimal balance

01:34:40   and then at some point you fall off a cliff. When you pass this certain point

01:34:44   the trade offs are no longer worth it and they start becoming really severe trade offs

01:34:48   that start to really impact you in ways that are no longer worth the trade offs.

01:34:52   I think the 12 inch for a lot of people's uses is on the

01:34:56   fallen off the cliff side of that. Whereas the 13 inch

01:35:00   Macbook Air is comfortably on the other side of the line.

01:35:04   I think if you want a super portable computer

01:35:08   and you're willing to give up some performance and stuff to get there, the 13 inch

01:35:12   Macbook Air is a way, way better balance

01:35:16   for most people's needs than the 12 inch.

01:35:20   I'm not saying the 12 inch should stop existing because there are people for whom that

01:35:24   super tininess of it is worth those trade offs

01:35:28   but it's such a severe drop off in utility to get that

01:35:32   that you're an able bodied youngish person.

01:35:36   You can carry an extra three quarters of a pound

01:35:40   and it's fine. Apple already makes the computer

01:35:44   that you should buy and it's the new Macbook Air. Except for that stupid keyboard.

01:35:48   Well not with that keyboard maybe. Yeah actually that keyboard has proven to be pretty unreliable

01:35:52   actually. But yeah they're almost making like

01:35:56   the keyboard you have now is worse.

01:36:00   Reliability wise maybe it's slightly worse but

01:36:04   might be better feel wise. Oh and not so real time follow up I realize that

01:36:08   I'm looking at this Wikipedia page. The bottom item in Maslow's hierarchy

01:36:12   I just misread the word because the text is small and I'm tired and my eyes are blurring.

01:36:16   Physiological safety not psychological. Physiological

01:36:20   needs like am I hungry

01:36:24   and then above that is safety. Am I in danger of being attacked

01:36:28   by cougars or whatever. And then love, belonging, then esteem

01:36:32   and self actualization. So the hierarchy, the Macbook hierarchy is not so

01:36:36   neat as Maslow's hierarchy but what can you do?

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01:38:44   Let's do some Ask ATP. And let's start with

01:38:48   Matt Corkum who writes, "Hey Jon, what is the maximum you would

01:38:52   spend on the new Mac Pro? Maybe or perhaps the

01:38:56   Macs on the tower itself and the monitor separately if you'd like to

01:39:00   enumerate those numerals differently?"

01:39:04   So keep in mind the answer to this question is heavily warped by the fact that I'm using a 10 year old computer right now

01:39:08   and have been saving money for a long time. So this is not to say this is not much money I would have typically

01:39:12   spend on a computer. Wait, can we guess first before you say? Go ahead, yeah.

01:39:16   Casey, what's your guess? I think Jon is

01:39:20   willing to spend somewhere around $7,500

01:39:24   for the computer and the monitor. Yeah, I'm gonna do the computer and monitor

01:39:28   separately just so you know. Oh, okay. So I think he would spend easily

01:39:32   $5,000 on the computer probably as much as, actually I bet you

01:39:36   would do $7,000 on the computer and I think you would do another couple thousand

01:39:40   on the monitor or monitors. So I would

01:39:44   guess all in you're sitting at between $7,000 and $9,000.

01:39:48   Alright, so I'm guessing, see there is gonna be some kind of

01:39:52   value judgment here. Like I don't know what upgrades Jon

01:39:56   will consider worthwhile to go all the way to the max because like when you go to the max

01:40:00   for things like RAM or SSD size there's a massive step up

01:40:04   in price, right? So I don't know, like is he gonna go for the 4 terabyte

01:40:08   SSD? Is he gonna go for the 64 or 128 gigs of

01:40:12   RAM? Like those are gonna be like huge steps up in price. Like those alone

01:40:16   are like probably $3,000 each, right? So like there's gonna be

01:40:20   the question of that but I'm guessing because it has been so long

01:40:24   and because Jon has been so frustrated at

01:40:28   not having a new Mac Pro, he's had so long to save and he's

01:40:32   even dropped hints before that he's had like 10 years to save up and Jon doesn't buy a lot

01:40:36   of expensive things. So I'm guessing that the budget for this is

01:40:40   higher than what you said Casey. I'm guessing that he will actually

01:40:44   end up spending more like $9,000

01:40:48   or $10,000 on the tower or whatever it is itself.

