101: Big Plastic Finger


00:00:00   I have too many freaking t-shirts.

00:00:01   I made the mistake of using my,

00:00:04   the system I have for storing t-shirts

00:00:05   is like my nerd t-shirts go on hangers

00:00:08   instead of being folded up.

00:00:09   And I figured that's fine when I have two nerd t-shirts

00:00:12   and I have a thousand nerd t-shirts

00:00:14   and half my closet is nerd t-shirts and hangers.

00:00:17   I just really need more closet space.

00:00:19   That's the main problem.

00:00:20   (electronic beeping)

00:00:22   - We should probably actually start the show.

00:00:23   So we have some follow-up from all the way

00:00:26   across the planet in Australia.

00:00:28   John, would you like to tell us about what Wade from Australia said?

00:00:31   This is the best theory I've heard so far, although it's still kind of vague and shaky

00:00:36   because based on fake products and rumors of why a 12-inch MacBook Air might only have

00:00:43   one USB port on it instead of two.

00:00:46   Oh, geez.

00:00:47   I cannot wait for this thing to come out so we can stop talking about it.

00:00:49   Yeah.

00:00:50   No, but that's the worst part of the rumor.

00:00:51   It's like, yeah, we're retinas green, really thin, blah, blah, blah, blah.

00:00:54   And like the one they throw is like, one port?

00:00:56   Why would you do that on purpose?

00:00:57   And then you're like, I just, I need to have a reason

00:01:00   because it just doesn't make any sense otherwise.

00:01:04   So this is about the PCI express lanes.

00:01:06   How many PCI express lanes are supported

00:01:09   by the core M chip set that we assume

00:01:11   this fake product will use.

00:01:12   And according to Wade from Australia,

00:01:16   it supports 12 lanes of PCI express, four gigabits per lane.

00:01:20   So it means you need more than two lanes per USB 3.1 port

00:01:24   if you want the full speed, which I would assume they do.

00:01:27   So if you start adding up the ports,

00:01:29   you end up with one lane for the PCI Express SSD

00:01:32   and one for like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and stuff like that.

00:01:35   And you can get the chip set

00:01:37   with different combinations of lanes.

00:01:38   And Wade's speculation is that

00:01:41   if you can fit everything in four lanes,

00:01:45   then you don't have to,

00:01:46   you can get a chip set that just has those four lanes

00:01:48   you don't need to spend power

00:01:50   like pulling the other lanes for devices.

00:01:51   Like in other words, you could shut down some of the lanes.

00:01:55   You're going to need more than four single lanes just for USB 3.1

00:02:00   So you need three lanes for that and two more for other radios in the SSD

00:02:03   So you're already at five if you want to add another port you have to bump it up at least from five to eight

00:02:09   And I guess all this depends on do you really get a big power savings from keeping it at or under four at or under?

00:02:15   Five like is there a point at which?

00:02:17   You have to spend like the power budget takes a leap is just you know does it not scale linearly so

00:02:24   PCI Express lanes are a sort of the

00:02:26   the

00:02:28   currency of the internals of

00:02:30   modern Macs in terms of how many do you have and then what can you spend them on and stuff like that because you know

00:02:34   Once you're out of them, you're out of them. And all the other thing is that USB

00:02:38   3.1 is not built into the chipsets. That's why you need to use PCI Express lanes

00:02:42   not like it's not it's not integrated into the chipsets, so

00:02:45   I

00:02:48   Buy more of these theories because it plays into

00:02:51   hardware constraints that Apple doesn't have control over and also power saving but you know

00:02:56   It's a speculated machine from a mock-up and we don't know exactly what kind of trash they have and you never know

00:03:02   What kind of crazy stuff that Apple has inside their laptops again with the history of the repackaged chip in the original MacBook Air

00:03:09   Who's to say the things that are offered by Intel right now are the things that constrain Apple specifically?

00:03:15   So we'll wait and see I don't I don't think we've ever actually seen correct me if I'm wrong

00:03:19   but just off the top of my head here,

00:03:21   I don't think we've ever actually seen Intel

00:03:24   give Apple access to a chipset, or even a chip itself,

00:03:29   that wasn't available on the market,

00:03:31   with the one exception of the original MacBook Air,

00:03:33   but that was only a, that was like a physical repackaging,

00:03:36   like to make the pins smaller, but like the chip,

00:03:38   the die was still the same

00:03:39   as what everyone else was getting.

00:03:40   - Well, I assume Apple would be willing

00:03:42   to put another chip on the board

00:03:44   that's not part of Intel's chipset,

00:03:45   like, well, the chipset has this,

00:03:46   and then we buy from whatever other weird manufacturer

00:03:49   that we have some relationship with for iOS hardware or something.

00:03:51   This other chip that gives I mean, they have to add a chip anyway

00:03:55   for the USB three controller.

00:03:56   And so who is making that controller chip for them?

00:03:59   They could probably get that company to make a special chip just for them.

00:04:03   And I don't know, like I'm not willing to rule out almost anything

00:04:07   because Apple has such incredible volumes and such leverage with with chip makers

00:04:12   that, yeah, they more or less can't make Intel do special things for them.

00:04:15   But at this point, like if you look at the Iris Pro graphics and everything,

00:04:18   who has been leaning on Intel so hard for the many, many years to improve their GPUs?

00:04:24   I would attribute a lot of Intel's recent GPU focus on the things that Apple said that

00:04:29   it needs from them and has influenced their multi-year roadmap.

00:04:32   They don't get it exclusively, everybody gets it, but that kind of focus and the fact that

00:04:38   these chips show up in Apple's machines, I would assume there's a lot of influence there

00:04:42   in terms of what Intel decides to make.

00:04:46   So we also had some feedback from Tom Holliday.

00:04:51   He had said that the rumored 12-inch lack of Thunderbolt sorrows me.

00:04:55   The MacBook Air plus 27-inch Thunderbolt display configuration allows "sesile components"

00:05:00   – I've never heard that word before.

00:05:02   Look it up!

00:05:03   I thought it was like a typo for several.

00:05:06   I don't know.

00:05:07   Nope, it's not.

00:05:08   It's a word.

00:05:09   "Sesile."

00:05:10   SAT word.

00:05:11   Of an organism, for example, a barnacle fixed in one place or immobile.

00:05:15   Ah, gotcha.

00:05:16   - There's a word, I learned that word as a description

00:05:18   of my friend's cat when I was in high school.

00:05:21   That was the SAT word association.

00:05:23   (laughing)

00:05:24   Dan's cat is sessile and it's true.

00:05:27   - Okay, so the Thunderbolt,

00:05:28   the MacBook Air plus 27 inch Thunderbolt display

00:05:30   configuration allows sessile components

00:05:32   like external hard drives, scanners, and printers,

00:05:34   and a 27 inch display to be set up for the desktop

00:05:37   while the MacBook retains portability.

00:05:39   - Yeah, I put this in the notes because

00:05:42   we talked about this in the past shows,

00:05:45   But all these things that you get out of Thunderbolt,

00:05:48   in terms of having multiple devices going through one

00:05:51   particular chain, you could approximate them.

00:05:55   You get the display.

00:05:56   You get the USB.

00:05:58   You could have a USB type hub thing.

00:05:59   You could connect hard drives through USB.

00:06:03   And it wouldn't be maybe as nice or as fancy as Thunderbolt is.

00:06:07   But the question that I had that this brought to mind

00:06:09   is, does this mean-- if Apple comes out with this thing,

00:06:13   You know thunderbolts is off most of those machines and everything is USB 3

00:06:16   Assuming they ever revise their stupid monitors does the next equivalent of the Thunderbolt display?

00:06:22   Try to replace the Thunderbolt display with one that connects just through USB

00:06:28   Or is that not something they're interested in anymore because I use the same arrangement like you have a portable machine you plug one cable

00:06:35   Into it and then you have all the other ports that don't fit on the laptop and it's a really nice arrangement

00:06:40   That will go away with this unless Apple comes out with a new display

00:06:44   That's like their USB hub display where you know the the external monitor

00:06:48   It's one cable you plug it in and you get a USB hub where you can hook up all your hard drives and everything and you

00:06:53   Also get the display all through a single cable

00:06:55   And I would certainly hope that they would because I have lusted after the Thunderbolt display since it was a thing

00:07:01   It's been like two or three years now, right?

00:07:04   But anyway, I've wanted one so badly

00:07:07   but I'm way too cheap to buy one and I would hope that they would still do this kind of a setup, but I

00:07:12   am extremely skeptical that they would do this kind of a setup because

00:07:16   Apple just I mean when is Apple ever really believed in in a docking station there was that one where like the the whole entire

00:07:22   Folded up laptop slid into it Stephen Hackett is furious right now. I don't remember the name of it duo doc

00:07:28   Thank you

00:07:29   But I mean other than that like docking station is not really a thing which is

00:07:32   Actually kind of frustrating to me because I work in an office full of Dells where they all have these docking stations

00:07:37   Which are aesthetically hideous, but functionally awesome, and I kind of wish that my Mac would do something similar

00:07:44   But yeah, I I don't know. I don't see them really putting too much effort into that

00:07:49   Well, I mean the answer to that is those like Belkin and Thunderbolt dock things, but nobody really buys those as far as I can tell

00:07:55   Well, they're so expensive. Well, I mean, yeah, I mean now I think they're like 200 bucks down from 300

00:08:00   but still it's still a lot but still like

00:08:02   I don't see I think if this is the direction Apple is going with all of their laptops

00:08:07   They might be concerned with things like this, but for this one model

00:08:11   I don't think we need to read too much into again and again this is assuming it's all correct with these rumors

00:08:16   but I don't think I have to read too much into it because

00:08:19   You guys are all talking about from the perspective of people who use laptops

00:08:23   much of the time or most of the time as desktops with a bunch of stuff plugged into them and have these these heavy external needs I

00:08:31   I think it's a good idea for most of Apple's laptops to cater to that because that is probably how most laptops that are sold are actually used.

00:08:38   Especially with power users where you're plugging a bunch of stuff in and might have an external monitor and stuff.

00:08:43   But I think there is nothing wrong with Apple having a model in the lineup that does not cater to being plugged into stuff all the time.

00:08:51   That won't be good at that. I mean the original MacBook Air was awful about that.

00:08:56   The newer ones only got better because of Thunderbolt.

00:08:59   I think there is nothing saying that Apple needs

00:09:04   to solve the problem of lots of good external bandwidth

00:09:08   or external ports or anything like that

00:09:10   with this model of MacBook.

00:09:12   I think they could be just fine with this one,

00:09:14   mostly made to be portable, to not be used

00:09:18   while plugged into a bunch of stuff most of the time.

00:09:20   - Yeah, you know, I think you might be onto something there

00:09:23   because now that I'm thinking about my own example

00:09:25   of work in docking stations, I think a lot of the reason

00:09:28   we have the docking stations everywhere and dual monitors everywhere is just because it's nice to

00:09:33   have it. But for non-developers, you know, my company that I work for is probably half business

00:09:40   consultants and half technical consultants like myself. For the business folks, I think they like

00:09:46   having a second monitor, but I would guess that most of them would tell you, "Well, you know,

00:09:51   if it went away, whatever." And so if I think about it, typically they're not plugging in an

00:09:57   external hard drive. Typically they're not plugging in Ethernet. Typically they're not

00:10:01   plugging in an external monitor unless it just happens to be sitting there. So generally

00:10:05   speaking a lot of these folks all they plug in is power to your point Marco and that's

00:10:09   it. And so would it really matter if this hyper portable computer only can take power

00:10:14   in one other thing? Maybe not. You know the this Macbook Air two things about it like

00:10:21   potentially like can't they just have one model on the line. One I think the rumor maybe

00:10:25   Maybe not this specific when we were talking about the 9-5 Mac one, but for the past few

00:10:28   years it was like, "Oh, the 11 and the 13 are going away and it will just be replaced

00:10:31   by a single 12."

00:10:33   If that ends up being the case, it's fine for them to have one model that would be like

00:10:37   this, but if you're replacing two models with it, it seems weird that, you know, for the

00:10:42   people who wanted something ultra-portable and you don't care about the ports, the 11

00:10:45   inch makes sense, and for the people who want a bigger, sort of more full-sized laptop than

00:10:48   the 13 inch, but if you replace them both with the 12, it's kind of weird for it to

00:10:53   say that oh you know you can't use this one like use other ones like to revert to the original

00:10:57   macbook air but there is an advantage to not using thunderbolt and it mostly has to do with the

00:11:02   annoying nature of thunderbolt so as we have a thunderbolt display here and a macbook air

00:11:07   and it's got the little little squid type cable coming out the end of it where it's got the mag

00:11:14   safe power thing to power your laptop from the monitor and then it also has the thunderbolt cable

00:11:20   And part of it is that they made the little squid tentacles too short,

00:11:24   so that because they're on opposite sides of the MacBook Air,

00:11:26   you have to put the Thunderbolt on the left side facing you and the power on

00:11:30   the or whatever is the opposite, the power on the left side of the Thunderbolt

00:11:33   on the right. And the Thunderbolt connector,

00:11:36   because it has a chip in the connector itself,

00:11:38   it sticks out like an inch from the computer with this big, you know, inflexible,

00:11:43   you know, the hard plastic part of the connector.

00:11:46   And it's just not it's not great.

00:11:48   Like the cables have are sharp angles and it makes the thing wider and it's not nice-looking

00:11:54   With the USB thing, even though it can't do all the things that Thunderbolt can do

00:11:59   One the cable won't have a giant inch long hard plastic connector sticking out of it

00:12:04   It can be a much, you know smaller more flexible thing and two if they combine the power with it

00:12:09   You also won't need to have the split squid thing where you have the mag save on one side and you know

00:12:14   You will literally be able to plug in just one cable instead of right now

00:12:17   "Oh, it's one cable, but it splits in two at the end."

00:12:20   And that splitting is kind of annoying.

00:12:21   Every time you take it apart, you gotta take it,

00:12:23   you know, pull the things out from each other

00:12:26   and then it slides behind the thing.

