294: The Phone Was Full of Sawdust


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   For Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 294. Today's show is brought to you by Linode, DoorDash, and ExpressVPN.

00:00:17   My name is Myke Hurley, I am joined by Jason Snow. Hi, Jason Snow.

00:00:21   Hi, Myke Hurley. Another week down.

00:00:22   You know, that doesn't work as well when you don't know how many weeks are left.

00:00:26   Fun, strange. It's just another one down, right?

00:00:28   Another year, oh, it was definitely down. Yes.

00:00:32   It's like you can mark it on the wall, you know, that the week has done and you can put your little line.

00:00:37   That's right. Yep.

00:00:38   Get ready to cross off the next one.

00:00:40   In fact, I believe that was week five, so we got to finally, after making four scratches downward on our wall, we now make one across.

00:00:47   Excellent. We have a #snowtalk question from David, and David wants to know, Jason, you're a sports fan.

00:00:52   Are you watching any sports replays since there aren't any live games on right now?

00:00:56   Oh, you know...

00:00:59   There are no podcasters I feel more sorry for than sports podcasters.

00:01:02   Oh, yeah, right, and I feel bad for sports writers and...

00:01:06   Yeah.

00:01:07   Yeah, so...

00:01:08   That's rough, like, that is rough.

00:01:10   Because your whole subject matter has ceased.

00:01:14   Like, if Apple came out and said, "Oh, no, we're just gonna skip this year out," we would be in trouble.

00:01:20   I don't think we would be, though, because people would still be using their technology every day to do their jobs.

00:01:26   This is like, what if all computers just turned off for a year?

00:01:30   I mean, we don't have problems in regards to podcast distribution, but yes, I get your point.

00:01:34   Indeed. So sports writers that I've seen have been pretty... they're trying to be really creative, and that's great.

00:01:41   And coming up with... you're talking about history and interviewing people and doing profiles of people who are like,

00:01:47   "How are they staying in shape, and what are they planning?" and a lot of speculation.

00:01:51   But it's really hard, because that is a whole industry that is shut down, and if you cover that industry, that's really rough.

00:01:57   I have watched one sports replay a couple weekends ago.

00:02:03   I put a World Series game, a Giants World Series game from 2012 on in the background, and just kinda...

00:02:08   It was nice to have the rhythm of baseball and baseball announcers and stuff happening.

00:02:13   But that's all that I've done, mostly because I've just had other stuff to do, and I might yet do that again,

00:02:23   just to get that feeling, because this is... you know, baseball is my favorite sport, and a couple weeks ago,

00:02:29   we should have started again after the whole winter of offseason, and instead there's no baseball,

00:02:34   and there's no sign that there'll be baseball anytime soon, and it's really depressing, honestly.

00:02:40   But I haven't yet rectified that with very many replays.

00:02:46   I have some old radio broadcasts from the early part of the previous decade, when the Giants were in the playoffs,

00:02:54   and the World Series, and all that, and I've been thinking about playing those, because then they can just be in the background,

00:02:59   and the TV... I'm not sure a replay of an old sports game or match or whatever holds my attention enough

00:03:09   for it to be on TV, if that makes any sense. If it's playing out in real time and I know what happened,

00:03:15   and I'm just watching... that's a level of focus that I don't think I could provide.

00:03:20   So putting it on in the background, if I'm in a scenario where I could have it on in the background,

00:03:23   but not super paying attention to it, I might do that. And radio, similarly, is actually pretty good

00:03:30   at just having it on in the background and getting the sort of pleasant vibes of the sport going on,

00:03:35   even though it's not without focus. Because I'm not going to spend three hours focusing on a baseball game

00:03:40   that I know everything that happened in it.

00:03:41   What's going to happen next? Yeah, it kind of takes it out a little bit.

00:03:45   Exactly.

00:03:46   Like, there might be a couple of games, you know, like really important games to you, that you might want to watch that way.

00:03:52   So that's... I did one of those, and actually there was another game that I watched some of.

00:03:57   I watched sort of the last two or three innings of, and it was a World Series game that was very dramatic,

00:04:02   and teams were on their last strike to win the World Series, and then saved it, and then it came back,

00:04:07   and it went back and forth. It was in 2011. And during that game, I was game six of the 2011 World Series,

00:04:16   I was doing a podcast. And so I'm just doing a podcast with the TV on in the background, silent.

00:04:22   And every time one of these incredible swings in fate happened, I couldn't react, right?

00:04:28   So I'm sort of silently going, while we're having a talk about, like, I don't know, a science fiction novel or something like that for the incomparable.

00:04:37   And I had never watched that game, other than in silence while recording a podcast.

00:04:42   And so I did actually watch the last three innings or whatever of that, just to see all the drama that happened,

00:04:49   and actually hear the announcers talk about it, because I had missed that. So that's two.

00:04:52   But in general, I like the idea of reliving past sort of sport things, but it doesn't really work for me,

00:05:01   because I don't want to focus on it. I can't focus on it, because there's not enough there for me to apply my focus to.

00:05:09   So I'm trying to consider ways of using it as just background sound, to make it feel a little more normal.

00:05:16   This was the first year that me and Adina were going to get into F1 seriously after watching the excellent Netflix documentary, Drive to Survive.

00:05:24   Obviously F1 got cancelled. But something that's happening in F1 is a lot of the racers, like the actual Formula One drivers,

00:05:32   are racing in the Formula One video game and streaming it. And so that's happening in a lot of different sports,

00:05:40   where the actual people that play the sports are playing the video games of the sports,

00:05:45   which is also kind of funny, because some of them are good, but some of them are not, right?

00:05:50   And so you get this, like, one of, you know, some of the best Formula One race drivers cannot play the game,

00:05:56   and it adds, it like kind of messes things up a little bit, which is fun.

00:06:00   Yeah, that's good. They're doing that with, um, Major League Baseball is having baseball players play the MLB The Show video game,

00:06:08   and similar thing. I'm not watching that, but I'm seeing some highlights of that that I think are kind of fun.

00:06:13   And in the newspapers, I should also say, the newspapers and like local sports websites around here,

00:06:18   there are a few different sim seasons going on, where like the San Francisco Chronicle is using a baseball game,

00:06:27   and who is simulating, they're simulating the entire season as it was originally scheduled.

00:06:34   And so they will every day have a little report about what happened yesterday, and what the current standings, in quotes, are.

00:06:41   Which I think is another fun, it's a fun idea, and they've even had a couple of things where they've had the local broadcasters broadcast kind of,

00:06:50   they're calling the video game as if it was a real game, which is kind of fun, but again, it's not that fun.

