197: Life by a Thousand Hugs


00:00:00   We should start tonight by closing the loop. I can't believe I just said that out loud. I hate myself so hard.

00:00:06   Let me try that again.

00:00:07   Come out of the parking lot.

00:00:08   The sad thing is this is going to go in the show.

00:00:10   Oh yeah.

00:00:11   God, this is going to go in the show and I hate myself so hard.

00:00:14   [

00:00:14   [

00:00:23   What happened with your Energy Star sticker?

00:00:26   I was encouraged by lots of stories and pictures posted by people on the internet saying, "I

00:00:31   have removed my Energy Star sticker from my LG monitor and it went okay."

00:00:34   Didn't I tell you that during the episode?

00:00:36   Yeah, lots of people sent me images of them doing it.

00:00:41   It's not until the other people tell you that you believe them.

00:00:43   You don't believe me, your co-host, your good friend, but you believe the randos on the

00:00:47   internet.

00:00:48   Well, I need like a certain, you know, it helps to have more people say it.

00:00:52   Some people, one poor person was like, "Boy, I'm glad I don't have an Energy Star sticker

00:00:56   on my monitor."

00:00:57   And then he looked and he found it.

00:01:00   So is this, can you, now that we're on this topic, can you please explain the phrase "Trust

00:01:04   but verify" to me?

00:01:05   That's from the Cold War, the Reagan era thing of like trying to make it sound like

00:01:13   he is cooperating with the USSR in disarmament talks, but by the same token he is also still

00:01:19   a strong cowboy who will bang bang USA cheeseburger cheeseburger. So it's trust, but verify.

00:01:25   So how is that different from just not trusting people and just verifying everything anyway?

00:01:30   I told you how it's different. It's different because it sounds like you're being trusting

00:01:33   and cooperative, but at the same time you speak out of the other side of your mouth

00:01:36   and say, "But I'm still a manly man who can beat up people." So it's trust, but don't

00:01:41   trust. Okay, so it's not really trusting. It's like your dishes are virtually spotless.

00:01:45   because your dishes have spots on them.

00:01:47   - Right.

00:01:48   So, I've heard this phrase,

00:01:50   I didn't know that was the origin of it,

00:01:51   thank you for the history lesson,

00:01:52   I honestly did not know that.

00:01:54   So that makes sense,

00:01:55   that it would be like a political doublespeak thing,

00:01:57   but I hear people use the phrase

00:02:00   as a seemingly non-sarcastic directive.

00:02:03   So are they just using it wrong?

00:02:05   - What is the context of,

00:02:08   how does this connect to Energy Star stickers?

00:02:09   - It's almost like security,

00:02:10   well, because you didn't trust Casey telling you

00:02:13   that you had to get verification from everybody else.

00:02:15   - No, no, no, it's just like, I mean,

00:02:16   that's just one data point.

00:02:17   It just helps to have more data points.

00:02:19   It's not as if I needed to trust Casey, but verify,

00:02:22   like I needed more people,

00:02:23   because his monitor's not the same as mine,

00:02:25   his sticker is not the same as mine, you know,

00:02:27   there are many different possibilities here.

00:02:30   And maybe he's not as picky about sticky stuff.

00:02:32   - So trust, but verify really just means

00:02:35   don't trust anybody and verify everything.

00:02:37   - Either that or just don't trust me.

00:02:39   That's what it really boils down to.

00:02:40   - It means don't trust Casey.

00:02:42   - And I don't even know if the Reagan/USSR thing

00:02:44   the origin of it, but that's what I know it from. Anyway, emboldened by the internet.

00:02:51   And your good friend Casey-less. You're part of the internet. I removed the

00:02:56   sticker and everything went fine and there's no residue and thumbs up.

00:03:00   So don't trust your friend Casey, but trust Random Strangers on Twitter.

00:03:03   Right. That's what I'm hearing. If Casey had waited, if Casey had waited until

00:03:07   seven other people sent me pictures and then had said, he would have been, you know, not

00:03:13   straw that broke the camel's back, whatever the good version of that is.

00:03:16   This is not getting any better, Jon. This is just getting worse. Oh, God. All right,

00:03:21   so let's just move on while we still can. I went to the Apple Store today.

00:03:24   Move on while we're still friends. Right?

00:03:26   I went to the Apple Store today. First and most importantly, it infuriates me, the fact

00:03:33   that there is no obvious place to line up or queue in order to pay for something. I

00:03:39   I know we've spoken about this in the past.

00:03:41   Maybe it's an East Coast thing.

00:03:43   Maybe this is, maybe I'm the problem here,

00:03:45   but it drives me bananas.

00:03:47   - You're not the problem.

00:03:48   The store is the problem.

00:03:49   - It drives me bananas that I can't just go somewhere

00:03:54   in being an obvious line to pay for things.

00:03:59   Why is that not, it drives me nuts.

00:04:02   - And we've covered it before.

00:04:04   I was like, well, you know, that may bother you,

00:04:07   but for other people, it's more convenient.

00:04:08   But I think the key issue here is the one that all five-year-olds have, which is the

00:04:13   tiny child's version of a conception of fairness, which is like, if I come in the store before

00:04:19   somebody, or if I decide to, I'm ready to check out, if I make that decision before

00:04:23   somebody else, I should be served before somebody else.

00:04:26   And the way that's usually solved is by a line.

00:04:28   And yes, there can be multiple lines, and you feel like you picked the wrong line, and

00:04:31   there's all those little silly things that make you notice when you feel like you're

00:04:34   getting cheated.

00:04:35   Again, more five-year-old versions of fairness.

00:04:37   when it's just a big giant crowd and you come to a decision, I know what I want to get,

00:04:42   it's this, now I need to give someone money for it. And then you are just wandering aimlessly

00:04:48   with the feeling that people who made the decision after you are getting served before

00:04:52   you because they happen to be closer to someone who is ready to serve them. And then there's

00:04:56   the application that makes you feel like you're stealing where you can check yourself out

00:04:59   and just overall we want to go back to the system that we know and love which is a line.

00:05:04   Yep, because I know I'll get a thousand tweets and emails, I didn't use the Apple Store app

00:05:10   because I was buying a gift certificate or gift card or whatever it's called, where I

00:05:14   was doing an arbitrary sum of money on that gift card, which maybe there's a way to do

00:05:19   it through the Apple Store app, but I didn't want to leave any doubt that it would work,

00:05:23   so I wanted to wait for human being to help me.

00:05:26   And so anyway, so I just loitered.

00:05:29   And the worst part is, so there was an employee working with a customer who was getting, like,

00:05:37   from the looks of it, possibly a new phone, possibly a new watch, certainly a new watch

00:05:42   band.

00:05:43   And so this is like a fairly intense process.

00:05:46   And I'm in that, like, uncomfortable space where I want to make it clear that I'm kind

00:05:53   of forming my own line because I believe in order, because I'm from the East Coast.

00:05:59   And I want to make it obvious I'm waiting for this person, this employee's help.

00:06:04   Yet at the same time, there's that like ATM buffer zone where you don't want to get too

00:06:08   close to the customer's business because that's not really appropriate.

00:06:12   And so I'm just kind of standing around in the middle of the store looking lost because

00:06:17   basically that's what I am.

00:06:19   And so I get my wallet out.

00:06:21   You didn't want to be tied to that person too.

00:06:23   Because you're also on the lookout for anybody else who might be able to help you sooner.

00:06:25   And again, this is a problem that we've solved with the magic of lines.

00:06:28   It's called the express lane.

00:06:29   If you're behind someone who's doing all their Thanksgiving shopping and you don't want to

00:06:32   wait, you just want to buy two things, you can, in theory, go to the express lane.

00:06:37   You know, which is the app that makes you feel like you're stealing.

00:06:39   But anyway, lines, lines do have their drawbacks.

00:06:42   But you were in the situation where you're like, I'm going to claim my spot by this guy

00:06:46   just in case no one else is available.

00:06:47   But it's possible that someone else just finished checking someone out, giving them their iPod

00:06:51   socks or whatever, and they're ready to serve someone immediately.

00:06:55   And then someone will wander over to them and you'll be like, but I was ready five minutes

00:06:59   to go but I'm not over there but I was waiting by this guy it's like lines

00:07:01   lines people yep if this fixes everything and so so that's exactly what

00:07:06   happened so my eyes are darting so fast I must have looked like I was learning

00:07:10   something from you know getting a download from the matrix or something

00:07:12   like that cuz my eyes are darting all over the place maybe they're ready no

00:07:14   they're not ready that guy's right no that guy's ready that woman is ready no

00:07:17   that woman isn't ready it was insane and so anyway so I did the like social cue

00:07:22   of I got my wallet out and not only did I get my wallet in my hand so I have

00:07:26   merchandise in one hand, I have a wallet in the other hand.

00:07:28   I actually removed my credit card from my wallet,

00:07:31   in part because I will always slightly be a New Yorker

00:07:34   and I wanna take up as little time as possible,

00:07:36   in part because I just wanna give the social cue of,

00:07:39   I'm ready to pay for this, please.

00:07:42   Anyway, I bring all this up to say, I tried the Touch Bar.

00:07:46   (laughing)

00:07:47   - I tried it too, I was in, I was on an Apple store,

00:07:49   I was in there and I, when I was in there,

00:07:51   I forgot that the Touch Bar max would actually be there

00:07:54   until I noticed one, I'm like, oh yeah,

00:07:56   I should try that, so I did that as well.

00:07:58   - I also did it.

00:07:59   - Today or just recently?

00:08:01   - For the last few days since I bought one.

00:08:03   - Of course you did.

00:08:04   You are the, ugh.

00:08:05   - I'm the worst. - I can't.

00:08:06   - I'm just the worst.

00:08:07   - I let the record show I stopped myself

00:08:10   from finishing that sentence.

00:08:11   Anyway, so I tried the Touch Bar.

00:08:12   I only tried it for about two or three minutes.

00:08:15   Initial impressions, I liked it.

00:08:18   I don't like the presentation in the Apple Store.

00:08:22   And the reason I say that is I feel like,

00:08:25   And maybe it's my height, and I don't feel like I'm a remarkably tall person.

00:08:28   I'm roughly six feet, give or take an inch or two, maybe 5'11".

00:08:33   And I don't know what that is in meters because I'm American.

00:08:37   And I think that the Apple Store's tables are a bit too low.

00:08:44   And so the angle in which I'm looking at the touch bar is, I think, a bit too much.

00:08:50   In other words, I think generally speaking my head would be lower as compared to the

00:08:55   laptop if I was working at, say, a desk or something.

00:08:58   And so it looked like, I can't describe it, but it looked as though I was at the wrong

00:09:04   viewing angle for the touch bar.

00:09:06   That being said, I really liked it.

00:09:08   I think I can totally understand why someone would say, "Oh, it's a gimmick," because it

00:09:13   very well may be.

00:09:14   But I thought it was clever.

00:09:16   I thought it was well done.

00:09:17   There's things that I don't love about it.

00:09:19   For example, I want to say it was maybe Jason Snell, I might have that wrong, but somebody

00:09:23   was saying on one of the podcasts I was listening to lately that in Safari there are previews

00:09:29   of your different tabs that are open.

00:09:31   And that seems kind of silly to me.

00:09:32   I think titles would have perhaps been better.

00:09:36   Maybe not, I don't know.

00:09:37   I only used it for a couple minutes.

00:09:39   The escape key, I didn't have a problem mashing it by habit, but it was disconcerting that

00:09:46   I didn't feel a button press when I did it.

00:09:49   And a couple of times I caught the tilde key, which is an American keyboard, directly below

00:09:56   escape.

00:09:57   I caught that key instead of escape, which was frustrating.

00:10:00   And I also spent a little time typing on the keyboard.

00:10:05   And in case for some reason you weren't aware, because I don't know how much I've talked

00:10:09   about it on the show, but I've talked about it on like Twitter and my website incessantly.

00:10:12   I freaking love the Magic Keyboard, the external keyboard that Apple's currently selling for,

00:10:19   say, iMacs and whatnot.

00:10:21   I love that keyboard.

00:10:22   To me, it is my favorite keyboard ever, ever, ever, bar none.

00:10:27   And the keyboard on the MacBook Pro, to me, and I'm curious to hear both of your thoughts

00:10:31   here in a moment, to me the MacBook Pro keyboard was 80-ish percent of the way there, but I

00:10:37   felt like the key travel wasn't enough, and that was very frustrating.

00:10:40   I think I could get past it, but I really, really wanted just a little bit more key travel,

00:10:45   and I think it would have made a world of difference to me.

00:10:49   So let's start with Jon, since Marco you own one.

00:10:53   Jon, what did you think?

00:10:54   I presume you at least typed on it for a few minutes.

00:10:56   What did you think of the key travel and also the touch bar?

00:10:59   Didn't feel that different to me than the regular MacBook One.

00:11:02   And I did notice the, I did notice the noise, surprisingly.

00:11:06   Maybe it's because I've read all the stories about it and I was primed for it, but I feel

00:11:09   I would have noticed anyway that it was noisier and it did feel like stiffer and clackier but not

00:11:15   so much. I do think I liked it better than the MacBook One keyboard. I hate laptop keyboards in

00:11:21   general so it's hard for me to say like you know I think I said this about the Mac one I just I just

00:11:25   don't like typing on them ever like in the best case just because the keys are you know it's all

00:11:30   wedged into a little shape it doesn't have the keys that I want and I just I don't like the

00:11:33   controls not in the corner yes I know I should wrap it to a caps lock whatever anyway I don't like them

00:11:38   As far as this one goes, I'm glad it's an improvement over the MacBook One.

00:11:43   I'm going to eventually have one of these for work, but I honestly doubt I will ever

00:11:46   type on it at work.

00:11:48   Like I guess maybe if I'm in a meeting or something briefly, but I don't use laptops.

00:11:53   I don't find myself using laptops.

00:11:55   Maybe that will change once I have this one for work and I'm bringing it home and maybe

00:11:58   I'll just find myself using it.

00:11:59   We'll see.

00:12:00   But for now, I don't know.

00:12:02   Same thing with the Touch Bar.

00:12:03   It seemed fine.

00:12:04   It was kind of interesting.

00:12:06   keyboard do you currently use at work or do you expect to be using at work?

00:12:10   Apple extended aluminum. That's what I've been using for many years now. And I

00:12:15   was Apple extended too for many many years. I had to give that up for RSI

00:12:20   reasons because the keys require more force to press and I find keys that

00:12:23   require less force to press are easier on my hands. That's why I like the Apple

00:12:27   aluminum extended because the keys seem very easy to hit. And that was one

00:12:33   of the things about the both the MacBook one and this one like the low travel maybe I'm

00:12:39   pressing harder than I need to but it feels almost like banging your hands against just

00:12:43   like the desk that doesn't move right like that it feels like there's more the for more

00:12:48   of the force I'm putting in is bouncing back at me or maybe it's bouncing back quicker

00:12:51   I don't know I would have to type on it for a long period of time to see if this is actually

00:12:53   a thing but yeah and then so the touch bar it's all right I mean it's basically what

00:13:00   thought it would be. It was cute. It looks nice. I think the Escape key activation is

00:13:07   reasonable. I would still prefer a regular key, but I think I would be excited to have

00:13:14   a laptop with this on it versus one without. Like, it is a net plus to me in my mind, again,

00:13:19   having using it for five minutes. Like, whatever the negatives are in there, I think the positives

00:13:24   overwhelm it, so I think this is a good addition to Apple's laptop line.

00:13:28   Marco.

00:13:29   - So regarding the keyboard, it doesn't feel that different

00:13:33   from the MacBook One keyboard, honestly.

00:13:35   If you get a chance, do either of you actually try them

00:13:38   side by side of the store, 'cause a lot of the stores

00:13:39   will have them, literally there will be an escape

00:13:42   next to the MacBook Ones?

00:13:43   - I did not.

00:13:43   - Yep, I did.

00:13:44   I went right from one to the other, and I could tell you

00:13:48   the difference, I could probably tell you the difference

00:13:50   with my ears plugged, but definitely with my ears open,

00:13:53   I could tell that they felt different, but they both felt

00:13:55   like that little keyboard that doesn't move too much

00:13:57   that has the little cupped keys.

00:13:58   They both felt like that.

00:13:59   - Exactly, I would say the MacBook One keyboard

00:14:02   kind of feels like what you'd expect

00:14:04   the new MacBook Pro keyboard to feel like

00:14:06   after five years of heavy use.

00:14:07   Like it almost feels like it's worn out.

00:14:09   You know, like it kind of lacks that kind of kickback

00:14:12   the way the new MacBook Pro does.

00:14:14   'Cause like I think the way Apple described it

00:14:16   actually is a pretty good accurate description,

00:14:19   which is like, you know, it's the same key travel,

00:14:21   but it has more feedback.

00:14:23   Like it feels better,

00:14:25   but it's still a very, very shallow keyboard.

00:14:28   I still don't like it, but after a few days with it so far,

00:14:33   and I traveled with it, and I did a lot of coding

00:14:36   on the plane and everything, and I took a lot of notes

00:14:39   about the computer, on the computer, so lots of typing,

00:14:42   it's fine, I think this is one of many areas

00:14:45   where Jason Snell is right, it's fine, I can use it,

00:14:49   but I don't like it.

00:14:50   It's better enough than the MacBook One keyboard

00:14:54   that I would not not get this computer just for that,

00:14:58   if that makes sense.

00:14:59   - I think there's a big, one of the biggest improvements

00:15:01   over the MacBook One keyboard,

00:15:02   not so much in like how it feels and touchy-feely stuff,

00:15:05   but just practically speaking again

00:15:06   for the brief time I was typing,

00:15:08   my problem with the MacBook One keyboard was often

00:15:10   because there's so little travel

00:15:12   and because the keys are so sunken in,

00:15:14   it wasn't always easy to be sure

00:15:17   that I have successfully activated a key, right?

00:15:20   Because sometimes you go to hit it

00:15:22   and you can't tell you hit it

00:15:23   because your finger goes up and down,

00:15:24   but it goes up and down like too little.

00:15:26   And the new one has such a much more positive,

00:15:29   like you have pressed this key

00:15:30   and you'll know it because ka-clack, right?

00:15:34   Whereas if you go for it and don't quite hit it

00:15:35   because you didn't apply enough force,

00:15:37   you won't get the ka-clack.