00:12:27   If you just have one little cable that was a USB cable,

00:12:29   I would, it would be easier to sort of plug and unplug.

00:12:32   And I'm generally anti-dock

00:12:33   because of the whole docking procedure being awkward.

00:12:36   I'd much rather just put it down on the desk

00:12:38   and plug in one small cable.

00:12:39   - Yeah, I agree with you.

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00:13:40   Now Casey, you're a consultant.

00:13:42   - Indeed.

00:13:44   How is the world of time tracking out there?

00:13:46   I've only been a consultant briefly,

00:13:48   so I don't really know much about it.

00:13:50   Is this a problem?

00:13:51   Is this a challenge?

00:13:53   - It's a challenge if you're doing more

00:13:56   than one thing at once.

00:13:57   I'm lucky enough that generally speaking,

00:13:59   I only have one client.

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00:14:03   and then I go home.

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00:14:12   for myself, so I was just--

00:14:13   I think I should have C#.

00:14:15   Right.

00:14:16   I taught myself C#.

00:14:17   We're going to get so much hate mail.

00:14:19   I taught myself C#.

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00:15:28   Once again, I'm letting Casey track his hours

00:15:30   with C hashtag perfectly fine.

00:15:32   (laughing)

00:15:34   - Yeah, one more thing I'll add to the stall

00:15:36   bottom of the power.

00:15:37   We briefly mentioned it before,

00:15:39   but it's worth mentioning again.

00:15:42   The idea-- we talked about, oh, get rid of MagSafe.

00:15:44   Can you power it through USB?

00:15:46   Yes, you can.

00:15:47   Despite that, that you could either use MagSafe or USB,

00:15:51   people also are interested in the idea of powering it

00:15:53   the way the watch is powered, with a thing that

00:15:56   doesn't plug into it, but a thing that sort of attaches

00:15:58   to the outside.

00:15:59   Please don't.

00:16:00   Please.

00:16:00   It's such a bad idea.

00:16:02   And I don't think that makes any sense, because USB will work.

00:16:06   We know that.

00:16:07   It'll be fine.

00:16:09   I'm not sure what the advantage would be to having a big, warty sort of metal thing that

00:16:16   you place on top of it.

00:16:19   Space is already at a premium and I'm not sure where you would put that.

00:16:23   And then who wants to have a bunch of connectors with a big circle metal thing?

00:16:27   I'm not even sure how that will work with the watch.

00:16:29   Another thing is having some kind of pad or something to use inductive charging where

00:16:34   you put it on the pad and it charges.

00:16:36   That is a little bit better appeal because then you're not plugging stuff in, you're

00:16:38   just chucking it down and you put stuff on the pad.

00:16:40   I'm not sure how fast those chargers are, but it could be done.

00:16:44   The problem pads have is, I think you still need something that you plug in, because yeah,

00:16:49   you've got a pad in the place where you put it in your home, but when you travel, do you

00:16:52   want to travel with a big pad or a little adapter?

00:16:55   Having something to plug, the smallest possible thing that you can plug in, would be nice.

00:17:00   Someone in the chat room asked, "Why would the pad have to be big?"

00:17:02   Well, if it's small, then again, you're worrying about alignment issues or something.

00:17:06   The whole idea is you just want to put the thing down somewhere and not align it and

00:17:09   not stick a little warty thing on it.

00:17:12   Plugging a little tiny thing into a little tiny port is actually very straightforward

00:17:15   and fast compared to, at least in the past, the type of things that they've had where

00:17:19   you put your phone down on a certain pad or whatever.

00:17:21   That's why you want it to be kind of like a big thing where it doesn't matter where

00:17:23   you put it, just put it anywhere, it'll charge, it'll be fine.

00:17:26   So that's possible, but Apple really hasn't gone there and I think it mostly has to do

00:17:30   with just the space that type of solution would take up and the fact that plugging in

00:17:34   seems to work.

00:17:35   The final one, which I think is the most fun one, it was brought to my attention by someone

00:17:39   whose name is now lost to the midst of time.

00:17:42   Someone sent me a link to a YouTube video called "Wytricity for wirelessly sending power."

00:17:46   We'll put links to it in the show notes.

00:17:49   The website is wytricity.com.

00:17:50   You can take a look at it.

00:17:52   And it made me recall our past conversations about the Artemis PSEL stuff for sort of doing

00:17:59   targeted wireless to avoid interference and everything where you pre-calculate the sort

00:18:04   of interference map of all the different sources of wireless and you focus the signal destined

00:18:10   for your laptop right on your laptop.

00:18:12   And one of the vague, rumor-y kind of hinty things was like, "Oh, we might be able to

00:18:16   use this for something more than just sending data."

00:18:18   And I think that was a hint at like, we could do wireless power because once we have the

00:18:23   ability to focus a particular signal on a particular location, we can power things that

00:18:28   way as well.

00:18:31   Both of those seem crazy to me, but crazy in a fun way.

00:18:34   I guess you could like, you know, accidentally slowly bake the inside of your hand if it's

00:18:39   aiming the wireless power at the wrong spot and it's sort of microwaving your hand, that

00:18:42   would be bad.

00:18:45   But I don't know, like all of these, all these things that are possible, you know, because

00:18:50   every time powering stuff comes up, people are like, this is not new technology, inductive

00:18:53   stuff is not new, wireless power is not new, this is the things that work, you know, someone

00:18:57   will bring out Nikola Tesla and say that we had this hundreds of years ago and just, you

00:19:01   know, whatever.

00:19:03   The physics and the technology behind it all seems to be there, but the products, like

00:19:07   the products that people... it hasn't caught on to the degree that other technology has.

00:19:12   Where, usually, you know, when... if something is going to gain traction, like really high

00:19:16   res screens, like, well, do people really want that?

00:19:18   Yeah, they more or less do.

00:19:20   Even though they can't really tell, it just catches on, it goes through everything, and

00:19:22   pretty soon the giant chunky pixels will be gone from a handheld device.

00:19:25   It's just because it's better, it's unequivocally better, everybody likes it better, you can

00:19:29   do more things with it, it looks sharper, even if most people can't tell, it's good.

00:19:32   inductive charging, wireless power, all those things have not made that

00:19:38   breakthrough. Is it because they just haven't been done right or is it because

00:19:42   the thing they're trying to replace is not as annoying as people think it is

00:19:47   and people don't mind just plugging something in and it's more

00:19:50   straightforward or I don't know. But I would love to see one of these things

00:19:56   I've never used any of these for any appreciable period of time but I'd love to

00:19:59   to see one of them actually end up being like the new thing because all of them have that

00:20:03   sci-fi kind of feel where it's like plugging things in it's like you know Back to the Future

00:20:08   which we should celebrate Back to the Future Part 2 which is celebrated because we are

00:20:10   now in the year of Back to the Future Part 2 where he sees the what was it the name of

00:20:15   the video game in the future.

00:20:18   Diana what the hell was that?

00:20:20   I haven't seen Back to the Future 2 in years.

00:20:24   Anyway Marty McFly goes over to it and he picks up the little plastic like gun thing

00:20:29   at the screen like use your hands it's like a baby's toy well you plug it in

00:20:34   how barbaric we're not there yet but it would be cool John I love that Marco and

00:20:39   I have beaten you down to the point that you have to go on a preamble to make

00:20:43   your pop culture reference make sense I just couldn't remember the name of the

00:20:47   thing was I don't know one in the chat room has it yet

00:20:49   face was here she would know it's it's a like a Western and shoot-em-up game wild

00:20:53   - I'm old.

00:20:54   - I'm old.

00:20:55   - Someone in the chat room thinks I can't tell if that's.

00:20:57   - Right.

00:20:58   - Anyway.

00:20:59   I'm old.

00:21:01   - Oh goodness.

00:21:02   - Now I think everyone who's searching for

00:21:06   all these crazy complex systems of charging this

00:21:09   theoretical rumored laptop,

00:21:10   I think you know, John, what you said a minute ago,

00:21:12   like almost all of these, even if they worked,

00:21:15   would probably be more annoying

00:21:16   or have other big downsides in practice.

00:21:19   The fact is, if it still has any ports at all,

00:21:23   then it's worth just charging it with a cable

00:21:25   because that's going to be better.

00:21:27   No matter what kind of cable that is,

00:21:28   that's going to be better

00:21:29   than any other kind of weird induction or wireless

00:21:32   or matte induction or clip-on induction kind of schemes.

00:21:35   Like it's just none of those things,

00:21:38   if you actually think about what it would be like

00:21:39   to use them in practice, in real life,

00:21:42   I just don't think any of those things

00:21:44   would be overall less annoying and better

00:21:46   than just a decent cable.

00:21:48   And they already have decent cables.

00:21:49   MagSafe is pretty good.

00:21:50   Like there's nothing wrong with MagSafe.

00:21:54   And if they end up using the USB power thing to do that,

00:21:57   that's probably gonna be perfectly fine too.

00:22:00   It's probably not a big deal.

00:22:01   The only reason the watch has to do it really is

00:22:04   because the watch is water sealed.

00:22:06   So the watch has no openings.

00:22:08   So they had to do some kind of other system

00:22:11   besides a cable that just plugs in.

00:22:13   And it clips onto this giant,

00:22:15   is the back plate sapphire or is it ceramic or something?

00:22:19   It's something that's not metal because if you would clip

00:22:22   with MagSafe, this giant metal disk onto a metal laptop,

00:22:26   it would scratch the hell out of it.

00:22:28   Just like the iPad 3 smart cover,

00:22:30   or the iPad 2 smart cover, the metal one.

00:22:33   So all these things are like,

00:22:35   they're searching for solutions to what really isn't

00:22:38   that big of a problem, which is a laptop that has any ports

00:22:40   at all can still have a power plug and that'll be fine.

00:22:43   - Fair enough.

00:22:45   You don't, wait, you don't think there's anything wrong

00:22:48   with MagSafe?

00:22:49   I will admit I liked MagSafe 1 better than MagSafe 2.

00:22:52   MagSafe 2 comes out accidentally more easily in the vertical direction when pressed.

00:22:59   But it's not that bad.

00:23:00   Like other than that, that's my only problem with it.

00:23:03   I'm a little bit...

00:23:05   I think the weakness of MagSafe, both versions, is the tiny little contacts.

00:23:11   I've seen a lot of pictures of and stories about MagSafe things that somehow either got

00:23:18   misaligned or something wedged in there or something caused a short inside that little tiny area because it is everything is so fine and like

00:23:24   You just need one little iron filing from a silly kids toy to float in over there

00:23:28   And you plug it in and it fries the thing and it would be nice if it wasn't that if it was more resistant to

00:23:35   Stuff I'm not sure what you would replace it with though because I think the tiny USB connectors probably had the same problem maybe

00:23:40   But yeah, I agree that mag safe 2 is worse than 1

00:23:45   But I'm not sure with the with the shrinking sizes. I'm not sure how

00:23:49   What you can do to mag safe to make it better while also making it smaller whereas something that plugs in

00:23:56   You know

00:23:58   Again, it comes out of the question. We talked about before does if the USB

00:24:02   3 connector the tiny little one

00:24:04   Does that come out just as easily as mag safe when you trip over the cable or does it not like what size does it?

00:24:10   Start becoming like this is just as good as mag safe in terms of trip resistance

00:24:14   and I don't know until someone buys one of these things

00:24:17   or buy some other USB three device

00:24:18   and start stripping over it.

00:24:20   - All right, can we move on to any other topic?

00:24:24   - Yes, we have corrections for you and Jon

00:24:27   with regard to reliability probability.

00:24:30   - Oh my God.

00:24:31   - I don't think they're really corrections

00:24:32   because both of us tried so hard

00:24:36   to stay away from the math part.

00:24:37   Like we didn't wanna talk about the math,

00:24:39   we just hand-waved it.

00:24:40   And yet the hand-waving,

00:24:41   because we use mathematical words

00:24:42   about like addition, additive, and multiplicative,

00:24:45   you know, then that was enough to trigger

00:24:47   the math people to come tell us how wrong we were.

00:24:49   Like, I think we all knew we were gonna be wrong.

00:24:51   We didn't know the math, but there's two posts about this.

00:24:55   Actually, there was a good email about it too,

00:24:56   which unfortunately we can't link the email,

00:24:58   but it was too long and complicated to explain.

00:25:00   But Dr. Durang has one explaining

00:25:02   the actual math of the probability stuff.

00:25:05   Kieran Haley has one explaining

00:25:06   what he thinks we probably meant,

00:25:07   and I think he's closer.

00:25:09   If I had to re-summarize this discussion,

00:25:11   I would say there were two points.

00:25:12   both not involving math. One is the idea that if you have something with a

00:25:21   certain reliability and you add a second thing, even if the reliability is just as

00:25:25   good as the first thing, if for your entire system to be successful they both

00:25:29   have to work, you've decreased the reliability of your system even though

00:25:32   the thing you added is just as reliable as the other thing. So that was one

00:25:36   counterintuitive thing that people might not think of. It's like, "Oh well if I add

00:25:39   the second thing and it's just as reliable as the first thing, the total

00:25:41   reliability is the same. No, it's worse. So that's one. And the second thing is, the sort

00:25:46   of -- I don't want to use this phrase because it's probably wrong, but I'll say it anyway

00:25:49   -- network effect of when you add more and more devices, you have three devices and when

00:25:54   you had one before, you don't get three times the number of things you can do because if

00:25:58   they all interact with each other, the number of possible connections and interactions between

00:26:01   them goes up much faster than linearly. And that's the sort of multiplicative effect that

00:26:06   I think Marco was the first one to mention.

00:26:07   >> Yeah, the handshake problem, right?

