206: All You Need Is Five Nerds


00:00:00   I'm already tired, I'm already cranky. This is going to be a long show.

00:00:05   If only there was like a mild beverage you could take that would help you be a little

00:00:09   bit more awake and alert for a little while after you take it, that would really come

00:00:12   in handy.

00:00:13   Marco, drug pusher.

00:00:16   I mean of all the drugs that you can be mildly chemically addicted to, it is by far the most

00:00:20   pleasant and least harmful.

00:00:22   That's not true. I'm sure there are less harmful drugs to be addicted to.

00:00:26   I mean deodorant maybe, but like,

00:00:28   that's not really a chemical addiction.

00:00:31   - How are you using deodorant?

00:00:32   (laughing)

00:00:34   - He's huffing it, that's what he's doing.

00:00:37   No, I did have a glass of Diet Coke, you're right.

00:00:40   So maybe that'll help a little bit.

00:00:42   'Cause that's what you were talking about, is caffeine.

00:00:44   And I get my caffeine from Diet Coke,

00:00:46   like any responsible human would do.

00:00:47   - Right, surrounded by cancer sugar.

00:00:48   Good luck with that.

00:00:50   - It's better than having to choke down coffee, am I right?

00:00:52   So anyway, so yeah, so I'm tired.

00:00:54   - Nothing in the world is worse in the food world right now

00:00:58   than the gradual invasion of sucralose into everything.

00:01:03   Why, why?

00:01:04   Just use real sugar or don't sweeten it.

00:01:06   Sucralose is the worst in the universe.

00:01:10   You can always taste that horrible aftertaste,

00:01:12   ugh, this has sucralose in it.

00:01:14   - Well, so that's the thing is,

00:01:15   the horrible aftertaste that regular humans like yourself

00:01:18   get from Diet Coke, I actually get that from regular Coke.

00:01:21   Like the regular Coke lingers in my mouth for days.

00:01:25   And Diet Coke is just--

00:01:26   - It could be the phosphoric acid.

00:01:28   - Just stop drinking soda, problem solved.

00:01:31   - Soda's terrible.

00:01:32   - I don't, I drink Diet Coke,

00:01:35   I have a can at lunch pretty much every day,

00:01:38   well, during the week that is,

00:01:40   and then I'll usually have like a glass after dinner,

00:01:42   and that's it.

00:01:43   But I have not yet found any demonstrable proof

00:01:49   in my own body.

00:01:50   I'm not saying this is true for anyone else, but in my own body, I have not yet found demonstrable

00:01:54   proof that caffeine negatively impacts my ability to sleep.

00:01:59   Especially after you two keep me up until midnight.

00:02:02   But I can have a fair bit of Diet Coke in the evening right before going to sleep and

00:02:07   I'm fine.

00:02:08   Why?

00:02:09   Ew, it's so bad.

00:02:11   But the thing is though, you are right that Diet Coke is bad.

00:02:15   But coincidentally, I am also right that coffee is revolting.

00:02:19   - No, that's not-- - And we're both wrong.

00:02:21   - I think there's a large body of evidence

00:02:23   to suggest that I'm right on this and--

00:02:26   - No, coffee's disgusting and I,

00:02:28   oh God, I would hate to be that person

00:02:30   that has to have a cup of coffee in the morning

00:02:32   in order to function.

00:02:33   Screw that.

00:02:34   You know what I do in order to function in the morning?

00:02:37   I get out of bed.

00:02:38   I don't even shower in the morning, I shower at night

00:02:39   because PS, showering in the morning's disgusting.

00:02:41   You should be showering before you get in bed

00:02:43   rather than sleeping on three weeks worth of filth.

00:02:45   But anyway--

00:02:46   - You're just piling on the unpopular opinions.

00:02:49   keep going. No, no, it's not my fault that everyone's wrong. How often are you washing

00:02:53   your sheets? Hang on a second, I'm doing some math. You may be slightly off on your sheet

00:02:59   washing cycles. No, it is more often than once every three weeks. But seriously, I cannot

00:03:05   fathom, like I understand that I am the weirdo on this one, all snark aside. I am the weird

00:03:10   one that almost everyone I know showers when they wake up. I'm trying to make two different

00:03:15   points simultaneously. Number one, I currently, as it stands today, have no morning routine

00:03:23   in order to get out, to get myself moving in the morning. The way I get myself moving

00:03:27   in the morning is I open my eyes. I am ready to go after that.

00:03:31   - Uh, so, so I'm looking at a, at a little avatar view of my Skype client that does actually

00:03:37   - I don't even know what that avatar is, actually.

00:03:38   - It does actually reflect generally what you look like, and your hair is really nicely

00:03:43   and it looks like you might have some product in there.

00:03:45   So did you put that on at night somehow?

00:03:47   - No, no, no, that's a fair criticism.

00:03:49   That's an entirely different issue.

00:03:50   What I meant to say, I have my morning routine,

00:03:52   don't get me wrong.

00:03:53   My point was just that I'm not one of those people

00:03:56   that needs a coffee in order to be ready to handle the day.

00:03:59   You can come at me right first thing in the morning

00:04:01   with some sort of technical problem,

00:04:03   and I'm okay with that.

00:04:04   Now, the one thing I did not consider

00:04:06   is I do need to consume something for breakfast.

00:04:09   It can be damn near anything.

00:04:11   I can have a Pop-Tart, I can have an Eggo.

00:04:12   I typically make myself a fruit smoothie, whatever.

00:04:15   - You know, I would hate to be the kind of person

00:04:16   who couldn't function in the morning

00:04:17   before I ate something.

00:04:19   I just get out of bed, I'm ready to solve problems.

00:04:21   I often will start work and programming

00:04:24   before I've had coffee.

00:04:25   That's a thing.

00:04:26   Like, I often don't have coffee till like 10 or 11 o'clock.

00:04:29   - Oh, see, I'm okay with that.

00:04:31   It's these people that typically work in an office

00:04:33   that are like, "Ugh, don't talk to me,

00:04:35   "I haven't had my coffee."

00:04:36   Like, screw that, come on, you're an adult.

00:04:38   - That's just them being like a pain in the butt.

00:04:40   Like, you know, if they weren't complaining

00:04:41   about their coffee, they complain about something else.

00:04:43   - I agree, we agree.

00:04:44   - No, I will say though, in defense of your weird

00:04:46   night showering habit, having traveled with you a bunch,

00:04:50   it actually makes it really convenient to travel with you.

00:04:53   Because I'm never waiting in the morning

00:04:56   for you to get ready, you're always ready,

00:04:58   like whenever I am, 'cause I'm a morning shower,

00:05:01   so of course I take longer, I also sleep

00:05:02   as long as I possibly can, so I'm never waiting

00:05:05   for you ever when we travel.

00:05:07   - I don't know if that's actually true.

00:05:09   I would hope you don't ever wait for me in the morning.

00:05:11   I'm sure there's some point in time

00:05:13   where you're waiting on me.

00:05:14   - Well, when you're doing your hair.

00:05:15   No, actually.

00:05:16   (laughing)

00:05:17   No, it actually, it would be,

00:05:18   I don't think people actually shared a hotel room,

00:05:21   but if we ever had to,

00:05:22   that would be very convenient also

00:05:24   to have you be a night shower,

00:05:25   'cause then we're not competing for the shower

00:05:27   in the morning either.

00:05:28   - That's true, that's true.

00:05:30   The whole point I was trying to make is,

00:05:31   like I was saying, is twofold.

00:05:32   One, I mean, I could handle a technical problem

00:05:35   first thing in the morning.

00:05:36   I'd prefer to have a breakfast first, but I don't have to.

00:05:38   But number two, I can't get out of my head how gross it is for someone to take the day's

00:05:46   filth and put it into their bed every night.

00:05:50   Every night, today's filth.

00:05:51   Monday's filth, into the bed.

00:05:52   Tuesday's filth, let's add Tuesday onto Monday's filth.

00:05:55   Wednesday's filth, let's add Wednesday's filth onto Tuesday's filth onto Monday's filth,

00:05:59   and let's just roll in it for eight hours.

00:06:01   That sounds awesome.

00:06:03   And again, I recognize before the entire internet writes me, which they're about to do anyway,

00:06:07   I recognize that this is a weird thing and that I am the weird one here, but I cannot

00:06:12   fathom how any human being that values hygiene can get into covers that they're getting in

00:06:19   without showering first.

00:06:21   That's disgusting.

00:06:22   Oh, I don't get it.

00:06:23   Now, this is where a couple of...

00:06:24   So there's a few things people say.

00:06:25   Number one.

00:06:26   How dirty are you getting during the day?

00:06:28   So how dirty are you getting during the day?

00:06:30   You sit in an air-conditioned office behind a queue, yeah, behind a chair, or in a chair,

00:06:34   behind a screen, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

00:06:37   It's still some point, it's, I can only speak for myself, but at some point, at some point

00:06:41   during the day, I probably have at least a little shimmer on me of sweat, of dirt, of

00:06:47   something.

00:06:48   Because you don't have winter there.

00:06:49   Maybe.

00:06:50   Number two.

00:06:51   In the south.

00:06:52   I'm choosing what battles to fight right now.

00:06:53   Number two.

00:06:54   Number two.

00:06:56   This is where all sorts of people come out of the woodwork and say, "Well, don't you

00:06:58   sweat at night?"

00:06:59   Sometimes.

00:07:00   You're absolutely right.

00:07:01   Sometimes I do.

00:07:02   But at least leave it as the night dirt that's in the bed.

00:07:05   Why not? Why would you contribute the day dirt on top of the night dirt? That's barbaric,

00:07:09   I tell you. It's insane.

00:07:10   I think your threat model for dirtying sheets is wrong. I think the whole model of like

00:07:18   how sheets exist in one state and how transfer happens from you to the sheets, putting them

00:07:23   in a state that you don't like. I think that whole model is wrong because, well, maybe

00:07:27   we don't want to get into too much. Are you sleeping naked?

00:07:30   Wouldn't you like to know, Jon?

00:07:33   I'm just saying, it seems like what you're modeling here is an idea of how things would

00:07:43   transfer from one place to another, making one thing that was clean dirty, right? But

00:07:48   I don't know if that idea maps to the reality of you sleeping in beds.

00:07:52   It's an alternative reality, Jon. Moving on, let's start with some follow-up.

00:07:55   My favorite thing about this conversation is all the new listeners we got last week

00:08:00   thinking, you know, what they're going to expect that this show is, and then they tune

00:08:05   in and hear this this week.

00:08:06   Well, they're not going to tune in live.

00:08:07   They'll just be the pre-recorded one, and this will not be heavily featured at the start

00:08:11   of the program.

00:08:12   Let's hope not.

00:08:13   Let's hope not.

00:08:14   So let's start with some follow-up.

00:08:18   Consumer Reports has recommended the MacBook Pro.

00:08:20   So, turns out that they have worked with Apple in order to fix Apple's bugs, which may or

00:08:27   may not entirely be Apple's fault.

00:08:28   Well, I guess the bugs were. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Point is, they have retested their MacBook Pros.

00:08:33   One model got almost 19 hours on a charge. I'm not entirely clear how that could be possible, but that's what they say.

00:08:41   Because that's how their tests work. Like I was saying before, the absolute numbers don't really matter on tests like this,

00:08:47   because there's no way you're actually gonna, you know, simulate any particular users.

00:08:51   All you want to know is, we use the same test all the time. Is this better or worse than the same than, like, the previous Mac or a different model?

00:08:57   You want some kind of consistency within the numbers, but it's like story points in a sprint,

00:09:03   Casey.

00:09:04   The absolute values don't mean anything.

00:09:05   I don't know what you're talking about.

00:09:07   So for the Consumer Reports thing, the main reason I put it in here, one was just to follow

00:09:11   up on like, "Hey, guess what?"

00:09:12   Like we said, they probably would last time, they retested it and everything's fine, blah,

00:09:15   blah, blah.

00:09:16   But thinking of it from the perspective of someone who used to write for a publication

00:09:22   that did product reviews and used to do product reviews myself, as like an institution for

00:09:27   for doing reviews as a publication, as a venue,

00:09:30   as a place where people get information,

00:09:33   this is not a good outcome

00:09:35   because now anyone who reads Consumer Reports

00:09:38   has to think Consumer Reports did or didn't recommend it,

00:09:42   but is this the real story

00:09:43   or do we have to wait two weeks

00:09:44   for them to figure out what the real story was

00:09:45   and then to tell us whether they should get it or not.

00:09:47   Like their job is to tell us whether this laptop

00:09:50   is worth buying or should be avoided.

00:09:53   And I'm going to say, although some people may differ,

00:09:57   that the product, with and without this bug,

00:10:00   like whether you have the beta version

00:10:01   that fixes this bug fix,

00:10:02   or whether you don't have the beta version,

00:10:04   is not that different.

00:10:05   Marco's using it presumably without this beta fix,

00:10:08   and it is a satisfactory product, right?

00:10:11   With the beta fix, maybe it'll be a little better.

00:10:15   - Stop.

00:10:15   - You talked about it the whole last time,

00:10:17   about how it's not as bad as you thought it would be.

00:10:19   I'm not saying--

00:10:20   - I know, no, just every week I waffle

00:10:21   on whether I like the new one,

00:10:24   or whether I wanna switch back to the old one.

00:10:25   - But it's not as if the battery life is fatally bad.

00:10:27   - The keyboard is so bad.

00:10:29   - Yeah, I know, I know.

00:10:29   - The battery life, so, again,

00:10:31   I've actually been doing my own tests,

00:10:32   and the battery life is not good, but it's okay.

00:10:36   And the old one was similar.

00:10:37   The old one was also not good, but okay.

00:10:39   But, God, the keyboard is so bad.

00:10:42   - That's the thing, they can't even recommend the product.

00:10:45   - Marco, remind me, have you tried the Magic Keyboard?

00:10:48   We've been through this so many times,

00:10:49   I honestly don't recall.

00:10:50   - No, 'cause for desktops, I gotta use an ergonomic keyboard.

00:10:53   Like, I use-- - Oh, yeah, yeah.

00:10:54   I just use desktops too heavily,

00:10:56   and I have minor RSI problems if I use regular keyboards.

00:10:58   And so to avoid those,

00:11:00   and to avoid them becoming major RSI problems,

00:11:03   I use ergonomic keyboards.

00:11:05   - No, totally.

00:11:06   I was just curious, I didn't know if you had tried one

00:11:08   for more than 10 seconds in a store,

00:11:09   because I find that,

00:11:11   I've talked long, to anyone who will listen,

00:11:15   about how much I love the Magic Keyboard.

00:11:17   And I have only used the new MacBook Pro keyboard

00:11:19   for but a flash.

00:11:21   And it was a while ago, so this is all on memory,

00:11:24   it was a very brief time that I used it, but I feel like the frustrating thing for me about

00:11:30   the new MacBook Pro keyboard was that it was like 80% of perfection.

00:11:35   I'm not saying you agree, I'm just saying to me.

00:11:37   Because it was so similar to the Magic Keyboard, but I think the throw was a little bit smaller,

00:11:43   and that difference was enough to just drive me batty.

00:11:47   And I'm sure I would get used to it over time, but man was it annoying because I feel like

00:11:51   it was so close you were right there you almost had it and they didn't quite get

00:11:56   there and the thing that's scary to me is that I suspect whenever a Magic

00:12:00   Keyboard 2 happens I bet you anything they're going to use that keyboard with

00:12:03   the shorter throw and I'm going to be very sad and I'm going to be the I'm

00:12:07   going to be Gruber in buying a thousand and four original Magic keyboards to

00:12:11   keep around until kingdom come because this is my favorite keyboard I've ever

00:12:14   used. Well first of all I actually have done that myself I Microsoft upgraded

00:12:19   the Sculpt ergonomic keyboard that I have used

00:12:23   for a few years now as my main one.

00:12:25   They quote upgraded that to the new

00:12:27   Surface ergonomic keyboard.

00:12:30   And I bought one and I actually had to return it

00:12:32   because the Surface ergonomic keyboard is Bluetooth

00:12:36   instead of its own custom wireless thing,

00:12:37   but it has like special Bluetooth implementation details,

00:12:41   I guess, that are incredibly incompatible with Macs.

00:12:45   And I've never had a PC keyboard that was

00:12:47   incompatible with a Mac before.

00:12:49   The Microsoft Sculpt ergonomic is one of these,

00:12:51   or I mean the Microsoft Surface ergonomic, excuse me.

00:12:54   And the two main problems, if you're looking at this,

00:12:57   a lot of people ask me about this,

00:12:58   two main problems, number one,

00:12:59   you can't remap option and command

00:13:02   to be like on Windows and Alt properly.

00:13:04   The system panel that you do it in

00:13:06   for every other PC keyboard,

00:13:08   the change just doesn't apply, it doesn't work.

00:13:10   Like you can change it there,

00:13:11   but the keys still don't change their functions.

00:13:14   And the second problem, which is even more fatal than that,

00:13:17   is that it's Bluetooth implementation,

00:13:20   basically it falls asleep after a while,

00:13:23   and when you wake it up by pushing keys again,

00:13:25   the first couple keys you push don't get recognized.

00:13:28   So it's really a pain to use in practice.

00:13:32   So it is effectively incompatible with the Mac.

00:13:35   First time I've ever had a PC keyboard

00:13:36   where that's been a problem, and so I had to return it.