01:40:52   And the monitor, I mean this is kind of just a guess at what the monitor will cost

01:40:56   I'm guessing the monitor costs between $2,000 and $3,000

01:41:00   so I'm gonna say a total of around $12,000.

01:41:04   Boy, you guys, one of the, just two or three shows ago you were trying

01:41:08   to make fun of me for my frugality which you coarsely described as

01:41:12   cheapness. I think you're both underestimating my frugality.

01:41:16   My limits, and obviously this could change based on the computer and

01:41:20   again based on the price of the options because there is

01:41:24   a possibility that I spend way too much on a really big SSD just because I

01:41:28   hate running out of room on stuff I wouldn't spend on the RAM.

01:41:32   My current thinking is

01:41:36   not over $6,000 for the computer and not over $2,000 for the monitor.

01:41:40   That's my current thinking. Oh so I was pretty close. Yeah you were close, you were just

01:41:44   off by like just one digit. I would be willing to spend

01:41:48   $5,000 something for the computer but if the computer is pushing up to $6,000

01:41:52   I would reconsider and I'd be willing to spend $1,800 for the monitor

01:41:56   but if it's like a $2,500 monitor I'd reconsider. Now with the monitor thing

01:42:00   if there is no other monitor I would probably go higher just because I'm gonna have to have an Apple monitor.

01:42:04   But I'm hoping that if the monitor is more than

01:42:08   $2,000 that there's a $5K option I would just take that one, it would cost less.

01:42:12   That's my current thinking. Feel free to play this back to me when I

01:42:16   plunk down $12,000 for the Marko computer.

01:42:20   I hope you do. I really hope you do. Not just to make me right

01:42:24   because I'm right enough. If you were describing the computer

01:42:28   you're gonna get Marko. That's what you were describing.

01:42:32   Mr. 64 gigs of RAM in his iMac Pro.

01:42:36   But seriously, you've gone this long

01:42:40   it means so much to you. You don't really treat yourself in a lot of other ways.

01:42:44   For god's sake, life is short. Get the 4TB.

01:42:48   That's the new ad campaign

01:42:52   for Marko Almond for Apple Computer. Life is short. Get the 4TB.

01:42:56   Don't look at the price tag. Treat yourself.

01:43:00   Oh man. Alright, well I'm gonna claim victory on that one

01:43:04   until you end up paying $10,000+ for this thing.

01:43:08   I'm gonna claim victory until the receipt's in hand.

01:43:12   Make sure we bring the receipts. Anyway, Asajj writes,

01:43:16   "For thousands of people you are professional podcasters but many of you do different things full time.

01:43:20   What do you consider yourself to be with regards to career? Programmers, podcasters, quote-unquote influencers?"

01:43:24   I can start with this.

01:43:28   I still don't think of myself as a really and truly professional podcaster

01:43:32   because that's not really a job, right? But if you look at

01:43:36   how I make money, yes it is, and yes I am.

01:43:40   But I still think of myself as a developer predominantly

01:43:44   and if I wanted to use a really self-involved term, I guess a producer

01:43:48   because in terms of both creating video content

01:43:52   and creating written content.

01:43:56   I think of myself as a developer/quote-unquote producer

01:44:00   even though the reality of the situation is I am a podcaster.

01:44:04   What do you feel about this?

01:44:08   For years I would always write, in anything that was asking me my job title

01:44:12   when I'm filling out something for the IRS

01:44:16   or entering a country and asking for your occupation, I would always write

01:44:20   software developer. So for years I considered myself a programmer

01:44:24   number one. It was only recently that I started

01:44:28   if somebody asked me what I do now, I'll usually say

01:44:32   a podcaster and an app developer. And I'll say it in that order.

01:44:36   I spend more of my life creating podcasts

01:44:40   than I do writing software at this point.