00:15:38   And so I felt on the new one,

00:15:39   maybe it's just psychological,

00:15:41   that I could tell when I hit a key

00:15:42   and I could tell when I didn't successfully hit a key

00:15:44   in a way that was harder for me to tell

00:15:46   on the MacBook One keyboard.

00:15:47   - Yeah, I agree with that.

00:15:49   It is totally fine.

00:15:50   I will also point out though,

00:15:51   while we're on the subject of the noise,

00:15:53   the MacBook Pro keyboard is not only loud,

00:15:57   like noticeably loud, like TIFF noticed even

00:16:00   like in the same room, like wow, that is loud.

00:16:02   But I also think that the sound it makes

00:16:05   is particularly ungraceful.

00:16:07   It almost sounds like you're tapping your fingers

00:16:09   on a plastic tub.

00:16:11   It's like, it's really a, like I would do it now,

00:16:13   but I just, you know, I'm probably not gonna convey it,

00:16:15   but it's like--

00:16:16   - Steven Hackett already did it.

00:16:17   - It really does not sound good.

00:16:18   it sounds very cheap and doesn't sound like something

00:16:22   that's working the way it should be working.

00:16:24   - I don't think it sounds cheap, I think it sounds sharp.

00:16:27   Like I think it sounds like a precision piece of machinery

00:16:29   going (imitates machine clicking)

00:16:30   Like I don't think it's, it doesn't sound or feel cheap.

00:16:33   In fact, that's one of the things a lot of people said

00:16:35   about it and I agree that this keyboard feels solid.

00:16:37   Like it doesn't, the key caps don't wiggle around

00:16:39   like they do on the one in my Apple extended aluminum

00:16:41   or any of those other ones.

00:16:42   Like it feels very solid and when you type,

00:16:44   it's like a sharp little punch, right?

00:16:47   a little metal punch, which is not a pleasant sound if you're in the room, but I think it

00:16:51   doesn't feel cheap.

00:16:52   Yeah, it doesn't feel cheap, it sounds cheap.

00:16:55   It feels like a mediocre keyboard.

00:16:57   I mean, people will get used to it.

00:17:00   The problem with any of these things with volume is like, no matter what sound it makes,

00:17:03   if it's more sound than your other one was, that's a problem because people kind of develop

00:17:09   their habits around, like I remember when I was on the Apple Extended 2, like I would

00:17:13   would be typing two rooms away, and it would be like,

00:17:17   my wife would be trying to sleep,

00:17:18   but you're like, you can't do that, I can't sleep.

00:17:21   'Cause we're in a 900 square foot apartment,

00:17:23   you can't be typing right now, 'cause it's just too much.

00:17:25   Like, it's super loud.

00:17:26   And so, in this situation, if you're used to sitting there

00:17:30   on the couch and typing while someone watches TV,

00:17:32   and this one cranks up the volume just a little bit,

00:17:34   it's like, all right, I can't watch TV

00:17:35   while you're doing that, just stop typing.

00:17:37   - Well, it's also, it's much louder

00:17:39   the way this kind of resonates on a desk.

00:17:41   If it's in your lap, it is still weirdly loud,

00:17:43   but it is less so.

00:17:44   On a desk, it becomes substantially louder.

00:17:47   I could definitely see, like,

00:17:49   if you share an office with people

00:17:51   and you have a laptop on a desk

00:17:52   and you're typing all day,

00:17:53   it's going to be very noticeable.

00:17:54   So you just better hope that you upgrade everyone

00:17:56   in the office at the same time to these things,

00:17:58   that way nobody can blame, you know, just you.

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00:19:42   (upbeat music)

00:19:45   - Now Marco, last I heard, if I recall correctly,

00:19:49   you had ordered and then canceled one,

00:19:50   but it appears you have now bought a new MacBook Pro.

00:19:54   So are you no longer a professional

00:19:57   or are you just slumming it?

00:19:58   - Well, I had ordered the MacBook Escape

00:20:01   and then canceled it because I wasn't that comfortable

00:20:03   with how much I was about to pay for it

00:20:04   for the benefit it was going to get,

00:20:06   and I kinda got like 15 inch regret,

00:20:08   like what if I end up wanting more power

00:20:10   or more screen space because--

00:20:13   - Sure, that makes sense.

00:20:14   - In summary, not to go over this too much again,

00:20:15   but in summary, basically, I use an iMac

00:20:19   for most of my stuff, I don't travel very often.

00:20:22   When I do travel, my needs are either almost nothing,

00:20:25   like if it's not like a working trip,

00:20:27   my needs are either almost nothing,

00:20:29   in which case I just need a Mac

00:20:31   just in case the server goes down

00:20:32   or I wanna SSH in and fix some stuff

00:20:34   or I might do light email and Twitter work,

00:20:37   or it's a trip where I intend to get work done

00:20:40   or edit photos, in which case I want

00:20:43   the biggest, most powerful screen I can get.

00:20:46   Even at 15 inch, it feels like I'm cramped,

00:20:48   I want the biggest, most powerful thing I can.

00:20:51   And so my idea was, well, I'll just leave those needs aside

00:20:55   and get the cheapo 13 inch one, which is not that cheap,

00:20:59   especially once you add any options to it.

00:21:01   And I decided to chicken out and instead

00:21:05   the local business rep gave me a good deal on the 15 inch,

00:21:09   so I got the 15 inch.

00:21:11   And I got the high end in store configuration,

00:21:15   so the 2.7 gigahertz and the 512

00:21:17   and the Radeon, whatever, 455.

00:21:20   The reason I went with this, first of all,

00:21:21   I was about to go on a kind of spur of the moment trip

00:21:24   and I wanted to test it out and I wanted to get

00:21:26   some work done so I figured this would be a good time

00:21:28   to test it and if I really hated it I could return it

00:21:31   but I figured this would be good to test and to talk about.

00:21:34   Because really the 15 inch MacBook Pro is the workhorse

00:21:38   of so many industries, especially software developers

00:21:42   and especially people who listen to this show.

00:21:44   - Hi.

00:21:45   - Exactly, it is such the workhorse.

00:21:48   If you look around at WWDC, almost every computer you see

00:21:54   is a 15 inch MacBook Pro.

00:21:57   It is so, they're so common.

00:21:59   But if you look around the office of any tech company,

00:22:01   look around what computers people are actually using,

00:22:04   a huge portion of them are 15 inch MacBook Pros.

00:22:07   It is just an incredibly popular laptop

00:22:10   among people who do the things I do

00:22:12   and people who listen to this show and read my site

00:22:15   that I figured it would be useful for my personal brand

00:22:18   to be able to talk about this computer intelligently.

00:22:21   And I kind of wanted one just to see for myself

00:22:23   to test out the touch bar and just get some idea

00:22:26   of where the Mac is going.

00:22:27   I also, it was very painful for me to continue

00:22:31   using my old one because I was constantly

00:22:34   running out of disk space.

00:22:35   'Cause I had made the mistake of getting

00:22:36   the base model before.

00:22:37   And the base model 15 inch, in general,

00:22:40   the base model 15 inch is the best deal

00:22:43   in all of Apple computers, by far.

00:22:46   It is the best deal.

00:22:47   It is like for what you get for the price.

00:22:49   It is not cheap, but for what you get,

00:22:52   you get an amazing computer for that price.

00:22:56   and if you, the price of the 15 inch base model,

00:23:00   if you end up specking up a 13 inch to be comparable,

00:23:04   it actually is almost the same price.

00:23:06   Like if you spec it up to be comparable in RAM

00:23:08   and performance, it is really about the same price.

00:23:12   So like if you have relatively moderate to high end needs

00:23:16   and you can afford the price of the 15 inch line,

00:23:20   I strongly suggest you go for the 15 inch line

00:23:23   because it is just that good.

00:23:25   Anyway, so I went for it, and yeah,

00:23:28   I've been trying it for a few days now,

00:23:30   a little under a week now, and I traveled with it,

00:23:34   I worked with it, and it's pretty good.

00:23:37   It's not perfect, but it's pretty good,

00:23:39   and I would say, I've actually considered

00:23:43   maybe doing a YouTube video about it, I don't know.

00:23:46   It's hard to make videos, so I might not,

00:23:48   but it's too long to go over all my impressions here,

00:23:51   but it's funny, it's too long to go over

00:23:55   my impressions in our two-hour podcast,

00:23:56   so I'm gonna try to make a five-minute YouTube video about.

00:23:59   - Naturally.

00:24:00   Okay, so a couple of quick hits,

00:24:01   maybe just the first one or two things that jump to mind.

00:24:04   What do you really like about it, or perhaps,

00:24:06   what do you like about it

00:24:07   that you didn't expect to like about it?

00:24:10   - They seem to have made substantial progress

00:24:12   in making it quieter under moderate load.

00:24:16   This is something that I haven't seen

00:24:17   any reviews talk about, but the fan noise,

00:24:20   that both the actual noise the fans make

00:24:23   and how loud the volume is, it is substantially quieter

00:24:27   and less noticeable of a noise.

00:24:30   Even if you're maxing out all the CPU cores

00:24:34   for a few minutes.

00:24:35   Now after a few minutes, if you're doing something

00:24:37   like a handbrake or a video in code,

00:24:39   where you're maxing them out for a long time,

00:24:42   then you will notice it.

00:24:44   They will spin up to an audible level then,

00:24:45   but it seems like whatever thresholds they've made

00:24:47   with the new thermal system, the new fans,

00:24:50   however they've designed this,

00:24:53   you don't hear the fan if it's just being stressed

00:24:56   for a minute or two.

00:24:59   And things like if one core is being maxed out

00:25:03   by some rogue process that's not working right,

00:25:06   Apple Photos library for instance, or Dropbox,

00:25:09   or iCloud, or iSecurity, iCloud Keychain,

00:25:12   all these different things where you'll find

00:25:14   one process hogging up one of your cores at 100%.

00:25:18   In the old model, that would usually cause the fan to spin up audibly. In this one, it

00:25:21   doesn't. If only one core is being saturated, you generally don't hear it. If all of them

00:25:27   are being saturated, you only hear it after a few minutes.

00:25:30   So overall, it's surprisingly quiet. Even quieter if you can keep it only using the

00:25:35   integrated GPU, which you can't force it to, like Cody Krieger's utility graphics

00:25:41   card status. It can't force this computer to only use integrated, at least not yet.

00:25:46   But it can tell you which one it's using

00:25:49   and which, like if it switches over to the discrete GPU,

00:25:51   it can tell you exactly which app or process

00:25:54   is demanding that and why it's doing that.

00:25:56   So if you can go quit that app, for instance,

00:25:58   then you can eliminate the need for that

00:26:01   and it can also notify you with standard system

00:26:03   notifications when the switches take place if you want to.

00:26:07   So anyway, it's nice to get an idea of what's going on

00:26:09   and why, but anyway, huge improvement

00:26:12   to the cooling system, I think.

00:26:13   It does still run very hot to the touch

00:26:16   when it's loaded heavily,

00:26:18   so it's not like it's running at lower temperatures,

00:26:20   but just whatever the cooling algorithms and designs are,

00:26:24   maybe because, and there is a whole new fan design,

00:26:26   so that could have something to do with it,

00:26:27   but they've really made substantial progress there,

00:26:30   and I'm very happy to say that,

00:26:31   'cause I really hate when laptops get all loud and annoying

00:26:33   with the fan when you touch them,

00:26:35   when you do anything to the CPUs.

00:26:37   - Okay, but what sucks?

00:26:39   - Sucks is a strong word,

00:26:42   - But I would say what's really disappointing

00:26:43   is battery life, it's really disappointing.

00:26:46   - Yeah, I've heard that from a few people

00:26:48   and I haven't pestered anyone who I've seen say this

00:26:53   to ask, is this just day one,

00:26:56   just like you say on a new iOS device

00:26:58   or when you upgrade iOS on an iOS device,

00:27:02   the first couple of days are gonna be rough

00:27:03   as it's churning through all the things

00:27:04   it needs to churn through.

00:27:05   So you said you've had this machine

00:27:06   for nearly a week or about a week, right?

00:27:09   - So this is interesting.

00:27:09   I've had it for about a week, a little under a week.

00:27:13   There's a few system processes that will tend to

00:27:16   load a Mac that's fairly new.

00:27:18   Obviously, the old one that's as old as Time, itself,

00:27:21   at least Time Machine, is MDS and various

00:27:25   spotlight indexers.

00:27:27   That finishes pretty quickly in the first day,

00:27:29   and so that's pretty much done.

00:27:30   And I use the wonderful utility iStatMenus

00:27:34   to monitor this kind of stuff, so I can always see,

00:27:36   in my menu bar, I have a little CPU core graph,

00:27:39   I can notice, it's very apparent when a computer,

00:27:43   or when a process is using too much power, you see it.

00:27:46   And then you can go see what that process is,

00:27:48   and you can kill it if you want to.

00:27:50   Anyway, iStat menus.

00:27:51   - What kind of animal wouldn't use iStat menus?

00:27:54   (laughing)

00:27:55   - Yeah, anyway, most of the hosts on this show

00:27:59   use iStat menus.

00:28:00   (laughing)

00:28:01   So, what I've had problems with is the Photos app,

00:28:07   where in Sierra, I assume it added that the whole

00:28:12   search for objects in photos,

00:28:15   kind of like what Google Photos does, but slightly worse.

00:28:17   That process, there's no indicator on what it's doing,

00:28:22   when it's doing it, there's no way to tell it to pause

00:28:24   or to finish at a certain time or whatever else.

00:28:27   There's no control over when it does that.

00:28:29   You will just see things like photo library D

00:28:32   and photo analysis D in your activity list.

00:28:37   I cannot get this laptop to finish the,

00:28:41   so there's only one place you can even see

00:28:42   the progress of it, and that is if you go to the Photos tab

00:28:45   in the app, it'll show you like, you know,

00:28:47   we've scanned 9,000 of 25,000 photos.

00:28:50   I cannot get that to progress.

00:28:52   Like, it says that it'll do it, you know,

00:28:56   when you're plugged into power

00:28:57   and when you're not using the app.

00:28:59   So I don't know whether that means whether the app is quit

00:29:01   or whether it's just running and hidden,

00:29:03   whether the computer has to be idle or not.

00:29:05   I've experimented with all the different things,

00:29:06   and I cannot get it to advance very far,

00:29:08   but yet I still see photo library or photo analysis D

00:29:12   often popping up in the activity list,

00:29:13   but it tends to not do that on battery.

00:29:17   I watch for that, like when I was doing battery testing,

00:29:19   you know, taking these long flights,

00:29:21   I watch for that and I don't think that was the problem.

00:29:23   So basically, I don't think there was anything in my usage

00:29:27   when I was judging the battery,

00:29:30   there didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary

00:29:32   that was unfairly draining the CPU

00:29:34   and keeping it in a higher powered state

00:29:36   that would otherwise not be there during regular use.

00:29:40   So if you notice the reviews for the battery,

00:29:44   some of them say, "Oh yeah, Apple's spot on, 10 hours.

00:29:47   "We did our light web browsing loop and it's 10 hours."

00:29:50   Okay, most of the ones that actually try real world use

00:29:55   seem to all agree that it's about five hours.

00:29:59   And if you drive it heavily,

00:30:01   it can be even shorter than that.

00:30:03   That matches up with my experience exactly,

00:30:06   that I'm consistently seeing that if I'm only doing

00:30:10   really casual web browsing, nothing else,

00:30:13   no Slack, no Twitter, no mail,

00:30:17   if I'm only doing web browsing,

00:30:19   and the wifi connection's great,

00:30:21   and I'm not browsing any pages

00:30:22   that turn on the discrete GPU,

00:30:23   'cause some of them do for some reason,

00:30:24   maybe it's CSS animations, I don't know.

00:30:26   But if you can give it very, very light use

00:30:29   in a web browser, you can get about 10 hours.

00:30:32   But even if you're doing, bouncing between Twitter,

00:30:35   of Slack and web, like my typical light workload,

00:30:38   even that, it goes down to about six hours maybe,

00:30:41   maybe seven if I'm lucky.

00:30:43   If I'm using Xcode to build an iOS app

00:30:46   and do build and run cycles with the simulator

00:30:49   and change some stuff, and just typical iOS development

00:30:52   work in Xcode, nothing incredibly heavy,

00:30:54   not constantly cleaning and rebuilding the whole thing,

00:30:57   just typical work in iOS Xcode development, five hours.

00:31:02   and that's been pretty consistent for me so far.

00:31:06   So that is not great.

00:31:07   And that's with like, you know,

00:31:10   relatively modest brightness settings.

00:31:12   The good thing is the screen brightness level

00:31:14   doesn't appear to have as big of an effect as it used to.

00:31:16   It really does seem like whatever advances Apple's made

00:31:18   in getting the screen to be very low power,

00:31:21   those have paid off.

00:31:22   The screen really is seemingly pretty low power.

00:31:24   I don't know the exact numbers on it,

00:31:25   but it seems like the battery life I'm getting

00:31:28   is not that related to the screen brightness

00:31:31   the way it used to be.

00:31:33   But the problem is that you have these computers

00:31:36   where the big advances in Skylake processors

00:31:39   that let them make the battery smaller

00:31:42   almost all came at the bottom end, as we've discussed,

00:31:44   about like when the computer's doing almost nothing,

00:31:47   when you're being very gentle on it

00:31:49   and the processor can be mostly idle most of the time,

00:31:52   then now it is using less power than it did before.

00:31:55   But as soon as that processor's doing anything,

00:31:57   as soon as you're giving it even a moderate load,

00:31:59   the high end of the power envelope there

00:32:02   is the same as it's always been.

00:32:03   So as soon as you give it even a moderate load,

00:32:06   it's just going back to how much power it used to use

00:32:08   in the previous generation of processors.

00:32:11   But because the idle power dropped so much,

00:32:14   Apple considers that typical use,

00:32:16   and so they were able to drop the battery size by 25%.

00:32:20   So basically, we have computers that have

00:32:23   25% smaller batteries, and processors that did get

00:32:26   efficient enough to compensate for that

00:32:29   when they're doing very little.

00:32:30   But as soon as you make them do anything really,

00:32:34   now we just have a 25% less battery life.

00:32:37   - That sucks, that definitely is a pain.

