417: The Verticals


00:00:00   [music]

00:00:11   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 417.

00:00:16   Today's show is brought to you by TextExpander, Sourcegraph, DoorDash, and ZocDoc.

00:00:21   My name is Myke Hurley and I am joined by Jason Snell. Hi, Jason Snell.

00:00:25   Hi, Myke Hurley. It's very exciting. It's the Summer of Fun.

00:00:28   - And we got a special guest up today.

00:00:29   - Summer of fun!

00:00:30   - Summer of fun!

00:00:32   - It's true.

00:00:33   - I have a hashtag Snows

00:00:33   Haul question for you, and it comes from Steven, not that one.

00:00:36   What is your biggest bucket list sporting event?

00:00:40   - Huh?

00:00:42   That's a good question.

00:00:43   I, let's see.

00:00:45   Well, I would say seeing Cal playing in the Rose Bowl,

00:00:48   but that is never gonna happen now.

00:00:49   It's like literally never gonna happen.

00:00:51   - What does Cal playing in the Rose Bowl mean?

00:00:54   - Cal playing in the Rose Bowl?

00:00:55   It's related to Bridget Knight.

00:00:58   she comes down from the skies. And the Rose Bowl is a football game that has been played for

00:01:04   a century more that usually traditionally for the last 75 years or whatever has mostly pitted the

00:01:15   champion of the Big Ten Conference and the champion of the Pac-10 Conference and then 12 more recently.

00:01:23   And so as a, Cal is a team in that conference,

00:01:27   the Pacific 10 and 12 conference

00:01:29   that is in dire straits right now,

00:01:31   we don't want to get into that,

00:01:32   but I'll just say that that was always the dream

00:01:34   is that Cal would win the conference

00:01:36   and go to the Rose Bowl

00:01:37   because they haven't been to the Rose Bowl

00:01:38   in like 60 or 70 years.

00:01:41   And they've come close a couple of times,

00:01:44   but they have not gotten there in my lifetime.

00:01:48   And that was always the dream

00:01:49   was to go see Cal play in the Rose Bowl.

00:01:51   But due to changes in conferences

00:01:52   and the landscape of college football,

00:01:54   that will probably never happen now.

00:01:58   The door has almost completely closed.

00:02:00   It was always a wild dream,

00:02:01   like watching the Giants win the World Series,

00:02:03   which they did three times in the 2010s.

00:02:05   So I got that one.

00:02:07   Anyway, that would have been the bucket list item,

00:02:08   but I feel like it will never happen,

00:02:12   and I have no way to make it happen.

00:02:14   It's out of my control,

00:02:15   because it has to be an event that exists

00:02:18   for me to go to it, and it's never gonna exist.

00:02:21   So I'm gonna say, and Lauren and I were talking about this

00:02:24   just a couple of weeks ago for obvious reasons,

00:02:27   is, you know, someday I wanna go to Wimbledon.

00:02:30   And I don't wanna go like to the final.

00:02:33   I wanna go to like a day early on

00:02:35   where there's just people all over playing tennis

00:02:38   and on grass and it's London and it's the summertime.

00:02:42   And that I would love to do sometime.

00:02:44   - I got to see some of the semifinal one year.

00:02:46   - Oh, nice.

00:02:47   I actually kind of think I like it more if,

00:02:50   I think I'd like to hang out like on the outside where there's like the little courts and people

00:02:53   were playing doubles and they're all just it sounds like a Wimbledon village that would

00:02:57   be a really fun thing so that's I think what I'm going to say my sports bucket list is

00:03:01   is some strawberries and cream Jason Yeah exactly so really that is I mean and I'm saying

00:03:06   that seriously like I could say like a World Cup final and all that but it's like the truth

00:03:10   is the World Cup is coming to the US I will probably try to go to a World Cup match while

00:03:16   it's here but um but that's not on my list it's i think wimbledon going to wimbledon is is my answer

00:03:22   here if you would like to send in a question for jason to answer on an episode of upgrade just send

00:03:28   in a tweet with the hashtag snow talk and you can help us start the show we have an action-packed

00:03:32   show today jason snow but we still got to head on down to the corral for the rumor roundup

00:03:37   for when people were hearing this some rumors that were over a week old but nevertheless

00:03:42   Still things to talk about.

00:03:44   We did warn you on last week's episode

00:03:46   that we were pre-recording.

00:03:47   So if any of this stuff changes,

00:03:49   we cannot be held accountable for that.

00:03:51   That's not how time works.

00:03:52   Puck News is reporting that Apple is the quote,

00:03:55   "Most likely winner of a $3 billion

00:03:58   NFL Sunday ticket deal."

00:04:00   - Yeah, it's a lot of money, but we've had this out there.

00:04:04   It sounds like Amazon has been bidding against Apple

00:04:09   for this, but yeah.

00:04:11   This sounds like a, this is probably gonna happen.

00:04:15   This is Apple spending a lot of money on sports.

00:04:18   - And speaking of Apple and Amazon,

00:04:19   they are also in a bidding war for the US broadcasting

00:04:22   rights to the UEFA Champions League football.

00:04:26   - Yeah, this is again, it's all part of the strategy, right?

00:04:30   Of Apple wants to give people reason.

00:04:34   Like I've said, it's not just even the money.

00:04:36   The money presumably will come at some point,

00:04:39   although what they're spending,

00:04:40   They may never get their money back for this, but the point is it, it serves a

00:04:44   couple of larger purposes.

00:04:45   And one is just getting people into the apple ecosystem.

00:04:47   But I really believe one of the reasons is they want to get, um, they want to

00:04:52   get households and devices into the apple TV compatible ecosystem, right?

00:04:58   Like, so step one, uh, you can't even watch this.

00:05:01   You need to get a box that has an apple TV app on it.

00:05:03   Doesn't even have to be the apple TV, just a box that has apple TV.

00:05:07   Step two is like create an Apple ID or whatever you need to do to log in, even if you don't

00:05:12   give them money, like to get to the point where you're able to watch something.

00:05:17   Like that's a huge strategy and then beyond that to get them start paying and then maybe

00:05:22   you're in the bundle and all those things.

00:05:24   But like it's a long-term ecosystem play for Apple and they're gonna spend a lot of money

00:05:30   on it for sure.

00:05:32   Now something I thought was interesting about the Sunday Ticket and potentially the Epic

00:05:36   Champions League, I would guess both of these would be US only. Which is not how they've

00:05:47   done for their other sports stuff.

00:05:49   Well, MLS and MLB have a, I mean it's just a different product with different issues.

00:05:56   The NFL makes a lot of money, they already have a product for outside the US to watch

00:06:01   all the games, so they don't need to do that.

00:06:03   Yeah, no, no, it's not about the strategy. It's just it would be, it's about Apple's strategy,

00:06:08   which I find intriguing, right? Because obviously, I mean, who knows about NFL, whatever, but I can,

00:06:14   well, not who knows. You would know. I would know. They're not going to get the UEFA Champions League

00:06:19   broadcasting rights in the UK, for example, right? That's just not going to happen. Apple probably

00:06:24   wouldn't even want to pay what that's worth because it's such a huge ticket here.

00:06:30   but they may pay $3 billion for NFL Sunday tickets. So I think the answer would be maybe,

00:06:35   but it's a different kind of deal. Like the UAFA rights in the US are very different than the UAFA

00:06:41   rights in another place, and that's fine. That's what they're going to do. But their sites are

00:06:46   high. I mean, if they're going to spend $3 billion on an NFL Sunday ticket, they're serious about

00:06:50   this. This is serious money for making a serious play for people to get them into their ecosystem.

00:06:57   I think I'm not thinking I represent what I was trying to say clearly like I don't really know if it's about the money

00:07:03   For something like the UEFA Champions League as such like I just don't know if they would get to the table maybe

00:07:09   But like it's such an entrenched thing in certain places in the world some of these sports would be complicated

00:07:15   I get it would be complicated then again if somebody comes up and says I'll pay you more than they will I

00:07:20   Have a hard time. Yeah, they wouldn't listen right I mean there are lots of issues cultural issues and

00:07:27   Where is it available and all that and it varies from place to place?

00:07:29   But but the truth is it's also not a thing where they can just make a deal with one person shake their hand

00:07:34   pay write a check and it's everywhere in the world because so a lot of these sports have already sectioned up the world and

00:07:41   The Apple, you know can't make one no preemptive bid for all of it

00:07:46   Moving on ET news is reporting on information from supply chain sources that apples

00:07:54   Mixed reality headset is still on track for an early 2023 launch timeframe.

00:08:00   They added that a second generation model will be teed up for 2024 featuring a lighter design quote ability to make calls

00:08:08   I think that means

00:08:10   Cell reception, right? Yeah, right because that's just a weird way to phrase that and higher definition cameras

00:08:18   Because it is expected that the first generation model will have quote mid to low spec cameras

00:08:24   which I found to be a curious thing, the camera part.

00:08:29   - Yeah, that's a good question.

00:08:31   Ability to make calls is weird, right?

00:08:32   'Cause I have to imagine that FaceTime will be built

00:08:35   into these things, but maybe it is a cellular thing.

00:08:37   - Yeah, I think that that means cellular.

00:08:39   I think that's just a good question.

00:08:39   - And yeah, the cameras will be better.

00:08:41   Also, it's just a comparison thing, right?

00:08:43   So like the cameras in the first gen model

00:08:45   will not be the same as the cameras

00:08:47   in the second gen model, okay.

00:08:49   - Well, 'cause what I was thinking about with this

00:08:51   is like the camera kind of quality

00:08:54   that you get from an Oculus, right,

00:08:55   is like really bad if you're looking through it.

00:08:58   - Yeah.

00:08:59   - And I wonder if they're gonna have an experience like that

00:09:00   which wasn't what I expected.

00:09:02   Like I was expecting the mixed reality portion of this

00:09:05   to be like crystal clear looking out to the world.

00:09:07   And so like this report is intriguing to me.

00:09:11   This is not what I was necessarily expecting.

00:09:14   I guess we'll find out

00:09:15   but it was not what I thought it was gonna be like.

00:09:18   - Yeah, well I will see what they do.

00:09:20   I'm sure it'll be good, but it could always be better.

00:09:23   - But we still got that 2023 timeframe apparently,

00:09:26   which just continues to be reported on.

00:09:28   And finally, according to Ross Young,

00:09:30   speaking of 2023, the mini LED display,

00:09:33   the external display that Apple's been working on

00:09:35   has been delayed to early 2023.

00:09:38   This was all on the MacRumors show podcast

00:09:42   that young mentioned this

00:09:44   and confirmed it will feature promotion.

00:09:46   So the high refresh rate stuff.

00:09:47   Just as a reminder,

00:09:48   This product was originally scheduled for June,

00:09:51   then slipped to October, this is this year, now for 2023.

00:09:56   This will also be a 27 inch product like the Studio Display.

00:10:00   And Ross Young also said that the larger MacBook Air,

00:10:05   the 15 inch MacBook Air product that we've been talking

00:10:08   about that we think might be the MacBook Studio,

00:10:10   is also set for 2023 as of now as well.

00:10:13   - Interesting.

00:10:14   - Supply chain baby.

00:10:15   - I think Studio Display, you know,

00:10:18   I think this is like the pro display or studio display pro

00:10:21   or they'll give it another name,

00:10:22   but like it's gonna be way more expensive

00:10:24   than the studio display,

00:10:25   but it's gonna be super fancy and swanky.

00:10:27   - Jason, do you wanna explain what we're gonna be doing

00:10:30   on the rest of the episode today?

00:10:31   Can you explain yourself, Jason?

00:10:32   - What we're about to do.

00:10:33   All right, you might not know this mic,

00:10:35   but it's the summer of fun.

00:10:36   - Summer of fun. - Summer of fun.

00:10:38   - In the summer of fun,

00:10:39   we try to do things a little bit differently,

00:10:41   partially because it's fun,

00:10:43   partially because there's other stuff going on,

00:10:44   like there's travel and stuff.

00:10:45   And so we had to prerecord this

00:10:48   because we couldn't record on the day that this will,

00:10:51   we normally record and this will be released.

00:10:53   So we have a document, people may not know this.

00:10:57   We have a document called the Summer of Fun document.

00:10:59   And I had this idea,

00:11:01   I actually had lunch with Shelley Brisbane

00:11:03   and we were talking about accessibility stuff

00:11:07   in the new versions of Apple's operating systems.

00:11:11   And I thought it would be really interesting

00:11:13   to bring in people,

00:11:14   we don't normally do guests on this show, right?

00:11:16   But it's the summer of fun.

00:11:18   And I thought, what if we got people in to sort of like

00:11:21   report on an area of expertise

00:11:23   and just check in with them about it?

00:11:26   And that led me to put in our document,

00:11:28   a thing called the verticals.

00:11:30   Now people may not remember from way back

00:11:32   in the earliest days,

00:11:33   one of the things that I always used to talk about

00:11:35   that was like a buzzword in publishing and in tech

00:11:40   was this idea of verticals,

00:11:42   which is like, it's like how to split up a topic

00:11:47   or into like little subtopics or demographic groups.

00:11:52   So there's like, there are the verticals,

00:11:53   there's the horizontal, which is everything.

00:11:55   And then there's these verticals that are like,

00:11:57   so you're super interested in this, you're in the vertical.

00:11:59   It's a piece of jargon that we thought was funny.

00:12:02   And we talked about how every segment of upgrade

00:12:04   was a vertical for a while and it's a whole thing.

00:12:06   - Ask upgrade is one of the original verticals.

00:12:08   - It is one of the original verticals.

00:12:10   It remains vertical to this day, in fact.

00:12:12   So this episode is the verticals,

00:12:15   where we are gonna have three guests in three topic areas.

00:12:20   And we're gonna talk about what's going on this summer

00:12:23   and into the fall with the iOS and macOS, especially,

00:12:26   but also watch an iPad betas

00:12:28   and how it affects different aspects of this.

00:12:30   There will be some more verticals I anticipate this summer.

00:12:34   I don't know whether those will get dropped

00:12:35   into regular episodes.

00:12:38   probably, though, we'll just have occasional vertical segments for the rest of the summer,

00:12:42   at least a handful. But this episode, because it needs to be out of time a little bit,

00:12:46   is the all—well, not all, because you've heard that there's more in this show than just the

00:12:52   verticals, but mostly the verticals with three special guests. And then we'll do some more

00:12:56   little guest segments occasionally in the summer. It's not a new permanent change to the upgrade

00:13:00   format but it's a summer fun thing. So the verticals, little interviews, little

00:13:07   mini segments with special guests who are experts in a particular field.

00:13:12   But before we get to that let me thank TextExpander for their support of this

00:13:15   week's episode. When you work in a small team, every moment counts, you don't want

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00:13:44   So about video conferencing, that's one of mine.

