6: Live Like Other People


00:00:00   Let's get going.

00:00:01   Oh, we are going.

00:00:02   Oh my god.

00:00:03   That was so good.

00:00:04   I'm keeping that in.

00:00:07   So I went to the mall today and I had to pick up a new Apple TV and a replacement remote.

00:00:13   First of all, I do want to talk a little bit about my TV.

00:00:16   So we've had this back den/family room/play room in our house since we bought the house

00:00:24   and we haven't had any furniture in it because we just haven't had any need for it yet.

00:00:29   have a living room, I have an office, we have separate rooms for these things, so

00:00:33   this room, we always said, oh, it'll be like the kids' playroom. So

00:00:37   we just started using this room finally now that we have the kid, and so

00:00:41   we got a couch for it that was delivered this morning, and I got a TV

00:00:45   for it, and a second Apple TV to plug into that TV,

00:00:49   and I thought it was interesting how,

00:00:53   you know, and John, of course, you're famous for your researched television purchase,

00:00:57   But I thought it was interesting how, for this TV, I literally, the only research I

00:01:02   did was I searched Amazon for TVs in roughly this size range on my iPad mini in bed one

00:01:10   night and just ordered it.

00:01:13   That's how the rest of the world lives, Marco.

00:01:15   I learned that.

00:01:16   Occasionally, I fantasize about purchasing something that way, but I can never actually

00:01:20   pull the trigger.

00:01:21   Well, and like, it was just like, "Well, but it would just take five more minutes,

00:01:25   just 10 more minutes."

00:01:26   broker, maybe just one more hour, maybe three more hours, and just think, that three hours

00:01:30   you invest now, you're going to have this thing for years. Isn't it foolish to just

00:01:34   live like other people and just search for TV and find one that looks nice and click

00:01:38   a buy? But that's what people do.

00:01:41   So the reason you keep cars for seven eternities is because it takes you seven eternities to

00:01:45   research the next car.

00:01:47   I'm continuing. I mean, I'm reading car magazines, at least one car magazine a month. I'm continually

00:01:51   researching what the next car is going to be. I'm always ready at a moment's notice

00:01:55   to sift through the existing field and say,

00:01:59   these are the potential cars I would get.

00:02:00   I mean, I'm even making those things of like, hmm, well,

00:02:04   do I really want-- do I want the S8,

00:02:06   or should I wait for the new S-Class?

00:02:08   None of these cars I can afford.

00:02:09   But I'm already-- in case, just in case,

00:02:12   I'm ready to go on that front.

00:02:13   Goodness gracious.

00:02:14   And usually I'm like that, too, which

00:02:16   is why I was kind of amused by my own lack of interest

00:02:20   in doing that for this purchase.

00:02:21   The main reason why I think, in my case, this time,

00:02:25   was there weren't that many choices that I actually wanted.

00:02:28   So I wasn't going to go to a store.

00:02:31   I don't care, because it's a secondary room in the house.

00:02:35   Selfishly, I'm not going to often be watching it.

00:02:38   Usually either the baby's watching it with Sesame Street,

00:02:41   or my wife is watching it while hanging out with the baby.

00:02:43   And so it is very rare that I will be there watching it.

00:02:47   Second of all, I know that-- and it had to be smaller.

00:02:51   The biggest we could get that would fit the spot it went in

00:02:54   was 37 inches. I know by old standards that's pretty big, but by today's standards that's

00:02:58   pretty small, or at least medium.

00:03:02   So I'm not buying a high-end item because, John, as you told me, it's pretty hard to

00:03:07   find small, high-end TV models.

00:03:11   All small TVs are terrible. It's sad.

00:03:14   The other thing was I didn't really want to buy a Samsung because I just find Samsung

00:03:19   so distasteful as a company overall that I'd rather not support them if I can avoid it.

00:03:26   I mean, sure, if they had the only good option, I would have probably sucked it up and bought

00:03:31   it.

00:03:33   So anyway, I went and the TV we have for our main TV, which I bought about seven years

00:03:38   ago now, is a nice 42-inch Panasonic Plasma.

00:03:42   And I'm very happy with it.

00:03:43   It's great TV.

00:03:45   You know, really, really nice color and brightness and contrast.

00:03:50   Dark levels are awesome when it's the plasma.

00:03:52   I mean, it's a fantastic TV.

00:03:54   And I've always been very pleased with it.

00:03:56   So I basically looked on Amazon, alright, show me TVs that are this size roughly, and

00:04:02   of course that rules out all plasmas, which is unfortunate because I do like plasma as

00:04:05   a technology.

00:04:06   It just looks so good in dark detail.

00:04:10   But so, okay, I can't get a plasma that's 37 inches.

00:04:14   And rule out Samsung, OK.

00:04:16   And rule out things that won't ship via Amazon Prime,

00:04:19   because I don't feel like paying some massive shipping charge

00:04:21   for somebody to send me a TV.

00:04:22   OK.

00:04:23   And that left only like four models.

00:04:26   And one of them was a Panasonic.

00:04:28   And the Panasonic was the only one that was 1080p.

00:04:31   Amazon has terrible television selection, by the way.

00:04:33   But I'm not surprised that you narrowed it down

00:04:35   to a very few models, because they do not-- they simply--

00:04:38   like, they carry every possible brand of, like, you know,

00:04:41   I don't know, pen or paper towels or whatever.

00:04:43   but TVs, your Best Buy has more selection in terms of models, which surprises me all the time.

00:04:49   How could Amazon not have this, but whatever weird math they use to figure out what they carry

00:04:54   seems to exclude a lot of models of TV.

00:04:56   You would think it would be the opposite, because it's Amazon.

00:04:58   They don't have a bunch of stores anywhere.

00:05:00   Right, yeah. I don't know what it is.

00:05:02   But yeah, so it was easy. I could choose between some weird discontinued Sony model

00:05:06   or some Samsung thing or some, like, you know, KOBE piece of crap

00:05:10   or a Panasonic, which I already like,

00:05:14   that looks very similar to my current one,

00:05:15   that had good customer ratings on Amazon,

00:05:18   and was the only one that was 1080p.

00:05:20   I mean, it was a no-brainer.

00:05:21   And it was like 550 bucks, which I think is pretty cheap

00:05:24   for a good TV of that size.

00:05:27   So I was like, hey, that's done.

00:05:29   (laughs)

00:05:30   The measurements fit perfectly, done.

00:05:31   And it arrived today and it's awesome.

00:05:33   Like, I'm really happy with it.

00:05:34   And I can't believe how little research I had to do

00:05:36   to get a satisfactory purchase here.

00:05:39   - Yeah, I guess I had to pay the people.

00:05:40   That's why people buy without research, because ignorance is bliss, and if you don't do the

00:05:43   research, you don't know what it is you're missing, and you just get what you want.

00:05:47   I agonized over my small TV purchase because I had exactly the same problem.

00:05:51   I quickly discovered that all the small TVs are terrible because there's no market for

00:05:56   like high-end small TVs.

00:05:57   There's more of a market for high-end hatchbacks than there is for small TVs.

00:06:02   And so I had to go through all of the models that all had some terrible fatal flaw that

00:06:07   that would prevent me from ever wanting to figure out

00:06:09   which is the least terrible one.

00:06:11   And in the end, the one I chose,

00:06:14   I chose because it was on sale for like $200 off

00:06:19   what you could find at like a Best Buy type price.

00:06:22   And it was on Amazon and it was prime shippable.

00:06:24   And I said, okay, these all have something about them

00:06:28   that makes me not able to buy them,

00:06:29   but this one has, it's such a steep discount today,

00:06:32   I have to get it.

00:06:33   So that's what I ended up with.

00:06:36   But I'm you know, I still look at it and I still am sad but I'm like well

00:06:40   I did save a lot of money on like mine was around $500 too, but it was a

00:06:44   Nicer television probably then Mark. I've got you sure is it is the one I have is pretty nice

00:06:49   Well, I mean maybe not now because I bought mine years ago

00:06:51   Okay, you know technology marches on but at the time it was

00:06:54   It was also the highest rated of all the ones I was looking at in term and I wish there was a site like DP review

00:07:00   for televisions, but as far as I can tell there is not there is a

00:07:03   AVS forums, which is kind of like DP review, but exploded into a million pieces, so you

00:07:09   have to troll through the forums to figure out what people say.

00:07:11   But I just want a comprehensive, in-depth, technical review of things, the way DP review

00:07:15   does cameras.

00:07:16   Yeah.

00:07:17   Image comparisons with comparable models, like the whole nine yards, right?

00:07:20   And I could balance that with this stuff.

00:07:21   The only thing I found, like this is what you should have done to, well, this would

00:07:26   have just led you to disappointment, but the way my parents wanted to get a television,

00:07:29   I just told them to go to CNET's television reviews, because they have a nice web interface,

00:07:32   They review most televisions.

00:07:34   They do a reasonable job.

00:07:35   And you can just go, show me the best TVs for under $500

00:07:40   under this size with this technology.

00:07:42   And they will just show you with the star ratings.

00:07:44   And you get a short list of models.

00:07:46   Then you go to Amazon and see that Amazon carries

00:07:48   none of those models.

00:07:49   And you'll be sad.

00:07:50   But that's a good starting point of-- it's

00:07:53   kind of like the wire cutter for TVs,

00:07:55   but a little bit more comprehensive.

00:07:56   Because they'll tell me, OK, I want a big TV.

00:07:58   I want a small TV.

00:07:59   I want LCD.

00:08:00   I want plasma.

00:08:01   I want LED backlight.

00:08:02   I don't care about the backlight.

00:08:03   By the way, what is the backlight on your Stino Marco?

00:08:05   LED.

00:08:06   Yeah, they're all LED now.

00:08:08   But that used to be a big distinguishing characteristic.

00:08:11   And it drives me crazy when people call them LED TVs.

00:08:14   Yeah, I know.

00:08:15   Because that's so misleading.

00:08:17   The magic of marketing.

00:08:18   Is yours edgelet?

00:08:21   You know, I don't even know that.

00:08:22   Yeah, I mean, don't research it.

00:08:24   Just be happy with your television.

00:08:26   Don't look into it.

00:08:27   I like it, honestly.

00:08:28   I think it's great.

00:08:29   I mean, I've used it for an hour earlier today.

00:08:33   That's the thing about television technology.

00:08:35   Even though all these technologies have some horrible flaw about them, including plasma,

00:08:40   progress does march on.

00:08:41   I think people have been talking about the latest crop of Panasonic plasmas.

00:08:45   Panasonic is once again making noises about getting out of the plasma business.

00:08:48   But they're like, "Okay, well, if you buy the sort of middle of the road Panasonic plasma

00:08:52   that everybody buys, it has better picture than their super-duper top of the line from

00:08:56   the last generation."

00:08:57   Oops.

00:08:58   And so that's depressing if you have a television like me.

00:09:02   I bought the top of the line five years ago, and now their bargain basement TV probably

00:09:07   looks better, but it's heartening in that it's finally getting to the point where if

00:09:12   you go out and buy a Panasonic Plasma today from their current crop of models, you're

00:09:16   probably getting a better television than I have for a lot less money.

00:09:19   And that's kind of the way technology is supposed to work.

00:09:21   And I think one reason why I was willing to almost impulse buy a TV is because they're

00:09:27   also good now. I mean, yeah, within...you can, and especially you, but you, the general

00:09:34   population, can find differences and identify them and nitpick them, but in reality, whatever

00:09:42   TV you buy, chances are you'll be fine with it until it breaks, which is probably at least

00:09:49   five years. I said on Twitter ten years, I know I got tons of responses saying that these

00:09:54   components do not last that long, and I might expect more like 5 to 7, okay fine.

00:09:58   But, you know, 5 to 7 years,

00:10:02   that TV is going to work. Like for me, a TV is

00:10:06   a monitor for an Apple TV and an occasional game system.

00:10:10   Like, I'm not asking that much from it. And so

00:10:14   I knew that whatever I bought, you know, unless it had some

00:10:18   weird thing, like it made a weird noise, or like the speakers fell out,

00:10:22   you know, barring some kind of catastrophic flaw, almost anything would work just fine

00:10:28   for my purposes here.

00:10:30   I still think the distinction between LCD and plasma is significant enough that, you

00:10:35   know, like, especially if you're into watching movies, with all the motion compensation stuff,

00:10:41   you either leave that on and everything looks weird, or you turn it off and everything looks

00:10:44   weird in a slightly different way. And like, it used to be, I don't know if this is still

00:10:48   the case because I haven't researched buying a new TV recently, but it used to be that

00:10:53   it was difficult to find, even among the plasmas you had to be careful to make sure that you

00:10:57   got one that could do true 24 frames per second cadence for a Blu-ray player. There's some

00:11:03   standards of saying like, "Oh, put the TV into a mode," because 24 is not a nice multiple,

00:11:07   like 60 or 30 or anything like that. And there are various Blu-ray players and TVs conspire

00:11:11   to give you the most accurate film-like representation of movies that were shot at 24 frames per

00:11:17   per second without any weird interpolation, without any image processing delays and stuff

00:11:22   like that. And plasmas are still the way to go for that because the LCDs necessarily have

00:11:28   to do some amount of that weird processing stuff and the input lag for games and stuff

00:11:34   like that. But for watching television shows, it's fine. Our upstairs bedroom TV is an LCD

00:11:41   and we watch TV shows on it and the kids watch movies on it and it's not a big deal.

00:11:44   I will say also, I haven't watched it at night yet,

00:11:48   so I'll see how good the dark detail is,

00:11:50   which is one area where plasmas have always really

00:11:52   been better than LCDs.

00:11:54   But I will say, just looking at the TV

00:11:56   in regular daytime usage, you could have told me

00:11:59   it was a plasma, and I would have believed it.

00:12:01   It really does look that good.

00:12:03   LCD has come a long way.

00:12:05   Your eyesight may also be going.

00:12:08   But no, and granted, I guess I'm comparing this

00:12:11   to what I'm most familiar with, which is a seven-year-old

00:12:13   plasma.

00:12:14   But my seven-year-old plasma is still pretty good by most standards today.

00:12:19   So it's not like totally—it's not like one of the first generation ones that is all

00:12:23   dim.