00:13:39   And also the ergonomics got worse and I got a little here.

00:13:42   So there you go.

00:13:43   The key switches feel a little bit better,

00:13:44   but it is way too wide,

00:13:46   'cause it added the 10-key numpad area back on,

00:13:49   and it's low and flat, does not have a riser in front,

00:13:52   so the ergonomics are all worse,

00:13:53   and whatever the look they're going for,

00:13:55   it's like gray, it's like the lining of cubicle walls,

00:14:00   like that kind of gray, carpet-y material, you know?

00:14:02   - Oh. - Like that's,

00:14:04   it's like they made a keyboard out of that,

00:14:06   so big miss on that,

00:14:08   and so because the sculpt ergonomic keyboard

00:14:11   that I like so much is now officially discontinued.

00:14:14   I stockpiled three of them right now

00:14:17   'cause you can still get 'em in most places

00:14:19   for like around 60, 70 bucks.

00:14:21   So I stockpiled a few of them for myself.

00:14:23   And I figure like by the time I burn through three of these,

00:14:25   which should be probably five years or so, six years or so,

00:14:29   then I should probably be able

00:14:31   to find something else by then.

00:14:32   - And is that one Bluetooth,

00:14:35   the old one that you're stockpiling or is that wired?

00:14:38   - No, it's its own custom RF dongle

00:14:40   like most logitech mice, you know,

00:14:41   it has its own little thing.

00:14:43   And it's not very good, like the Sculpt wireless

00:14:47   that I've been using for years now,

00:14:49   the wireless thing is pretty flaky.

00:14:51   That's usually the way these keyboards eventually die.

00:14:53   The reason I replaced them is usually

00:14:55   that the wireless thing just becomes too unreliable.

00:14:57   And you can change batteries and you can resync it

00:14:59   and you can move it around.

00:15:00   And eventually those things just don't help anymore

00:15:04   or it still starts failing.

00:15:05   And when it's working properly, it never fails, it's solid.

00:15:08   So whatever it is that kills these keyboards

00:15:10   after maybe two years of use,

00:15:13   that is what ultimately ends these for me

00:15:17   and for a lot of other people.

00:15:18   - So what were we trying to talk about

00:15:20   on the consumer reports thing?

00:15:22   - Consumer reports, who cares?

00:15:23   I mean, consumer reports are still gonna keep doing

00:15:25   the same BS they do all the time.

00:15:27   They're gonna keep doing it.

00:15:28   Every time there's a new Apple product,

00:15:28   they're gonna get attention with some crazy headline.

00:15:31   Oftentimes it'll be about a real problem.

00:15:33   Sometimes it won't be.

00:15:35   But usually when it is a real problem,

00:15:36   they will be overblowing it.

00:15:38   - Like Margo's drinking beer tonight.

00:15:40   (laughing)

00:15:41   - I've had like--

00:15:43   - Am I right, am I right?

00:15:44   - I've had literally like one inch of beer,

00:15:47   it is still in the neck.

00:15:48   - And you're hammered.

00:15:49   - And it's a 4% beer.

00:15:51   - There's no amount that I'm saying here,

00:15:54   you mentioned last time I said I could tell

00:15:56   when you were drinking and you said,

00:15:57   oh yeah, well next time tell me, and so I just did.

00:16:00   - This is like the lightest beer I've ever seen

00:16:02   and I've drank almost none of it.

00:16:04   - I do not, I'm not attributing any kind of cause,

00:16:07   I'm just saying.

00:16:08   - I'm just saying.

00:16:10   All right, so also in this last week,

00:16:13   I haven't had a chance to read this,

00:16:15   so I'm gonna defer to you, Jon, on this.

00:16:18   But there's a blog post on the WebKit blog,

00:16:21   introducing Riptide, WebKit's Retreating Wavefront

00:16:25   Concurrent Garbage Collector.

00:16:27   That sounds fancy.

00:16:29   So what's this all about, Jon?

00:16:31   Well, on the last program where we talked to Chris Lattner,

00:16:35   towards the end we talked about Arc versus garbage collection.

00:16:41   And Chris went through this whole big thing

00:16:42   about the trade-offs and the different behaviors.

00:16:46   And that might have been over a lot of people's heads

00:16:48   because there was lots of jargon there.

00:16:50   This is another one of-- WebKit often does these things.

00:16:54   The WebKit developers post a thing

00:16:56   that talks about some technical underpinnings of some feature

00:16:59   of the browser or the engine usually.

00:17:02   And this one describes their new garbage collector

00:17:05   for JavaScript, kind of like the stuff that Chris said,

00:17:09   you can't read this starting from zero

00:17:11   and understand every part of it,

00:17:13   but they do go through and explain a lot of it.

00:17:15   And I think if you just Google some stuff

00:17:16   and find some links, you can start understanding it.

00:17:20   But I think it's a good example of a lot of the things

00:17:24   that Chris alluded to, like that the attributes

00:17:27   a garbage collector that are very similar to the attributes of ARC in that there's additional

00:17:32   bookkeeping and stuff that has to be done in line as part of the normal operation, because the slam

00:17:39   against ARC is very frequently that, well, you've got all these reference counts, you know,

00:17:45   increments and decrements all over your code. You didn't write those things, but they get added

00:17:48   anyway, and it's just like overhead. And so even if you don't understand all the weird nuances of

00:17:54   this very, very long article. I think it is written in a very clear way. Whoever wrote this,

00:17:58   I think, did a good job. You have to assume some foundational knowledge, and maybe more things

00:18:04   could be links, because, you know, I'd love to make things links and things that I had no idea.

00:18:08   Yeah. But anyway, you can just the word you don't understand, just, you know, type it into a Google

00:18:13   search box or look at the Wikipedia page or something and you learn about it. So I would

00:18:17   encourage anybody whose interest was piqued by that discussion on last week's episode to read,

00:18:23   maybe over a couple nights, this very long post about WebKit's garbage collector, because

00:18:29   I think it is really well done, and you'll learn a lot, and you will also, even if you don't learn

00:18:36   that much, come to a gut-level understanding of exactly how much of a pain in the butt it is to

00:18:42   make JavaScript go fast, and how much time and effort and money is being put into doing that.

00:18:46   Indeed, and this was by Philip Pislo, just FYI.

00:18:50   I miss the beach.

00:18:51   Beach. Wavefront, that's all it took. Riptide, wavefront, it's like, ah, summertime.

00:18:59   If you read the whole thing and understand a little bit of it, the title will make sense

00:19:02   by the end. Retreating Wavefront Concurrent Garbage Collector, all those words mean something

00:19:06   and are explained at length in the article. Go figure. It's funny, you know, I remember

00:19:10   you being vehemently opposed to the beach, and I was only mildly less opposed to it.

00:19:15   Now the two of us are both converted. Who knew? Turns out I'm opposed to your pronunciation

00:19:19   of that word.

00:19:20   Which word?

00:19:21   Just keep going.

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00:21:20   [Music]

00:21:21   [Music]

00:21:22   [Music]

00:21:23   [Music]

00:21:24   All right.

00:21:25   So, John had a big day yesterday, was it, I believe, when the 10.3 beta was released.

00:21:32   And John, I have it on good authority that you did a little happy dance at your cubicle

00:21:37   when you saw this news come out. Is that true? Please do not deny it.

00:21:40   >> I did not do a happy dance. My happy dance was when they announced the existence of the

00:21:46   file system. That was my happy dance. Like, yes, they were to make -- you know, we had

00:21:50   a bell, we had a happy dance, we had all sorts of things. That time has passed.

00:21:54   Although, I will say this, though. So what you're talking about is the announcement that

00:21:58   -- the announcement/leak or whatever -- that iOS 10.3 and the beta builds that developers

00:22:03   can get now will apparently convert your iOS device from HFS+ to APFS upon upgrade.

00:22:13   And that's mostly notable because A) it is a partial fulfillment of the goal Apple set

00:22:20   forth for itself at WWDC last year.

00:22:23   They said, you know, we want to convert all of our platforms, that means like iOS and

00:22:28   Mac OS, and I guess watch OS, I mean basically all Apple platforms, to be on

00:22:33   APFS in 2017. Now 2017 is the entire year, they didn't say which part of the year

00:22:38   or whatever, but here we are in January and there's already a beta of iOS 10.3

00:22:43   that converts to APFS. So it's not as if they're waiting till, you know, October or

00:22:48   whatever when the successor to Sierra comes out for the Mac or, you know,

00:22:52   whenever these things are gonna be released. They seem to be ahead of the

00:22:56   game ahead of schedule. And I was worried last year that are they really going to be

00:23:00   able to roll over their entire product line with a new file system that they just announced

00:23:07   next year sometime? But they're apparently doing well. They seem confident. People who

00:23:11   have upgraded, I think Marco is one, have not seen all their data disappear in a puff

00:23:16   of smoke. So things are looking good so far, right?

00:23:19   So my upgrade went totally fine.

00:23:22   I didn't realize, so here I was,

00:23:25   new beta of iOS comes out.

00:23:27   Of course, I installed on my main phone immediately.

00:23:31   (laughs)

00:23:32   Like, hour zero. - On the line.

00:23:34   Did you not learn from iOS 5?

00:23:36   You and I did this together on iOS.

00:23:38   - I know. - Was it five, four?

00:23:39   - It was five. - Which everyone, yeah.

00:23:40   We learned together.

00:23:42   - Gruber still gives me crap about that, yeah.

00:23:44   - But you should give you and me crap,

00:23:46   because we were both idiots.

00:23:47   And here it is, well, now to your defense,

00:23:49   this was a point release.

00:23:50   - Right, and the point releases

00:23:52   are usually completely harmless.

00:23:55   They are almost never a problem for almost anybody.

00:23:57   And so, that's why I figured, let me do this,

00:24:01   there's some new APIs I needed to test against,

00:24:04   let me try some stuff and make sure

00:24:05   everything works and everything.

00:24:06   So, okay.

00:24:08   Then after I installed it, like an hour later,

00:24:12   I learned that, oh, I'm now using APFS.

00:24:16   Like, it was not even a thing.

00:24:18   All I noticed was that the install took maybe

00:24:22   15 minutes longer than I thought it would.

00:24:24   It was a little slow, but otherwise,

00:24:26   my phone booted up, everything's fine,

00:24:27   everything's totally fine.

00:24:28   I've had zero issues so far.

00:24:30   And then, a couple hours later, when chatting with John,

00:24:34   I learned that I'm using APFS before John.

00:24:38   - Funny how that is.

00:24:40   - Well, it's not really true, because like I said,

00:24:41   I used it on the Sierra dev builds.

00:24:43   - That doesn't, not in your main machine.

00:24:45   That doesn't count.

00:24:46   If it's not like your main machine.

00:24:47   - It was on my main machine.

00:24:48   It was as main machine-y as it could be.

00:24:50   I did everything that you could do with APFS

00:24:52   on my main machine.

00:24:53   - You can't boot off of it with Mac OS X.

00:24:55   - No, you cannot boot off of it,

00:24:57   but I was still using it.

00:24:58   - Well, then you're not really, yeah, that doesn't count.

00:25:01   I'm using APFS in production on my main machine before John,

00:25:04   and that's it, I think I'm done for the year.

00:25:06   - It's on your phone, your main machine.

00:25:09   Come on, thought you were a Mac user.

00:25:10   - It's the computer I use most often.

00:25:12   - Anyway, based on nothing but Marco's firsthand experience

00:25:17   of having upgraded and the vague wording in Apple's release notes that have been tweeted

00:25:23   out by various people.

00:25:27   This is what we're talking about on past shows about in-place conversion and how the design

00:25:33   of the APFS makes that not as crazy as you might think it sounds.

00:25:36   You might be thinking, "Oh, how is it going to upgrade my file system?

00:25:40   Do I have to have like 50% of my storage free so it can write all the data to a new location

00:25:44   and do this thing or is it going to like back it all up to the cloud or make me do an iTunes

00:25:48   backup and restore it?

00:25:50   How is it going to do this without destroying my data?

00:25:53   And as we discussed last time, the strategy is that you leave all the data exactly where

00:25:57   it is, you write a new set of metadata structure somewhere and the metadata is just like, tells

00:26:03   you information about the data.

00:26:05   Where is it?

00:26:06   How much of it is there?

00:26:07   Like the names of the files, the dates, all that crap.

00:26:10   Write that somewhere and that doesn't take up that much room.

00:26:13   Like you need a reasonable, probably fixed-sized chunk of metadata, more or less, plus or minus

00:26:19   extended attributes, for each file.

00:26:22   And the bigger of the files you have, the more efficient this is.

00:26:26   So if you have tons and tons of relatively large files like music or videos, it's an

00:26:31   even bigger win.

00:26:33   So you don't probably need that much free space.

00:26:34   You need to need some free space.

00:26:36   For all iOS upgrades, you need some free space.

00:26:38   But you don't need that much.

00:26:39   They write all the metadata there, pointing to the data exactly where it exists.

00:26:43   And then only at the very, very end, after writing all of the metadata, they do a very

00:26:48   fast, very quick operation that says, "And big swapper-oony."

00:26:52   Rewrite the headers and the volume to say, "Oh, actually, now this is an APFS volume,

00:26:57   and the metadata is over here."

00:26:58   And that little tiny critical section should only take like fractions of a second, right?

00:27:04   That is the only time where you could potentially have a problem if it failed in the middle.

00:27:08   But even then they could use journaling and everything to defend against that.

00:27:12   You don't have to worry about any more than you normally would.

00:27:15   You know, somehow running out of battery during your upgrade or I don't even know what could

00:27:20   happen because it's not like you're going to accidentally unplug a phone.

00:27:22   Like they do want to be plugged in when they're being upgraded but it's not like you're going

00:27:25   to have a power cut unless there's some sort of hardware problem where you really drain

00:27:27   your battery.

00:27:29   So the moral of the story is yes, upgrading in place is a real thing.

00:27:34   It should go fine, and it is actually fairly safe, assuming everything goes okay.

00:27:40   So I'm not afraid of doing this upgrade.

00:27:43   I'm not going to do the beta.

00:27:44   I'm not in no hurry.

00:27:46   But when 10.3 comes out, I expect it to be fairly uneventful, barring any catastrophic

00:27:52   bugs.

00:27:53   Because once you're running APFS, then if there's a bug in APFS, then you're going

00:27:56   to be sad, right?

00:27:57   But the conversion process itself seems like it's okay.

00:28:01   What are you more afraid of in practice?

00:28:04   Bugs in APFS or the regular behavior of HFS+?

00:28:08   Yeah, that's the only thing that bothered me a little bit about the conversion when

00:28:11   I was thinking about it more now that it's a real thing.

00:28:15   Because the conversion is, like, what I would like it to do is run essentially FSDK or,

00:28:22   you know, the repair thing to validate all of the HFS+ metadata to make sure that it's

00:28:28   not incorrect in various ways.

00:28:30   In all the ways that if you were to run disk utility on your disk right now, it would find

00:28:33   a bunch of crap wrong because HFS is weird and buggy and sometimes doesn't keep track

00:28:37   of things the right way and it will find stuff that it can tell is wrong by exhaustively

00:28:40   going over the data and the metadata and comparing them and doing so and so forth.

00:28:44   I would like it to do that before it dutifully writes the new metadata to a new location.

00:28:49   And based on your 15 minute time, I'm not sure that it does.

00:28:52   I don't know how long it would take to essentially FSTK HFS+ on a 64 gig iOS device.

00:29:00   Maybe it's faster than I think because the disks are so much smaller than, you know,

00:29:02   like a terabyte on a Mac or whatever.

00:29:05   So I'm not sure if it is doing that, but I would feel more comfortable if before it decided

00:29:10   to make a copy, made sure the thing that it's copying is right.

00:29:13   And this gets back to what you're saying.

00:29:14   What are you afraid of bugs in APFS or bugs in HFS plus?

00:29:18   I'm still probably more afraid of bugs in APFS because bottom line, it takes a long

00:29:23   time for a file system to really be bug free.

00:29:27   But at the moment of conversion, I am definitely more worried about my existing HFS+ disks

00:29:33   on all my iOS devices having the normal residue of problematic metadata that seems to accumulate

00:29:39   in all HFS+ volumes.

00:29:41   I'm more worried about that at that point.

00:29:43   After conversion, I have to say I have to give the nod to HFS+ for a brand new file

00:29:52   substance that has never been deployed on Apple devices.

00:29:54   If something is gonna go wrong,

00:29:56   it's gonna happen in like that first big deployment.

00:29:59   It's, you know, HFS plus for all of its little crappy bugs,

00:30:02   I really don't expect any massive data destroying things

00:30:05   to suddenly pop up.

00:30:07   HFS plus is gonna be what it is

00:30:08   and it has been for a long time and it's not good,

00:30:11   not good by a long stretch, but presumably,

00:30:14   like I can't remember the last time a,

00:30:16   oh, I can't remember last time HFS plus was even updated,

00:30:19   but all the updates that they've done to it,

00:30:21   none of them have caused any sort of catastrophic problems

00:30:24   is it APFS Plus, APFS, oh god, I cannot say these names.

00:30:28   Yeah, anyway, I'm gonna upgrade everything.

00:30:32   I'm just gonna go for it.

00:30:33   I have a lot of backups, you should have

00:30:35   a lot of backups too.

00:30:36   Let's just all dive in and see how it goes.