00:13:46   If I type ZZOOM anywhere on my Mac, it prefills all of the stuff from my Zoom call, like my

00:13:53   standard Zoom link that I give to people.

00:13:55   So it just opens them to my personal meeting ID and they can just click on it and they're

00:13:59   to go straight and join that Zoom call with me. TextExpander's powerful shortcuts and abbreviations

00:14:03   will streamline your team's work as well. All you have to do is type that short abbreviation,

00:14:07   TextExpander will do the rest for you. So you can just build and collect your most commonly used

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00:14:29   and more. This will make sure that you keep the personality and the communication you send,

00:14:34   or even do something that we do here at Relay FM for doing good consistent naming for file

00:14:39   structures. So like where all of the contracts that we have for all of our various sponsors,

00:14:43   they're all saved with a TextExpander snippet with some drop down fields that we select from,

00:14:48   we type in the name of the sponsor, and then everything is named nice and consistently.

00:14:52   TextExpander is available on any device that you use, across any app that you use.

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00:15:10   That's textexpander.com/upgrade to say goodbye to repetitive typing.

00:15:14   Our thanks to TextExpander for their support of this show.

00:15:17   So we're now joined by James Thompson on the upgrade program.

00:15:19   You may know James as the developer of PCALC and DICE by PCALC, aka PDICE, and James is also a

00:15:27   frequent podcaster on many shows over at The Incomparable. By PCALC. By PCALC. The Incomparable

00:15:33   by PCALC. I don't think I'm sponsoring the whole network. I'm sorry to say you are.

00:15:39   That's his... No, you are now. James by PCALC.

00:15:41   Here on the upgrade vertical. This is the vertical by PCALC. James, welcome.

00:15:48   Hello. We're so the concept with the uh the special summer fun uh verticals episode is we're

00:15:55   talking to people for a segment about a little area of their speciality that is that how you guys say

00:16:00   it speciality? I say special no wait I don't know anymore now you've asked me I think I see special

00:16:05   tea yeah. Oh okay. I I'm now trying to double think what I'm actually saying. Aluminium is my

00:16:11   my speciality. Anyway, guess what James? It's programming for you. It's not synthesizers

00:16:18   from the eighties. It's programming for you.

00:16:20   - I figured that was most likely. I did have some like briefing beforehand.

00:16:24   - That's good. That's good. And it's again, the summer and we're trying to check in about

00:16:30   what's going on with the betas and where the Apple platforms are going in the fall. And

00:16:36   that's what I wanted us to talk to you about

00:16:39   for this vertical segment.

00:16:41   So, you know, from a high level in terms of like the tools

00:16:45   and what's new that you could potentially use

00:16:48   in your software,

00:16:49   have you had things that the betas have changed

00:16:54   in how you're working?

00:16:56   - Yeah, I mean, realistically, I'm still pretty early

00:16:58   into my new versions for the autumn.

00:17:01   I usually try and get some last bug fix releases out

00:17:04   just before WWDC, like to deal with all the small stuff

00:17:07   that I know about.

00:17:08   And then I move on to doing the major architectural work

00:17:11   for the autumn.

00:17:12   But this year, a combination of factors,

00:17:14   including spending a month on a secret project

00:17:16   that I cannot talk about,

00:17:18   means that I'm only just shipping

00:17:20   the last of those updates out this week.

00:17:22   But I have been like doing all my exploratory work

00:17:25   on the betas as I go along.

00:17:27   Betas, I said, not betas.

00:17:28   - Yes, you did, as was foretold.

00:17:30   - Yes. - Some people pronounce it betas.

00:17:32   Is Xcode, you know, did they mess up Xcode?

00:17:36   Did they fix Xcode?

00:17:37   You know, is that, has that changed?

00:17:40   - I mean, like there is quite a few things

00:17:43   that are currently broken

00:17:45   and they've dropped support for building apps

00:17:47   that will run on earlier systems,

00:17:49   which is always a problem

00:17:50   'cause then you have people saying,

00:17:51   why do you no longer support, you know,

00:17:54   iOS 11 or something?

00:17:56   There's nothing particularly good or bad in terms of Xcode.

00:18:01   It's a bit faster in compiling, but I can't really

00:18:05   use it day to day unless I'm specifically working

00:18:09   on my apps for the autumn.

00:18:11   Always, you end up having multiple versions

00:18:13   of Xcode installed and switching between them as needed.

00:18:17   I will say that Xcode is still one

00:18:18   of the all-time great development environments,

00:18:20   and all those people deserve a raise and a vacation.

00:18:24   Oh.

00:18:26   Very nice.

00:18:27   But yeah, I mean the Xcode side of it's not too bad.

00:18:32   It's when you get into the actual beta themselves that you start to run into problems.

00:18:37   I know that you have, just by Pcalc is a catalyst app.

00:18:42   So I know you've experimented with that and had experiments ship.

00:18:47   Any changes in catalysts that you've noticed that might make your life a little bit easier

00:18:53   or harder, I suppose?

00:18:54   I mean, generally all the changes this year are such that I don't need to do vast amounts

00:19:00   of work just to stay in the same place.

00:19:03   There's nothing that really breaks my existing code or any major architectural or visual

00:19:08   changes.

00:19:09   That's always the best kind of WWDC when you come out of it, and it's like if I literally

00:19:14   do nothing, everything will still work.

00:19:18   So then it's a case of what can you actually do to improve things?

00:19:22   And Catalyst has got some basic stuff in it that I've been wanting for years, particularly

00:19:26   related to like moving and resizing windows from code.

00:19:30   So for example, if you had a separate toolbar type window, like I recently added to dice,

00:19:36   and you wanted to position that relative to your main window when you opened it, you just

00:19:40   couldn't do that before the system just decided where it was going to go.

00:19:45   And the stuff like that, I would say, like, the majority of changes are really in things

00:19:52   like SwiftUI, which has got, you know, overall small quality of life improvements and new

00:20:00   things like the ability to make menu bar apps and there's a whole new SwiftUI charting API

00:20:05   that I suspect I might use in Dice to make pretty graphs of dice roll statistics and

00:20:10   things like that.

00:20:11   Do you use SwiftUI in Dice right now?

00:20:13   Yes, on the Mac version the preferences window is all SwiftUI and the widgets are all SwiftUI everywhere.

00:20:22   So you have to use it for some things, but the preferences window was my kind of like, "Let's try something."

00:20:31   I mean, it wasn't a great success given that when 12.4 came out, it completely broke SwiftUI in catalyst apps, in shipping apps.

00:20:39   So, you know, there's things where you end up and you realize you're using a sort of

00:20:46   a niche element of a niche element and nobody's actually tested it. I shouldn't say nobody,

00:20:52   but that was a pretty bad one. And I remember, I think it was Steve Trilton Smith when that

00:20:57   happened to him, he said, "I'm never using SwiftUI again. I'm not going that far."

00:21:01   I enjoyed your exchange with him where basically you were, it was as if you were both looking

00:21:06   and each other singing, "Did you see this?"

00:21:09   And the other one said, "Mm-hmm, are our apps broken now?"

00:21:14   Yes, they are.

00:21:16   In the shipping version, not in a beta with months of runway

00:21:19   but literally a shipping version that broke pieces

00:21:22   of your Swift UI.

00:21:24   - Which is not great, but there was an easy enough fix

00:21:27   but it just meant that I need to rush a fixer.

00:21:30   - You mentioned the windowing and that separate window

00:21:33   for dice rolling, which is an excellent feature idea,

00:21:36   by the way.

00:21:37   - Yes, whoever gave me that idea was a genius.

00:21:39   - Whoever gave you that idea.

00:21:40   Is that, so going to fall and having Stage Manager on iPad,

00:21:45   I assume that those go hand in hand,

00:21:49   that your windowing improvements will be improvements

00:21:53   on the iPad version too.

00:21:55   Is that a thing that you can do now

00:21:57   where you can have those multiple windows on the iPad

00:21:59   or does it not work that way?

00:22:00   - Well, I need to double check,

00:22:01   But the last time I looked, the window positioning code

00:22:05   was only available for the Mac.

00:22:08   But it did look very much like it

00:22:09   could be available on iOS under Stage Manager,

00:22:13   but currently wasn't.

00:22:14   So I'm hoping that that's going to appear.

00:22:16   You could have the separate windows,

00:22:18   and it works just like it currently works.

00:22:22   But whenever you get WWDC, there's

00:22:27   always a tension between which new features

00:22:30   to support that's going to bring the most improvements to my users versus which new

00:22:34   features does Apple want developers to support that will likely get me featured on the App

00:22:38   Store.

00:22:39   Is that still important being featured on the App Store?

00:22:43   It's much less than it was.

00:22:45   I mean previously you would get a good sales bump and you would stay there for quite a

00:22:51   while and it goes away pretty quickly.

00:22:54   But I think it still helps and you know everything helps and visibility and if you can

00:23:00   say, "Oh, I've got stage manager support in the autumn." It's not just Apple, but you'll

00:23:06   get some visibility and depressed generally.

00:23:09   **Matt Stauffer:** Right. So that's the balance of, you might,

00:23:12   not to put it in these terms, but you might have a feature that you really want to implement

00:23:16   because you think people will like it, but using not any shiny new tech that Apple has

00:23:22   rolled out this fall. And then there's the shiny new tech that Apple is rolling out.

00:23:28   And if you choose that feature instead, even if it might be used by fewer users, it's the

00:23:33   thing that's going to get you attention because everybody's writing their stories and Apple's

00:23:38   doing its little showcasing of apps that use this brand new technology that shipped.

00:23:42   And so there's a tendency toward adopting the new stuff because it helps your apps visibility.

00:23:49   >>ANDREW I will say though that this year I think both of those are probably the same

00:23:54   thing and it is stage manager because I think it is something that users will actually use,

00:24:00   but it is also the shiny feature of the year.

00:24:03   **Matt Stauffer** That's good. This is a game you play though,

00:24:05   right? This is one of your, I observe as somebody who's observed your software for a long time,

00:24:11   that this is something that you do try to do is adopt things that be aggressive. I mean,

00:24:16   you're somebody who has a calculator app, a dice rolling app, and used to have a dock

00:24:21   app that is slowly being rebuilt, featured by feature by John Syracuse.

00:24:24   - He's welcome to it.

00:24:26   - Enjoy.

00:24:27   And, but I think you've always had that strategy of, well, what's new?

00:24:31   What can I do with that?

00:24:32   And I don't know how much of that is just business strategy of, I want to be there and

00:24:37   I want to be seen by Apple as somebody who's embracing their new features.

00:24:41   And I want to be seen by users as being on the cutting edge and how much of it is you

00:24:45   being interested in exploring whatever is new?

00:24:48   I think it's a mix and I think it depends. Like some years I find myself reaching for

00:24:55   that feature, you know, like with the quick note support last year, it was like, well,

00:25:01   it's kind of useless, but I will do it.

00:25:07   When you roll a one, the quick note is tied to what you've rolled and so you can compile

00:25:12   a note full of all your cursing for rolling a one.

00:25:16   I mean that was a thing where you could kind of attach the state of your app at any given

00:25:20   point into a note and then recall it.

00:25:23   And it's like, does anybody use that?

00:25:27   I don't think so.

00:25:28   But that was one where like I don't have anything else, I need a shiny feature.

00:25:33   But I think stage manager is not going to be that.

00:25:36   I think it's more useful.

00:25:39   Yeah I mean there are always these little things right?

00:25:42   Like for example you could have said in previous years that just having multi-window support

00:25:52   would have been one of these features that might be nice to have, right?

00:25:57   Like how many people are going to use that on iPad etc etc.

00:26:00   However now multi-window support is kind of part of being ready for stage manager and

00:26:05   has become really important, right?

00:26:07   Yeah, I mean that was something that I was thinking about for the last few weeks is,

00:26:16   DICE is pretty much set for stage manager because it's a much more modern code base

00:26:20   than Pcalc and I did a lot of work for Catalyst with multiple windows and things that's flowed

00:26:25   back into the iPad app already.

00:26:27   And honestly, I don't think I need to do much there at all, if anything, to have good stage

00:26:32   manager support.

00:26:34   Basic support in Pcalc is pretty simple.

00:26:36   things kind of work right now, because if you supported

00:26:40   multiple screen sizes and split screen,

00:26:41   you've done most of the hard work already.

00:26:44   I do have some specific bugs in there,

00:26:46   because I made assumptions about certain screen

00:26:48   sizes mean certain things.

00:26:50   Like I have a set of layouts that's

00:26:52   only intended for use in split screen or slide over,

00:26:55   and those are triggering in stage manager at the moment.

00:26:58   Because I didn't imagine that it was a thing

00:27:01   that was going to happen.

00:27:02   But yeah, the main thing I'm facing with Peacock,

00:27:04   which is not as trivial as I would like,

00:27:06   is support for multiple windows.

00:27:09   When I first designed Pcalc for the iPhone,

00:27:11   which was 14 years ago, I didn't plan for that.

00:27:14   And the code makes a bunch of assumptions through it,

00:27:18   which I'm gonna need time to unpick.

00:27:20   And I actually started the process

00:27:21   for doing this a few years ago,

00:27:23   and I got halfway and then said, this is quite hard.

00:27:26   But it's half done,

00:27:29   so I just need to finish the work this summer,

00:27:31   now that it is actually sort of rather important.

00:27:34   - Okay, you left a project in the middle

00:27:36   of trying to do that.

00:27:38   I've done that and I can't go back

00:27:41   because then I go back and I've literally forgotten

00:27:44   because I tried to save that state

00:27:47   where you've got your in process.

00:27:49   So how does that work?

00:27:50   Have you gone back and looked at it and said,

00:27:51   "Oh yes, I know what I was doing here

00:27:53   and I'm able to pick up where I left off."

00:27:55   Or is it more like you spend several days

00:27:57   trying to figure out what it is you did a couple of years ago

00:27:59   and how to move forward.

00:28:01   - It was actually, I was relatively sensible

00:28:05   in the way I did it because the PCALC

00:28:08   is kind of divided into two parts.

00:28:09   There's the user interface bit,

00:28:11   which is different on each platform,

00:28:13   and there's the brain,

00:28:15   which is shared between everything else.

00:28:17   And so the brain has support for it.

00:28:20   It's just, I need to do it in the top level.

00:28:22   So, you can have these sort of,

00:28:25   what I call calc engine objects,

00:28:28   and you can have multiple of them,

00:28:29   then they can all just have their own state and do whatever they like. So that's fine.

00:28:33   It's just there's certain things where I kind of chickened out of it and sort of drew a

00:28:39   line and said, right, I've done it to this level. And then this is a problem for future

00:28:45   James.

00:28:46   >> You have a paper tape window. You're going to have a bunch of different... I'm trying

00:28:51   to think of how people are going to use multiple windows on iPad differently from how they

00:28:55   use it on the Mac. Because on the Mac, it seems to be very much like when you said earlier,

00:28:59   having that second window spawn

00:29:00   on a particular location in DICE,

00:29:02   I thought, well, you can't,

00:29:04   is there such a thing as a particular location

00:29:06   in Stage Manager on the iPad?