00:12:24   Yeah.

00:12:25   Just turn on all the lights in the room, bring up the beginning of a movie that has a completely

00:12:28   black screen with the director's name in white text in the middle, and then see what

00:12:32   that looks like.

00:12:33   Does it look like a giant glowing gray square with white light in the middle?

00:12:36   Or does it look like a completely black square with white text with a giant halo around it?

00:12:42   That's where you'll see the black levels,

00:12:45   when all the lights go out in the room.

00:12:47   - Right.

00:12:48   - How much light is actually emitted

00:12:49   from your supposedly black television screen?

00:12:52   - Right, exactly.

00:12:53   - You know what's funny is, ask me what kind of TV I have

00:12:56   in our family room or living room or whatever you call it.

00:12:59   - Is it a TV? - I watch TV, right?

00:13:01   - I do watch TV.

00:13:02   I have no idea what kind of TV it is.

00:13:03   I think it's a Toshiba.

00:13:04   Really don't know.

00:13:05   It was a gift.

00:13:06   Don't know.

00:13:07   It's funny, TVs are just one of those things

00:13:08   I don't care enough.

00:13:10   I really just don't care enough.

00:13:11   And I'm not saying that you guys are wrong to care.

00:13:14   And I kinda wish I cared, but I just really don't care.

00:13:18   And for the longest time, we had a 32-inch TV

00:13:20   above our fireplace, which everyone who comes here,

00:13:23   who comes into our house that actually cares

00:13:25   about this stuff says, "Oh my God,

00:13:26   "how could you have the TV that high off the ground?

00:13:28   "You're out of your mind, it's terrible, blah, blah, blah."

00:13:30   Don't care.

00:13:31   "Why don't you have a bigger TV?"

00:13:32   Don't care.

00:13:33   And it's just odd to me what some people care about

00:13:37   and some people don't.

00:13:38   And again, I'm not faulting either of you

00:13:41   in any capacity for caring.

00:13:42   I kind of wish I gave enough of a crap,

00:13:44   but I just don't care.

00:13:46   - People don't care about retina screens either,

00:13:48   which is the-- - That's true.

00:13:49   - The pressing reality of having taken

00:13:50   various family members shopping for iOS devices,

00:13:54   I have to take great pains to show them

00:13:58   that there is actually a difference

00:13:59   between retina and non-retina iPad screens.

00:14:02   They cannot see it, they kind of see it when I show them,

00:14:05   but it's like, it's the type of thing where

00:14:09   If they can't see it just by looking at the screens, what do you then do to show it?

00:14:13   So, like, I zoom in on text or I try to say, "Do you see the jaggies around the curve of

00:14:17   that thing?"

00:14:18   And, like, you know, everything will be retina.

00:14:22   Retina is better.

00:14:23   They see that it's better, but it's not like, "All right, but is it better enough?

00:14:27   How much more does this one cost?" or whatever.

00:14:29   I think that's why, you know, Panasonic's thinking of canning its plasma.

00:14:34   is because plasma has superior picture quality and other characteristics to LCDs, despite all

00:14:40   the advances in LCDs. But is it better enough? And the other thing that kills me is not only

00:14:45   is the image quality better, but they've been consistently cheaper as well, on the high end,

00:14:51   especially. If the super high end LCDs were more expensive for the same size as the plasma, but

00:14:57   it's just not better enough and plasma got bad rep for heat and power, some of which is true.

00:15:04   and Burnin also, some of which is true.

00:15:06   And it's just like, oh, most people buy kind of the middle of the road LCD televisions,

00:15:11   and there's just not enough people who care about image quality to get...

00:15:15   I mean, Pioneer got out of the business after the Kuro models, which were like the best

00:15:18   looking televisions ever for years and years after they stopped making them.

00:15:22   And some people say still had advantages over existing models, so I think it's a little

00:15:25   bit nostalgia.

00:15:27   But yeah, if your difference is not distinct enough to capture the hearts and minds of

00:15:33   it's very difficult to make a go of that business.

00:15:36   So, Panasonic is like, yeah, we are the current king of television image quality, except for

00:15:43   like I guess those crazy OLED things or whatever.

00:15:45   But not enough people care about that difference.

00:15:48   They just go and buy LCDs and we sell LCDs too and we're just going to get out of this

00:15:52   plasma thing because at a certain point it becomes untenable to be like the only person

00:15:56   making plasma.

00:15:57   Samsung makes plasma too, other people do as well.

00:16:00   I've been actually seriously considering buying whatever the very last high-end

00:16:05   Panasonic plasma is even though I did not plan to replace my television and you just got it two years ago

00:16:12   It wasn't - it was a little bit longer than that

00:16:15   It was like yeah, like I did I planned to keep it for many many years and it's perfectly fine

00:16:19   But I'm like if I don't get this now, I don't want to be in like five years or seven years forced to buy

00:16:26   And LCD television because I don't think like OLEDs

00:16:29   You know any other technology will be superior at that point

00:16:33   So I don't want it's like letting the curl go like you could have bought a curl

00:16:36   But you didn't and I'm fine you're stop making it's like stocking up on old keyboards

00:16:40   Yeah, no I have I have

00:16:42   I've actually I was a big Apple extended keyboard to user and so I have a bunch of spares

00:16:48   but then I switched like when the RSI kicked in I wanted a

00:16:51   keyboard that took less effort to press the keys on, despite the fact that I love the

00:16:55   Apple Extended 2 and I used it all the way up through college.

00:16:58   So now I have a backlog of Apple Extended 2s and I guess I will just save them until

00:17:02   I can sell them to Gruber for some tremendously high price.

00:17:06   He'll come begging, "One day, one day," when he can't find any more.

00:17:10   Yeah, but he's only buying one every ten years.

00:17:13   Well, maybe he'll just start—maybe they'll start breaking at a higher rate.

00:17:17   So I've got some pretty good condition Apple Extended 2s up in the attic.

00:17:20   Well, that's good to know. I'm glad you brought up the retina thing just very quickly.

00:17:25   My parents came down to visit this past weekend, and my dad has a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

00:17:32   And he was asking me a few questions about it, and so I sat down in front of it, and

00:17:36   instantly I was ruined again. And I have—I mentioned in the past, I believe—but I have

00:17:40   a 15-inch high-res anti-glare non-Retina MacBook Pro. Actually, I have two of them. And my

00:17:47   My eyes are actually terrible.

00:17:48   I have to wear hard contacts because my eyes are so bad.

00:17:51   But I was in front of his Retina MacBook Pro for 30 seconds before I was ruined.

00:17:55   And I got up and I said, "God, that screen is so beautiful."

00:17:57   My mom said, "You know, I just don't see it.

00:18:00   I don't get it.

00:18:01   I believe you, but I don't get it."

00:18:03   And so, Jon, you're dead on about that.

00:18:05   It's crazy.

00:18:06   And I don't know if, like, do you think that's because, like, all right, so our parents are

00:18:08   older and your vision gets worse as you get older.

00:18:10   Is that it?

00:18:11   Is that just it, though, or is it something else?

00:18:14   I don't think that's it.

00:18:15   I feel like it's—

00:18:16   I don't either.

00:18:17   It's a combination of attention to that kind of detail

00:18:22   and also just caring about that particular type of thing.

00:18:25   - I agree.

00:18:26   - Well, and I would like to do an A/B test

00:18:28   where there's some sort of reward,

00:18:32   where one of these is retina and one of these isn't.

00:18:34   Try to guess correctly.

00:18:35   Not that you care whether it's,

00:18:37   but literally just can you tell, right?

00:18:40   And we can all tell, like, blink tests,

00:18:42   put them up on the screen for half a second.

00:18:46   but maybe like, you know, if the same half second

00:18:49   is insufficient for them, if they have three seconds,

00:18:51   five seconds, 10 seconds, a minute to stare at them,

00:18:53   can they shove their nose up to them?

00:18:54   Like, what does it take for you to see it?

00:18:57   Because that's separate from, oh, I see,

00:18:59   it's a little bit better, but it's not worth it to me,

00:19:01   versus I literally cannot tell the difference.

00:19:04   - Yeah.

00:19:05   - I think, so going back to the 13 inch retina for a sec,

00:19:08   so I was in the Apple Store today,

00:19:10   getting the second Apple TV for this new television

00:19:14   that I have previously mentioned.

00:19:16   And this was the first time I had seen in person

00:19:21   the new 27-inch iMac and even the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

00:19:25   which is what, like five months old now or something?

00:19:28   - Yeah, it's around that much I think.

00:19:30   - It's been a while.

00:19:31   And I've been busy with family and baby and winter stuff.

00:19:35   So I haven't, and I haven't really had any reason

00:19:38   to go into an Apple store and pay any attention

00:19:40   to what was there until now.

00:19:42   And I think a couple things about this shocked me.

00:19:46   One, first of all, the 27-inch iMac,

00:19:48   the screen is awesome.

00:19:51   It is the first Apple screen,

00:19:54   it is the first desktop Apple screen I've seen in years

00:19:56   that I would consider owning because it really is

00:19:59   far less reflective than the previous generation

00:20:02   of giant 27-inch pieces of glass they've shipped

00:20:05   as cinema displays and iMacs before this,

00:20:07   and they're still shipping them as cinema displays.

00:20:09   So, you know, they talked about this new construction

00:20:12   that they've had where they,

00:20:13   it's similar for the Retina MacBook Pro.

00:20:15   this new construction where they're gluing the glass or fusing it in a certain way, using

00:20:19   one fewer glass layer than before.

00:20:21   There's no air gap. There's no air gap. There's an extra, basically, I don't know, some scientific

00:20:26   person will tell us, but an extra barrier for refraction to take place. The angled light

00:20:31   changes and changes again, so you get more internal reflection. So it's a big difference.

00:20:35   So the previous generation of 15-inch MacBook Pros before the Retinas, I always hated those

00:20:41   glarey reflective screens. They were miserable. I owned one for a month and returned it

00:20:45   and then got the anti-glare because it had just become an option.

00:20:49   But with the Retina, with that same kind of construction

00:20:53   I think it's fine and the reflectivity of it has never really been an issue for me.

00:20:57   So yeah, I can definitely confirm that the 27" iMac has such dramatically

00:21:01   reduced reflectivity from the previous one and from the Simma displays

00:21:05   that not only would I buy one if I wanted an iMac, not only

00:21:09   I had not hesitated at all about the reflectivity, but if Apple released a cinema display or,

00:21:14   fingers crossed, a retina display using that same construction, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

00:21:20   Did you, I haven't seen the NoiMax in person yet, but did you think that it had the same,

00:21:24   oh my god, the pixels are on the surface of the display look that the retina MacBook Pros

00:21:30   have?

00:21:31   You know, I didn't really get that from it, but I was viewing it at a further distance

00:21:34   because it's such a bigger screen, so I'm not really sure that would matter as much

00:21:38   at that distance, or at least be as noticeable, but I wasn't looking for that, so I don't

00:21:41   know.

00:21:42   I feel like that is one of the most startling characteristics of the Retina MacBook Pro

00:21:47   screens is not so much just the resolution, but that the color appears closer to the surface.

00:21:54   And that, to me, is just as startling as the higher resolution.

00:21:58   And fusing the glass, obviously, is going to literally make the color part closer to

00:22:02   the surface.

00:22:03   I'm just not sure if it...

00:22:04   whatever, I mean maybe the glass is just thinner on the laptops or whatever, but that, as they

00:22:09   can approach that, I mean, it was kind of the same thing when they fused the glass on

00:22:13   the iPhone 4 or whatever it was.

00:22:14   Yeah, very similar.

00:22:15   That brought it a little bit closer, but I still, like, the first Retina iPhone did not

00:22:20   give me the startling impression that the first Retina MacBook Pro gave me of like the

00:22:23   color being on the surface of it.

00:22:25   Of it looking like some sort of mock-up that someone had made with, you know, with layers

00:22:31   of finely laid down paint on the surface of the screen.

00:22:35   It's actual pixels. And so speaking of,

00:22:39   so I also saw a 13" Retina MacBook Pro.

00:22:43   And I've owned a 15" since last summer, so

00:22:47   it's not like, I'm not totally amazed easily by Retina stuff anymore because I

00:22:51   have this awesome laptop. But the 13" I looked at it and I thought, you know what?

00:22:55   This is a fantastic computer. And I picked it up, it was

00:22:59   was light, it was small. I tried the higher resolution screen modes because one of the

00:23:04   problems with the 13-inch screen is that its base mode is a doubled version of only 1280

00:23:11   by 800, which is a pretty terrible screen resolution for space on the screen. You really

00:23:17   don't get much space with that. So I bumped it up and it goes to a simulated 1440 and

00:23:21   a simulated 1680. And I found both of them surprisingly usable. And the 1680, that's

00:23:27   That's pretty impressive, because that's how I run the 15 most of the time.

00:23:31   You know, I'm glad you brought that up, because I did the same thing, and I did it very briefly.

00:23:35   And granted, this is based on a sum total of five minutes of use.

00:23:39   But I thought to myself, "Geez, I wonder if the high-res mode is livable."

00:23:43   And again, my eyes are pretty terrible.

00:23:44   I can see my high-res, non-Retina MacBook Pro, my 15-inch high-res, non-Retina MacBook

00:23:51   Pro pretty well.

00:23:52   But if you get me more than, I don't know, two, three feet away, things are getting blurry,

00:23:56   I can't read anything. And so I figured everything would be microscopic, but I had the exact same impression.

00:24:01   And in fact, I would even go so far as to say that if I were to buy a computer tomorrow,

00:24:06   after that five-minute experience, what I would really consider doing is getting a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

00:24:11   and just leaving it cranked up 90% of the time.

00:24:14   It's certainly a very compelling option. And, you know, it struck me as I was there that

00:24:21   Here I was looking at these two models, the 27-inch iMac

00:24:24   and the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro,

00:24:27   neither of which is particularly new at this point.

00:24:30   I mean, the iMac is now three months old, or four even.

00:24:33   It came out December officially.

00:24:36   So it's like four months old.

00:24:37   The Retina MacBook Pro 13 is like six months old.