00:32:40   I have to ask, even though I'm already regretting doing so,

00:32:45   what was your dongle, I'm sorry, adapter situation

00:32:49   while you were traveling?

00:32:50   What did you buy, what did you need,

00:32:52   what did you miss, et cetera?

00:32:54   - First of all, on the plane,

00:32:56   This might have been my first long plane flight

00:33:00   with the iPhone 7.

00:33:02   And wow does it suck to not have a headphone jack

00:33:05   on the phone and to not be able to charge the phone

00:33:08   while using headphones.

00:33:09   That really does suck.

00:33:11   Like, I know it's been a while,

00:33:13   I know we're not talking about the headphone jack anymore,

00:33:15   but wow does that suck in practice.

00:33:17   In my regular day-to-day life,

00:33:18   I use Bluetooth headphones for walking around,

00:33:20   but my big plane headphones are wired

00:33:22   because there are very few big plane headphones

00:33:24   that are good that are Bluetooth.

00:33:26   Anyway, iPhone 7, big thumbs down

00:33:29   for listening to music on a plane.

00:33:31   Anyway, that aside, the computer itself,

00:33:35   for doing occasional deployments to the iPhone,

00:33:39   I used the Apple official USB-C to lightning cable.

00:33:43   That was fine.

00:33:45   I brought my other dongles, but it didn't really matter.

00:33:50   I didn't really need them.

00:33:51   I have the ones I discussed last week.

00:33:53   I have a couple of USB-C to A,

00:33:56   I have a Thunderbolt 3 to 2,

00:33:58   which I only use for this one audio interface,

00:34:01   which I didn't need the strips, I didn't bring it,

00:34:03   and I have a card reader,

00:34:03   which I didn't use because I didn't bring a camera.

00:34:05   But otherwise, the dongle situation is fine.

00:34:09   You know what really does drive me nuts, though,

00:34:10   is the lack of cable management on the power brick.

00:34:14   I brought it up last week,

00:34:15   I thought it would be a problem, and it is a problem.

00:34:17   It's really annoying to have this big, thick cable

00:34:20   with no flip-out arms, no more MagSafe.

00:34:24   The Apple Power Adapter, the previous one,

00:34:27   with MagSafe and with the cable management built in

00:34:29   and everything, that was really an awesome design.

00:34:31   And we had that for a very long time.

00:34:33   And before MagSafe, those flip-out arms we had

00:34:35   for even longer than that,

00:34:38   this has been around for quite some time.

00:34:39   Like my very first Mac, my 2006 PowerBook had,

00:34:43   no, my 2004 PowerBook, excuse me,

00:34:47   had those flip-out arms on the power brick.

00:34:49   and it's great, and the little clip to hold the excess,

00:34:52   at the very end of the cable,

00:34:53   the little clip that you can clip it on.

00:34:55   - Yep, yep, yep, yep.

00:34:56   - All the finest technology that's been around

00:34:57   in every vacuum cleaner cable forever.

00:34:59   (laughing)

00:35:00   Anyway, we don't have any of those anymore.

00:35:02   Now, it's just like an iPhone cable.

00:35:04   It's just bigger, and it's thick,

00:35:06   'cause it's this big, I think it's like an 85 watt

00:35:09   or something cable, so it's like,

00:35:11   it looks like the thickest lightning cable you've ever seen.

00:35:13   And so it's kind of stiff.

00:35:15   It's long enough to be a laptop cable-ish,

00:35:18   So it's long, it's not very flexible,

00:35:22   there's no cable management whatsoever.

00:35:24   So basically you have to carry a cable tie

00:35:26   with you all the time and keep doing it and undoing it,

00:35:28   or do some kind of crazy wrapping scheme

00:35:30   which takes more time.

00:35:31   It's just a hassle.

00:35:33   And I have some hope here that if Apple

00:35:36   can start designing things to be useful again,

00:35:39   they can fix this just by making a new power adapter

00:35:42   or even a new power cable.

00:35:44   This is not the kind of thing,

00:35:45   is that USB-C design does not dictate

00:35:49   the power cable has to suck.

00:35:50   It can be any cable they want.

00:35:51   It can be any adapter they want.

00:35:52   It can still have MagSafe that's just like

00:35:55   a little bit away from the end of the computer

00:35:57   or possibly on the plug end or whatever.

00:35:58   They can still do all those things.

00:36:01   They didn't and that kind of annoys me

00:36:02   because it really does make the product

00:36:04   less convenient and less nice to use.

00:36:05   And Apple has been always all about things that are nice,

00:36:09   things that are delightful, premium products.

00:36:11   And the switch to the power cable here

00:36:13   is such a big step backwards.

00:36:14   it goes against all of that.

00:36:16   So it sounds minor, but if you're traveling around,

00:36:20   moving around with a laptop, you know you deal

00:36:21   with the power cable all the time.

00:36:23   And the battery life is not yet good enough

00:36:25   that you don't need to think about that.

00:36:27   So you still very much need to be concerned

00:36:29   about the power cable if you do anything

00:36:31   on your pro computer besides very light web browsing.

00:36:34   You still need to be plugged in often.

00:36:38   And so to have the power cable be so really crappy

00:36:41   is unfortunate.

00:36:42   So I really hope Apple fixes this at some point soon.

00:36:45   Just updates the frickin' power cable and the power adapter.

00:36:49   Just give us that.

00:36:50   Give us one with cable management and MagSafe.

00:36:52   That is very, very easy to do.

00:36:54   They could totally do it.

00:36:55   Third parties can do it.

00:36:57   That is an advantage here of the USB-C ecosystem.

00:37:01   Third parties can do it.

00:37:02   And Griffin has a MagSafe thing,

00:37:04   but the Max wattage on it is only in the 60s somewhere,

00:37:07   so you can't use it on the 15 inch.

00:37:09   and relying on third parties is not a great solution

00:37:13   to something like this.

00:37:15   Apple can make a power cable.

00:37:17   They can make a really nice one.

00:37:18   They have for a decade, and more than that, actually.

00:37:21   They've made them for over a decade,

00:37:24   and they just stopped for some reason,

00:37:25   and I wish they'd go back, and I hope they do.

00:37:28   - You can use the Griffin one.

00:37:29   I just won't charge as fast.

00:37:31   - Yeah, but honestly, I,

00:37:33   this episode was not sponsored by Griffin.

00:37:35   I have not had great luck with Griffin products in the past.

00:37:38   they make a lot of stuff that only they,

00:37:42   they fill a lot of gaps in the Apple product lineup,

00:37:44   and that's part of the reason why I've bought

00:37:47   so many things from them in the past,

00:37:49   where a lot of times they are the only maker

00:37:50   of something that solves problem X, Y, or Z.

00:37:53   And that's great, I'm glad they do,

00:37:54   but I've had very mixed luck with their products,

00:37:56   so I try to avoid needing them if I can.

00:37:58   And so the idea of relying on them for my power cable,

00:38:02   I don't feel great about that.

00:38:04   It's this kind of little thing,

00:38:06   Like, as I complained last week about the loss of humanity

00:38:09   and as John clarified maybe as being whimsy in the products,

00:38:14   a luxury product is kind of a collection of small delights.

00:38:17   And Apple has gotten rid of a lot of those small delights

00:38:21   in the laptop line in the last few generations.

00:38:24   Like, you know, you used to be able to push a little button

00:38:26   on either the battery or the side

00:38:28   after the battery was not removable,

00:38:30   and little green lights would light up

00:38:32   telling you how much the battery was charged.

00:38:33   That's really nice, you don't have to open up the laptop.

00:38:36   It's been in a bag for a while.

00:38:37   You can just see how much it's charged

00:38:40   without opening it up.

00:38:41   MagSafe connectors, of course, that's a huge one.

00:38:43   Having a little light on the plug

00:38:45   so you could see without opening it up or anything.

00:38:47   You can see, is it charging?

00:38:48   Is it fully charged?

00:38:50   It's just little useful things like that.

00:38:51   Of course, the light up Apple on the back,

00:38:54   the startup shine, a lot of these things

00:38:55   have been removed over time.

00:38:56   And some of them--

00:38:57   - Well, you're forgetting one of my favorites

00:38:59   that I miss all the time,

00:39:01   the little pulsating breathing light

00:39:03   to let you know that the machine was on.

00:39:05   - Exactly, I loved that. - Oh, God.

00:39:07   - That was so cool. - Me too, I agree.

00:39:10   - And a lot of that I think has died with Scott Forstall,

00:39:13   but I mean, he's alive, but basically.

00:39:16   (laughing)

00:39:17   - You can call that living.

00:39:18   - Yeah, exactly. (laughing)

00:39:21   - Wow.

00:39:22   - But when we bought Max, Casey and I at least,

00:39:26   John, you bought Max and that's donation,

00:39:28   but when Casey and I bought Max for the first time,

00:39:30   it was still this era of whimsy,

00:39:32   where we would be able to go into a computer store,

00:39:34   when those still existed.

00:39:36   (laughing)

00:39:38   We'd go into like a circuit city or something.

00:39:40   (laughing)

00:39:41   All these dead computer stores.

00:39:42   And you'd be able to go over to the Mac area.

00:39:45   And you'd be able to play with the dock

00:39:46   and see all the cheesy zoom animations

00:39:48   and the scaling and the minimizing.

00:39:50   You'd be able to see all the cheesy crap

00:39:51   and you'd be like, "Whoa, it's so cool."

00:39:53   And when you actually bought your first Mac back then,

00:39:56   all those cool little things just seemed amazing.

00:39:59   The pulsing sleep light,

00:40:01   all the cool little lights and battery things and everything.

00:40:05   It was just cool.

00:40:06   It made you feel nice about your luxury product purchase.

00:40:10   And it made you love this platform.

00:40:12   And so when things like the niceties of the power cable

00:40:16   just get removed for seemingly very little reason,

00:40:20   it really does kind of erode that nice feeling

00:40:23   and the feeling of this being a premium product

00:40:26   that you love.

00:40:27   - Yeah, you know, I think it's been relatively obvious

00:40:31   I haven't always agreed with you on some of the things that you've been grumbly about over the last,

00:40:37   I don't know, couple of months about, you know, dongles and this and that and the other thing.

00:40:40   I could not possibly agree with everything you just said more. I think, and I think you nailed

00:40:45   it on the head with, and I forget how you phrased it, so I apologize, but a luxury product being a

00:40:51   series of small delights. I think that's absolutely true, and I think that that used to, and to a large

00:40:57   degree still is, but even more so used to be the case with Apple products. And obviously

00:41:01   I don't have a new MacBook Pro yet, but eventually I will get one for work if not for myself.

00:41:06   And not having those little flip-out hooks or arms, whatever you call them, on the brick

00:41:12   in order to wrap up the cord, that's going to drive me batty. Not having the pulsating

00:41:17   light, I still miss that to this day. Not having MagSafe, that has saved my computer

00:41:22   on numerous occasions. I mean, how many in aggregate?

00:41:26   And by the way, about MagSafe, USB-C holds on tight.

00:41:30   Like it's a really secure connector.

00:41:33   - Which generally is good.

00:41:34   - Yeah, except that you could,

00:41:35   especially now with these laptops being lighter,

00:41:37   you can very easily kick it off a table with that.

00:41:40   - You saw on the iFixit tear down though

00:41:42   that they were smart enough to make the board

00:41:44   that connects on the inside of the computer

00:41:46   a separate replaceable part.

00:41:47   So when you inevitably knock the thing over,

00:41:49   assuming it survives,

00:41:51   they can just replace the part that it plugs into.

00:41:53   It won't like, it won't kill your whole motherboard,

00:41:55   at least on one of them, sorry, Logic Board and Apple Parlance, at least on one of the

00:41:59   models that did that.

00:42:00   Yeah, but that's not a great solution. That is both incomplete and inferior to MagSafe.

00:42:06   No, but anyway, I just wanted to say that I completely agree with you, and I think this

00:42:12   isn't absolutely whimsy or humanity, but it's tangentially related, I think, or it's in

00:42:19   this kind of same universe, in that it's these little things, in the same way that, in my

00:42:24   personal estimation, Windows's death by a thousand paper cuts. Apple products, again,

00:42:32   for the most part still are, but especially just a few years ago, tended to be whatever

00:42:37   the opposite of that is. I don't know what the opposite of death by a thousand paper

00:42:40   cuts is, but the opposite of that is what Apple products were, and to some degree still

00:42:44   are.

00:42:45   Life by a thousand hugs.

00:42:46   Yeah, there you go. But no, I couldn't agree with you more, Marco. Little stuff like that

00:42:52   just it's frustrating. And I do think, you know, as we've talked about in the past,

00:42:56   like this dongle situation, it sounds like for you it wasn't that bad for this particular trip.

00:43:00   And I do think in the future it'll get a lot better. But there's nothing, there's no obvious

00:43:06   answer for not having the little the cable management arms on the power supply. I guess

00:43:11   you could get a third-party power supply. I guess those might exist at some point. But there's no

00:43:16   obvious answer for that. There's no way you're going to get the little pulsing sleep light on a

00:43:20   on a MacBook Pro, which is not gonna happen.

00:43:23   And all of this little stuff, it just adds up

00:43:25   and is kind of frustrating over time.

00:43:28   - Yeah, and like some of it, things like the glowing LED,

00:43:31   like the glowing Apple logo on the back,

00:43:33   apparently that was due to thinness reasons

00:43:35   on the new displays or something like that.

00:43:36   Things like the sleep LED, you could blame that on power

00:43:40   or it being too bright in some people's rooms or whatever.

00:43:43   But things like the power brick getting worse,

00:43:47   like there's kind of no reason for that.

00:43:49   And that's kind of what drives me nuts,

00:43:50   is like the unnecessary shaving off

00:43:53   of all the personality and delight.

00:43:55   - And losing the extendo cable, I forget the term for it,

00:43:58   but you know what I'm talking about?

00:43:59   - That's now $19. (laughs)

00:44:01   - You can't throw that in, come on.

00:44:03   - You're getting at the reasons.

00:44:05   Like in the car industry, they called it decontenting.

00:44:07   And when it struck Hondas, I was very upset.

00:44:10   That was many, many years ago.

00:44:11   I think we talked about it in "Unneutral" at one point.

00:44:13   But when I bought my first Honda Civic, which was in 1992,

00:44:18   The Honda Civic is the low-end model, and I got the lowest of the low-end model.

00:44:22   Didn't even have a side mirror on the passenger side, like the cheapest model you could get.

00:44:27   And yet when you open the very, very tiny trunk on the back of that car, there were

00:44:32   no struts that intruded into the trunk area.

00:44:35   It had a series of struts so that when you closed it, there wasn't anything poking

00:44:38   in.

00:44:39   You could put a suitcase in there so it would just like fill the entire opening and then

00:44:42   close the lid, and you wouldn't have to worry, "Oh, but now when I try to close it,

00:44:45   hinge will bang into, you know, the gooseneck type hinge will bang into the thing. Those

00:44:48   are more expensive to make, the little struts. They're more complicated, they're more prone

00:44:53   to break, they cost a lot more than taking a bent piece of metal and bending it into

00:44:57   a gooseneck shape and welding it on. And then when decontending struck, the Japanese car

00:45:03   industry, I think because of exchange rates or some other thing or whatever, I don't remember

00:45:07   what it was, but anyway, it came to Honda and all of a sudden the Civic got gooseneck

00:45:11   And in fact the Accord got gooseneck struts and you know what to this day if you go buy an Accord no matter how much money

00:45:17   You pay for an Accord gooseneck on the trunk. They never came back like they never said, okay

00:45:22   Well when things when things change we will you know, well, well whatever the reverse of decontending is

00:45:28   They made the parts cheaper and probably like, you know simpler to build and more reliable

00:45:32   And so they don't have to worry about it

00:45:34   But it's worse in terms of packing things into the back of your car because now you have to worry about where the hinges land

00:45:39   - Yeah, I would say in general, I have thought about

00:45:42   the concept of de-contenting for a while

00:45:44   with Apple products, and it really does seem that way

00:45:47   with some of the more recent releases, and it's sad

00:45:50   because so many of those little things are delightful,

00:45:53   and they add up to this perception of this being

00:45:57   a premium nice product that makes you happy,

00:45:59   and every one of these removals,

00:46:01   it's just eroding that feeling,

00:46:04   and these are still nice computers,

00:46:07   but they were nicer in many ways in the past.

00:46:10   And it's, you know, in general,

00:46:12   like, you know, it's hard to really complain too much,

00:46:15   although we always find a way,

00:46:16   but it's hard to complain too much

00:46:19   because overall, I would say this is a better computer

00:46:23   in many ways than the one it replaced,

00:46:26   but like, it is not as good as it could be.

00:46:29   And in areas that there is no excuse for,

00:46:32   that, you know, certain areas you can say,

00:46:34   "All right, well, if Mac is at 16 gigs of RAM

00:46:37   for these reasons with low power RAM

00:46:38   and Intel limitations, et cetera.

00:46:40   You know, you can say like,

00:46:41   "Oh well, it couldn't have a better keyboard

00:46:44   "because then it would have to be thicker."

00:46:47   By the way, as for the way this computer feels

00:46:49   with it being so much thinner and lighter,

00:46:51   I feel like a small improvement,

00:46:53   not a substantial improvement.

00:46:54   Like, I'll take it, you know,

00:46:56   I'll take it being lighter, I guess.

00:46:58   I mean, I would prefer great battery life,

00:46:59   but you know, if this is what is available now,

00:47:03   okay, you know, I'll accept the weight reduction,

00:47:07   but going from the Retina MacBook Pro,

00:47:09   the 2012 design, to the 2016 design,

00:47:13   does not feel that different.

00:47:16   We're severely diminishing returns here.

00:47:19   It really does not feel like a massive savings

00:47:22   in weight or size or thickness.

00:47:24   At no point, you know, having used the 2012

00:47:26   15-inch design since 2012,

00:47:29   at no point during these four years

00:47:31   that I ever think, you know, this is too thick.

00:47:33   You know, like everybody could use their laptop

00:47:35   being lighter, 'cause when you carry it,

00:47:36   it's nice when it's lighter.

00:47:38   Everyone can use a smaller footprint

00:47:40   for the same screen size to have less overhead,

00:47:42   because, oh, that makes it easier to use on planes

00:47:44   and tight areas and stuff, that's great.