00:29:08   They sort of not, they just want,

00:29:10   the system puts it where it will.

00:29:12   And I'm not sure people will use Stage Manager on the iPad

00:29:15   like they do for arbitrary windowing as well,

00:29:19   like something like the paper tape in PCALC

00:29:23   or something like that. - Yeah.

00:29:24   But I could see it if you want to be using PCALC

00:29:27   with one app and then you also want to be using with another app with different states and things

00:29:32   like that. Yeah I would be that person. I use pcalc a lot like genuinely not just because James is

00:29:36   one of my closest friends just because I just genuinely like it and I also need a calculator

00:29:40   a lot and I could imagine having a couple of different working setups for the different stuff

00:29:46   that I'm doing and just having a pcalc window just always there even if it's hiding behind something

00:29:51   else mostly would be very helpful for me rather than needing to like reopen one every single time

00:29:57   or you know having to flick backwards and forwards backwards and forwards so

00:30:00   like I'm genuinely happy you're putting the work in as a customer of yours even

00:30:05   though I know it's gonna be a lot yeah I mean don't think don't thank me yeah

00:30:09   I'm thanking you now because you have to ship it so like I'm thanking you now

00:30:13   thanks in advance thanks in advance yeah okay as a having done this a long time

00:30:19   you know I know I I ask you and everybody else the state of affairs at

00:30:23   the end of the year for my Six Colors report card.

00:30:26   But thinking about it now,

00:30:28   what is it like being an Apple platforms developer today?

00:30:34   We hear a lot of drama and then we hear things

00:30:38   are getting better and then people are angry again.

00:30:40   How do you think it is right now in terms of,

00:30:43   is it getting better or worse,

00:30:45   or is it pretty much the same compared to previous years?

00:30:48   - This is really the hardest question

00:30:51   because it is tough to separate things

00:30:53   from my own personal feelings and be truly

00:30:56   objective about it all.

00:30:58   I think we're in the middle of a time of great transition

00:31:02   in the developer world.

00:31:03   And those are traditionally pretty stressful.

00:31:06   The last really big one we had started over 20 years ago,

00:31:10   going from the traditional Mac APIs

00:31:12   to the Next Step-based app kit stuff.

00:31:15   And that took a long time to play out.

00:31:18   So I was thinking about this earlier.

00:31:20   And in the last 30 years of doing this, and this is purely for Apple platforms, I have

00:31:24   learned seven different user interface frameworks and seven different programming languages.

00:31:29   I could list them all, but I will not.

00:31:32   And I do have to say that the transition to SwiftUI is the one out of all of them that

00:31:36   I personally am enjoying the least.

00:31:40   It is a very different mental model to the previous three decades of user interface frameworks

00:31:46   that I've used.

00:31:47   And I'm finding it more difficult to make that transition than I would care to admit on a podcast.

00:31:51   I mean, like for the first couple of years, there was a lot of, you know, how do I do this basic

00:31:57   thing? And the answer was you couldn't. But there's a lot fewer of those roadblocks each year.

00:32:01   And, you know, anyway, a lot of people, notably younger people, are making great things with Swift

00:32:07   UI already. And I'm sure I will get there eventually. But it's also difficult when you

00:32:12   have existing applications because, you know, rewriting working code is rarely the right answer.

00:32:17   But it is always a question of when to make that jump.

00:32:21   I think Apple's focus on SwiftUI makes it very clear that writing new UIKit or AppKit

00:32:28   code today is extremely foolish.

00:32:31   And yet it's also sometimes absolutely still the best choice to do so.

00:32:36   And that leads to a weird kind of cognitive dissonance, certainly in my brain, which doesn't

00:32:41   make it feel like a great time to be writing code.

00:32:44   I mean, obviously I've heard from other developers,

00:32:48   it seems like that there are a lot of long standing

00:32:51   Apple developers, maybe not as long standing as you,

00:32:54   but still, who, I wonder how much that pronouncement

00:32:59   really did hit home when they said,

00:33:00   'cause it was just a statement and a presentation

00:33:03   and yet saying Swift and Swift UI are the future.

00:33:06   I wonder how much of an impact that made

00:33:09   because I've heard a lot of long time developers

00:33:12   this summer complaining, but also it's very clear

00:33:16   that it's their realization that they,

00:33:18   any delays they've had in terms of working with SwiftUI

00:33:22   because it's frustrating, that they just need to dive in

00:33:26   and be frustrated because this is where it's going.

00:33:29   And go ahead.

00:33:31   - I mean, it's all, Apple's messaging is always very clear.

00:33:35   You know, like even two years ago when SwiftUI appeared,

00:33:39   it was clear, this is the future.

00:33:41   this is what Apple is going to start focusing on.

00:33:43   And then each year, they're going to sort of ratchet it up.

00:33:46   And I think this was the first year--

00:33:48   I mean, if people were surprised this year,

00:33:50   they weren't paying attention.

00:33:51   But is that gradual, like, all these new APIs

00:33:57   are only going to be in SwiftUI?

00:33:59   And I doubt it.

00:34:02   And this might be a future topic.

00:34:05   But we don't know what the development environment

00:34:09   is for Apple's headset.

00:34:11   Apple is going to be likely dropping an entirely new platform on us later in the year.

00:34:16   And we don't know what that is.

00:34:18   It could be entirely SwiftUI.

00:34:20   I doubt it, but it's the kind of thing if they're trying to make a statement, they might do that.

00:34:28   And I think that the thing with SwiftUI is,

00:34:34   I think the people that have the biggest problems with it are the people who have used the other stuff the longest.

00:34:38   And it's just because your brain is in a certain way of working.

00:34:44   And going like difference between different programming languages usually isn't much.

00:34:49   Even between Objective-C and Swift, it kind of works the same.

00:34:55   But SwiftUI is one of those things that I just had to stare at it whenever widgets appeared.

00:35:01   It's like, well, I need to make widgets.

00:35:03   And I'm just going to stare at this until I can make something work.

00:35:07   and then I'm going to rewrite it and I'm going to see if I actually understand what I'm doing

00:35:11   and so on.

00:35:12   But I don't enjoy it.

00:35:15   And I know people that have said the exact opposite, you know, like people who say this

00:35:19   is this like fits their mental model much better and this is the way to do it.

00:35:24   And I don't know if this is like the, you know, your typical Apple engineers are younger

00:35:33   and have been influenced by like older JavaScript frameworks

00:35:37   that work in a similar way.

00:35:39   And I don't believe that I am incapable of learning things.

00:35:43   I will get there.

00:35:45   But it's not like when I first used UIKit

00:35:49   and I was like, this is great.

00:35:52   You know, this simplifies a lot of stuff.

00:35:54   It makes sense to me.

00:35:56   You know, it's all shiny and modern.

00:35:59   And now I look at this stuff,

00:36:00   which as we've said is 14 years later,

00:36:02   I go, "Oh, I don't like this."

00:36:04   It's the kids who are wrong kind of thing.

00:36:07   - The three of us played some Dungeons & Dragons

00:36:11   a few years ago.

00:36:12   And one of the things that came out of that

00:36:14   was Dice by Peacock.

00:36:16   You look around for inspiration and find it

00:36:21   in these things that we do together.

00:36:24   But one of the things that has struck me

00:36:26   about Dice by Peacock is how you,

00:36:30   And before that, the about box in Pcalc,

00:36:33   if people haven't seen that, it's now its own app,

00:36:36   is you having these projects that are real,

00:36:43   but are also a place for you to experiment with new stuff.

00:36:48   And I've always admired that about you,

00:36:49   the idea that you are trying things out sometimes in public,

00:36:54   but that you're also giving yourself, rather than saying,

00:36:57   "Well, I'm never gonna learn that

00:36:58   because I'm just going to focus on my calculator." You say, "Oh, that's a thing I probably should

00:37:02   play with, and the calculator isn't the best place for it necessarily, so I will find another

00:37:08   place to do it." Is that how you view something like dice, or does it start out that way and

00:37:12   then turn into a real product at some point?

00:37:14   >> JEAN-PAUL I mean, I think all of the above. The about

00:37:18   box in Peacock started because of the rumors at the time of Apple doing a 3D headset, and

00:37:27   you know, like five, six years ago at this point. And I was like, okay, I have not really done any

00:37:33   3D graphics stuff, so I need to learn it. So, you know, I played around and out of that, I learned

00:37:42   how to do things. You suggested a dice app. And then the dice app became a place where I could

00:37:47   explore catalyst as a technology and see if that was ready. And a lot of this is like, is this

00:37:53   there's something that I would want to use for PCalc.

00:37:55   Because at the moment, I've got a UIKit PCalc,

00:37:57   and I've got an AppKit PCalc on the Mac.

00:37:59   And it's like, could I use a technology like Catalyst

00:38:04   to replace the Mac version?

00:38:06   Because having a really shared source space,

00:38:10   which I do with Dice, is really easy.

00:38:12   Because it's like, I write the app once,

00:38:15   do some Mac-specific things.

00:38:16   But it's a lot easier than I make a change on the iPhone

00:38:22   And then well I need to sort of at least pull that code in and wire it up and do stuff and that can be a hassle

00:38:29   So yeah, I mean dice is my current sort of

00:38:32   experimental you know

00:38:35   thing and

00:38:37   Clearly what I need to do is to make a completely Swift UI project as my next experimental thing to sort of

00:38:45   Figure out you know is this what I use to make a future peak out?

00:38:50   And I think that is part of the problem is at the moment like the answer is very clear is

00:38:55   Swift UI is what Apple wants everybody to be using and what Apple wants Apple gets

00:39:00   But it's not necessarily the best choice for me at the moment

00:39:07   So yeah, there is a lot of experimentation and for you know a keeping my brain relatively

00:39:16   elastic and be

00:39:19   figuring out where, which technologies are right for any particular problem.

00:39:26   Well, you mentioned starting the, that box because of the rumors of Apple working on a VR headset.

00:39:33   It keeps creeping closer and closer. How excited are you about the prospect of that VR AR headset?

00:39:41   I mean, the irony may be that I've been having problems with my eyesight for the last six months.

00:39:49   And it's like, by the time the thing finally arrives,

00:39:53   will I be able to use it?

00:39:55   You can use it to replace your eyes.

00:39:57   Well, we can only hope.

00:40:01   I might need a USB-C port on the back of my neck,

00:40:04   but I don't know if excited is the right word.

00:40:07   It's like, I really love like VR stuff

00:40:11   and the AR things that I've tried.

00:40:12   You know, I think anyone who's never tried VR,

00:40:17   You know, you don't quite have a,

00:40:19   it's hard to explain it to somebody that's never tried it.

00:40:23   And I think, you know, I know you've all tried it,

00:40:26   but there is this certain like magical status to it

00:40:31   that is hard to put across.

00:40:33   But I think this could be something

00:40:36   that is as big as an iPhone,

00:40:38   or it could be the next Apple TV.

00:40:40   And I don't know, you know,

00:40:43   how much effort I should put into it.

00:40:47   I mean, when this thing's--

00:40:48   assuming we get an SDK sometime around the iPhone launches

00:40:55   later in the year.

00:40:56   Because I can imagine, you know, either a separate event

00:40:59   or at that, they're going to at least show off and say,

00:41:04   you know, developers can pay us $5,000

00:41:07   to rent one of these for six months.

00:41:09   But it's like, I want to learn it.

00:41:12   I want to play with the graphics.

00:41:13   I want to do things.

00:41:14   But I just don't know as a platform how big it's going to be.

00:41:21   And you know, the iPhone clearly was like a major product category for Apple.

00:41:26   And you know, that's really my lead platform for all my development at the moment.

00:41:31   But is this thing going to be that for the next 20 years?

00:41:35   Who knows?

00:41:36   Right.

00:41:37   Well, James, thank you for being part of our experimental verticals only episode of upgrade.

00:41:42   We appreciate you being vertical.

00:41:44   and being on the podcast.

00:41:46   - You're welcome.

00:41:47   I'm going to go and be horizontal for a while

00:41:49   because it is extremely warm in this office.

00:41:51   - This episode is brought to you by Sourcegraph.

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00:43:10   to learn more today. That's about.sourcegraph.com to find out why some of the biggest tech companies

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00:43:20   show notes to let them know that you heard about them from this show. Our thanks to Sourcegraph

00:43:24   for their support of this show and Relay FM. We are now joined on the upgrade program by

00:43:28   Shelly Brisbane who is a radio producer, writer and podcaster, host of Parallel on Relay FM and

00:43:34   Lions Towers and Shields on the Incomparable. Hi Shelly, welcome to Upgrade. Hey Myke,

00:43:38   thanks for having me.

00:43:40   - Shelley, I should mention also that you have a book.

00:43:43   It's got many additions.

00:43:45   It's iOS access for all.

00:43:46   - Yes.

00:43:47   - The comprehensive guide to accessibility on iPad, iPhone,

00:43:51   and your website includes the iPod touch.

00:43:54   - I know we're gonna change that.

00:43:56   We're gonna change that.

00:43:56   It's the 10th edition this year.

00:43:58   And I think we might get rid of iPod touch

00:44:00   just because that title, I realize it's unwieldy,

00:44:02   but you know, SEO is important.

00:44:04   So.

00:44:05   - It is, it is.

00:44:06   - So much iPod touch.

00:44:06   - The Apple touch is still kicking around, you know.

00:44:09   - It is, they're around.

00:44:10   - They're compatible, they're versions

00:44:12   that will run iOS 16.

00:44:14   - The supplies last still, they continue to last,

00:44:16   I guess, in people's hands, in people's pockets.

00:44:20   So we wanted to bring you on to talk about accessibility

00:44:24   and the current state of affairs of accessibility.

00:44:28   One of the things about this vertical idea

00:44:31   is what's going on this summer and into the fall

00:44:34   in terms of Apple's OS cycles.

00:44:38   So one of the things Apple takes pride of talking about

00:44:41   is accessibility features.

00:44:42   They pre-announced them before WWDC this year.

00:44:46   And so, you know, when you think about what's going on

00:44:49   with accessibility on Apple platforms right now,

00:44:52   what are the features that are jumping out at you?

00:44:55   - Well, I will say this is the second year

00:44:56   they've done that pre-announced before WWDC.

00:44:58   And we love it.

00:44:59   It's great and accessibility land.

00:45:01   We feel like we have our own special day of Apple attention.

00:45:04   So yeah, this has been a pretty good year

00:45:06   for accessibility features.

00:45:07   We haven't seen them all yet.

00:45:08   The first one I wanna talk about is live captions,

00:45:11   which I think a lot of people

00:45:12   both in and out of the accessibility world

00:45:14   are pretty excited about.

00:45:15   - I'm really excited about this one.