00:26:09   Yeah, that by adding you may add one device than another one and you don't just get three times

00:26:14   the number of things that you can do you get much much more than that if they all

00:26:17   Interact with each other and so the first point combined with the second means that the sort of intuitive

00:26:23   Sense that when I have a computer there's one thing and I have a computer and a phone

00:26:28   That's two things and it should be roughly like, you know

00:26:31   It should

00:26:33   First people would think if the phone is just as reliable as the computer my total system

00:26:38   Reliability has not gone down, but it totally has because if they both don't for features that cross between them or for syncing issues or whatever

00:26:44   It's much worse than just having a phone or just having a computer and the second thing is as you get even more devices

00:26:50   The number of connections between them possible interaction it goes way up. It goes up faster than linearly

00:26:55   Especially if they all interact with each other

00:26:57   Especially if some features on one aren't even unlocked until you get the second one like continuity is not even in your world unless you

00:27:03   Have two devices

00:27:03   So there's a whole new feature set that wasn't even there before that blooms on both of them

00:27:07   and then you have the interaction between them and then three of them and in the cloud and everything like that

00:27:10   That's more or less what we were getting at if you want to get into the nitty-gritty details of the math

00:27:14   Dr. Drang has a good coverage there and the person who sent us an email

00:27:17   said that even though things do get worse when you add something to a system if

00:27:21   Most if most things are generally reliable like if the reliability is you know, 99% or whatever

00:27:27   It doesn't get that bad the effect is maybe we're exaggerating the effect because it's not like we use an example like 50% reliability

00:27:34   Yes, that would that you'd really feel it most things are very very reliable

00:27:37   Adding another one to the system of the same reliability is not gonna pull down your overall reliability that much

00:27:42   so that's why I think Kieran's post about the

00:27:45   Number of possible interactions between the different devices going up is the real thrust of what we were getting at

00:27:51   You with a smart girl and we still don't we still don't know the math

00:27:55   We stubbornly refuse to address or learn any of the math. This will not be on the test people believe John

00:28:02   Yeah, no, but that's what I wasn't strongly advocating for any specific thing. I was we were both saying stay away from the math

00:28:09   We both don't know it look it up if you care

00:28:11   Look it up if you care should be the motto of our feedback

00:28:15   No, it's like, you know, we're neither one of us off the top of her head was going to say this is definitively

00:28:22   How you calculate this or whatever? We both just hand waved it and ran away from it and we still got yelled at

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00:30:45   There's been a rumor that the iPad Pro

00:30:51   Might which we don't even know exists might come with a stylus which is something different. So what are we gonna do?

00:30:58   Oh a stylus, right? We're gonna use a stylus

00:31:02   No

00:31:04   Who wants a stylus

00:31:07   You have to get them and put them away and you lose them. Yeah

00:31:10   Nobody wants a stylus. So let's not use a stylus

00:31:14   Yeah, if you see a stylus then what is it? They've already failed if you need a stylus, you've already failed the point is

00:31:21   One of the more reliable supply chain,

00:31:26   I guess analysts I say,

00:31:29   because I don't know, I hate that term,

00:31:31   but anyway, has said that the next iPad,

00:31:35   or the 13-inch iPad will have an optional stylus.

00:31:38   And I don't think that most of us

00:31:41   would have paid too much attention to this,

00:31:43   or certainly I wouldn't have,

00:31:44   except that this particular individual

00:31:46   has an unbelievably good track record,

00:31:48   which makes me think, okay, maybe this is real.

00:31:51   So I can't, I don't own any styli, styluses for my iPad.

00:31:56   I've never gotten any.

00:31:58   I've never really had a particular need for them.

00:32:00   I've tried the, what is it, the paper pencil?

00:32:03   - Yep, I got one of those too.

00:32:05   It sits in a drawer.

00:32:06   - It seemed cool, I guess,

00:32:07   but I'm just not one that needs a stylus.

00:32:11   So I don't think I can really comment intelligently on this.

00:32:15   It sounds like Marco, you have a bunch,

00:32:17   'cause you've spoken fondly of the cosmonaut

00:32:19   in the past, right?

00:32:20   - Yeah, and of all the ones I have,

00:32:21   that's my favorite one for general usage.

00:32:23   The, if you use paper a lot, like the app Paper by 53,

00:32:28   if you use that app a lot for artistic purposes

00:32:31   and sketching purposes, their stylus offers some features

00:32:34   in that app that other ones won't have, the paper pencil.

00:32:39   For general use around the rest of the iPad,

00:32:40   I don't think the pencil is better than the Cosmo,

00:32:42   I think it's about the same, if not a little bit worse,

00:32:44   'cause it has a little bit of a weird shape.

00:32:47   The thing is, the reason why it's a big deal

00:32:50   if Apple makes one of these

00:32:51   is because if Apple makes a stylus,

00:32:53   it's not going to be a $25 capacitive foam tip stick

00:32:58   the way all the other ones are.

00:33:01   It's going to be integrated with the OS

00:33:03   and with the hardware.

00:33:05   So right now, the reason why the styli on the market

00:33:09   generally all suck or that they've basically hit a wall

00:33:13   that they can't get any better than this

00:33:15   is because to get better than that,

00:33:17   you need system-wide recognition of Bluetooth

00:33:22   and more precision on the tip.

00:33:25   And so certainly, like the Paper by 53 stylus,

00:33:28   I think that is, I'm pretty sure it is Bluetooth,

00:33:30   it's some kind of, yeah, it must be.

00:33:31   So that is Bluetooth, but it only works in their app.

00:33:35   And it's still not as good as it can be

00:33:37   because you need, 'cause like,

00:33:39   the app has to try to do things like reject

00:33:42   palm, the side of your palm touching the screen

00:33:44   and not count that as a touch and things like that.

00:33:46   And the low level OS frameworks for touch recognition

00:33:51   have way more recognition and way more data to work with

00:33:55   than what's exposed to apps in the public APIs.

00:33:58   And so if Apple did this at the system level,

00:34:00   they can not only use Bluetooth

00:34:02   or some other kind of short range RF thing,

00:34:04   probably be Bluetooth, but they can not only use Bluetooth,

00:34:07   but they could do it system-wide

00:34:09   so it would work in every app

00:34:11   with all the sensitivity and precision

00:34:14   and it would be able to tie in with the touch recognition

00:34:17   and do like, you know, better touch rejection

00:34:20   and things like that.

00:34:21   None of which third party styluses can do really very well

00:34:24   or everywhere right now.

00:34:26   So that's why it's a big deal if Apple makes one.

00:34:29   They might even, if this is gonna be a big deal,

00:34:32   they might even switch to the different kind of touch screen

00:34:36   and I believe it's a resistive touch screen

00:34:38   or at least be able to put in a layer like that,

00:34:40   like what the Wacom Cintiqs use.

00:34:43   which is what the Microsoft Surface Pro,

00:34:46   at least the two and the three,

00:34:47   I don't know if the original one did, I think it did,

00:34:49   but the Surface Pro uses this too,

00:34:50   where it's basically, it's like a pen tablet

00:34:53   integrated into the screen.

00:34:55   And artists love these things.

00:34:57   They are, you know, if you're a sketch artist

00:35:02   or an illustration artist that would use a pen

00:35:04   for your art form, these things are very,

00:35:07   very widely recognized, very, very widely appreciated.

00:35:10   And the iPad really doesn't do a very good job at that

00:35:13   because of the imprecisions and limitations

00:35:15   of the styluses that are available now.

00:35:17   So I think if they did this,

00:35:20   and I think they probably should do this,

00:35:22   I think there's a market for it.

00:35:25   It would make sense to limit it to only one model

00:35:27   and to make it like a high-end thing,

00:35:29   that would make sense.

00:35:30   Just like Microsoft has done, really.

00:35:32   And just like Wacom has done.

00:35:34   I don't know, by the way, I know I'm pronouncing that wrong.

00:35:37   I don't know what the,

00:35:38   I usually even say whack 'em because it's more fun to me,

00:35:41   just like the F'n key.

00:35:42   (laughs)

00:35:43   So anyway, I think it's a very good idea.

00:35:45   Well, I don't know if they'll actually do it,

00:35:47   but I think it's a very good idea.

00:35:49   - I think it's inevitable because, I mean,

00:35:50   for the same reason I think the bigger iPad is inevitable

00:35:53   and multitasking and multi-windowing on the iPad

00:35:55   is inevitable, like, that this platform has to expand

00:35:58   to do more things because it's,

00:36:00   because people like it better than the old platform.

00:36:02   And you have to make it expand slowly

00:36:05   and make it not lose as much of the advantages

00:36:07   diversify the line so a particular product does it and but like it has to happen because I mean the

00:36:12   amazing number of

00:36:14   Artificial fingers for sale for iOS devices just goes to show that there is a market demand for this in the same way that people

00:36:20   Wanted bigger phones, right? And that's why you know, you said like but that's that's why although they the

00:36:25   existing ones stink because all they are is artificial fingers like all you are is simulating a finger and the OS is made for fingers and

00:36:34   simulated fingers or real fingers or whatever. It's just a bunch of fingers and they're big squishy things. They're imprecise or whatever

00:36:38   If Apple comes out with a stylus, not only does it have to deal with Bluetooth, but I think they have to do

00:36:43   something different with the screen like you said and if you look at

00:36:46   the you know huge number of patents that come out of Apple. Apple patents million things doesn't mean they're gonna make anything but I

00:36:52   think in the case of the stylus even if we didn't see any patents

00:36:55   I would think that a stylus is going to eventually come when we get to that point and

00:36:58   Apple has tons of patents related to styluses or styli or whatever

00:37:02   I wish we knew what the plural of that was

00:37:03   'cause this is gonna be awkward

00:37:04   for the whole time we talk about this.

00:37:06   We should put that in a follow-up for next week.

00:37:08   - Please, if you took Latin in high school, don't write in.

00:37:11   - Yeah, I don't- - We don't care.

00:37:12   - Mouses, mice, anyway.

00:37:14   - I also took Latin in high school.

00:37:15   - Why would they have all those patents?

00:37:16   Usually their patents are about like,

00:37:18   well, you user interface stuff.

00:37:19   Like maybe they tried this user interface

00:37:21   and it wasn't great so they didn't ship it,

00:37:22   but they're gonna patent everything.

00:37:23   You patent anything you do.

00:37:25   But the number of stylists related patents

00:37:28   that have come out of Apple over the years

00:37:29   shows that they've had people doing stuff

00:37:32   related to styluses or styli or whatever for so long

00:37:35   that like, why are those guys still doing that?

00:37:38   It's not like they just try this experiment once,

00:37:40   like just year after year after year,

00:37:42   people are in the lab with these little sticks doing stuff.

00:37:44   And maybe they hate all those,

00:37:46   maybe everything they patented

00:37:47   is something they're not going to make.

00:37:48   But someone is being employed at Apple

00:37:51   to do stuff that produces things that are patentable

00:37:53   related to drawing with a stick on a screen.

00:37:56   So it seems to me that that is definitely something

00:38:01   that they're working on, not just once, but over the years,

00:38:04   and they're eventually gonna get something they like,

00:38:06   maybe not this year, maybe not next year,

00:38:08   but I think it's inevitable.

00:38:10   And if they don't, if they don't hurry up,

00:38:12   like Surface getting the cache with the artists,

00:38:14   because finally it was a portable tablet type thing

00:38:17   that had the hardware support

00:38:19   for a decent stylus interface,

00:38:22   if Apple doesn't do it soon enough,

00:38:23   eventually it's gonna be like,

00:38:24   well, every artist knows that if you wanna do art

00:38:27   on the road, you have to get a Microsoft Surface

00:38:29   because you're not gonna use a big plastic finger

00:38:31   to scribble on an iPad, right?

00:38:34   So I would say now is the correct time

00:38:35   for them to do something.

00:38:36   I hope they do something that is at least as good

00:38:39   as what the Surface does.

00:38:40   And I'm really hoping that at least one or two

00:38:42   of those weird patents are something we haven't seen before

00:38:44   because patents take a long time to come out.

00:38:46   Something we haven't even seen that's patent pending

00:38:48   will provide an interface that's even better.

00:38:53   Now, the kind of the scary ghost floating around this

00:38:56   has nothing to do with drawing pretty pictures on your iPad.

00:38:59   and has everything to do with the other thing

00:39:01   that you might do with a pen or a pencil

00:39:03   or writing implement on a flat surface,

00:39:05   which is write letters.

00:39:08   And that's, you know, as in characters, as in AB.

00:39:10   And Apple has big, scary egg freckles all over this topic.

00:39:15   But the thing is, once you make a stylus

00:39:20   and you're able to, you know,

00:39:21   do fine art with it or whatever,

00:39:23   are you gonna say, no, you can't write notes

00:39:28   that will translate into text.

00:39:29   I mean, that's one way to get out of it,

00:39:30   just to avoid it entirely.

00:39:31   It's just for drawing.

00:39:32   No, you can write words, but it'll just stay,

00:39:35   like we won't translate it into text.

00:39:36   But boy, I think there's no way for them to avoid

00:39:40   having to resurrect and finally defeat

00:39:43   the ghosts of the Newton by doing handwriting recognition

00:39:46   that is not embarrassing.

00:39:47   And I think the technology is there to do it.

00:39:49   And I think they more or less have to support it system-wide

00:39:52   in a nice way.

00:39:53   And I think very few people will use it

00:39:55   because who likes writing with a pen and pencil?

00:39:57   everyone who likes writing will send us email,

00:39:59   which is fine, but I really feel like--

00:40:02   - I mean, I don't like it that much either,

00:40:03   but that's a pretty big group that does.

00:40:06   - Is that, here's the thing.

00:40:10   In what context are you going to use it?

00:40:13   I can imagine using it for things like checking things off

00:40:18   or scribbling a quick little note

00:40:20   without bringing up the keyboard to tap things out,

00:40:22   but I can't imagine someone using it to do text messages

00:40:26   or write a long email or something.

00:40:27   And maybe that's just me.

00:40:28   Maybe I just don't see that anymore.

00:40:30   But like, if you're gonna write along,

00:40:32   unless it does cursive,

00:40:34   because people are really fast with cursive,

00:40:35   'cause those are the type of people

00:40:36   who like to write handwriting,

00:40:37   unless they tackle cursive, which I think--

00:40:39   - Those people are jerks.

00:40:40   (laughing)

00:40:41   - To just do a long handwritten letter in cursive

00:40:44   and have it translate that into text for you.

00:40:46   But having really good stylist support in this day and age,

00:40:51   you can let them write it in cursive

00:40:53   and just send it as a giant image.