00:47:46   But the thickness of these laptops,

00:47:48   especially in the 15-inch line, is so irrelevant,

00:47:52   and they were already so thin in 2012.

00:47:55   To make them lighter is very welcome,

00:47:57   but they really didn't need to get thinner,

00:48:00   And they really didn't get thinner enough

00:48:03   in ways that are actually noticeable in real world use.

00:48:06   So to do things like make a really controversial,

00:48:10   weird new keyboard in the name of only thinness

00:48:14   and not lightness, 'cause keyboards are mostly empty space,

00:48:17   to be able to force yourself into that kind of

00:48:20   design trade-off seems unnecessary

00:48:23   when it was already so thin to begin with.

00:48:25   So lightness, great.

00:48:27   It is noticeably lighter.

00:48:28   It's not massive lighter.

00:48:29   It isn't like when you first,

00:48:31   like the first time you picked a MacBook Air

00:48:33   and you were used to everything

00:48:34   that wasn't a MacBook Air before that.

00:48:36   That was an amazing difference,

00:48:37   'cause that was like, I think it was something like

00:48:41   going from like 4.5 or 5.0 pounds to 3.0.

00:48:44   It was a huge difference.

00:48:46   - And also the taper was totally,

00:48:47   totally made a difference.

00:48:48   - Sure, but like, you know, going from 4.5 to 4.0 pounds

00:48:53   is a much smaller difference.

00:48:55   - You forgot about the biggest difference though

00:48:57   with this model that I can't believe you didn't notice.

00:48:59   maybe you don't notice because you didn't get it.

00:49:01   We never asked you.

00:49:02   What color?

00:49:03   - I did get space gray.

00:49:05   - Oh, nice.

00:49:05   - And isn't that a big difference?

00:49:07   To me, that was the biggest difference.

00:49:09   Other than the touch bar, I guess.

00:49:10   Maybe actually tied with the touch bar.

00:49:12   What's the biggest difference

00:49:13   between this model and the old one?

00:49:14   This one comes in gray,

00:49:15   and it's a little bit of a weird gray,

00:49:17   but it totally looks different than the old one.

00:49:19   Do you like it?

00:49:20   - Yeah, and honestly,

00:49:21   I was not a huge fan of space gray on the MacBook One.

00:49:24   It just didn't seem quite right to me when I've seen it.

00:49:27   You know, it doesn't look bad,

00:49:29   But I just think like Space Gray and the MacBook One,

00:49:30   it just seems like, you know,

00:49:31   that's not really the best color.

00:49:32   Like I would say the MacBook One is best

00:49:35   in probably gold and pink.

00:49:37   And I don't love those colors myself,

00:49:39   but it just looks kind of odd in Space Gray.

00:49:42   On the 15 inch, I'd say Space Gray looks awesome.

00:49:44   I don't know why, I think it's the same.

00:49:47   But it, for whatever reason, looks really good to me.

00:49:51   I'm very happy with it.

00:49:53   So, you know, cool, that's good news.

00:49:57   I do like it.

00:49:58   I do worry a little bit, I know our friend Steven Hackett,

00:50:01   by the way, did you see his amazing video

00:50:03   with the Apple Book and the real products?

00:50:04   Oh my God, we'll put that in the show notes.

00:50:06   It's so good. (laughs)

00:50:08   - I was upset about the part

00:50:09   where he shoves his $300 book.

00:50:11   (laughing)

00:50:12   He's like, all right, fine, I see what you're going for,

00:50:14   but really, come on, it's a $300 book,

00:50:15   let's not just chuck it against the wall.

00:50:17   - You would. - Anyway.

00:50:19   - You would. (laughing)

00:50:21   - Yeah, that video's amazing.

00:50:23   Anyway, Space Gray is good,

00:50:25   but if it gets scratched or dented at all,

00:50:28   it shows the silver color through,

00:50:31   as he learned on his MacBook Escape.

00:50:33   - Oh no, really?

00:50:34   - Yeah, so I don't know how deep of a scratch

00:50:37   is necessary to make that happen,

00:50:38   but it happened to Steven already with his MacBook Escape.

00:50:41   - Oh, that's bad.

00:50:42   - So that could be bad.

00:50:43   - I was gonna change my work order to be gray,

00:50:45   but now that I heard that, no, I can't have that.

00:50:47   (laughing)

00:50:48   - Oh my God, Jon.

00:50:50   - Yeah, so anyway though, overall I would say

00:50:53   It's a good computer.

00:50:56   As for the touch bar, which I didn't even talk about,

00:50:58   the touch bar, I guess I'll go into it more in the future

00:51:01   once I've had more experience with it.

00:51:03   So far it seems fine, it seems kind of like a sideways step.

00:51:08   Again, there's some pluses, there's some minuses.

00:51:12   We'll see over time how it develops.

00:51:14   The escape key is really annoying to be up there,

00:51:16   so I've started developing a habit of,

00:51:19   I switched, I remapped escape to caps lock.

00:51:22   I've just been hitting, and I did that on both my iMac

00:51:24   and my laptop, so I've just been training myself

00:51:25   to hit caps lock instead of escape,

00:51:27   and the best way to deal with the escape key

00:51:28   is to stop using it, because the new escape zone

00:51:31   is fine, but not great.

00:51:35   The main problem is, when you're talking about a key,

00:51:39   not an area on a touchscreen, but a key,

00:51:41   you know exactly when you've hit it.

00:51:43   You can rest your hand on it before you're ready to hit it,

00:51:45   and then you can push down, and you know you hit it.

00:51:48   And you can't do that on the escape zone.

00:51:50   You can't rest your finger on it beforehand

00:51:53   and you just trigger it.

00:51:53   I did that a lot the first couple,

00:51:55   the first day or two I had it.

00:51:57   And you can't know when you've hit it or not

00:52:00   or how many times you've hit it very reliably.

00:52:02   So I don't love that.

00:52:03   So my solution there was to simply remap to Caps Lock,

00:52:07   which is easily done with system preferences.

00:52:09   The trackpad is, being that huge,

00:52:12   I do love having the big trackpad area.

00:52:15   And when I went back to test to use my old MacBook Pro,

00:52:18   One of the things that made it feel impossibly old

00:52:21   was having this tiny little track pad,

00:52:23   which of course, when it came out it was huge,

00:52:25   but it's like having this tiny track pad now.

00:52:28   I still hate the Force Touch track pad.

00:52:31   I hate the way it clicks.

00:52:33   I hate how weirdly the pressure is not quite right.

00:52:35   I hate how it's not 100% reliable.

00:52:38   So instead I've been slow transitioning

00:52:40   to a tap to click wizard.

00:52:42   If I'm gonna have my taps be only mostly reliable

00:52:46   and not 100% reliable, I'd rather do it that way

00:52:49   instead of having to feel their stupid weird click

00:52:51   and push harder to get it.

00:52:53   So basically my solution to the downsides

00:52:56   of the touch bar and the Force Touch trackpad

00:52:58   are to avoid using them. (laughs)

00:53:02   And the upsides of the trackpad being so big

00:53:05   are very welcome, and the upside of the touch bar

00:53:08   being this new functional surface of weird things

00:53:11   is basically a big we will see about that later

00:53:14   from me so far.

00:53:15   but so far it seems it might be really cool.

00:53:19   One more closing thought about this.

00:53:21   I think looking at the specs and the pricing,

00:53:25   to me there's two laptops worth getting in this lineup,

00:53:28   the MacBook Escape and the 15 inch.

00:53:31   The 13 inch with touch bar is so expensive

00:53:35   for what you get.

00:53:36   It also has I think the worst battery life of the three.

00:53:39   I think if you have the need for a lower end

00:53:42   or smaller or lower performing computer,

00:53:45   get the MacBook Escape.

00:53:46   It's so much cheaper and it has better battery life

00:53:49   and everything else.

00:53:50   If you want a strong workhorse computer

00:53:53   that has a little more power or that has the touch bar,

00:53:56   get the 15 inch because it is so much better spec'd

00:53:58   per dollar than the 13.

00:54:00   So to me, those are the two worth getting.

00:54:03   I don't love the 13 inch.

00:54:05   I tried it in the store and I ran a bunch of numbers online,

00:54:07   of course, I don't love the 13 inch with touch bar.

00:54:09   I don't think that product makes a ton of sense

00:54:12   for maximizing your value.

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00:55:52   (upbeat music)

00:55:55   - John, do you have a new phone?

00:55:57   - I do, I got a new iPhone 7.

00:55:59   It was the one that I said I was gonna get,

00:56:02   which was Jet Black, and I wanted to try

00:56:05   using it without a case, and I did.

00:56:07   I just didn't try it for very long.

00:56:12   - Define not very long.

00:56:14   - Less than 24 hours?

00:56:16   - The little birdie told me it was less than six,

00:56:18   but I'll let you decide.

00:56:20   - Yeah, I mean, I wanted to try it.

00:56:24   It is grippy and I never had a iOS device without a case,

00:56:29   a small iOS device without a case,

00:56:30   so I always thought I was gonna just give it a go.

00:56:33   And I was willing to take the scratches and whatever.

00:56:37   And there's two reasons I had to stop.

00:56:40   The first, which I kind of knew about

00:56:42   from using it in the store,

00:56:43   is like when I was playing with it in the store,

00:56:44   I noticed that I could feel the seams on the SIM tray

00:56:47   and I didn't like that, you know, on the outside of it.

00:56:51   And using it more in real life,

00:56:53   I could also feel the seams around the Apple logo

00:56:57   on the back and I didn't like that either.

00:57:00   Like it's not, it wasn't, you know,

00:57:01   it's one of those things where you,

00:57:02   my fingers feel compelled to like seek out that seam

00:57:05   or whatever, and it was bothering me.

00:57:07   That alone wouldn't have done it.

00:57:08   The real problem I eventually realized was,

00:57:12   even though I said, "Oh, I'm just gonna let it get scratched.

00:57:14   Like, I'm gonna accept the grippiness

00:57:16   and I'll have a smaller shape, and I'll just,

00:57:17   I accept that it's gonna get scratched."

00:57:19   I found myself, when I was placing it down,

00:57:24   like, placing it down gently.

00:57:28   Like, I was trying to stop myself

00:57:30   from placing it down gently, but I realized,

00:57:32   no matter how, like, it was a battle within myself

00:57:34   to treat it as cavalierly as I treated my thing with a case on it.

00:57:40   And then the final little bit of the, you know, these three things combined, but I really

00:57:44   think putting it down gently was a thing I just could not get over.

00:57:46   The final little bit was, it doesn't lay flat because it's got a stupid bump on the back

00:57:49   of it.

00:57:50   When you have a case, you don't have that problem.

00:57:51   And I find that I very often have my phone laying down and I very often press the button

00:57:56   and do other things with it, and I don't like the fact that it's on an angle and could potentially

00:58:00   wobble and stuff like that.

00:58:03   Although I got a leather case for it, it's in the leather case, it's much happier now.

00:58:07   I think I got it into the leather case before any major scratching set in, but who knows,

00:58:10   I'm just happy to have leather case on it.

00:58:12   And the new leather case is way better, the buttons that poke out through the case are

00:58:15   better than they were.

00:58:17   The leather case is slip- feels slipperier to me than the phone by itself, so it's not

00:58:20   like I'm putting in the case to be grippier, but as soon as I got that case on it, like

00:58:26   just like a weight lifted off my shoulders, and I can just go back there just having my

00:58:29   regular phone.

00:58:30   The only other thing to speak of about this, oh two more things.

00:58:34   One, the home button that doesn't move.

00:58:36   I was on board pretty quickly with that.

00:58:39   It is different, but I kind of like the little kick as opposed to the button press.

00:58:46   I'm pretty much on board with that.

00:58:47   I even don't mind it when it's laying flat on a table, but like, "Oh, it feels so wrong."

00:58:51   It does feel weird and different, but I'm pretty much on board with it.

00:58:54   Like it doesn't bother me that much.

00:58:56   I did eventually go down to a setting of one on that button because I can feel it.

00:59:01   I don't need it to be in my face that much.

00:59:04   I think one is fine.

00:59:06   I'm definitely a one person for the home button.

00:59:09   And then the final thing, the headphone port, which Marco had talked about, like, coming

00:59:13   back to reassert its absence when he was on the plane.

00:59:18   I haven't had that experience yet, although maybe I will, but for now, the one thing that

00:59:23   that I, that no review prepared me for or that, you know, I didn't think about beforehand

00:59:27   and one of the things I didn't know is that, well two things.

00:59:32   One, I knew this but didn't realize how, how I would feel about it.

00:59:37   The Lightning plug is bigger than the headphone jack.

00:59:42   Maybe not in volume if you do the math on it because the headphone jack is longer, but

00:59:46   it's just bigger around.

00:59:48   The headphone port is thinner circumference wise.

00:59:51   is closer to the diameter of the wire than the thing, right?

00:59:56   And it goes in and out a little bit easier, especially on this new thing.

00:59:59   So this feels like plugging in a bigger plug than plugging in the headphone.

01:00:04   And the second thing is the headphone, just the little thing that comes with the EarPods,

01:00:08   which is what I use, I use the EarPods.

01:00:11   And on all of their peripherals that have this little DAC chip in them, the Lightning

01:00:16   Port on those, including the adapter by the way, including the headphone jack adapter,

01:00:19   The lightning port on that is fatter.

01:00:21   The little plastic white plastic part

01:00:23   that the lightning metal thing pokes out of

01:00:25   is fatter than the plain old lightning cable one.

01:00:28   Fatter enough that you'll notice,

01:00:30   fatter enough that if you hold them up,

01:00:32   it's not just slightly fatter, it is fatter.

01:00:34   So I feel like I'm plugging a big fat clunky thing

01:00:39   into my phone when I connect my headphones.

01:00:41   And that is weird to me

01:00:43   because this is supposed to be the modern new,

01:00:45   getting rid of the old clunky TTR

01:00:48   or whatever the hell that thing is called,

01:00:49   like the headphone jack.

01:00:50   That's supposed to be the archaic thing.

01:00:53   We should be going to the sleek new,

01:00:54   and I feel like I went the opposite direction.

01:00:56   I feel like I just gave up USB-C for SCSI.

01:00:59   That's what it feels like.

01:01:00   (laughing)

01:01:02   - Oh my God. - And it is not

01:01:03   a good feeling.

01:01:04   I mean, I'll get over it, like whatever, it's fine,

01:01:06   but I didn't expect that at all.

01:01:08   And I had to actually say, is it just me?

01:01:11   But you just hold it up, just grab an old lightning cable

01:01:13   hold it up to your headphones for your iPhone 7 or for the headphone adapter, it's bigger.

01:01:21   It's bigger around.

01:01:22   I really hope they can shrink that.

01:01:23   I think that would make a big difference.

01:01:25   I'll get over it.

01:01:26   I really like my new phone.

01:01:27   It's super fast.

01:01:28   The screen is really awesome looking.

01:01:29   I kind of like the new home button.

01:01:31   Now I have force touch.

01:01:33   Overall, I really like the new phone, especially now that I have a case on it.

01:01:39   It's not the absence of the headphone port that bothers me so much.

01:01:41   the presence of the big fat lightning thing.

01:01:44   - Yeah, you know, I noticed the big fat lightning thing,

01:01:46   but I couldn't put my finger on until you said something,

01:01:49   what it was about it that kinda bothered me,

01:01:51   and I think it's exactly like you said,

01:01:53   it's that it feels bigger and clunkier

01:01:57   than just a headphone jack, which is definitely peculiar.

01:02:01   - Yeah, and I gotta say, I have also come around

01:02:03   to the Force Touch Home button,

01:02:05   although I am a three person,

01:02:07   I don't know how you could do anything less than three,

01:02:09   But the first day I hated it,

01:02:13   but after about that first day, now it feels normal.

01:02:17   The illusion has totally worked on me.

01:02:20   I like it way, way better

01:02:22   than any Force Touch track pad I've ever used.

01:02:25   It is substantially better.

01:02:27   So yeah, it's good.

01:02:29   I'm with you on that.

01:02:31   The jet black though, I'm curious, I must know,

01:02:35   in your six hours of having it caseless,

01:02:38   Did you get any scratches on it?

01:02:40   - As I was saying, I think it's mostly scratch-free.

01:02:43   I didn't go hunting.

01:02:44   I'm sure there are some, because again,

01:02:46   I was trying to be like,

01:02:47   "All right, well, just don't put it down gently.

01:02:49   "You know, the whole thing,

01:02:50   "you're on board with getting a scratch,

01:02:51   "stop putting it down gently."

01:02:53   So I was trying to force myself to just be like,

01:02:55   "Stop thinking about it.

01:02:56   "Just treat it like your old phone."

01:02:57   So I'm sure I half-intentionally put it down

01:03:00   with more force than I would normally,

01:03:02   and so I'm sure there are little scratches

01:03:04   on the corners here and there,

01:03:05   but I didn't go hunting for them.

01:03:06   I just wanted to put it into the leather case.

01:03:08   It still looks pretty good.

01:03:09   Like when I polished it up before I put it in the leather case, it still basically looks

01:03:13   new.

01:03:14   But I'm sure if I got out there and looked at the edges exactly, you'd see these little

01:03:17   hairline things.

01:03:18   Whatever, it's fine.

01:03:19   It'll be fine for the museum slash.

01:03:22   Although now that my iPhone 6, I took it out of its case, which its case that is destroyed

01:03:27   again.

01:03:28   And it looks so nice and new in there.

01:03:30   And I'm like, "Boy, this is a nice, pristine phone."

01:03:32   And then I realized, "Wait, I'm handing this down to my son, aren't I?"

01:03:35   That's the problem with phones.

01:03:40   Maybe I won't hand him down my 7.

01:03:42   Maybe I'll preserve that one and he'll have to get his own phone of some kind.

01:03:45   But yeah, I'm handing my 6 down to my son.

01:03:48   And so that's kind of a bummer for the…

01:03:51   I did buy an OtterBox case for it and hopefully that will help it survive.

01:03:54   And he hasn't destroyed the 5S that he's using now, which is also in an OtterBox case.

01:03:58   So I have some hope that the 6 will make it out alive, but we'll see.

01:04:02   That's amazing.

01:04:03   For the record, I am also a one person, just like Jon on the home button.