00:45:16   - Yeah, you'll be able to have captions

00:45:17   on your FaceTime call or basically any audio on your devices

00:45:22   and it's not in the betas, it'll be out in the fall

00:45:25   is what I heard an accessibility person say the other day.

00:45:28   But that's pretty exciting because it feels like,

00:45:31   you know, sometimes Apple introduces something new

00:45:33   and you're like, is it gonna be good

00:45:35   or is it gonna be not good?

00:45:36   And I feel like this is in their sweet spot

00:45:38   in terms of machine learning and transcription

00:45:40   and the stuff Apple's good at.

00:45:42   Seems like live captions is gonna be a win for them.

00:45:45   - I worry about the quality of live captions.

00:45:49   Do you worry about that?

00:45:49   Like, I mean, it's something is better than nothing,

00:45:52   but I've seen some auto captioning stuff and it's real bad.

00:45:56   And that's my concern is that it's gonna be this feature

00:45:58   that they're like, here it is, you got it.

00:46:01   and then I'm gonna look at it and think,

00:46:02   oh no, no, this is no good, this is nonsense.

00:46:06   - Oh yeah, I mean, YouTube's a terrible,

00:46:07   there's a lot of, and I will tell you

00:46:10   that the people who use this stuff on a daily basis

00:46:13   are the first ones to say, you know,

00:46:16   something better than nothing, yeah sure,

00:46:17   but sometimes it gets in my way

00:46:19   because I actually wanna use this for work or school

00:46:20   or whatever I'm using it for.

00:46:22   I feel like Apple has as high a degree of like,

00:46:25   high a degree of likelihood of success as anybody does.

00:46:29   I mean, Google didn't always do a great job

00:46:31   in the other places that it's in,

00:46:33   some of the video conferencing software,

00:46:35   and it's, meh, you know, some is good, some is bad.

00:46:38   But I guess I'm gonna give Apple a little bit of the doubt

00:46:41   just because I feel like they wouldn't have done it

00:46:45   unless they had a reasonable degree of confidence.

00:46:48   Now, whether it's gonna be as magical as some people think,

00:46:51   in other words, being able to caption

00:46:53   any kind of audio effectively,

00:46:55   my guess is it's probably optimized

00:46:57   for something like FaceTime,

00:46:58   'cause it's their own protocol

00:46:59   and they have the ability to process the audio

00:47:02   and send it on through and turn it into text.

00:47:04   Whereas if you're just capturing audio aloud,

00:47:07   like a podcast or something crazy like that, I don't know.

00:47:10   I'd be curious to see whether there's a fall off there.

00:47:14   - A Twitter account that I see a lot

00:47:15   and it's very funny is called MLB Closed Captioning,

00:47:20   MLB_CC on Twitter.

00:47:22   And it's literally, and again,

00:47:24   so what's the workflow here from a technical standpoint,

00:47:26   right? Because you've got to have a speech to text recognizer that is on the live audio

00:47:32   stream and is processing it. And it's not just as simple as a transcript because you

00:47:36   have to process it in real time and have like, where does it break? Where is there a pause?

00:47:41   Because you have to flip pages, right? You have to go from caption page to caption page.

00:47:45   It's a really hard problem. And I don't know what the technical workflow is for something

00:47:50   like major league baseball game live streams, but the Twitter accounts hilarious because

00:47:55   like it's some real amazing nonsense and that's funny but like if you're trying to detect

00:48:01   because I've had this like a I've been in a it's been a while but I've been in like

00:48:06   a restaurant or a bar or something where they've got sports on but they've got the captions

00:48:09   turned on and it's the why it's unintelligible right like it's such it's so bad whether they're

00:48:17   doing it automatically or they've got a person doing it it's usually late and it's often

00:48:21   and kind of laughably, like, just,

00:48:25   you can't even recognize it.

00:48:26   So that's my concern with live captions,

00:48:27   is that you're gonna end up with Meow Machine,

00:48:30   a lead-off hitter with a single into center field.

00:48:32   And I don't know who Meow Machine actually is,

00:48:34   but like that's not his name. - I was gonna say,

00:48:35   I think Meow Machine's a great guy.

00:48:37   I want his baseball card right now.

00:48:39   - Yeah, I mean, he is a machine.

00:48:41   - I think there's an, and he has a few meows.

00:48:43   And there's an issue as well with just audio quality.

00:48:46   And, you know, FaceTime calls are generally pretty good,

00:48:48   but they can be random if there's background noise.

00:48:51   Again, you're trying to do any kind of audio,

00:48:53   so you're gonna have a pretty great variance

00:48:56   in audio quality and how you're capturing all this audio.

00:48:58   Yeah, there's an awesome opportunity for failure.

00:49:01   I'm just, I'm still looking forward to it.

00:49:04   And again, I'm tempered by the fact

00:49:06   that I do know a lot of people who use this stuff

00:49:09   for actually getting stuff done and being productive,

00:49:12   and they are skeptical, not specifically of the Apple stuff,

00:49:15   because the last time I talked with them,

00:49:16   it was before this was announced,

00:49:18   so I haven't really had a chance.

00:49:19   But I suspect that they would tell me,

00:49:20   seeing is believing or reading is believing.

00:49:22   - All right, what else is on your agenda

00:49:26   in terms of features Apple is working on?

00:49:28   - Well, door detection is a fun one.

00:49:31   This requires a LiDAR equipped device.

00:49:33   So a 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max,

00:49:36   or the iPad Pro that has a LiDAR sensor.

00:49:40   And there's a previous feature called People Detection

00:49:44   that was in iOS 15.

00:49:46   Door detection does a little more than that,

00:49:48   but it uses the same technology.

00:49:50   So what door detection will do is find for --

00:49:52   identify for you the presence of a door,

00:49:54   the kind of door it is, whether it's open,

00:49:56   whether there is text on the door,

00:49:57   like a room number or a sign or something like that.

00:50:00   So basically, it'll give you all the information you need

00:50:02   as a blind or visually impaired person

00:50:04   to find and interact with a door.

00:50:06   And the people detection feature

00:50:08   previously just would point to, here's a person.

00:50:12   Here's how far away that person is.

00:50:14   It didn't give you all the sort of identifiers

00:50:16   like it's a male or a female person.

00:50:17   It was mostly about space and distance,

00:50:20   space and the existence of a person.

00:50:22   But door detection just takes what you can do with LIDAR,

00:50:25   that next step,

00:50:27   and for a lot of blind and visually impaired people,

00:50:29   it's actually far more useful than people detection.

00:50:32   People detection was great in the social distancing world,

00:50:34   and Apple made a sort of a play on that,

00:50:36   although I suspect they had that planned long before COVID.

00:50:39   The interesting thing about it

00:50:40   is it's inside the magnifier app,

00:50:42   not an app a totally blind person would typically use,

00:50:45   or an app that you often use for distance stuff

00:50:49   or for when you're walking around navigating.

00:50:50   That's something that you would use

00:50:51   to read something close or to read signage,

00:50:54   but it's as good a place as any to put it.

00:50:55   Otherwise, you have to put it in the camera app, I suppose.

00:50:58   And so it's a really interesting proof of concept

00:51:01   in terms of what can we do with LIDAR

00:51:04   in terms of identification and navigation of objects.

00:51:07   And so a lot of people are pretty excited

00:51:09   about door detection,

00:51:11   assuming that they have the phone.

00:51:12   Obviously, you'd have to have a LIDAR-equipped device.

00:51:14   We don't know what kind of LIDAR capability

00:51:17   we're gonna get with the next level of phones.

00:51:19   This is my concern, and of course,

00:51:20   Apple won't ever answer the question of,

00:51:21   "Hey, how expensive is a LIDAR sensor?"

00:51:24   Because even though lower-end phones,

00:51:27   you're wanting to differentiate the cameras

00:51:29   in the higher-end phones,

00:51:30   and LIDAR is part of the way you do that.

00:51:32   If you put that in lower-end phones,

00:51:33   blind, visually impaired people would be more likely to buy it.

00:51:35   And I know plenty of people who have bought

00:51:37   Pros and Pro Maxes just for the LIDAR,

00:51:40   or the anticipation of the store detection thing.

00:51:42   Well, I mean, as well, the initial thing that I thought of and many thought of when seeing

00:51:46   the door detection is that this looks like prime for some kind of AR device as well,

00:51:53   right?

00:51:54   Absolutely.

00:51:55   Which would rely quite heavily on LiDAR and sensors like that.

00:52:00   When you see things like this door detection and what Apple is hopefully able to do with

00:52:04   it, do you get excited about an AR device for this kind of stuff?

00:52:09   Or, I mean, tell me, is that kind of device, would it actually be useful to the accessibility

00:52:15   community, like some kind of mixed reality headset?

00:52:18   Well, probably not as such.

00:52:20   I mean, I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who would like to use it in a mixed

00:52:24   reality context, either for gaming or for entertainment or for any of the number of

00:52:29   ways you can have enhanced experiences.

00:52:31   But I think a lot of people in the accessibility community, especially blind and visually impaired

00:52:35   people, they think about it purely in terms of navigation.

00:52:38   If you have a headset or glasses,

00:52:40   and probably glasses is a better example because--

00:52:42   - Headset feels too heavy duty, right?

00:52:44   - Yeah, absolutely. - For just detecting doors

00:52:46   and things like that. - And there are headsets

00:52:49   that have been, you know, Samsung and other VR headsets

00:52:53   that have been modified to be used as a tool

00:52:56   for blind and visually impaired people

00:52:57   to do stuff like magnification,

00:52:59   watching television, navigating around.

00:53:01   And they're enormous and they're heavy and they're hot

00:53:04   and they cost $3,000 and no thank you.

00:53:07   but glasses as a navigation aid,

00:53:09   because there are already tools out there.

00:53:10   There are companies that have put out combinations

00:53:13   of a phone and a pair of glasses

00:53:16   that will assist you with navigation.

00:53:18   And usually there's a person

00:53:19   on the other end of the phone line

00:53:20   who's able to see through your glasses

00:53:22   over an internet connection that says,

00:53:24   "Okay, go to the right, that's where the intersection is."

00:53:26   And so these are provided as services.

00:53:29   They kind of worked and they kind of didn't.

00:53:32   It ended up being more expensive

00:53:34   and now those are more AI-based services.

00:53:37   But the idea that you could have LIDAR and a camera

00:53:41   and this kind of intelligence in a pair of glasses

00:53:44   that somebody could use as a navigation aid,

00:53:46   whether it was backed up by somebody in a call center

00:53:49   helping or whether it was simply,

00:53:51   okay, I can identify doors, I can identify people,

00:53:53   I can read signage with live text, that sort of thing.

00:53:56   Yeah, that's pretty exciting.

00:53:57   And it also says that whatever the first product is,

00:54:01   Sometimes when a brand new category comes from Apple,

00:54:04   you have a question about the accessibility,

00:54:06   not that they didn't think about it,

00:54:07   but how long are we going to have to wait for accessibility?

00:54:10   And so for me, it feels like doing these sort of proof

00:54:14   of concept features so early on is kind of a signal that,

00:54:18   hey, whatever we produce is going to have accessibility

00:54:21   of some kind built in from the get-go.

00:54:24   -I like the idea of making the whole world accessible

00:54:27   using technology. That's really cool.

00:54:29   -Yeah, just put some glasses on.

00:54:31   Yeah, let's see, where have we seen that before?

00:54:33   I don't know. Some guy in the 23rd century.

00:54:36   Yeah. -Yeah.

00:54:37   -Right.

00:54:39   -The -- I wondered if you could explain to me

00:54:42   what eloquence voices are. -Yes.

00:54:45   -Whatever. I was trying to be eloquent there.

00:54:47   -So, eloquence is a line of voices

00:54:50   from a company called Code Factory.

00:54:51   They're available in a lot of screen readers for Windows,

00:54:54   and most notably JAWS,

00:54:55   which is the leading screen reader on the Windows side.

00:54:58   And so a lot of blind people know eloquence.

00:55:00   They're very, they like it.

00:55:01   They're used to it.

00:55:03   Eloquence has several voices.

00:55:05   The main feature that Eloquence provides

00:55:07   is the ability to play text

00:55:09   at a really, really high rate of speed

00:55:11   and for it to still be understandable.

00:55:13   So the voices aren't super high quality.

00:55:15   They're not as good as say an Alex

00:55:16   or some of the other Apple voices,

00:55:18   but you can listen to them really, really fast

00:55:20   and be productive.

00:55:21   So a lot of blind people love Eloquence.

00:55:23   And what Apple has done is added Eloquence

00:55:25   as a voiceover and speech engine voice.

00:55:27   So you won't see it on Siri,

00:55:28   but you'll see it in voiceover.

00:55:29   you'll see it in Speak Screen, Speak Selection.

00:55:32   And this is funny because this wasn't really highlighted

00:55:36   when Apple did their announcements

00:55:38   for Global Accessibility Awareness Day before WWDC,

00:55:41   but it was announced around the same time,

00:55:43   sort of separately, and the blind community,

00:55:46   the Twitter blind community just went nuts.

00:55:48   And this is what they're excited about.

00:55:50   The eloquence voices, because they're familiar,

00:55:53   there are eight of them.

00:55:53   One of them is named Shelley, by the way,

00:55:55   which of course means it's great.

00:55:56   But they are available in enhanced versions

00:55:59   There are also some additional enhanced voices

00:56:01   outside of the eloquence world.

00:56:03   The interesting thing to me, first of all,

00:56:05   is okay, Apple has gone outside

00:56:07   and they've gotten some voices that are familiar.

00:56:09   Apple wants to tell a story, and I believe them,

00:56:12   that there's a lot of user feedback that people said,

00:56:14   "Why can't you get eloquence on Mac OS and iOS?"

00:56:17   And I believe them, but I also believe that it was just

00:56:20   a way for them to get this sort of

00:56:23   optimized performance thing.

00:56:25   For somebody who really wants to read at a high rate of speed

00:56:28   or interact with speech at a higher rate of speech.

00:56:29   So I'll just, just as a quick example,

00:56:31   so I'm pretty good with speech, but I'm not super fast.

00:56:34   I can listen to something that's about 60, 65%

00:56:37   and navigate pretty well.

00:56:38   Eloquence voices, you can listen at 85% and do pretty well.

00:56:42   They're kind of amazing for that.

00:56:45   But again, they're not as good as some of the other options,

00:56:48   but besides the eloquence voices,

00:56:50   Apple has added a bunch of other enhanced voices

00:56:53   that so far from my limited listening,

00:56:55   'cause those are in the betas, sound pretty good.

00:56:57   And they've also added a whole bunch of languages

00:57:00   for voiceover, which is pretty exciting.

00:57:01   They do that on a regular basis,

00:57:03   but this is just a great big language update.