00:40:55   Like you can do that now.

00:40:56   That wasn't an option before,

00:40:58   you had to translate it to text.

00:40:59   I think now this beautiful handwriting,

00:41:02   you know, that people have,

00:41:03   or, you know, they want to convey their,

00:41:05   that you want to see someone's handwriting,

00:41:07   why not just transfer it as, you know,

00:41:08   a vector or a bitmap or something like that?

00:41:10   Why do you have to turn it into text?

00:41:11   I guess you have to turn it into text

00:41:12   to make it searchable and so on and so forth.

00:41:14   And I don't know.

00:41:16   There's lots of different ways

00:41:17   where they can go with this,

00:41:17   but I think the art angle is a slam dunk.

00:41:20   They're gonna do it.

00:41:21   It's gonna be good, I hope.

00:41:22   If it doesn't happen this year,

00:41:24   they better hurry up because everyone else is doing it.

00:41:26   And then the handwriting thing,

00:41:28   I have no idea what they're gonna do

00:41:29   and I see all sorts of crazy pitfalls there.

00:41:31   - I think the opportunity is big.

00:41:34   I would be surprised if anybody at Apple

00:41:37   with the ability to make such a decision

00:41:40   would restrict or stay away from these areas

00:41:43   because of the Newton.

00:41:44   I think they just don't care anymore.

00:41:46   That was so long, that was ancient history

00:41:48   and most of the public doesn't even remember the Newton

00:41:51   and doesn't even care about it.

00:41:52   - Not stay away from it because of the Newton,

00:41:54   but because it's still a hard problem.

00:41:56   Like look at how, like the Surface does it now.

00:41:58   Microsoft does it and they do it obviously better

00:42:00   than the Newton, right?

00:42:01   You got way more computing power.

00:42:02   - And they've been doing it for like a decade.

00:42:04   Microsoft's been doing it for a long time.

00:42:06   And their version is pretty good.

00:42:08   - It's good, but it's like, here's the thing.

00:42:12   People don't need to remember where the Newton is.

00:42:13   It's just like, it's a hard enough problem.

00:42:15   Kind of like a lot of the stuff,

00:42:16   and unfortunately we're not gonna talk about this this week

00:42:18   'cause I don't think you're gonna have time to watch it,

00:42:20   but you know, the Windows 10 announcement

00:42:21   and the holographic stuff, or in the past,

00:42:24   the Kinect or whatever, things that are--

00:42:25   - That was real?

00:42:27   - Things that are really hard problems

00:42:29   that make a really awesome tech demo

00:42:31   that make you feel like you're living in the future,

00:42:33   but if they don't deliver on it,

00:42:34   like if they don't cross the threshold,

00:42:37   kind of like how Siri didn't cross the threshold

00:42:39   in the beginning of like, well, a demo is well,

00:42:41   but if it doesn't quite work for you enough of the time,

00:42:43   you just kind of give up on it.

00:42:44   And that came up again because Daniel Jaka

00:42:46   was talking about how Siri has gotten much better,

00:42:48   and that went around the sort of Apple nerd sites

00:42:52   this past week or so.

00:42:53   - Oh, by the way, about that,

00:42:55   So I, sorry, I interrupt for a second.

00:42:58   So I have not used Siri in a long time

00:43:01   because it just never works for me.

00:43:02   Like the reliability was so bad for so long,

00:43:04   I just stopped trying.

00:43:05   'Cause I would say a complete command,

00:43:07   it would sit there and spin for 20 seconds

00:43:09   and then say, "I'm sorry, I can't help you right now.

00:43:11   "There's been an error."

00:43:13   So I stopped trying.

00:43:14   After seeing all these things about Siri,

00:43:16   I'm like, "All right, maybe I'll give it another shot."

00:43:17   First thing I try yesterday, Siri, start the stopwatch.

00:43:22   Sorry, Marco, I can't help you with the stopwatch.

00:43:26   - It can do everything else in the clock app.

00:43:27   It can't start the stopwatch.

00:43:29   - Yep.

00:43:30   - Like really, come on, this is easy stuff.

00:43:32   Why, why?

00:43:34   - Oh, but at least it worked, you know,

00:43:36   understood what you said and gave you a reasonable answer.

00:43:39   But it's similar in that like Siri is kind of bad

00:43:43   or any kind of voice recognition thing.

00:43:44   You just let a kid use it and you'll see it

00:43:47   because like as soon as you start talking to it

00:43:49   and it talks back to you, people are like,

00:43:50   oh, well, I guess this is a complete human

00:43:52   and if it doesn't do exactly what I say,

00:43:53   I consider it stupid, right?

00:43:56   And handwriting recognition is similar.

00:43:58   As soon as it changes anything you write into text,

00:44:00   you're like, "Oh, it understands handwriting."

00:44:02   And then you write something else and it doesn't,

00:44:04   you're like, "This thing is stupid."

00:44:05   Because your only analog for something

00:44:08   that understands spoken text

00:44:09   and can read handwriting is other humans.

00:44:11   And it's like, "Well, if you can read this word

00:44:13   "on the shopping list, why couldn't you read this one?"

00:44:15   There's no, you know, to a human being,

00:44:18   if you can read one of those words, you can read both.

00:44:19   Like, one is not incredibly sloppier than the other.

00:44:23   But to a computer, which is not like a human,

00:44:24   and not even close, you know,

00:44:26   it's not even at the level of like a kindergarten student

00:44:28   in terms of recognizing letters,

00:44:30   it just has a bunch of heuristics,

00:44:31   as long as they get tripped up by things

00:44:32   that make no sense to you,

00:44:33   because you have no idea how it's recognizing things.

00:44:35   You also have no idea how your own brain

00:44:37   is recognizing things, but it just works in us, right?

00:44:39   Our brains just work.

00:44:40   That's the real, it just works, right?

00:44:42   We can't be taught to read and write.

00:44:44   It just works, right?

00:44:45   For the most part, in most people.

00:44:47   - I still can't read all these cursive cards

00:44:49   get from old people. You got dyslexia and you've got people who are out of practice

00:44:53   and you've got people with terrible handwriting. But handwriting recognition is a promise that

00:44:57   if you don't pass a certain bar, it's like... That's why I think the bitmap thing is a way

00:45:02   out because maybe you try to do handwriting recognition. Even if you do it better than

00:45:06   Microsoft, I still think that's below the minimum that will be acceptable by the general

00:45:10   public where people will say, "Oh, it understands your handwriting." What they'll say instead

00:45:13   is, "Sometimes it kind of understands your handwriting," which is not a ringing endorsement.

00:45:19   But if you can use it to send bitmaps of your writing, then your only problem is the person

00:45:23   at the other end can read your writing.

00:45:24   And we've all had that where a spouse writes a shopping list for you and you can't make

00:45:29   out whatever the last word is and you're not sure if it's like carrots or cucumbers or

00:45:33   something with a C and then a bunch of squiggles.

00:45:35   So if humans can't do it sometimes, I don't know.

00:45:40   I think that is a difficult thing.

00:45:43   And really, we're mostly talking about tablets here.

00:45:46   I can't imagine someone doing it on the phone, but once you have it working on the tablet,

00:45:50   do you put it in the 6 Plus?

00:45:52   So a little place to put a stylus or something?

00:45:55   Would you see, I mean, I know people see this now, someone with a, you know, the Galaxy

00:45:59   Note or whatever, holding a big giant phone and stabbing at it with a little pencil thing.

00:46:04   My own mother uses a little fake finger thing to stab at her iPod Touch.

00:46:09   Some people just want to poke something with a stick.

00:46:11   Have you seen that?

00:46:13   (laughing)

00:46:14   - Have you seen that?

00:46:15   Have you seen people using a phone with a stylus?

00:46:17   Obviously not an Apple phone.

00:46:18   - Not a phone.

00:46:19   I have, my father-in-law uses his iPad

00:46:21   very often with the Cosmonaut.

00:46:23   Like he just prefers to interact with it that way.

00:46:25   It's just tapping UI buttons and everything.

00:46:27   I totally get that.

00:46:29   I don't know, I think the era of Apple sticking with

00:46:33   a very small product line,

00:46:35   I don't think they're really holding dearly to that.

00:46:37   I mean, just look at the iPad lineup.

00:46:39   Like you mentioned earlier about the new

00:46:42   12 inch MacBook Air thing,

00:46:44   possibly you need to replace the 11 and 13 Air.

00:46:47   And even that, not anytime soon, maybe not ever,

00:46:51   because they are fine having a bigger lineup.

00:46:54   I think the Tim Cook era,

00:46:57   and this didn't start with Tim, it started with Steve,

00:46:59   but certainly I think the Tim Cook era has expanded this

00:47:02   of Apple is fine keeping old products around

00:47:06   and having more versions of new products now

00:47:09   to address markets that they weren't serving before

00:47:11   that were possibly a threat to them.

00:47:13   - I think they're sticking to the,

00:47:15   we remember the old quadrant thing

00:47:17   with like pro consumer laptop, desktop,

00:47:18   that was a simpler time, right?

00:47:19   There was no watches, no phones, the tablets, whatever.

00:47:21   But within their product setup, it's not crazy.

00:47:25   Like they have a laptop line

00:47:27   that they have more or less simplified

00:47:29   by trying to MacBook Pro and MacBook versus the Air

00:47:33   and getting rid of the non-pro MacBooks

00:47:35   and everything or whatever.

00:47:36   They have tablets, they have phones,

00:47:38   they have laptops in a couple of varieties,

00:47:39   they have desktop in a couple of varieties.

00:47:41   What they're doing is within those sort of nameplates

00:47:44   and brands, diversifying like how many different iPads

00:47:47   are there, but the simplification thing is like,

00:47:49   it's just an iPad.

00:47:50   You don't have to know like, do I want an iPad

00:47:53   or another tablet product?

00:47:54   They're all iPads like perception wise

00:47:56   and all it is is just like buying different sides

00:47:58   of clothing or you know, whatever.

00:48:00   It's like, it's as if a car manufacturer had one kind

00:48:04   of car and you could get that car in SUV, wagon, you know,

00:48:08   tricycle, motorcycle, but they called it all the same,

00:48:11   you know, line of things, you know what I mean?

00:48:12   Maybe it's not quite that big, but like--

00:48:14   - Actually, that's not that far from what BMW actually does.

00:48:17   - It's true, but like, so, but in Apple's world,

00:48:20   the 3 and the 5 series would not be different cars, right?

00:48:23   And maybe you'd have like the electric one

00:48:25   would be a different line.

00:48:25   Like, I think the iPad is the best example,

00:48:27   'cause these are all iPads, and it's like,

00:48:30   well, they're all rectangles of screen,

00:48:31   but like, huge diversity of different guts,

00:48:34   different Xs, outsides, different form factors,

00:48:36   and the phone has slowly been diverse.

00:48:37   And they're all iPhones, it's just one variety of iPhones,

00:48:40   there's a range there as well.

00:48:42   The iPod touches off in the corner, whatever.

00:48:43   So with the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro,

00:48:46   maybe there's still a little division there,

00:48:48   but they're kind of unified in a MacBook.

00:48:50   So I think Apple's appetite for taking existing product

00:48:54   lines and just making more varieties is demonstrated,

00:48:58   but their appetite for splitting, say,

00:49:03   the MacBook line further splitting into MacBook,

00:49:06   MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, whatever,

00:49:08   I think they, instead they're going the other direction.

00:49:10   You know, making everything,

00:49:11   getting rid of the plastic models,

00:49:13   making it all aluminum,

00:49:14   getting rid of the non-pro MacBooks,

00:49:16   and you know, who knows how long the air,

00:49:18   if this new one is called MacBook Stealth

00:49:19   and the air is going away or something, I don't know.

00:49:22   That kind of diversification is like

00:49:24   having your cake and eating it too,

00:49:26   because you address more of the customer base

00:49:28   while still making it seem like

00:49:30   you only need to have two or three tables in an Apple store

00:49:33   and you can put all your products on them.

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00:52:18   - So CES has already ended by like a week or two,

00:52:22   is that right?

00:52:23   - It's always hard to tell with CES,

00:52:25   like if it's a real thing, if anything matters.

00:52:28   I wonder if we can just paste in the Verge's summary of CES

00:52:33   from last year and just paste it in this year.

00:52:36   Would anybody notice?

00:52:37   - Anyone who isn't John would have no idea

00:52:41   that it was the same thing regurgitated,

00:52:44   but John would notice and John has noticed.

00:52:46   - Well, the first thing I have in here related to this

00:52:48   is the Wirecutter did what they do,

00:52:50   which is like they distilled it down to the things

00:52:52   they thought were actually interesting

00:52:53   and important out of CES.

00:52:55   And CES, it actually is an important show

00:52:57   if you care about consumer electronics.

00:53:00   But there is so much there that it's like,

00:53:02   what is the important thing this year?

00:53:04   And so for me, I'm interested in televisions every year

00:53:07   at CES, it's like, what do the new crop of televisions

00:53:11   look like because people tend to announce

00:53:13   their upcoming things that are,

00:53:15   they have new technologies, is this the first year,

00:53:17   you know, the first year an LCD TV is available,

00:53:19   the first year an HDTV is available, you know?

00:53:21   And those are the exciting years

00:53:23   where there's some kind of technological advance.

00:53:25   And then there are all the in-between years

00:53:26   where you're like, okay, what is this current year's crop

00:53:28   of plasma TVs like?

00:53:30   Are they better than last year's problem?

00:53:31   You know, so on and so forth.

00:53:32   Those are more boring.

00:53:33   That's just picking televisions as one category.

00:53:34   But for every category, there's something like that.

00:53:36   And then there's just tons and tons of noise.

00:53:40   So the wire cutter thing gives a good summary.

00:53:42   Out of the wire cutter summary of interesting gadgets

00:53:45   and stuff from CES, I'm really, really interested

00:53:48   in the TV part.

00:53:49   So that's the only part I've highlighted here,

00:53:50   but we'll put the link in the show notes

00:53:51   and you can check it out.

00:53:52   Because you can't, if you try to follow like CES coverage,

00:53:54   you can't.