00:30:38   - Well that's part of like, you know,

00:30:40   on one hand, it is awfully bold for Apple

00:30:42   to deploy their brand new file system

00:30:45   on their most popular device.

00:30:47   Like, you know, to make it part, an automatic,

00:30:50   not even like an opt-in, but an automatic part

00:30:53   of seemingly all iOS 10.3 installed,

00:30:55   well, you know, we'll see if it ships that way,

00:30:57   but it looks like that's the plan,

00:30:59   then that means all of the iPhones are gonna get this

00:31:01   and they're all gonna be converted

00:31:02   when they reboot and that's it, right?

00:31:04   And that's a pretty bold move.

00:31:06   On the other hand, iOS is, you know,

00:31:10   even though it has a much larger install base,

00:31:13   in many ways it's lower risk

00:31:14   because the nature of phones is that

00:31:18   they're these kind of closed systems,

00:31:19   you have like very limited numbers of configurations,

00:31:22   You don't have like weirdo, like on a Mac,

00:31:24   you have all the different disks and partition schemes

00:31:28   and all sorts of apps that could be trying to mess with them

00:31:30   or things like that.

00:31:31   On iOS, it's all very controlled

00:31:33   and there's fewer combinations of things,

00:31:35   fewer configurations, and also, the nature of phones

00:31:38   is that people lose, break, and replace them often.

00:31:43   And so they're designed in software and in services

00:31:47   to have everything in the cloud

00:31:48   and have everything backed up most of the time.

00:31:50   I mean, that isn't in practice always the case,

00:31:52   but that's the case way more often on phones

00:31:55   than it is on Macs.

00:31:57   So if something does go catastrophically wrong

00:31:59   for some percentage of users on the phone,

00:32:01   it is probably less destructive

00:32:03   than if it happened on Mac OS.

00:32:05   - Yeah, I mostly agree with that.

00:32:07   Well, I mean, the other obvious reason

00:32:08   why they would do iOS first is 'cause it's more important

00:32:11   and that's where their effort goes

00:32:12   and the Mac will be an afterthought.

00:32:14   Like, oh yeah, I'm also looking for the Mac.

00:32:15   But yeah, phones are so much more of a controlled system.

00:32:19   And also all of the weird crap about APFS,

00:32:22   which is mostly good, you know,

00:32:23   like the space sharing stuff and, you know,

00:32:28   all the things that make it behave differently

00:32:33   than you might expect are not visible at all in iOS.

00:32:36   'Cause iOS doesn't have the problem of 10 different ways

00:32:38   that you can see free space and users looking at it.

00:32:41   Like already the way you see free space in iOS

00:32:44   is already an illusion.

00:32:45   You go to the, you know, the preferences in general

00:32:47   and usage and all that stuff.

00:32:48   Like those numbers have only a vague connection

00:32:51   to space on disk because they're totally hiding

00:32:52   whole classes of things that don't count towards your space.

00:32:55   And they're trying to sum up space

00:32:56   and attribute it to applications

00:32:57   like it's already an illusion.

00:32:59   So there's no weirdness there.

00:33:01   Whereas on the Mac, if you do, you know,

00:33:03   if you use the power of the file system

00:33:05   and a disk utility is actually updated to use it,

00:33:08   people can make arrangements

00:33:10   that start to make far less sense

00:33:12   where you can have a single APFS container

00:33:14   with three volumes on it

00:33:15   and then how do you throw the free space on them?

00:33:17   and trying to figure out when you make an instant copy,

00:33:20   does that count as space being taken up?

00:33:22   Now you have two one gigabyte files

00:33:24   where before you had one,

00:33:25   but the free space didn't change

00:33:26   even though you don't have any shared volumes

00:33:28   on the containers and all that goes away on iOS.

00:33:32   And also iOS is case sensitive.

00:33:33   So that gets rid of all of whatever you're gonna deal with

00:33:36   for case folding stuff.

00:33:38   I did file one radar against APFS back in the early days

00:33:41   about the whole character encoding handling

00:33:45   and the fact that you can have two files

00:33:47   with apparently the same name on the Mac on APFS,

00:33:50   but you can't do that in HFS Plus

00:33:52   because HFS Plus does this normalization stuff

00:33:55   to try to make them all the same.

00:33:56   They do a weird normalization, but anyway.

00:33:58   I don't know the state of that radar.

00:34:00   I don't think the state of that radar has changed.

00:34:01   Maybe it was closed as a dupe.

00:34:03   I don't even remember.

00:34:04   It went into the black hole.

00:34:05   I haven't heard anything about it.

00:34:06   But for Macs, most, the vast, vast, vast majority

00:34:10   which have case insensitive file systems,

00:34:12   they're gonna have to make decisions about that.

00:34:15   And I don't know what decisions they made.

00:34:17   So if the Mac gets the ability to boot from APFS

00:34:22   before the October-ish release of whatever follows

00:34:25   Mac OS Sierra, I will be surprised.

00:34:28   But on the other hand, it's January,

00:34:30   and they're already doing iOS.

00:34:31   Maybe it will come to the Mac earlier.

00:34:33   But coming to the Mac is obviously the change

00:34:35   that I find more interesting, because I'm into the Mac

00:34:38   and because you can actually see the file system.

00:34:40   And I think it is actually the more difficult one

00:34:42   than doing iOS.

00:34:44   That's interesting.

00:34:45   Never thought of it that way.

00:34:47   Any other thoughts about iOS 10.3 that are general

00:34:52   and aren't spelled out in the rest of our document?

00:34:54   - No, I don't know.

00:34:55   Marco, you're using it, what is it like?

00:34:57   Anything exciting in there?

00:34:58   - No.

00:35:00   I mean, as a user, I don't even really notice anything,

00:35:04   honestly.

00:35:05   - That's a good sign.

00:35:05   Sounds like it's stable.

00:35:07   - I mean, I've had zero problems.

00:35:10   Like, nothing that you'd typically associate

00:35:13   with a beta one of a major point release,

00:35:16   or like a major release like iOS 11.

00:35:18   It's nothing like a beta one of that level.

00:35:21   If I didn't know academically that I was running a beta,

00:35:26   I would not realize I was running a beta.

00:35:29   - That sounds like a pretty clear win to me, so far anyway.

00:35:32   - Oh, the other thing on file system being in 10.3,

00:35:34   like the fact that this is a point release,

00:35:36   and Mark was saying, well, you don't really notice

00:35:37   that much of a difference.

00:35:39   APFS tech wise has capabilities that could be leveraged in iOS 11 or whatever the next

00:35:46   major version is to provide headlining style features.

00:35:50   So for example, snapshots, the ability to preserve the state of the entire file system

00:35:54   in a consistent state could be used, I don't know if Apple will do this, you know, it's

00:35:59   a political issue more than anything, to roll your phone back to an ungood state in a reliable

00:36:06   way.

00:36:07   It's something that you can't really do now.

00:36:08   restore from backup or restore from the cloud and we know how annoying that is to do.

00:36:12   But imagine if before the iOS 11.1 to 11.2 upgrade it would just routinely snapshot everything

00:36:19   beforehand and if you didn't like the upgrade at any point you could switch back to the

00:36:23   state it was like the day before or whatever.

00:36:25   Well there's no chance of that.

00:36:26   I know.

00:36:28   But tech wise that is possible.

00:36:30   Right and I think what's more likely to be used is maybe a recovery thing where like

00:36:35   if an upgrade fails for some reason,

00:36:38   then there'd be some mechanism to have it

00:36:41   kind of automatically roll itself back.

00:36:43   You know, that's more likely, I think,

00:36:45   than I don't like the new icons, I'm gonna go back.

00:36:48   Like Apple does not enable that really at all.

00:36:51   - I mean, or you could do it on a, like,

00:36:53   I don't know, they could do it at any level they want.

00:36:57   They could do it at a per application level

00:36:58   to go back to an old version of the application.

00:37:00   They could do time machine type of features

00:37:02   inside applications to find old versions of,

00:37:04   You can already do this stuff in various ways

00:37:07   above the level of the file system,

00:37:08   but the fact that you get this sort of for free

00:37:11   out of the file system and it's very efficient and fast

00:37:14   and presumably will have APIs.

00:37:15   Those are the type of things that,

00:37:16   yeah, you've got APFS now,

00:37:18   but you don't have probably almost any of the features

00:37:20   that could be built on it.

00:37:21   Those are major OS features.

00:37:23   They could be for few, maybe not even 11,

00:37:25   maybe iOS 12 or whatever.

00:37:26   Same thing with on the Mac.

00:37:28   If and when we can boot from APFS,

00:37:29   yeah, that's all well and good,

00:37:31   but there are many years, presumably,

00:37:33   of features that are built in this.

00:37:34   Like who knows if Time Machine will even be updated

00:37:37   to support APFS in the next version of macOS.

00:37:39   Maybe we'll have to wait for the version after that.

00:37:41   It's non-trivial to take advantage of all these features.

00:37:44   And I'm in no hurry.

00:37:45   It's like step one, get the file system with these features

00:37:48   and make it solid.

00:37:49   Step two, three, four, and five,

00:37:50   then slowly roll out the features that,

00:37:54   consumers won't care that it's enabled

00:37:56   by the new file system.

00:37:56   They only care about the features,

00:37:58   but many things will be enabled by these features.

00:37:59   So I look forward to them, even though,

00:38:01   oh, 10.3, ho-hum, new file system.

00:38:03   What was the big deal?

00:38:04   The big deal should come later.

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00:39:46   (upbeat music)

00:39:49   - We have finally gotten our wish,

00:39:52   and by our I mean mostly Marco,

00:39:54   and you can respond to App Store reviews now,

00:39:57   which is really exciting.

00:40:00   I think developers have been talking about this for forever and a day.

00:40:03   I saw a link fly by to Chalk's blog.

00:40:06   I don't have it handy.

00:40:07   I'll see if I can dig it up for the show notes.

00:40:09   But I think it was from 2009 or something like that, saying, "Oh, we should really be

00:40:14   able to respond to reviews in the App Store.

00:40:19   Android has been able to do this for a long time, and now it's finally a thing."

00:40:24   And that's something to be excited about.

00:40:26   it seems pretty clear to me that Phil Schiller

00:40:29   is making moves.

00:40:30   So, Marco, how do you feel?

00:40:32   - It's kind of amazing as an iOS,

00:40:35   and I said some of this when Phil first started doing things

00:40:38   like last spring and summer,

00:40:40   but it's just kind of amazing as an iOS developer

00:40:43   to have things changing in the App Store

00:40:46   and getting better at all.

00:40:48   Because the App Store is, what, eight years old,

00:40:52   eight and a half, something like that?

00:40:53   - Something like that.

00:40:54   that time, during like the first seven years of it,

00:40:59   almost nothing changed, almost nothing improved.

00:41:02   There were a few minor things here

00:41:04   and exceedingly minor things.

00:41:06   Some things even got worse.

00:41:08   So to have it being worked on and to have positive changes

00:41:13   or any changes is a new feeling for iOS developers.

00:41:20   And overall, since Phil has taken over,

00:41:23   I think the changes have been overall quite good.

00:41:26   Very few things have been like a major miss

00:41:29   or majorly harmful.

00:41:31   Even search ads where they were very controversial

00:41:34   and I think that's with good reason.

00:41:37   I now spend more on search ads than I do on my servers

00:41:41   and I don't love that.

00:41:44   - Oh, I didn't know that.

00:41:46   - Yeah, I was, it's accounting time

00:41:48   with taxes and everything.

00:41:50   So I've been looking back and doing all the,

00:41:53   adding up everything and I now spend a good amount of money

00:41:56   on search ads every week.

00:41:58   And I have all these graphs and I mean this is a diversion

00:42:02   and this is not the main topic tonight I guess.

00:42:03   It could be if you wanted to but anyway,

00:42:06   basically I'm now paying for a certain part

00:42:09   of my user base and it isn't that big of a portion

00:42:11   of my user base that the overall search ad traffic

00:42:13   has been lower than I expected.

00:42:16   And I don't think it's 'cause I'm losing auctions.

00:42:18   I think it's 'cause I'm not being shown

00:42:19   or there aren't that many searches

00:42:21   for the things I'm bidding on.

00:42:22   but the search ad system is possibly a net improvement,

00:42:27   but it's something, it's something big,

00:42:30   and these are customers that now I'm getting,

00:42:33   and the way I have things split out and being measured,

00:42:38   it is apparent to me that most of the customers

00:42:40   I'm getting via search ads are not coming from people

00:42:43   who are looking for overcast.

00:42:45   They are coming from people who are looking for like,

00:42:47   podcast or things like that, like more generic terms,

00:42:50   competitor names, things like that.

00:42:53   'Cause I have my overcast bids I have on a separate campaign

00:42:57   so I can tell, like, am I spending a lot of money

00:42:59   just to get people out, I was gonna get anyway,

00:43:01   which, you know, I don't want that number to be very high.

00:43:04   Although I don't really want anybody else

00:43:05   outbidding me either, but, you know,

00:43:07   if that number was very high, then I'm just paying

00:43:09   for people who tapped result number one

00:43:11   and said result number two in the search,

00:43:13   and that's no good.

00:43:14   But that number isn't very high,

00:43:15   that's not a massive percentage of what I'm spending.

00:43:17   Most of what I'm spending is on generic search terms.

00:43:20   So the system is kind of working as designed.

00:43:24   I don't love that I'm taking a portion

00:43:27   of what Apple's giving me every month

00:43:29   and just giving it right back to them.

00:43:31   (laughing)

00:43:32   'Cause they're already taking 30%,

00:43:33   at least that I don't see.

00:43:36   It doesn't feel good to be paying them back all this money.

00:43:38   (laughing)

00:43:39   But overall, the search ads have been okay.

00:43:43   As I said, they're not bringing in

00:43:45   a large percentage of new users.

00:43:47   Off the top of my head, I actually don't know the number,

00:43:49   but off the top of my head, I think it's probably

00:43:51   10% or less of new users are coming through search ads.

00:43:54   But it's in that ballpark at least.

00:43:57   But these are people I wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

00:44:01   Pretty clearly, you could tell from the search terms

00:44:04   and from how, when I go to the store,

00:44:05   how I rank on those search terms,

00:44:07   'cause App Store search is terrible.

00:44:09   So you search for podcasts and five of the first 10 apps

00:44:13   are alarm clock apps.

00:44:14   It's stuff that's totally unrelated, literally.

00:44:17   The search is still just as awful as it's always been.

00:44:20   But to have search ads there,

00:44:22   I am getting customers I wouldn't have gotten before,

00:44:24   so that's overall positive,

00:44:26   even though I'm paying for them.

00:44:28   And I'm paying a little more than I would like,

00:44:30   but it's still within the realm of reasonable, I think.

00:44:34   So anyway, that aside, it is really nice,

00:44:37   going back to the original question,

00:44:39   it is really nice to have changes happening

00:44:42   in the App Store, that most of which are good.

00:44:44   And I'm also using subscriptions now,

00:44:47   using the internet purchase subscriptions.

00:44:49   Next September, I'm gonna start getting

00:44:51   my 85% people renewing.

00:44:53   That's gonna be a great day,

00:44:54   'cause I'm gonna just get a raise for no reason.

00:44:57   That's awesome.

00:44:58   So, you know, everybody let your subscriptions renew, please.

00:45:00   (laughs)

00:45:02   But otherwise, yeah, so anyway.

00:45:04   So for this specific change of responding to reviews,

00:45:07   and I guess maybe we'll get later

00:45:09   to the app review prompting mechanism change.

00:45:13   I don't know if we're gonna talk about that on this show.

00:45:16   If not, we talked about it on this week's

00:45:17   under the radar, plug plug.

00:45:19   So, responding to reviews.

00:45:22   So as, let me begin by asking you guys,

00:45:24   as App Store users, do you read a lot of the reviews?

00:45:28   - No.

00:45:29   - So basically, if developers start responding to reviews,

00:45:31   will you really see that?

00:45:34   - I do read reviews for apps that I have no idea

00:45:37   about the whole domain.

00:45:38   Like I'm looking for an, I was looking for an application

00:45:40   recently for like laying out where furniture is in rooms

00:45:45   something that can do walls and doors and windows, you know, with correct to scale measurements and

00:45:49   have like, you know, couches and end tables, you know, to see how furniture is going to fit in the

00:45:52   room without doing it yourself by cutting out little pieces of paper, which is fun, but I

00:45:56   figured that an iPad app would be better. And I have no idea about that area. And as you noted,

00:46:01   search is terrible. So I do what I think are reasonable searches and it shows a million hits,

00:46:06   half of which are scams or pieces of garbage. And the ratings don't tell you that much. I have to

00:46:12   to actually look at the reviews to see, you know, like a two and a half star thing could

00:46:17   be 50 people cranky that it's $5 and then 150 people who think it's actually a reasonably

00:46:23   good app. And the only way to tell that is to look at the reviews. So I will scroll through

00:46:27   them and see, you know, because you can't tell. People rate things low for reasons unrelated

00:46:33   to the functionality of the app. I'm willing to pay $2.99. I don't care that 90% of your

00:46:37   reviews are from people who can't believe you'd wanted to charge $2.99 for this. Like,

00:46:40   I just want to know, does it do the job?

00:46:42   So I do read them and weep, I suppose.