00:24:40   These things are not new at all,

00:24:44   and yet this was the first time I was seeing them.

00:24:45   And I was so blown away by how good both of them were.

00:24:47   I really thought like similar, you know, I'm more of a 15 inch guy, but that's unusual

00:24:52   Just like I'm more of a Mac Pro guy and most people like iMacs and seeing these two computers

00:24:59   Thinking that both of them are such awesome choices that I think the 27 inch iMac is by far the best

00:25:07   All-in-one desktop I've ever seen in my life

00:25:11   Such a great choice. It's so fast. It's so capable. It's so good, especially the fusion drive

00:25:17   It's so good, and that screen is incredible, everything's great about it.

00:25:22   The 13" Retina MacBook Pro, very similar.

00:25:25   It's so good, it's so fast, it's small, it's light.

00:25:28   I would much rather have that than a 13" MacBook Air, and I love the 13" MacBook Air, and I've

00:25:33   owned two of them.

00:25:34   But…

00:25:35   Yeah, the Air screens now are really looking not good.

00:25:38   They were never good.

00:25:39   Like, the Air screens never had good viewing angle.

00:25:40   They never had high contrast.

00:25:42   I mean, you know, but what do you want?

00:25:43   It's a little skinny MacBook Air, but now they just look, they're just embarrassing.

00:25:46   And the weight difference isn't that big between the 13 inch models. Now, yeah, if you want an 11, sure, then your only option is the Air, and that's a very different size.

00:25:53   But, you know, here I was looking at these two awesome computers.

00:25:57   Very easily could you say that the iMac is the best desktop ever made, and the 13 inch Retina is the best laptop ever made.

00:26:04   I mean, those are slightly arguable, but only slightly.

00:26:09   You know, it's a very... these are two very awesome computers.

00:26:13   And yet, I never even went to see them, which to me, five years ago, would sound insane.

00:26:20   And the press mostly glossed over them. They were news for about a day each, and then that was about it.

00:26:29   And here we are with these awesome, amazing models of Macs, and we don't care.

00:26:36   We're saying Apple isn't innovating, and what have they done for us lately?

00:26:40   and we're complaining about iPhones not being big enough

00:26:43   or having a new enough skin on the interface

00:26:46   and all this crap.

00:26:47   And they're making things that even as recently

00:26:49   as like three or four years ago,

00:26:53   we would have cared so much more

00:26:54   about how great these new Mac models are.

00:26:56   And now we barely care at all.

00:26:58   - I still care.

00:27:00   - Well, yeah, we still care.

00:27:02   But in the grand scheme of things, the press, the public,

00:27:05   especially the tech press, which is just a disaster

00:27:07   at this point with Apple.

00:27:09   but they're making such amazing things.

00:27:13   It's like the Louis CK, everything's amazing

00:27:15   and nobody's happy, that bit.

00:27:16   - You know, on the MacBook Pros, people at work have,

00:27:20   my work is finally buying Macs several years

00:27:24   after I brought what I think is the first Mac

00:27:26   into the company.

00:27:27   And so it's one of the options for people to get,

00:27:29   and some people are asking me for advice

00:27:30   of which Macs they could buy.

00:27:32   It's mostly laptops, right?

00:27:33   And it comes down to like,

00:27:34   should I get a MacBook Pro or an Air?

00:27:36   And you would think that's a no-brainer,

00:27:38   But I've been hesitant to recommend the current generation

00:27:43   MacBook Pro Retinas, because that's

00:27:45   what they're all looking at.

00:27:45   They're not looking at the standard Res ones.

00:27:47   Because of the-- two factors.

00:27:50   One is that the GPU can barely handle that screen at the max

00:27:54   Res.

00:27:55   And that will just take care of itself with the next CPU

00:27:57   and chipset.

00:27:58   We all know the integrated GPUs.

00:28:00   So that makes me say, OK, that's a first generation thing.

00:28:04   You want to be the first guy on your block to have a thing?

00:28:06   You get it.

00:28:07   But it's not like-- it can barely-- it's not--

00:28:08   you know, it's not a deal breaker, but it's like you are at the ragged edge of what that GPU can

00:28:14   handle, the integrated one. So that's a reason to wait. And the second one is the guy who used to

00:28:19   sit across from me got the 15-inch, and I saw firsthand the image retention issues that that

00:28:27   screen had. And I also saw firsthand his frustration at like, well, if you take it to the Apple store,

00:28:32   they put up the checkerboard pattern for 15 minutes, and if you don't see retention, blah,

00:28:34   blah blah blah, but like I saw it in daily use like you could see his mail window in the background when it was no longer

00:28:40   there and it would happen routinely and in a way that would make me

00:28:43   tear my hair out and so for those two reasons

00:28:47   I figured you know we know that the GPU one is going to be solved next-gen

00:28:50   So that's a reason to wait, and I hope the next round. Maybe they even solved it for 13-inch

00:28:55   I don't know, but I hope the next round of displays they get

00:28:57   will not have its intervention issue because Apple does have a policy on it like they have their little checkerboard test and if your

00:29:03   fails it, they'll give you a new screen, but it's like, it's not a

00:29:07   manufacturing defect, it's just the nature of this screen, and I think they've sort of constructed

00:29:11   a test that will replace the ones that exhibited the worst, but they're all

00:29:15   going to exhibit it to some degree. Have you seen this, Marco, on your screen?

00:29:19   Back when everyone was discovering this, like last summer

00:29:23   and fall, I actually made my own little tester for it on a webpage that anybody

00:29:27   can go to, which I forgot the URL, how helpful.

00:29:31   And it's the same thing, it shows checkerboard for like five minutes, then turns off and

00:29:36   goes to gray or whatever and you can see.

00:29:38   And so when I run this test on it, I can see the artifacts, the retention artifacts, but

00:29:42   I've never seen them in any kind of regular use.

00:29:45   So I feel like I have a pretty minor case of it.

00:29:48   And so it's not worth it for me to go through the hassle of getting it repaired and going

00:29:52   with that.

00:29:53   Well, but the thing is, I don't think you would end up with a better screen.

00:29:55   In fact, you could possibly end up with a worse one, because I don't think it's, like

00:29:58   Like I said, it's not a manufacturing defect.

00:30:00   It's just the way this particular crop

00:30:02   of generation of screens is.

00:30:03   And he had the worst where the checkerboard wasn't

00:30:06   the worst thing.

00:30:06   The worst thing seemed to be--

00:30:08   I don't know if it was just particular shades of gray

00:30:10   or colors or particular windows that

00:30:12   were on screen for a long time.

00:30:13   Those would stick.

00:30:14   And the checkerboards were just faintly visible,

00:30:16   but you could clearly see the column

00:30:19   view of some other window.

00:30:22   Pure white and pure black may not

00:30:25   be the thing that sets it off.

00:30:27   I mean, you can see the checkerboard in his, too.

00:30:29   But all that makes me think,

00:30:31   these are first generation models in so many respects,

00:30:35   and if you could possibly wait,

00:30:36   but what I told everybody is,

00:30:38   here are the pros and cons.

00:30:39   That screen is gonna look way better than the Air screen.

00:30:41   The Air is gonna be way lighter than that 15-inch thing

00:30:44   that you were considering.

00:30:46   If you can possibly wait until the next round of pros,

00:30:48   your decision might get easier.

00:30:49   - The 15's also way faster.

00:30:51   - Yeah, that's true. - And supports more RAM.

00:30:53   - Right, there are many advantages,

00:30:55   but it's a toss-up because I really do,

00:30:59   my wife's got the 13-inch Air,

00:31:00   I really do like the Air despite the terrible screen.

00:31:03   I really do, all the advantages of it,

00:31:05   like it's a dead heat between should I buy Retina

00:31:08   or should I buy not, so I feel like,

00:31:11   I rarely recommend totally don't buy the first generation,

00:31:15   but in many cases it's been true.

00:31:17   If you had worn somebody off the first generation tie book,

00:31:21   that was the right decision,

00:31:22   and I feel like warning people off

00:31:24   first-generation, at least the 15-inch, I haven't seen the 13, but the first-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro,

00:31:29   warning people off of that is the right call at this point.

00:31:33   I mean, early adopters, if they want it, they get it fine, but like, I feel like it's too compromised.

00:31:38   Whereas the iMac, I don't think there's any reason to be warned off of that.

00:31:41   I feel like it's a next iteration of a mature tech that doesn't have any of these drawbacks,

00:31:46   except for that weird-looking bulge in the back, and is, you know, all thumbs up.

00:31:50   So I'm patiently waiting for the next round, because I'm, you know,

00:31:53   I'm sure the next round of MacBook Pros is going to be like, "Oh, that's the one to get." I just

00:31:56   hope they solve the screen issue because I'm particularly sensitive to visual screen issues.

00:32:01   Like I remember when I got my 22-inch Apple Cinema Display, the one with the little clear

00:32:05   feet on the side. Do you remember that one? Like the first big one? Dead pixels were a big thing

00:32:10   on that one. I was like, "Please let me get a display that doesn't have any dead pixels,

00:32:14   or at least let me not see the dead pixels." I hadn't yet honed my ability to not look for them

00:32:19   because that's what you just-- I don't want to see them.

00:32:21   Just don't tell me.

00:32:22   But I immediately saw my two hot pixels,

00:32:25   and they were not within the range

00:32:26   that Apple would replace it.

00:32:27   Oh, it sucks.

00:32:28   And that made me sad, because that monitor

00:32:29   was really expensive.

00:32:31   That would drive me crazy.

00:32:32   I've been very lucky that I've never

00:32:33   had a dead pixel in anything that I used actively.

00:32:36   So I'm very happy about that.

00:32:38   But yeah, because that would drive me nuts.

00:32:41   Or a stuck pixel.

00:32:42   It's pure white.

00:32:43   Just as bad.

00:32:43   But I think I disagree with you about holding off

00:32:46   on the current generation of retinas.

00:32:47   Now, I guess timing-wise, these were released last June,

00:32:52   or the 15 was released in June.

00:32:54   The 13 was released, what, like in October

00:32:56   or something like that.

00:32:58   So now we're kind of mid-cycle, especially with the 15.

00:33:01   It's almost a little late to be buying one now.

00:33:05   And I guess, is it the Haswell update this coming summer/fall

00:33:09   that's probably going to be-- that's the next CPU,

00:33:12   that's probably going to be when we see the next updates?

00:33:14   So Haswell does-- from the tech news area,

00:33:20   Haswell does sound like a pretty major update.

00:33:22   And so it's probably going to be worth waiting for if you can.

00:33:25   But besides just cycle timing reasons,

00:33:28   I don't think there are major reasons why

00:33:31   I would recommend against the current generation retinas.

00:33:34   I agree with you that the GPU is really, really at its boundary.

00:33:39   And that can be occasionally bad,

00:33:43   especially if you run at the upscale resolutions.

00:33:48   If you're on the 15th, if you run at the simulated 1920

00:33:50   or the simulated 1680, you will see slow scrolling

00:33:55   on certain things and stuff.

00:33:58   You will see that.

00:34:00   You will notice that.

00:34:01   But I feel like that's inexcusable, though.

00:34:01   You're buying their top-of-the-line model.

00:34:03   It should scroll like butter.

00:34:04   Well, at native resolution, it is butter.

00:34:06   I mean, in native resolution, it's great.

00:34:08   It's only when you do the upscale.

00:34:10   So I understand, okay, that's not ideal,

00:34:09   but most people are going to run on native resolution anyway. Most buyers are not going to change it.

00:34:13   So I would not recommend against it solely for that.

00:34:17   And so I don't know, I think

00:34:21   I would still recommend the Air if you don't care about the screen.

00:34:25   Most people don't. Because a year ago I was saying

00:34:29   the 13 inch Air is the best computer ever made. Because it was at the time.

00:34:33   And all these options are so good. I mean they're really

00:34:37   to be, even as recently as like three or four years ago, there used to be models in the

00:34:42   lineup that you would say, "Oh, you really, really shouldn't buy that one." And now I

00:34:47   feel like you can look at the lineup and there's very few of those. I would say the only ones

00:34:53   that I would recommend people definitely don't buy would be the cheapo 13-inch old model,

00:35:00   the 13-inch non-retina MacBook Pro, which from what I understand is very popular, or

00:35:05   or at least was very popular before the Retina one.

00:35:08   But I think it still is.

00:35:09   Because it's--

00:35:09   It's got the optical drive.

00:35:10   Right.

00:35:11   It has everything.

00:35:11   It's cheap.

00:35:12   It has an optical drive.

00:35:13   It has fire wire.

00:35:15   It has all the drives and ports, and it's cheap.

00:35:18   And it has spinning disk hard drives,

00:35:20   so that keeps it cheap also.

00:35:22   So it's a way to get a bunch of stuff

00:35:24   for really very little money.

00:35:26   I think it was like $1,200 to start, something like that.

00:35:29   So it is very, very cheap.

00:35:31   And so it's hard for a lot of people

00:35:33   to justify the premiums or the compromises

00:35:35   from the other models.

00:35:37   However, that model has the worst screen I've ever seen

00:35:40   in a laptop in the last five years.

00:35:42   And the fact that they're still shipping a 13 inch laptop

00:35:46   with a 1280 by 800 screen,

00:35:48   which is roughly the same pixel area

00:35:51   as the 11 inch MacBook Air.

00:35:53   It's a similar resolution, but not quite.

00:35:54   They're 11 inches wider and shorter, but similar.

00:35:57   That's inexcusable to me.

00:36:00   It's just such a terrible resolution.

00:36:02   And other than that, though, you can get pretty much any model

00:36:08   and be fine.

00:36:09   And even if you get that one and you

00:36:10   don't care about the screen space, then you're fine too.

00:36:14   There aren't really any models that have dramatically

00:36:17   too little RAM stock or some major flaw.

00:36:22   The lineup is pretty solid.

00:36:23   I would say the 13-inch non-retina CD-ROM thing,

00:36:28   It's a 5,400 RPM spinning disk at this point is not--

00:36:36   that model is just on the borderline

00:36:37   of hurting Apple's reputation, I feel like.

00:36:40   Because the experience of using that and using even the cheapest

00:36:44   air you can get is like night and day just because of the SSD.