01:04:08   I started, I think I started at two if memory serves, and then eventually moved my way down

01:04:14   to one.

01:04:15   It works, or at least for me anyway.

01:04:18   We got a tweet from Chris Millar, who did a short video comparing different color gamuts.

01:04:27   And this is just a couple of minutes long, and it is definitely worth watching, and it

01:04:31   help me understand a little better what the differences are. So we'll put a link

01:04:36   to this in the show notes. It's pretty good stuff. Yeah it gives you a 3D

01:04:40   representation of the color space and so you can just compare the size of like 3D

01:04:43   shapes. Like here's how big this color gamut is and now look the shape is

01:04:46   bigger and it's bigger in these dimensions and so it's it's nice to

01:04:49   visualize. And the app that he's using to do that I think that's like a built-in

01:04:52   OS X app isn't it? Yeah. So you can you can watch the video and then if you

01:04:56   have a Mac you can open the same app and do the same thing he's doing and you

01:04:59   know, explore at your leisure. Yep, exactly right.

01:05:03   Johnny Ive, speaking of beat-up iPhones, commented on beat-up iPhones in the, or I

01:05:09   guess he didn't comment in the book because the book has no words, but

01:05:12   somehow commented in the in the in context of the book. In the link that's

01:05:17   in the show notes. Oh there you go, sorry I didn't read far enough. So yeah, so

01:05:21   Johnny said, "That's Evans Hanke's phone who manages the design studio. Isn't it

01:05:27   cool, she destroys her objects, but I thought there was something so charming about that.

01:05:31   I thought it was lovely to put that in. We designed tools to be used, and she definitely

01:05:35   uses them.

01:05:36   I put that quote in there because it sounds so much like he does not like that phone being

01:05:40   in the book. Now, obviously that's silly because he controls everything that's in that book.

01:05:43   Like why would he ever put anything in there that he didn't want? But I read that, and

01:05:48   you know, I've said this in the past talking about Apple products, like Apple, with very

01:05:54   very few exceptions does not show its products used. Like, worn, scratched, dented, almost

01:06:02   all of their product shots show them in the pristine, idealized, very often 3D rendered,

01:06:07   or at the very least, you know, photoshopped. Like, that's how their products are. And we

01:06:11   know in the real world, like, what Apple's been doing design-wise has been trying to

01:06:16   design products that stay as close as possible to that pristine look, which is an amazing

01:06:21   feet and you know sometimes they get closer than other times like it sounds

01:06:25   like the Darth Vader Apple watch with the TLC coating is very close to that

01:06:29   whereas the you know the iPod nano with a scratchy thing was very far from that

01:06:33   and all products in between and we'll see how the space gray 15 inch MacBook

01:06:38   Pro turns out but that has been the trend for many many years now and this

01:06:44   this whole let's see what it looks like when it's been used flies in the face of

01:06:49   and is not common. And the fact that they put that in there, and as far as I'm aware,

01:06:53   that's the only beat up thing. Like they didn't show, here's what a Tangerine iMac looks like.

01:06:57   It's been used by a bunch of kindergarten students for five years. Like they didn't show that,

01:07:01   because that is a thing. And there is a look to that, and it's not a great look.

01:07:05   But they did show the original iPhone. And so this little passage almost sounds like he is

01:07:09   trying to convince himself that it's such a great thing. I'm sure lots of other people

01:07:13   tried to convince him that it was awesome. And I'm sure he appreciates it. But I still feel like

01:07:18   if he was a magical wizard, a magical industrial design wizard, and we said that you can create

01:07:24   products that look like your product shots and that no matter what users do to them,

01:07:28   they stay looking that way, he would say yes, do that, because that's exactly what I want.

01:07:32   Like if you can make everything out of adamantium or vibranium or whatever your

01:07:35   Marvel universe, magic metal, or unobtainium if you want to go with the very stupid avatar,

01:07:42   and they never actually changed, he would take that because that's what he wants.

01:07:47   as expressed by every product that he's ever made

01:07:49   and every ad that they've ever been in

01:07:51   with the exception of like that one ad

01:07:52   that shows a MacBook with a bunch of stickers on it

01:07:54   and stuff, and maybe one or two other exceptions

01:07:57   and this one thing.

01:07:58   It's so weird to me.

01:07:59   So hearing that quote, I was just like,

01:08:02   who is it that convinced you to put that in the book?

01:08:04   Obviously you agreed to it eventually,

01:08:06   but your heart doesn't seem in it.

01:08:08   - Fair enough.

01:08:09   All right, tell me about the Penny Arcade

01:08:12   and the Microsoft Surface Studio.

01:08:13   This link was in the show notes for the last episode,

01:08:16   but we never got a chance to talk about it.

01:08:18   - Yeah, this is just one example of,

01:08:20   we're talking about who would want this computer.

01:08:22   It's obviously not just for everybody

01:08:24   because most people aren't doing digital art

01:08:25   on their computer, but if you're a digital artist,

01:08:28   maybe it's for you.

01:08:28   And then we talked about, well,

01:08:29   digital artists may be set in their ways,

01:08:31   but for other people who are more flexible

01:08:33   or have been looking for a new approach, this is great.

01:08:37   And so Mike from Penny Arcade has been drawing comics

01:08:42   for many years now digitally,

01:08:45   and he's used a tablet, and then he switched from a tablet

01:08:48   to a tablet that's basically a screen, the Cintiq,

01:08:51   where instead of just looking at your screen

01:08:53   and drawing where you're not looking,

01:08:55   now you're looking down at where you're drawing

01:08:56   because there's an image there.

01:08:59   And he wrote this big blog post about it.

01:09:00   He's also been connected with Microsoft.

01:09:02   Like, they've been giving him preview hardware for a while

01:09:04   with the old Surface books and the, you know,

01:09:07   he's embedded with Microsoft on this,

01:09:10   but he is pretty honest about what he likes

01:09:12   and what he doesn't like.

01:09:14   And here's a couple of quotes from his post about it that we'll put a link to in the show notes.

01:09:19   His business partner, Jerry, asked him to compare it to his Cintiq.

01:09:23   He says, "And I told him that drawing on a Cintiq now felt like drawing on a piece of dirty plexiglass hovering over a CRT monitor from 1997."

01:09:31   So that's a pretty, you know, Cintiq is supposed to be like the gold standard of, you know,

01:09:37   or at least the sort of mainstream "I want to draw on a screen, but I can't draw on my computer screen because my computer screen is just a monitor."

01:09:44   then I'll get a Cintiq, which by the way are very expensive.

01:09:47   And I'm assuming what he's reacting to

01:09:48   is basically the retina resolution of the Surface Studio.

01:09:51   And to him, that's more important

01:09:53   than perhaps what a Cintiq fan might say is,

01:09:54   "Yeah, but the Cintiq is more responsive or whatever."

01:09:58   The Cintiq now feels like a CRT, which is bad.

01:10:01   On this little passage where he tries to wrap things up,

01:10:04   he says, "When I first saw the device months ago

01:10:05   in that secret room in Microsoft,"

01:10:07   he did get a preview of this, by the way,

01:10:08   "they asked me what I thought.

01:10:09   I said, 'Well, I have no idea if anyone else will want it,

01:10:11   but you have made my dream computer.

01:10:13   I recognize that not everybody wants or needs a computer that they can draw on.

01:10:17   Some people do though, and I will tell you that the Surface Studio is without a doubt

01:10:19   the best digital drawing experience I've ever tried.

01:10:22   I spend 6-10 hours a day drawing digitally and I have for more than a decade.

01:10:26   The Cintiq and the Surface, these are like my tools or my instruments.

01:10:29   I am intimately familiar in how it feels to create things on these sorts of devices, and

01:10:33   the Studio honestly feels like a generational leap forward.

01:10:35   That sounds like ad copy from Microsoft, right?

01:10:37   But I can tell you that Mike from Penny Arcade is not one to sugarcoat things.

01:10:42   whatever, you know, so he really likes this.

01:10:45   He's an example of who might like this weird thing?

01:10:48   This is the type of person that would like this.

01:10:49   And the people who like it,

01:10:50   it feels like I've been waiting all my life

01:10:53   for this computer.

01:10:54   I think, again, I still think he's in the minority

01:10:56   because I think most people who've been drawing digitally

01:10:57   for as long as he have are kind of set in their ways

01:11:00   and are happy with the situation they have

01:11:01   and they just wish they could have

01:11:02   an incrementally better Cintiq.

01:11:04   But if you've been dreaming of this,

01:11:06   this fulfills your dreams.

01:11:08   And you know, I really feel his enthusiasm for this device.

01:11:10   And that's what makes me think that given enough turnover in the staff of professional

01:11:17   artists, eventually some company is going to win out by letting these people draw on

01:11:20   a big, giant, beautiful screen, whether it's Microsoft or not.

01:11:24   So there was some talk on our show last week about ARM Max, and there's a great article

01:11:32   by Jason Snell on ARM Max.

01:11:35   But the thing we were going to talk about really quickly is that apparently Microsoft

01:11:39   listens to ATP because they've announced that they're going to enable x86 emulation on top

01:11:44   of ARM64.

01:11:47   That's part of their whole on-again-off-again dalliance with trying to sell Windows on ARM

01:11:53   and the ARM, you know, Surface computers and everything that haven't been selling as well

01:11:57   as the Intel versions and Microsoft's analysis seems to be.

01:12:02   It's because people have a lot of x86 software and if you buy the ARM one you can't run the

01:12:05   x86 software and it's hard for us to get everyone to recompile it.

01:12:08   same old problem that you always have when you change architectures.

01:12:11   Only Microsoft wasn't changing architectures.

01:12:12   They wanted to have their cake and eat it too and say, "Everybody, could you like make

01:12:17   your apps, build them for, make your, you know, Surface apps also for ARM and exit?"

01:12:22   No, you're not into that?

01:12:23   Okay, well, maybe if you think about it, you know, you have to do what Apple does, but

01:12:27   just say, "You have to stop making 68K applications.

01:12:31   Eventually just make, you know, fat binaries, but eventually we're just going to sell Power

01:12:35   Pc computers.

01:12:36   We don't sell 68K Macs anymore.

01:12:37   So if you keep building for 68K, you're gonna have to keep doing that for any number of

01:12:41   years to support your old customers, but you know that the future is PowerPC only, right?

01:12:46   And Microsoft didn't do that, and I don't see them doing that with ARM, so it's been

01:12:49   difficult to get them on board.

01:12:50   So there's stopgap, just like Apple during transitions as well, let's try to emulate

01:12:53   it.

01:12:54   And we've talked about that many times in the past, that ARM CPUs are not so much faster

01:12:59   than x86 or faster at all, perhaps that you get emulation, you know, not for free, but

01:13:05   like that you can emulate it at an acceptable speed.

01:13:07   But Microsoft's a company filled with a lot of smart people,

01:13:10   and if anybody can work out an x86 on Arm emulator

01:13:14   that has acceptable performance, maybe it's them.

01:13:17   Now, how does this factor into Apple?

01:13:20   Is Microsoft gonna open source this?

01:13:21   Does the work that Microsoft does,

01:13:23   making their emulator work, help Apple at all?

01:13:25   Maybe not, but maybe they can prove that it can be done.

01:13:28   Maybe they can give a data point to say,

01:13:29   if you were to emulate x86 on Arm, how would it work?

01:13:32   Would it be okay, or would it be dog slow,

01:13:34   or it's nice to see somebody go first.

01:13:37   And so we will have something more than speculation

01:13:40   eventually to see how feasible it is to do this emulation.

01:13:45   Because it's important for compatibility

01:13:47   for all Microsoft's x86 apps,

01:13:48   and if Apple ever wants to transition,

01:13:51   surely as it has done in the other two transitions,

01:13:54   it will need emulation.

01:13:55   So it's something to watch.

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01:16:04   (upbeat music)

01:16:07   So speaking of people who listen to the show,

01:16:10   apparently we've reminded Apple that they make,

01:16:13   that they make Wi-Fi routers, or they did anyway,

01:16:16   because now they don't.

01:16:18   - That was Marco, they did that, right?

01:16:19   Wasn't Marco who said,

01:16:20   "They should just discontinue the routers."

01:16:22   And I said, "Shh, they'll hear you."

01:16:23   - No, I wasn't even arguing they should discontinue,

01:16:25   but we were talking, it was literally like last week

01:16:28   like the one before that, saying how they exit

01:16:30   the monitor business and one of the arguments was that,

01:16:33   well, they don't need to focus on monitors.

01:16:34   And I said, well look, they still make WiFi routers

01:16:37   and some of them even have hard drives in them.

01:16:39   Like obviously they don't need, they're in businesses

01:16:41   that are less glorious but they stay in them

01:16:43   in these supporting roles for the rest of their product line

01:16:46   and the airport routers really support the Mac

01:16:50   and the various iDevices in this supporting role.

01:16:54   The time capsule ones in particular are very useful

01:16:58   appliances to get people who otherwise probably wouldn't

01:17:01   back up to a drive, to a time machine drive,

01:17:04   or to have any backup whatsoever,

01:17:06   who don't listen to our back play sponsorships,

01:17:08   or who can't use it for whatever reason,

01:17:09   maybe they have a really crappy internet connection.

01:17:11   So like, those are now major roles

01:17:14   that are going now unserved.

01:17:16   That being said, Apple routers were never,

01:17:21   as far as I could tell, they were never that popular

01:17:23   because, you know, the idea of every other router

01:17:28   being not only good enough, but like 10 times cheaper,

01:17:32   that has been the case for a long time now.

01:17:35   - Like cheaper and better usually,

01:17:37   like better in terms of WiFi signal.

01:17:39   Like I don't think Apple has ever had,

01:17:42   maybe the very first one,

01:17:43   but I don't think Apple has ever had a WiFi router

01:17:46   whose WiFi performance in terms of range and throughput

01:17:50   has been the tops.

01:17:53   They just have never done that.

01:17:55   But I will say, you know, as a fan of Apple's Wi-Fi routers, one thing in my experience

01:17:59   that Apple has done with its Wi-Fi products is that they have been, in my experience,

01:18:04   at the top of the consumer brands in terms of reliability.

01:18:08   Like they don't reboot, they don't flake out.

01:18:10   My experience with them has been very, very solid.

01:18:12   So I always felt comfortable spending the ridiculous amount of money for these things,

01:18:18   both for the integration reasons, because there is actually a surprising amount of crap

01:18:21   integrated with them.

01:18:22   time machine, but there's also the Bonjour sleep/wake thing and the little app that comes

01:18:27   with your Mac and iOS devices to control them.

01:18:31   There are Apple-specific technologies and nice integration with the Apple ecosystem

01:18:36   that goes along with them, and they were just always dead reliable for me.

01:18:39   I was willing to accept the crappy Wi-Fi performance for those two things, because there's nothing

01:18:44   worse than being in a house with flaky Wi-Fi, right?

01:18:46   Yeah.

01:18:47   First world problems.

01:18:48   But I think they fit into the old Apple model

01:18:53   of giving you a product that may not be the best,

01:18:57   but integrates with the Apple ecosystem,

01:18:59   and we charge you through the nose for it,

01:19:00   and it's actually pretty good.

01:19:02   - Yeah, but unfortunately,

01:19:05   I don't think that's ever been a large business.

01:19:07   And the thing is, as you get further away from the devices,

01:19:13   or you get in these supporting roles,

01:19:15   whether you're using an Apple product or not

01:19:17   it matters a lot less.

01:19:19   So like a monitor, you know, that matters somewhat,

01:19:22   not as much as you might think, but it matters--

01:19:26   - Unless you're John.

01:19:27   - Unless you're John.

01:19:28   But if you're anybody else, you know,

01:19:29   the monitor you're using, the brand of the monitor,

01:19:31   whether it matches your computer or not,

01:19:33   or whether it's an official app monitor or not,

01:19:35   for the most part, it doesn't affect your experience

01:19:37   that badly if it's not.

01:19:39   There's a few things that don't work quite right,

01:19:41   or don't have as nice of an experience as they could,

01:19:43   you know, integrations that might not work for you,

01:19:45   like brightness control on the keyboard.

01:19:47   like that, but for the most part, you know, you're, it's mostly fine. With your Wi-Fi

01:19:52   router, if that's not being made by Apple, for the most part, you won't even notice,

01:19:56   you know, unless, until you're going to change something.

01:19:58   So, same people who are cranky about monitors like me, like, I had this experience recently

01:20:02   because a lot of people after this announcement have been like, "Oh, great, well, I got a

01:20:05   shop for a bunch of Wi-Fi things, what should I get?" And people have been throwing around

01:20:09   links to lots of different things. One of the ones that was shown to be like, "Oh, this

01:20:12   has the best performance by like 5%, you should get this one." I forget what it was, it was

01:20:16   like Netgear, Orbi or something like that. Anyway, I'm like, "Okay, well look at these benchmarks."

01:20:22   Then I go look at the product. And I'm like, "Nope, sorry. I can't have three of those sitting

01:20:28   around in open spaces at my house." Because for Wi-Fi that is in multiple places, like to get

01:20:32   whole house coverage, you know, then it's not just one like in the computer room or whatever.

01:20:36   There's one in my hall, there's one in my bedroom, and there's one in the computer room. And I want

01:20:43   want them to be small, unobtrusive, and reasonable looking. And these knit gear,

01:20:49   whatever they think, they were tall, ugly, looked computery, and I

01:20:53   didn't want them in my house. And so it's not to say the Apple ones are great

01:20:58   because the stupid Apple Tower thingy is also big and ugly, but I'm still shopping

01:21:03   based on how these things will look. Like this is one of the reasons that the

01:21:06   Eros have stayed in my house is that they are small and generally unobtrusive.

01:21:11   If they were bigger and uglier, I would have a harder time,

01:21:16   you know, like this is a shopping criteria.

01:21:18   So it is, I mean, the Apple Airport Express

01:21:22   was also small and unobtrusive,

01:21:24   but it was so crappy that you wouldn't want it.

01:21:25   So yeah, Apple has gotten itself out of this business

01:21:28   by just, you know, in Mac Pro style,

01:21:30   by not updating their products for three years

01:21:32   and never having them be particularly good.

01:21:34   And now it's like, we're getting out of the wifi business.