00:06:59   Like, I get it, and it's a nice idea, and if you want to hear those voices and all that, but it's not the same.

00:07:06   There's something fun to tide you over if you're looking for it, but I think a lot of people wouldn't necessarily then be like,

00:07:12   "Oh, I won't find something else to do with the time I was going to watch baseball."

00:07:16   And so it's nice to have the option.

00:07:18   By the way, if you're missing racing at all, then there are hours of Gels Marble Runs on YouTube for you to watch.

00:07:26   Have you seen Gels Marble Runs?

00:07:28   I have seen those, yeah.

00:07:30   They're the best, it is the best, because it is everything that is true and not true about sports.

00:07:37   Because you watch, it's great, the announcers are great, they just had a new thing where they have a partnership with an auto race circuit, which is Formula E, I think.

00:07:49   And what I'll say is, you'll find yourself telling stories and narratives about the grittiness of the competitors,

00:07:56   and getting really excited when one competitor does well, and really excited when another competitor fails.

00:08:02   And the other part of your brain is saying, "But they're just marbles. They're not real, they're not people."

00:08:08   This is amazing. They're literally just...

00:08:10   They're calling them Marbula One.

00:08:12   Marbula One, yes. They used to have the MarbleLympics, but they had to change the name because the Olympic Games didn't appreciate it.

00:08:18   But the MarbleLympics are also great.

00:08:21   It's just, people, if you haven't seen Jill's marble runs, just go watch it if you miss sports especially, because it's truly amazing.

00:08:29   Yeah, I love it. And yes, they are just marbles.

00:08:33   That's part of the fun of it, is that you get really into it, and the announcer will say things like, "Oh, really smart move there by so-and-so," and you're like, "It's a marble."

00:08:42   It's great.

00:08:43   Okay, that seems like a lot of fun. I'm gonna have to find one of these.

00:08:49   All right, so thank you so much to David for sending in that Snow Talk question.

00:08:55   If you would like to send in a question to start the show, just tweet with the hashtag SnowTalk.

00:09:00   It'll be included in a list for future consideration.

00:09:03   On last week's show, you mentioned that rumors were making you feel some sort of sense of normality, because the rumor mill continues to move on, and it is moving on further.

00:09:14   So I wanted to give some additional details and kind of corroborations that came out after Mark Gorman and Debbie Wu's iPhone 12 article from last week.

00:09:23   So there is a YouTuber, EverythingApplePro, who has shown off a leaked schematic of the upcoming iPhone 12 Pro Max.

00:09:31   This is expected to have been generated sometime in January and was kind of leaked out of Foxconn and given to a case manufacturer.

00:09:38   It was then soldered on.

00:09:39   So it corroborates a lot of the rumors that we spoke about last week, so we've got the flat sides of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but the actual device will be thinner down from like it's like a 7.4 millimeters from 8.1 millimeters, but the screen is bigger.

00:09:55   So there will be significantly reduced bezels on the next phones, like a 40% reduction based on these schematics, which is really interesting.

00:10:05   I didn't really think about the iPhone getting reduced bezels.

00:10:09   Like it's a thing that's happening by other manufacturers, but this wasn't really something that I considered.

00:10:14   So I'm intrigued to see what that's going to end up looking like and how that's going to be usable if this is the case.

00:10:21   Changes to the camera bump.

00:10:23   So instead of it being that like multi-tiered thing right now where you've got the square and then the lenses that stick out on the top, that's just going to be flat.

00:10:33   And then also something that's intriguing is that the SIM card tray is apparently moving to the other side and there's some kind of connector or some description that appears to be on the other side of the device.

00:10:44   Some people are saying it's a smart connector, some people are saying that it isn't, but it's just intriguing to see this device.

00:10:51   I think the thing that's the most, I'm most excited about here is like the physical changes.

00:10:56   So this one, which is the Pro Max, getting bigger and thinner and the bezels, like I'm really intrigued to see what that ends up looking like.

00:11:05   Yeah, I think like we talked about last week, the shape of this is exciting, right?

00:11:13   And there have been people have done 3D mock-ups of it was like, okay, so take the iPad Pro design and make it a phone.

00:11:19   And what does that look like?

00:11:20   And the answer is it looks great.

00:11:21   Looks great.

00:11:22   Let's do this.

00:11:24   So I like to see that it's moving ahead here and global economics aside, which they kind of can't be put aside, right?

00:11:32   Like nobody really knows how this is going to go, but this is the kind of thing in the before time that we would have looked at and said, this will also drive a big spike in iPhone sales because it's a substantially new looking iPhone.

00:11:47   And a lot of people wait to buy a new iPhone until there's a new looking iPhone that just new specs don't matter to a lot of people.

00:11:56   They want one that looks different from their last one.

00:12:00   And this is that which is exciting if there are people to buy iPhones, right?

00:12:06   Like that's the big question mark.

00:12:08   But normally you would look at this and say, this is the kind of iPhone release that drives a sales spike from the iPhone line.

00:12:15   I think it will like that people have been saying about this design.

00:12:19   And it's interesting because I wouldn't have even as I said, I didn't consider a lot of these changes that it will make the iPhone look even more modern because it will have that really thin bezel design, which is appearing all over the smartphone market right now.

00:12:33   Right.

00:12:33   So that is an intriguing thing, at least to think that maybe Apple is continuing to push the design language, right?

00:12:40   Like if the notch gets smaller and if the bezels get smaller, the screens get bigger, the phones get thinner, like this is going to be this could be a very big year for the iPhone.

00:12:50   Or not like, I mean, that's the thing, right?

00:12:54   Yeah, it does sound like it.

00:12:56   It sounds like in terms of progression of the iPhone that the iPhone 12 that we're going to just so iPhone SE came out, right?

00:13:04   And we'll talk about that.

00:13:07   But that is a 6, 6S, 7, 8 phone.

00:13:11   And then we've got the 10, 10S, 11 Pro design.

00:13:18   And this is going to be if these rumors are all right, like that is an era.

00:13:25   And then this is a new era where they don't look like that.

00:13:29   So we're moving every time that happens, it's a big deal.

00:13:32   Yeah.

00:13:34   And that sounds like, you know, and then yes, there's also the 10R11 kind of style that continues to exist and it sounds like will continue to exist.

00:13:43   But they're iterating and moving us away from the iPhone 10, we could call it, style.

00:13:50   Yeah.

00:13:50   And that's a big deal because that doesn't, every year people expect Apple to do it.

00:13:55   But Apple doesn't do that every year.

00:13:58   Apple does that every three or four years.

00:14:00   And this would be, I think, like more iteration than the iPhone 6 design got.

00:14:05   Right.