00:36:47   Anything with spinning disks, especially a slow--

00:36:49   I'm assuming they're all 5,400 RPM drives.

00:36:51   Probably.

00:36:52   That is not the experience that the rest of us

00:36:55   are having with our Macs.

00:36:57   and they feel like they're left out of.

00:36:59   That's not what it's like when we use our computers.

00:37:02   You're stuck with waiting a million years

00:37:04   and seeing the beach ball and apps take a million years

00:37:06   to launch and stuff.

00:37:07   And maybe that's acceptable to them, but it's a shame.

00:37:10   It doesn't give people,

00:37:12   because once you step up to that SSD experience,

00:37:15   there's no going back.

00:37:17   And it really changes.

00:37:18   If you were to go back there, you'd say,

00:37:20   what's wrong with this computer?

00:37:21   Why is that icon bouncing in the dock so much?

00:37:23   Why is relaunching Safari

00:37:25   and opening its five windows taking a year and a day.

00:37:27   Oh, spinning disk, that's why.

00:37:28   They don't know.

00:37:29   They just know it's no good.

00:37:30   So I really hope those things either get SSDs

00:37:34   or leave the line ASAP.

00:37:36   But what would you recommend somebody

00:37:38   buy if they want a reasonably priced Apple laptop where

00:37:44   value is a priority for them and also storage space

00:37:48   is a priority for them?

00:37:49   Because that's the problem with the SSDs,

00:37:51   is that there is no way to get cheap, large SSD storage here.

00:37:54   But I feel like the Airs have crossed that threshold.

00:37:56   And it was reinforced to me when I had a neighbor come over here

00:38:00   and she had an old laptop.

00:38:01   It was like one of the-- what was it?

00:38:04   The old white--

00:38:04   Yeah, the iBook?

00:38:06   Yeah, it was an iBook.

00:38:06   Or the white MacBooks.

00:38:08   Yeah, the white MacBook.

00:38:09   And she was looking to get a new one.

00:38:11   And I was telling her about the options.

00:38:12   And you can get an Air.

00:38:13   And they have SSDs, but they're smaller.

00:38:15   And they're more expensive.

00:38:16   And blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

00:38:17   And you have no optical drive in the ports, the whole nine yards.

00:38:20   And she was like, oh, I don't know.

00:38:22   I check the size of all my stuff or whatever.

00:38:24   So I actually look at her machine and see how big her iPhoto library is, and it was

00:38:27   nine gigabytes.

00:38:28   So like this thing, you can get this thing with a 256 gigabyte SSD for not that much

00:38:34   money.

00:38:35   In fact, is that what's stock now?

00:38:38   You're fine.

00:38:40   I think we've crossed the threshold where the 13-inch Air is still my go-to Mac, and

00:38:45   that's another machine I warn people off.

00:38:46   I say, "Don't get the 13-inch non-retina.

00:38:51   Get an Air.

00:38:52   Your stuff will fit.

00:38:53   You'll be fine."

00:38:54   Like, I mean, obviously I tell them all the limits

00:38:56   to how much stuff do you actually have, I'll check,

00:38:57   but I'm always amazed at how little stuff people have.

00:39:01   - I agree, and it's funny you bring up

00:39:03   the SSD is worth it discussion,

00:39:04   because I remember, I don't know when it was,

00:39:07   but Marco was one of the first people I knew

00:39:09   that was going on humongous rants, or happy rants,

00:39:14   and evangelizing SSDs, and I was,

00:39:17   I would look at these prices and think,

00:39:18   oh my god, that can't be worth it.

00:39:20   It's just, it can't be that much quicker.

00:39:21   It's so little space for so much money,

00:39:24   I don't wanna do it.

00:39:25   So I had and have a 15-inch high-res anti-glare MacBook Pro

00:39:30   with a platter in it,

00:39:32   and then work got me basically the exact same machine

00:39:35   and then immediately put an SSD in it

00:39:38   and put the platter in an external enclosure.

00:39:42   And now that that's happened,

00:39:44   I almost never use my personal machine with the platter drive

00:39:48   because it's unusable.

00:39:49   It's exactly what you said, Jon.

00:39:51   I can't use it.

00:39:52   It's so slow.

00:39:52   Nothing happens.

00:39:54   If I'm using that computer, really what I'm doing

00:39:56   is waiting for the computer and occasionally getting

00:39:58   something useful done in the 10 seconds

00:40:02   that the hard drive isn't seeking for something else

00:40:04   to do.

00:40:05   It's unusable.

00:40:06   So if there's anyone listening that is as cheap as I am

00:40:09   and doesn't think an SSD is worth it,

00:40:11   I can assure you you're wrong.

00:40:12   And you should get one, and it will change your world.

00:40:14   People could be in my situation where

00:40:16   I do have a lot of data, a lot of computer pack rat type

00:40:18   things, where you keep a lot of stuff,

00:40:20   You have a lot of movies, a lot of photos, and it just doesn't fit on an SSD.

00:40:25   I mean, the first SSD I bought was 480 gigabytes, to tell you what my threshold was before SSDs

00:40:31   became viable for me.

00:40:32   Because forget about 128, 256, it's pointless for me to get that.

00:40:37   This is all before Fusion Drive, right?

00:40:40   But at this point, for my next Mac, all my stuff won't fit on an SSD.

00:40:47   And even if Fusion Drive didn't exist, I would still say,

00:40:50   OK, for the next Mac, I've just got to go SSD and figure out

00:40:52   how to do my own tiered storage thing.

00:40:54   But with Fusion Drive, it's a no-brainer.

00:40:57   I mean, people don't have a choice.

00:40:59   The spending disks are going away.

00:41:00   But we are past the point where even the most conservative

00:41:04   person with the most data should have an SSD somewhere

00:41:07   in the mix in whatever next machine they're buying.

00:41:11   We've cleared that hurdle.

00:41:12   And for regular people, I think we cleared it much sooner

00:41:15   than I had thought, because I guess I just didn't realize

00:41:16   how little data people have or maybe they delete stuff or maybe they

00:41:20   where else all the photos of your kids I don't know. 9 gigabytes seems small for me

00:41:24   with my 100+ gigabyte iPhoto library of my two kids

00:41:28   over the course of 8 years. Well keep in mind also a lot of people aren't shooting raw

00:41:32   they're not shooting massive cameras. I'm not shooting raw I don't have a fancy camera this is

00:41:36   I'm shooting jpegs from cruddy point and shoot cameras I guess I just take too many.

00:41:40   You had 100 gigs of jpegs? Yes. That's impressive.

00:41:44   That's really impressive.

00:41:46   - I don't delete enough pictures, I know.

00:41:48   I have problems.

00:41:49   - On that note, this episode is sponsored,

00:41:54   our first sponsor here in ATP,

00:41:56   sponsored by Squarespace, who I love so much

00:41:58   'cause I keep sponsoring all of our shows.

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00:42:42   because they have all these great templates and they were designed by professional designers

00:42:45   and you can just pick one of those. Our site, ATP.fm, is hosted by Squarespace. You can

00:42:50   go take a look. That's one of their default templates. And if you want to hack into that

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00:43:17   out Squarespace at squarespace.com, and thanks to them for supporting our show.

00:43:21   I didn't realize how awesome our sponsor coupon codes would be. It's three letters.

00:43:27   I always wonder that people are going to misspell or mistype neutral or something. ATP.

00:43:32   It's great.

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00:43:34   ATP3.

00:43:35   that three-letter domain with a two-letter extension.

00:43:38   That surprised me.

00:43:39   I mean, FM is pretty wide open because it's like 80 bucks a year to register one.

00:43:44   So I'm not that surprised that it was available on FM.

00:43:49   But still, it's only three letters.

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00:43:51   Yeah, it was a nice one.

00:43:53   We don't even need a link shortener if people still...

00:43:56   I mean, link shorteners, I think, are like so 2010, but we don't even need that anymore

00:44:01   because we have ATP.fm.

00:44:05   I mean, that's pretty great.

00:44:07   So all right.

00:44:08   One more thing I wanted to mention about my mall trip

00:44:10   today before I move on.

00:44:12   I also stopped down at the Microsoft store on the way out.

00:44:14   Because, I mean, come on.

00:44:15   You have to.

00:44:17   Because you love that place so much.

00:44:19   I have to be fair and balanced.

00:44:21   They know you there.

00:44:22   Hey, there's Marco.

00:44:23   We read what you said about our star.

00:44:25   Fortunately, they didn't recognize me.

00:44:27   They did, however-- remember how I had the picture of the Windows

00:44:30   8 letters on the floor, and they had to have a guy stationed

00:44:32   there to tell people not to step over them?

00:44:34   they have fixed that problem now by putting up big

00:44:38   like floor-to-ceiling

00:44:40   glass strips

00:44:41   that attach at the floor level to those letters

00:44:45   and so now it's like a big sign and that was probably always the plan, they just wasn't

00:44:48   done in time when I was there

00:44:49   so now they no longer have to have an employee stationed there to tell people not to step over them

00:44:53   so that's, hey, progress, that's, you know, Windows Update

00:44:56   uh...

00:44:58   and uh...

00:44:59   one thing I noticed immediately about the store, first of all, was that it was empty

00:45:02   But that said, I was there on a Wednesday at like 1 o'clock in the afternoon.

00:45:07   So I can't really fault them for that.

00:45:10   It's not really a high mall traffic time as far as I know.

00:45:14   But the mood in the store among the employees, because they were the only ones there,

00:45:19   was so low key. When I was there for the Surface RT launch,

00:45:24   which was also, I believe, the store's grand opening or very close to it,

00:45:29   were really energized and you could tell they had all been

00:45:33   jazzed up by some training exercise to be all

00:45:37   high energy and high pressure and "Hey let me show you this cool thing the Surface RT

00:45:41   can do!" You know, all that stuff. Today there was none of that. It was like a

00:45:45   funeral home in there. There were like eight employees standing around doing nothing.

00:45:49   I don't know why the staff is that big, it probably shouldn't be. Although Microsoft is really

00:45:53   good at wasting money. So maybe that's just they haven't figured out the retail thing

00:45:57   quite yet but it was way overstaffed. But the salesman came over to me and like

00:46:03   you know I guess the one guy who was assigned the next walk-in as everyone

00:46:07   else stood around he came over and he was like can I help you with anything?

00:46:11   That was boring like drab, no energy and I told him I'm just looking around okay and

00:46:18   he just like kind of stood he walked away you know it was so so different

00:46:25   from the last time I was there.

00:46:26   And so much less energy.

00:46:29   And so I looked around.

00:46:31   What I went in there to see was the Surface Pro,

00:46:33   because I hadn't seen that in person yet.

00:46:35   And I was curious about it.

00:46:37   And they don't make it easy to find.

00:46:39   The store still had a lot of Surface RTs

00:46:42   in the main middle.

00:46:44   When you first walk in, the tables you see,

00:46:46   those still have Surface RTs.

00:46:48   But it was way fewer than before,

00:46:49   because they filled the rest of the store up with Windows

00:46:52   phones and other laptops and other people's tablets, things like from Samsung and Toshiba,

00:46:58   you know, like all their partners, they're filling up the store with their stuff. So

00:47:03   the Surface is actually being significantly de-emphasized in the store, which I thought

00:47:07   was interesting. Probably the right move because it isn't selling that well, but interesting

00:47:11   nonetheless and kind of a shame for them. And the big thing was the Surface Pro, there

00:47:16   There was no sign for it.

00:47:18   There was no big demo of a Surface Pro being this cool

00:47:21   app pop that is like a tablet.

00:47:23   There was nothing like that.

00:47:25   There were two tables side by side of Surface RTs with four

00:47:28   tablets on each of them.

00:47:30   On one of them, one of those tablets was a Surface Pro.

00:47:34   And the only way you could tell was to look at the little

00:47:37   tag on each one, the little stand-up sign, to see what

00:47:40   each one was.

00:47:43   And so there was no calling out of, hey, this thing is

00:47:46   actually something kind of interesting that you might want to look at, or you might want to know about

00:47:50   relative to a regular laptop, like this is interesting.

00:47:54   Nothing like that at all for the Surface Pro. And there was only one of them, as far as I could tell,

00:47:58   in the whole store, at least one I could find. And so I thought

00:48:02   it was weird that, you know, it looks like Microsoft has already given up on the Surface,

00:48:06   honestly. And maybe that's not true, but that's how it looked in the retail store.

00:48:10   Well, the first gen Surface Pro is like a sacrificial

00:48:14   lamb, because they know that the first-gen Surface Pro, the power envelope for the processors

00:48:21   they can fit in that thing, it's not great, the battery life's not great, it's under—that's

00:48:26   like to get something out of it. The second-generation Surface Pro should be significantly more interesting

00:48:31   as a complete product rather than just a curiosity.

00:48:34   I hope so. Because what this store looked like to me, the first time I went in there

00:48:39   it was very Service RT heavy, and that was interesting.

00:48:43   And I think if the Service RT was a more successful product,

00:48:47   then they could have kept the store that way,

00:48:49   and that would have had a lot of long-term value for them.

00:48:52   Now, though, the Microsoft Store doesn't really

00:48:55   have any value over a Best Buy.

00:48:56   Like, it's just a whole bunch of computers

00:48:58   from different people all in a row,

00:49:00   kind of haphazardly laid out,

00:49:01   nothing really called attention to more than the others.

00:49:04   So if you're a buyer walking in there

00:49:06   who doesn't already know what you're looking for.

00:49:10   There's not a lot of reason, it's not very welcoming,

00:49:13   it's not, it isn't a very good like cold,

00:49:16   like first time experience to go in there anymore.

00:49:19   Because it's kind of confusing as to why exactly

00:49:21   you should be in there instead of any other computer store.

00:49:23   - It still has far fewer products than a Best Buy

00:49:26   and that is advantageous because if someone goes

00:49:29   into a Best Buy, you are assaulted on all sides

00:49:32   by a million flashing blinking things,

00:49:34   only some of which are tablet computers, only some of which are Microsofts, right?