00:57:05   But the thing to me that was the most fascinating

00:57:07   is just like how eagerly the blind community,

00:57:10   including people who aren't particularly devoted to Apple,

00:57:13   but who may have used an iPhone,

00:57:14   but are sort of like,

00:57:15   "Boy, I sure wish I had eloquence on here."

00:57:17   How excited they are about this.

00:57:19   - 'Cause I imagine the benefit of things

00:57:21   being read to you quickly is the way that voiceover works,

00:57:24   if people haven't experienced it before.

00:57:27   If I'm saying this correctly, Shelly,

00:57:29   please correct me if I'm wrong.

00:57:30   It's reading parts of the UI to you

00:57:33   so you can understand what you can interact with.

00:57:35   And I guess if the thing that you wanna interact with

00:57:38   is the 14th thing it's gonna read out,

00:57:39   the quicker it can get to that before you confirm it,

00:57:41   the better, right?

00:57:42   - It's the UI, but it's everything.

00:57:44   It's anything you wanna read.

00:57:45   It's a webpage, it's a book, it's a document.

00:57:47   And so once you're good at it,

00:57:50   you wanna interact as quickly as you can.

00:57:53   And it's funny because whenever we do speech-based demos,

00:57:57   every demo, everybody I've ever encountered

00:57:58   who's tried to do a live demo,

00:57:59   the first thing they have to do is dial their speech down

00:58:01   about 30 points so that a person who isn't used to it

00:58:04   can listen to it, which I love.

00:58:06   I just, I think that's great.

00:58:07   That's like our own little hack.

00:58:08   Like we're listening to things really, really fast.

00:58:10   And like Eloquence, I was amazed at how high you could get.

00:58:13   I still don't think they're the greatest voices,

00:58:15   but they are really fast.

00:58:18   - Kind of reminds me of the,

00:58:19   I don't know, there are fonts that are optimized

00:58:22   for people with dyslexia, right?

00:58:24   - Right.

00:58:25   - And they look unattractive as fonts.

00:58:29   You know, if you kind of look at them sometimes,

00:58:31   it's like, this looks a little weird,

00:58:33   but I guess that's, again, it's like the point, right?

00:58:35   Like, it's designed in a specific way

00:58:38   that with the voiceover stuff,

00:58:40   as things said really fast, I can understand it,

00:58:44   but the voices are tuned specifically, right?

00:58:47   To sound good at high speeds, so they--

00:58:50   - Yes, and the thing too is that inside voiceover,

00:58:53   the mechanism, one of the mechanisms that makes voiceover

00:58:56   easy to navigate is the rotor, which basically you interact

00:59:00   with by twirling two fingers on the screen

00:59:02   like you would an old style television dial,

00:59:04   and you can use a rotor function to turn your speech rate

00:59:06   up or down, so you might have a standard speech rate

00:59:08   that you like, but let's say you're trying to consume

00:59:11   technical content or a great novel or something like that,

00:59:13   and you want to consume it at a different speech rate,

00:59:17   it's pretty easy to do that, and you can also change voices

00:59:20   in that way. You could put multiple voices in the rotor.

00:59:22   So you might have a high-quality voice like in Alex,

00:59:25   which is universally regarded as kind of the best voice out there.

00:59:28   But then you might also say, "Hey, I want an eloquence voice.

00:59:30   I want Shelley in my rotor, because when I read something

00:59:32   that I want to read really fast, I can read her at 85%,

00:59:35   but then I could switch back to Alex

00:59:36   when I want to comprehend a little differently."

00:59:40   -So what's missing in macOS and iOS in this new round?

00:59:45   What things are you disappointed,

00:59:48   maybe that they haven't done.

00:59:50   - Well, and these aren't specific to this upgrade cycle.

00:59:53   I think all in all, this is a generally good upgrade cycle,

00:59:56   but just sort of in general,

00:59:57   I think macOS VoiceOver still lags behind.

01:00:00   It doesn't get updated to the extent

01:00:03   that iOS VoiceOver does.

01:00:05   They have the same name,

01:00:06   but because they're in different operating systems,

01:00:08   they operate differently,

01:00:09   which actually leads to one of the issues

01:00:10   with VoiceOver on the Mac.

01:00:12   But it has not been either updated consistently

01:00:17   or evangelized to the development community,

01:00:19   there's still a lot of third-party apps

01:00:21   that do not support macOS VoiceOver,

01:00:22   and there's not nearly as much pressure on those developers

01:00:25   as there is in the iOS world.

01:00:27   And so, for example, I can give you

01:00:30   sort of what sound like niggly little feature things,

01:00:34   but in VoiceOver, the default behavior is to group items,

01:00:37   and so it's supposed to be easy to navigate over a large UI

01:00:41   because you move from one group to the other,

01:00:43   and then you can dig down into the group

01:00:44   if you want an individual item.

01:00:47   But the problem with that as a default behavior

01:00:49   is that you end up skipping over UI elements

01:00:52   that you might want to, and it would be nice

01:00:53   if there were more choice in that way.

01:00:55   A lot of people in the past year or so

01:00:57   have had issues with VoiceOver hanging in Safari

01:01:00   in the sense that it will say Safari not responding

01:01:03   because VoiceOver is just taking that much longer

01:01:06   to load up and read the webpage.

01:01:08   So they're just sort of ongoing limitations

01:01:12   with VoiceOver that could probably be addressed

01:01:14   if there was more focus on fixing them.

01:01:16   - Yeah, I think this is fascinating because

01:01:18   Apple obviously is very committed to accessibility

01:01:22   and talking about accessibility features,

01:01:24   and yet they have to make choices and prioritize things.

01:01:29   And it's interesting to see the places where they're...

01:01:33   Are you concerned sometimes that they are more concerned

01:01:35   about having new features that they can put out

01:01:37   in a press release than advancing their existing features?

01:01:41   - Sometimes, yes.

01:01:42   I mean, and they tend to be very separate.

01:01:44   So a thing like live captions that we talked about

01:01:46   or door detection, obviously,

01:01:47   that's not a direct voiceover feature.

01:01:50   So voiceover is kind of the bread and butter

01:01:51   of accessibility, and there are times

01:01:54   when that doesn't get the support or love

01:01:57   that I think a lot of users, especially Mac people,

01:01:59   people who long ago committed to the Mac,

01:02:01   either as their only system or as a primary

01:02:04   or a prominent system in their world,

01:02:06   'cause I know people who still have two

01:02:07   or three operating systems lying around,

01:02:09   'cause we're nerds, but there are people who feel

01:02:11   like Mac OS voiceover has been ignored.

01:02:13   And again, the developer evangelism part is relevant too, because if Apple is paying attention

01:02:18   to iOS voiceover and if they're doing sessions at WWDC about that, you're going to focus

01:02:25   more on how iOS voiceover interacts with apps and you're going to use examples of how apps

01:02:29   can be made accessible and less so on the Mac.

01:02:32   And I think because Windows has had such a huge installed base institutionally, like

01:02:37   any organization that serves blind or visually impaired people, whether it's through the

01:02:41   government or whether it's providing software, hardware to those populations is often super

01:02:47   Windows based.

01:02:48   And so even though a lot of people have Macs and have chosen Macs, especially after they

01:02:51   got iPhones, I think there's a feeling that there's less need to be as aggressive with

01:02:59   making voiceover on the Mac the best it possibly can be.

01:03:03   And now we have the issue that with Catalyst apps, the Catalyst apps versus AppKit apps

01:03:08   behave differently in voiceover.

01:03:09   So if you're a VoiceOver user and you're used to AppKit apps, and then all of a sudden you

01:03:13   get into a Catalyst app, you're going to have to learn a few new things.

01:03:17   And there are ways around—that was a concern I had when Catalyst first came out, and it

01:03:21   was not something that I could even quantify.

01:03:24   I was just like, "Oh, this is going to be weird," because, again, iOS VoiceOver and

01:03:27   macOS VoiceOver, they share the same name, they do the same thing, but they behave differently

01:03:32   for logical reasons, because VoiceOver is keyboard-based and VoiceOver on the Mac is

01:03:36   keyboard-based and VoiceOver on iOS is gesture-based.

01:03:39   So there's still some challenges there.

01:03:41   I think it's a good implementation of a screen reader.

01:03:45   It's very much usable, but I think that people find barriers

01:03:50   often when they wanna use a specific app

01:03:52   or as I was describing with web browsers

01:03:54   where they get just something weird and they go,

01:03:56   why is it like that?

01:03:58   It wouldn't be something that would be tolerated

01:04:00   if it were for a mainstream audience, honestly.

01:04:02   - What else?

01:04:05   - Well, I'll mention a couple of things.

01:04:07   Braille support is one, and I'm not a braille user.

01:04:09   And when I say braille support, what I mean is,

01:04:12   people who are braille users will connect

01:04:14   what's called a braille display to their iPhone.

01:04:17   And so the output of voiceover from the iPhone

01:04:20   is on the braille display in braille characters as well.

01:04:23   And also you can type from the braille display

01:04:26   to the iOS device and have it converted to text.

01:04:28   And this is useful for people who are native braille users.

01:04:31   It's also useful for people who are deafblind

01:04:36   so they can't hear the voice spoken on the iPhone,

01:04:39   but they can use the braille display

01:04:40   to physically interact with the iPhone.

01:04:42   So braille displays are a big productivity tool

01:04:45   for people in work and school

01:04:47   who want to both use it with and without an iOS device.

01:04:52   And every upgrade cycle,

01:04:53   there seems to be a sort of a weird,

01:04:55   incongruous braille bug.

01:04:57   It should be noted that iOS versus Android,

01:05:00   the braille support is, it's not even comparable.

01:05:03   IOS support for Braille is far superior.

01:05:06   The trouble is that every time there's an upgrade cycle,

01:05:09   there seems to be some almost insurmountable Braille bug

01:05:12   that is allowed to go out with the shipping software.

01:05:15   It is often fixed eventually, usually by the point to release

01:05:19   but you've engendered a lot of ill feeling among Braille users

01:05:23   and the bugs are sufficiently different from one another

01:05:27   that I can't tell you whether there's something in common

01:05:29   that's being done in the upgrade cycles

01:05:31   and the new releases that's causing those braille bugs

01:05:34   because they're so different from one another.

01:05:36   But there is a sense in the community

01:05:38   that those braille bugs are allowed to fester

01:05:40   even after the software has shipped.

01:05:41   And so that's unfortunate.

01:05:43   And the last thing I would say,

01:05:45   and this is, people have different levels of desire for this.

01:05:48   There's some people that believe that the App Store

01:05:50   should have accessibility ratings or labels

01:05:53   so that whether the developer does it

01:05:55   or whether Apple does it,

01:05:56   there should be basically a rating

01:05:57   that says how accessible an app is.

01:06:00   I can see that there's all sorts of problems

01:06:02   with how you

01:06:03   deliminate, how you determine that,

01:06:07   how you say, is something accessible to voiceover?

01:06:09   Who makes that judgment?

01:06:10   How accessible does it have to be?

01:06:12   But I do feel like,

01:06:13   if you had some sort of a nutrition label,

01:06:16   where the developer could say,

01:06:18   I've consciously made my app voiceover compatible.

01:06:20   I support dynamic type.

01:06:22   I support assistive touch and switch control

01:06:26   and all the other accessibility features

01:06:28   that are available within those software,

01:06:31   that I as a user at least can make a choice,

01:06:34   oh, do I want this Twitter client

01:06:36   or do I want that Twitter client

01:06:37   because it's declared itself to be accessible.

01:06:40   And then you've also made the developer accountable.

01:06:42   So if I download it and it's not accessible,

01:06:44   then I can go back and I can say to Apple

01:06:45   or to the developer in reviews,

01:06:47   hey, this is not as advertised.

01:06:50   And it feels like making that available

01:06:53   and then subsequently Apple evangelizing that

01:06:55   through the developer program and saying,

01:06:57   "Hey, you should declare your nutritional--

01:07:00   your nutrition label for accessibility,"

01:07:02   would just be an encouragement to other developers to do it

01:07:05   and would show up to developers who didn't.

01:07:07   I think that's a really great idea.

01:07:08   I mean, if I'm remembering correctly,

01:07:10   the privacy-focused nutrition labels

01:07:12   are also self-reported by the developers.

01:07:14   So, they wouldn't have to, like,

01:07:18   staff up to check every little feature, right?

01:07:21   Because Apple wouldn't need to,

01:07:22   but they could create this system.

01:07:24   And as you say, right,

01:07:25   then the developer has to say they've done it,

01:07:28   and then they can be called to task

01:07:31   if it turns out that they didn't.

01:07:32   But I think that nutrition labeling,

01:07:34   I think they do it in two different ways now.

01:07:36   Is that right, Jason?

01:07:37   They do like a privacy one.

01:07:41   I think there's another one,

01:07:42   but I think this would be a great idea.

01:07:44   It makes perfect sense to me.

01:07:45   - Yeah, the privacy one's fairly new, I think,

01:07:46   and I think it's great.

01:07:47   It's funny because it's so far down on the page

01:07:50   that you kind of don't notice it

01:07:51   unless you're looking for it.

01:07:52   But the thing about an accessibility label too

01:07:55   is that I could search for it.

01:07:56   I could go in the app store and I could say,

01:07:57   find me accessible Twitter clients.

01:07:59   I can't say Twitter apparently.

01:08:01   Find me a Twitter client that's accessible.

01:08:02   Find me note-taking apps that are accessible.

01:08:05   Most of them are, that's not a good choice,

01:08:07   but there are some inaccessible

01:08:08   Twitter clients inexplicably.

01:08:10   And yeah, I feel like it would be,

01:08:13   I think there are people out there

01:08:14   who would like Apple to enforce it in some way.

01:08:16   And I see many problems with it,

01:08:19   even going beyond just the idea of the volume of work

01:08:22   that Apple would have to do.

01:08:23   Because then Apple has to not only say they're accessible,

01:08:26   they're basically taking responsibility

01:08:28   for the developer's work.

01:08:29   And the developer says,

01:08:30   I support voiceover, I'm fully accessible.

01:08:33   But then there's one button that isn't labeled properly.

01:08:37   And then whose fault is that?

01:08:38   Who should get the grief for that?

01:08:39   Well, the developer clearly.

01:08:41   - Yeah, I don't think Apple maintaining that

01:08:44   would be a good idea.

01:08:45   I mean, we see issues with app review, right?

01:08:47   Like where something clearly should be allowed

01:08:50   through app review, but it doesn't get allowed

01:08:52   throughout preview or vice versa.

01:08:53   And then they're supposed to be monitoring

01:08:56   that whole process, but they don't fully.

01:08:58   - Well, Shelly, thank you so much for being part

01:09:01   of this vertical experience that is happening.

01:09:05   We're building, it's building blocks.

01:09:06   We're building upward with each segment here this week.

01:09:09   And thank you for being one of the key building blocks

01:09:12   in making a podcast.

01:09:14   - My pleasure.