00:14:06   Like I think over the life of the iPhone 10 design, it feels like it might go through more iterations that way.

00:14:11   So that's intriguing.

00:14:14   Like they're moving, I think from my perspective, they're moving to a different physical design and an adaptive physical design quicker than I thought they would have when the iPhone 10 was first introduced.

00:14:27   There was also a report from German and Wu at Bloomberg about Apple's high-end headphones, the upcoming headphones, the head pods.

00:14:34   And apparently they're going to include interchangeable parts.

00:14:38   So a quote from the article, the ear pads and headband padding attached to the frame with the use of magnets so they can be replaced by the user.

00:14:48   Prototypes of the headphones have a retro look of oval shaped ear cups that swivel and a headband connected by thin metal arms.

00:14:56   The arms stem from the top of the ear cups rather than from the sides.

00:14:59   This is not the design language I was expecting, but now I've heard it, it makes more sense.

00:15:06   I was assuming that it would be plastic, that these headphones would be plastic to match the kind of AirPods style.

00:15:15   But then when I now I think about that, I was like, oh no, they will look like Beats and Apple probably doesn't want to do that.

00:15:23   So this is going to be a very different looking thing with more metal in them than I would have expected, at least exposed.

00:15:31   There is expected, there is predicted to be two models of these headphones, one with premium fabrics and one with lighter breathable materials for sports.

00:15:41   But you may be able to kind of Apple Watch style by these interchangeable parts and just swap them out for what you're doing.

00:15:48   So this is becoming a more interesting and I think advanced product than I was expecting it to be based on this report.

00:15:57   Mm-hmm. Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I'm kind of proceeding under the assumption now that we're watching Apple taking a multi-stage process to, with the success of AirPods, to basically say, you know, it's time to make a line of headphones branded as Apple and then Beats can go away.

00:16:17   You think that they'll have Beats go away?

00:16:19   Ultimately, I do. I think it'll take time. But I think step one is can the Apple brand handle its own headphone line?

00:16:31   Yeah.

00:16:31   Because the AirPods, as we've talked about before, the AirPods has been so successful. It's one of their most successful products. Why would you not put your foot to the gas there and say like more, do as many as we can?

00:16:43   But I think if they can do that, it does call into question why the Beats line exists because they could just integrate the same kind of product line.

00:16:52   You know, maybe, maybe not. But in the long run, Apple has not shown that they're really great at maintaining a, you know, a parallel brand that's not an Apple brand but is owned and operated by Apple, especially if Apple also makes products in that category.

00:17:06   I just don't see how that can withstand in the long run. But again, it doesn't have to be this year. It could be a few years down the line as they, you know, the right way to do it would probably be to just grow the Apple headphones line to the point where the Beats line doesn't make sense anymore.

00:17:23   Instead of having people sort of be sad that it's gone, they won't care because all the Apple products are there.

00:17:30   Yeah, I think they will probably keep Beats around until that point, right, but they're not going to keep that brand around if it's being absolutely, you know, eaten alive by the AirPods and AirPods products, right, like that line of products or like, you know, all the other things that moves around it.

00:17:48   So like the headphones and potentially sport versions of all of those devices, because, you know, as you say, if Apple's onto a winner, they'll just keep pushing it and see how many types of headphones they can make with this technology because the brand is so strong that it's almost iPod like, right, with how strong the AirPods brand is.

00:18:08   They'll just keep pushing it. I mean, I'm intrigued to see what they will actually call these over ears. Like, I don't know how they would include an AirPods name into them, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did, right?

00:18:22   Yeah. No, I think it's most likely just because the brand name is so strong that they'll be, you know, Apple, you know, AirPods Complete or AirPods X or AirPods Plus. Yeah, I mean, that's what it'll be. And people will be like, "Well, wait, I thought AirPods meant little things you stick in your ears." And Apple will say, "Not anymore."

00:18:42   It means whatever we want it to. Yeah, because that's the truth of it, right, is people will be like, "Well, actually, we define AirPods as being..." and Apple will be like, "Mm, no. Mm." And then everybody else will be like, "All right, I guess that's not what it means anymore."

00:18:56   It's their word. It's their product. If they redefine it, people will just go along with it. Like, I mean, it's not... they couldn't... they're not going to make over-ear headphones and call them, like, "Mac Pro," right?

00:19:07   That... okay, that would be silly. But to say these are... these are also headphones, but they're different and they're also AirPods because that's the product line we have, people will go along with it. It's not a big deal.

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00:20:42   So you had a post go up a couple of days ago about Mac battery health. Can you explain what this is all about?

00:20:50   Yes, I won Tech Meme, Myke.

00:20:53   Tip!

00:20:54   Yeah, it was kind of weird. So yeah, there was a minor... Let's back it up. Apple put a new feature in Mac OS, but they put it in the developer beta, the second developer beta of 10.15.5.

00:21:08   But I'll tell you, Apple has gotten a lot more savvy about accepting the fact that when they do a secret feature in a developer release, everybody will know about it immediately.

00:21:20   Like, the final release is not the time if you want to break the news. So they broke the news alongside the developer preview release of 10.15.5.

00:21:34   Also, the other piece of this puzzle is, if you recall back a few years, Apple got in a lot of trouble by making changes to the way batteries work on the iPhone and not telling anybody.

00:21:46   And then people noticed things were different and they started asking questions and it became like a little mini scandal.

00:21:52   And then you had to do all the battery replacements for like super cheap.

00:21:55   Exactly. So I think Apple learned the lesson there that you should be pretty transparent about making changes that involve batteries.

00:22:05   If they hadn't learned that lesson, something terrible would happen. Right?

00:22:10   It seemed pretty obvious that that was something they should pay attention to for the future just because of how much...

00:22:16   It really played into the idea of Apple making your devices worse. That is like this conspiracy theory that people have that they believe is that planned obsolescence thing.

00:22:27   And that story really fed into that, didn't it?

00:22:31   Oh, and those people are still like... The conspiracy theories are still out there.

00:22:35   Anyway, so what Apple did was Apple released this developer release and alongside it they briefed some people, including me, about what was in it.

00:22:46   And what was in it is a new feature called Battery Health Management.

00:22:49   So essentially what they've done is they've changed the default charging behavior on MacBooks that have Thunderbolt 3 ports.

00:22:57   So it's Touch Bar era MacBook Pros and the Retina MacBook Air.

00:23:04   So you don't have to have a Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro. It could be the MacBook Escape that didn't have one.

00:23:08   But it's from that era forward and the Retina MacBook Air.

00:23:12   So you've got to have Thunderbolt 3 ports and all of those now have a totally different charging algorithm, basically.