00:49:39   You go into the Microsoft store, even though they carry all those other things, you're not going to look at the TVs,

00:49:44   you're not going to look at the washing machines, you're not going to look through the racks of DVDs and Blu-rays

00:49:49   or whatever, you're not going to, you know, you're going to look at tablets, and there's going to be

00:49:54   a variety of them, and they're emphasizing the fact that we have tablets that are kind of like PCs,

00:49:59   but kind of like tablets. And so at the very least, until their leases are up on those

00:50:06   stores, they get some benefit of making people aware that Microsoft has created this product

00:50:10   that's like an iPad, but you can use it like a Windows computer.

00:50:14   The recent thing that's brought it up on my radar—I don't know if it's come up on any

00:50:17   of your radars—is the Penny Arcade guy picked up a Surface Pro and tried using it for sketching,

00:50:24   and he wrote this little review of it on his site. And that's an application that's, again,

00:50:29   like the car makers and automatic,

00:50:32   not doing what a third party had to do.

00:50:35   Why didn't Microsoft emphasize that?

00:50:36   Why did their ad show people dancing

00:50:38   and clicking the stupid keyboard thing?

00:50:40   Not that artists are like a big market,

00:50:43   like oh, finally we're gonna get the artist thing,

00:50:44   but he was interested in it because he heard

00:50:47   it has a stylus, and it's a Windows computer,

00:50:49   and it's a pressure-sensitive stylus,

00:50:50   and it's portable, and you can draw on it.

00:50:52   And unlike the iPad, you don't have to use

00:50:54   like a capacitive stylus type thing.

00:50:57   And so as an artist, he's like huh,

00:50:58   he tried sketching on the iPad and it wasn't what he wanted because he's used to a Wacom

00:51:04   tablet or Wacom, however the hell you pronounce it, the Cintiqs, which is a different experience

00:51:08   than using those weird stubby capacitive things, especially with pressure sensitivity and everything.

00:51:12   So he said, "Okay, well, I'll try this thing."

00:51:14   So you could sketch with it.

00:51:18   It was small and portable, right?

00:51:20   Some software issues because Photoshop doesn't support it yet with the pressure sensitivity

00:51:23   and stuff like that, but it was a viable thing there.

00:51:25   He drew a bunch of comics with it.

00:51:27   And the second thing was, since he's a gamer, because it's comics about gaming, you can

00:51:31   play Windows games on it, because it's a Windows computer.

00:51:34   And so you install Steam, download a bunch of games, play games, and also use it for

00:51:38   sketching.

00:51:39   And there has never been any device like that where you could do those two things, or even

00:51:44   one of those things.

00:51:45   Can you play PC games on something that's so small it doesn't even have a keyboard,

00:51:49   like just a tiny little touch screen?

00:51:51   And can you use something sketching like a tablet with a stylus?

00:51:56   an interesting angle. It's not a mainstream angle. They're not going to sell a million

00:51:59   to them like that. But why wasn't there even one ad emphasizing that? Because just from

00:52:03   this one semi-famous person's post about this and it getting passed around Reddit and Hacker

00:52:07   News and stuff like that, it has produced buzz about the Surface Pro, the terribly compromised,

00:52:12   poor battery life, really thick, fan-blows-hot-air-on-your-hand, first-generation device that Microsoft couldn't

00:52:19   seem to figure out what was interesting or unique about. And here's just one thing. I'm

00:52:24   I'm sure there are other things that are interesting and unique about it too.

00:52:28   It's kind of a shame that Microsoft is not on its game on this.

00:52:32   Yeah, because you're right.

00:52:34   That's something that Apple is not going to address that, as far as we can tell.

00:52:38   They're not going to address pressure-sensitive, resistant touch screens anytime soon, if ever.

00:52:44   That's a major market where that actually matters a lot.

00:52:48   if you want to sketch on an iPad, it's going to be way, way better on a Surface because

00:52:55   of that screen and the kind of stylus. Obviously, that's a major difference. And yeah, you're

00:52:59   right, they don't know what to do with that. They instead ignore that in their marketing.

00:53:03   And granted, obviously not everybody wants to sketch, but I feel like there are enough

00:53:07   things about the Surface Pro that make it different from an iPad that Microsoft could

00:53:13   be showing in their ads and could be pushing the marketing, and they're just not. They're

00:53:17   trying to make it cool and hip, and I can't imagine it ever will be.

00:53:21   They picked one. They picked the attachable keyboard, and that is a distinctive thing,

00:53:24   but there are other distinctive things about it. They have a product they did so well in

00:53:31   differentiating it. It really is a differentiated product, not a wannabe iPad. It's not like

00:53:36   the Nexus 7 or something. It's like, "Well, it's like an iPad, but not as good." It's

00:53:41   really differentiated. Maybe they did it too much. Like, "Well, you've got a stylus, and

00:53:44   and it runs Windows and it's got the desktop and you can attach a keyboard. Maybe that's

00:53:47   too much, but those are things that you can hang your hat on in an ad campaign. And yet

00:53:53   they picked one of them and kind of glo--they didn't really explain it. They just kind of

00:53:58   go, "Oh, it clicks on. There's a clicky thing." And like, I don't know if this is a multi-stage

00:54:02   campaign and it's going to kick in with the other benefits later or they didn't know why

00:54:05   people would want to use them.

00:54:07   Still waiting for that second stage to kick in.

00:54:09   Or third or fourth. Yeah, I mean, they have software problems too. Windows 8 is kind of

00:54:12   hodgepodge. They don't have the total package, but I think there's enough there that I will

00:54:19   be really sad if that whole effort of this type of product goes away, because I really

00:54:25   think there is definitely a place for this type of product. I was proud of Microsoft

00:54:29   that they didn't do what Google did and just make a wannabe iPad.

00:54:34   Yeah, they really did do something different. With Windows Phone, people have said that,

00:54:40   and with Windows 8 people, I mean, it really is different.

00:54:44   It doesn't look like a total ripoff of something else,

00:54:47   the way Android does, honestly.

00:54:49   And I know we're going to hear it from Android people.

00:54:51   But no, I mean, Android looks-- yes, it

00:54:53   has done some original things.

00:54:54   But it has ripped off so much from other operating systems,

00:54:58   mostly iOS, that you kind of feel that the whole way

00:55:02   through, like this is kind of a cheap ripoff.

00:55:04   Whereas Windows Phone actually feels dramatically different

00:55:08   in most ways, in certainly more ways than Android does.

00:55:12   And there's a lot of good, there's also a lot of bad. So I want to talk about

00:55:16   also, while I was there, they have devoted a lot of their

00:55:20   store space now to Windows Phone, which is probably wise, because Windows Phone

00:55:24   has pretty poor retail presence otherwise, outside of Microsoft stores.

00:55:28   That's always a problem. If you go into a Verizon store and you ask

00:55:32   for F2C at Windows Phone, they're going to try to talk you out of it, and they're going to try to talk you

00:55:36   you into an Android phone.

00:55:37   Like that's because, you know, it's better for Verizon if you buy an Android phone for

00:55:41   a few reasons.

00:55:42   So Windows has always had issues at cell phone retail with Windows 8.

00:55:49   And so now, Microsoft has had issues, not Windows, sorry.

00:55:53   So Microsoft is using their stores now to push Windows Phone aggressively and that's

00:55:56   wise.

00:55:57   So I got a chance to use them and look at them.

00:55:59   And first of all, I think it's worth mentioning that every Windows phone they had in the store,

00:56:06   had at least what looked like a 4.5 inch diagonal screen.

00:56:10   It was huge. Every Windows phone looked massive.

00:56:14   Most of them were the Nokia 920, and there were a few, there were like the HTC

00:56:18   8 or something like that, something like that, or I don't know.

00:56:22   People who know Windows phones would know these models, and there were some Samsung things, and

00:56:26   some miscellaneous Windows phone objects, and

00:56:30   mostly the Nokia one though. And all of them were

00:56:34   huge. And I feel like, you know, in our previous discussions about a potentially large iPhone

00:56:40   in the future, I feel like more than ever Apple needs to do this. Because you look at

00:56:46   any other lineup of smartphones in any other store, in a Verizon store, in a Microsoft

00:56:53   store if you can actually find one of those, but you know, any cell phone store, you look

00:56:56   at the lineup and the iPhone looks really small, and not necessarily in a good way,

00:57:01   looks really small by comparison.

00:57:03   And while we can look at them, we nerds, a lot of times

00:57:07   at least, we can look at them and say, oh, it's great.

00:57:10   It fits in my pocket better.

00:57:11   I don't want a phone that big.

00:57:12   The fact is those other phones look

00:57:15   like they're better in a store.

00:57:16   And it's similar-- we talked about TVs earlier.

00:57:20   They have TVs, as John, you've frequently rented about.

00:57:22   They always have these ridiculous settings

00:57:24   in the stores to attract people in the store,

00:57:27   even though in real life they're better off not having

00:57:30   kind of setting and they're better off having something else or different priorities or

00:57:33   different levels of things, that doesn't matter in sales.

00:57:41   If people are seeing all these phones that are a little bit too big for their pockets,

00:57:47   they don't really realize that necessarily by the time they're buying it, they see a

00:57:50   nice big screen and it looks really good.

00:57:53   And it's got to be really hard for Apple to keep competing when it's the smallest phone

00:57:58   there and it has a small screen there.

00:58:02   There are gonna be some people who are gonna buy it

00:58:04   for that because it's small and sleek and thin

00:58:06   and light in your pocket, but I feel like that number

00:58:09   is really small compared to the number of people

00:58:11   who are gonna be swayed towards these larger phone devices

00:58:14   just 'cause they look nicer in the store.

00:58:17   - Really, to be honest, I don't have anything to add on that

00:58:22   because I just don't have any interest in a bigger phone.

00:58:25   - Well, get used to it. - And maybe they asked me

00:58:26   again, I know, and that's the thing,

00:58:28   is anytime I say I don't have interest in something,

00:58:30   I end up getting it months or years later.

00:58:32   - You're gonna get it like,

00:58:34   you may have no interest in it,

00:58:35   but if all the phones are like that,

00:58:36   what choice do you have?

00:58:37   That's just what happens.

00:58:38   - Yeah, well, typically the more negative my reaction is

00:58:42   to something, the more I end up falling in love

00:58:44   with it later.

00:58:46   Take Macs, take my iPhone, take my BMW.

00:58:49   These are all things that I poo-pooed in years past

00:58:52   and now couldn't imagine living without.

00:58:55   So my SSD, another great example.

00:58:58   So the fact that I'm saying meh is probably a good sign

00:59:01   that in a few months, or you know,

00:59:04   'cause I am due to upgrade this year,

00:59:05   so in a few months when the seven-inch iPhone comes out

00:59:07   and I'm forced to get it 'cause it's the only one,

00:59:10   and then I get it and I say to you guys,

00:59:11   "Holy God, you will not believe

00:59:12   "how awesome the seven-inch iPhone is.

00:59:14   "I can't put it in my pocket.

00:59:15   "It looks like a brick when I'm actually talking

00:59:17   "on the phone, but oh man,

00:59:18   "I can get so much done on that screen."

00:59:20   - It's not gonna be as big as the 920, so don't worry.

00:59:23   - I mean, the 920 looked ridiculously large,

00:59:25   but it looked nice. - The 920,

00:59:26   you could fend off muggers with it.

00:59:27   in a store it looked nice. And I picked it up and I held it in my hand with the giant

00:59:31   security cable hanging off the back. But still, I picked it up and I thought, "You know,

00:59:37   it's too big for me, but not by a massive amount." Like, it could be a little bit smaller

00:59:43   than that and still be substantially larger than the iPhone 5 and it would be fine for

00:59:46   my pocket. And, you know, a lot of us in tech will say dismissive things like, "Oh, well,

00:59:53   I don't want an iMac, I want a Mac Pro, but for other people, the iMac is fine.

00:59:58   It's always about the other people.

00:59:59   And it's generally not a great attitude to have if you don't really understand, you know,

01:00:04   what about something is great and you kind of dismiss it as, "Well, somebody will find a use for this."

01:00:09   But with the bigger phones, I think honestly I would probably get a bigger iPhone if they had it.

01:00:15   Like, I like the bigger screen on the iPhone 5, and if they could make one even bigger than that

01:00:20   while still maintaining a reasonable pocket size

01:00:23   for the phone, and I do think there's a lot of middle ground

01:00:25   between the iPhone 5 and the 920.

01:00:27   There's a lot of middle ground there.

01:00:29   And if Apple made a bigger phone,

01:00:31   I'm not just saying that I think it would sell well,

01:00:33   I'm saying I might pick that one,

01:00:35   even if it had the same resolution as the iPhone 5,

01:00:38   and they just made the pixels bigger.

01:00:40   Even then, I would still probably pick the bigger one.

01:00:43   - I've been asking nerd friends that same question

01:00:45   I've been saying.

01:00:46   So Apple comes out with a slightly bigger phone,

01:00:49   and they keep selling the iPhone 5 size one, which one would you get?

01:00:55   And then the modifier question is, okay, what if the resolution is the same,

01:00:58   whatever the resolution is different, does that change your calculus?

01:01:01   And I've been getting about 50/50 with people saying that they would stick with the iPhone 5 size

01:01:06   and they would get the bigger one.

01:01:07   You don't know what people are actually going to do, and I think at this point,

01:01:10   the super Apple nerds that I'm talking to are, if anything,

01:01:15   biased towards sticking with the iPhone 5 they have because they really like it,

01:01:18   and I'm giving them a hypothetical of a product that doesn't exist.

01:01:22   But I think the outlook for sales of the larger phone, even among us super tech nerds, look

01:01:30   pretty bright.

01:01:31   Yeah, definitely.

01:01:32   I would say the same thing.

01:01:33   I mean, I haven't been asking anybody because I'm not that much of a nerd, John.

01:01:36   But I really do think, you know, I can see not only do I see this as I guess somebody

01:01:43   might want that. But I see this as, I would actually want that, to a degree. It depends

01:01:48   on how they do it, of course. But I don't think it being the same resolution or not

01:01:53   would really matter that much in the grand scheme of things. I don't think it really

01:01:57   matters. It would matter to a few peaks.