01:21:35   So many people replied,

01:21:37   you've been out of the wifi business for so,

01:21:39   like in case you haven't noticed,

01:21:41   everyone else has been doing these mesh networks and you have been selling this crappy overpriced

01:21:45   thing for three years.

01:21:47   Some people might say good riddance, but my reaction to it was to tweet "Apple out of

01:21:51   everywhere," which is a reference to "USA out of everywhere," which is not that I'm

01:21:56   endorsing this, it was a snark, because that kind of seems, on the decontending front,

01:22:02   the idea that Apple should get out of every single business that is not the iPhone and

01:22:06   is not a potentially multi-billion dollar thing.

01:22:08   Like stop selling everything.

01:22:10   Stop selling USB cable, stop selling lightning cable,

01:22:15   stop selling power adapters,

01:22:17   just stop selling everything.

01:22:19   The bean counter kind of philosophy of just isolation

01:22:22   is concentrate everything on the iPhone,

01:22:24   get out of all these other businesses.

01:22:25   And we kind of feel like we're in this contraction

01:22:30   period right now where they are getting out

01:22:32   of other businesses.

01:22:32   I keep bringing this up from past shows.

01:22:34   They got out of the printer business

01:22:36   And at the time that was a pretty big deal because Apple's printers were similar to Apple's

01:22:40   Wi-Fi routers.

01:22:42   There were some really good ones in the beginning.

01:22:44   The Apple Laser writers were actually pretty cool, like the very early ones.

01:22:47   There weren't really any competitive products that were as cool.

01:22:51   They had a good integration with Apple's products, better than third-party things.

01:22:56   Eventually, in the bad days, when they were just taking Canon inkjet things and wrapping

01:23:01   them up with Apple outsides, they at least looked nicer than traditional printers, but

01:23:05   were all pretty crappy and when Apple stopped making them people were kind of like, "All

01:23:09   right, well, your printers were expensive anyway and they were barely yours and you

01:23:12   should get out of it." But the thing you were talking about, like, now that Apple's

01:23:17   out of it you can look at the better alternatives. How's that turned out for printers? Not too

01:23:20   well. If you look at printers right now, they're all pretty crappy. They're all pretty ugly.

01:23:25   And if there was an Apple one, the same stupid rich people who'd be tempted to buy overpriced

01:23:30   crappy Apple routers because they look nice and are reliable would also be tempted to

01:23:34   to buy stupid overpriced crappy Apple printers in the more of the laser rider vein than the

01:23:38   style rider vein, right? That problem, like the ecosystem problem, has been what a lot

01:23:43   of people are reacting to. We have a couple of random quotes from listeners here. Maxim

01:23:48   says, "All these products working together seamlessly created value. Apple is killing

01:23:51   its own ecosystem." This is Alex says, "There goes the only official way of having a wireless

01:23:56   time machine backup." Which is not strictly true because Apple has recently published

01:24:00   the Apple's time machine over SMB spec, and we'll put a link to it in the show notes.

01:24:04   as we all know from using Synologies, it is possible to have a third-party product that

01:24:07   reliably backs up over time machine, but a lot of people want to just have the ease of saying,

01:24:14   "I don't want to have to shop around to figure out what things are going to work or whatever.

01:24:16   If I just buy all Apple stuff, everything will work together and be nice-looking and pleasant

01:24:20   if I just give them a lot of money." And as they remove pieces of that and say, "Well,

01:24:26   actually that adapter you got to buy from Belkin and printer you got to buy from somebody else,

01:24:29   and they still all suck. And wireless adapter, you got a Wi-Fi thing, you're probably going to

01:24:33   gonna get it from your ISP so you're not gonna buy one anyway but if you do buy

01:24:36   one just you know go to Wirecutter and find out what the good one is and yeah

01:24:39   it'll be ugly and it might be weird and it won't work with all our stuff but

01:24:41   you'll be fine and it is a contracting of the ecosystem to the most essential

01:24:48   elements which is good in that it focuses Apple but as Dan Morin at Six

01:24:53   Colors said, this is quoting him, "It's not as if the iPad or most of the Mac

01:24:57   line has seen an update recently either." So what exactly is the company working

01:25:00   on. Like, if you're gonna, like, the idea of focus is, stop doing that all extraneous

01:25:05   stuff so you can concentrate all your awesome effort on the things that you care about.

01:25:09   And it could be with just a time lag. They are doing that, we just don't see the fruits

01:25:12   of that focus yet. So I hope there are fruits of this focus that come out of it, but in

01:25:17   the meantime, we just get the pain of this focus, which is, now I gotta shop in the nasty,

01:25:23   shiny black plastic world of non-apple peripherals for yet more things that I used to be able

01:25:29   to just throw money at Apple to give me.

01:25:32   Ah, Jon, struggle is real.

01:25:36   All right, is there any way we can avoid talking about the Nintendo Switch?

01:25:42   We could because we're an hour and a half into this, but I don't know if we can squeeze

01:25:45   it in.

01:25:46   No one wants to talk about Brent Simmons' reverse halo effect?

01:25:47   Because I think there's more to say about this Wi-Fi thing and the decontainting.

01:25:50   Oh, yeah.

01:25:51   Margot, do you think you can summarize the reverse halo effect?

01:25:55   Basically the halo effect is when you make the whole ecosystem, as people get into parts

01:26:00   of it, it's kind of easier to get into the rest of it.

01:26:03   Like back in the day when you buy an iPod, then maybe your next computer you might buy

01:26:07   a Mac because you were so impressed by the iPod, you're like well, maybe Apple's computers

01:26:12   are pretty good too.

01:26:14   And same thing with the iPhone.

01:26:15   Anyway, Brent Simmons wrote this post called the reverse halo effect, basically saying

01:26:19   as Apple gets out of various businesses like monitors

01:26:23   and wifi routers and everything,

01:26:25   people who are in the Apple ecosystem,

01:26:27   who used to just throw money at Apple to just solve problems

01:26:30   because things were pretty good for the most part

01:26:32   when you did that, once you start looking outside of Apple

01:26:35   for some of these key things,

01:26:37   maybe you'll start looking outside of Apple more

01:26:40   for more needs and realize, wait a minute,

01:26:43   if I can stop paying $300 for Apple's fancy routers

01:26:47   and I can start getting a really nice router

01:26:49   for like 70 bucks, maybe I could also get really nice

01:26:53   cables from Monoprice and hey, what about that PC monitor

01:26:57   that costs basically nothing?

01:26:59   And then eventually you're buying Android phones and PCs.

01:27:02   - Wait, are you saying they're books

01:27:03   that cost less than $300?

01:27:05   (laughing)

01:27:06   - Only the small ones, not a big one like that.

01:27:08   - Yeah, the cut down model, literally.

01:27:11   (laughing)

01:27:13   Yeah, so I think there's something to this,

01:27:18   to Brent's reverse halo effect.

01:27:20   I don't know how strong it will be.

01:27:23   I'm more concerned about,

01:27:25   if I can summarize, again, this is kind of like

01:27:29   a big feeling like last time where I'm gonna try

01:27:31   to put this into words.

01:27:32   We've had to try to figure out context and meaning

01:27:36   for a lot of Apple decisions recently

01:27:38   that one of the interpretations of them is

01:27:42   Apple might be getting a little too nickel and dimey

01:27:44   or a little too, maybe not greedy,

01:27:47   but just like making decisions that are better for money

01:27:50   than for their products and for their customers.

01:27:52   There have been so many decisions recently

01:27:53   where that is one of the explanations.

01:27:56   And the other explanation is, well,

01:27:58   we can try to figure out why things like the headphone jack

01:28:01   got removed from the 7 and stuff like that.

01:28:03   In the last few years, I feel like the rate at which

01:28:06   we have to make that interpretation,

01:28:07   'cause Apple doesn't really provide it

01:28:09   or provides a weak explanation,

01:28:10   it seems like we keep having to make those excuses

01:28:13   more and more with each new product change

01:28:16   or product end, or product neglect,

01:28:19   we are making a lot of excuses for Apple recently.

01:28:23   We are having to interpret lots of things charitably.

01:28:27   In the same vein of where there's smoke, there's fire,

01:28:31   we are having to explain away decisions Apple's making

01:28:34   as just being by bean counter management,

01:28:36   or just being for nickel and diming,

01:28:38   a little too often recently, and that has me worried

01:28:42   there's a lot of cracks showing in the foundation.

01:28:44   maybe there's a bigger picture thing here that we're all afraid to not only say but to even consider

01:28:50   Until maybe it maybe it's too late

01:28:54   You know the weird thing about the nickel and diming thing is like it's such an obvious explanation for things like

01:28:59   Removing the little wings and you know the other obvious explanations are our research shows that nobody used those wings and they often break off

01:29:05   And it's simpler to not have them and simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and yada yada yada, but

01:29:10   What the other aspect of this that that is weird to me that makes me?

01:29:14   Pull away from the nickel and diming angle although that totally is there

01:29:19   I know there I know for a fact that there are factions inside Apple

01:29:22   Related to hardware and product design that will always argue for saving money if possible because they're gonna make a lot of these widgets as well

01:29:28   There has to be right, but if you look at Apple spending on R&D in recent years

01:29:33   It is gone up hugely and so I when I look at these things

01:29:37   I think they're willing to spend

01:29:39   Vast amounts of money to realize the design vision of their products in terms of like even just the new MacBook Pros

01:29:46   But yeah, they're just unibody aluminum just like everything else surely they've already mastered that process, and there's nothing new about this one

01:29:51   Nope, nope

01:29:52   I'm sure these machines have you know they they probably have new processes and new machines and even if it's just like the part spinning to

01:29:59   Exactly match up the little inside Apple logo

01:30:01   Which they've done on the phones and everything like just doing that at scale and larger things like every product

01:30:06   they make, they seem to be willing to put such huge amounts of money into like, I don't

01:30:11   care what it takes. I don't care if we have to invent a new machine or buy a company that

01:30:14   sells this thing or do just huge, you put huge amounts of initial investment in to make

01:30:20   this perfectly designed product. And yet on the other side of it, we're like, if you're

01:30:25   willing to ramp up your R and D spending, it really has gone up. If you look at like

01:30:28   ASEMCO's charts recently, it's, it is, it is not just like a 5% increase over the past

01:30:32   years it is just like a 45 degree angle slope like it is they're spending so much more money

01:30:38   a lot of that's like oh that's all project titan in the car or whatever i'm not sure what they're

01:30:41   spending on maybe some of it is that but i think they really are investing a lot of money even in

01:30:48   things like just the mac like the little old mac and what it takes to manufacture the mac to you

01:30:53   know to satisfy the vision and then they're also removing the little wings and the little rubbery

01:30:58   thing from the adapter it makes me think that those removals are more explained

01:31:05   by someone's wrongheaded in my opinion idea of you know simplicity we need to

01:31:09   just reduce stuff everything needs to be simpler you shouldn't have little lights

01:31:14   on the adapter that it's orange when it's charging in green when it's done

01:31:17   because that's just one more thing and you should find out that information

01:31:20   another way I don't want to have a little light up button buttons on the

01:31:23   bottom tell your battery charge because that would take up room in the case and

01:31:27   It's just, you know, like it's the computer equivalent

01:31:30   of omit needless words.

01:31:32   Like, do you really need those little wings?

01:31:34   No, get rid of them.

01:31:35   Do you really need that little clip?

01:31:36   People find it annoying, they don't know what it's for.

01:31:37   No, get rid of it.

01:31:38   Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.

01:31:40   And that looks just like that little rubber widget thing

01:31:43   costs 0.001 cents, ditch it, right?

01:31:46   It looks the same from the outside.

01:31:48   And like I said, I know there are factions inside Apple

01:31:51   that do want to argue for cheaping out on things

01:31:54   just because it saves a little bit of extra money.

01:31:56   And it's so hard from the outside to say,

01:31:58   what is actually happening?

01:32:00   On the one hand, we know for a fact

01:32:01   that Apple is spending way more on R&D than they used to.

01:32:04   On the other hand, we know for a fact

01:32:05   that they're canceling product lines

01:32:07   and removing features and things that we know cost money.

01:32:12   Every extra thing that you,

01:32:14   including that stupid power cable with the plug,

01:32:17   costs more money than not including it.

01:32:19   Fact, right?

01:32:20   Did they, removing the little wings and not removing it?

01:32:23   I'm gonna say that that costs more money to have them

01:32:25   because it's another part that they have to deal with.

01:32:28   The little rubber widget thing,

01:32:29   is there really no little rubbery thing on it, Marco?

01:32:31   They got rid of that part?

01:32:32   - No, it's just like a regular iOS lightning cable.

01:32:36   There's just a plug on both ends and a wire in the middle.

01:32:39   - Oh, that's right, it just plugs in this, yeah.

01:32:42   That little rubbery thing,

01:32:43   it costs more money than to not have it.

01:32:46   And so you can ascribe all these things to money

01:32:48   and yet it makes much more sense for me

01:32:50   that it is a wrong-headed attempt at simplicity

01:32:53   or a slut, you know, our opinion,

01:32:55   like they've gone too far or they haven't gone far enough.

01:32:58   If you want that simplicity, then let me charge wirelessly.

01:33:00   That's the ultimate simplicity.

01:33:01   If you're gonna give me a wire,

01:33:03   give me a place to wrap it in a little rubbery thing

01:33:05   or whatever, you know, whatever.

01:33:06   Like that's the problem and not so much

01:33:09   that the bean counters are winning,

01:33:10   but Apple's a black hole.

01:33:12   We have no idea what's really going on.

01:33:13   So we just have to speculate and it's easy to get angry.

01:33:16   Like if you just decide one day,

01:33:17   you know what it's the bean counters, I hate them.

01:33:19   They're decontending every gooseneck in my trunk, right?

01:33:22   And the other days you might be like,

01:33:24   no, actually they're spending tons of money,

01:33:25   they're just spending it on frivolous crap

01:33:27   that I don't care that much about

01:33:29   when I really wish they would just give me a cable

01:33:31   with my power adapter.

01:33:32   And the wifi things, again,

01:33:34   it's a decision that happens in the context

01:33:37   of all the other things we're upset about.

01:33:39   And if you neglect your product for three years,

01:33:42   people shed fewer tears when you cancel it,

01:33:45   because it's gonna happen with the Mac Pro too, right?

01:33:48   If their wireless routers were at the top of their game

01:33:51   everybody loved them and they canceled it, we'd be much sadder than like, well, you know,

01:33:56   I haven't liked their wireless routers either.

01:33:57   Like the worst thing about it is like some people are like, I have an airport and I've

01:34:00   been using it for 10 years.

01:34:01   And they go, oh, well, I guess that really isn't a good business to be in if I buy one

01:34:04   of your things and then use it for 10 years.

01:34:06   Right.

01:34:07   So totally makes sense for them to get out of this business.

01:34:10   But what Dan Morin said still sticks with me is like, if this is a two phase operation

01:34:15   in turning the giant, you know, ship that is Apple step one, get out of businesses you

01:34:19   you don't need to be in.

01:34:21   And step two, redirect all that energy and money

01:34:23   to the products you care about.

01:34:25   We're now experiencing the get out of the business

01:34:27   of that you don't want to be in part.

01:34:30   When do we get the part where all that effort

01:34:33   and money and time and people results in the products

01:34:36   that Apple supposedly does care about

01:34:38   getting much more attention?

01:34:39   Because now it seems like we're in the worst of all worlds.

01:34:41   Like the ancillary products are getting neglected

01:34:44   or canceled and the main products

01:34:47   are not getting substantially more attention,

01:34:50   it seems like, than they used to.

01:34:51   The Mac still seems a little bit neglected

01:34:53   and the iPhone and iOS devices,

01:34:55   they're getting the same amount they always did.

01:34:56   Yearly updates, everything's good there, right?

01:34:58   I don't see them getting fantastically more attention.

01:35:00   So where is this personnel money and resources going to?

01:35:04   I guess we'll find out over the next few years

01:35:07   if they come out with like a hoverboard

01:35:08   or amazing AR thing or something like that.

01:35:11   But on the other thing, specifically on the WiFi thing,

01:35:13   like maybe all those people got put on to the,

01:35:16   Apple's answer to the Google Home or Amazon Echo.

01:35:19   That would be nice, I hope they do do that.

01:35:21   If Apple's gonna make that product,

01:35:23   and it's not just like part of the Apple TV team,

01:35:26   that would be good to take this team

01:35:27   who are making the Wi-Fi routers and redirect them to them,

01:35:29   because I think that is a better product for Apple

01:35:31   than just a simple Wi-Fi router.

01:35:33   But of course, Apple won't tell us,

01:35:34   so we just have to wonder.

01:35:36   - Yeah, you know, it was funny for me to watch the reactions

01:35:41   to this report of Apple ditching the airport routers

01:35:46   because I don't know which one of us,

01:35:49   and I may be guilty of this as well,

01:35:51   which one of us has said, "Oh, Apple should focus,"

01:35:54   but I've heard that a lot.

01:35:56   And then a lot of people seem to be very upset about,

01:35:59   "Oh, Apple shouldn't be killing this product."

01:36:01   And it's like, wow, can we pick one?

01:36:04   Can we as a group pick one?

01:36:06   - Well, but focus means you get more of something else

01:36:09   in exchange for the thing you're removing.

01:36:11   They're just doing the removing, but not doing,

01:36:13   okay, now, again, it could be separated by time.

01:36:16   We have to wait for those resources to be,

01:36:17   so on and so forth.

01:36:18   But that's what people, when they mean focus,

01:36:20   what they really mean is,

01:36:22   the thing that I keep waiting for that I'm not getting,

01:36:24   give me that thing.

01:36:25   And if you need to sacrifice other things to do it, fine.

01:36:28   And what they're getting is, just seeing the sacrifice part.

01:36:31   But no, no, you don't understand.

01:36:32   My important demand was, update the Mac Mini,

01:36:35   or give me an even bigger iPad with a stylus,

01:36:40   or whatever thing it is that you're waiting for,

01:36:42   that's what you want.

01:36:43   And what you're saying with the focus is,

01:36:45   stop doing insert thing that I don't care about,

01:36:48   and start doing the thing I care about.

01:36:49   And instead they're doing,

01:36:50   stop doing the thing that I don't care about,

01:36:53   and then do nothing else different.

01:36:54   You're right, and again, you just have to be patient.

01:36:57   - Yeah, I agree with you.