00:23:21   And they're looking at the temperature of the battery and they're looking at your history of when you charge it and how deep you deplete it when you're using it.

00:23:30   And the way I read this is they were unhappy with the way Mac OS handled laptops sitting in a semi-permanent plugged-in state, right?

00:23:45   Which a lot of laptops do. They're sitting on your desk and they're always plugged in and occasionally you'll disconnect it.

00:23:53   And when you do, you disconnect it and you use it somewhere and you drain it 5% or 15% and then you plug it back in.

00:24:00   And batteries, although we like to think of computers as these wonderful binary devices, batteries are messy chemistry.

00:24:08   And that kind of cycle is really bad for the battery chemistry.

00:24:13   So what Apple has done is in those kinds of scenarios when it analyzes the battery use,

00:24:22   it's changing the battery charging system to not charge that battery as aggressively to full.

00:24:32   And this is not anything new. I mean, if you've got... I have an electric car.

00:24:37   It very clearly says that if you want the battery to last a long time, charge it routinely to 80% and not 100%.

00:24:43   Also, if you have a MacBook Pro that you charge up and then you take and use and deplete its battery and then bring it back and charge it up again,

00:24:52   the battery health management system is going to look at that and say, "That's fine. Keep doing what you're doing."

00:24:58   But in these certain circumstances, it's going to try to optimize the long-term life of a battery in a Mac laptop

00:25:05   by not as aggressively charging it to full when it's sitting there.

00:25:11   And by the way, the iPhone does this now to a certain extent.

00:25:16   Like even when you see it at 100%, it's not always actually at 100%.

00:25:23   And that's because it would be terrible for the battery if it charged it to 100% and then just kind of left it there and kept pushing it up to 100%.

00:25:31   So there's a range at the top of the battery scale where Apple will let the battery deplete a little bit

00:25:38   and then will recharge it in order to keep the battery life better.

00:25:42   But the challenge is that from the user's perspective, it's like, "But wait a second. I want 100%.

00:25:48   Why is it not fully charged after it's sat on the charger all night?"

00:25:51   And the answer is because you can't do it that way.

00:25:54   And ideally, you've got some intelligence in the software that says, "What you want is for it to be fully charged in the morning,

00:26:00   and we'll charge it then, but we're not going to keep it fully charged all night because that's really bad for the battery."

00:26:07   So that all said, on the Mac, the Mac has a lot of preferences, so you can turn it off.

00:26:14   And so if you are uncomfortable with this idea or if you're at a moment where you're like,

00:26:19   "Yeah, but I really need it to be at 100% tomorrow because I'm going on a long trip somewhere."

00:26:25   Let's imagine, won't we? Imagine going on a long journey somewhere.

00:26:30   It'll happen again someday. You could turn this off and then it'll charge to 100%.

00:26:35   But by default, this feature is on on these particular modern Mac laptops.

00:26:41   And what Apple says is the whole idea here is just to make the battery last a lot longer.

00:26:46   And the conspiracy theorists will say, "Oh, well, this is just Apple saving itself money

00:26:50   because it's not going to have to replace those batteries at the cost of the user's battery life on their computer."

00:26:57   I don't think that's really accurate because when you talk about long-term battery life,

00:27:03   you're talking beyond the warranty period of a laptop.

00:27:06   So I think what Apple's really doing is saying, "We don't want to get a reputation of our laptops' batteries dying

00:27:13   after three or four years when they really should last five or six years."

00:27:18   And the way we do that is we need to charge them better in the meantime.

00:27:22   So I don't think this is a big conspiracy where Apple's saving itself warranty replacements on batteries

00:27:28   because if your battery needs a replacement in your MacBook's warranty, something is wrong with your battery.

00:27:34   That shouldn't happen. But I do think that this is--I mean, Apple's not acting entirely altruistically here

00:27:43   because it's a big corporation, but I think it's more about the product should have a longer life than it does.

00:27:49   They're not making their money--any money that they're making charging you for an out-of-warranty battery replacement

00:27:56   is not going to offset people being unhappy with their product experience

00:28:01   because they had to do an out-of-warranty battery replacement.

00:28:04   I think that's what their rationale is behind the scenes here.

00:28:08   As I expect that this thing is becoming more of a concern or like a thing that Apple feels the requirement to address

00:28:17   because of Thunderbolt, because if you plug in a lot of devices now, it will charge your laptop, right?

00:28:27   And that's the thing. Like if you have your monitor powered and then your Thunderbolt cable comes from the monitor to your laptop,

00:28:33   it's also going to charge the laptop, and that may not have been the case before with just a monitor cable, right?

00:28:39   I don't think people generally are driving an external monitor from their laptop without plugging in their laptop.

00:28:44   I think that they were always plugging in their laptop. But I do think this has always been an issue, and I think Apple--

00:28:50   seriously, I think what happened is normally this would just be a different algorithm that they'd put in Mac OS.

00:28:57   They'd be like, "We're going to change it." They wouldn't tell anybody.

00:29:00   They'd be like, "Hey, the guys over at the battery department have figured out this better way of doing this,

00:29:05   so we're going to roll that into an update."

00:29:07   And after what happened a couple years ago with the whole kerfuffle about the iPhone battery, they can't do that anymore.

00:29:17   They don't feel like they can be safe because the conspiracy theorists will come out of the woodwork, right?

00:29:22   They have to announce it, so they announced it. But on one level, it's really not that big a deal.

00:29:28   It is Apple tweaking its charging system. It does that. It does that all the time.

00:29:34   I mean, maybe not all the time, but it's done that a lot over the course of the life of Mac OS X.

00:29:39   But this one they're announcing, and it does have one pretty notable effect,

00:29:44   which is if you leave your laptop plugged in all the time, and you expect that the moment--

00:29:50   the rare, possibly, but the moment that you unplug it and walk away, it will be charged 100%

00:29:57   so that you can get all of that life out of it because you really need it. It won't, necessarily.

00:30:04   That's the big change, and there's a box you can check.

00:30:08   I wish there was even something simpler that Apple doesn't seem to have built in,

00:30:14   but that probably a third party will, which is more like what I have on my electric car,

00:30:19   which is you press the button and say, "This time I want it to charge all the way."

00:30:23   And then you unplug it and you walk away, and the next time you come back,

00:30:27   it's back to the old behavior, and Apple hasn't set it up that way.

00:30:30   You basically have to turn this feature off.

00:30:33   I understand more why you would definitely want to override that with an electric car

00:30:38   because it could be much more problematic for you if you can't have the battery at full,

00:30:44   like if you're going somewhere and you calculate it, right?

00:30:48   I need the battery full to make it there and back.