01:01:59   I think it definitely matters. But it's not a deal breaker, I don't think. But it's one

01:02:05   of those things where it's going to be one of those "can't go back" things where it's

01:02:09   annoying, you're going to hate it because you're going to have to redo your layouts

01:02:11   for your apps and everything.

01:02:14   But then once you get that thing and see how much more stuff you can see, even if it's

01:02:19   just like one extra little sliver of stuff, it will make a difference once app developers

01:02:25   update their apps to actually use that space as long as they don't stretch it in.

01:02:29   And then you go back to the iPhone 4 size screen now, and you feel like where the rest

01:02:35   of the screen go.

01:02:36   And it's not that big of a difference.

01:02:37   It's like a one centimeter little strip at the bottom.

01:02:41   It is not that big of a difference, but when it's not there, it just feels like your world

01:02:45   has been truncated.

01:02:47   So I think it will be the same effect.

01:02:49   Even if we just get an extra sliver of pixels there, maybe 1080p is the inevitable...

01:02:58   There's no fighting that resolution because it's such a convenient matchup with television

01:03:02   screens, which is basically meaningless.

01:03:03   Who cares if it's a matchup with TV screens?

01:03:04   But it's like one of those things like stock markets and round numbers.

01:03:07   It may just be that that's ballpark of how you get a reasonable size iPhone.

01:03:13   It's not gigantic, but not too small.

01:03:16   And you get around 400 something DPI.

01:03:20   Can you fit a 1080?

01:03:21   Well, just go to 1080.

01:03:23   I don't think Apple will go to 1080p, but that's what all the Android phones are doing.

01:03:26   You can see the attraction to it.

01:03:29   That slots into maybe a little bit higher.

01:03:32   Maybe you have to go like 500 DPI.

01:03:34   Maybe that's crazy.

01:03:35   Maybe it doesn't work out.

01:03:36   But that seems to be the sweet spot for the super high-end Android phones.

01:03:41   Apple's going to be smaller than that, and maybe not even this generation, but that's

01:03:47   where I think things are going.

01:03:48   Well, I don't think the resolution of these Android phones matters that much, honestly,

01:03:51   because as we said earlier, people don't really see Retina that much.

01:03:54   On average, most people don't really notice that difference, as far as we can tell, or

01:03:57   at least a lot of people don't.

01:03:59   I think whether your screen is 300 dpi or 500 dpi,

01:04:04   there's gonna be almost nobody who will tell the difference.

01:04:07   The big advantage there is definitely,

01:04:09   in marketing and spec comparisons and things like that,

01:04:11   certainly that helps.

01:04:13   But with Android, as we're seeing with the market,

01:04:16   most people don't buy on spec comparisons with Android.

01:04:19   They buy on how it looks in the store,

01:04:22   what kind of deal they can get at retail.

01:04:24   There are some people who buy the specs, but not most.

01:04:28   Yeah, I mean, they're still using, you know, a lot of them are using the OLED screen still,

01:04:33   and some of them are still, I think people are still using that pen tile thing where

01:04:36   you don't even have real pixels.

01:04:37   Oh, I hope not.

01:04:38   That was a terrible hack.

01:04:40   Right, like all these things are cost-saving things, because that's the other advantage

01:04:43   they have, is like they'll compete on price by giving you a lower quality screen.

01:04:47   And that is, talk about selling against retina, how hard it is to sell retina to regular people.

01:04:52   Trying to sell people on like color saturation and contrast and viewing angles, that is,

01:04:58   And we nerds all appreciate that Apple cares about those things and its displays and its monitors and its handheld devices.

01:05:04   Other people do not.

01:05:06   Oh yeah, definitely.

01:05:08   And so I hope Apple holds the line on that, but that's one of the boat anchors that they have to drag behind them as they attempt to compete.

01:05:16   We will continue to hold our screens. Our screens aren't bigger, but they're better.

01:05:22   That's why they keep saying, "This is the best screen," and blah, blah, blah. And it really is a really nice screen.

01:05:26   But now you have to drag that behind you

01:05:27   as you try to compete on price, on power, on resolution,

01:05:32   on all those other things that you want to compete on,

01:05:34   while still not sinking to their level in terms of,

01:05:37   wow, just give me high DPI, high resolution,

01:05:40   and it's good enough.

01:05:41   So I had a topic I wanted to ask you guys about if neither of you

01:05:49   have something more--

01:05:50   Go for it.

01:05:51   --impressing.

01:05:52   I'm actually—it may end up that this is a 30-second thing, but I'm really intrigued

01:05:57   by the GarageBand release today and its support for—what is it?

01:06:03   Audio Bus, yeah.

01:06:04   Audio Bus, I believe?

01:06:05   Yeah.

01:06:06   So for those of you who may not know what this is about, so Apple obviously has a GarageBand

01:06:14   app for iOS.

01:06:15   And a few months ago—I don't remember exactly when—some group of people came up

01:06:20   with this app called Audio Bus.

01:06:21   And the general premise of it was you can chain audio sources together such that different

01:06:29   apps on your iPad or iPhone, one can feed audio into another, which can filter it and

01:06:36   can feed audio into something else.

01:06:37   Or at least that's my understanding of the premise.

01:06:39   And this was really interesting because it's inter-app communication in a way that really

01:06:44   shouldn't be allowed.

01:06:47   And I think my understanding, and guys feel free to interrupt me, my understanding of

01:06:50   how this works is it's a combination of background audio API, the apps allowing audio to be mixed.

01:06:57   So if you think about like when you have navigation on and music on, you know, you can still hear

01:07:02   the navigation while the music is on.

01:07:05   And additionally, apparently it's a local network protocol as well, as far as I understood.

01:07:09   Is that at least reasonably accurate at a high level?

01:07:12   Honestly, I don't even know how they're doing.

01:07:13   I mean, I assume background audio is involved to let them run indefinitely, but I mean,

01:07:19   they're not using URL schemes, that's for sure.

01:07:21   So…

01:07:22   Actually, I think they are in part, but not as deep driving…

01:07:24   Not to transfer audio.

01:07:26   Correct.

01:07:27   Right, right, right.

01:07:28   So anyway, so the latest version of GarageBand actually works with AudioBus and has included…

01:07:35   they use the AudioBus SDK to do it.

01:07:37   And this to me is extremely interesting because… for a couple of reasons.

01:07:41   it's Apple getting on board with a community,

01:07:45   maybe not community, but a third party framework

01:07:49   for lack of a better term,

01:07:50   and I think that's very interesting,

01:07:52   and I'm hoping that between you guys,

01:07:54   you can point me to other examples

01:07:56   of where this has happened.

01:07:57   The only one I could think of is their

01:07:58   kind of bastardized version of pull to refresh,

01:08:01   but otherwise I couldn't personally think

01:08:03   of any examples of this,

01:08:04   and I'll give you a chance in a second to correct me.

01:08:06   And I thought that was interesting,

01:08:08   but the other thing I thought was interesting

01:08:09   here's another sort of tacit admission that interprocess communication is a need in iOS

01:08:18   and it's something they need and something that we are all going to want going forward.

01:08:22   And I know we've talked in the past about, what was it, remote view controllers, I believe

01:08:26   is what people had discovered a few months ago in iOS 6. And this both excites me in

01:08:33   the sense that Apple's getting more on board with interprocess communication, but it also

01:08:37   scares me a little that there it seems to me if they had a really awesome fix

01:08:42   for this problem coming in iOS 7 wouldn't they have held this GarageBand

01:08:47   update to leverage that new thing? No, I don't think that would have held it.

01:08:52   I think it's something entirely different but actually I had an

01:08:55   interesting idea when hearing you talk about this and I did a little bit of

01:08:58   research on it before the show but I don't know if you any of you have ever

01:09:00   seen this but apparently there exists I am told stereo equipment like I guess

01:09:07   presumably high-end stereo equipment, that has firmware.

01:09:10   And to update the firmware on the stereo equipment,

01:09:12   you put in a special CD that the manufacturer gives you,

01:09:15   and you play the audio CD, and then it

01:09:17   interprets the sounds as code that's

01:09:20   going to have to get the firmware and update itself.

01:09:22   So a modem thing about this audio bus thing,

01:09:25   we don't have true interapp communication.

01:09:27   But once everyone can listen on the audio bus,

01:09:30   if you can encode the data that you

01:09:32   want to transfer between applications as audio

01:09:34   and decode it on the other end, there is no reason where you can't pass arbitrary structures,

01:09:39   including no in-memory objects or anything else you could possibly want to do for inter-app

01:09:44   communication entirely through audio, provided you could mute the speakers for it. And I'm sure

01:09:48   Apple would love to try to approve your application if you choose to do inter-app communication with

01:09:53   this. The reason I don't think it's like they've held this is because this is not really inter-app

01:09:59   communication. This is really shared access to audio resources. It's more like I/O or multiple

01:10:06   applications sharing the proximity sensor. Once sound goes out of your application into the audio

01:10:11   system, the fact that another application can pick up that sound, intercept it, and before it gets

01:10:15   through the rest of the audio system using the background audio APIs and stuff, that is barely

01:10:21   inter-application communication. It's more like

01:10:25   like existing background APIs where some

01:10:29   small part of your application can still be running and see what's going on in the system. One of the things

01:10:33   going on in the system is another thing is putting audio input into the audio subsystem and we'll let you get it before

01:10:37   it goes out the speaker, you know what I mean? But that is a far cry from, "Hey, let me

01:10:41   put up a UI when I'm not running." Well now Casey, you said that you

01:10:45   looked at it briefly and it sounds like the way it works is via local network

01:10:49   right? It's not... it isn't over audio buses itself. Isn't it over local network? Is that what you said?

01:10:55   That's... again, I read into it very briefly, and candidly I'm probably getting this totally wrong.

01:11:00   And that's why this is also a casual podcast.

01:11:04   But I believe that somebody had said that there was a network component. I'll see if I can get this link back.

01:11:10   I'm going to start talking, so look it up.

01:11:13   So I think there's three things about this that are really interesting, that make this

01:11:18   announcement interesting.

01:11:20   One is that it's technically possible at all with iOS today.

01:11:25   The problem with iOS, you can do anything you want in an app running in the background

01:11:29   for 10 minutes, and then you hit your time limit and then you're killed or suspended.

01:11:33   You'll be killed way before then if someone launches a game anyway.

01:11:37   That's true.

01:11:38   Right.

01:11:39   And when Apple introduced multitasking with iOS 4, they announced these five or six

01:11:46   officially sanctioned and technically allowed methods to keep running in the background indefinitely

01:11:52   or be woken up periodically. And one of those is background audio.

01:11:57   So it's kind of a fluke that, okay, so we have a need for apps to work together for more than ten minutes

01:12:05   in the audio business. They just kind of lucked out that audio happens to be one of the permitted things

01:12:10   on iOS to run for longer than that. And then the other thing that makes it impressive is that it's

01:12:17   technically possible at all to share a substantial amount of data between apps without switching back and forth

01:12:22   URL schemes which themselves would have issues with lots and lots of data flowing through them.

01:12:28   So, Casey, do you know yet whether it's like shared core audio buses or network communications?

01:12:36   So, sort of. Let me read you a couple of very brief things. The first, which is less reliable,

01:12:41   is a post on Stack Overflow, which is the accepted answer to the question of basically

01:12:46   how does this work.

01:12:47   Well, then it's true.

01:12:48   Well, right. And I'm quoting now, "My guess is that they use some sort of audio over network

01:12:53   because I've seen log statements when our app gets started even on a different device.

01:12:57   don't really know about the details of the implementation,

01:13:00   but this could be a way of staying in the sandbox

01:13:02   constraint.

01:13:04   I don't know-- basically, with Core Audio,

01:13:07   I know a little bit about Core Audio.

01:13:08   And as far as I know, I don't think

01:13:11   you can create any kind of shared communication

01:13:14   between apps using the audio frameworks on iOS,

01:13:17   because you'd have to create a virtual device.

01:13:20   It wouldn't be an issue of being piped through the speaker.

01:13:22   It would be an issue of you even having access

01:13:25   to any other apps created audio devices.

01:13:27   And then, so if it's not core audio based, which it probably isn't,

01:13:31   if it is based on local networking, then that's interesting too,

01:13:35   because I don't think people have really, besides this, I don't think people

01:13:39   have really explored inter-app communication potential of just

01:13:43   opening up a local web server or a local socket and communicating

01:13:47   over a local host to some other app. I don't think we've really ever discussed that.

01:13:51   And I would never have assumed that would even be possible.

01:13:55   I would have assumed there were some kind of per app firewall

01:13:59   going on there.

01:14:00   But I guess there probably isn't.

01:14:01   I mean, that would probably be pretty hard to do.

01:14:03   And there would probably be some problems with it.

01:14:04   So maybe there isn't any kind of protection

01:14:06   against local network communication between apps.

01:14:09   All right.

01:14:10   So let me read you a couple of other very brief things.

01:14:12   On the same Stack Overflow post, this

01:14:15   is a comment now to a different answer.

01:14:18   This is Sebastian Dittmann.

01:14:19   I'm part of the audio bus team.

01:14:21   We developed our own SDK for this.

01:14:23   And as has been mentioned before, it's basically a network protocol.

01:14:27   And then let me go to the audio bus developer docs, and it says, blah, blah, blah, blah,

01:14:32   blah.

01:14:33   This process involves setting up your project, enabling background audio, creating a launch

01:14:37   URL and registering your app, making sure audio session mixing is enabled, which is

01:14:42   where we were talking earlier, John was talking earlier about having everyone on the same

01:14:46   audio bus, getting access to your app's audio unit, candidly, I'm not really sure what that

01:14:51   means, and then creating instances of the Audio Bus controller, input and/or output

01:14:56   ports, and the audio unit wrapper from your app delegate. Easy peasy. That's what this

01:15:00   one is all about.

01:15:01   Okay, so it's using core audio in the audio unit, but then it's taking the inputs and

01:15:03   outputs of it and, you know, basically pulling them out of the core audio framework.

01:15:08   It's a side channel. It's like the audio unit is probably there just so we can, "Oh, you

01:15:12   want the samples? Here they are." And, "Oh, by the way, I'm going to take them." It's

01:15:15   like T. It's T-ing them off into whatever its network thing is.