00:46:46   - So my theory, my impression of this so far, basically,

00:46:52   is like the effectiveness and the value

00:46:55   in developers being able to respond to reviews

00:46:59   is highly dependent on implementation details

00:47:02   of how this is actually done for both the reviewer,

00:47:05   the customer, or the reviewer, the developer,

00:47:07   and people reading the reviews.

00:47:09   And also, just how many people actually do go through

00:47:13   and read reviews, 'cause I think iOS developers

00:47:16   have a pretty good idea that having star ratings matters.

00:47:20   Having a high average matters, and it looks better

00:47:23   if you have a high number of them,

00:47:25   'cause it says usually in parentheses next to the star

00:47:27   average, it'll tell you how many ratings there were.

00:47:30   And so when people are choosing an app or deciding

00:47:34   whether to download or buy an app, I think a lot of people

00:47:36   do look at those star ratings, and that matters.

00:47:39   But the actual written reviews, we don't really know.

00:47:43   I kind of have a hunch that they don't matter that much,

00:47:46   that not a large percentage of people do go through

00:47:49   and really read them, or read a decent number of them.

00:47:53   And so if that's the case, then whether developers

00:47:56   can respond to them doesn't matter that much.

00:47:59   And if you look, this is one of those things

00:48:01   that the Android people are going crazy today,

00:48:03   'cause Android has had this for years,

00:48:05   maybe even since day one, I don't even know.

00:48:07   From what we hear from Android people,

00:48:08   it's mostly a non-issue.

00:48:11   It's like, yeah, some people do it,

00:48:12   it doesn't really matter.

00:48:13   Like, it isn't that big of a deal, right?

00:48:16   So we don't know how this will play out on iOS,

00:48:19   it isn't the same market,

00:48:20   but there's certainly some overlap.

00:48:22   And if I'm right that not a lot of people

00:48:24   read a lot of the reviews,

00:48:26   they mostly just look at the ratings,

00:48:28   then whether you as a developer respond to them

00:48:32   is really completely up to you.

00:48:33   And it's kind of an optional support channel

00:48:36   if you want it to be.

00:48:38   That being said, App Store reviews,

00:48:41   like your customers consider that a support channel

00:48:44   whether you do or not.

00:48:45   And that's not gonna suddenly start

00:48:48   now that developers can leave responses.

00:48:50   That's always been the case.

00:48:51   You've always had people treating the review system

00:48:54   as a support channel and using it to grind axes

00:48:59   or to ask weird questions or to withhold stars as hostages

00:49:03   until you add their favorite features.

00:49:05   Like that has always been the case.

00:49:08   it's not gonna change that for developers.

00:49:10   Like the perception that people expect you to respond

00:49:13   has always been there.

00:49:15   So people who are upset now that this is like

00:49:18   an additional support channel they now have to manage,

00:49:20   you know, newsflash, it always has been one,

00:49:22   we just haven't been able to manage it.

00:49:23   So now we will have a way to do it.

00:49:28   Implementation wise, there's a huge open question of

00:49:31   how are these shown, are they shown in a way

00:49:33   that many people will see them?

00:49:34   One of my big questions about it is

00:49:36   If I respond to a review, is the person who wrote it

00:49:39   notified of that response?

00:49:41   Is it sent to them in some way through, you know,

00:49:43   through like an email by Apple or something?

00:49:45   Because if not, then the value, I think,

00:49:47   for me responding is even lower.

00:49:49   'Cause a large part of the value,

00:49:51   if somebody writes something that is either

00:49:54   really a support request or is indicating

00:49:57   they're having some kind of problem you could help with

00:49:59   or the misunderstanding, the app in some way,

00:50:01   like they're saying it doesn't have a feature

00:50:03   but it really does have that feature,

00:50:05   If they aren't notified of my response,

00:50:07   that has a lot less value than to respond.

00:50:10   So the implementation details, they rest a lot on this.

00:50:14   How are they shown in the interface?

00:50:16   How do developers respond?

00:50:17   How hard is it to respond?

00:50:19   Do we have to go through some weird iTunes Connect tool?

00:50:21   Is there gonna be a third party app that makes it easy?

00:50:24   How are we gonna deal with the different storefronts

00:50:26   in different parts of the world?

00:50:28   How are we gonna deal with different languages?

00:50:30   There are lots of big question marks

00:50:32   on the implementation details of this

00:50:34   that will decide how effective it is or isn't

00:50:36   and whether it's worth developers responding or not.

00:50:39   And of course there's gonna be the people

00:50:41   like Twitter and Facebook who just respond

00:50:44   to every single thing with please email support

00:50:46   and we'll try to help you out,

00:50:47   like fake template response.

00:50:49   But overall, it's probably gonna be either

00:50:53   completely forgettable and it's gonna be a total non-event

00:50:56   and not a lot of people are gonna respond

00:50:59   and it'll be fine and nobody will care,

00:51:01   or it'll be a positive thing.

00:51:03   The only downside is I'm gonna start reading my reviews.

00:51:06   (laughing)

00:51:07   - It'll be positive for developers.

00:51:09   Like it's situational.

00:51:09   Like one, this is a developer pleasing feature

00:51:13   more than a customer pleasing one it seems to me.

00:51:14   - Yes, absolutely. - 'Cause as you noted,

00:51:15   like customers may or may not care,

00:51:17   especially if they're not notified, who knows.

00:51:19   But if you happen to be a specific developer

00:51:24   who has a specific app that has a very popular,

00:51:27   lots of people clicked on helpful, blah, blah, blah,

00:51:29   like the top review is a scathing review

00:51:33   filled with mistaken information, as in like you said,

00:51:36   I expect this thing to have feature X and it doesn't,

00:51:38   it's garbage and it totally has feature X,

00:51:40   this person just hasn't found it.

00:51:42   And you would love to be able to tell them,

00:51:43   actually click on the blah and there's a thing,

00:51:45   and you know, like, but you can't respond

00:51:47   and you don't know the person's email

00:51:49   and there's no way you can communicate that

00:51:51   and your poor app sits there with this,

00:51:53   everyone, you know, and everyone who loads up your app

00:51:55   is gonna see that as like the most helpful review

00:51:58   and it is just the worst.

00:51:59   And most developers aren't in this situation,

00:52:01   But for the one that is, this feature is like the best thing ever because they don't care

00:52:08   how it affects the whole app store.

00:52:09   They don't care if it even gets them any more conversions.

00:52:13   They just, it's like the principle.

00:52:14   I just can't stand this one mistaken review sitting there at the top, right?

00:52:19   And I guess I could just release a new version and erase it, which is a whole other thing

00:52:23   about how reviews and ratings are going to last across releases, which by the way, is

00:52:27   not part of this.

00:52:28   Apple has said they're aware of that problem.

00:52:30   They don't have anything to announce at this time, but we should be looking forward to something happening there

00:52:35   But in the meantime it just feels so good

00:52:38   I can imagine as a developer to be able to finally respond

00:52:42   I think even if they're not notified it just lets you feel better to be like

00:52:46   Well that person will never know because they're long gone

00:52:48   But anyone else who stumbles across these reviews at least I've set the record straight whether or not you really set it straight

00:52:53   Whether you actually dug yourself in deeper by being passive-aggressive in your response and people look think of your app worse

00:52:59   Like it's just human nature to feel better about this and practically speaking. I think you have to give developers that channel

00:53:07   It's up to them to do something useful with the channel

00:53:10   They could not use it at all or they could

00:53:12   You know be self-destructive and do bad things with it and argue with their customers even though you only have one reply

00:53:17   I guess they get into edit wars as the question and the answer re-edited themselves over and over again

00:53:21   But not having that channel along at all for like seven or eight years has just felt terrible

00:53:27   And so I think this is it's a really important feature to have

00:53:30   The importance is far out of proportion

00:53:33   From the effect that it will have on anybody's business probably but just like it's one of those like why didn't you know?

00:53:40   You had a system for commenting you had everything in place

00:53:43   We're not asking you to expose their emails which is another bone of contention of who owns the customers Apple still owns them, right?

00:53:49   But just give developers some way to respond and it took so long and it's finally here

00:53:53   So I think I think there's no way this can't be a net positive for the App Store as a concept

00:53:59   Even if it's not a net positive for any particular person sales

00:54:02   It will it will be a net positive for for a developer state of mind exactly

00:54:07   Well, I'm looking forward to seeing how this shakes out and I don't know

00:54:11   I'm also curious to hear what you think of it Marco after it's been a little while in seeing if you hate reading reviews or not

00:54:16   Well, what do you think of it? You're an iOS developer? What do you think? I?

00:54:21   I don't know. It's a little weird for my situation because it's a company, it's not just me.

00:54:30   And seeing the feedback come through our email is interesting and enlightening. It does tell

00:54:35   me that a lot of the problems we expect to see, because we know that they're problems,

00:54:43   you know, a lot of people cite them as problems. But there are certainly times where people

00:54:46   like, "I don't understand how to do blah, why can't I do blah?" And in that situation,

00:54:52   it would be super convenient to be able to—and these are all emails, so obviously we can

00:54:58   reply—but hypothetically, if these are reviews, it would be super convenient to be able to

00:55:02   say, "Oh, if you need to do that thing, you just tap here and then tap there, and then

00:55:06   problem solved." And by the way, it sounds like we need to make this better in the future.

00:55:10   But in that sense, I'm positive about it.

00:55:15   I don't suspect that it's going to be my personal job to be trolling the reviews and—well,

00:55:21   not trolling, I guess, but weeding through the reviews.

00:55:24   You know what I mean, right?

00:55:25   Weeding through the reviews to respond when necessary.

00:55:29   But I agree with both of you.

00:55:31   I think this is a net positive, and I'm curious to see what happens in it.

00:55:36   And I'm also very curious to see if after a while, like if you people start, people

00:55:43   or companies for that matter, start replying to your views and we see how that goes.

00:55:48   And that either convinces the rest of us to dive in head first, or if it convinces, someone

00:55:55   in the chat said trawling, that is the word I was looking for.

00:55:58   T-R-A-W-L-I-N-G.

00:55:59   Sorry.

00:56:00   Sorry. Anyway, so yeah, so does Marco start replying to reviews and he has a terrible

00:56:08   experience with it and so Underscore says, "Oh, I'm never touching that." Or does Marco start

00:56:13   replying to reviews and it's a great experience and suddenly Underscore's like, "Heck yeah, I want

00:56:19   in on that." And then suddenly my employer's like, "Heck yeah, we want in on that." You know what I

00:56:23   mean? Like, I'm curious to see what the not literal beta testers but kind of effective beta testers

00:56:30   show us about the experience, if it's garbage or if it's great.

00:56:33   It really depends on that personality, though. We all know people who probably shouldn't

00:56:37   respond to comments. Like, you can make it worse for yourself, you know, because you

00:56:41   have a free text box, and if you get there, like, in the wrong mood or you're angry, like,

00:56:45   if you end up, like, yelling at your customers, it's not a net win for you. But I don't think

00:56:48   someone like David Smith is going to see someone yelling at their customers and say, "Oh, I

00:56:52   better stay away from reviews," because he won't yell at his customers. Like, customer

00:56:55   customer support and dealing with customer support issues is a skill, and you can have

00:57:01   more or less of it depending on where your skill set lies, and it is not a thing that

00:57:05   you should just assume that you're able to do just because you wrote the application.

00:57:08   So the channel has to be there, but for, you know, it's giving people, even though they

00:57:15   only have one reply, that is more than enough rope for a lot of people to hang themselves.

00:57:18   So now there's another skill set that these small shops or independent developers who

00:57:23   who have to be able to do a million things,

00:57:25   guess what, here's one more thing

00:57:26   that you have to add to your skillset

00:57:28   or find some way to outsource.

00:57:30   - And honestly, and I said this under the radar too,

00:57:34   again, listen to the radar this week

00:57:35   if you're into this topic 'cause we went into more of it,

00:57:38   but this is a huge opportunity in the tools space

00:57:41   for some service or app to make it easy for developers

00:57:46   to receive new reviews and reply to them

00:57:49   and track which ones they have either replied to

00:57:52   or decided not to reply to.

00:57:54   Across all the different stores,

00:57:55   maybe with built-in translate functionality of some sort

00:57:57   with a decent API, that's a thing.

00:58:00   Please somebody make that,

00:58:01   and you can sell that to a lot of iOS developers

00:58:03   for ongoing recurring subscription fee.

00:58:05   - Using Apple's convenient open rest API?

00:58:08   (laughing)

00:58:10   I like all these things you're describing,

00:58:12   you know, it may just because I just did a podcast

00:58:15   about this, but all I can think of is how much better

00:58:18   that game I play that you guys make fun of all the time,

00:58:20   Destiny does with this exact thing.

00:58:23   Destiny, the game, has an extensive API

00:58:27   that is completely open to anybody who wants to use it.

00:58:29   They can give you all the information

00:58:32   about all your characters and all your stats

00:58:33   and let you do things with it.

00:58:34   And there are, you know, browser plugins, websites,

00:58:39   iOS applications, everything you could possibly imagine

00:58:42   for messing with your stuff in Destiny.

00:58:45   Why? Because it's an open API.

00:58:46   They said, here's an API to all of our stuff.

00:58:48   and a simple authentication scheme

00:58:51   where you just authenticate and then it's just,

00:58:53   and the number of things that people have made,

00:58:55   it's just like the thing you just described,

00:58:57   would there be a hundred of those the next day

00:59:00   if this was Destiny that we were talking about?

00:59:02   I don't know what the situation is

00:59:03   for Apple's Interface 2 reviews,

00:59:06   but if it's not as good as Destiny, the game,

00:59:09   maybe they should hire some people from Bungie

00:59:10   because this is like making a decent API

00:59:14   that anybody can use is like a simple REST-based API

00:59:17   that speaks JSON, it's not that hard.

00:59:20   Like individual people make these little Chrome plugins

00:59:24   or web pages that do amazing things.

00:59:26   And they do it all for free,

00:59:28   and they do it in their spare time.

00:59:29   And any one of them, you would love to have something

00:59:32   that's that good for what you described

00:59:34   for dealing with reviews in the iOS App Store.

00:59:37   But if Apple keeps it all proprietary

00:59:38   and it's behind some weird thing,

00:59:40   then it's gonna be much harder to make

00:59:41   and there'll be fewer of them and it will be sad.

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01:00:51   - Moving on, I hear rumor on the streets

01:00:58   that Marco is actually going to,

01:01:02   in the new version of Overcast,

01:01:03   and don't tell him I squealed,

01:01:05   he's actually going to change the icon for Overcast

01:01:09   to be the show art of the actively playing podcast.

01:01:14   Since I've spilled the beans, Marco,

01:01:15   why don't you tell us more about this?

01:01:18   - So one of the features that has been added

01:01:20   in iOS 10.3 beta is this mechanism

01:01:25   for seemingly setting alternate app icons in code.

01:01:30   The implementation of this is a little questionable.

01:01:33   Steve Trout and Smith did some digging,

01:01:35   and apparently, I believe the API doesn't actually work yet,

01:01:38   but apparently there is evidence in the frameworks

01:01:42   and stuff that it prompts you to confirm it.

01:01:45   Like it prompts the user to confirm any change of icon

01:01:48   before it actually applies it.

01:01:49   And so the question is, what is this for?

01:01:54   And it is not for developers like me to do things,

01:01:59   like for instance, I would love to change the icon

01:02:02   based on whether it's night or day.

01:02:07   and I could have a dark mode at night,

01:02:08   and then I could have automatic dark mode switching

01:02:11   and everything, and that's just not gonna be practical

01:02:14   if that's what it is.

01:02:15   There was a tweet from the Fantastical people

01:02:18   that they would love to have,

01:02:19   because it's an alternative calendar app,

01:02:21   and just like the Apple calendar app,

01:02:23   they'd love to change their icon

01:02:24   to be the day number every day,

01:02:27   just like what Apple's app does,

01:02:28   so it always shows the right date,

01:02:29   and it's not gonna do that either.

01:02:31   - It just prompts you every morning.

01:02:32   - Yeah, right. (laughs)

01:02:33   Send you a push notification, time to update your icon,

01:02:36   Come here and say, "Okay."

01:02:38   - You can kind of understand why they do it that way,

01:02:39   because it is a security concern,

01:02:41   because if applications could programmatically

01:02:42   change their icon, you could totally be phished

01:02:46   by an application that suddenly changes its icon

01:02:48   to look like some trusted application,

01:02:50   and you don't notice that you're not on the page

01:02:52   you thought you were on, and you tap the icon,

01:02:53   and it puts up a phishing screen that looks just like the,

01:02:56   you know what I mean?

01:02:57   It is dangerous to allow applications

01:02:59   to arbitrarily change their icon without a prompt.

01:03:01   So I totally understand that prompt, but you're right.

01:03:04   that eliminates all sorts of use cases.

01:03:06   And especially with the phishing stuff,

01:03:07   this is kind of like so many other app store things.

01:03:10   Fantastic Al should be able to change its icon

01:03:12   to be the date, right?

01:03:14   It should be able to do that.

01:03:16   And it's like, well, but if we let them do that,

01:03:18   then everyone can, it's like,

01:03:20   do you like, there should be some earnable level of trust

01:03:24   within the system,

01:03:25   like just like there was on Stack Overflow or whatever.

01:03:27   And Fantastic Al should have earned some level of trust

01:03:30   by this point.

01:03:31   I don't know how this mechanism is gonna work.