01:44:44   Mine is easier because I just have a regular day job. I always tell people I'm a programmer

01:44:48   and that just shuts them up because they don't want to hear about it. I mean it's such a dated term at this point

01:44:52   everyone says like developer or software. I always just say programmer because it dates me because that's how

01:44:56   old I actually am. I'm of the age when what I wanted to be was a programmer and that's what I

01:45:00   ended up being and I just keep calling myself that. And honestly I don't really

01:45:04   you know, like my Twitter bio I think says like

01:45:08   programmer, tech writer, and podcaster but I haven't done tech writing in forever but I don't know

01:45:12   like it's hard to pin yourself down. Like I did do a bunch of tech writing. I feel like it's defining

01:45:16   characteristic of my quote unquote career. But just because I don't

01:45:20   do it now doesn't mean I don't feel like a writer. Just like if I stopped podcasting

01:45:24   I would still feel like a podcaster. But programmer is what I say to people and then they don't

01:45:28   ask anymore questions. I should try that because app developer

01:45:32   I always hear people's dumb ideas for apps. Yeah people love apps. No one likes

01:45:36   programs. Hey I have this great idea for an app

01:45:40   can you help me make it? Well first you got to send us NDA so you don't steal my idea.

01:45:44   10 print John 20 go to 10.

01:45:48   I'm a programmer. I write programs. Oh my word. Thanks to our sponsors

01:45:52   this week. Hover, Eero, and Away. And we'll see you

01:45:56   next week.

01:46:00   Well the show is over. They didn't even mean to begin.

01:46:04   Cause it was accidental. Oh it was

01:46:08   accidental. John didn't do any research

01:46:12   Marco and Casey wouldn't let him. Cause it was accidental.

01:46:16   Oh it was accidental.

01:46:20   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:46:24   And if you're into Twitter

01:46:28   You can follow them at

01:46:32   C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S. So that's Casey List

01:46:36   M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:46:40   N-T-M-A-R-C-O-R-M-N-S-I-R-A-C

01:46:44   U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A. It's accidental.

01:46:48   They didn't mean to

01:46:52   Accidental.

01:46:56   So since

01:47:00   everyone loves hearing about cars, we thought we would move the last Ask ATP

01:47:04   to the after show for you. Vincent S. was

01:47:08   kind enough to send me a recording of how he pronounced his surname, but I genuinely don't

01:47:12   think my mouth can make those sounds. So we'll just go with Vincent.

01:47:16   What do you think of the Polestar 2? Now if you're not familiar

01:47:20   Polestar used to be like the M division of Volvo.

01:47:24   Or at least that was my understanding anyway. And recently they have kind of repurposed, they've pivoted

01:47:28   I'm sorry let's bring this into programmer/developer terms. They've pivoted

01:47:32   to being Volvo's all electric arm, or predominantly electric arm.

01:47:36   And Volvo's recently announced the Polestar 2.

01:47:40   Which is kind of sort of a model 3 equivalent.

01:47:44   I happen to think it's pretty good looking, although John I know you and I were talking

01:47:48   well all three of us were talking privately in Slack and you

01:47:52   said you did not care for the look of it and we can talk about that in a minute. But all told

01:47:56   it appears to be basically a model 3, but to

01:48:00   my eyes better looking and from a manufacturer that's probably going to have a whole

01:48:04   lot less problems and will probably be able to service this. Which is a

01:48:08   novel idea for a Tesla owner to actually get service and do so timely.

01:48:12   It's true. It hurts because it's true.

01:48:16   But I mean I haven't looked too much into this. There's a really great video that

01:48:20   John you had linked to us from Top Gear, not the television program

01:48:24   but the journalist organization where they did like a

01:48:28   ten minute quick look on it. Which I guess wasn't that quick. But anyway

01:48:32   it looks really good to me. I am really enthusiastic about other

01:48:36   traditional manufacturers getting into all electric cars. And

01:48:40   I am not in the market for a car and won't be hopefully for many years.

01:48:44   You know, five plus years. But if I were in the market for a car today

01:48:48   I would take a very serious look at this. I really really would.

01:48:52   I'd like to hear Marco's input last to someone who actually has an electric

01:48:56   car. But John what do you think about this? I think Volvo

01:49:00   modern day Volvo has been on a bit of a run of making some

01:49:04   really nice cars. In particular I like the turn their styling has taken

01:49:08   over the last five years or so. Which is why it breaks my heart that this

01:49:12   car is ungainly and ugly. Very much disagree.