01:15:19   - So yeah, so it is definitely working over network

01:15:21   than it sounds like, 'cause I don't think they would do

01:15:23   any kind of, I don't think they can do

01:15:25   any kind of core audio thing.

01:15:26   So anyway, there's three things about this

01:15:28   that I think are really interesting.

01:15:29   There's the fact that it's technically possible at all,

01:15:32   which, okay, we got that.

01:15:35   The second is that it's been permitted so far

01:15:37   in the app store, that Apple hasn't removed these apps

01:15:40   from the store, told them they can't do this anymore,

01:15:42   rejected them outright.

01:15:43   I mean, that is very interesting,

01:15:45   that Apple has kind of looked either way on this,

01:15:48   Because you could argue that it's probably

01:15:51   misuse of the background audio API,

01:15:54   because each one of those apps-- like the background audio API

01:15:56   is made for, or is intended for, one app to be playing something

01:16:02   you're listening to, like Pandora, or a podcast app.

01:16:07   Like that's what these are for, is

01:16:10   something that's playing a continuous audio thing that

01:16:14   is not the built-in music app.

01:16:17   that's what it's for. So the fact that you have multiple apps

01:16:21   all doing background audio, working together to make one combined

01:16:25   stream to pipe into something else, that is clearly against the

01:16:29   spirit of what this is for. So it is surprising that Apple allows it.

01:16:33   And now the third interesting part about this is that not only have they

01:16:37   not only is it technically possible, and they've permitted it so far, but now

01:16:41   somebody on the GarageBand team actually got them to let them

01:16:45   add support for it in GarageBand.

01:16:47   So it's kind of an implied endorsement of this method.

01:16:51   And granted, Apple is a company with more than one person,

01:16:55   so it's possible this was one thing that slipped through

01:16:58   that doesn't really fit with the overall strategy of iOS,

01:17:01   but this one person on this one team was allowed to add it

01:17:04   and nobody noticed.

01:17:04   It's possible.

01:17:06   But it also is possible that they want to encourage this.

01:17:10   And part of it, Apple has always culturally,

01:17:12   especially with Steve Jobs, they have a soft spot

01:17:14   for music and musicians.

01:17:16   And that's why GarageBand was one

01:17:18   of the first major iPad apps they made

01:17:22   that launched with the iPad 2.

01:17:25   And they were so proud.

01:17:26   Music is great.

01:17:27   And in our culture, it's well respected.

01:17:32   People love musicians.

01:17:34   And it's very fulfilling to a lot of people

01:17:37   in a very basic way.

01:17:41   It's really hard to explain.

01:17:43   But music is very powerful.

01:17:46   And so Apple's always had a soft spot for it.

01:17:48   So maybe Apple is just kind of saying, OK, we'll

01:17:52   let this happen for this group of musicians and music

01:17:54   people who are making these things,

01:17:55   because we like music a lot, and that's fine.

01:17:59   Because I can't imagine-- also, I

01:18:02   guess another reason they would allow this

01:18:03   would be that if they do something in iOS 7,

01:18:07   or in any future iOS, something involving interapp communication

01:18:10   that's better, something like sharing with contracts

01:18:13   are intense, like Android and Windows Phone 7, or Windows

01:18:16   Metro, whatever.

01:18:17   If they do something like that, I

01:18:20   don't see anything like that being able to replace this.

01:18:24   The way they would architect something like that probably

01:18:27   couldn't be a stream of constant high bandwidth network

01:18:32   communication, high bandwidth low latency

01:18:34   with a bunch of apps hanging out in the background.

01:18:36   I can't see that happening.

01:18:37   Well, it's not that high bandwidth.

01:18:38   It's actually low bandwidth.

01:18:39   I think that's why they get away with it.

01:18:42   I think it all comes down to this being audio, and not so much in the musical sense of how

01:18:46   they want to do that, although as part of that I think they want to encourage the ecosystem

01:18:49   of applications that cooperate and make it a more interesting musical device.

01:18:54   But because perhaps they're wrong about this and they'll find out and have a harsh

01:18:59   lesson, but you're not reaching into someone else's application root directory and screwing

01:19:05   with it.

01:19:06   You are not calling into another application and executing arbitrary code.

01:19:11   is seen as inert. It cannot cause arbitrary, as far as they know, it cannot cause arbitrary

01:19:16   execution of code elsewhere. It doesn't do any of the things that they want to keep people

01:19:21   separated for. And they already have an API that lets you do audio stuff in the background.

01:19:26   This is audio stuff. It seems safe. It's not a security thing. Presumably that no one is

01:19:32   actually crazy enough to do the thing I was joking about before, but actually encoding

01:19:36   all of your application communication as an audio stream, because that would be crazy,

01:19:40   I think it would be awesome. So anyone out there wants to try that, I give you a thumbs up.

01:19:43   And like you said, so they come out with something different. They would still keep this.

01:19:49   I think the most interesting thing about it is they didn't do the Apple thing, which is,

01:19:53   so there's these audio bus guys out there and they have this idea. Either buy them or make something

01:19:57   of our own that's exactly like it and crush them. Maybe audio bus got out front. Maybe they are

01:20:04   planning to buy them, maybe waiting for the other shoe to drop. But it could, I mean, this is so

01:20:08   weird for the modern app. And it's like, we totally expect them to either buy the company

01:20:11   just to get the employees, buy the protocol, or just simply say, "Oh, yeah, that. That's a good

01:20:16   idea. Can we do that? Yeah, do that." And then just do something that does the exact same thing,

01:20:22   possibly a little better, possibly a little worse, but completely in-house.

01:20:26   I mean, maybe this got out in front of them. I'm not in the music scene, but it could be that

01:20:29   audio bus looked like it was getting traction among people developing applications and Apple

01:20:33   just wanted to join in. But I like that activity of them looking into the third-party market,

01:20:39   seeing someone who's come up with something, and not just attempting to buy them outright,

01:20:45   not attempting to crush them with their own implementation,

01:20:47   dashboard style or whatever, but just say, "All right, well, you guys are going with that.

01:20:52   We'll join into your thing," because it makes the iOS devices more compelling for people who

01:20:57   are interested in music to have this ecosystem, as if it wasn't compelling enough to have all

01:21:02   all these great music apps, now they can cooperate with each other. They could be the first people

01:21:06   to get the benefit of what we've all been talking about, of like, "Geez, if you could

01:21:09   just get rid of these silos that are separating it, the iPad could become a much more useful

01:21:13   device." Maybe they're the first people out of the gate who are able to do that, the musicians.

01:21:18   So I have a hypothetical question for you guys. In hearing Jon, you talk about encoding

01:21:23   everything as audio, and I know you say that kind of jokingly, and I also know you say

01:21:26   it kind of seriously. I still maintain it's probably not possible

01:21:28   to transfer between apps, but go ahead.

01:21:30   Yeah, I agree.

01:21:32   So let me take you on a meandering journey

01:21:33   that hopefully will end up at a decent point.

01:21:35   When PasteBot came out, which was, to my knowledge,

01:21:39   the first Tapbots app that really people started

01:21:43   paying attention to-- maybe that was their first app,

01:21:45   I don't recall.

01:21:46   But I believe it was PasteBot that

01:21:47   tried to run silence in the background in order

01:21:51   to stay in open and in sync constantly.

01:21:54   Because obviously there's only a couple reasons

01:21:57   You can background your app for more than 10 minutes.

01:21:59   So they thought, oh, we'll just play Silence forever.

01:22:01   Use this audio mixing not unlike Audio Bus so you can still

01:22:05   hear other things at the same time.

01:22:07   And Apple ended up saying, nice try, but that ain't happening.

01:22:10   So you can't leave an app running constantly.

01:22:14   And so Marco, this also was cued by what you said a moment ago.

01:22:18   And so I wonder if it would be possible to do something like

01:22:23   have your app have some sort of server component.

01:22:26   it just locally. And so let's say you wanted to transfer an 80 gig file, an 80 meg file between

01:22:33   two apps, whatever that may be, it doesn't matter. So what if app one says, "Hey, I'm about to

01:22:39   background this task," and starts up a server locally on the phone or the iPad or whatever,

01:22:46   does a call, a URL scheme into some other app that it's aware of, like an X callback URL or

01:22:53   or something along those lines, and that second app,

01:22:55   app two, then gets onto app one's server component

01:23:00   or whatever you'd like to call it,

01:23:01   downloads that thing, that 80 meg file,

01:23:05   in the span of under 10 minutes,

01:23:06   because why wouldn't it, it's all on the same device,

01:23:08   and then suddenly you have a way of doing file transfer

01:23:12   between apps as long as it takes less than 10 minutes.

01:23:14   Does that even make sense?

01:23:15   Would that theoretically work? - It does.

01:23:16   I mean, I think these are all such ridiculous hacks

01:23:22   that I think it would be more wise,

01:23:27   unless you had a really pressing need to make an app

01:23:29   that did this kind of stuff right now,

01:23:31   I think it would be more wise to just kind of wait

01:23:33   and see what iOS does to address this.

01:23:35   And because obviously, I think with forestall being out now,

01:23:40   it wouldn't surprise me if we start seeing

01:23:45   major new directions with iOS.

01:23:47   We probably won't see it with iOS 7,

01:23:49   'cause it's just too soon since he's been out.

01:23:51   But I think we can look at Apple under Tim Cook,

01:23:56   and we can see things are being shaken up gradually.

01:24:00   It's not totally transformed overnight

01:24:02   to a different company, but things are being shaken up.

01:24:05   And we're seeing things that were previously

01:24:09   very attributable to Steve Jobs, which

01:24:14   had a lot of overlap with things that were attributable to Scott

01:24:16   Forstall, because Forstall very much made himself

01:24:20   and Jobs's image, or even vice versa, I don't really know.

01:24:23   But things like everything being so strictly sandboxed

01:24:29   and so strictly separated, it wouldn't surprise me

01:24:32   if we start seeing relaxation of that.

01:24:35   As the platform matures, as competition gets more strong

01:24:38   and addresses all those areas way more robustly

01:24:40   than Apple does, I think we'll start seeing development here.

01:24:45   And so you mentioned remote view controllers and iOS 6

01:24:49   being behind the scenes for a few things.

01:24:51   That is something to watch.

01:24:53   And if you think about how Apple would implement something

01:24:57   like remote view controllers for general purpose use,

01:25:02   an app would kind of have to have like a low-- almost

01:25:06   like a low power state where it's in the background,

01:25:10   it's not rendering an interface.

01:25:12   Ideally, if you only have to like load up

01:25:16   a sharing sheet for your app or something,

01:25:18   and then it goes away and your app was never launched recently.

01:25:20   Ideally, it could only load a small amount of the app

01:25:24   and not even instantiate the whole view hierarchy,

01:25:27   even if it's not being displayed.

01:25:29   Ideally, your app would have some kind of fast loading,

01:25:31   low needs mode where it could interact

01:25:34   with other apps like this.

01:25:35   And iOS could still maintain its great battery life

01:25:40   and only loading apps when they needed to be loaded

01:25:42   and suspended them for all their times.

01:25:45   I feel like there are a lot of technical, hairy details

01:25:50   about that, about how you would do that from a developer point

01:25:53   of view, from an architecture point of view.

01:25:56   There's a lot of ways to do it that

01:25:57   would suck in some major way for somebody,

01:26:01   whether it's a developer or whether it's iOS or the user.

01:26:04   But I feel like that area, the entire tech world

01:26:10   has been pressuring Apple so hard, especially

01:26:13   this past year to address that particular area.

01:26:17   And the remote view controller thing and UI activity

01:26:21   looks like baby steps towards something better there.

01:26:25   And I feel like investing any kind of major time or effort

01:26:28   or development or product, investing heavily

01:26:33   into the old ways that you can do things right now

01:26:37   is probably bad timing.

01:26:39   Because iOS 7 is gonna be announced in a few months

01:26:42   in all likelihood, probably at WWDC.

01:26:44   And I feel like we are right on the verge of a change

01:26:51   that is very likely to affect this particular area of iOS

01:26:54   dramatically.

01:26:56   So I wouldn't put much into it right now.

01:26:59   That's the short-- the very long way of saying that

01:27:01   is what I just said.

01:27:02   The short version is, I don't think it's the right time

01:27:05   to invest heavily in weird workarounds for iOS's lack

01:27:09   of good interactive communication.

01:27:12   But it would definitely be cool. I mean, I was joking. It's a silly thing to do. But if someone

01:27:16   did that, that would be a story that would get passed around because it's a hack. It's interesting

01:27:22   and it's novel. I'm sure we could find some sort of technology or protocol for perhaps modulating

01:27:29   and demodulating audio to transfer data. I don't know. I'm just—

01:27:33   Oh, sure. I mean, you could just do one bit per sample where you just move—have a sample of

01:27:40   one to zero to negative one.

01:27:43   You can modulate into just a very, very tiny waveform

01:27:46   that is so small that you would not hear it

01:27:48   on any kind of speakers or headphones

01:27:50   that you would have put into an iPhone

01:27:51   and encode the data that way.

01:27:54   - Well, that's the question if you can mute it or not.

01:27:57   - That's the problem, yeah.

01:27:57   - I was trying to think of who would,

01:28:01   given the ridiculousness of this

01:28:03   and why shouldn't you just wait for iOS 7,

01:28:05   who would actually have the resources

01:28:08   and poor judgment to attempt something like this.

01:28:11   And the only people I could think of

01:28:13   have no reason to do it because they already

01:28:14   have server-side components.

01:28:15   And those would be like the Zingers of the world.

01:28:17   They would use it as a back door to share information

01:28:20   between their annoying applications.

01:28:23   But they don't need to do that because they've got a server.

01:28:24   And they'll just talk.

01:28:25   They do what they do now and transfer all your information

01:28:27   to the servers.

01:28:28   When you launch another game by the same manufacturer,

01:28:30   they know all about what you played here

01:28:32   and can promote this game or buy this.

01:28:34   So they don't need this.

01:28:35   Like their inter-application communication for that crowd

01:28:39   is called a server.