00:53:55   There's too much stuff and a lot of the times the things that are covered by sort of live

00:53:59   from CES stuff are the things that demo well, but you're never going to see them again.

00:54:03   It's not a real product.

00:54:04   It's not a real thing, but the booth and the demo is impressive and then just forget that

00:54:08   it exists because you'll never see anything about it again.

00:54:10   But the technology stuff, which is like more of the boring written stories that does not

00:54:14   have anything fun to look at, it's just announcements of products.

00:54:20   This is just, I mean we talked about it last year on the television front.

00:54:23   4K television and the technologies related to that are slowly, steadily marching forward.

00:54:29   4K we don't probably care too much about because of the size of the televisions we have and

00:54:33   the distance we sit from them.

00:54:34   It's probably not a factor, but as we discussed last year, 4K comes with more than just higher

00:54:39   resolution.

00:54:40   It also comes with a larger color gamut, different frame rates, and all sorts of stuff like that

00:54:44   that people will notice.

00:54:45   And then the one I was really interested in last year was this crazy "this is not really

00:54:48   a product tech demo" type thing from Dolby, which was like high dynamic range to be able

00:54:53   to have darker darks and brighter brights in your television and that is something much

00:54:58   more so than 4K that you would notice if you put a regular TV next to one with this high

00:55:05   dynamic range thing you would be able to tell the difference immediately in the same way

00:55:09   that most people could with high definition television versus standard depth.

00:55:14   And the exciting but boring announcement related to that is this UHD Alliance which is a consortium

00:55:21   of a bunch of people who make hardware and a bunch of people who make content to try

00:55:24   to get together on these standards because you don't want this to turn into a weird format

00:55:28   war or whatever.

00:55:29   If any of these things, if any of this sort of enhanced 4K with high dynamic range, if

00:55:33   that's ever going to become a thing, it can't be confined to one vendor, it can't be confined

00:55:37   to one distributor.

00:55:39   And I think now it's good to see that the companies at least understand this a little

00:55:42   bit.

00:55:43   Various times they've been good and bad about this, like getting together on, you know,

00:55:46   making a decision on Blu-ray finally after having the HD DVD thing or, you know, I think

00:55:51   CDs they kind of came together a little bit.

00:55:53   It's always an argument over who owns the patents and who's going to get the money and

00:55:55   all that crap.

00:55:56   But nobody benefits if it's like, if it's competing standards or if it's just available.

00:56:01   Because if Just Sony had like this High Dynamic Range thing, right?

00:56:04   If it was exclusively licensed through them and Just Sony movies were out like that.

00:56:08   Nobody cares.

00:56:09   Like who would ever get that TV?

00:56:10   You're like, well that's great but you only watch Sony movies.

00:56:12   No one knows what a Sony movie is.

00:56:13   It has to be an industry standard.

00:56:15   So I'm glad to see them doing this because I'm much more excited about the High Dynamic

00:56:19   range stuff and the color enhanced and frame rate enhancements of 4K TV than I am about

00:56:24   the 4K resolution itself.

00:56:27   So I'm hoping good things will come from the UHD alliance and it won't splinter apart into

00:56:31   a bunch of petty squabbling and other crap.

00:56:36   And then the final thing is like, speaking of things that are sort of evergreen about

00:56:39   CES, like you mentioned, we just reposted the Verge story.

00:56:42   Every time I think about actually writing something about CES, which I actually do think

00:56:45   about, I don't actually write anything but I think about it.

00:56:47   And then I think back to the post I wrote in 2013 on hypercritical.co which is "CES

00:56:54   colon worst products through software."

00:56:56   And I don't want this to be an evergreen article.

00:56:59   I want it to be, remember that moment in time when consumer electronics companies realized

00:57:04   that they needed software in their products and they were super bad at it and every time

00:57:08   they added software it made their products worse.

00:57:10   And I'm hoping this will be a time that passes.

00:57:14   will be a decade or something but I want this article to be out of date and look antiquated

00:57:21   and look old-fashioned but this year I think it still applies.

00:57:25   Every consumer electronics product that is not made by a company with a computing platform

00:57:31   - Google, Apple, Microsoft, maybe kind of even Amazon - those are pretty much the only

00:57:36   companies like companies that maintain, that have a software platform and that they maintain

00:57:42   and advance it, they're the only companies that can do software worth a damn.

00:57:48   Every other company that tries to add software to their product, it just makes the product

00:57:51   worse because the software is awful and it replaces something that wasn't quite as awful

00:57:55   and the new capabilities never make up for the difficulty of dealing with it.

00:57:58   Like if your refrigerator comes with software, it's going to be worse than your refrigerator

00:58:01   without software, like guaranteed because, you know, refrigerator makers have no idea

00:58:05   what they're doing when it comes to software.

00:58:07   Thus far neither do TV makers,

00:58:10   the terrible bug updates, the terrible bug fixes,

00:58:12   and the product itself, it doesn't start off very good

00:58:15   and doesn't get any better.

00:58:16   So I'm not writing anything new about that,

00:58:19   it's still true, I wish it wasn't.

00:58:22   Let's see, yes, worst products through software.

00:58:24   - I'm not in the TV world,

00:58:27   but I totally agree with that statement in other areas.

00:58:30   I mean, things I've gotten off of Kickstarter

00:58:32   that have like, oh, this is an oven thermometer

00:58:34   that has an app on your phone to see the results.

00:58:37   And it's like, ugh.

00:58:38   And I threw it away and bought a real oven thermometer

00:58:40   with an actual display and this stupid thing.

00:58:43   You know, like the microphone interface I got for a week

00:58:46   and then returned 'cause it was broken anyway.

00:58:48   But like this thing that has this screen

00:58:50   with just one button on it

00:58:52   and everything else is controlled by software.

00:58:54   And then of course the software is terrible.

00:58:56   So I get this, I replace it with this box

00:58:58   that is covered in knobs and buttons and it's way better

00:59:01   and it will last way longer.

00:59:02   I mean, just, ugh.

00:59:04   I hate software so much and I'm a software developer

00:59:07   and I hate software.

00:59:08   I mean, it's, use software intelligently.

00:59:11   Use software when it really does benefit things,

00:59:14   but that is not everywhere,

00:59:16   and that is not always necessary,

00:59:18   and it is often better without it.

00:59:19   - And the worst part is like,

00:59:20   even in the places where you could totally see the benefit,

00:59:23   like, there are things that have had,

00:59:25   sort of, you know, visual interfaces for a long time,

00:59:28   like, for example, thermostats or something,

00:59:30   you're like, that's a perfect place for software,

00:59:31   because having a bunch of little buttons

00:59:34   under a panel that you open up,

00:59:35   on this little dinky screen,

00:59:36   you're like, boy, if I could have real software to do this,

00:59:39   that would be better.

00:59:40   And the Nest approach is kind of tied up with,

00:59:42   also don't make it programmable or whatever,

00:59:43   but so many opportunities exist for something

00:59:46   that where software really is appropriate,

00:59:49   but awful software is worse than just give me

00:59:52   a bunch of fricking buttons and a dial, right?

00:59:54   And what you were talking about,

00:59:55   like on the thermometer type thing is like,

00:59:57   this is actually not an appropriate place

00:59:58   for software at this point.

00:59:59   Just give me a mechanical device that works.

01:00:01   And the cars are the best example,

01:00:03   because like there are ample opportunities

01:00:04   for good software to improve the experience inside a car.

01:00:08   But they take the software and put it where it's not needed.

01:00:10   And then the software that is there

01:00:12   is usually pretty terrible.

01:00:13   And we all use cars.

01:00:15   And so we're all just kind of suffering

01:00:16   as companies that do not know how to make software,

01:00:20   I guess, hopefully slowly learn to make software better.

01:00:23   I don't know if they're even learning.

01:00:25   I mean, like you just talked about the BMW key fob

01:00:28   with a screen on it.

01:00:29   That is not an appropriate place for software.

01:00:32   Something that's in your pocket that you wanna feel

01:00:34   to be able to feel the buttons,

01:00:35   or maybe you don't wanna touch it at all.

01:00:38   (sighs)

01:00:39   Yeah.

01:00:39   - All right, and speaking of software,

01:00:43   our friends at Rogue Amoeba released something new this week.

01:00:47   - Audio Hijack 3.

01:00:48   - Indeed.

01:00:49   - It's not Pro though, so forget it.

01:00:51   (laughing)

01:00:53   - Well, that just means it doesn't have Thunderbolt ports

01:00:54   on it anymore.

01:00:55   - Yeah, exactly.

01:00:56   - People don't get the joke.

01:00:57   It used to be called Auto Hijack Pro,

01:00:59   and with the version 3, they removed Pro from the name,

01:01:02   because it was just like, you know,

01:01:04   it's like Netscape Navigator gold, pro gold.

01:01:08   Yeah, we don't need the,

01:01:10   we don't need the suffixes and the modifiers.

01:01:12   We can just say audio hijacked and it's version three.

01:01:15   - Yep, and I have been fiddling with it.

01:01:18   I have not used it to record a podcast yet.

01:01:21   I didn't have enough time today to get my,

01:01:24   I don't know, I guess workflow almost,

01:01:27   a session I think is what they, the term they use.

01:01:29   I didn't have enough time to get my session squared away

01:01:32   before we recorded tonight, but I'm hoping to,

01:01:35   in the next week, be able to set it up so that it records

01:01:39   not only a copy of just my mic, but also a copy of you guys

01:01:42   as well.

01:01:43   And this will be super helpful for analog.

01:01:46   But it's really, really slick the way

01:01:48   they've done the kind of workflow-y interface

01:01:51   where you're dragging boxes around.

01:01:53   And it's, again, a very gentle way

01:01:58   of trying to do very powerful things,

01:02:00   much like the workflow app that I've talked about

01:02:02   quite a few times, both on my website and here on the show.

01:02:05   That's a very cool, very cool idea, very well done.

01:02:08   And the thought of writing that UI scares the crap out of me

01:02:13   'cause I'm a terrible UI developer as it is.

01:02:15   And writing something that complex

01:02:18   with like that kind of a dynamic layout

01:02:20   just scares the bejesus out of me, but it's cool.

01:02:22   - I wouldn't just describe it as gentle.

01:02:24   And by the way, this is not a paid sponsorship.

01:02:26   We're saying this because we think this app is needed.

01:02:28   And the reason I'm excited about this app

01:02:29   is because it takes an idea, concepts that have been,

01:02:34   that have been related to audio for a long time.

01:02:37   And it's like these capabilities,

01:02:39   a lot of these capabilities more or less existed already

01:02:41   in the previous versions of Audio Hijack

01:02:43   or you could have done yourselves

01:02:44   with the different audio things.

01:02:46   The major innovation of this is kind of like,

01:02:48   people are familiar with Quartz Composer,

01:02:50   is it lets you visually design the flow of audio.

01:02:54   Like if you were to,

01:02:56   If you were to try to explain to somebody,

01:02:57   what I need is I need to have the audio from this source

01:02:59   going into over here,

01:03:00   and I need to record into a file over there,

01:03:02   but then be mixed with this one over here

01:03:03   and have a volume adjustment

01:03:04   and go through this output device,

01:03:05   and you would draw it in an app and you're like,

01:03:06   "Boy, how the hell am I gonna configure that in an app?"

01:03:09   You just take that diagram and you make it in this thing.

01:03:13   They have these little blocks that you can pull out

01:03:14   for sources of audio.

01:03:16   They have a little meter block, which I think is genius

01:03:18   and shows the greatness of this approach.

01:03:20   It's like, what does the meter block do?

01:03:21   Doesn't do anything.

01:03:22   It lets you know if you're clipping in that source, right?

01:03:25   and then you have adjusters for different channels and volume things and you have a

01:03:28   recorder where you can put the track down, you can put multiple tracks down into one

01:03:32   recording, split them all into separate ones.

01:03:35   The interface is the entire thing of this application.

01:03:37   The capabilities were there and you could have used it with an old version of Audio

01:03:40   Hijack or other applications but take a look at the screenshots of this.

01:03:43   If you do anything related to audio, and maybe you don't, maybe it's just a bunch of podcasters

01:03:47   who care about this stuff, but if you do anything related to audio or recording audio, this

01:03:51   This one interface, this one window,

01:03:53   like just drag a bunch of things

01:03:54   and connect them with lines,

01:03:56   lets anybody do things that previously

01:03:58   almost nobody could do,

01:03:59   because you'd have to understand

01:04:00   some crazy arcane interface

01:04:02   and a bunch of weird vocabulary.

01:04:04   It's like, this is all visual vocabulary.

01:04:06   Very simple, very straightforward.

01:04:07   I was super impressed by this.

01:04:09   - Yeah, it's a very neat app,

01:04:10   and I'm hoping to get everything squared away

01:04:13   so I can use it to record this next week.

01:04:16   - We should have held out

01:04:17   because they probably would have sponsored,

01:04:18   and I could have done a good sponsor for them,

01:04:19   but too late.

01:04:20   (laughing)

01:04:21   - Yeah, and Marco, you were on the beta for this,

01:04:24   weren't you?

01:04:25   - Yeah, I was, yeah, I like it a lot.

01:04:27   What I like about it, I said it in this blog post too,

01:04:28   like, in audio, like dealing with audio,

01:04:31   and like, oh, I just need to record this

01:04:33   and then run it through this mixer

01:04:35   and combine it with this and then be able to mix this in

01:04:37   and record over here and split this off

01:04:39   and apply an EQ and a compressor over here,

01:04:42   like, doing stuff like that can very quickly lead you

01:04:46   into hardware complexity and just a hell

01:04:50   of wires and cheap or expensive little boxes

01:04:53   all over the place and lots of like just boxes

01:04:56   all over your desk and complexity

01:04:58   and not knowing where things are and costs.

01:05:02   And this app is able to replace so much complexity,

01:05:06   so much hardware, and even like if you try to do

01:05:09   a lot of these things in software,

01:05:11   there are like free open source things out there

01:05:14   that you can do some of these things with

01:05:17   or that you can combine in certain ways

01:05:20   to do some of these things.