01:09:15   I feel like you're creating your own AR experience.

01:09:17   It's the vertical upgrade experience.

01:09:20   - That's right, except no substitutes.

01:09:22   Ask for it by name.

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01:11:24   A thanks to DoorDash for their support

01:11:26   of this show and Relay FM.

01:11:28   Our final guest of this episode is David Smith,

01:11:31   developer of Widgetsmith, Podometer++, and many other apps,

01:11:35   and podcaster on "Under the Radar" on Relay FM.

01:11:38   Hi, Dave.

01:11:39   - Hello.

01:11:40   Welcome to the verticals.

01:11:43   - It's very high up here.

01:11:44   - Yeah, you're on the stack.

01:11:46   You know, we're just building a whole stack of segments here

01:11:49   because it's the summer of fun

01:11:50   and this is a thing we decided to do.

01:11:52   But it's also the summer for developers like you,

01:11:54   summer of working on your apps

01:11:59   and looking at what Apple is doing with new technologies.

01:12:01   We talked to James Thompson about that earlier.

01:12:03   He's lowered down on the stack down there.

01:12:05   And I wanted to talk to you about widgets.

01:12:07   This is the widget vertical because, I mean,

01:12:10   WidgetSmith, WatchSmith, you spent a lot of time

01:12:13   with widgets and complications,

01:12:15   and this year we've got new widgets

01:12:16   that are inspired by watch complications.

01:12:19   And so I thought that you would be the right person

01:12:21   to talk to about widgets.

01:12:22   Did you look, everywhere you look, do you see widgets now?

01:12:26   - Widgets are my, yeah.

01:12:28   Widgets are my livelihood.

01:12:30   Widgets are what I do.

01:12:31   It's a funny thing, especially because widgets often

01:12:34   are used as like a throwaway term

01:12:36   when people are describing, it's like,

01:12:37   oh, you know, just cranking widgets

01:12:39   or when people are making widgets,

01:12:41   it's like, well, that is actually what I do.

01:12:43   That is my profession.

01:12:44   - Did you ever look at a wall clock and go,

01:12:47   what is a clock, but just a physical widget?

01:12:50   - Yeah, just a widget.

01:12:51   Everything's a widget.

01:12:52   - Yep, yeah.

01:12:53   So what are your, I mean,

01:12:55   obviously the thing we're most excited about probably

01:12:57   is the new lock screen widgets in iOS,

01:13:02   because not only do they suggest strongly

01:13:04   that there's gonna be an always on display

01:13:06   on some iPhones this fall,

01:13:07   but just more broadly, the idea that you've got

01:13:10   some little glanceable data items

01:13:14   that you can put on your lock screen.

01:13:16   That's great, but how has that been for you?

01:13:18   How have they been in these early beta months in practice?

01:13:22   What has been your process in trying to figure out

01:13:25   how to build tools to make little widgets

01:13:29   that live in your lock screen?

01:13:30   - Yeah, no, I mean, it's definitely been a lot of fun.

01:13:32   And I think it was very relieving at WWDC this year

01:13:36   to see widgets get a lot of attention and be something

01:13:39   that's one of the sort of marquee features of iOS 16.

01:13:42   When, you know, like widgets are very important to me

01:13:45   from, you know, sort of personally and professionally.

01:13:47   And so in last year, you know, it's like iOS 14,

01:13:51   widgets exploded, it was a big deal.

01:13:53   Like, you know, WidgetSmith was like viral on TikTok

01:13:55   and it was this whole big thing.

01:13:57   And then iOS 15 came around

01:14:00   and it was very quiet on the widgets front.

01:14:03   I mean, essentially the main change was just,

01:14:05   they came to the iPad and we got an extra size there.

01:14:09   But otherwise, widgets were essentially unchanged

01:14:11   from 14 to 15.

01:14:13   And as someone who cares a lot about widgets,

01:14:17   that's always a little bit worrying,

01:14:18   that if this is gonna be a feature that Apple rolls out

01:14:22   and then doesn't go anywhere,

01:14:23   and that just kind of, it is what it is,

01:14:25   and maybe they regretted the decision,

01:14:27   or this is all they ever had in mind for it,

01:14:29   and that's not the best place to be.

01:14:31   Ideally, if you're working on Apple technology

01:14:33   and this is how you make your living,

01:14:35   you're gonna wanna be sort of in the mainstream

01:14:38   of where Apple is pushing the platform

01:14:40   and what they care about,

01:14:41   where they're putting their attention,

01:14:42   their engineering resources.

01:14:44   And so last year was a little bit worrying.

01:14:46   I mean, it was fine.

01:14:47   It was nice to have a quiet summer,

01:14:48   but it wasn't something that made me feel good long-term.

01:14:52   And so this year when we get lock screen widgets

01:14:56   and they're essentially one of the crux parts

01:14:59   of the marquee feature of iOS 16, I'd say,

01:15:01   which is, you know, lock screen customization. And that customization is certainly also a

01:15:06   direct result to a reflection of iOS 14's sort of aesthetic craze where it became—one

01:15:15   of the reasons which became popular was because people used it to customize the feel and aesthetic

01:15:21   of their iPhone. And now they're—you know, Apple is fully embracing that to some degree,

01:15:25   or at least they're starting to embrace that by letting you choose, you know, sort of things

01:15:30   that they've never been able to change before. So you can change the font of the time on

01:15:34   your lock screen, and you can, you know, they have all their image effects and color stuff

01:15:39   that you can apply to it, and they added lock screen widgets. And that's exciting, I think,

01:15:45   just from a fundamental—for me, that's cool that Apple is engaging with that in a way,

01:15:50   and then they're, you know, they're implementing widgets in a way that, as someone who has

01:15:55   a lot of experience building watch complications is sort of straightforward and makes sense.

01:16:01   And while I think they could have gone in a different direction, I mean obviously technically

01:16:04   there's a lot of different things they could have put done for how they implemented widgets

01:16:08   on the lock screen, but they chose to essentially take, you know, watchOS complications and

01:16:13   put them onto the lock screen. Certainly from my perspective it made it easy for me, you

01:16:16   know, so as I've been implementing them, you know, at this point, you know, just maybe

01:16:20   what are we, about a month past WWDC, you know, I have a fully working version of lock

01:16:24   screen complications in Widgetsmith that's in beta testing and is, you know, sort of

01:16:29   there. It wasn't a big leap for me to be able to do this because it is very much the, you

01:16:34   know, adopting technologies in the way that I've been doing on watch complications for

01:16:39   years. And so, you know, it's been relatively straightforward and nice. And I think it's

01:16:43   a bit of a—there's certainly a tension, I feel, there because there are limits to

01:16:48   to what doing the complication kind of desaturated,

01:16:52   sort of frosted look that they've taken for lock screen,

01:16:56   the widgets, or I'm gonna,

01:16:58   every now and then I'll call them complications

01:16:59   because that's just where they are in my head.

01:17:01   But yeah, I think there are limitations to that,

01:17:03   but also I can sort of, you know,

01:17:06   so that they're not full color,

01:17:08   there's things that I can do on a home screen widget

01:17:10   that I can't do here, but I mean,

01:17:12   the reality is I'm glad that they exist,

01:17:14   I'm glad that they're there,

01:17:14   and because of they're coming from something

01:17:16   That's already existing technology that, you know, if you're sort of an app developer who's

01:17:23   been on this platform for a while, you'll feel very comfortable making it.

01:17:25   And so, you know, overall I'm thrilled.

01:17:28   It's been sort of a good first month getting them built out.

01:17:31   >>Joe Kriebel Is it true that the Apple Watch complications

01:17:34   are now also using the same format as the lockscreen complications are on iOS?

01:17:39   >>Steve

01:17:39   >> So the answer to that is slightly complicated, but the short version is yes.

01:17:44   >> The complication question is complicated.

01:17:46   >> It is, it's a complicated complication. So what they've done in watchOS 9 is they've

01:17:52   gone through and updated all of the watch faces to support a new format of complication

01:17:59   that is exactly—that uses WidgetKit, uses the same technology that exists on iOS. And

01:18:07   they even from a code level the lock screen widgets are technically in the same family as the

01:18:16   watchOS new complication system with the exception that on the watch there's a corner complication

01:18:22   that doesn't exist on the iOS lock screen. But otherwise, you know, the round, the rectangle,

01:18:28   and the flat text style are exactly the same. And so if you opt into that as an app developer,

01:18:36   you can share exactly the same code between your lock screen complications and your watchOS

01:18:44   9 complications. Where it gets a little bit complicated is just in terms of the

01:18:48   sort of backwards compatibility mode side of that. So if you want to support watchOS 8

01:18:55   complications, then you may need to have two different, you know, sort of incarnations of

01:19:00   your complications. Or if you only support the new style, then they won't be available on,

01:19:04   you know, older watches and they won't appear at all on the Series 3 style, you know, Apple watches,

01:19:11   the 38 and the 42 millimeter watches. They just don't exist there, which is probably in some ways

01:19:16   why Series 3 watches finally deprecated and won't get watchOS 9. So it's a little bit complicated

01:19:23   then, but I think moving forward, like if you can ignore the complicated past sort of backwards

01:19:29   compatibility side of things, then yes, moving forward, widgets and complications are now under

01:19:34   or a unified system that makes things a lot simpler and especially on watchOS simplifies

01:19:39   things dramatically. So there are now four families of complication that exist on watchOS.

01:19:45   So you have the circular, the rectangular, the text, and the corner, and that's it. There's

01:19:50   only those four. Whereas previously on watchOS, I think we've had something like maybe 10

01:19:55   or 12 different families because there are all these slightly different variants of things

01:19:59   where depending on which watch face it was, like the simple watch face had a different

01:20:03   set of complications than the utility watch face and things where there were these limitations

01:20:08   or just tweaks that Apple did in the way that they structured complications initially, and

01:20:12   so they've gotten rid of all that. And now it's all SwiftUI, and it's all sort of homogenized

01:20:17   onto this basic—there's four different types of things, three of which exist on the lock

01:20:21   screens, four of which exist on watchOS.

01:20:24   >>Steve, would you say that you were prepared for this moment because you made WatchSmith

01:20:30   and spent a lot of time thinking about complications.

01:20:32   Did that -- When this lock-screen-widget thing,

01:20:35   kids announced, do you sit there and go --

01:20:37   I mean, you were literally -- I could watch you

01:20:39   because you were right in front of me when this happened.

01:20:41   We all were looking at you.

01:20:43   It's like, "Oh, it's that 'Jurassic Park' moment, right?"

01:20:47   It's complications. I know this.

01:20:48   -I was thinking about you, Dave.

01:20:50   I couldn't see you, but I was thinking about you, you know?

01:20:52   -We were all watching Dave in that moment.

01:20:54   We really were.

01:20:55   -Yeah, I mean, it certainly --

01:20:57   especially given the history of Widgetsmith, which is that, you know, I made WatchSmith first,

01:21:02   and that was an app that I made for making custom complications on the Apple Watch. And that's,

01:21:08   you know, it was an app that I made, you know, maybe it was probably about nine months before

01:21:13   Widgetsmith was a thing. And that's where I started. And that's—complications were the thing

01:21:17   that got me excited about customization and about aesthetics and about, you know, sort of giving

01:21:23   users that kind of control. Because that was something that I personally felt that I was

01:21:26   was missing on my Apple Watch that I didn't like that all my complications on my Apple

01:21:31   Watch looked very samey and I couldn't feel like I could make them my own. And so I made

01:21:35   WatchSmith to be able to do that. And so then, you know, widgets were announced and it's

01:21:39   like, well, I essentially have all of this infrastructure and I've thought about this

01:21:43   problem a lot so I can go ahead and, you know, sort of move it onto onto iOS with Widgetsmith.

01:21:50   And then, yeah, so this feels very much like kind of a coming full circle. And now I'm

01:21:55   taking the learning and in many ways the code that I built for WatchSmith is now being repurposed

01:22:01   back into Widgetsmith for the lock screen side of the complications. And it's just sort

01:22:05   of all kind of wrapping up nicely. And so yes, I think if you've been a good little

01:22:10   Apple developer and been supporting iOS and watchOS for a long time and so you've been

01:22:14   doing complication work, lock screen complications or lock screen widgets are very straightforward,

01:22:21   are very trivial. Like I got them up and running very easily. And the way that they're doing

01:22:25   a lot of the theming and stuff is very similar to the way they do the theming on watchOS.

01:22:30   Where on watchOS, you can have a complication, you can give it a tint color. You can make

01:22:35   your watch red or pink or whatever. And the way they do that and the way that they're

01:22:39   dealing with colors and saturation and all that kind of stuff is very, very similar and

01:22:44   very familiar. And I think in a world where if we are to speculate that there will one

01:22:49   be a sort of an always-on iPhone. I imagine the same technology that they use on watchOS

01:22:58   right now for doing the always-on complications will transfer over exactly. It would be my

01:23:03   expectation and seems likely based on what they're saying. So yes, I feel very prepared

01:23:07   for this. It was a very easy summer in a way that—some summers I've been a developer

01:23:13   for—what was it? This was my 13th WDC, 14th WDC, something like that. And some years it's

01:23:18   It's just a train wreck.

01:23:20   This year was not one of those years.

01:23:21   This year was like, I got this.

01:23:22   I know exactly what I'm doing and it was no problem to get going.

01:23:26   >> No, but he's going to out underscore underscore, am I right?

01:23:28   >> No.

01:23:29   >> That's right.

01:23:30   >> It's not going to happen.

01:23:31   So you mentioned a couple of times both like the aesthetic stuff for iOS 14 and kind of

01:23:35   what that was what propelled WidgetSmith to the masses.

01:23:39   And you mentioned about with iOS 16 the effect that people have customization of colors and

01:23:44   stuff.

01:23:45   Now, as I've been playing around with some of these widgets, I'm kind of seeing that

01:23:50   there is, the way that I'm viewing this is there are some similarities and some differences

01:23:55   and I don't know how it's going to shake out because this time it isn't the widgets really

01:24:01   that can customize the look of the lock screen.

01:24:04   It's Apple's tools that do that and then you add widgets in as part of it.

01:24:10   Do you have any kind of feeling about if this is going to be as big a deal as the original

01:24:16   ones or is it still too early for you to tell?

01:24:20   I think that's hard to say, certainly.

01:24:22   And I think Apple's system, in a way that I think is very clever, and I'd be curious

01:24:27   to see if in iOS 17 it extends into the home screen beyond the lock screen, their system

01:24:34   seems very much built around giving you really good tools to get something that is cohesive

01:24:41   and looks good very easily. And they have really good built-in features and they do

01:24:47   a lot of machine intelligence to work out which photos you might want on your lock screen,

01:24:51   which photos would look good as a lock screen image, and which filters you can apply to

01:24:56   those images and which color schemes are applied are intelligently suggested. And the end result

01:25:02   of this is something that is pretty—is very easy to get something that looks pretty good.