00:30:51   But I think it also would be good to be able to more easily do that, right?

00:30:55   Like in the menu bar or something, to just hit a button to select the battery percentage

00:31:01   to say, "Charge me to 100."

00:31:03   But maybe that's more meddling than most people need.

00:31:09   I think Apple doesn't want that because Apple wants you to just leave it on.

00:31:13   But I can see the appeal of saying, "Can you fill the battery up this time?"

00:31:18   And then I'm going to walk away because I'm going on a trip or something,

00:31:21   and I want to leave it overnight to charge fully so that in the morning,

00:31:26   I can put it in my bag at 5 a.m. and go to the airport, and it'll be charged 100%.

00:31:31   But I get the idea that they want this thing on by default.

00:31:39   It's a little like natural scrolling too, which is like,

00:31:42   "We've completely changed the way your mouse works, and it's the right way."

00:31:47   So it's on by default.

00:31:49   But you can turn it off if you want to do it the wrong way.

00:31:52   It's fine.

00:31:53   And it's a very Apple kind of -- and I appreciate that, right?

00:31:56   Because the alternative is that they don't give you the choice.

00:31:58   So I appreciate that in a sub-window of the Energy Saver System Preferences pane,

00:32:05   there's a box that is "Battery Health Management," and you can say,

00:32:09   "No, Apple, do not manage my battery's health."

00:32:12   And the feature gets turned off, and it reverts the old behavior.

00:32:15   So when people upgrade to 10.15.5, when that comes out,

00:32:19   it will enable this by default for everybody?

00:32:22   By default, yeah.

00:32:23   So it's in the Developer Beta now, it'll roll out in the Public Beta,

00:32:26   and then there will be a 10.15.5 update for everybody using Catalina,

00:32:30   at which point this will become your default, and then you can turn it off.

00:32:34   And does the system notify you about this change?

00:32:37   I don't know.

00:32:38   My guess is not.

00:32:39   My guess is that it will not notify you beyond saying in the changed notes

00:32:43   that they've added this feature.

00:32:45   Which is probably why they spoke to people like you, right?

00:32:48   Because the people that are more likely to be upset about this

00:32:51   are also the same people that would be paying attention to the media,

00:32:55   the technology press, right?

00:32:57   So then you may as well get the message out now,

00:32:59   so you have the opportunity to have learned about this,

00:33:02   otherwise you probably won't ever notice it.

00:33:04   Right.

00:33:05   And I think also that's why it's the default,

00:33:10   is Apple strongly feels this is the right way to do it,

00:33:13   and so they're going to turn it on.

00:33:14   And if you don't care and you don't notice and whatever,

00:33:16   it's just going to be there, and your battery is going to last longer.

00:33:19   And that's what they want.

00:33:20   So that's the story here.

00:33:23   It will be interesting to see if somebody gins up a YouTube video

00:33:28   or something about the horror of, "I charged my MacBook all night

00:33:31   and then I walked away and it only had 80% battery,"

00:33:33   or something like that.

00:33:34   Well, that happens anyway, but it's all about one of those things.

00:33:36   It's true.

00:33:37   Like anybody cares about them if we already knew about them.

00:33:40   Yeah.

00:33:41   Well, I think that is the advantage.

00:33:44   And this is, I think, the ultimate lesson learned by Apple

00:33:47   about the battery scandal with the iPhone.

00:33:51   Battery gate.

00:33:52   Was that the name, battery gate?

00:33:54   I don't know.

00:33:55   Scandal gate, battery scandal gate, Apple scandal,

00:33:57   battery gate gate?

00:34:00   I don't know.

00:34:01   The names are dumb.

00:34:02   But the lesson learned is, you know how you stop the conspiracy theorists

00:34:10   and the ugly reveals and the class action lawsuits and all that?

00:34:14   You can't stop them.

00:34:15   How you minimize them is you be more transparent.

00:34:19   I mean, that's the answer.

00:34:20   If you don't tell anybody because you don't think it's a big deal,

00:34:23   and then it turns out it's a big deal, or even a minor deal,

00:34:26   then it blows up in your face.

00:34:27   But if you just talk to a few journalists when your public beta

00:34:31   or your developer beta comes out and says, "Yeah, we changed the battery setting."

00:34:35   And it gets to top of tech meme, and they say, "See, there it is."

00:34:42   Then when somebody else--

00:34:44   There's no benefit to breaking that story later because it already broke.

00:34:48   This is the way it is now.

00:34:50   And people can debate it, but it's not the same as a secret being revealed.

00:34:54   And the fact is, Apple needs to do more of their defensive PR

00:34:59   because people are on the offensive trying to find those things about Apple

00:35:04   and Apple's decisions.

00:35:05   And so I take this as actually kind of a good sign of that

00:35:08   because we can talk about the defensive PR

00:35:11   and people being on the offensive trying to find things that are wrong with Apple,

00:35:14   but if you're a user of the products, Apple being clearer about what they're doing,

00:35:20   I think is good.

00:35:21   Like, that's good.

00:35:23   Yes, tell us you made a change.

00:35:25   Tell us why you made it.

00:35:27   And better yet, give us a box to turn it off,

00:35:31   and we move on with our lives.

00:35:33   Great.

00:35:35   Before we take our next break, I have a few headlines about Apple and COVID-19.

00:35:39   So remember the face shield design that they made, like that face shield?

00:35:44   Apple has now actually published the design and specification of this face shield

00:35:49   for other manufacturers to make,

00:35:51   but this page is full of warnings basically saying,

00:35:55   unless you have professional level expertise in manufacturing,

00:36:00   please don't make this.

00:36:02   So I think what they're saying is if you have a 3D printer, don't do this.

00:36:05   Or don't try and cut this out with a piece of plastic.

00:36:08   They have published a reference design for other manufacturers to make

00:36:13   if they haven't already made a design of their own,

00:36:16   which is a great thing to have.

00:36:18   It's like, look, we did this. We know it works.

00:36:20   If you have the tools, you can take our design and make it

00:36:23   rather than also needing to test and that kind of stuff.

00:36:27   So that's available.

00:36:29   Apple is publishing anonymized data displaying how its users are using Apple Maps.

00:36:35   They're publishing trend graphs of navigation requests

00:36:38   by walking, driving, or public transport.

00:36:40   So you can go to this website, which I'll put in the show notes.

00:36:43   It's apple.com/covid19/mobility,

00:36:47   and you can enter in your city and you can see on a graph

00:36:51   how these requests are changing.

00:36:53   So it was fascinating for me to go to this website

00:36:56   and type in London and see the huge decline in requests from the baseline.

00:37:03   We're like minus 87% transit right now.