01:05:20   And they're usually way harder to set up.

01:05:23   And you gotta install these three different packages

01:05:25   and one of them is really made for Linux

01:05:27   and all this stuff.

01:05:28   You hit all these little bottlenecks

01:05:29   and frustrations and limitations

01:05:32   and just challenges in setting it all up.

01:05:34   So to have it all in one app is pretty amazing.

01:05:36   This kinda makes me sad because

01:05:39   this is the kind of awesome utility

01:05:41   that we will never see on iOS

01:05:43   and that can never be in the Mac App Store.

01:05:45   And those things make me very sad.

01:05:47   - A second point I was gonna bring up is

01:05:49   The innovation of this app,

01:05:52   this is exactly like the original GUI.

01:05:53   It's like, previously I could not do this with a computer

01:05:56   because it was too complicated.

01:05:57   But now when you make all my files little pictures,

01:05:59   now I can actually arrange them.

01:06:01   I don't know how to type commands to move files.

01:06:03   I can't keep, simple things like file management.

01:06:05   Once you made the files little pictures

01:06:07   that people could drag around with a mouse,

01:06:08   suddenly they were able to do it.

01:06:09   And for professionals who are gonna have

01:06:12   actual audio hardware with the XLR interfaces

01:06:15   or all that stuff, this is not replacing

01:06:17   a giant recording studio for them.

01:06:18   But it's saying like you have a Mac that is capable of doing a lot of stuff in

01:06:22   Software that you can also do a better job of a more fancy job of with hardware

01:06:28   But maybe you don't want to buy thousands of dollars for the audio hardware and that like Marco said that is a whole other world

01:06:33   Of complexity what if you just want to do something like I have a Mac everything here is happening on the back

01:06:37   I've got a Skype call. I've got you know a Google hangout. I've got some music playing. I've got like why can't I I?

01:06:45   Know my Mac is capable of this it hears all the audio

01:06:47   I can route it in a simple way using the input and output control panels

01:06:50   Why can't I just do this one thing that want to do is not that much more complicated

01:06:54   So I would say this is like when I tweeted about us

01:06:56   I was like if you don't have a big budget for hardware

01:06:59   but you want to do something like what Marco does with like playing some music and mixing it to a live stream and stuff like

01:07:04   that like or you know on the incomparable where we just want to play clips from on our clip show play clips from past episodes or

01:07:11   drop in sound effects and like a game show type thing. You're not asking for much

01:07:14   It's pretty simple, but it's like oh I can add stuff in but it won't record my sound effects

01:07:19   You just hear them over the Skype chat or the only place I can get my sound effects is out of the completely mixed Skype

01:07:23   chat or I'll play this clip and the other people in the show won't hear it

01:07:26   but eventually it'll be in the final recording silly things like that are limitations of the simplicity of the way we can mix audio here and

01:07:32   Providing an application that does that it's just such an incredible shame like this is this is like the kind of

01:07:38   Innovative application that you would expect from a great Mac developer, right?

01:07:41   Can't be on the Mac App Store can't be on iOS because of the way it works because it you know

01:07:46   Hijacks the audio from other applications and stuff like that and I understand like it doesn't have any kernel extensions or anything

01:07:51   But it's using you know, it's getting into other

01:07:54   Processes and like, you know grabbing audio from them and I feel like it's my computer

01:07:59   I there should be security restrictions about that like oh, do you want to hijack audio from this application?

01:08:04   You know confirm that it's done have some sort of system level thing that prevents like

01:08:08   I feel like this application could be on the Mac App Store

01:08:12   if Apple cared enough about the functionality it provides

01:08:14   to provide sort of the gateways of like,

01:08:17   oh, do you wanna give this app access to contacts?

01:08:20   The person says yes, that app has access to contacts.

01:08:22   That's the only kind of barrier I think you need.

01:08:24   It just, it's kind of sad that you cannot buy this

01:08:28   in the Mac App Store, you have to buy it direct.

01:08:30   - All right, I think we're good.

01:08:32   - Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week,

01:08:35   Harvest, Backblaze, and lynda.com,

01:08:38   and we will see you next week.

01:08:40   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

01:08:45   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

01:08:48   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:08:49   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:08:50   ♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

01:08:52   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:08:53   ♪ John didn't do any research ♪

01:08:55   ♪ Marco and Casey wouldn't let him ♪

01:08:58   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:09:00   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:09:01   ♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

01:09:02   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:09:04   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm And if you're into Twitter, you can follow

01:09:11   them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:09:20   Auntie Marco Armin S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A Siracusa

01:09:30   ♪ It's accidental, accidental ♪

01:09:33   ♪ They didn't mean to ♪

01:09:35   ♪ Accidental, accidental ♪

01:09:38   ♪ Tech podcast so long ♪

01:09:41   - You can find out how much money Marco is saving from Go.

01:09:46   - It isn't that impressive.

01:09:47   It's like a few hundred dollars a month.

01:09:48   I mean, it's, you know.

01:09:49   - That's what we wanna know.

01:09:50   - It's a few hundred dollars a month.

01:09:52   - There you go.

01:09:53   - It's not like, we're not talking thousands.

01:09:55   'Cause hosting overcast was already inexpensive

01:09:58   compared to like Instapaper or Tumblr or something like that.

01:10:01   - You say like it's nothing.

01:10:02   A few hundred dollars a month is not nothing.

01:10:05   - I mean, that's a car payment.

01:10:06   - Well, but in my last business,

01:10:07   I was spending like five to $7,000 a month.

01:10:09   So like for this one, like this is a lot smaller

01:10:11   because it's like five to $700 a month

01:10:14   as opposed to a thousand.

01:10:15   - Yeah, it's a pretty good bang for the buck though.

01:10:17   Like how long did you spend rewriting it in Go?

01:10:19   And then the savings will be realized going forward.

01:10:24   So you've got a pretty good return

01:10:27   on the investment and the time you spent to learn Go

01:10:30   and rewrite this thing.

01:10:31   - Yeah, I mean, and ultimately,

01:10:33   I'm gonna have to spend a little more time on it

01:10:34   because the current model I have

01:10:35   has a couple of little problems,

01:10:37   but overall it's been a huge win

01:10:40   and I learned a new language and that is valuable too.

01:10:42   And now I have a very, very good tool

01:10:47   for certain types of problems in my tool belt, I guess.

01:10:51   I learned something new,

01:10:53   give us something to talk about on the show here and there

01:10:55   and let's be seeing some money.

01:10:57   I mean, like John said, a few hundred dollars a month,

01:10:59   that's significant, that's impressive,

01:11:01   and that's really awesome.

01:11:02   And it's kinda crazy that you just choosing

01:11:06   to attack this problem a little bit differently

01:11:10   has had what I think to be a pretty big, tangible impact

01:11:15   on your financial situation for Overcast.

01:11:19   That's awesome.

01:11:20   And who would have thought that ditching PHP

01:11:24   would save you hundreds on cards,

01:11:26   I mean on server costs.

01:11:29   - And just not even ditching all of it,

01:11:30   just ditching it for like this one hotspot,

01:11:32   this one major bottleneck that was a huge resource hog.

01:11:36   And that's why I like that I now have this in my tool belt

01:11:40   because now I know problems like this,

01:11:43   I have another way to attack them.

01:11:45   I have something else that I know well enough

01:11:47   and that I trust enough to do this kind of thing

01:11:50   that's now available to me.

01:11:52   And that will enable certain new things.

01:11:55   And I didn't wanna learn certain things

01:11:57   like Python or Ruby that much

01:11:59   because they didn't seem to provide enough of an advantage

01:12:03   to make it worth me adding that complexity

01:12:06   and having that burden of having to learn that

01:12:08   over a few weeks and dumping all that time into it.

01:12:12   Go is different enough and good enough at certain things

01:12:16   that it was worth it to me and I'm glad I did it.

01:12:19   - Yeah, the bad old Marco would have spent many more months

01:12:23   arguing with everyone else about why you didn't need to rewrite so true like you would have just

01:12:29   The amount of time and energy you would have spent defending your decision not to rewrite it and go

01:12:33   Would dwarf very quickly dwarf the amount of time it actually took you to rewrite it and go. Oh, yeah

01:12:39   No, this this is what happens when there's a lot of money to be made on one side of an argument

01:12:42   Yeah, well, it's all speculative. You're like, oh, I don't think it'll be that much faster

01:12:46   Maybe I could reduce the number of machines from one to two even now you're saying it's not that much money

01:12:50   Although I think it totally is

01:12:51   And then you know the whole the arguments you just made about having us in your tool bit and so on and so forth

01:12:55   You know we could have made those arguments

01:12:57   You know you have and you know it doesn't seem like a big deal. It's not a whatever that's all

01:13:02   I hope you you've learned from this that like

01:13:04   trying new things is awesome and saves you money and

01:13:07   It's

01:13:10   Lesson I usually take from that is like I get this work all the time

01:13:13   I have to do the calculation of like how much energy will it be for me to argue against this for just how much energy?

01:13:18   will it take for me to just do it?

01:13:20   And a surprising amount of time, it's like,

01:13:23   it's more exhausting for me to think about

01:13:24   arguing against it than just to just do it.

01:13:27   Like, it's actually less work, 'cause then you're like,

01:13:30   whatever, it's done.

01:13:31   When it's done, the argument is over,

01:13:33   there's no argument to be had,

01:13:34   and it was less mentally exhausting

01:13:36   than having to try to argue about this.

01:13:39   - Well, I mean, in my case, it was really just about like,

01:13:43   you know, I'm not gonna take like a sideways step

01:13:46   and learn a language that is generally similar to PHP

01:13:49   and what it does well and what it doesn't do well,

01:13:51   because there's not a whole lot of upside for that.

01:13:55   - Well, we'll work on that one next.

01:13:57   I know that's what you think.

01:13:59   - But with Go, the reason I went to it

01:14:02   was because I had this problem that I was doing

01:14:06   that PHP is especially bad at.

01:14:09   If it was just something that PHP is kind of

01:14:11   inconvenient for or not that well designed for,

01:14:14   that's less of a gain.

01:14:15   That's more like, well, in an ideal world,

01:14:17   on an infinite time scale thing,

01:14:19   maybe I would do something else.

01:14:20   But in most cases, most of the problems

01:14:24   I have to solve with web apps,

01:14:26   the other languages don't solve it better than PHP enough

01:14:30   to make it worth the jump

01:14:31   and the hassle of having to rewrite things.

01:14:33   I mean, this is costing me,

01:14:34   this is gonna cost me probably two months

01:14:36   of web programming time,

01:14:37   because I not only had to rewrite the crawlers

01:14:40   and debug all the problems that came with them,

01:14:42   but I also had to rewrite a lot of these supporting tools.

01:14:44   things like the logging infrastructure

01:14:46   and the things that allow me to check and see

01:14:50   when feeds were last crawled,

01:14:52   how often, monitoring if there's delays,

01:14:55   if there's queue congestion,

01:14:56   being able to force one to crawl immediately.

01:14:59   There's all sorts of little infrastructure supporting pieces

01:15:02   that tie into the crawling system

01:15:04   that I now have to modify or rewrite

01:15:06   because it's a different system.

01:15:08   So it is a pretty expensive change up front.

01:15:12   It will pay off over time,

01:15:13   but it's certainly taking a lot of time.

01:15:15   And so that's why I'm not gonna rewrite

01:15:17   the whole rest of the app in Python or something,

01:15:18   because there doesn't seem to be enough benefit

01:15:22   to doing that for the amount of time and work it would take.

01:15:25   If I'm faced with a problem that PHP does really badly,

01:15:29   like lots of parallel network requests,

01:15:33   now I'm not gonna use it for that.

01:15:36   So that's where the benefit is.

01:15:38   - When you sell Overcast, your next product,

01:15:40   the parts that are appropriate for Go,

01:15:42   you won't write in PHP to begin with

01:15:44   and it'll be go from the beginning.

01:15:45   And the same thing with your queue management stuff.

01:15:47   Like if you ever, if we've ever crossed the next hurdle,

01:15:49   which is like third-party products

01:15:51   for dealing with queues of things and managing the queues

01:15:53   and dealing with failures and reporting and logging.

01:15:56   There are lots of infrastructure type tools

01:15:58   that deal with that.

01:15:59   I know you probably don't like anything

01:16:00   when you're really just write the thing,

01:16:01   straightforward thing yourself.

01:16:03   But in the similar way that if you were to try

01:16:05   to use one of those, you'd be like,

01:16:06   oh, I have this infrastructure that already works.

01:16:07   Now I have to do this thing.

01:16:08   And now I have this weird system

01:16:09   where some of them use this system, some of them use that.

01:16:10   It's like, again, the next time you do a project,

01:16:12   if you have that tool in your tool belt,

01:16:15   then you will say, okay, this part of the system

01:16:17   I'm gonna write in PHP, this part I'm gonna write in Go,

01:16:19   this thing I'm gonna use, you know,

01:16:21   this Q system and this whatever, like,

01:16:24   we'll work on the third party stuff next.

01:16:25   But like, I feel like having,

01:16:27   this is one of the things that having a crappy job

01:16:29   forces you to deal with,

01:16:31   because if you have either one crappy job

01:16:32   or even better, multiple crappy jobs,

01:16:35   crappy meaning of just like regular J-O-B jobs

01:16:37   where you work for somebody else,

01:16:38   you don't get to pick half the time

01:16:39   what you're working with,

01:16:41   what database you're working with,

01:16:42   what logging infrastructure you're working with,

01:16:44   what operating system, what any, you know,

01:16:46   it just, you don't get to pick, right?

01:16:48   And a lot of times you work with crappy things,

01:16:50   but eventually you work with a whole bunch

01:16:51   of different things so that when you come to a new situation

01:16:53   you're like, look, I've tried these five things

01:16:56   and these seven things in this realm or whatever,

01:16:58   and you have, you're forced to have experience

01:17:00   with lots of different things,

01:17:01   and so you have a deeper tool chest to pull from,

01:17:04   whereas if you're not forced by some pointy haired boss

01:17:07   to use a particular technology,

01:17:09   it's always up to you to do the cost benefit

01:17:11   and like, I'm the only person here,

01:17:13   is it really worth me learning to do this on my own,

01:17:15   so on and so forth.