01:49:16   It's not ugly but it is ungainly and it's just

01:49:20   so slightly off of all their other beautiful cars. Like you made all these

01:49:24   beautiful internal combustion cars and you have a chance to do an electric car on it which has

01:49:28   far less stuff inside it. And this is what you come up with? This sort of

01:49:32   tall chunky looking

01:49:36   sedanish thing? It's just so... it breaks my heart. But all that said

01:49:40   I think it will probably be a pretty good car.

01:49:44   And it's a reasonable balance of features and range

01:49:48   and performance and typical Volvo safety.

01:49:52   I mostly give a thumbs up to the car. The styling just breaks

01:49:56   my heart. Because there's just no reason they needed to blow it like this. And then you see the Pulsar

01:50:00   1 which is their hybrid fancier coupe looking thing.

01:50:04   And I think the Pulsar 1 is not as nice looking as some of their

01:50:08   gasoline cars but it is way better than the two. The 1 is way better looking

01:50:12   I agree with that. It's a coupe. It's easy to make it low slung and stuff like that.

01:50:16   I hope the Pulsar 2 is not the way Volvos are going to look

01:50:20   going forward. I hope it's just their first awkward electric and they'll sort it out eventually.

01:50:24   Marco. This is the kind of car that I've been

01:50:28   waiting for more automakers to make. Tesla should

01:50:32   not be the only car maker making the kind of cars that it makes.

01:50:36   I'm very happy with my car but Tesla is not perfect and they

01:50:40   could certainly use more competition. And I would certainly like

01:50:44   to have more choices that offer the kind of things that I like about my Tesla

01:50:48   in the future. They should not be the only company making these things.

01:50:52   And so the Volvo Pulsar 2

01:50:56   is Pulsar the brand name? Is it like saying Toyota

01:51:00   Lexus? It's like AMG. It's affiliated

01:51:04   but they want it to be a separate thing. I don't know how successful they're going to be

01:51:08   but AMG is technically not the same as Mercedes but

01:51:12   everyone knows it is. Or what is it? Hyundai has Genesis

01:51:16   same type of thing. Genesis is a better example. I was going to say Ram vs. Dodge

01:51:20   because the pickups are now. No it's not Ram vs. Dodge. It's totally a Hyundai Genesis.

01:51:24   The successful ones, Toyota Lexus and Nissan Infinity, those are the successful ones

01:51:28   but there's been a bunch of half successful ones recently and so far I think this isn't a half

01:51:32   successful category. But we'll see. Well anyway, so the Pulsar

01:51:36   2 I think, I'm really happy to see this coming from

01:51:40   a company that has the long standing manufacturing

01:51:44   and logistics expertise that Volvo does. That is something that we really need.

01:51:48   And that's like, I hope this takes off very well.

01:51:52   It is, I don't think it's for me for lots of reasons

01:51:56   number one, it says

01:52:00   that in regards to like color

01:52:04   material selection it says no bad combinations.

01:52:08   But I would argue there's also no good combinations. This car comes in

01:52:12   six different colors of grey ranging from white to black. It is

01:52:16   literally like a grey, it's like you have six different shades, the top one is

01:52:20   white, the bottom one is black and you have four in the middle that are all kind of greyish.

01:52:24   Yeah that's very true. Have they ever had caffeine? Like

01:52:28   these are the most boring configurations I've ever seen of a car.

01:52:32   Midnight does look pretty good to me though, which is the almost black

01:52:36   but not quite black. Also I like that they're black, speaking of being a

01:52:40   programmer John, is called void. Yeah exactly.

01:52:44   I agree, from the pictures Midnight is the least terrible color

01:52:48   that I can see in this list. But yeah, just come on.

01:52:52   Give it some personality. But other than that, it's fine.