01:25:07   I think the difficulty there is it's obviously—I think that approach will work very well for

01:25:15   the majority of people. Like 80, 90 percent of people, it'll be great. I think the difficulty

01:25:19   is it, you know, sort of at a certain point it ends, and you can't—if you want to make

01:25:24   it more different, you can't. That, you know, Apple has sort of created this very nice sort

01:25:30   sandbox in which you can play, but if you wanted to do something different, if you wanted a

01:25:35   different font for your time, you can't. If you wanted to use a different font for your widgets,

01:25:41   but you know, which is something in Widgetsmith, that's something I can do. I can give you a font

01:25:47   that's different. So if you wanted a monospace font or you wanted any of the, I think I have

01:25:51   20-something fonts in Widgetsmith, if you wanted to use one of those, that's great for your widgets,

01:25:56   but you can't change the time, and so it will look a little disjointed. And I think there's

01:26:00   There's a slight tension there in terms of,

01:26:02   I think the approach they're taking here

01:26:05   will work really well to give people who aren't,

01:26:09   I think as much as iOS 14 and aesthetics and customization

01:26:14   was a big feature in terms of, millions of people used it,

01:26:18   there are billions of people who use iPhones.

01:26:21   And so I think there is still tremendous number of people

01:26:23   in just from my own experience with WidgetSmith,

01:26:26   who are people who are discovering customization now

01:26:29   two, you know, nearly two years on.

01:26:31   And so I think it's interesting to see that Apple is,

01:26:34   you know, in a very Appley way, making that accessible,

01:26:36   making it easy to get started.

01:26:38   And then by doing that, there's a lot less fiddly.

01:26:41   It's a lot less, you know, a lot of the customization

01:26:44   and aesthetic stuff that you want,

01:26:45   you could do in home screen widgets

01:26:48   required a little bit of, you know, fiddling around.

01:26:50   And I mean, if you're, especially if you're going to go

01:26:52   down the road of like custom icons and things,

01:26:54   like it is very fiddly and takes a lot of patience and time

01:26:58   and isn't something that necessarily everyone

01:27:00   would want to do.

01:27:01   Whereas this version is set up such that

01:27:03   even if you have three different third-party widgets

01:27:06   from three different companies,

01:27:07   they will all generally start to,

01:27:10   they will fit in well and look of a kind,

01:27:13   even though those developers didn't do that intentionally.

01:27:18   It is fundamentally like if you choose a color,

01:27:22   all those lock screen widgets will get that color.

01:27:24   And the developers didn't have to do anything to do that

01:27:27   or have the ability to override that.

01:27:28   So it feels like there's a little bit of a tension there

01:27:32   where as someone who makes a tool that is all about super,

01:27:35   super custom widgets, it's a little frustrating sometimes

01:27:38   that there are some things that I can't allow my users to do.

01:27:41   But I think overall, it's an exciting thing

01:27:44   that it's making this feature and customization so

01:27:47   forefront of what's big in iOS 16

01:27:50   and making it so accessible and such an easy way

01:27:55   get started, that hopefully then it gets people interested and then potentially down the road

01:28:00   makes them more interested in using other types of customization, or if the feature

01:28:05   is successful in Apple being excited about continuing to go down this road and allow

01:28:10   even more down the road.

01:28:11   Yeah, this is why I think it could be still pretty successful, because the iOS 14 widgets,

01:28:18   there wasn't really any push from Apple. It was like, "We've redid this thing. The home

01:28:24   screens now more beautiful plus you can add widgets to it it was like it looks

01:28:28   as it always did there isn't anything new but you can add widgets on top and

01:28:32   so then people had to take it upon themselves to prettify their home

01:28:36   screens and then put all their widgets in to match and or vice-versa but with

01:28:41   the lock screen it is very easy to make a very attractive lock screen and you

01:28:45   can customize the font of the time and all that kind of stuff so then because

01:28:49   you've put that work in adding some widgets onto the lock screen of your own

01:28:53   and feels like a natural step to it.

01:28:55   So I could imagine there will be a lot of demand for widgets

01:28:58   once people found this feature and played around with it.

01:29:01   So I could imagine it having a lot of success,

01:29:04   but just from a different starting point.

01:29:06   We'll see.

01:29:07   - Yeah, and I think that that certainly is my hope.

01:29:09   I mean, I think I've been through enough iOS launches

01:29:12   that it's very hard to predict what's actually gonna catch

01:29:15   and what's actually gonna flop.

01:29:17   And it's like, I think my expectation is that

01:29:20   this will be more, there'll be a broader range of customers who feel excited and feel empowered

01:29:28   to be able to take these steps of customization. And then we'll just sort of see if that spills

01:29:33   over and kind of grows out from there. Because, I think, at the very least, I think most people

01:29:39   have a custom lock screen already. It's something that people are very comfortable with and is very

01:29:45   standard features. I think you have a picture that is meaningful to you and you put it on your lock

01:29:50   screen. Like that is, I think, very, very common. Every now and then you'll see the default people,

01:29:55   if you're just like, I guess one of the one of the curses of being an iOS developer is I'm always

01:29:58   like, if someone's next to me on the bus, I'll have a tendency to just kind of peek over and see,

01:30:02   you know, sort of how they're using their phone. And, you know, sometimes you'll see the, you know,

01:30:06   like the default iOS lock screen, you can kind of get a sense of when they got their first iPhone,

01:30:10   because it will be, you know, is it the is it the aerial view of the beach? Or is it the one from

01:30:15   iOS 14? Or you can kind of get a sense of when, where their lock screen came from. But most people

01:30:20   I would say, "Have a picture." And going down that road, it's like now if you want to set a

01:30:24   picture as your wallpaper, it's like we'll jump you into this customization and aesthetic screen

01:30:29   kind of right away. And even if, you know, so you'll very naturally be made aware of this,

01:30:33   even if you don't read the tech news or listen to tech podcasts.

01:30:36   - I was wondering just as a... obviously, WidgetSmith, there's so much you can do,

01:30:44   and you mentioned earlier the palette is really constrained for lock screen widgets.

01:30:49   How do you feel about what Apple has put there, not necessarily in terms of the look, but in terms of the functionality?

01:30:53   Is there enough there with those circular widgets, with the rectangular widgets, and with that little text item that goes above the time?

01:31:01   Is it, you know, has—does it look like that's flexible enough to satisfy a lot of what people might want to do with these widgets?

01:31:09   Or do you think that they're—do you already have a wish list of like, "Oh, I wish they had given me this capability that isn't in there"?

01:31:15   >> Yeah, I mean, in a weird way, it reminds me a lot of kind of my thinking around kind of

01:31:20   custom watch faces on watchOS and complications there. Where complications, and in this case,

01:31:28   the lock screen widgets, I think in and of themselves are very capable, very well designed.

01:31:34   You can do a lot with it. I don't feel particularly constrained around them. I have

01:31:38   essentially full control over that canvas that they gave me, and I can put anything in there

01:31:41   there that I want, and it's very flexible, which is great. I think the bigger limit I

01:31:47   feel is that they're kind of small, and you can only have up to four of them. You could

01:31:54   have four circles or two rectangular ones or a rectangle and two circles, and that's

01:31:59   about it. And you can have the little text one at the top, and you get one of the text

01:32:03   ones. And I feel like the middle of the lock screen is this big open space. And it's frustrating,

01:32:10   I think to me that that space is not available for widgets,

01:32:14   for users to take over and control.

01:32:17   And like, it reminds me in a lot of ways about, you know,

01:32:19   these feelings I've had about custom watch faces,

01:32:21   where I have a lot of ideas for things

01:32:22   that I would love to make, and I'm gonna have made,

01:32:25   but aren't in a way that I can actually deploy anywhere else

01:32:28   like made custom watch faces that have different content

01:32:30   as their, as that center, you know,

01:32:34   sort of that main content view.

01:32:36   And I look at, you know, you have an iOS 13 Pro Max,

01:32:40   It's a giant screen, and there's this huge,

01:32:42   especially now that notifications are sort of,

01:32:44   by default, gonna be kind of down in the bottom,

01:32:46   that middle section is just empty.

01:32:48   And sometimes that's great,

01:32:49   if you don't wanna put anything there

01:32:51   because you have a picture of a loved one there

01:32:53   and you don't want a widget over their eyes,

01:32:55   great, it's nice to have a big open space.

01:32:57   But it feels a bit limiting and frustrating to me

01:33:02   that you could very easily imagine the small widget size

01:33:06   or the medium widget size

01:33:07   that you can put on your home screen,

01:33:08   you could put it in that spot,

01:33:09   and then you can do a lot more or put data in a way that has more flexibility and you'd

01:33:15   have more control. And I think that's where I feel frustrated more. Like the actual, what

01:33:19   they gave us is great and I think it can do everything. I just wish I could do more with

01:33:24   it and put more content in there. I think that would create even more use cases that

01:33:30   would be available to me. And it's just kind of the same thing in the watch space on watchOS

01:33:34   where it just feels frustrating that it's like, well, if I have content that can fit

01:33:38   into this little circle, then that's great. If it doesn't fit into that little circle,

01:33:42   then it's just you're done, and it doesn't work, and it doesn't kind of apply, and it

01:33:45   doesn't give the user the agency over their screen in a complete way. It just gives them

01:33:50   some agency about some of it.

01:33:52   >>

01:33:52   I like the portrait watch face.

01:33:55   I really do.

01:33:56   I like that portrait effect

01:33:57   and they brought that to the phone.

01:33:59   The difference between the portrait watch face

01:34:01   and what they've done on the phone

01:34:02   is that the portrait watch face

01:34:05   lets you put a complication at the bottom,

01:34:09   at the top of the stack.

01:34:11   And on the iPhone,

01:34:14   the portrait effect covers the complications or the widgets.

01:34:19   It covers them.

01:34:20   And you can have it so it doesn't,

01:34:22   but then they go over the face of the person

01:34:24   'cause it's usually somebody's head

01:34:25   who's slightly eclipsing.

01:34:27   - Yeah, if you use complications at all,

01:34:29   it turns off the depth effects.

01:34:32   - Is that true? - Yes.

01:34:33   - Because I've had it where I've turned off

01:34:36   the depth effects, oh yeah, well that's it.

01:34:38   You turn off the depth effects and then it goes over you.

01:34:40   So they won't overlay the complications at all?

01:34:43   'Cause I thought I've seen that

01:34:44   where the complications are there

01:34:45   but they're just overlaid with content.

01:34:48   Regardless, this is my point is I love that depth effect.

01:34:51   I still want to be able to see, put them somewhere.

01:34:55   And I get that there's a lot going on

01:34:56   at the bottom of the phone

01:34:57   in terms of notifications and all that.

01:34:59   But I almost think, I wonder if I could opt

01:35:02   to put my widgets at the bottom of the screen instead

01:35:06   with the notifications above it or something like that.

01:35:09   And perhaps they'll get there and it'll be more flexible.

01:35:11   But I had that moment where I'm like,

01:35:12   oh, these are great, but like here are two fun features

01:35:14   and I kind of can't do both of them at once.

01:35:17   - Yeah, and I think even in the same way,

01:35:19   It's like what you're saying with you know on watch OS it very often is you can say you want the time at the top

01:35:23   Do you want the time at the bottom? Do you want you can move things?

01:35:26   around on that face that makes sense for that image and for makes sense for your use case and what you're interested in and

01:35:32   You know, obviously it's it's like I am I don't look at gift horse in the mouse and say like I don't

01:35:37   Like I'm not excited that we can control this but I could very easily

01:35:40   Immediately have ten ideas for things like other things that I would like to play with about changing this around that moving

01:35:46   moving the time around, moving the widgets around,

01:35:49   even if it isn't that I get full control.

01:35:50   It's like you're saying, if the widget bar,

01:35:52   rather than being below the time,

01:35:53   is above the notifications and buttons on the bottom,

01:35:57   like, sure, why not?

01:35:59   It seems arbitrary that it isn't something

01:36:02   that you can change, and that the arbitrariness

01:36:05   about where the dividing lines are is frustrating.

01:36:08   - Sorry, David, we built these circles

01:36:11   and we hung them right under the time.

01:36:13   That's where they have to go.

01:36:15   Like, okay, I mean, yeah, it's software.

01:36:17   It could be somewhere else, but...

01:36:19   Well, anything else we should, you know,

01:36:22   the observations you've had about living the widget's life

01:36:24   and the complications life this summer

01:36:26   that you think we should watch out for?

01:36:28   - Yeah, no, I mean, I think the other thing,

01:36:29   the only thing that really I think about is,

01:36:31   obviously it's like, it's widely rumored at this point

01:36:33   that there may at some point come

01:36:34   an always-on version of this.

01:36:36   And I think what's intriguing to me about that

01:36:39   is going to be to think about

01:36:40   how that's visually going to look

01:36:42   in terms of if it's going to be something

01:36:44   that is more akin to the way it's done on watchOS

01:36:47   or if it's gonna be a different take on that.

01:36:49   And I think by what I mean is if you have,

01:36:51   like what you were saying, the portraits watch face

01:36:54   on your Apple Watch and in always on mode,

01:36:57   it still shows the background image.

01:36:58   It still shows that picture.

01:37:00   It just dims it and it becomes darker,

01:37:03   but it's still there.

01:37:05   And I'm curious about this,

01:37:08   and when I started to think through,

01:37:09   'cause at first I was like, oh,

01:37:10   the way they're doing the widgets here

01:37:12   where they're all sort of these fainted,

01:37:13   these sort of, there's no color,

01:37:16   they're all kind of these faint outline versions of things.

01:37:19   It made me wonder if it's like in the always on mode

01:37:22   on an iPhone instead, the screen's gonna go black,

01:37:24   sort of fully black and then have no color.

01:37:27   - Have you noticed what happens when you're in sleep focus?

01:37:31   When you're in sleep focus, it blacks out the screen.

01:37:34   It takes the picture basically away.

01:37:37   - Okay, yeah, no, I can see that, yeah.

01:37:39   - In the betas, and I had that thought too,

01:37:41   which is like, oh, I wonder if this is kind of like

01:37:44   what they're gonna do for an always on display

01:37:46   where they're being much more aggressive in sleep focus.

01:37:49   'Cause I was wondering like, where'd my picture go?

01:37:51   Why did my picture disappear?

01:37:53   And the answer is I was in sleep focus

01:37:55   'cause I was coming back on an airplane

01:37:56   and it was past my bedtime.

01:37:58   And I realized, oh, they're taking away content

01:38:02   because I should be asleep right now.

01:38:03   - Yeah, and they're dimming the screen too.

01:38:05   Like they're lowering the screen brightness as well.

01:38:08   And so it definitely seems like that.

01:38:10   And I think that's just interesting

01:38:11   as a difference of approach.