00:37:07   Now, of course, what Apple is doing here is

00:37:10   the best thing that they can do without there being privacy issues,

00:37:14   which is to not be tracking people.

00:37:18   So it's like they're not tracking who's using maps just in general

00:37:22   or tracking people as they're moving around.

00:37:24   It's just like requests for navigation.

00:37:27   So the data isn't complete.

00:37:29   You're not getting in that the people that are traveling by train every day

00:37:33   or car every day who know their journey,

00:37:36   that aren't needing to check how to get to a place.

00:37:40   But you're seeing a lot of people and it gives you an idea.

00:37:43   It's just an interesting thing to have.

00:37:45   They're also offering this data for download

00:37:47   if you want to analyze it and use it in other forms, which is interesting.

00:37:51   And finally, Tim Cook recently held a virtual meeting with Apple employees

00:37:55   to update them on how the company is dealing with all of this.

00:37:58   He stated that while this will affect Apple financially,

00:38:02   they see no long-term concern for the company, obviously,

00:38:05   because they have all the cash in the world.

00:38:07   They are continuing to heavily invest in research and development

00:38:10   during this period of time.

00:38:12   And Cook says he doesn't know when Apple employees can return to offices,

00:38:16   but when they can, he will be checking -- not he, I don't know.

00:38:22   Maybe Tim will be at the door.

00:38:24   I'm Tim. I need to take your temperature.

00:38:26   That's what they'll be doing, checking temperatures and mandating social distancing.

00:38:29   Tim, I'm your CEO if you're the company that employs you.

00:38:31   Tim is my name if you need that.

00:38:33   Stand far away from me and stick out your tongue.

00:38:35   This is not a gun.

00:38:38   I'm doing Bill Clinton now.

00:38:40   This is not a gun. This is a temperature taker from remote distances.

00:38:43   And yet you're fine. Move along.

00:38:44   This is Tim. I'm Tim, by the way.

00:38:46   We're all going to have to start getting used to having our temperature taken

00:38:48   at weird places and weird times, right?

00:38:50   Well, the problem is that with the asymptomatic nature of this,

00:38:53   I'm not sure temperature taking is going to be the solution.

00:38:55   I do wonder if what they're really going to end up having to do

00:38:58   is do antibody screenings, basically, and say, you know,

00:39:03   we checked and you've got the antibodies or whatever it is to let people go back.

00:39:08   Ultimately, we will have to do this.

00:39:09   It's hard.

00:39:10   Yeah, this is a hard one because just taking a temperature is not --

00:39:13   it could be something, but it may not be sufficient.

00:39:17   And then Apple's got this beautiful new campus, which is huge,

00:39:20   but also is like giant open plan and all of that.

00:39:24   So, you know, how do they mandate social distancing?

00:39:27   And are they going to set up like little desks out in the inside of the ring,

00:39:32   like out in the fields, out where they had that rock concert?

00:39:36   Are there people going to be out there in like little tents?

00:39:38   Weather's getting nicer, so.

00:39:40   Yeah, they could. They could.

00:39:42   It's going to be a real challenge when they do come back.

00:39:44   And it is very much -- Apple's a rich company.

00:39:46   They have lots of money.

00:39:47   Investing through a downturn is a thing that they do and they have done,

00:39:50   and they have an advantage over some other parts of the market

00:39:55   in that they can just keep spending money at a time when other people

00:39:59   are not spending money and they can turn it to their advantage.

00:40:02   That said, you know, this is going in some weird ways

00:40:06   and it's going to interfere with a lot of their culture.

00:40:11   And so that's a thing that they're really going to have to manage,

00:40:15   and including like how do they get people back in their buildings or do they?

00:40:19   And how does that work?

00:40:20   Because Apple's so committed to having people work -- to a fault, I would say,

00:40:25   and having people work locally at places like, you know,

00:40:28   at Apple Park and Infinite Loop and places like that.

00:40:31   And do they rethink that?

00:40:34   Or is this all just a way to get everybody packed back into those spaces

00:40:38   because that's the way that they think it has to be to be at their best?

00:40:41   I don't know.

00:40:42   I think a way a lot of companies could do this, and may,

00:40:45   and Apple could be one of them, is like, well,

00:40:47   everyone's working at home now, which means you can do that.

00:40:50   So just have like half of the employees come back, you know,

00:40:53   and then you have the space, right, to have everyone be further apart

00:40:58   from each other.

00:40:59   So you just bring back the people that must be in the office

00:41:01   to get their work done effectively and keep everybody else at home.

00:41:05   And that will give you the space inside of your buildings

00:41:07   to make sure that people are spaced out from each other a little better.

00:41:10   It's going to make meetings really weird, though.

00:41:13   Yeah, it could also be, you know, this group comes in Mondays and Wednesdays,

00:41:19   and this group comes in Tuesdays and Thursdays,

00:41:22   and so the groups can be near, but not too near, each other

00:41:26   who work together and need to see each other and then these other groups.

00:41:30   It's not ideal.

00:41:31   I keep thinking that that's what's going to happen with schools, too.

00:41:36   Like, I try to imagine my son going back to high school in the fall,

00:41:40   and I start to think, you know, they're not going to get 30 kids in a classroom.

00:41:43   That seems unlikely to me.

00:41:44   But I could see them having half the kids come in on two days a week

00:41:49   and the other half come in the other two days a week,

00:41:51   and that's not great, but like I feel like those scenarios are all going to be in play.

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00:43:30   iPhone SE.

00:43:32   So this appeared last week and went up for sale, pre-order, I should say.

00:43:38   I think they start delivering at the end of this week.

00:43:40   I'll give a very quick rundown of the headlines of this device,

00:43:44   and then we can talk about our thoughts on it in a little more detail.

00:43:47   So it is a 4.7-inch display.

00:43:50   It's the iPhone 8 design for the iPhone SE now.

00:43:53   People were wondering if this was going to be called the iPhone 9

00:43:56   or if it was going to be some kind of different design.

00:43:58   No, it is the iPhone 8 with a new name.

00:44:01   It comes in black, white, and red.

00:44:04   And product red donations from the red model are now going towards coronavirus,

00:44:08   which is interesting.

00:44:09   It's been AIDS research forever, right? Product red.

00:44:12   But right now it's going towards tackling coronavirus.

00:44:15   This phone obviously features Touch ID.

00:44:18   It has a single 12-megapixel rear camera that now has portrait mode.

00:44:22   The previous SE did not.

00:44:24   One of the really interesting things about this device is it features an A13 chip,

00:44:29   which is the same as in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

00:44:32   It features haptic touch, not 3D touch.

00:44:35   It features dual SIM support and starts at $399.