01:03:33   It's very difficult to do these types of systems

01:03:34   just as the people who run Stack Overflow.

01:03:36   It is a hard problem to solve,

01:03:38   but throwing up your hands and saying,

01:03:40   well, oh well, fantastic help.

01:03:42   Can't show the data in their icon.

01:03:43   That's not the right solution either.

01:03:45   So I'm glad whoever this feature is made for

01:03:48   is getting the features that they asked for.

01:03:50   And I can think of reasonable uses of it in that context,

01:03:54   but it kind of annoys me

01:03:56   that the API is finally being made public,

01:04:00   but in a way that so many use cases can't use it.

01:04:04   - Yeah, I mean, again, like you said,

01:04:07   it is a tricky problem.

01:04:08   There's lots of potential abuses for this.

01:04:11   So it does make sense why they would strictly control it,

01:04:15   but honestly, I'm kind of surprised

01:04:18   it needs to be there at all.

01:04:19   I honestly am very surprised it needs to be there at all.

01:04:22   And if it needs to be there at all,

01:04:24   I think it should be there in a way that's more useful.

01:04:28   So for instance, maybe to avoid possible security issues,

01:04:32   maybe the icon has to be part of your app's bundle

01:04:34   so you can't generate it dynamically,

01:04:36   and then maybe App Review checks all of them

01:04:38   just to make sure that you don't have

01:04:41   the messages or Apple Pay icon in there.

01:04:43   That's a way they could do it for everybody,

01:04:46   and that would make it a lot more useful,

01:04:47   and then if it has to just ship 31 icons

01:04:50   and have the app just call them without a prompt.

01:04:52   That's totally reasonable.

01:04:54   - Even with those things,

01:04:55   because your applications aren't swept,

01:04:58   they're even swept to get up.

01:05:00   They could make an API like that,

01:05:02   but once you can get pointers to things,

01:05:03   you can fill in the image data with it,

01:05:05   programmatically from an obfuscated giant data array

01:05:08   that you hide and you're like--

01:05:09   - No, you can't.

01:05:10   If it was a set image named call

01:05:14   and you had to pass it only a name,

01:05:16   something in your bundle,

01:05:17   there's no way to abuse that then.

01:05:19   - People are very sneaky.

01:05:20   What was that thing we saw recently

01:05:23   with that piece of malware in the App Store,

01:05:26   doing some weird things and calling some weird APIs

01:05:29   with like some selector swizzling.

01:05:30   Like, bottom line is it's really difficult

01:05:33   to both human and automatically determine

01:05:36   whether an application is safe.

01:05:37   It's kind of a halting problem.

01:05:38   So it doesn't mean that they shouldn't do it

01:05:40   because it's impossible to do with 100% accuracy.

01:05:42   Like you're right, they were just covered in the 99% case.

01:05:45   But I think also, and even perhaps more reliably,

01:05:48   reputation of developers earnable

01:05:52   through some kind of system to show that you are trustworthy

01:05:55   and are not trying to scam people.

01:05:56   And even that has problems because like,

01:05:58   what if you're not trying to scam them,

01:05:59   but someone broke into your server

01:06:00   and mess with your application?

01:06:01   Like there's always gonna be problems.

01:06:03   But at this point in the life cycle of the App Store,

01:06:09   particularly for things like calendars

01:06:13   where the utility of it is significant.

01:06:15   Like I do look at the calendar icon

01:06:17   to see what the date is on my phone frequently.

01:06:21   they have to find a way to make that be there.

01:06:23   And whether it's the scheme that you were describing Marco,

01:06:25   where it's just a very limited API,

01:06:27   or it is a trust-based system,

01:06:30   which would have many other uses by the way,

01:06:32   not just for this API,

01:06:33   could have uses for review times

01:06:35   and for how deep of a review you do and stuff like that.

01:06:38   This is another one of those things

01:06:41   that should be there by now.

01:06:43   - I mean, no matter what, the fact that there's an API,

01:06:45   even though it's super restricted right now,

01:06:47   I mean, that's Apple style, right?

01:06:49   I mean, look at the Siri,

01:06:50   What do they call them?

01:06:51   The different groups of functionality,

01:06:54   there's a term for it.

01:06:55   I can't think of it off the top of my head,

01:06:56   but you can only use Siri in certain contexts.

01:06:59   Well, maybe this is one of those things

01:07:02   and maybe they'll open it up in the future.

01:07:05   I mean, I'm not terribly confident about that,

01:07:07   but it could be, you never know.

01:07:09   But yeah, however this came to be, whatever this is about,

01:07:12   I mean, I guess, cool, maybe we'll see what happens,

01:07:17   but I suspect just like Marco was saying,

01:07:19   is going to amount to a whole lot of nothing for most people.

01:07:21   Yeah.

01:07:22   Moving on, Steve Trout and Smith, who was, I guess at this point, an honorary member of the show,

01:07:27   since he's given us most of the topics for tonight just by tweeting all this stuff.

01:07:32   He has also found a floating detached keyboard.

01:07:37   Now this is different than the thing, I don't even know if it's still a thing,

01:07:40   but then the thing that at least used to be the case where you could slide the keyboard

01:07:44   up the screen on an iPad and it would split in two, so there would be like a half on either side

01:07:48   of the screen and I think the intention there was so you could touch type with your thumbs

01:07:52   while gripping the screen. This is not the same thing as that because that's split in two.

01:07:56   This is an entire like iPhone shaped and sized keyboard that you can use single-handedly on a

01:08:07   9.7 inch iPad which seems really peculiar and stupid to me at first and then I got thinking

01:08:14   about it and I was like, "You know, that actually might make some amount of sense. This might be

01:08:18   kind of cool." So there's, um, because if there's a situation where I'm holding an iPad one-handed,

01:08:27   which admittedly I can't imagine that would be terribly often, but if I, or maybe if I had the

01:08:32   iPad propped and I wanted to use only one hand to type, having all those keys right next to each

01:08:38   other, I could see that being kind of cool. I mean, it's all hypothetical, right? Because I

01:08:41   because I haven't tried this myself, but it might be neat.

01:08:44   I'm not writing this off immediately as garbage.

01:08:46   It might also be garbage, I don't know.

01:08:48   It sounds like you're not too impressed, Marco.

01:08:51   - We would have to see how Apple tells the story

01:08:54   of this feature, like what is the intent of it,

01:08:56   if it gets released.

01:08:58   That's a big if, but if it gets released,

01:09:00   I would be very curious to know what Apple thinks

01:09:04   of this feature, what they expect it to be used for,

01:09:07   because as he's showing it in these screenshots,

01:09:11   I can't think of a good use for this.

01:09:14   I think it would be very, very hard to type on

01:09:16   on actual iPad hardware,

01:09:19   no matter where you put it on the screen.

01:09:20   I think it'd be very, very hard to type on.

01:09:22   The whole reason that that keyboard works

01:09:25   is because you are holding a device

01:09:27   that is roughly the size of your hand

01:09:28   and using one or two thumbs on it.

01:09:31   The way you hold an iPad is totally different.

01:09:33   The way your fingers reach things on the iPad

01:09:35   is totally different.

01:09:36   I don't see how this would work, honestly.

01:09:40   but at this point iOS is so big, there's so much there,

01:09:44   that they can add features like this

01:09:47   that only two people ever wanna use.

01:09:49   Or the app icon changing API that they added,

01:09:53   how many apps are you ever gonna be able to use that

01:09:57   in a constructive way, zero, five?

01:09:59   There's lots of APIs now, various extension points

01:10:03   that exist that are almost never used by anybody,

01:10:07   but one type of app uses it and that's enough.

01:10:09   as you mentioned, the Siri kit stuff,

01:10:11   like being able to order certain things through Siri

01:10:15   or query certain things through Siri

01:10:16   where that's really only ever gonna be used

01:10:18   by zero to one apps that are on somebody's phone.

01:10:22   But it's worth it to have it

01:10:23   because those might be enough people to matter

01:10:26   with iOS being so big.

01:10:27   So something like this,

01:10:28   I would argue on the iPad,

01:10:31   they should probably be spending their time

01:10:32   doing more important things

01:10:34   that affect more people on the iPad

01:10:35   that could have a bigger return,

01:10:36   but someone's gonna use it.

01:10:38   And so I guess if it wasn't too much work,

01:10:41   it's probably fine, but I hesitate to see,

01:10:44   or I struggle to see the use of this myself.

01:10:47   - I think there was a tweet saying that this is actually,

01:10:48   this code has been in there since the beginning of

01:10:50   - There it was. - of iOS 10.

01:10:51   Like it's not a 10.3 feature.

01:10:53   And again, to be clear to everybody,

01:10:55   this is not something that's in a 10.3 beta.

01:10:57   This is a hidden thing, like the code is there for it,

01:10:59   but it's not exposed.

01:11:00   It's just like going through headers

01:11:01   and finding things to call.

01:11:03   The most important thing to me,

01:11:06   looking at this potential feature

01:11:10   that may or may not ever ship or be revealed in any way,

01:11:15   is that it is, I guess the second,

01:11:18   maybe I'm missing some things,

01:11:19   iteration of bringing essentially Windows to iOS.

01:11:24   It is a floating square on the screen

01:11:29   that is not, you know,

01:11:31   it's not the screen divided in half or in thirds

01:11:33   or a slide, a panel that slides up from the side or whatever.

01:11:35   It is its own independent floating square

01:11:38   that presumably you can put wherever you want.

01:11:40   That's called a window.

01:11:42   Doesn't have title bar on it.

01:11:44   It's not a window in the Mac sense,

01:11:46   but it's definitely a window.

01:11:47   Picture in picture, also a window.

01:11:49   You can kind of move that thing around on the screen

01:11:50   without not completely free form.

01:11:52   Same thing with our little friend,

01:11:53   the assistive touch button nub thing

01:11:56   that you can put anywhere on the screen.

01:11:58   It's like iOS was first everything fills the screen,

01:12:01   and then second, the screen starts getting subdivided

01:12:03   pieces for multitasking in thirds and halves and stuff like that and then finally a bunch of little

01:12:09   guys come and plop up on top on this one big floating layer on top of everything keyboards

01:12:14   picture in picture is such stuff like it is a step in the direction away from the absolute extreme

01:12:23   simplicity that ios was born in and towards a tiny toe dip into the world of the mac where you can

01:12:31   have more than one thing on the screen at the same time in an arrangement of your choosing

01:12:36   and you can move stuff around depending on what you want to see.

01:12:41   And this tiny little keyboard, this weird little iPhone floating keyboard whatever thing

01:12:46   is interesting to me not just because it's a window but also because it reinforces the

01:12:51   idea and I feel this even on my iPad that sometimes when that keyboard slides up it's

01:12:57   It's taking a larger portion of the screen than you think is appropriate for a keyboard

01:13:03   at this time.

01:13:04   Like, "Oh man, my big iPad screen, now a huge portion of it is taken up with this big

01:13:08   honking keyboard."

01:13:10   If a particular task, you don't need that whole bottom third of the screen to be taken

01:13:15   up with the keyboard, just to have a little floating thing that you can put anywhere,

01:13:18   maybe you don't want it covering the bottom, maybe you want it covering the left or the

01:13:20   top or the side, or maybe you want it near your thumb or whatever.

01:13:23   The same reason people like the Assistive Touch button, even though they're chasing

01:13:26   that little puck around the screen,

01:13:27   moving it out of the way so it doesn't obscure stuff.

01:13:30   Apparently people get used to that and like,

01:13:32   that's just part of me using my phone

01:13:33   is occasionally I have to move the little thing

01:13:35   out of the way, but it's still preferable.

01:13:37   Well, here I think you're trading a very large keyboard,

01:13:41   take up, you know, not just obscuring a large portion

01:13:43   of the screen, but often the app have to change

01:13:45   their view hierarchy and view structure to accommodate

01:13:47   for the very large keyboard when it comes up,

01:13:49   to say, no application, you don't have to change

01:13:51   your layout at all, let the user deal with that.

01:13:53   The user will be the janitor,

01:13:54   and old Steve Jobs parlance,

01:13:56   and they'll just move the little tiny keyboard around

01:13:59   where they wanna move it.

01:14:00   Now, like both of you said, having not used this,

01:14:04   it does not immediately appear to me to be any sort of win,

01:14:08   and I kind of agree with the fact

01:14:10   of it not being exposed right now,

01:14:11   and I would like to have to see

01:14:12   what kind of story they explain this,

01:14:14   but like the split keyboard

01:14:16   that I think Casey mentioned before,

01:14:18   where you take the existing iOS keyboard and split it,

01:14:21   and I'm pretty sure that feature still exists

01:14:22   'cause I've used it recently,

01:14:23   or recently-ish, like in the last year.

01:14:25   They announced that feature, they showed it,

01:14:29   people oohed and aahed, and I think most people

01:14:32   who don't use it just forgot about it.

01:14:33   But if it's still there, it doesn't do anybody harm.

01:14:35   If you don't ever use it,

01:14:37   and you don't ever accidentally trigger it, it's fine.

01:14:40   So this could be that category of things,

01:14:42   but I wanna encourage Apple to continue to explore

01:14:45   this radical idea we call Windows, with a lowercase w.

01:14:49   (laughing)

01:14:51   - Oh my goodness.

01:14:53   Yeah, I mean, we'll see what happens.

01:14:54   It's fascinating to me that Apple is shipping this code

01:14:59   dark, not surprising necessarily, but just interesting.

01:15:03   But what's really super interesting is that

01:15:05   Steve Tran Smith is finding all this stuff.

01:15:07   Like just the stuff that he can dig up is tremendous.

01:15:11   And I don't even know where to begin to do some of the stuff

01:15:14   that he's able to do.

01:15:15   And I'm deeply impressed by it.

01:15:17   And I love that he's sharing it with the world,

01:15:19   even to the point of making a sample project

01:15:22   on GitHub, and we have a link to it in the show notes, or a link to a tweet of his anyway,

01:15:25   to exercise the icon thing. Like, just such cool stuff. And man, I wish I was smart like him.

01:15:33   But anyway, yeah, we'll see what happens with this floating keyboard thing. I do think that

01:15:38   your point about the windowing is interesting, Jon, especially because if I recall correctly,

01:15:44   you can actually resize the picture-in-picture window if you pinch it. I think there are some

01:15:49   some limits, but I think you can enlarge and shrink it.

01:15:52   And I've also noticed that you can kind of flick it

01:15:54   off to the side, so there's just like a little handle

01:15:58   or like nubbin that pokes out off the side of the screen.

01:16:01   So if you wanted to like shimmy it off to the side

01:16:03   just for a moment to look at something

01:16:04   and then bring it back, you can do that.

01:16:06   So there is some amount of window management

01:16:08   that's going on in iOS today.

01:16:10   And it seems like more and more is coming,

01:16:12   which is really, really interesting.

01:16:14   - And picture in picture, like it shows Apple's willingness

01:16:18   to ship features on iOS in which it's up to you

01:16:21   to deal with that little window.

01:16:22   Like the whole point is you don't have to have the app

01:16:24   in the front, you can go do other things

01:16:27   and we won't even mess with your multitasking.

01:16:28   We won't even take up one of the multitasking slots

01:16:30   or whatever, it's just this little window.

01:16:32   And maybe it's blocking stuff.

01:16:33   It's up to you to move it out of the way.

01:16:35   If it's covering something you don't want,

01:16:37   move it to a different place.

01:16:37   If you just wanna get rid of it,

01:16:38   like it is pushing that management test up,

01:16:41   deciding that you know where like,

01:16:42   oh, I don't care that it covers this part of the screen.

01:16:44   And if it's covering something, knowing you move it.

01:16:45   And in practice, I found with Picture-in-Picture,

01:16:48   it's usually not that hard to find someplace on the screen

01:16:50   where you can put it, where it's not bothering you.

01:16:52   And you know where that is because you know the apps

01:16:54   that you're using.

01:16:55   That's the curse and the power of Windows,

01:16:58   as we all know on typical personal computers is,

01:17:02   you can put them wherever you want

01:17:03   and you can arrange it in a way that makes sense to you.

01:17:04   And it's so much more limited in iOS.

01:17:06   Like you have very few of these little things

01:17:08   and the where you can put them and how big they can be

01:17:10   and how you manipulate them is incredibly limited.

01:17:12   But I think coming from a world

01:17:14   where the entire phone was one application all the time,

01:17:17   that incredible simplicity,

01:17:18   and moving to a world with iPad Pro,

01:17:22   large type devices with a pen and all this other stuff.

01:17:25   You have to start giving people the ability to do this,

01:17:27   otherwise you're not leveraging the power

01:17:29   of the larger screen and the multitasking

01:17:32   and all that other stuff.

01:17:33   - Yeah, I love picture-in-picture on my iPad,

01:17:35   and I love it so much, even on macOS,

01:17:38   that I found, I don't remember who introduced this to me,

01:17:41   but, and forgive me if I mentioned this on the show before,

01:17:44   But there's a Safari extension called Pied Piper, but it's Pied P-I-P-er, get it?

01:17:51   Anyway, it's a Safari extension that'll allow you to easily do picture-in-picture on YouTube,

01:17:57   and I think Vimeo and a couple of other places, and Plex for the Plex web front end.

01:18:02   Yes, I am aware that you can do some right-click, right-click again dance on YouTube in order

01:18:09   to get it to support Picture-in-Picture, but this just puts a little button right on the

01:18:15   video that lets you kick it over to a Picture-in-Picture.