01:17:16   It's much harder to,

01:17:17   you don't have the time to just screw around with stuff

01:17:21   and try everything out and survey the landscape.

01:17:23   You really just have to go with what you know.

01:17:26   And so now you overcoming that hurdle to say,

01:17:29   I am going to screw around for a little while

01:17:31   just because I think there'll be a benefit from it.

01:17:33   It's a sort of a slow motion version

01:17:35   of having a series of crappy JOB jobs

01:17:37   where you forced to use 50 different technologies.

01:17:40   - It's so true.

01:17:40   I also think it's kind of funny for you

01:17:42   to just kind of wave your hand at,

01:17:44   oh, it won't be any better than PHP.

01:17:46   - Well, that's not what I said.

01:17:48   I said it won't be better enough

01:17:50   to make it worth the transition costs.

01:17:52   - Okay, even then, I think that's a very bold claim

01:17:56   for, not for Go necessarily, because you know Go,

01:18:00   but to just kind of wave off, I don't know,

01:18:02   Python as an example,

01:18:04   and just assume that it's not going to be that beneficial.

01:18:08   I think that's pretty bold.

01:18:09   Now, it doesn't necessarily mean you're wrong.

01:18:12   It just means that's pretty bold.

01:18:13   And I am proud of you and remain proud of you

01:18:16   for having explored GO.

01:18:17   And I echo what Jon is saying that I think this is a baby

01:18:21   step in the right direction for you understanding

01:18:23   that you don't necessarily need to personally solve

01:18:25   every problem under the sun.

01:18:27   And there are more than one ways,

01:18:29   there's more than one way to skin a cat and that's okay.

01:18:32   The part where Marco's right about this thing, though,

01:18:34   is like, it's not even Python versus PHP,

01:18:36   it's that he found the hotspot, right?

01:18:38   Like, you reduced your number of servers by like half,

01:18:40   didn't you?

01:18:41   So it doesn't matter how much better something is than PHP,

01:18:43   this was clearly the hotspot.

01:18:45   Like, he's not gonna halve it again, right?

01:18:47   - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - You know what I mean?

01:18:48   So that's the, again, that's just true of anything,

01:18:51   not just working it yourself,

01:18:51   but especially when you're working it yourself,

01:18:53   put your effort towards the thing

01:18:54   that's gonna give you the biggest bang for your buck.

01:18:56   And so if you halve the number of servers,

01:18:58   it's silly to expect that the next change

01:19:01   will also have the number of servers,

01:19:02   because eventually it'll have 1/1000 of a server.

01:19:05   And that's not gonna happen, right?

01:19:07   So decide where the bottleneck is and address that.

01:19:12   And then if the current state of things is fine,

01:19:15   then your work is done, you don't need to work further.

01:19:18   I don't think, for example, if he decided the hotspot is PHP,

01:19:21   I need to replace PHP with Python,

01:19:23   he would not have had the number of servers.

01:19:24   That's the type of thing, even without using language,

01:19:26   you can kind of ballpark and say,

01:19:28   are these of the same level of abstraction?

01:19:30   Go is clearly lower level and it's clearly giving him

01:19:33   something that PHP wasn't that he knew

01:19:34   would be a big bang for the buck.

01:19:36   - Yeah, yeah, definitely.

01:19:37   - Even been doing watch kit a lot.

01:19:40   Lots of watch kit this week.

01:19:41   I'm liking it a lot.

01:19:43   - Yeah?

01:19:44   - 'Cause it's so limited that there's not a lot of pressure

01:19:48   on me to make something amazing like that's,

01:19:50   like there's not a lot of pressure on me

01:19:52   to cram the entire app into this because I just can't.

01:19:57   Like it is not possible to.

01:19:59   So the limits I have are very challenging

01:20:04   and in that way kind of interesting to me.

01:20:07   - Can you do a thing with like,

01:20:09   do you have accelerometer access on the watch?

01:20:12   Like if I shake my wrist?

01:20:13   - Nope, no sensors.

01:20:14   - No, that would be like,

01:20:16   a lot of the time when I'm listening

01:20:17   to a podcast or something,

01:20:19   I hate, I've talked to you about this before,

01:20:20   I hate the stupid little clicker,

01:20:22   like going forward and back

01:20:23   of doing two clicks and three clicks,

01:20:24   which when you have cold fingers

01:20:26   and like, I don't know if I accidentally hold too long

01:20:28   and ends up being the click and the hold.

01:20:29   I know all the patterns, but I just can't make my fingers do it with the stupid Apple

01:20:33   Clicker.

01:20:34   But you run out of gestures.

01:20:36   You don't have enough...

01:20:37   There's not enough input.

01:20:38   You don't have enough buttons.

01:20:39   So a lot of the time it's like, I just missed the last few seconds of what was said on a

01:20:44   podcast.

01:20:45   I would shake my wrist for it to go back seven seconds and just have that be the one unambiguous,

01:20:49   vigorous wrist shaking.

01:20:51   I feel like you could make it vigorous enough so you wouldn't accidentally do it or whatever.

01:20:55   And that is much easier than me trying to triple click the stupid headset thing to go

01:21:00   back and hear what somebody said.

01:21:02   Actually I have a prototype class that's a pocket tap recognizer that will try to recognize

01:21:08   if you tap the phone while it's in your pocket.

01:21:10   Like if you just like hit it with your finger from the outside of your jeans or whatever.

01:21:14   And I got that working decently but I could never get it working reliably enough to actually

01:21:21   ship it.

01:21:22   Like it's just not good enough.

01:21:23   there's too many false responses in either direction,

01:21:27   like falsely detecting if you just step really hard

01:21:29   as a tap and missing real taps.

01:21:32   I just could not get it to work properly.

01:21:34   - Yeah, and it's kind of small for gestures.

01:21:36   That's why I was thinking the one input you have

01:21:38   is the shake, and the shake.ndo is silly in iOS,

01:21:42   but I'm pretty sure I've never accidentally done it,

01:21:46   and I very frequently have A, done it on purpose,

01:21:49   and be shaking an app in the dim hope

01:21:53   that this app will actually support undo through shake.

01:21:56   And I'm really excited when it does,

01:21:57   and when it doesn't, I'm just sad.

01:21:58   - You've never kicked that off accidentally?

01:22:01   - Never.

01:22:02   - Oh, I do it all the time,

01:22:03   'cause I'll be holding my iPad,

01:22:05   so I'll be in bed on my back,

01:22:07   holding my iPad up with both hands using it.

01:22:10   And then I'll kind of like drop it intentionally

01:22:13   to let it land on my chest

01:22:14   so I can like type or something like that

01:22:15   and not support the weight of the iPad

01:22:18   with my hands anymore.

01:22:19   - I have an iPad three,

01:22:20   if I did it, it would break my ribs.

01:22:22   - That's true.

01:22:23   That is an excellent point, sir.

01:22:26   But yeah, every time I do that deliberate drop

01:22:30   onto my chest in order to make it

01:22:33   so that I don't have to support it anymore,

01:22:35   then it kicks the undo.

01:22:40   Do you wanna undo the typing you just did?

01:22:42   And it drives me nuts every time.

01:22:43   But as a developer, I know that it makes perfect sense

01:22:47   why that's happening.

01:22:48   It's not my fault, but it's kind of my fault.

01:22:51   - Yeah, for all I know, I am accidentally triggering it.

01:22:53   I'm just doing it in apps that don't support undo.

01:22:55   (laughing)

01:22:56   But I've never seen stuff go away on my screen

01:22:59   and realize it's because I jostled the thing too much.

01:23:01   And like I said, I very frequently,

01:23:03   after accidentally performing some action,

01:23:05   just futilely shake the device.

01:23:07   Even if it doesn't undo, it lets me get revenge, I guess,

01:23:10   on the device.

01:23:10   You stupid phone.

01:23:12   Didn't mean to tap that.

01:23:13   You know I didn't mean to tap that.

01:23:14   - No, so I've actually,

01:23:16   I've been doing a lot of WatchKit stuff.

01:23:17   I'm just gonna talk about it now, screw it.

01:23:19   So I like it a lot.

01:23:23   I think it's important for people's expectations

01:23:26   of what WatchKit apps will actually be

01:23:29   to actually know how it works a little bit.

01:23:31   So basically, when Apple Watch launches in a few months

01:23:36   or whenever, it doesn't matter,

01:23:38   developers can only,

01:23:39   Apple can do whatever they want with their apps,

01:23:41   but third-party developers can only make

01:23:42   Watch apps with WatchKit.

01:23:44   So what this is is,

01:23:47   WatchKit is actually an extension that runs on the phone

01:23:51   from the main parent app.

01:23:53   And it runs in the background.

01:23:55   Whenever you select the apps icon on the watch,

01:23:58   it launches the WatchKit extension on the phone

01:24:01   to boot up, give it data, and control it.

01:24:04   And then the third-party developer's code

01:24:06   never actually runs on the watch.

01:24:08   All the third-party code is running on the phone,

01:24:11   and it's literally just like,

01:24:12   it's reading data from the parent app on the phone.

01:24:14   If you're making network calls,

01:24:15   it's also happening on the phone.

01:24:17   and then you send commands to the watch

01:24:21   to just update the screen.

01:24:22   The watch is playing through a static storyboard

01:24:24   where you've defined your controllers and everything

01:24:26   and the elements they have.

01:24:28   Those are all static.

01:24:28   You can't generate elements dynamically at runtime.

01:24:32   You can hide and show them, but you can't generate new ones.

01:24:34   And so the phone is basically commanding the watch

01:24:38   over Bluetooth how to update your interface in it.

01:24:42   So it's sending over commands like,

01:24:45   set this label's text to this string.

01:24:48   And like all the commands, it's hilarious,

01:24:50   all the commands, they're write only,

01:24:52   you can't read from them.

01:24:53   So you can set the color of the text

01:24:56   but you can't read it back.

01:24:57   'Cause it's literally just like this thin layer

01:25:00   on top of this command structure

01:25:01   that's just like telling the watch

01:25:02   how to update its interface.

01:25:04   So there's a number of challenges with this

01:25:06   and the biggest one is latency

01:25:07   'cause Bluetooth has some latency.

01:25:10   In modern Bluetooth it's pretty small.

01:25:12   But there is some latency.

01:25:14   And there's also just a lot,

01:25:16   there's pretty limited bandwidth there.

01:25:18   And the watch, as far as we can tell

01:25:20   from hints and things here and there,

01:25:22   the watch is not gonna keep your app running for very long.

01:25:25   Like as soon as you stop looking at it,

01:25:27   it closes, the extension closes and everything's cut off.

01:25:30   So there's gonna be major challenges

01:25:33   in just getting these watch apps to be dynamic

01:25:38   and to be useful and to be rich.

01:25:39   Because if you're sending over images,

01:25:43   Even like, you know, I'm having this problem with the album art of like, how do you send

01:25:47   over album art in a way that is efficient?

01:25:49   And you can have it cache up to 20 megs of album art for you, but not a lot.

01:25:57   All these little limitations, little problems, but overall the biggest thing about it is

01:26:02   just this lack of dynamic interface and the latency involved in updating things.

01:26:08   And everything is based around trying to minimize it.

01:26:11   So if you're really chatty over that protocol,

01:26:13   over the Bluetooth, you're gonna keep the radios on,

01:26:15   and you're gonna burn a bunch of battery life

01:26:16   on both sides.

01:26:18   So there's a lot of challenges, a lot of limitations here.

01:26:22   I would say for the first wave of third party apps,

01:26:26   which I think is gonna be a year roughly,

01:26:29   I would say don't expect a lot of dynamic interaction.

01:26:34   It is like a static menu that you're dealing with,

01:26:37   or like static interface elements.

01:26:38   there's almost nothing dynamic that you can do.

01:26:40   I would not expect a whole lot from games.

01:26:44   I think some games will work on it,

01:26:46   things where you can have very simple controls

01:26:48   like which of these five actions do you wanna do next?

01:26:51   Touch this button, like that's it.

01:26:53   Like there's not a lot of interaction

01:26:54   that's gonna be reasonably possible with the system.

01:26:57   On the plus side, it's really quick to develop for

01:27:00   and it's really easy to get something going

01:27:02   and I think it's a smart move overall from Apple

01:27:07   and the tools are pretty good.

01:27:10   There's a couple of bugs here and there,

01:27:12   but overall for this limited set of things that it's doing,

01:27:15   it's pretty well suited for that.

01:27:16   So I'm actually really happy about it.

01:27:19   I'm, again, as I mentioned earlier,

01:27:20   I'm happy that I don't have to kind of be forced

01:27:24   to cram the whole app into it because I just can't.

01:27:27   So instead I can do this limited subset

01:27:29   that I can do in a month or two

01:27:30   and have a really great app out there and be done with it.

01:27:35   So overall, I like it.

01:27:37   Again, set expectations low if you're gonna be buying

01:27:40   one of these things.

01:27:41   Don't expect a whole lot from third party apps,

01:27:43   but what you have I think will be interesting

01:27:46   and certainly will be enough for the first year.

01:27:49   - That's good for Apple because what they wanna say is,

01:27:52   boy, the Apple Watch is out and already there are,

01:27:56   insert very large number of third party applications for it

01:28:00   because if it's really easy for you to add like,

01:28:02   why don't you just add trivial Apple Watch support?

01:28:04   Well, all Apple Watch support at this point is trivial

01:28:07   without native apps and stuff like that

01:28:08   and the incredible limitations.

01:28:09   So if you make it easy for people to go,

01:28:11   that's a nice bullet point we could add to our iPhone app.

01:28:13   I could say we have watch support

01:28:14   and then everyone is thinking of,

01:28:15   is there anything sensible I can show on the watch?

01:28:17   And if there's anything remotely sensible,

01:28:19   no matter how simple it is, you don't feel too bad,

01:28:21   but it's like, everyone has to be simple.