00:44:40   I would say this is the SE that we thought it would be.

00:44:44   I want to say that at some point I landed on that it would be called the SE

00:44:50   and not the 9, mostly because the 9 sounded like going backward.

00:44:53   And literally it is the iPhone SE playbook.

00:44:56   It is what they did four years ago with the iPhone SE, which is, all right,

00:45:00   we are still selling a low-priced phone down at the bottom of our price line

00:45:05   that's an old model.

00:45:06   It's too old now.

00:45:08   The processor is too old.

00:45:09   It needs a spec update.

00:45:11   But we don't really want to put a lot of effort into this because it's this old design

00:45:17   and we're so proud of our new designs.

00:45:19   So here's what we're going to do.

00:45:21   We're going to take the old design and we're going to stick some upgraded hardware in it,

00:45:26   including the most recent, the current processor.

00:45:30   And then that one will sit there for another four years and be our low-priced phone.

00:45:37   And they did it.

00:45:38   That's exactly what they did four years ago.

00:45:40   That's what they're doing now.

00:45:41   And it means that right now the iPhone SE is an incredible value.

00:45:45   It will be less of an incredible value in three years when it's the exact same model

00:45:50   that they introduced last week, still on sale.

00:45:54   But right now, and if you're on this cycle, if you're on the kind of SE cycle,

00:45:59   which there almost is now, we've seen it twice, this is the perfect time to buy this phone

00:46:04   because for what you get for $399, it's a spectacularly good deal.

00:46:10   And this is one of those cases where I've seen a bunch of videos from people who cover all the phone market

00:46:18   and they look at this phone and say, "It's kind of hard to believe because this is such a great deal."

00:46:22   There are other Android phones that are like premium but for a good price kind of phones.

00:46:28   But then there's this thing, which is, you know, good camera, does single-camera portrait mode.

00:46:36   It's got the same chip as the 11.

00:46:40   It's got Touch ID for people who don't want to go to Face ID.

00:46:43   Like there's so much to be said for it.

00:46:45   It's not the cutting edge phone at the top of Apple's product line that a lot of our listeners are going to buy.

00:46:51   But I would wager that a lot of our listeners know people who would really love this

00:46:57   and think that this should be their next iPhone.

00:47:00   My dad texted me last night and told me that he bought one.

00:47:03   There you go.

00:47:05   So he was on the SE before and he is a carpenter and so his phone was just full of sawdust.

00:47:12   It was so sad.

00:47:13   He couldn't take pictures because the camera was just completely full.

00:47:17   And he told me, "Oh, I got it for £17 a month from Apple for two years, interest-free credit."

00:47:28   And that is an unbelievable deal.

00:47:32   For two years, he's paying £17 a month.

00:47:35   People that buy the iPhone SE will keep it for two years.

00:47:40   For sure at least.

00:47:42   He's had his for three or four years now.

00:47:44   £17 a month.

00:47:47   He got the 64GB because he's fine with that.

00:47:51   Also, he didn't consult me on any of this but he got the 64GB which is great.

00:47:57   He is a big iPad Pro user, my dad, which was a big surprise to me when he bought one of those out of the blue.

00:48:03   He calls it his pad.

00:48:05   My dad's not very technologically savvy which is why anytime he makes any of these decisions on his own, it's always a surprise to me.

00:48:11   I also just don't know where he's getting this information from.

00:48:14   But £17 a month for two years, interest-free, that is 2020 Apple in a nutshell.

00:48:23   They have options on price for the iPhone and you can get them direct from Apple on these discount deals.

00:48:30   You could go to buy any new Apple device now and the first question is are you trading one in?

00:48:36   This is the new Apple.

00:48:39   This is the post Angela Ahrendts Apple.

00:48:42   It was dictated that we have to change because the iPhone sales were down.

00:48:47   We've spoken about this a million times on this show.

00:48:50   I'm sure we're going to have a great time talking about the next earnings which are in a couple of weeks.

00:48:54   These are going to be fun ones.

00:48:57   But I just found that value, that $399 price, it's a big deal.

00:49:04   It's a big deal.

00:49:06   I saw somebody say on Twitter for $750 you can get one of these and an Apple Watch Series 3 and a pair of AirPods.

00:49:14   That's pretty incredible.

00:49:18   I did a chart last week on Friday that was the currently available from Apple iPhones.

00:49:26   You can see there's the SE and there's the XR which is still for sale and then there's the 11 and they kind of escalate.

00:49:36   Then there's this big gap and then there's the 11 Pro and the 11 Pro Max.

00:49:41   That's Apple knowing who its different audiences are and making phones available for all of them.

00:49:50   So you can just kind of go through the price line up to a point and then there's a big leap.

00:49:55   Literally at that point it's would you like a $1,000 phone or is that ridiculous?

00:49:59   If you say, "Well, what's in the $1,000 phone?" Well, they got you.

00:50:03   But a lot of people be like, "No, no. What do you have for $400?"

00:50:08   "Well, we got this one." Which keep in mind a few years ago would have been the top of the line iPhone.

00:50:15   It has the top of the line iPhone processor because it's the only processor that they're putting in all of those phones.

00:50:22   So it's yeah.

00:50:25   So I think it's a pretty great deal. I'm pleased to see that they've done it.

00:50:28   I know that there are people that were in the SE lifestyle that are not getting what they wanted which was a small phone.

00:50:36   It is the smallest phone but it is not a small phone anymore.

00:50:41   But this is unfortunately the march of progress I guess.

00:50:47   If there was a big enough market Apple would get to it.

00:50:52   I think what it just shows is that their data makes them believe that they should just keep making phones bigger.

00:50:57   But we'll see.

00:51:00   There's rumors of different line ups this year and size wise.

00:51:04   But overall all of the phones that they release will be bigger than the old SE.

00:51:09   They're not going back to that size anymore.

00:51:12   I think I saw some developers as well saying that they were so happy to see this going away.

00:51:18   Because just developing and keeping in mind that tiny screen is really difficult now.

00:51:25   If you're developing an app in 2020 for the 2020 phones and still needing to support the iPhone SE screen size.

00:51:33   Things get really complicated today.

00:51:36   So they kind of moved their stuff on.

00:51:38   Yeah the whole operating system has moved on and the third party development has moved on.

00:51:42   Listen to developers we know talk about it.

00:51:45   It has to go away because the range of screen sizes is so broad.

00:51:50   It's very difficult for developers to fit things on that screen and also have good UI in all of the larger screens.

00:51:57   And it's a diminishing size of the market so there's only so much effort they're going to put into how it looks on those screens.

00:52:03   So it kind of has to go away.