01:18:18   I find that super convenient, particularly because, although I don't believe in having

01:18:22   a gazillion Safari tabs like you do, John, I do believe in having about 11 billion spaces

01:18:28   or virtual desktops.

01:18:30   And so having Picture-in-Picture can let this hover across several different spaces, which

01:18:35   is really nice.

01:18:36   So I'll put a link to that in the show notes.

01:18:39   Anything else on iOS 10.3?

01:18:40   I briefly mentioned the reviewing interface thing that Marco said he talked about under

01:18:45   the radar, but that was an issue we talked about on past ATPs, I think, with applications

01:18:52   asking you to rate them obnoxiously more often than you would like.

01:18:56   And we were discussing, you know, "Oh, maybe you could report them that they're doing that

01:19:00   or applications shouldn't be doing that, but then how do you enforce the guidelines?"

01:19:03   Apple's solution to this seems to be make an official API for asking that and put limits

01:19:08   on the official API, and eventually some point in the future force everyone to use the API.

01:19:13   So this sounds, I endorse this plan.

01:19:15   This sounds like a good plan.

01:19:16   I look forward to them rolling it out.

01:19:18   I like that they're doing it reasonably cautiously, not just one day saying, "Hey, guess what?

01:19:22   If your app asks for reviews in any way except the official API, you will get rejected."

01:19:26   They're not doing that.

01:19:27   But the API is, the limits are sane.

01:19:30   It's like three times per year you can ask, and with a global switch that says, "I never

01:19:36   want to be asked to rate an application. I'm going to use that global switch because I

01:19:40   do never want to be asked. Many applications that I use and like frequently ask me to rate

01:19:45   them and have obnoxious choices at the bottom of the dialogue boxes, none of which my brainstem

01:19:51   knows, you know, my brainstem doesn't know which one to pick so I have to read words

01:19:54   and be like, it's like, maybe later, no, like, oh, just go away box, I don't want to see

01:20:04   you. So I endorse this API. I wish it would come sooner. In fact, I wish they would, you know,

01:20:11   make it even more draconian now. And the nice thing is, everything I've heard about this is like,

01:20:15   yes, these are reasonable choices. Like what about the applications like Marco's that

01:20:20   never prompt you, but just have a little section in the preferences that say, hey, if you want to

01:20:24   rate it, are they okay? Answer, yes, you're totally allowed to do that because that's not a thing that

01:20:28   pops up in your face. If you're scrolling through the settings and you see the thing, those

01:20:31   Those applications don't have to be removed from the store

01:20:34   or changed a thing.

01:20:35   And if Marco wants to make it,

01:20:37   so when you tap that thing,

01:20:38   it pops up an inline thing to review the app.

01:20:40   Can he use that new API?

01:20:41   Yes, he can.

01:20:42   See, it's not that hard.

01:20:43   Like we're so used to like every API that Apple,

01:20:46   every sort of app store rule or API they introduce,

01:20:49   there being a bunch of obvious problems

01:20:50   that we all whine about, right?

01:20:52   No obvious problems in this one.

01:20:54   There may be non-obvious problems,

01:20:55   but like it is just a great feeling

01:20:57   to get an announcement at the app store and go,

01:20:59   they made, for all the big choices,

01:21:02   they made reasonable ones, yay!

01:21:05   - Yeah, I mean this, like, again,

01:21:06   we did spend about half of Under the Radar this week

01:21:08   talking about this, so I have to re-put that

01:21:10   in the show notes, plug plug.

01:21:11   However, this is one of, this is like

01:21:14   quintessential good Apple.

01:21:16   This is like seeing a problem that is,

01:21:18   that causes a poor user experience,

01:21:21   but that for some reason, that exists for a good reason.

01:21:25   So like, these app reviews, these Rate My App dialogues

01:21:28   just for good reason, because they work.

01:21:30   And because, as I mentioned earlier,

01:21:32   star ratings in the App Store tend to matter.

01:21:35   And so when you can have a way for most apps

01:21:38   to get a lot more star ratings,

01:21:40   that will definitely increase their downloads and sales

01:21:44   in a way that most people don't love,

01:21:47   but most of them also just don't care that much about it,

01:21:51   that's going to happen, that's going to be inevitable.

01:21:53   So Apple has addressed the need for them with this API.

01:21:56   They're saying, okay, we understand that you need

01:21:59   to prompt users, or that you think you need,

01:22:03   there needs to be a way to prompt users to review your app.

01:22:06   However, they take control away from the developer

01:22:09   of whether that's allowed to happen or not.

01:22:13   The developer still says when it should happen,

01:22:16   but they don't know whether it will succeed or not.

01:22:18   And then combined with the policy change

01:22:23   that will be coming down the road at some unspecified time

01:22:26   that says you won't be allowed to ask for reviews

01:22:28   any other way, that combination will be awesome.

01:22:32   The only problem I see with this,

01:22:33   which again we talked about this on Under the Radar,

01:22:35   please listen to that also,

01:22:36   the only problem I see with this is enforcement,

01:22:38   because I think it's going to be similar to the rules

01:22:41   that they have against spam push notifications,

01:22:44   or push notifications that are used for quote,

01:22:46   marketing or promotional purposes.

01:22:48   I think every single app that uses push notifications,

01:22:52   with very, very few exceptions,

01:22:55   including the App Store app,

01:22:58   has been used for promotional purposes.

01:23:00   Apps abuse this all the time.

01:23:02   Apple themselves abuse this sometimes.

01:23:04   Games are the worst.

01:23:08   Big content apps are the worst.

01:23:10   Big company apps are the worst.

01:23:11   Tons of apps spam notify people for things like,

01:23:15   "Hey, bombs are now on sale for a limited time.

01:23:18   "Come check out the newest content."

01:23:20   Crap like that.

01:23:21   That is explicitly prohibited in the app review rules.

01:23:24   but that has never been enforced in any kind of scale

01:23:27   because it's kind of hard to enforce that

01:23:29   when you're reviewing apps for like three minutes at a time.

01:23:33   As long as you don't see the problem come up

01:23:35   during those three minutes during app review,

01:23:38   it's gonna be really hard to enforce

01:23:39   unless as we discussed a couple times way back,

01:23:42   maybe they could add some kind of report a problem button

01:23:44   but is Apple really gonna clutter up their UI

01:23:48   of every notification or something like that

01:23:51   or every app icon or every app in the store

01:23:53   with a report violation button, probably not.

01:23:57   So the problem that this review policy

01:24:02   and review change will have is like,

01:24:04   if they can't really consistently enforce

01:24:08   that you aren't allowed to do it the old way anymore,

01:24:10   then all the big apps that are data-driven,

01:24:13   like Twitter and stuff,

01:24:14   they're just gonna keep doing it the old way.

01:24:15   And nothing's gonna really,

01:24:17   it's only gonna hurt the good people

01:24:19   who are trying to do things the right way.

01:24:21   - I think you only need a small number of people reporting.

01:24:23   Like this is not a type of thing where you need like everybody to even know the reporting

01:24:26   interface exists.

01:24:27   All you need is five nerds.

01:24:29   Five nerds to know where – how to report it, right?

01:24:32   Because all you need to do is alert Apple, "Oh, hey, maybe check this app out.

01:24:37   Maybe it's doing this thing."

01:24:38   And unlike push notifications, it's not like this is a data-driven thing where like

01:24:42   the avenue is there and the avenue is legal.

01:24:44   It's just the content that's bad.

01:24:46   This is the place where the avenue is not allowed.

01:24:49   You are not allowed to pop up a dialogue box that says anything about ratings and leads

01:24:52   people to ratings, like without using the official API, right? So you don't have to

01:24:56   be like, "Oh, you're allowed to use push notifications." It's just the things that you push on those

01:24:59   notifications shouldn't be ads. You're like, "Oh no, totally. We'll never push ads," right?

01:25:03   That's not a reviewable thing. Whereas popping up a dialogue, I mean, obviously you can be

01:25:08   sneaky and say, "Oh, the content of the dialogue is pulled from the web and you'll never know

01:25:11   what it is," right? You know, people can work around it. But if you just let this go out

01:25:15   into the wild and nerds know where the box is that tells them the application is a problem,

01:25:20   that will you know and then they sort them by volume and they just say every week go through the ones that people are complaining about

01:25:27   And see if it's yes, it's true

01:25:29   Look, I've you know

01:25:30   I spent more than three minutes with this application and guess what it does prompt you for ratings and bring the ban hammer, right?

01:25:35   It's you know

01:25:36   It's like like all these enforcement problems like just because you can't do it a hundred percent doesn't mean you shouldn't try at all

01:25:42   They and they need to get better about this in general some kind of feedback mechanism for it

01:25:47   And honestly, I think applications will be motivated

01:25:49   to use it, because the API, another good thing

01:25:53   this API does, is it improves the application.

01:25:55   You don't have to send people elsewhere

01:25:56   to write a review anymore.

01:25:57   They can stay in your app.

01:25:59   Developers have wanted that for a long time,

01:26:01   and now you get it.

01:26:02   So there is incentive.

01:26:03   There's a carrot as well as a stick

01:26:05   for everybody to use this API.

01:26:07   I don't know.

01:26:08   I was happy with this announcement.

01:26:09   - And honestly, I hate read this app dialog boxes,

01:26:13   but the implementation of this is so good

01:26:16   that I think I would leave it on.

01:26:18   And I think I would be totally okay with apps I use

01:26:20   on a regular basis showing this easy little box,

01:26:23   like once, and then I can just say, yeah, okay,

01:26:26   four stars, five stars, whatever, done.

01:26:28   And that's it.

01:26:30   I never leave ratings for anything

01:26:33   because I don't wanna go through the hassle

01:26:34   and I never think about it.

01:26:35   I should because usually only people with access

01:26:38   to Grime leave ratings, so if you like things,

01:26:40   you should leave ratings for them.

01:26:42   But I almost never do.

01:26:43   I have very few reviews on my account

01:26:46   because I just don't think about it.

01:26:48   This makes it a lot easier to do it.

01:26:50   So as a customer and as somebody

01:26:52   who wants to support good apps,

01:26:54   I actually would leave this on.

01:26:55   It is a really nice implementation.

01:26:57   - Speaking of reviews, you've reminded me/shamed me

01:27:02   into the same sort of thing.

01:27:03   I was thinking, when do I leave Star Reviews

01:27:05   and why don't I?

01:27:06   And you got both the reasons.

01:27:07   I almost never do and I don't because who wants

01:27:10   to leave the application they're in to go do something.

01:27:11   But if it was in the dialogue and I could just hit the number of stars, I would do that

01:27:15   and I should.

01:27:17   And thinking of that, obviously I don't have any app in the store to think about reviews

01:27:20   for, but I do have podcasts in the iTunes store and those get reviews and I'm not going

01:27:25   to say they are a tire fire because they're not.

01:27:29   They're good reviews.

01:27:30   You know, we have good reviews for this podcast and for other podcasts that I'm on.

01:27:35   But as shows age, what I have found is new reviews come in more slowly and the reviews

01:27:42   become increasingly negative because eventually everyone who had anything nice to say about

01:27:46   the show has already said what they have to say, which is fine.

01:27:49   Like how many reviews can you leave for a show?

01:27:53   But if in the middle of this podcast, a magic auditory dialogue box could pop up and people

01:27:59   could auditorily or with mental powers press like, this is the analogy is falling apart.

01:28:05   If it was really easy to rate podcasts, I think more people would rate it, and I think it would

01:28:09   make the ratings nicer. But it's not easy to rate podcasts, and therefore nobody does it.

01:28:14   And I have to say, I don't rate the podcast I listen to either. And so the only people who

01:28:18   are motivated to rate podcasts are when the show newly launches and people are enthusiastic,

01:28:23   and then later when people are angry. And so now all we have left are the angry people rating the

01:28:27   podcast, which is fine. I don't even know how reviews or podcast stars have any effect on our

01:28:32   audience at all either, but...

01:28:34   I mean, it's also possible that you might be using a podcast app whose creator is very

01:28:39   vehemently against the idea of podcast reviews and would never implement such a feature.

01:28:43   Do other podcast things have it?

01:28:46   Well, not a lot of other podcasts have their own directories.

01:28:50   Those that do, I don't know of any that have any kind of review system, but that's probably

01:28:53   for good reason because your view systems for podcasts are a terrible idea.

01:28:57   But there's no API to do iTunes reviews basically to give a star rating to...

01:29:01   - No, I really doubt it.

01:29:03   I mean, you might be able to hack it

01:29:04   through some kind of undocumented weird thing,

01:29:06   but I really doubt it.

01:29:07   That would be a massive potential for abuse.

01:29:10   So I don't think they would want to expose that any real way.

01:29:13   You can read reviews through an API

01:29:16   that's I think also undocumented.

01:29:19   I don't do that either.

01:29:20   I don't care.

01:29:21   I don't want to show the content of reviews,

01:29:25   the ratings from reviews.

01:29:26   I think in the context of podcasts and podcast search

01:29:31   and podcast discovery, the star rating system

01:29:34   is incredibly dysfunctional, and therefore,

01:29:38   I just do not want it, and I don't want Overcast

01:29:41   to show any part of it ever.

01:29:42   I have my own recommendation system,

01:29:44   which is a simple thumbs up, that's it.

01:29:46   It's a Boolean, you like this, that's it.

01:29:49   There's no dislike, there's no stars, there's no commentary.

01:29:53   There's many problems with those systems.

01:29:56   Simple, thumbs up, easy.

01:29:57   - Yeah, the recommendation system in Overcast

01:29:59   works really well.

01:30:01   Chris Latner cheated on us and went on another podcast

01:30:04   to talk about stuff.

01:30:05   And I was like, oh, I wanna hear that podcast too.

01:30:07   So I launched Overcast and I went to the screen

01:30:09   where I was gonna search for the show name or whatever,

01:30:12   but I didn't have to because it was already

01:30:14   at the very top of the most recommended thing.

01:30:16   It was right there.

01:30:17   Like the icon, I mean, I recognized it

01:30:19   because the icon I had seen on Twitter.

01:30:20   I'm like, oh, that must be it, boop, boop, done.

01:30:23   Didn't even need to type anything into a search box.

01:30:25   And that's just from people going, thumbs up,

01:30:27   hey, this was a good episode of the show.

01:30:29   That's all it takes.

01:30:30   I don't really care what the star rating is for that podcast.

01:30:33   On a final note for tonight, there's been a lot of mathematics that's been done.

01:30:40   There's been a lot of math done.

01:30:42   Math, British listeners.

01:30:43   Maths, Casey, it's math.

01:30:45   No, it's math.

01:30:46   They don't know what that means.

01:30:48   Whatever.

01:30:49   Did you know it's pronounced hover?

01:30:50   Anyway, so a friend of the show, Dan Provost, who is one half of Studio Neat, has done some

01:30:56   math.

01:30:57   some numbers, and he has concluded that there probably should, or at least could, be a ten

01:31:06   and a half inch iPad.

01:31:08   And I'm going to try to summarize this as quickly as possible.

01:31:10   If you look back to the original big iPad Pro announcement, what Schiller had said was,

01:31:18   "Hey, if you take two full-size iPads vertically in portrait, but put them adjacent with each

01:31:25   other. That screen real estate of the two of them combined is the size, real estate-wise,

01:31:31   you know, resolution-wise, of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. So Dan said, "Well, what happens

01:31:38   if you did the same thing but with iPad Minis? So you have two iPad Minis standing in portrait

01:31:44   mode next to each other, adjacent to each other. How big would the resultant iPad need

01:31:50   to be. So cue some math, a little Pythagorean theorem, and guess what? The answer is right

01:31:57   around ten and a half inches. Which works out, er, I shouldn't say works out, which

01:32:01   is interesting because we've been starting to hear a little bit of rumbling about, oh,

01:32:07   there might be a ten and a half inch iPad someday, somehow, in the future, but nobody

01:32:11   really understood it until Dan started to do this math. So this sounds really darn plausible

01:32:17   me. What I'm not sure of, and I've heard a lot of people pontificating about it, is do

01:32:22   they keep a 9.7-inch iPad around? If I were to wager a guess, I'd say they do, but only

01:32:30   in the dustbin, the old device's bin, cheaply, as Apple is oft to do. What do you think?

01:32:37   No intermhood, that means it's going to be here for like 10 years.

01:32:40   Well there's that. So Marco, how do you read all this? What do you think?

01:32:44   - I think it sounds very plausible.

01:32:45   I mean, it seems like, if you look at the 12.9 inch

01:32:50   iPad Pro users, like, the people who like that

01:32:54   are real power users of the iPad.

01:32:56   Like, they really like having multitasking especially,

01:32:59   you know, 'cause the more you multitask,

01:33:01   the more you really want resolution.

01:33:03   If they ever do Windows like John wants,

01:33:05   that would be even more important,

01:33:06   as we know, from using PCs forever.

01:33:08   So, you know, the demand for it, I think,

01:33:11   is almost certainly there,

01:33:13   because lots of people who are real iPad power users

01:33:18   want that extra resolution for multitasking,

01:33:20   but for whatever reason, either it's carry size

01:33:25   or hand size or whatever else, the 12.9 is a little too big.

01:33:30   It's a pretty big iPad.

01:33:31   Have you spent any time with one case, the 12.9?