01:52:56   It looks fine. My main concern with something like this is that even

01:53:00   a company with the history of a big maker like Volvo

01:53:04   I still wouldn't want to buy their very first

01:53:08   mass market electric car. Because you're still going to be a beta tester

01:53:12   at that point. And it's going to have a lot of problems that they're going to have to work out

01:53:16   just after it gets to market. You're going to have all those 1.0

01:53:20   issues right? And I didn't buy a Tesla until

01:53:24   they had been around for like five years. Or like shipping cars for

01:53:28   five years. And I feel like I jumped in at a pretty good time

01:53:32   because by that time a lot of the kings had been worked out. They were already on their second generation

01:53:36   Model S interior and Model S design and everything. And like it was

01:53:40   way better than the earlier cars. Which I would occasionally get a service loaner.

01:53:44   I know, I could see directly how much better it was than the earlier ones.

01:53:48   And right now, there are very few other

01:53:52   automakers that have even remotely mature

01:53:56   electric options. And this is probably going to be great

01:54:00   in five years maybe. Maybe it might take more than that

01:54:04   I don't know, hopefully not. But yeah, in five years this might be a great option. Like when it gets

01:54:08   to its second version or its 1.5ish kind of version. This could be

01:54:12   great. But I would not want to buy somebody's 1.0. In something

01:54:16   like a car, which is like, if I buy your car or if I lease your car or whatever

01:54:20   I'm stuck with that car for a number of years. Like that's

01:54:24   a major purchase that you're going to be using for a long time.

01:54:28   Do you really want to be stuck with somebody's 1.0 of a completely brand new thing

01:54:32   they've never done before? For that long and for that important of a purchase? I don't think so.

01:54:36   So that's something like, that's going to apply to all of these

01:54:40   newcomers. Things like the Porsche Taycan, this thing.

01:54:44   Pretty much everything that's like an established automakers first real

01:54:48   Tesla competitor. It's so different. Like making an all-electric car

01:54:52   is so different in so many ways that while I have full

01:54:56   faith that they'll be able to do it well a few years in

01:55:00   I don't have that faith for the very first wave. Because I think they still have a lot to learn.

01:55:04   And I don't want to be their beta tester. You know I agree with you all in all but let's

01:55:08   not lose sight of the fact that Volvo has been very forward thinking with regard to

01:55:12   a subscription model for cars. And in fact that's exactly what it says on the Pulse Star 2 page.

01:55:16   Oh yeah, can you explain that to me? Because I read the subscription thing and it sounds

01:55:20   just like a lease. No, so it's

01:55:24   a monthly fee. Pulse Star feels that car ownership should be more closely resembled

01:55:28   with phone ownership. An all-inclusive monthly fee with the option to return

01:55:32   or upgrade at the end of your term without any hassle or headache.

01:55:36   How is that not a lease? Because they include insurance as well.

01:55:40   Oh, okay. That's it? No, I could have sworn

01:55:44   there was something else but I don't know what it is off the top of my head. Maybe that is it. But

01:55:48   the idea is that, I think with

01:55:52   other subscription services you might be able to change cars periodically. Didn't BMW do that?

01:55:58   They said that you could have different tiers. Yeah, you could pick any

01:56:02   other of the cars you want and they don't care which car you have. You just pay them the same

01:56:06   monthly fee and then you just pick. So they make more money from you if you pick a cheaper car, I suppose.

01:56:10   I don't know. It's always to just figure out

01:56:14   how to get money from people who otherwise wouldn't buy one. But I feel like

01:56:18   it doesn't sound like it's going to be a good deal. If it's the only way you can

01:56:22   buy this car, then tough luck. But I wouldn't choose it.

01:56:26   I'm excited though. I'm excited to see all these other

01:56:30   manufacturers joining this electric future which

01:56:34   I think we can all agree is probably everyone's future. And I just wanted to

01:56:38   reiterate what John said about Volvo lately. I definitely have problems

01:56:42   with our XC90 but by and large I cannot say enough good things about it.

01:56:46   I had no desire to own a Volvo before we bought it.

01:56:50   The car was for Erin so she basically

01:56:54   chose it. I was supportive of it not only because

01:56:58   it's her car but because it seemed like it would be nice and I really do love this thing.

01:57:02   It is not without fault but I really, really love that XC90.

01:57:06   I agree John that Volvo's really been on a tear lately in the best possible way.