01:36:59   And I'm not saying that anyone is wrong

01:37:01   to have kind of both opinions,

01:37:03   because they both do make sense.

01:37:06   My gut feeling is that Apple is just pulling out of the things that they just don't really

01:37:11   care about very much, just like you said, and we will see some sort of marked improvement

01:37:18   in other areas in the future.

01:37:19   But in terms of the routers specifically, I'm not personally shedding a tear about this.

01:37:25   I was using an Airport Express, an old one in fact, one of the pancake-looking ones.

01:37:30   I was using one of those until Eros sent us some Eros, and I mean, they didn't sponsor

01:37:35   this episode, but I really like my heroes. They work really well and I've stuck with them,

01:37:41   despite expecting to just plug them in for a week or two and then disconnect them.

01:37:45   And they're not the only option either. I mean, Marco's talked in the past about ubiquity. There's

01:37:50   plenty of other options too. I don't think it's unreasonable for Apple to get out of this business.

01:37:55   I don't think it's core to what they really want to be and what they really want to do.

01:38:00   But I also simultaneously do understand Brent's point that, hey, if they just killed half

01:38:08   the ecosystem, and the ecosystem is now only defined as computers and, well, desktop computers,

01:38:15   portable computers, and hyper-portable computers, that's not much of an ecosystem anymore.

01:38:18   So it's a very double-edged sword, and I'm not sure what the right balance is, but so

01:38:22   far I'm going on faith that the balance is okay.

01:38:25   What do you think about it, Marco?

01:38:27   - I think I'm mostly with you.

01:38:29   I mean, yeah, the whole idea of demanding focus

01:38:33   and everything, there's a huge disconnect here

01:38:38   between how much these things cost to focus on

01:38:41   or to invest in versus not invest in.

01:38:43   Like, I don't think there was a massive staff

01:38:46   still working on the router division,

01:38:49   which hasn't released a router in like three years at least,

01:38:51   and the last one was even a fairly minor update.

01:38:54   I mean, I'm pretty sure that was not like a huge drain

01:38:58   on the company compared to something like the car.

01:39:02   You know, this is a very different level

01:39:04   of investment and focus.

01:39:05   So to say like, oh, well you guys complain

01:39:07   when they break the Mac, but then you want them

01:39:10   to keep making routers and monitors,

01:39:11   like yeah, the routers and monitors division

01:39:14   is really a lot smaller than the Mac division.

01:39:16   And it's, you know, they're spending money

01:39:19   on lots of other things.

01:39:20   Like, you know, and as Jason and Mike talked about

01:39:24   on upgrade this week, they're still making iPods,

01:39:27   multiple models of iPods.

01:39:30   Someone's still buying them, but do you think

01:39:32   the iPod business is really that much healthier

01:39:35   than monitors and airport extremes combined?

01:39:39   It probably is healthier, but by how much?

01:39:41   They still do that, they're still happy to sell those.

01:39:44   I honestly don't know why, and as I mentioned before,

01:39:48   if they could get rid of the iPod business,

01:39:50   they could get rid of a lot of iTunes,

01:39:52   which would help iTunes be less terrible.

01:39:55   So there's even reasons why they should get rid of that,

01:39:58   but they're still doing that

01:39:59   because it's still making money, I guess.

01:40:01   So I don't know, their decisions on what to continue

01:40:06   to support and what to prioritize

01:40:08   and what products should ship

01:40:10   and what products never see the light of day,

01:40:12   it's hard for us to judge 'cause we're not in there.

01:40:14   We don't know everything they're doing.

01:40:15   We don't know the decisions they make

01:40:17   and why they make them and the data they have

01:40:20   and what they base their decisions on.

01:40:22   don't know any of those things. You're trying to kill the iPod, aren't you? You talked about

01:40:26   the, it's not like they're making a lot of money with Wi-Fi routers, now you're like,

01:40:29   I don't understand why they're still, well, I guess that means everybody, as you're listening

01:40:33   to this, wait about a week and then Apple will announce that it's no longer making the

01:40:36   iPod. Thanks a lot, Marco. Now, they're going to go through one more holiday season with

01:40:39   the iPod. They're not going to kill it. They're not going to kill it the week after Black

01:40:42   Friday. Honestly, I think one of the things, although a lot of people, when they saw the

01:40:48   airport thing canceled, they said like, well, I guess the iPod touch is not long for this

01:40:51   Like honestly one of the things that I think is keeping the iPod around is the fact that it's called iPod and that name has

01:40:55   Such resonance with Apple like it's the same reason they keep calling these computers

01:40:59   I'm ax now that they're you know have barely anything in common with the original candy-colored thing

01:41:04   But as I think about the ecosystem argument and the reverse halo effect and stuff like that. I feel like in this case. It's also

01:41:11   slightly tied up

01:41:13   with the Mac being de-emphasized

01:41:16   you know from the perspective of

01:41:19   Mac enthusiasts because the iOS side of things they have an ecosystem

01:41:24   Apple makes iOS devices it updates them regularly. They make battery cases. They make front cases. They make back cases for them. They make you know

01:41:32   Styluses they make keyboards that you know the ecosystem if you were to buy an iOS device Apple will sell you almost everything

01:41:40   That you can use it. They'll sell you a watch that you can use with your iOS device

01:41:44   They will sell you all sorts of things

01:41:48   They're in businesses in the iOS side that we didn't think they would ever get into

01:41:52   There is an iOS device ecosystem and yes, Apple ones are usually not it not the best ones and are more expensive

01:41:58   But if you just want to go all Apple, you know

01:42:00   The joke of many people made they're also in the dongle ecosystem

01:42:04   If you just want to go all Apple for the most part

01:42:06   You can just go lay down a couple hundred bucks and get a lot of white dongles except for the ones that Belkin makes

01:42:10   but anyway

01:42:11   iOS

01:42:12   Seems to be treated now like the Mac used to like they're making the equivalent of printers for for the iOS devices there

01:42:19   They will make every accessory that you could reasonably help to have with iOS

01:42:23   They bought a headphone company so you could plug your headphones into your iOS device and have pants like that

01:42:28   Ecosystem is healthy

01:42:30   It's just because we're over here on the Mac side and for whatever reason we we adopt the Wi-Fi things as part of the Mac

01:42:36   You system because they existed before you know any of the iOS stuff existed, right?

01:42:41   And certainly the monitors are a Mac thing and everything like that. It feels like the Mac side is having its ecosystem

01:42:48   Decontented and everything and but the iOS side. I mean it's holding steady

01:42:53   It's not like they're expanding like we see the Apple hub device based on iOS quite yet

01:42:57   But that's why I feel like this this decision

01:43:00   Almost feels like another stab at the Mac ecosystem and not so much as the Apple ecosystem

01:43:05   It really it's really telling when people we talk about the Apple ecosystem the reverse halo effect or whatever

01:43:10   The Apple ecosystem is not the Mac ecosystem

01:43:12   It hasn't been for a long time, but for certain people people of a certain age as they say in France

01:43:16   The the Apple ecosystem is synonymous with the Mac ecosystem

01:43:21   Even though the numbers have not supported that for you know years and years and years

01:43:25   So that's that's one reason that I think a lot of the same people who are upset about

01:43:30   Neglecting the Mac and not making monitors are also upset about the Wi-Fi things

01:43:35   In fact, a lot of people said to me I wasn't really that upset about monitors

01:43:38   But this this airport thing has really hit me hard

01:43:40   You know, I think people who doesn't sleep over the airport things as well even though this is a three-year-old crappy product

01:43:45   Yeah, so I think we're just gonna have to take our lumps in this one and hope that all this redirected effort doesn't get funneled

01:43:54   into like

01:43:55   New colors of battery cases for iOS devices because that's not the ecosystem

01:43:58   We want to see this effort redirected in or at least I don't anyway and something to it's like I I don't really have strong

01:44:04   thoughts on

01:44:05   The routers being discontinued and I don't really have strong thoughts on the weird new product photography book

01:44:11   They launched I just I do as I said earlier like I do worry about the the overall picture here

01:44:16   Does this indicate a trend going the wrong way?

01:44:20   And and I think we we are seeing again

01:44:24   We're seeing so many things that just seem like we have to really interpret them charitably in order to to avoid the conclusion

01:44:33   that things were going in a direction

01:44:35   that might not be good for us

01:44:38   or that might not be good for Apple?

01:44:41   - Well, don't worry.

01:44:41   If you think about it,

01:44:43   the soon-to-be prior Airport Express

01:44:48   was kind of a cylindrical, towery-looking thing, right?

01:44:52   And that looks almost like a trash can Mac Pro,

01:44:54   so therefore, you're clear to get new Mac Pros

01:44:57   any second now.

01:44:58   (sighs)

01:45:01   - Thanks to our three sponsors this week.

01:45:02   Warby Parker, Pingdom, and Automattic.

01:45:05   And we will see you next week.

01:45:06   (upbeat music)

01:45:09   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

01:45:12   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

01:45:14   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:45:17   ♪ Oh it was accidental ♪

01:45:20   ♪ John didn't do any research ♪

01:45:22   ♪ Marco and Casey wouldn't let him ♪

01:45:25   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:45:28   ♪ Oh it was accidental ♪

01:45:30   ♪ And you can find the show notes ♪

01:45:32   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:45:40   @CASEYLISS, so that's Casey Liss

01:45:46   M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, N-T-M-A-R-C-O-R-M-N

01:45:51   S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A, it's accidental

01:45:59   They didn't mean to accidentally (accidentally)

01:46:04   Tech podcast so long

01:46:09   Uh, did we- did you guys both watch Grand Tour?

01:46:13   I did.

01:46:14   I did.

01:46:14   Uh, I posted a...

01:46:16   I don't know if I'd call it a review, but I guess it was a review, uh, of the first episode on my website.

01:46:22   It is possible that by the time this episode is released that the second episode will be out.

01:46:28   But in summary, there were things that I didn't like, which I'm sure we'll talk about,

01:46:33   but by and large, I thought it was freaking great, and I loved it.

01:46:38   Yeah, I also was very pleased with it.

01:46:42   I did think some parts, like some of the in-studio bits, I thought dragged on a little long.

01:46:49   But I do kind of like... Are we gonna do a spoiler honk or something? Are we spoiling this?

01:46:57   We're spoiling it, it's just a grand tour. Come on.

01:47:00   It's going to be spoiled. So if you haven't seen it at this point, at the very least,

01:47:05   if you haven't seen the first five or so minutes, at least watch that much and then come back to the show.

01:47:11   Yeah. So anyway, big spoiler honk. The whole bit in the middle with like the celebrities.

01:47:19   I kind of, that did go on very long, and it was really cheesy, but I do kind of think like,

01:47:26   - I mean, I'll be honest, I've never been as big

01:47:28   of a Top Gear fan as you, Casey, and every single time

01:47:31   they would sit down and do the celebrity interview,

01:47:34   I would skip that entire section.

01:47:35   I would just fast forward over it until I got to the end,

01:47:38   and then go back to the fun segment

01:47:40   where they're back in the cars doing stuff.

01:47:41   I never cared about the celebrity interviews at all.

01:47:43   So if their cheesy little thing that they did here,

01:47:47   which kind of indicated that they might be killing off

01:47:49   this segment, I consider that a feature.

01:47:52   That's great, I'm looking forward to that.

01:47:54   I do also, before we get into anything else about the show,

01:47:59   I've seen a number of people over the last few days

01:48:01   ask me about my/our support of a show

01:48:05   that features Jeremy Clarkson,

01:48:06   who has done things that are controversial

01:48:09   and in many ways offensive.

01:48:11   And how can we have that point of view

01:48:16   where we enjoy and support the show he's on

01:48:19   while being anti-Donald Trump, for instance,

01:48:23   because he has made comments in the past

01:48:25   that I believe were slightly racist.

01:48:29   I honestly am not that familiar

01:48:30   with whatever the controversies around him have been

01:48:33   besides the more recent thing

01:48:34   where he beat up somebody about a steak or something.

01:48:36   But I will say my opinion of the general answer to this

01:48:39   is I would not want Jeremy Clarkson

01:48:42   being the president of my country.

01:48:45   But it's totally reasonable, in my opinion,

01:48:49   to enjoy his television show.

01:48:51   So that is my answer to that, is that I have very different standards for the president

01:48:57   of my country and a television host.

01:49:00   And those used to be separate jobs.

01:49:02   Yep, I completely agree.

01:49:04   And moreover, I think whenever we hear this sort of angst, nine times out of ten it's

01:49:12   coming from someone who lives in the UK.

01:49:15   And from what I can gather, Clarkson invades the UK popular media in a way that he does

01:49:22   not in the United States.

01:49:24   And the only exposure that the three of us—I'm speaking for you—but the only exposure that

01:49:29   the three of us really have to Clarkson is either Top Gear in the past or Grand Tour

01:49:35   now.

01:49:36   So we don't see any of this stuff that makes the media in the UK, that makes everyone just

01:49:42   viscerally hate him. We don't get to see any of that, which, and because of that, I don't

01:49:49   think he bothers us in a way he very deeply bothers a lot of the UK. But coming back to

01:49:56   the show, I thought it was really good. I couldn't agree more. I thought the parts in

01:50:01   the studio were pretty rough. I thought that the celebrity thing, I agree with you that

01:50:09   The Star in a Reasonably Priced Car was never my favorite segment and oftentimes was really hard to watch.

01:50:15   Oftentimes, in a similar vein, because it was somebody from the UK that I didn't have the faintest idea who it was.

01:50:23   And so I would not shed tears if Star in a Reasonably Priced Car went away. I mean, it obviously would have a different name anyhow.

01:50:30   I thought the shtick about the Air Force was not very funny at all in the same way I thought that the celebrity thing was not very funny at all.

01:50:38   all. Now, by the time this episode is out, I doubt that the latest analog will be out,

01:50:45   but I will put a link in the show notes that will be broken until that episode is released.

01:50:50   But anyway, Mike and I spoke about this on analog at the end of that episode, and Mike

01:50:55   thought both of those were hilarious. And what he had said to me, which was the same

01:50:59   theory I had, was maybe it's just some like British humor thing that he's wired for and

01:51:05   that we're not, but I did not find those segments funny at all.

01:51:08   No, he just has a bad sense of humor. That wasn't funny. There's no planet, there's no

01:51:14   country, there's no anywhere where that, like, I mean, it wasn't like the most painful thing

01:51:18   in the world, but it didn't land. Like it was ill-advised, it was not a good concept,

01:51:22   it was not executed well, just, it was, it was all sorts of wrong. It should not have,

01:51:28   no, just no. I mean, like, I mean, to give you another example, the shooting of celebrities

01:51:34   also probably ill-advised, but at least their execution was slightly better. Like, they

01:51:38   tried to redeem with execution, whereas the Air Force stuff, like, bad idea, also bad

01:51:43   execution, also you're a bad person and you should feel bad.

01:51:46   Also both segments were, like, about 50% longer than they should have been.

01:51:50   Oh, easily.

01:51:51   Yeah, that's part of the badness. It's like the SNL sketch, where it's not working,

01:51:55   it's like, "Well, we gotta play this thing out," right? And they could have fixed

01:51:58   it in editing, but like, we all know when we're watching it, no. Nope, it's not

01:52:02   just like by the time Clarkson comes out with the little trickle of blood in his face like

01:52:06   he this is the guy who just punched someone in the face and got fired from his job and

01:52:09   this is this is where you're going to go with this joke that he's in a fistfight with the

01:52:12   audience. No, yeah, no, no good. I by contrast, however, I thought the opening three or four

01:52:20   minutes were perfect, just fricking perfect from the first frame until they jumped out

01:52:28   of the cars at the, at the, at the, what was it, burning van. I thought that entire segment

01:52:33   was just perfect. And, you know, as Clarkson leaving the BBC headquarters, I believe it

01:52:39   was anyway, and when it was rainy and dreary because, well, London, and then he goes to

01:52:43   Heathrow, gets on a plane to LAX, he comes out of Los Angeles, and there's, you know,

01:52:48   a little bit of a piano riff going and it's kind of sad. And, and then he finds himself

01:52:53   this bespoke Mustang and he pulls out and then you realize it's I forget the

01:52:57   name of the song but you know it's about you know sunshiny days John what's the

01:53:02   name of the song I remember which song we played yeah something about it's a

01:53:06   bright sunshiny day I can see clearly now the rain is gone yeah yeah exactly

01:53:10   it doesn't matter I figured John went out but the point being you know it's

01:53:14   you can hear the lyrics about yes I can see clearly now the rain is gone and

01:53:17   then Clarkson goes driving into the desert by himself in this blue Mustang

01:53:20   and then suddenly he looks to his left and he looks to his right and he and you just

01:53:24   See, maybe he was acting who knows because clearly he knew this was going to happen, but he just genuinely

01:53:30   seems so

01:53:32   Happy and he looks over at May and he looks over at Hammond and all three of them looks so happy in their red white

01:53:38   And blue Mustangs which I'm going to take as an American reference

01:53:41   Even though I am well aware that the Union Jack has the same colors and they drive into this desert where these Mustangs can run

01:53:47   free just like the horses do and they drive up to Burning Van and the first words that

01:53:53   are really said are them making fun of each other for getting fired from everything. I

01:53:57   thought the whole opening was perfect and perhaps more importantly, Jon, you finally

01:54:02   had your moment. You finally had those three cars together. What did you think?

01:54:07   Well, I have some complaints about that.

01:54:09   Do you? You don't say.

01:54:10   Actually, before we do that, I just want to give a slightly different take on the opening.

01:54:16   - I know what they were going for in the opening.

01:54:18   And they were not patting themselves on the back too much,

01:54:23   but by the same token,

01:54:24   there was a little bit of a tone as if they were wronged

01:54:29   or Jeremy was wronged somehow.

01:54:34   And that he- - I can see that.

01:54:36   - Is wronged and is forced to set out on his own

01:54:39   and find a new happiness.

01:54:42   And he was not wronged.

01:54:43   He was in the wrong.

01:54:44   and didn't seem particularly remorseful about it.

01:54:48   Like the tone was, we had a bad thing happen to us,

01:54:53   we're gonna pick ourselves up by our bootstrap

01:54:55   and come back, which is a good story,

01:54:58   but not what actually happened, right?

01:54:59   - Jon, don't ruin this for me.