01:28:41   And that's-- I mean, it works that way for a lot of people,

01:28:44   too.

01:28:44   What we really want it for is like,

01:28:47   stop stranding my stupid text documents in the umpteen text

01:28:50   editors I have.

01:28:51   That's what we all want.

01:28:52   And in those cases, it's not because you

01:28:56   want three games from the same maker

01:28:58   to be able to know about each other

01:29:00   and know about your scores and activities.

01:29:02   I want documents created in applications

01:29:04   not made by the same vendor to not be in these stupid silos.

01:29:08   And that's what we're all waiting for.

01:29:10   It's like popping up UIs is one thing,

01:29:12   and the other thing is the file system or whatever.

01:29:15   And maybe iCloud is the solution to that,

01:29:17   but not really because they're still siloing that off as well.

01:29:20   So that's what I think we're looking for in interapp

01:29:23   communication is shared UIs, type of thing,

01:29:26   loadable bundles with UIs that you can put in where

01:29:28   your application isn't really running,

01:29:30   but some code that's part of your application is running,

01:29:32   and some solution to how can we use multiple applications

01:29:35   to work on the same project with multiple applications

01:29:39   from different vendors.

01:29:40   And the audio buss is almost not really a solution,

01:29:43   that's more like a bunch of guitar pedals

01:29:45   that you hook up and sequence to a layer effects on,

01:29:47   but I feel like it's the same type of thing.

01:29:49   What if you want to do audio creation

01:29:51   and you have audio buss and you'd be like,

01:29:53   geez, I wish I could use these seven apps

01:29:55   to collaborate to create this.

01:29:56   Instead, one kind of has to be the master app

01:29:58   that actually gets to record the resulting audio

01:30:01   and everything else is just a bunch of effects boxes and pedals that you're putting in a chain to modify things.

01:30:05   So they're creeping up on it, but you know, they still have a long way to go.

01:30:10   And as for your speculation about the forestall jobs thing, do you have any actual information about like,

01:30:16   everyone likes their tribute to whatever thing they don't like, now that forestall's gone, it will stop happening and the good thing will happen.

01:30:23   I don't know if he's the one who was insisting on silos.

01:30:26   it. He's like, "Why is his departure make you think that this good thing that we want will

01:30:31   now finally happen?" As if he was the barrier to it. Maybe you have information I don't,

01:30:35   but I have no information about it. I don't see that. I mean, it's conceivable, but without any

01:30:44   actual connection to information, I'm saying, "Oh, yeah, Forrestal was totally—"

01:30:48   Because I have heard some things about things that he was gung-ho for that I disagree with,

01:30:53   but this was not among them. I'm hesitant to pin my hopes on the magic departure of Scott Forstall.

01:31:03   Yeah, you're probably right about that, honestly. I don't have any information to support that,

01:31:06   either. It was just a hunch. It's probably wrong, who knows?

01:31:10   I mean, we know they need this anyway, but they need lots of things, and they'll get there

01:31:16   eventually. This is going to be the year of desktop Linux.

01:31:19   Yeah. Well, no. We actually do get it eventually, though. We got copies. We got Notification Center,

01:31:25   such as it is, eventually. Yeah, it's funny because as you guys were

01:31:30   talking, I was thinking back, you know, you said, "Well, one thing we want is to be able to pop up

01:31:36   a view or some sort of view controller in another app from within my own app." And it occurred to me

01:31:44   that when I was spitballing about transferring this phantom 80 meg file, we can already do

01:31:50   that. The thing is we can't do it locally. We do it via Dropbox. And so I kind of wonder

01:31:55   if in addition to being able to throw up something small in somebody else's app, I wonder if

01:32:03   really what I've been asking for this entire show is just Dropbox but local, you know,

01:32:09   something that serves the same purpose that Dropbox does today.

01:32:12   >> It's called the file system, Kasey, and they don't want you touching it.

01:32:15   Stay in your little sandbox. >> Well, what's interesting is that

01:32:18   iCloud does not address that at all.

01:32:21   >> They chose to silo it. I mean, there's no reason

01:32:24   iCloud couldn't work exactly like Dropbox except that Apple doesn't want it to.

01:32:27   >> I think history will show

01:32:30   that that particular detail of iCloud is a big mistake.

01:32:34   And I really do-- I think if you look at something like the photo library on iOS,

01:32:39   That's a really good example of how to do something like this better.

01:32:43   Certainly it's not perfect, but there's a lot of apps that can interact

01:32:47   with the same photo library, and it's fine.

01:32:51   Yeah, again, it could be better, but it's way better than if you

01:32:55   have some other type of document or some other type of data

01:32:59   that you want multiple apps to be able to interact with, there's just no good option

01:33:03   for that, except Dropbox, which obviously that's not

01:33:07   not great for Apple.

01:33:09   I really do think if iCloud could be broadened to basically

01:33:14   have different containers for any given mime type, say,

01:33:19   or any given set of mime types--

01:33:20   I mean, I know--

01:33:21   You're just bargaining now, because it's like, well,

01:33:23   I'm working on a project that has some images and some text

01:33:26   documents and some audio and some movies,

01:33:28   and now they're in silos by type.

01:33:32   There's a reason that the file systems exist the way it does.

01:33:35   because it's like you can't predict ahead of time what, what, uh, what would you call it,

01:33:41   what facet you're going to use to organize things, what, you know, what is the word I'm looking for,

01:33:46   what axis or whatever. How are you going to categorize things? Is it by type? Is it by date?

01:33:50   Is it by like, oh, well, if you just make a file system, you can do all of those things. And we

01:33:53   also have another thing, which is like a hierarchy with like by location, by path.

01:33:57   I mean, it could be by project, you know, like I have like, I have photos that I have to work with

01:34:01   for the magazine that are not in my photo library for myself because they're not my

01:34:05   personal photos.

01:34:06   There's all sorts of...

01:34:08   Everyone has these kind of exceptions to everything.

01:34:09   Right.

01:34:10   And inside the project folder, maybe you'll divide it up by type underneath the project

01:34:12   folder, or maybe you'll divide it up by a secondary category and then by type.

01:34:15   But I think the decision not to have a real file system in iCloud is the right one.

01:34:23   I admire them for sticking with it.

01:34:24   I hope they don't cave.

01:34:26   Because they could implement Dropbox.

01:34:27   They could have implemented Dropbox a long time ago, but they didn't.

01:34:30   they said, "Yeah, we understand that. Yeah, just give us a shared hierarchy file system

01:34:35   that's on the network that syncs everywhere." Dropbox does that. Apple could do that. They've

01:34:40   chosen not to because they know how untenable the file system is for human beings, period,

01:34:47   like non-nerd people. And so they're holding the line and saying, "No, we are not going

01:34:51   to give you an arbitrary hierarchy that you can ignore the way you want because people

01:34:54   People have proven they can't make that work, and they just haven't figured out a workable

01:35:00   alternative yet.

01:35:01   But I'm proud of them for not caving and not saying, "Well, you know iCloud documents in

01:35:07   the cloud?

01:35:08   Well, now it's just an arbitrary file system, just like Dropbox and Go Nuts."

01:35:11   Because everyone would cheer them and be like, "Yay, this is great.

01:35:13   Apple's finally done what we wanted."

01:35:15   But I'm totally convinced that people in general cannot grok that concept, and it's not a question

01:35:23   of education and time because now we're several generations into the computer age is just

01:35:27   — it's not something people grasp. It's something that we have no problem with and

01:35:32   some set of geeks have no problem with, but, you know, the simpler things like you talk

01:35:36   about the photo sharing, people can kind of grasp that. People can kind of grasp the stupid

01:35:42   limited silos that we all hate. There's got to be something that doesn't expose the full

01:35:47   file system that gives us some of the benefits, and, you know, Apple hasn't found it yet,

01:35:51   and I feel bad for them, and I feel bad for us. But I am proud of them for not making

01:35:56   Dropbox. I'll be proud of them right up to the point where my frustration just overflows.

01:35:59   As long as Dropbox is still around for the nerds, that also kind of mitigates this thing. It's like,

01:36:03   "Okay, well, you keep working on that, Apple." But in the meantime,

01:36:07   all the nerds are just using Dropbox to get their work done.

01:36:09   I kind of feel like, obviously, there's been a lot of discussion in the last few years about

01:36:13   moving away from exposing the file system to users. And I feel like it's one of those

01:36:20   simplifications that the problem is way more complicated

01:36:24   than that simple solution can properly address.

01:36:27   And the reason why files have lasted as long as they have

01:36:32   as the metaphor for storage management for people

01:36:36   is that this is a complicated problem.

01:36:39   And files are a very simple and extremely powerful way

01:36:44   to address it at the cost of user complexity,

01:36:48   especially for people who just can't, who just don't think that way,

01:36:51   or who are so new to it, they need time to adjust.

01:36:55   And we see, obviously, we see so many failures of like, quote,

01:37:00   "normal people" or people who are really new to computers

01:37:03   or just don't care that much. We see so many failures of them

01:37:07   just not getting the concepts of file storage and files

01:37:11   and moving them and where they're located on the computer and stuff like that.

01:37:14   and stuff like that. But I feel like where Apple has gone with iCloud, with the tremendous

01:37:21   strict siloing per app and pretty much no file system, everything is just kind of a collection

01:37:26   of documents in each app, I feel like that's going too far in the other direction. It's

01:37:31   too much of an extreme.

01:37:33   It doesn't cover the problem space. It just doesn't. We all recognize. It doesn't even

01:37:37   cover the problem space for casual people. It solves like there's nobody for whom that

01:37:42   solution is adequate, I found. Because even just like my parents, once they can't find

01:37:47   their stuff and I explain the siloing, they're like, "Oh, well, that's dumb. How do I do

01:37:52   that?" And I'm like, "I don't have a good answer for them. I'm not going to say nobody.

01:37:55   There's so few people." And so is that the first step and they have a master plan? Did

01:38:01   they want to try that and say, "Hey, maybe this is adequate." Because they don't care

01:38:04   like what we nerds. We'll just use apps that work with Dropbox, right? But they haven't

01:38:09   figured it out yet. They have not even come close to covering the problem space.

01:38:12   So you're talking about like the simple, small, simple, but powerful tools. Like

01:38:16   that's the continuum. It's like, you know, Unix where, you know, the, the ideal of

01:38:20   Unix, or you have a bunch of tiny single-purpose tools that you can chain

01:38:23   together to do amazing things, but nobody can figure that out, right? And at the other

01:38:27   end, you have like a big red button that you press and it just pops up. On the other

01:38:29   end, you have Microsoft Excel. Well, no, because Excel is actually, Excel is actually a good

01:38:34   example of like a, a small simple tool that you can assemble. But their simple

01:38:38   is we have a grid, and there's a few simple things that regular people know how to do with the grid,

01:38:42   and people are amazing at taking Excel. It's like, "Oh, a two-dimensional grid. I can solve

01:38:46   any problem with that," because it's like Lego blocks. It's a terrible solution, but

01:38:51   they can understand this one simple tool. Well, Unix, these series of simple tools,

01:38:55   you can make up your solution. But the other end of the spectrum is there is no small reusable part.

01:39:00   There is no Lego brick. There is no thing that you can snap together to make a solution. There's just

01:39:03   one big shiny red button, and you press it, and it does whatever the hell we say this thing's going

01:39:06   going to do. And that is inadequate to cover the things that people need to do. And that's

01:39:13   documents in the cloud at this point. There's a huge gap between those extremes, and there's

01:39:17   got to be something in the middle that can work for us. And it would be a failure on

01:39:23   Apple's part to ever surrender and say, "Fine, it's a file system." So they've got work to

01:39:30   do, but I hope they don't just give in. Right, because I think it would be an equally significant

01:39:35   failure on their part to say, "We've solved it. It's done. This cloud stuff, this is it.

01:39:40   We're done." It's fine. You just got to get used to it. They realize that. I don't think

01:39:48   anyone thinks that. Anyone, anywhere, who's ever used documents to cloud.

01:39:52   All right. We should wrap it up. You want to have some kind of outro? People have been asking for an

01:39:57   outro to the show, so you know when it's ending. You can look at our website, ATP.fm, for Accidental

01:40:04   Tech Podcast. Follow us on Twitter. We have @Syracusa, Casey Liss, C-A-S-E-Y L-I-S-S,

01:40:14   and me, Marco Arment, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-A-N-T. And that's about it. Go rate us on iTunes

01:40:21   so that we can get more people and stuff. And I don't know, thanks to Squarespace

01:40:26   for sponsoring. What do people usually put in these outros?

01:40:28   I thought you were going to sing a song. You're not going to sing a song?

01:40:31   I don't think I'm not really in the mood to sing tonight.

01:40:35   Maybe we'll record one when I'm in the shower one time and then I'll sing to you.

01:40:39   Looking forward to it.

01:40:45   I think Twitter handles are good and website URLs.

01:40:48   You probably just don't have to spell them.

01:40:50   That'll make them go by faster.

01:40:51   Yeah, because we all have long spellable names.

01:40:55   My last name cadence, it's 323.

01:40:57   S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A.

01:40:58   That's the cadence.

01:41:01   Oh, I've been doing two. Oh, no, it's threes because that's how you have to do it.

01:41:06   That's what drives me nuts about the stupid Google Authenticator thing. Do you use that for the two factor?

01:41:11   No, I don't. Yeah, so they've got a Google Authenticator app, which is great. It integrates with Dropbox,

01:41:16   and I have three of them on there now. It's one app, Google Authenticator, that gives you just the number. It's your second factor, right?

01:41:21   And it's six digits, and they shove them all together. I'm like, "Come on, guys. What planet are you on?"

01:41:26   Like, it's two sets of three!

01:41:27   Like, everybody knows you don't put six digits together, so your eyes go crazy in the middle

01:41:31   and it's repeated digits and you screw it up.

01:41:33   That's just unbelievable to me that they didn't put a friggin' space or a hyphen or something.

01:41:37   It's two sets of three!

01:41:41   Please put that as the lead in.

01:41:42   I have to.

01:41:43   For the love of Christ, please.

01:41:44   That's definitely going somewhere.

01:41:45   [LAUGHTER]

01:41:47   [ Silence ]