01:33:35   - Not really.

01:33:36   There's a couple people at work that have them,

01:33:38   so I see them, and even though I see them

01:33:40   from time to time, like maybe once a week,

01:33:42   Every time I see one, I think to myself,

01:33:45   my word, that is a tremendous iPad.

01:33:48   - It really is large. - It is comically large.

01:33:50   - Yeah, yeah, and especially 'cause you

01:33:51   coming from the Mini, right?

01:33:52   So-- - Yeah.

01:33:54   - And you know too, so the Mini shows us

01:33:56   that you can take the regular 9.7,

01:33:59   quote regular iPad 9.7 resolution,

01:34:02   you can shrink it down a little bit to iPhone density,

01:34:06   and as long as you have decent eyesight, it works, right?

01:34:10   And so there is a market for that,

01:34:12   For people who don't mind everything being a little bit

01:34:14   smaller, who are maybe younger or are power users

01:34:17   or are really precise with their fingers or whatever else,

01:34:20   they would rather have a smaller carry size

01:34:22   and still have higher resolution.

01:34:24   So there is a market for that going from 9.7 resolution

01:34:29   into the iPad Mini size, so therefore it follows

01:34:32   there's probably also a market for people who want

01:34:35   the 12.9 resolution in a more like 9.7 size.

01:34:39   So I think this makes a lot of sense.

01:34:41   whether they'll do it or not is another story.

01:34:43   It's plausible, certainly, we've heard minor rumblings.

01:34:46   And I think big picture, before Jon gets in

01:34:49   and tells me why I'm wrong about all this,

01:34:51   I think big picture, if you look at

01:34:55   the way Apple devotes resources in recent years,

01:34:59   they find a product line that is like

01:35:03   in great need of attention,

01:35:05   and they spend like a year really whipping it into shape,

01:35:09   and then they move on to the next thing

01:35:11   that needs a lot of attention.

01:35:12   The Apple TV a couple years ago was that thing.

01:35:15   The Apple TV was in terrible shape.

01:35:17   There was lots of increase in competition.

01:35:18   They wanted to get it onto an app model,

01:35:20   and so they gave some effort to it.

01:35:23   They gave it a big boost, and then they just left it alone.

01:35:26   There's been almost nothing changed in the Apple TV

01:35:28   since its release a year and a half ago, whenever that was.

01:35:31   Last year, they put that amount of attention

01:35:33   on the Apple Watch, because the Apple Watch

01:35:36   was basically on fire when it came out.

01:35:38   Like it was in, had so many problems.

01:35:41   And so watchOS 3 got like lots of attention.

01:35:45   I expect that the Apple Watch is not gonna see

01:35:48   tons of major changes this year.

01:35:50   I think last year was its time to shine,

01:35:52   it got a bunch of good improvements in watchOS 3,

01:35:55   and now we're probably in for a quiet period.

01:35:58   And now I expect this year to be another year

01:36:02   of iPad improvements where I expect there to be

01:36:06   decent investment into the iPad this year

01:36:09   to try to turn around its sales curve,

01:36:12   to try to really boost it,

01:36:14   try to get it moving as another growth engine again.

01:36:18   And I also expect that this year, I hope,

01:36:22   that there is a larger than usual effort

01:36:25   put into the iPhone.

01:36:26   I think it's the iPhone's turn in this model.

01:36:31   So basically I think,

01:36:32   and the iPhone is a lot more important than the iPad,

01:36:33   So I expect the iPhone to get things

01:36:36   that are a little more resource intensive,

01:36:38   and the iPad to get things that will satisfy people,

01:36:41   like kind of like holdover updates.

01:36:43   So, you know, long-standing customer requests,

01:36:47   like if we ever get the rumored fix

01:36:49   of the multitasking switcher

01:36:50   to have like a much better app launching icon thing

01:36:53   than the weirdo card thing they have now,

01:36:55   like that's probably gonna happen this year

01:36:57   if it's gonna happen at all,

01:36:58   because it may, like, this is the year

01:37:00   for like iPad improvements that people really want

01:37:03   It'll get people really excited about the iPad again,

01:37:05   and that will keep the power users going.

01:37:07   And then probably major effort

01:37:11   on the iPhone hardware-wise, I hope.

01:37:14   - Here's the thing about the iPad form factor

01:37:16   and where the product is in its life.

01:37:18   It's one of the easiest products for Apple to fiddle with,

01:37:25   because at iPad size with the internals,

01:37:28   you have a lot of leeway.

01:37:31   You have so much leeway that they don't even have

01:37:33   use all the space for battery anymore, right? It can be pretty darn thin, they have room

01:37:37   for giant speakers, the actual system on a chip and all the other things is so small

01:37:41   compared to the size of the device. You can, from year to year, make different decisions

01:37:47   about how big is it? How big is the, you know, the surround for the entire screen? Does it

01:37:53   have a home button on the screen if that tech ever comes from the iPhone? Like, you can

01:37:57   play with all sorts of sizes, and by the way, every time you change the size or any other

01:38:01   dimension you can sell more accessories and cases and stuff and everybody loves that.

01:38:05   So tech wise and investment wise it's such an easy thing to do to say we can take the

01:38:11   iPad Pro 9.7 which is one of the best iPads ever made and change a whole bunch of things

01:38:18   about it dimensionally to try to make a different compromise on the product with very little

01:38:22   investment because what does it really take to change the size of the screen by less than

01:38:29   an inch?

01:38:30   to update the Mac Pro.

01:38:32   - Right, like it's not--

01:38:32   - Oh, here we go.

01:38:33   - No, but this is like, this is the easiest thing ever,

01:38:36   'cause you're not under space constraints.

01:38:37   It's just a matter of finding a new supplier,

01:38:39   and they do that routinely anyway,

01:38:40   even if they keep the screen the same size

01:38:42   to find new suppliers for things.

01:38:43   You can tweak this product,

01:38:45   and I think the iPad is in a good place now.

01:38:47   Like I said, I think the iPad Pro is, you know,

01:38:51   one of the best iPads Apple has ever made,

01:38:53   perhaps the best, and it is one of the few products

01:38:55   that I recommend, Apple products that are

01:38:57   recommend to people these days with no reservations.

01:38:59   I want to get an iPad.

01:39:00   I like the 9.7.

01:39:01   Should I get the iPad Pro?

01:39:02   Yes, just get it.

01:39:03   It is, there's nothing wrong with it.

01:39:05   Like, it is great.

01:39:07   Maybe you could have more RAM, but who cares?

01:39:08   Like, it's so good.

01:39:09   There's so few compromises.

01:39:11   And the few things that I think about

01:39:14   that they could change, these rumors, like I said,

01:39:16   for satisfying type of things that you can do

01:39:17   to make people happy.

01:39:19   Would I like an Apple Pencil 2

01:39:20   that connects to the smart connector?

01:39:22   Hell yes, and charges from it.

01:39:24   I hate the little plug-in thing on the end to charge.

01:39:26   Like, you rarely have to do that.

01:39:28   like the battery lasts a long time,

01:39:29   but there's room for improvement with small changes

01:39:33   to form factor and fit and finish,

01:39:35   and they'll get to sell new cases and new pencils

01:39:38   and new third party stuff to go, such an easy win.

01:39:42   And I don't know if that counts as, like you said, Marco,

01:39:43   putting lots more investment with the iPad

01:39:45   and giving it more attention.

01:39:47   What I think it counts as is satisfying customers

01:39:50   of the iPad with actually a fairly minimal investment,

01:39:53   just doing the basic stuff, saying,

01:39:55   "Well, we made a couple iPads, we've learned some things,

01:39:57   let's change it, let's shift it around.

01:39:59   You know, they don't know what sizes,

01:40:01   they talked about it on the original iPad,

01:40:02   this is the size that we picked.

01:40:03   When you just gotta pick one size, fine.

01:40:06   But as the product line diversifies,

01:40:07   I don't care how many sizes of iPad there are,

01:40:09   as long as they're not changing by three millimeters.

01:40:11   Three or four sizes is fine with me,

01:40:13   and if you wanna fade one out and bring another one in,

01:40:15   these are not radical shifts.

01:40:16   I mean, aside from the thing that we always talk about

01:40:19   of like, I would like a 28 inch iPad,

01:40:21   you know, the Microsoft Surface Studio,

01:40:23   that's a whole different product, right, whatever.

01:40:25   But within the realm of iPads

01:40:26   that you battery powered iPads that you hold in your hands,

01:40:29   I'm perfectly happy to see them mess with the dimensions

01:40:33   of this product and the sort of the ergonomics

01:40:35   and how it works with the case and the pencil

01:40:38   and all that stuff.

01:40:39   And I can't imagine that that type of change

01:40:42   is a break the bank type of thing.

01:40:43   So by all means Apple,

01:40:45   continue to make the already good iPad better

01:40:48   with minimal investment.

01:40:50   And with the money that you save,

01:40:52   you have a line of desktop computers

01:40:55   - I would love to see it updated.

01:40:57   (laughing)

01:40:59   - And I think that does it.

01:41:01   - Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week,

01:41:03   Indochino, Betterment, and Casper,

01:41:05   and we will see you next week.

01:41:07   (upbeat music)

01:41:10   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

01:41:12   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

01:41:15   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:41:17   ♪ Oh it was accidental ♪

01:41:20   ♪ John didn't do any research ♪

01:41:22   Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:41:25   'Cause it was accidental

01:41:27   It was accidental

01:41:31   And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM

01:41:36   And if you're into Twitter

01:41:39   You can follow them

01:41:41   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:41:45   So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:41:50   ♪ Anti-Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C ♪

01:41:55   ♪ U-S-A-C-R-O-Q-S-A ♪

01:41:57   ♪ It's accidental ♪

01:41:58   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:42:00   ♪ They didn't mean to ♪

01:42:02   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:42:04   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:42:05   ♪ Tech podcast ♪

01:42:07   ♪ So long ♪

01:42:10   - So a friend of the show, Brianna Wu,

01:42:12   has decided that she really hasn't had enough grief

01:42:18   in her life. And so she thought, "You know what? I'm going to run for Congress." Which

01:42:25   is it the House or the Senate? I always get it backwards that she's running for.

01:42:28   House, I believe, right?

01:42:30   So she's running for the House in Massachusetts, if I understand everything properly. And she

01:42:35   has an ad that we will link to in the show notes. And so one of the platforms she's running

01:42:42   on among other things is like the whole kerfuffle from, I guess it was early last year, middle

01:42:48   last year about Tim Cook and the iPhone FBI stuff.

01:42:52   I think that that's worth mentioning,

01:42:54   something that's relevant potentially

01:42:56   to a lot of our listeners,

01:42:57   even if you don't happen to live in Massachusetts.

01:42:59   So John is our representative massa-chus-it-in,

01:43:04   I don't even know, what do you call yourself?

01:43:07   - That's it, you just wanted to say,

01:43:08   you just wanted to say mass-hole, didn't you?

01:43:09   - I really did, I really, really did, but I tried not to.

01:43:13   - You got it right, it's massa-chus-it-in, that's right.

01:43:16   - I'm pretty sure that's not right.

01:43:17   got it in one.

01:43:18   Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not it at all.

01:43:20   Anyway, so what are your thoughts on this, Jon?

01:43:22   Yeah, so she's running in Massachusetts.

01:43:24   She's running against another Democrat, because surprise, in Massachusetts, well, maybe it's

01:43:29   a surprise.

01:43:30   No way.

01:43:31   We've had problems with Republicans here before.

01:43:32   But anyway, she is running against another Democrat who is insufficiently aligned with

01:43:38   Democratic principles and is not prioritizing the things that she would like to see prioritized.

01:43:43   And one of those issues, one of the issues that is relevant to a tech podcast is the

01:43:47   The idea that, you know, this is true of most politicians, regardless of party, they don't

01:43:51   know much about tech stuff.

01:43:54   And they're easily influenced by companies with a lot of money who will persuade them

01:44:01   to vote in ways that are aligned with the interests of those companies.

01:44:05   And because they don't know much about the tech stuff, like, well, I don't know, I guess

01:44:08   this is the right thing to do.

01:44:09   Like, they don't even know, right?

01:44:10   if someone who is involved in the tech world has a chance to take stands on and make an

01:44:19   important part of the platform issues that we care about. So for example, the iPhone

01:44:23   FBI stuff, like, I think if you just asked a regular person, should the FBI be able to

01:44:28   get into a terrorist throne? Like they all say, yes, of course, totally, right. But to

01:44:32   understand the bigger issue, right, the bigger issue of like, oh, don't just don't just answer

01:44:37   based on your fear of terrorism, but think about the bigger issue of data privacy and

01:44:41   the consequences and what it would lead to if all information was accessible and encryption

01:44:46   was outlawed and all these other things. All the things that tech people, I feel like,

01:44:50   have a better grasp on than regular people. To make that a platform of a congressional run,

01:44:56   A, it's novel to have someone who is actually informed about tech and who is making those issues

01:45:03   front and center like this is a differentiating factor. My opponent doesn't know about any of

01:45:07   this stuff and doesn't care and is going to always vote the wrong way on these issues because they're

01:45:10   just going to be aligned with the cable companies or whoever donates to their campaign. Again,

01:45:14   regardless of party, this is not a partisan issue. Like tech is terrible in the political world.

01:45:18   But to make it a differentiating factor, but my question is,

01:45:24   do people care enough about this issue for it to be a good idea politically speaking? Like maybe

01:45:31   the reason that no politicians bring it up is that it's like, yeah, so what? You are on the right

01:45:37   side as far as nerds are concerned, but are there enough nerds to make this something that helps you

01:45:41   get elected? Or is this an issue that you've never seen in campaign ads for a very good reason? And

01:45:47   that very good reason being nerds are few and don't vote or don't believe you or don't care?

01:45:53   And I don't know the answer to that question. I like the idea of, you know, who doesn't like the

01:45:57   the idea of their pet issues becoming the platform of some politicians are

01:46:00   gonna say I know you care about you know net neutrality and digital privacy and

01:46:06   whatever and no one ever talks about them but I'm gonna talk about them like

01:46:09   yes I like that person but if there's like seven of us out there who care

01:46:12   about these things this is not going to help her get elected so I'm of two minds

01:46:16   in this I'm I'm I'm happy to be catered to by a candidate who believes the same

01:46:21   things I do about these relatively esoteric features but especially in the

01:46:25   current climate, which I'm not going to go into too much, where there are so many

01:46:29   issues that I think we all agree are so much more important than this. Is this a

01:46:34   distraction or even in the best of cases do people really care enough about

01:46:40   digital privacy and other tech issues to vote based on them? And to be clear

01:46:45   that's not like the only item on her platform by any stretch of the

01:46:48   imagination. No, no, no, I mean the ad we'll have a link to in the show is not even

01:46:52   about that. Like it's not about that at all. Like women's issue is much larger

01:46:55   platform and that's an easier sell because yes, I think that is a winner, you know, women's issues is

01:46:59   I mean just look at the women's march and like plenty of women will vote based on women's issues

01:47:04   but specifically as it relates to a tech podcast, you know, her mentioning it all that this is an

01:47:11   issue and part of her platform I think is is rare and novel so I'm not I'm not excluding any of the

01:47:16   other things that are much more important on our platform I'm just saying this issue specifically

01:47:20   Does anyone care enough about it, or will it always be dwarfed by the much more important

01:47:25   issues, including women's issues?

01:47:26   Well, I think it's one note in the music, right?

01:47:34   It's one thing that certainly I care about and I think that the two of you guys care

01:47:39   about, that when an elected representative of mine here in Virginia votes against what

01:47:46   I consider to be common-sense nerd topics, for example, of voting against net neutrality.

01:47:54   I notice that, and that's enough to make me strongly consider the way I vote the next

01:47:59   time I vote. So yeah, I think this can absolutely sway people. I think you're right also that

01:48:04   there are far more important things to worry about, but this is also something that I am

01:48:09   worried about.

01:48:10   I always feel the same way when I see my representatives, which in general I'm fairly well aligned with

01:48:16   because in the state that I happen to live in. But again, they just vote the wrong way,

01:48:22   in my opinion, on so many issues related to tech. And it's like, you just have to swallow that and

01:48:26   be like, look, the alternative is so much worse on so much more important things. But on the other

01:48:32   hand, it just hurts to constantly have to swallow that. So like I said, I'm excited by someone who I

01:48:38   agree with on all the big issues and also these one section of small issues. Right? And that

01:48:45   That definitely, it's so rare, especially for tech things,

01:48:48   because everybody can, no one's gonna find a politician

01:48:50   that agrees with everyone in their views.

01:48:51   That doesn't exist.

01:48:52   You always have, you know,

01:48:53   even if we didn't have this horrible two-party system,

01:48:55   you're never gonna find someone to represent you

01:48:57   who like, I agree with every single thing they say.

01:48:59   You gotta have a hierarchy,

01:49:00   you gotta prioritize and so on and so forth.

01:49:02   But I think tech is not as obscure as,

01:49:06   it should be more prominent than it is,

01:49:08   let's put it that way,

01:49:09   because the importance of tech in all of our lives

01:49:12   has increased so much over the past several decades,

01:49:16   that now it actually is up there with the other issues.

01:49:20   It should be discussed.

01:49:23   It shouldn't be like, oh, that's completely esoteric,

01:49:25   who cares about the internet?