01:57:10   I wasn't talking about your Volvo, I was talking about the car. That's Marco's problem. He's just ignoring all the

01:57:14   SUVs that are coming out because he's not interested in them. And for the record

01:57:18   this Polestar 2 does look a little bit crossover-y for me. It's a little high.

01:57:22   It is. I would agree. The one thing they totally blew in this

01:57:26   Polestar is the, just from looking at it, I'm surprised it wasn't

01:57:30   mentioned in the top gear thing, the giant walls surrounding

01:57:34   their center console. What are they thinking? What are they thinking?

01:57:38   They could have had an airy feeling interior that feels spacious like, you know,

01:57:42   because you have less stuff that you have to deal with, fewer buttons, the big tablet has a lot of

01:57:46   the controls on it and they put these gigantic walls around the center tunnel.

01:57:50   Yeah that's not great. Although, you did say Casey this has CarPlay support

01:57:54   right? You know based on what I saw on Twitter earlier, because I had asked this

01:57:58   question on Twitter earlier, and some people who were very self-assured

01:58:02   indicated that it should have CarPlay, yes. But the tablet

01:58:06   system apparently, or I shouldn't call it a tablet, but the infotainment system is actually

01:58:10   all Google apparently and it's running Android and so on.

01:58:14   But I'm told from the internet, so it must be true, that it would support CarPlay

01:58:18   as well, which is more than I can say for your two Teslas that you've owned.

01:58:22   Yeah that's the thing, like CarPlay support is tempting. I would actually really enjoy that.

01:58:26   And Aaron's, this is not the same setup in Aaron's car, but

01:58:30   Aaron's car does have CarPlay and whether or not you like

01:58:34   the census as they call it, which is basically their infotainment

01:58:38   setup. And that is one of the things that I think is

01:58:42   most frustrating about Aaron's car, because particularly startup takes an eternity.

01:58:46   But the CarPlay implementation is really solid and really really good.

01:58:50   And so I would hope and assume that it would also

01:58:54   be good in this new Polestar. And CarPlay, you know

01:58:58   I don't know if it's essential today, although I personally refuse to buy

01:59:02   a car without it for future proofing reasons, but it is really nice.

01:59:06   I don't use it that terribly often in my car, usually only if I'm in the car for more than a little

01:59:10   bit or if I'm navigating with my phone, which I don't do that terribly often because I don't

01:59:14   go new and exciting places that terribly often. But I

01:59:18   really like CarPlay a lot and I've really been glad that I've had

01:59:22   it on the occasions that I do use it. Can I just tell you that this

01:59:26   configurator website is the worst one I've ever

01:59:30   seen in my life. These giant semi-transparent overlays block the view of the car you're trying to

01:59:34   configure. It's not obvious how to pick things. Fire the company that made this website.

01:59:38   Yeah, it's not good. Fire this company. Like it took me the longest time to figure out

01:59:42   how I picked different options because it's got the text on top, it's like slightly grayed out.

01:59:46   Yeah. Car configurers are not

01:59:50   high technology and this one has no features that those don't, it's just harder to use.

01:59:54   Bad Volvo. Bad. It took me a good amount of time looking

01:59:58   at this because the first thing you see is the exterior thing and it defaults to white.

02:00:02   And for a good like 15 seconds I'm looking

02:00:06   at this thinking, what an amazing control. This car is only coming in white.

02:00:10   Like of course Casey told me to go look at this and like poke through.

02:00:14   How could I not? Yeah. Oh, no, no, there is an X.

02:00:18   You can close that. I just did it by accident. There's a little close overlay.

02:00:22   Yeah, but then you can't pick things. Like the advanced technology of

02:00:26   car configurators is you have a bunch of choices and you click on them and then you see the picture of the car

02:00:30   change and neither one of those things blocks the other one. That's the technology.

02:00:34   Yeah, and I agree. But then you can hit the bread icon.

02:00:38   It's not a hamburger because there's no inside. It's not a hamburger. It's just bread. Chopsticks.

02:00:42   Yeah, it's just bread. It's a chopsticks icon. You hit the chopsticks and then it comes back.

02:00:46   And blocks your view again. And blocks your view again.

02:00:50   [BLANK_AUDIO]