01:55:02   - All right, I don't wanna go too far into it,

01:55:04   I'm not gonna be late, but anyway.

01:55:05   And I think they're in a difficult position

01:55:08   because what they want to be doing

01:55:10   is still doing top gear, right?

01:55:12   That's what they would like to be doing, but they're not.

01:55:14   they've got to do this other thing.

01:55:15   And so, and they acknowledge that they're like, you know,

01:55:18   they do all the jokes about like,

01:55:19   if they have segments and they have, you know,

01:55:20   like all the things from Top Gear that they can have

01:55:23   without using the names, maybe with a slight twist,

01:55:27   they don't like try to play it off as like,

01:55:29   we just happen to be doing these things

01:55:30   that are a lot like Top Gear.

01:55:31   Like they have to acknowledge it,

01:55:33   but it's difficult to find what is this new show

01:55:38   if it's not just like Top Gear, but not Top Gear,

01:55:41   but slightly worse probably in a couple of ways,

01:55:42   but maybe better in a few too.

01:55:43   So it's a difficult tight rope there.

01:55:47   Now, as for the segments that I actually care about

01:55:49   on the show, which is them doing car stuff,

01:55:52   they did get the three cars there

01:55:54   and I was ready to tear my hair out

01:55:57   watching the three of them try to get those cars

01:55:58   off the line to do a drag race.

01:55:59   (laughing)

01:56:00   Someone call in, I mean, I know it was a bit, right?

01:56:03   But like, I don't want to see you ham-fisted people

01:56:07   pretending to be ham-fisted or really being,

01:56:09   I think they probably really were ham-fisted

01:56:12   a lot of the cases, but some of them obviously,

01:56:14   they're doing it on purpose.

01:56:16   I wanna know how the cars go.

01:56:18   And they have their driver

01:56:20   and they did do them around the track

01:56:21   and they eventually kind of redeemed it.

01:56:22   But like, I feel like this car,

01:56:26   everything about this car test segment

01:56:28   was not up to the best of Top Gear.

01:56:32   Either the best of single host reviews,

01:56:34   'cause I've enjoyed a lot of single host reviews

01:56:36   when that one person just tries out the car

01:56:38   and talks about it.

01:56:40   or the best multi-host things, the camera shots,

01:56:44   like it didn't look like Top Gear exactly.

01:56:47   It looked good, it wasn't bad,

01:56:49   but Top Gear had set such a high bar

01:56:51   for these beautifully shot, moody, rainy, misty things

01:56:55   with an overarching theme.

01:56:57   Like I feel like a good Top Gear car thing

01:56:59   is like my OS X reviews where like you try

01:57:01   to weave a story throughout a thing

01:57:02   that doesn't inherently have a story,

01:57:04   even if just the story is the story

01:57:05   of your opinion of this car, right?

01:57:07   It's a high bar.

01:57:09   I don't think they met it with this, and I was annoyed by their shenanigans when really

01:57:16   they should have been getting on with the car parts of it.

01:57:19   And also, not that I'm annoyed by it, but I have slight disagreement with their, like,

01:57:25   their leveling decisions.

01:57:26   "Oh, we put them all on the same tires, but we didn't level a bunch of other things."

01:57:30   I don't know.

01:57:31   The upshot of this, to spoil the end of this three hypercar thing, the upshot is it's a

01:57:37   non-result because this is within the margin of error, right? Because they were all within

01:57:41   like fractions of a second of each other and you just feel like even though it's the same

01:57:45   driver in every car, maybe that driver is better at dealing with four-wheel drive cars.

01:57:52   Maybe the course had more tight turns and so it favored the Porsche. Maybe like, you

01:57:55   know, although the Porsche came in last, I think. It seemed muddled to me. I'm glad that

01:58:01   so much of the car was, so much of the show was car reviews, but it seemed a little bit

01:58:05   muddled.

01:58:06   I understand that.

01:58:07   I'm sad you're ruining the opening for me

01:58:09   because I really did think it was freaking perfect.

01:58:10   - It's not ruining, it's like, just, you know,

01:58:11   if I had to pick a nit at it,

01:58:13   and like, it takes away from like,

01:58:15   being able to share in their triumph, right?

01:58:17   And also, like the idea of them driving across the desert

01:58:20   with a bunch of yokels with their cars all in the dust,

01:58:22   I was like, you're just ruining your cars

01:58:24   with all the dust.

01:58:24   - Of course.

01:58:25   (laughing)

01:58:26   - Did you see the picture afterwards,

01:58:27   like someone had a vector in there?

01:58:28   It's like, don't drive the vector across the desert,

01:58:30   you're just, that's like a museum piece, you know?

01:58:33   - Oh my God.

01:58:34   - And he said, that belongs in a museum,

01:58:35   belong covered with dust.

01:58:37   That's why your phone has a case.

01:58:39   The Porsche came in first, then the Ferrari,

01:58:42   and then the McLaren, if memory serves.

01:58:44   Anyway, that was always the fear with the other vendors,

01:58:47   is like four-wheel drive is a big advantage in anything

01:58:50   that has lots of tight turns because you can get on the power

01:58:53   sooner after them.

01:58:54   And so it's almost as if you could

01:58:55   put a particular car in the lead by picking the course, right?

01:58:59   Because the Ferrari had the best power-to-weight ratio.

01:59:01   So if you pick the course with power-to-weight ratio

01:59:03   the thing that decides it, then that would be it. But they were so close. It was like

01:59:07   less than half a second between all of them, right? And you don't know how many laps they ran,

01:59:12   and so they always make it seem like, "Oh, you run one lap." That's not how you do it. You try

01:59:15   to go for your fastest lap, and you learn the ins and outs in the car, and just spend a day just

01:59:21   on one car to get your fastest lap. Who knows what they really do under the covers, so it's all kind

01:59:24   of artificial. But I would rather have seen more about them describing how the cars are different

01:59:29   from each other, which they did do when they changed cars and everything, but they had that

01:59:33   that bit with it where I had to use my, you know, rudimentary French to understand what

01:59:36   that test driver was actually saying versus the stupid subtitle gag. Like, I want to hear

01:59:40   what he actually thinks of the cars. I don't care about your, we get it, you're rooting

01:59:44   for your cars, but I still want to actually know what this person thinks of the cars.

01:59:47   That also went on a little bit long. Yeah. Anyway, I would still take the Ferrari.

01:59:52   I would also say I didn't care for the American, the Stig driver segment. I thought that was

01:59:57   a little bit...

01:59:58   I... yeah...

01:59:59   That's like a British person's view of an ugly American.

02:00:01   It's like, yeah, we are, we do have,

02:00:03   there are American stereotypes,

02:00:04   but you're not really like,

02:00:06   you're not really nailing it

02:00:07   with the whole communist thing.

02:00:09   Such a like, the Cold War is over.

02:00:11   Americans are not obsessed with

02:00:13   hating the communists anymore.

02:00:15   There are so many other newer American stereotypes

02:00:17   that you could have latched onto.

02:00:18   But in general, I don't know if that's your best bet.

02:00:21   Just going with like,

02:00:22   this American has the prejudices of Americans

02:00:26   that ugly Americans had in the '80s.

02:00:28   Does he?

02:00:29   Obviously he probably doesn't,

02:00:30   and I don't need to see that,

02:00:31   and the faceless Stig was a much better version

02:00:33   of that character.

02:00:34   - Yeah, but overall though,

02:00:36   I mean, I really did enjoy the show.

02:00:38   Tiff and I both watched it.

02:00:40   We got a lot of laughs from us.

02:00:42   I really did enjoy it quite a bit.

02:00:44   I would say, and Tiff even commented,

02:00:47   and I agreed, the first two minutes of the show

02:00:51   were better than the new official Top Gear,

02:00:54   like the entire episode.

02:00:55   (laughing)

02:00:57   It's already, before anybody even said a word,

02:01:00   it was already better than official new Top Gear.

02:01:03   - Well, it's basically like these three people.

02:01:05   That's the whole reason you're watching this show at all.

02:01:07   It's not the format, it's not the cars,

02:01:08   it's the three people.

02:01:09   - Yeah, as it turns out, if you get three people together

02:01:12   with just unbelievable chemistry, amazing things can happen.

02:01:16   Anyway.

02:01:20   - There's a chemistry in history too, right?

02:01:22   Because you've seen all the other shows with them,

02:01:23   so you're coming in knowing what they think of things.

02:01:27   I think this was a shaky first episode, but I feel like they will eventually hit their

02:01:30   groove.

02:01:31   And even playing all Top Gear, like, it's terrible for so much of the season.

02:01:37   By the end there, they were kind of getting it, but it's so clear that the chemistry doesn't

02:01:41   exist among the, like, you could feel the hate on the screen.

02:01:44   That's not a good look, so, I don't know.

02:01:46   Yeah, well, also, let's not forget, the first couple of seasons of Top Gear—I'm not talking

02:01:51   about the ones in, like, the '50s, I'm saying, like, 2001, 2002, when the Clark's scenario

02:01:56   The first couple of seasons of Top Gear were awful, just terrible.

02:02:01   And the newest season of Top Gear with LeBlanc and Chris Evans, they started really, really bad.

02:02:08   But just like you said, Jon, by the end, it really wasn't that bad at all.

02:02:11   And it's not unreasonable for the first few episodes, if not season, of Grand Tour to be a little bit wonky.

02:02:17   The American, I didn't--I wasn't bothered by it, but I agree with you, Marco.

02:02:21   I didn't think it was very funny. I just thought it was a thing.

02:02:25   And also real-time follow-up, Porsche 918, 154.2, LaFerrari, 154.4, P1, 155.5.

02:02:35   So about a second and a half between all three of them.

02:02:37   Well, let's do the P1 was way behind it.

02:02:39   But they're right that if you had the grip of your tires in the P1, maybe it would have

02:02:42   come in first.

02:02:43   Like, it was so, so close.

02:02:45   The other thing I'm thinking about is, like, the clock ticking on these guys.

02:02:50   I mean, in some respects, like, I like Chris Harris in terms of talking about cars.

02:02:54   any of these guys right I love Chris Harris he should yep you know he should

02:02:57   be on top you're right but these three guys you know known through many years

02:03:02   of watching top gear whatever the problem they had they have increasingly

02:03:05   faced them the problem that will eventually do them in is that very old

02:03:11   cranky probably racist definitely sexist dinosaurs who are ridiculously wealthy

02:03:18   are increasingly difficult to relate to all right that's the problem they're

02:03:23   They're not getting any younger. They're not getting any more progressive

02:03:26   Their concerns are not your concerns. They all have million dollars millions of dollars worth of cars

02:03:31   And we like you know

02:03:33   It's it's fun to see them be able to talk about multi-million dollar cars the same way you would talk about like

02:03:39   Things that everyone can afford but they will slowly become more and more distant

02:03:44   from

02:03:46   The audience and I mean I think it's you know

02:03:48   Rebooting that's why we're doing top year because Harris is better because like don't bring in another old guy, right?

02:03:53   And that's part of what we love about these guys.

02:03:55   They're old curmudgeons and we laugh at them

02:03:58   as much as we laugh with them.

02:03:59   And their attitudes are weird.

02:04:01   But every time they talk to each other about things

02:04:03   and get real for a second, you realize just

02:04:05   what a whole different world they exist in.

02:04:08   A whole different world of cars, of life,

02:04:11   of expectations of just, you know,

02:04:15   like the best is when their enthusiasm for cars comes through

02:04:18   because that's the leveler.

02:04:19   It's like, I don't care if you have millions of dollars.

02:04:20   We all love these cars.

02:04:21   And I think they do love the cars, and that comes through.

02:04:24   The worst is when they try to be relatable to the audience,

02:04:28   but don't realize their audience are not

02:04:30   multimillionaires with Ferraris.

02:04:33   And it doesn't quite connect.

02:04:35   So I mean, eventually, they're just

02:04:37   going to age out of this biz, either by not being able to keep

02:04:41   up with the schedule or just by no longer being

02:04:45   able to connect with the important demos.

02:04:47   So enjoy Grand Tour while you can.

02:04:50   I think it's got a couple of seasons and eventually it's not going to be tenable.

02:04:53   Well, I think they've signed up for three years, if I'm not mistaken.

02:04:57   Yeah, they can do three.

02:04:58   No problem.

02:04:59   They can do three in their sleep.

02:05:00   And Jeremy probably will be sleeping through most of it.

02:05:02   Yeah, but I'm guessing the total number of years of Grand Tour is probably under ten

02:05:09   for sure and possibly under six.

02:05:11   Yeah, I'd probably agree with that.

02:05:13   I mean, I do love it, but…

02:05:14   I also do worry—like, the whole thing of the Grand Tour, they're going to different

02:05:18   places, right?

02:05:19   I do worry that their worst instincts about how to be amusing in different countries will

02:05:29   not serve them well.

02:05:30   We'll see.

02:05:31   They define in America, you know, like, whatever.

02:05:35   I don't think they embarrass themselves in the American one, even if a lot of stuff they

02:05:39   did fall flat, but there is a great potential for them, especially if they have lots more

02:05:43   creative control than they used to and people aren't telling them no, to reveal what dinosaurs

02:05:49   they are by going to other countries and trying to do things that are funny going, "Huh, right?

02:05:52   Isn't that funny guys?" And we're like, "No, no, you're being the worst kind of British

02:05:57   colonials." But we'll see.

02:05:58   I'm looking forward to the next episode, which here's yet another advantage of living in the

02:06:06   one true time zone because it airs, or at least the first episode anyway, aired at midnight in

02:06:12   one minute in UK time. That means it's seven in the evening for us, which is extraordinarily

02:06:18   Convenient so we actually got to watch the Grand Tour on

02:06:21   Thursday evening even though the UK had to wait until Friday because we are the one true time zone

02:06:26   Amazon video was letting me down though because I watched an Amazon video right and I watched on my iPad

02:06:33   And I just could not get it to give me a high quality stream

02:06:37   It was giving me this blocky crap

02:06:39   And I don't want to see beauty shots of hyper cars with giant compression artifacts on

02:06:45   to look nice.

02:06:46   Yeah, yeah.

02:06:47   And so that was the—and I don't know what to do in the app to make that not happen.

02:06:50   It's not like my internet connection isn't fast enough.

02:06:52   It's not like I was doing it—like I wasn't watching it like the second it was out where

02:06:55   I was competing with everybody else.

02:06:56   I was watching it days later, and it just—it was just chunky.

02:07:01   So thumbs down, Amazon video.

02:07:02   I don't know what your deal is.

02:07:04   For me, I hooked up my MacBook Pro to my TV with the oh-so-convenient HDMI port that's

02:07:10   right on the computer and did it that way.

02:07:13   And I saw no issue with it.

02:07:15   I thought it worked great.

02:07:16   I'd heard other people, though, say that trying to airplay from an iPad or an iPhone to their

02:07:22   TV did not work well.

02:07:24   And I've got to also say that this is the first time in my life that I've wanted anything

02:07:29   more than a 1080 TV.

02:07:32   Because our videos that we record, we almost always record on our iPhones, and for the

02:07:36   last couple of years now have been 4K, and that's great.

02:07:41   But I was there for most of these recordings.

02:07:45   I know what they were.

02:07:46   And now the Grand Tour being recorded in 4K,

02:07:50   man, I kinda want a new TV now.

02:07:52   - Also, first of all, so do I.

02:07:54   Second of all, for whatever it's worth,

02:07:55   I did airplay it from the Amazon Video app on my iPad

02:07:59   to my Apple TV, and it was great.

02:08:01   The stream was always seemingly high bit rate.

02:08:04   Like, I never noticed any compression artifacts

02:08:06   or anything else.

02:08:07   It didn't seem to drop down to any lower crappy bit rates.

02:08:09   It was perfect, it was flawless.

02:08:10   It integrated flawlessly with the pause and play button on the Apple TV remote.

02:08:15   It didn't do anything weird.

02:08:17   It didn't put the iPad to sleep in the middle of it or anything.

02:08:19   It was just great.

02:08:20   It worked perfectly.

02:08:21   That's the thing about streaming.

02:08:22   The inconsistency of streaming is still there despite the massive bandwidth they have.

02:08:26   These streams are such a tiny fraction of the bandwidth that even the worst, any interaction

02:08:31   that counts as broadband, cable or certainly files, this is nothing compared to that.

02:08:36   And yet, you never quite know what you're going to get depending on factors that you

02:08:40   you have no idea about.

02:08:41   Whereas if you're recording something on TiVo off your cable, you are at the mercy of however

02:08:46   the cable company decides to compress that channel, but basically if you get that channel,

02:08:51   it looks the same for you as it does for your neighbor, it'll look the same next week as

02:08:54   it does now because it is just always the same.

02:08:57   You know, the difference between broadcast and, you know, point-to-point IP type streaming.

02:09:02   So when streaming works, it's great.

02:09:04   When it doesn't, I find it very frustrating.

02:09:06   Like, especially if the player doesn't give you any control because YouTube and stuff,

02:09:09   You can say, "Do auto quality or just do 1080."

02:09:12   And if you do 1080 and it's not coming down in real time, you can just pause it and walk

02:09:15   away and hopefully it will spool up and then you can watch it in 1080, right?

02:09:18   I would have done that with this.

02:09:19   If there was a thing that I could have changed that I couldn't find in the app that says,

02:09:22   "Please only give me the highest quality version," I will wait for it to download.

02:09:25   Just pull it down and spool it up and then I'll start playing it.

02:09:28   Instead, I just had to watch a blocky for reasons that are completely inexplicable and

02:09:32   could have gone away two days later for no reason.

02:09:35   other thing is that I totally understand it, but it bums me out that there's no download option

02:09:41   because I am a pack rat. I'm a digital pack rat. I want a copy of this episode, and Amazon doesn't

02:09:47   provide a way for me to do that. And in fact, even though my streaming experience was great,

02:09:52   I would probably choose to download it and then watch a local file if Amazon provided the option

02:09:59   of doing so, then trying to stream it. So that's kind of crummy.

02:10:04   - Oh, I absolutely would too, but I mean,

02:10:06   you know, the way you've acquired all of your other

02:10:10   downloaded Top Gear files, I think you can probably

02:10:12   attempt that same method for this.

02:10:14   - I don't know what you're talking about.

02:10:16   (loud thud)