01:49:26   'Cause the internet is extremely powerful

01:49:29   and extremely important, and its power and importance

01:49:31   is not diminishing over time.

01:49:34   So maybe it's a generational thing,

01:49:36   and maybe we have to wait for a couple of generations

01:49:38   to turn over before we really get into a world

01:49:40   where people accept and understand the importance

01:49:42   and power of networks and the internet.

01:49:45   And hopefully we don't make too many bad decisions

01:49:46   before then and screw it all up, you know?

01:49:49   But it should be talked about more than it is.

01:49:51   And it's a shame that even today,

01:49:53   like even in the framing that I gave this,

01:49:55   it is still viewed as a thing that only nerds care about

01:50:00   and can understand, but it affects everybody's life.

01:50:03   It doesn't matter whether you're a nerd

01:50:04   or whether you're into tech

01:50:05   or whether you're listening to this podcast.

01:50:06   These issues do affect your life.

01:50:08   it is basically impossible to live in the United States and not be affected by technology

01:50:16   law and telecommunication law and all those things.

01:50:18   You are affected by it whether you understand why your cable bill is going up or where you're

01:50:25   able to get information from or not.

01:50:27   Things could be much worse than they are.

01:50:30   I think the net neutrality thing, we've sort of held the line on it for a long time, but

01:50:35   It's a fragile wall that could crumble at any moment,

01:50:38   and I really hope more people in Congress

01:50:41   and running for Congress bring this issue along.

01:50:44   Like you said, another note in the symphony.

01:50:46   It deserves to be at least mentioned.

01:50:48   That's not gonna say that.

01:50:49   It deserves to be at least mentioned,

01:50:50   along with the other headline issues

01:50:51   that are much more important,

01:50:54   that people's lives depend on

01:50:55   in a very real and immediate way.

01:50:57   Tech issues should also be brought along

01:51:00   for the ride at this point.

01:51:03   So moving on to anything that's not politics.

01:51:06   So Casey, it seems like you might be thinking

01:51:12   more seriously than I expected

01:51:15   about possibly getting a Tesla.

01:51:18   - That is not true, stop with that ridiculousness.

01:51:21   - So let me just give you a brief statement

01:51:24   on the matter of you possibly getting a Tesla.

01:51:27   So when, so you, cars are a big part of your identity.

01:51:32   - Oh boy, he's going right.

01:51:36   So this is how this is gonna go, okay.

01:51:39   - Right, yeah.

01:51:40   - Seriously.

01:51:41   - So when we went to Cars and Coffee a few weeks ago,

01:51:44   I made the remark that now that I'm a Tesla person,

01:51:48   now that I look at all the other cars out there

01:51:53   and all their decked out engines and big mufflers

01:51:56   and all this horsepower and everything else,

01:51:59   And I feel kind of the way I feel now

01:52:03   when I see cool overclocked PC hardware

01:52:07   with all the blue LEDs in it and everything else.

01:52:09   It's like that is something that was a huge part of my life

01:52:14   for a long time, but what I've moved to now,

01:52:19   all that is irrelevant to me now.

01:52:20   And so I look at that now,

01:52:23   I look at cool PC hardware, even just like fast PCs,

01:52:27   good graphics cards, awesome CPUs, dual CPU systems

01:52:31   that used to be members of the Mac family and now aren't.

01:52:34   All of these high-end PC hardware things

01:52:37   that I used to love so much, I'm no longer interested

01:52:41   because I see them and I'm like, okay, that's cool,

01:52:44   I respect the kind of horsepower your PC has,

01:52:47   but because I'm no longer interested in Windows PCs,

01:52:52   that's all, I have a hard time really getting into it

01:52:55   and it kind of feels like it's the past in my life.

01:52:59   So at this car event, I kind of felt that way,

01:53:01   looking at all these cars, thinking like,

01:53:03   now that I have experienced the joy

01:53:07   and sheer disruption of driving an electric car,

01:53:11   that really does make all gas-powered cars

01:53:14   feel like the past and feel old and clunky by comparison,

01:53:18   even really good ones, it makes them feel old

01:53:21   and clunky by comparison.

01:53:22   I had a hard time appreciating much of the,

01:53:25   like cool car world because of that,

01:53:28   'cause now I've kinda shifted in what I live in

01:53:31   and what I like and what's important to me.

01:53:33   So for you to consider a Tesla, I have a feeling

01:53:38   that you were gonna have a very hard time in your mind

01:53:41   reconciling that with this core part

01:53:45   of what you've made your identity of.

01:53:47   Like you love cars, you've loved cars your whole life,

01:53:49   and you love the engine parts of cars.

01:53:52   You love the mufflers and the noise and the cylinders.

01:53:56   Like, you love all that stuff.

01:53:58   And so I wonder if maybe you should be considering a Tesla

01:54:03   more seriously than you are,

01:54:05   but maybe you're not letting yourself consider it

01:54:08   because you don't want to put at risk

01:54:13   that part of your identity changing.

01:54:15   - So I think, I'm trying to think of a brief answer

01:54:20   quasi question because I think we could do a like 50-minute deep dive into my

01:54:26   psyche and what motivates me and what doesn't. But I understand where

01:54:31   you're coming from. I think that first of all the primary reason I'm not really

01:54:36   considering a Tesla is it's just so much money. It's just so much money. I had said

01:54:42   to you privately that you know if you look at what a reasonably

01:54:48   well-equipped Model S costs if one were to buy one. And not to say that's the right answer,

01:54:54   but that's what I think of because I've only ever bought cars. I've never leased. So you

01:54:58   look at the price tag of a reasonably equipped Model S and it's hovering around $100,000.

01:55:04   I understand you can get cheaper ones, but built the way I would want it, it would probably

01:55:08   be around $100,000. That's almost three times what I paid for my current car, which is a

01:55:14   BMW 3 Series. That's not an unreasonable car. That's a pretty nice car.

01:55:19   Well, to be fair, you are comparing used to new, though. So compare used to used if you're

01:55:25   going to make a price comparison.

01:55:26   Well, I'm going to have to go the other direction because I don't have the faintest idea what

01:55:29   a Tesla is used, but I can tell you that my car, when it was new, was $55,000, something

01:55:35   like that. Which, to be clear, is ridiculous. Like, my car is very nice. It is not a $55,000

01:55:42   car. That's why I bought it used. But in any case, so you're looking at two of my

01:55:48   car for one Tesla, and that in and of itself makes all of my pipe dreams moot.

01:55:55   Because there's, I don't think that there's any way I could justify spending

01:55:59   that kind of money, or the equivalent thereof in a lease. I just, I don't think

01:56:04   I could do it. Now this is where everyone will say, "Well perfect, the Model 3 is

01:56:08   just the right car for you. Maybe. I don't know. I'm skeptical it'll be as quick as I'd

01:56:13   like it to be, and this is where everyone says, "Well, what do you really need to go

01:56:16   fast for?" I don't, but that's what I like, and I like what I like.

01:56:20   - No, there's nothing wrong with wanting to go fast, and believe me, with a Tesla, there

01:56:23   is ample speed. Even their slow models are fast.

01:56:26   - Oh, the Model S, I agree. I'm less confident in the 3. It very well could be, very, very

01:56:33   well could be I'll end up wrong, in which case I think I'll give the Model 3 a real

01:56:36   I didn't put a deposit down or anything like that

01:56:39   Because I think it'll still be like two to three years before one of those is even

01:56:43   Available for those who put a deposit down I forget what the official timeline is, but we'll see yeah

01:56:47   But so so let's assume for the sake of conversation that I'm willing to spend

01:56:53   $100,000 or the equivalent thereof in the lease payment I

01:56:56   think you're

01:56:59   largely on to something in that it would be a tough bridge to cross because I

01:57:05   have for my entire life since I can remember I

01:57:09   have treated cars in in car culture to some degree as such a

01:57:15   critical part of my life and I think that comes from

01:57:19   There was always an old car in our garage. My dad worked for IBM for something like 30 30 years, but

01:57:28   there was a brief window of time before he started working for IBM where he was a professional mechanic for Buick and

01:57:35   he had always tinkered with cars since he was a kid. Now the difference between dad and I is that

01:57:40   he has actual practical knowledge and all of my knowledge, well, what little I have is all

01:57:44   theoretical. And if you doubt me on that, I have a podcast to recommend to you. But in any case,

01:57:51   but all kidding aside, you know, I've grown up with cars around me all my life. And you know,

01:57:56   I think you tend to emulate your parents. And my dad has always been obsessed with cars. And so

01:58:00   because of that, I think I've always been obsessed with cars. And even if I were to get

01:58:05   a Tesla, sitting here now not knowing any better, I think I would probably want like a stupid dino

01:58:12   juice powered, not weekend car, but like weekend car. One that has three pedals. Maybe a convertible.

01:58:18   Not that I've ever owned one really, but that sounds like it could be fun. You know, like an

01:58:24   S2000 or something like that. Just to have to remind me what driving used to feel like before

01:58:31   it was all automated and before some of the soul was taken out of it. And I don't mean that to be

01:58:35   insulting. I just feel like it's a very different animal with the Tesla. But I tell you what,

01:58:41   when we were out that morning on New Year's Eve, I drove us from Cars and Coffee to where we had

01:58:48   breakfast. And every time I gave that Tesla, this was Underscores Tesla, every time I gave that

01:58:56   Tesla a little bit of my right foot, it just put a humongous smile on my face because it is just

01:59:01   frigging intoxicating, having infinite torque from no RPM. It's unbelievably intoxicating.

01:59:08   And so to that end, I wonder if I had a Model S if I would get over it a lot quicker than

01:59:14   I expect.

01:59:15   - I sure did. I mean, like, I'm telling you, like, going from the M5 to the Model S, I

01:59:21   really was afraid that I would really miss, like, the sporty, you know, V8-ness of the

01:59:27   and shifting the gears and everything.

01:59:30   And I really didn't.

01:59:33   Like I thought that would, I was very worried about that.

01:59:36   And it was a complete non-issue

01:59:38   as soon as I started driving the Model S,

01:59:39   I'm like, oh my God, this is so good.

01:59:41   Now, that being said, if you theoretically were

01:59:44   to do your like little gas car for fun weekend,

01:59:48   reminding yourself that you exist,

01:59:50   if only there was someone else in your household

01:59:53   who was looking for a new full-size sedan.

01:59:56   - Yeah, so what, you're saying Aaron gets a Tesla?

01:59:59   - I mean, Aaron can make her own car decision, of course,

02:00:02   but maybe Aaron could get a Model S,

02:00:04   'cause that's the size and class of car

02:00:09   that I believe she wants the space from.

02:00:12   And then you, for like, you know, when you go to work,

02:00:16   you know, you could leave the Model S at home for,

02:00:18   you know, 'cause Aaron's with Declan

02:00:20   during the work day, right?

02:00:21   So, you know, there'd be the car seat in that one,

02:00:24   and then you ride your little S2000,

02:00:27   which is probably not that expensive today,

02:00:29   'cause they're not that new.

02:00:31   You ride your S2000 to work, or a Miata or something,

02:00:34   and you have your fun little rocket engine car

02:00:37   with a stick with three pedals,

02:00:40   and that's you remind yourself that you like cars car,

02:00:43   and then you have the Model S as the other car

02:00:46   in your family that Aaron drives most of the time,

02:00:48   and that you slowly fall in love with.

02:00:50   - It's funny you mention that for a couple of reasons.

02:00:53   First of all, I've barked up this tree with Erin, and she has told me on no uncertain

02:00:57   terms that there's no way she would be spending that kind of money on a Model S. Now, it's

02:01:02   kind of funny because her money is my money and my money is her money.

02:01:05   It's all really our money, but be that as it may—

02:01:07   Well, it's a joint decision, obviously.

02:01:09   Right, but yeah, she said no way.

02:01:12   She has no interest in it.

02:01:13   Not because she doesn't think it's nice.

02:01:14   I mean, she's driven Underscore's car once or twice as well, and I think she really liked

02:01:18   it, but she just does not feel like it's the right value for money.

02:01:22   Because I don't think it is value for money.

02:01:23   Now, so as an automobile alone,

02:01:26   I don't think it's a very good price performer.

02:01:28   As a glimpse of the future, yeah, not that bad.

02:01:32   - How much money you put into your car for all your pairs?

02:01:34   - Don't even talk to me about that.

02:01:35   It's a very sore subject and it's too soon.

02:01:37   (laughing)

02:01:39   - Can I give you my plan for all this disposable income?

02:01:42   For the price of Casey's used BMW,

02:01:45   you can get a his and hers Honda Accord,

02:01:47   which I highly recommend,

02:01:48   and then take the 100 grand,

02:01:51   - Take the hundred grand that you were gonna spend

02:01:53   on the Tesla and buy a used Ferrari.

02:01:55   Done and done.

02:01:56   - Oh, talk about maintenance cost.

02:01:58   Yeah, right.

02:01:59   - No, seriously.

02:01:59   - It's your fun.

02:02:00   You have two very large cars,

02:02:02   both of which can carry all of your stuff

02:02:04   and all of your children.

02:02:06   And then when Casey wants to feel connected

02:02:08   to the living, breathing heart inside him,

02:02:11   I don't think your heart breathes.

02:02:13   - You know what I mean, yeah.

02:02:13   - He would have a Ferrari.

02:02:15   And I'm gonna say, going to the Cars and Coffee thing,

02:02:17   I did not, having, despite having driven

02:02:20   Been driven in Tesla's which I think are great, you know, and I would recommend anybody who wants to buy one, whatever

02:02:26   I still love all those cars. I still want a Ferrari

02:02:28   And I think in 20 or 30 years, I'll eventually want an electric Ferrari. But right now I want I want a gas one

02:02:36   That's what I want. Please send me that now if I had a hundred grand

02:02:40   There is no way I would be looking like if I had a hundred grand that I was forced to spend on a car

02:02:45   I would be looking at Ferraris because it would be like I can can I can I get a used Ferrari for 100 grand this season?

02:02:52   I think I can can you afford to maintain a hundred grand Ferrari when it stops working?

02:02:56   I'll just look at it and enjoy it like it's a piece of art

02:03:00   It's like like that guy, you know that guy who put the old Ferrari like inside his house

02:03:03   Remember that guy? Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep, right. I can relate to that guy

02:03:07   I probably wouldn't do that

02:03:08   But I can relate to that guy because even when it's not moving

02:03:12   Looking at it would make me happy in the Tesla when it's not moving looking at it's a fine looking car like don't get me wrong

02:03:18   It's not an ugly car

02:03:19   But it does not make me happy in the way that looking at Ferrari does so I

02:03:22   Still I would still spend that kind of disposable income on a completely frivolous and unpractical car not even pretend like because I don't want

02:03:31   A practical car for 100 grand. I want a car that no one should ever own and that's a Ferrari

02:03:35   Well, do you remember it was a few years ago? I'll put a link in the show notes Doug DeMuro

02:03:40   who at the time was with Jalopnik, I'm not sure if he still is, he bought a Ferrari.

02:03:44   He bought it, this article was written in December of '14.

02:03:48   He said he had it for a little under a year and put 5,000 miles on it.

02:03:52   He spent about $13,000 between depreciation, maintenance, everything else.

02:03:57   So it's $13,000 a year.

02:03:58   So it's like about the same amount as your BMW then, right?

02:04:01   Oh, that cuts deep.

02:04:03   That cuts deep.

02:04:04   Did the engine explode at any point on his Ferrari or no?

02:04:07   I don't think so.

02:04:08   It's been a while since I read this article,

02:04:10   but my engine didn't exactly explode.

02:04:12   It just-- - It would have exploded.

02:04:14   - No, it just had a relatively catastrophic failure.

02:04:17   - If it starts to eat itself,

02:04:19   make small pieces of metal, that's bad.

02:04:21   (laughing)

02:04:22   - No, it didn't start to eat itself, you big jerk.

02:04:25   It's just the Vano system kind of forgot how to work.

02:04:28   No big deal.

02:04:29   And then the water pump kind of forgot how to work.

02:04:31   No big deal.

02:04:32   - Pretty sure my car has neither of those for the record.

02:04:34   - Yeah.

02:04:35   - It has some kind of water pump,

02:04:36   probably for the cooling of the batteries.

02:04:38   That's true.

02:04:39   There are far fewer things that can go wrong with an electric car.

02:04:41   I'm totally on board with the electric.

02:04:42   I will get an electric car as soon as they come down to my price, which could be a while

02:04:45   at this rate.

02:04:47   But yeah, I can relate to Casey both, A, in the absence of money falling on my head, it's

02:04:55   hard for me to justify, as is apparent by my car purchases, spending that much money

02:04:58   on a car, period.

02:05:00   And if I had that kind of money and I was forced to spend it on a car, I would be thinking

02:05:03   way more frivolous than the Tesla, which is like, it sounds extravagant, but the Tesla

02:05:10   is an eminently practical car. It is not a frivolous car. It will not cost you 13 grand

02:05:14   in repair bills. You do not need to hire a special Italian to do your repairs for you

02:05:18   and everything costs a million dollars. There's nothing in the car to go wrong for the most

02:05:22   part except for the infotainment system that can't find podcast art.

02:05:25   And the door handles.

02:05:26   Yeah, and the door handles. It is a pretty darn boring car for that amount of money.

02:05:30   No one should buy the Model X though, it's gross.

02:05:32   [door closes]

02:05:34   [BLANK_AUDIO]