01:38:12   Whereas you'd think like the watchOS version

01:38:15   would be the most power constrained

01:38:17   'cause it's this tiny little computer on your watch

01:38:19   with a tiny little battery.

01:38:20   But yet there they show,

01:38:23   the whole screen is lit up with your image

01:38:25   just in a dimmed version.

01:38:27   Whereas it seems like they may be heading in a direction

01:38:29   on the iPhone that instead the screen is mostly black

01:38:32   just with a little bit of gray instead,

01:38:35   which is just an interesting choice.

01:38:36   And it just sort of makes me wonder

01:38:37   what that's gonna actually look like in practice.

01:38:39   And it's like, I'm certainly excited for that.

01:38:40   I think it'd be super cool either way,

01:38:42   but it's just interesting to see that they didn't go

01:38:44   the same way potentially that they went on on watchOS here.

01:38:49   - Well, Dave, thank you so much for giving us

01:38:51   the widget and complication update

01:38:53   that I knew we needed this summer.

01:38:55   We don't always need it,

01:38:56   but this summer I think we needed it.

01:38:57   And I'm very excited to see all of this stuff

01:39:00   and to see what you're working on

01:39:03   because I have faith that the Underscore apps

01:39:06   will be providing me with all sorts of different options on my watch and on my

01:39:10   on my lock screen this fall.

01:39:12   Yeah all the widgets you could ever want is what I hope to provide.

01:39:16   Excellent that's what I want.

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01:41:09   Alright Jason, so I have some #askupgrade questions for you.

01:41:12   [beatboxing]

01:41:13   Vertical two, vertical two.

01:41:14   No, no, we're done with the verticals now, this is just a regular part of the show.

01:41:17   The lasers, they're shooting upward, they're vertical lasers.

01:41:19   I don't like the sound of that.

01:41:21   Chaya asks, "What are some of your favorite podcasts outside of Relay FM being comparable

01:41:26   or MaxFun?"

01:41:27   What? You go first.

01:41:29   Alright, I got a list for you. Alright?

01:41:31   Okay.

01:41:32   So, first off is the various shows that are part of Kinda Funny. These are split into games and entertainment. They have podcast feeds that you can find but I actually consume their podcasts over YouTube because they make video versions of everything. And then I listen to them as well via the YouTube app.

01:41:50   It's like a whole different way that I've been consuming podcasts.

01:41:54   I think actually these days, sometimes, most of my podcast listening is happening, like

01:41:59   podcast quote unquote listening is happening on YouTube some weeks because I'm consuming

01:42:03   kind of funny shows.

01:42:05   I just prefer to have the video if I can have it if they make it because they do a decent

01:42:10   job of it and so I just I like the video so that's where I'm watching it on YouTube.

01:42:15   However, I have three shows and one more.

01:42:18   So three other shows that I like that all TV recap shows.

01:42:23   There's the Always Sunny podcast, which that's

01:42:26   Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

01:42:28   I listened to all of it.

01:42:29   Then they started a video version

01:42:31   and now I watch the video version of it

01:42:33   because they're good.

01:42:34   West Wing Weekly, which is a recap

01:42:36   show of the West Wing that finished in 2020.

01:42:39   That is just audio.

01:42:40   Talking Sopranos is a soprano recap show.

01:42:44   So obviously Always Sunny podcast is hosted by the three main guys of Always Sunny, like

01:42:49   the guys who created it and star in it. West Wing Weekly has Hushikeshio A and Josh Molina,

01:42:55   Josh Molina was on West Wing. And then Talking Sopranos is also two of the actors from The

01:43:00   Sopranos. I like listening to people that make TV stuff talk about how they make TV

01:43:05   stuff. Like I just like that. And then my last one would be Dithering, which is John

01:43:10   Gruber and Ben Thompson's podcast, which is not about television show.

01:43:14   It's strangely not about a television show. Okay. I just had to make up a list while you

01:43:23   were talking. Dithering was online too. So yes, John Gruber and Ben Thompson. I've mentioned

01:43:29   before the podcast with Joe Posnanski and Myke Schur, which is a sports podcast that

01:43:33   is also just ridiculous and they draft things. So they're akin to us.

01:43:37   No wonder.

01:43:39   Friends, which is a great actual play D&D podcast with a bunch of comedians from Australia.

01:43:46   So good and improv people. They're just very good at what they do. Some other ones that

01:43:51   I'm trying out that's new, but I've liked so far is one called Origin Story, which is

01:43:57   about the words. It's a very kind of meticulously researched about the real stories behind misunderstood

01:44:05   and abused ideas in politics. That's Ian Dunt and Dorian Linsky. That's a UK based podcast.

01:44:11   They try very hard to figure out like where these politically charged words actually came

01:44:16   from. Let's see. Hello from the Magic Tavern is a classic. I haven't listened to that in

01:44:23   a little while. I need to get back to it, but that is a great, that's an improv podcast

01:44:27   where they basically are in a fantasy setting, but everything that they say that they improvise

01:44:31   becomes part of the canon and they have to go with it. So it's a very extended improv

01:44:36   that just goes on forever and builds the world. I wanted to do a shout out to Panic and also

01:44:41   the Playdate podcast in particular. Panic is doing some fun work as a podcast producer.

01:44:48   I think Krista Morgan is doing that. But some fun stuff there if you're interested in Panic

01:44:53   and the Playdate. And finally, friend of the show, Lex Friedman, has resumed. Dun dun dun

01:45:00   ♪ You're da da da da da da daily ♪

01:45:03   ♪ Da da da da da da ♪

01:45:04   Lex, da da da da da.

01:45:06   That's the theme song, it's super catchy.

01:45:08   And it's literally Lex Friedman

01:45:10   just kind of talking about a thing

01:45:11   for about four minutes every day.

01:45:13   I think it's very fun and funny.

01:45:15   Those are mine, those are mine, that's it.

01:45:17   - What's the name of the Origin Stories podcast?

01:45:20   There are a million podcasts called Origin Story.

01:45:22   - It's called Origin Story.

01:45:25   - But like it has no more information to it?

01:45:28   In, let's see, in my podcast player,

01:45:32   it is literally called Origin Story from Podmasters

01:45:35   is the name of the network, I guess.

01:45:40   Origin Story with Ian Dunt and Dorian Linsky.

01:45:44   - That's what I was looking for.

01:45:45   Thank you, I found it and they will all be in.

01:45:48   The show notes in case people want to add

01:45:50   some new podcasts to their queue.

01:45:53   - That's what I'm about.

01:45:54   - Champ asks, my dad is still running

01:45:57   Akko as Catalina and he refuses to upgrade. I know I can't force him, but can you suggest

01:46:02   some arguments for me to present to him?"

01:46:05   Tim: I mean, I kind of want to say that if he's running Catalina and he's okay with it,

01:46:11   I wouldn't worry about it too much, especially if he's got old apps that run on 32-bit, right?

01:46:18   Because Catalina is the last stand of the 32-bit, isn't it? Or is it that no Mojave

01:46:23   was the last stand of the 32-bit? Catalina is the death of the 32-bit. I don't know if

01:46:27   what made Catalina so complicated. Because you remember Catalina was also the one where

01:46:31   every app had to ask you, I think, for notifications again. It was just the one where using it the

01:46:35   first time was just horrible.

01:46:37   It was a painful update. It was the bad cop, right? The bad cop and the good cop, bad cop

01:46:42   update. I don't know. So part of me says, "Does he need to?" Really? But if he does

01:46:47   need to, Myke, do you have some suggestions for him?

01:46:49   Yeah. General security and privacy is always a thing. Being as up-to-date as possible is

01:46:54   is good for security, right? So that might be one thing. But you can also suggest from

01:46:59   a privacy standpoint, there were a bunch of privacy features added to Mojave. That's the

01:47:05   one, right? Mojave, yeah. Like some of the email stuff and things like that. One thing

01:47:11   that you might say, if you have to do a lot of technical support of your dad, screen sharing

01:47:15   over SharePlay is a thing that you would be able to do. So you'd be able to do screen

01:47:18   sharing more easily. Maybe your dad is a wild tab person and they have a thousand Safari

01:47:25   tabs, what? They want to organize them, they could use tab groups. And also Live Text is

01:47:29   a fun demo, you know? Like, oh, you can get text out of this image.

01:47:33   >> And Catalyst apps, I think that there are more apps supported on this platform because

01:47:37   Catalyst apps are supported in -- oh, coming off of Catalina, right? There's more modern

01:47:42   apps that use the new versions of Catalyst that you want to have. So there's lots -- there's

01:47:46   But again, I would also not force it unless you've got a you champ have a real reason he needs to upgrade

01:47:52   Yeah, you know if he's okay, he's okay. It's fine

01:47:55   Brant asks, is there a feature that you wish was in iowa 16 but isn't

01:48:03   What do you think so I have one

01:48:07   Which I was really hoping was gonna be fixed because of a couple of things that got added to iowa 16

01:48:13   But hasn't so I want to be able to make a shortcut that lets me add links to Apple Notes

01:48:20   But then when it does that those links are the kind of rich preview

01:48:25   Oh, yeah that you get from the the share extension

01:48:28   So mail in iOS 16 lets you choose to automatically convert text links to rich links

01:48:36   when you send them in emails, but

01:48:39   that doesn't happen with

01:48:42   Notes you can't do it. So I really want this to be added

01:48:47   So, you know

01:48:48   So basically when you add something by the share extension it adds it notes and it has it pulls in images

01:48:53   It has a couple of lines of text and the headline of the article

01:48:56   I love to be able to look through all of these when I'm preparing for shows

01:48:59   But what I would like to do is just have a shortcut that I just tap

01:49:03   Wherever you know and it says like which show and I just hit which show and it's done because the thing with short with notes

01:49:09   it's like sorting by recency, so sometimes if I want to show that I haven't added a link to for a while,

01:49:14   I have to like scroll through, so I would just like to be able to have like a static thing rather than at the moment

01:49:19   if I do that, it's just gonna add a bunch of text to a note, which is not what I want.

01:49:22   So I would like them to add it, but they didn't, maybe one day.

01:49:25   I'd like to thank Brant for bringing me down and making me sad because we all get very excited with our wish lists for new OS features,

01:49:32   and then they come out with the new OS and we're so busy focusing on what's new in the new OS,

01:49:37   And it's hard to go back and look and say,

01:49:39   well, wait a second,

01:49:40   what were all the things on my wishlist

01:49:42   that didn't come true that I should be sad about?

01:49:44   So thanks, Brants, now I'm sad.

01:49:46   The lock screen stuff,

01:49:48   the lock screen widgets that are on the iPhone,

01:49:49   I'm sad that they aren't on the iPad,

01:49:51   but in terms of like new, new features

01:49:53   that I wish were there,

01:49:55   I really thought that they would add cross-linking

01:49:57   in Apple Notes so that you could do

01:49:58   sort of a light version of Obsidian

01:50:00   where you could like link across notes to other notes.

01:50:03   They didn't do that.

01:50:06   And I really wanted global shortcuts

01:50:11   to launch shortcuts on iPad, like keyboard shortcuts.

01:50:14   - Keyboard shortcuts, yeah, yeah.

01:50:15   - And they didn't do that.

01:50:18   And also in the shortcuts category, repeating shortcuts,

01:50:21   like the idea that you could say,

01:50:23   please execute this shortcut at these times

01:50:27   or every two hours or whatever.

01:50:29   And the choices there are still extremely limited

01:50:33   and it makes me sad.

01:50:35   Our last question today comes from Zach.

01:50:37   How do you suspect you may use the iPad of Stage Manager

01:50:41   on an external display differently

01:50:44   to how you might use a Mac in your daily workflow?

01:50:48   Now, I mean, I don't know about you,

01:50:49   but I actually don't imagine that I would ever do this.

01:50:53   Like, realistically, I can't imagine wanting to use

01:50:58   an iPad with an external display.

01:51:00   And I know people might say,

01:51:01   "But Myke, you asked for it for years."

01:51:03   I asked for it for years when I was using an iPad

01:51:05   as my daily computer.

01:51:06   Like if I'm gonna plug something into my studio display,

01:51:09   I may as well just plug my Mac in.

01:51:12   That's how I feel anyway.

01:51:13   - Yeah, I am in a similar situation.

01:51:16   I now have an external display that's ready for an iPad

01:51:19   to be plugged into it.

01:51:20   So here's what I think,

01:51:22   'cause I actually use my iPad often as a change of pace

01:51:25   from my desktop.

01:51:26   I do wonder if I may try to use my iPad

01:51:30   as a change of pace for my desktop setup too.

01:51:34   like literally go into iPad mode instead of Mac mode

01:51:38   and sit here.

01:51:38   And the way I would be using it differently than my Mac

01:51:41   is it would be fewer apps, more focus.

01:51:44   I feel like even if it's got a big display,

01:51:49   I'm not gonna have,

01:51:51   like looking at my screen right now,

01:51:52   I have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven windows open.

01:51:56   Right?

01:51:57   - Yeah.

01:51:58   - And yes, I could stage manage them on the Mac too.

01:52:00   - That's what I'm thinking though, that this is it, right?

01:52:02   like if stage manager was just an iPad feature,

01:52:05   I would be using it a lot, I think.

01:52:07   Like it would really make me want to use it.

01:52:08   But considering stage manager is going to be a Mac feature

01:52:10   too, I kind of don't see why I would do it.

01:52:13   So.

01:52:13   - Yeah.

01:52:15   Yeah. So we'll see.

01:52:15   We'll see.

01:52:16   I want to try it out, but we will, we will see.

01:52:19   - If you would like to submit a question of your own

01:52:21   for a future episode of upgrade,

01:52:22   just send out a tweet with the hashtag #askupgrade

01:52:25   or you can use question mark ask upgrade

01:52:27   in the relay FM members discord,

01:52:29   which is something you get access to.

01:52:31   If you sign up for Upgrade Plus, you will get longer episodes of bonus content every week

01:52:36   and hear no ads by going to getupgradeplus.com.

01:52:40   Thank you to everybody who signed up.

01:52:42   If you enjoyed the conversations from today, as you heard of all of our guests, make sure

01:52:46   you check out one of their podcasts.

01:52:47   For example, Shelly hosts Parallel on Relay FM, David hosts Under the Radar on Relay FM,

01:52:52   and you can hear James on Total Party Kill on The Incomparable.

01:52:56   Thank you to everybody who lets us nice reviews in Apple Podcasts, by the way.

01:53:01   You are wonderful people and we love you.

01:53:04   Thank you for listening to this episode of Upgrade and we'll be back as normal next week.

01:53:09   Until then, say goodbye Jason Snell.

01:53:11   We're at the top of the vertical now, Myke. We're at the very top.

01:53:14   I don't like it up here.

01:53:16   It's getting a little scary. The wind. No, the wind! No!

01:53:19   [MUSIC PLAYING]

01:53:22   [Music]

01:53:24   you