01:28:22   So I think this will help Apple have a lot of,

01:28:25   you know, a lot of quote unquote phone apps,

01:28:28   you know, iOS apps that support the,

01:28:30   phone, watch apps,

01:28:32   iOS apps that support the watch out of the gate,

01:28:34   because that's what they wanna say.

01:28:35   They want to say, "Our platform is exciting, it's popular."

01:28:38   And if it was possible to make full-fledged applications,

01:28:41   then if you just made some silly thing

01:28:43   that was barely interactive, you would look bad.

01:28:45   But now everyone will look bad together,

01:28:47   and comparatively, you'll look good.

01:28:49   - Yeah, I mean, it really does serve

01:28:52   their interests very well.

01:28:54   And again, I think it helps us too.

01:28:56   I mean, I know a lot of developers

01:28:58   are probably very frustrated with the limitations

01:29:00   of the very long list of things you can't do,

01:29:03   things you don't have access to.

01:29:04   Like for instance, if your phone moves out of range

01:29:09   of the watch, from what we've been told,

01:29:10   we don't know that we don't have hardware yet,

01:29:12   but from what we've been told,

01:29:14   if your phone loses that Bluetooth connection to the watch,

01:29:16   so like if you go running with it or whatever,

01:29:19   your app just terminates, like it just ends,

01:29:22   because it can't keep the UI updated anymore.

01:29:24   It's like the head gets cut off, like it just ends.

01:29:28   So nothing can run detached from a phone that's third party.

01:29:32   and again, there's so many limitations on the things,

01:29:36   the kinds of things you can't do with the interface

01:29:39   is very long and we still, in the simulator,

01:29:43   they have attempted to simulate latency

01:29:47   with some of these commands,

01:29:48   but it's just artificial insertion of a sleep command

01:29:52   in the UI, so we don't really know

01:29:56   what the latency will be like on a real device.

01:29:58   Like, if I'm showing a list of podcast episodes

01:30:02   like I do in the playlist screen.

01:30:04   I wanna have artwork on each one,

01:30:05   showing you what show they're from.

01:30:07   At this point, and I'm compressing the images down

01:30:09   so they're really tiny, they're like a couple of kilobytes

01:30:12   each maybe, but in the simulator,

01:30:14   it takes a long time to load that.

01:30:15   And I don't know if that's a bug,

01:30:18   I don't know if that's because it's simulating latency

01:30:21   like per request instead of by byte size,

01:30:24   or I don't know if that's really how latent it's going to be

01:30:26   in which case I'm gonna have to change that design entirely.

01:30:29   - You gotta think like Yosemite in iTunes 7

01:30:31   and just average the color of the album art,

01:30:34   pick one color out of it,

01:30:35   and then just set a square to that one color.

01:30:38   - So I have an honest question,

01:30:42   and you may choose not to answer it,

01:30:44   but you've talked several times

01:30:46   about how limited WatchKit is, which makes sense.

01:30:49   Can you give it a couple of examples

01:30:50   of things you really wish you could do or have tried to do,

01:30:53   but couldn't make work

01:30:54   with the current set of WatchKit limitations?

01:30:58   - Oh, sure.

01:30:59   I mean, one of the biggest ones is,

01:31:01   I can't do my play animation at all.

01:31:03   I mean, I could render it to a bunch of images

01:31:07   and try to send the commands over to be like,

01:31:08   all right, set this bar of the EQ to be this height.

01:31:12   - No, no, no, no, put them all on the storyboard

01:31:15   and you just cycle between those four frames

01:31:17   in the storyboard.

01:31:18   - Right, yeah. - It's done.

01:31:19   - Exactly. - Remember the old,

01:31:20   I think the old, you know, a lot of UIs do this

01:31:22   where they want it to look like level meters,

01:31:24   but they just have like four images

01:31:25   that they just cycle between randomly.

01:31:27   - Oh, yeah. - Put that on the storyboard.

01:31:28   It's all static, Marco, you're overthinking it.

01:31:30   - No one will know, no one knows what the waveform

01:31:32   is supposed to look like.

01:31:33   - That's how Apple does it when, in iOS 7 and on the watch,

01:31:36   when they have their music app and they have

01:31:37   the little now playing animation bars, those are fake.

01:31:40   - Yeah, I think the one in the QuickTime 7 player

01:31:42   is real, isn't it?

01:31:43   - I don't know, I think so.

01:31:45   But yeah, the ones in iOS 7, like the little three bar

01:31:48   animation on the now playing item, that's totally fake.

01:31:51   And like, seeing that and being annoyed that it was fake

01:31:53   is what made me try to do my own that was real

01:31:55   and see that it worked.

01:31:56   - But the fake ones do serve a purpose.

01:31:58   Like, I'm joking about doing a fake one with storyboards,

01:32:00   but something to let people know that audio is playing

01:32:04   is probably a good idea.

01:32:06   I guess it's probably much better

01:32:07   to do it with a static thing,

01:32:08   like a red light on the camera

01:32:10   that shows camera is on or whatever.

01:32:12   But if you show anyone that looks anything

01:32:16   like a level meter, people know,

01:32:18   oh, that means something is playing now.

01:32:19   And if I can't hear it, something is screwed up

01:32:21   because my headphones don't work.

01:32:22   Is the music playing?

01:32:24   You would think most people would just look at it

01:32:25   and see the pause symbol and say,

01:32:26   of course it's playing,

01:32:27   otherwise there wouldn't be a pause symbol.

01:32:28   but I found my experience that people do not recognize

01:32:31   that reality is staring them in the face.

01:32:33   But if you show a level meter anywhere,

01:32:34   they know something should be playing it,

01:32:36   or not hearing it, something's broken.

01:32:38   - Right, I mean, so Casey, I mean, to answer your question,

01:32:40   like, you know, limitations I've hit directly,

01:32:42   I mean, you know, again, one of the biggest ones

01:32:44   is just, you know, not knowing how much latency

01:32:47   I can actually expect in real life

01:32:49   when sending images over and stuff like that.

01:32:51   But, you know, some of the actual, like,

01:32:53   hard limits are things like,

01:32:55   I can't even show efficiently the seconds remaining

01:33:00   indicator because there is, there's like a built-in widget

01:33:04   that you don't have to keep updating for counting up

01:33:06   or down to a certain time or certain time interval

01:33:09   or showing the current time.

01:33:10   So I can't, like the only way for me to have it count down

01:33:14   with like second, with the actual seconds remaining

01:33:16   is to update it every time that number changes,

01:33:18   so at least once per second, which I probably can't

01:33:21   and probably shouldn't be doing.

01:33:23   So instead, I have it actually update

01:33:25   a minutes remaining counter.

01:33:27   And whenever the number of minutes remaining changes,

01:33:30   I send an update over the Bluetooth

01:33:32   and have it update the label to show that.

01:33:35   And I have a progress bar in the current mockup

01:33:38   that only it's images, and it only has, you know,

01:33:42   like I think 150 increments across the screen.

01:33:46   And so whenever like the progress through the episode

01:33:48   changes by enough to matter, to be worth a couple of pixels,

01:33:52   I update that image to be the new value.

01:33:53   - Oh, you're still doing better than Windows 95.

01:33:56   - That's true, yes.

01:33:57   That was just pallet cycling, right?

01:33:59   - No, the Windows 95 is a segmented progress bars.

01:34:02   - Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:34:03   - And you have more than 100,

01:34:04   it didn't have 150 segments.

01:34:05   - Right, so there's limitations like that

01:34:08   that I just can't get around.

01:34:10   The biggest limitation is the width of the screen

01:34:15   is just really narrow.

01:34:17   Like, you just can't fit a lot on the screen.

01:34:20   and I've managed to make it work, I think.

01:34:24   I won't know until I actually get one of these watches

01:34:26   and start using it,

01:34:26   but I think I've managed to make it work acceptably.

01:34:29   But that is, I mean, the hardest challenge

01:34:31   is just a design challenge right there.

01:34:33   But then there's also like little details.

01:34:35   So if you have a navigation stack,

01:34:38   so you have like your root controller,

01:34:39   and then it pushes when you select an element

01:34:41   on the table view, it pushes the new one.

01:34:43   And then you select again, it pushes another one.

01:34:46   Any of the ones that are below the current item in the stack

01:34:49   that you've pushed something on top of,

01:34:52   those stop receiving UI updates

01:34:54   and those can no longer send UI updates for themselves.

01:34:59   So let's say you have at the base of the navigation hierarchy

01:35:03   a list of the podcasts you subscribed to.

01:35:07   Then you push on top of that the playlist view

01:35:10   and the now playing view.

01:35:11   So you're in the middle of a podcast.

01:35:13   The list of podcasts you subscribe to

01:35:15   changes for some reason.

01:35:16   Something new comes into the download, you delete one,

01:35:19   Whatever the case, the list changes.

01:35:21   So now the root controller,

01:35:22   which is not currently shown on screen,

01:35:24   'cause it's buried below the now playing,

01:35:26   the root controller needs to update itself.

01:35:29   It's still memory, it will recognize,

01:35:31   if your data layer is set up,

01:35:33   it'll recognize that there's been a change,

01:35:35   but you have to check to see if it's active,

01:35:36   and if it's not active, you have to just enqueue that,

01:35:40   and just set like a boolean flag somewhere saying,

01:35:43   this is invalid data that I have now,

01:35:45   and I need to reload it next time I'm shown.

01:35:47   And the next time it's shown,

01:35:48   you have to check for that flag and say,

01:35:49   oh, if I'm invalid, reload the data.

01:35:51   All this stuff, this doesn't really exist

01:35:54   in UIKit on the phone.

01:35:56   These problems don't really exist.

01:35:57   You can just do things anytime you want and it's fine.

01:36:01   The watch is really,

01:36:02   the watch kit communication is really basic.

01:36:05   As I said, it's write only, it's very limited,

01:36:08   it's all just sending remote desktop commands

01:36:11   over the wire, basically.

01:36:16   There's a lot of stuff you have to do very manually.

01:36:19   A lot of stuff you just have to choose not to do

01:36:21   or choose to do in very minimal or clever ways.

01:36:25   And that's kind of why I like it,

01:36:26   'cause I enjoy challenges like that.

01:36:28   - Then you're gonna get like screen flicker though,

01:36:29   when you go back to the podcast list, you know,

01:36:33   only once that thing is active,

01:36:34   will it even have a chance to update its UI.

01:36:36   So as soon as you go back to that screen,

01:36:37   if that Boolean is set,

01:36:38   you're just now within a couple, you know,

01:36:41   fractions of a second, it's gonna update everything.

01:36:43   Whereas before it could have been updated

01:36:44   behind the scenes sort of.

01:36:45   So now you're putting that UI flicker in people's faces,

01:36:48   which is kind of crappy.

01:36:49   - Yeah, and again, and it sucks,

01:36:51   and I don't think there's anything I can do about it,

01:36:53   but you know, again, there's just nothing you can do.

01:36:56   - Someone needs to discover the hack of like,

01:36:58   if you just make the currently active view

01:37:00   larger than the actual screen,

01:37:02   and like, you know, like sort of like CSS sprites,

01:37:04   CSS sprites for UI.

01:37:06   - Yeah, right.

01:37:07   - Like, I'm not really pushing a view,

01:37:09   I'm just shifting the viewport.

01:37:10   And so really this view is always active,

01:37:13   so I can update the podcast list whenever it's an update.

01:37:15   - Yep, nope, can't even do that.

01:37:17   - Yeah, I'm sure they would reject your app

01:37:18   if you tried to anyway.

01:37:19   - I would also, I would love to do like,

01:37:20   like the force press gesture on the watch,

01:37:23   which is, functionally it's kind of like a right click,

01:37:26   it shows that menu of like, of overlaid icons.

01:37:28   - When you use the force to press your watch?

01:37:30   - Yeah, you just concentrate really hard

01:37:31   and this menu comes up.

01:37:33   And that, you can only do it per screen.

01:37:38   Like you can't force press on say, a table list item

01:37:42   and get options for that item.

01:37:44   you just have to do it for like the whole screen.

01:37:46   Like this screen has the force press.

01:37:47   - Yeah, the force press is on the screen,

01:37:49   but then it ignores what part of the screen

01:37:51   your finger is touching.

01:37:52   And I can kind of see that because

01:37:54   if that gesture becomes part of the vocabulary

01:37:56   of using the watch, it's kind of weird

01:37:59   to make people care about where their finger is

01:38:01   on the screen, you know what I mean?

01:38:02   Like that's two different things

01:38:03   because then you'd have to be thinking,

01:38:05   is this one of those force presses in this app

01:38:07   where it doesn't matter where my finger is,

01:38:09   or is this one of those force presses in this app

01:38:10   where it does whatever my finger is?

01:38:12   Now you can just shove your meaty paw under the watch

01:38:15   and just press it and it'll do something.

01:38:17   - Yeah, exactly.

01:38:18   But I mean, really, I was not really that excited

01:38:21   about the watch until I started playing with WatchKit.

01:38:23   Now I'm very excited.

01:38:24   Now that I see what I can do with not that much effort,

01:38:28   and how useful that would probably actually be in practice,

01:38:30   which I think is pretty useful.

01:38:31   There's a lot of situations where I'm walking my dog

01:38:35   all bundled up in the cold, and I'm like,

01:38:36   "Man, I would really like to have

01:38:37   "a basic little watch control right now."

01:38:39   (laughs)

01:38:40   lot of situations where this is coming up where I'm like, "Yeah, this would actually

01:38:43   be nice to have." So I'm looking forward to it.

01:38:45   You've got to wait five years before we can live in the real future where we can have

01:38:49   a great view of your nose hair when you're out on your walk because you'll have a live

01:38:53   video on your watch just like Dick Tracy. We'll all be able to see up each other's noses.

01:38:59   That sounds awesome. The future.

01:39:01   I can't wait. Yeah, because like this whole thing, you just

01:39:04   look at your watch and your wrist vibrates a little bit and you pick up your wrist and

01:39:10   there's your wife's tiny little face on there telling you something and she can see right

01:39:13   up your nose.

01:39:15   Yay.

01:39:16   The future!

01:39:17   [BLANK_AUDIO]