00:52:05   When Apple put up the pre-orders for the iPhone SE or the page itself when they announced that the product was live.

00:52:14   They also put up pre-orders for the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro.

00:52:18   Which is many weeks ahead of when we were expecting it.

00:52:21   This was supposed to be a May product.

00:52:23   But it will now be for many an April product.

00:52:26   Unfortunately they are arriving with people today but neither me or Jason has one.

00:52:31   Mine is going to be here sometime this week.

00:52:35   I think yours is arriving sometime in the next couple of weeks.

00:52:38   Who knows.

00:52:39   Who knows.

00:52:40   It's a very wide window.

00:52:41   So I ordered I woke up and saw that it had been turned on for orders and ordered one.

00:52:46   But who knows when it will show up.

00:52:48   But they're arriving now.

00:52:50   There's been some reviews mostly from video producers.

00:52:54   I haven't seen anybody who doesn't make video not have one of these.

00:52:57   Which is you know like I haven't seen any purely written reviews of this product.

00:53:01   There seems to be video all over the place.

00:53:03   And they're also arriving with customers as well.

00:53:06   So there's a bunch of details.

00:53:08   I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

00:53:11   Because even in the details that we're getting I still feel like I can't understand exactly how this thing will feel until I use it myself.

00:53:20   But the general kind of consensus is that it is well built.

00:53:24   That it is a very serious piece of equipment.

00:53:28   Like it does not flex.

00:53:29   It is heavy.

00:53:30   Heavy.

00:53:31   So the 11 inch is 600 grams.

00:53:34   The 11 inch keyboard.

00:53:36   So to put this in perspective the 11 inch iPad Pro is 471 grams.

00:53:41   The 12.9 inch version is 710 grams.

00:53:46   Compared to the iPad which is 641.

00:53:49   The package of the 12.9 inch Magic Keyboard and 12.9 inch iPad Pro are heavier than a MacBook.

00:53:56   An approaching 13 inch MacBook.

00:53:58   Now I just want to say this because people are like "Oh it's as heavy as a laptop."

00:54:02   It's the same thing with the Brydge keyboards that we've been talking about for years now.

00:54:07   And my point with the Brydge keyboards and I'll reiterate it now.

00:54:11   Is it's not a crime to turn an iPad into a laptop and have it weigh what a laptop would weigh.

00:54:19   Because at that point it's a laptop.

00:54:22   And you know, let's not also leave out that there's also a lighter keyboard cover that Apple makes that's not as heavy as a laptop.

00:54:32   If you want that.

00:54:33   And it's a compromise in terms of the experience.

00:54:36   But it's better in terms of the weight.

00:54:38   So you can make a decision there.

00:54:40   But it's not because what really bugs me is there's this Mac chauvinism that they believe that the only reason you would use an iPad is because it's lighter than a laptop.

00:54:54   Because otherwise why wouldn't you just use a laptop.

00:54:57   Laptops are fundamentally better.

00:54:59   The only reason that you're using the iPad is because it's not a laptop.

00:55:02   And that's not true.

00:55:04   When you're using the iPad as a laptop if it weighs as much as a laptop that's fine.

00:55:08   Like I don't mind that my iPad and Brydge keyboard put together weigh as much as a 13-inch MacBook Pro.

00:55:15   Because it is a 13-inch laptop at that point. Of course it does.

00:55:18   And also there's just the physics of having to keep it all from flopping over backward.

00:55:22   The keyboard has to weigh more.

00:55:24   So I don't think it's that big a deal.

00:55:26   And the clincher is, of course, you take one hand and you pop the iPad off and you walk away.

00:55:32   And now it doesn't weigh what a MacBook Pro weighs.

00:55:34   Whereas you can't tear the screen off a MacBook Pro and use it.

00:55:39   So people are going to be hysterical about this.

00:55:41   I'm not surprised at all.

00:55:43   These are heavy.

00:55:44   I'm especially not surprised because Apple won't talk about how heavy they are.

00:55:48   They don't want to talk about it.

00:55:50   But of course they are.

00:55:51   When you attach an iPad to one of these keyboards you're making a laptop.

00:55:55   You're making an 11 or 13-inch laptop.

00:55:57   And it weighs what it weighs.

00:56:00   But what you get for that is all of these features.

00:56:02   And if you don't like that, you know what?

00:56:05   They make the Smart Keyboard Folio.

00:56:07   That's a lot lighter.

00:56:08   Or you don't use the keyboard at all if you don't want to use a keyboard with it.

00:56:12   Or you attach a USB keyboard in a stand.

00:56:15   The beauty of the iPad is that you can choose all of these different scenarios.

00:56:20   But there hasn't been a first-party scenario.

00:56:24   And there hasn't been a good scenario with a pointing device before now.

00:56:29   And so this product fills that gap.

00:56:31   So the more I read about this, the more I think,

00:56:34   this is exactly what I've been using the Brydge keyboard to do.

00:56:39   Which is, in certain circumstances, like when I'm traveling,

00:56:42   or I'm going outside, or going to other places, which, again, remember that?

00:56:46   Remember going to other places?

00:56:48   I would use this because I wanted a writing tool.

00:56:52   I wanted a laptop.

00:56:54   And then the beauty of it is then you take it off and it's not that anymore.

00:56:57   And this seems to be pretty much the same thing.

00:56:59   It transforms your iPad into a laptop for as long as you need it to be.

00:57:03   We have been talking on this show for a while about knowing that this had to be a heavy product.

00:57:10   Otherwise it's not going to work as advertised, right?

00:57:14   And we know this from having used, as you say, products similar to this one for quite a while.

00:57:21   And it is exactly that idea that it needs to be heavy because I want it to be a laptop.

00:57:30   That's the point.

00:57:32   That's kind of what I'm trying to make it.

00:57:35   I want the laptop form factor and I want everything that gives me.

00:57:39   That's why I would say be skeptical about anybody who looks at this product

00:57:43   and starts talking about how the iPad shouldn't be a laptop,

00:57:48   or stuff like that because that's wrong.

00:57:53   The idea of the iPad is it can be what you want it to be.

00:57:57   And one of those things that some people want it to be sometimes is a laptop.

00:58:02   And this is, as far as I can tell, having not used one,

00:58:05   it looks like it might be the best way ever to use the iPad as a laptop.

00:58:12   And that's great.

00:58:14   So one of the things that I especially have been wondering about

00:58:18   is how much adjustability is in the design.

00:58:22   How far can I push it back and forward?

00:58:26   And it basically seems like you have the range of from about 90 to 130 degrees in angle.

00:58:34   Most people are saying that practically it goes back as far as the old Smart Keyboard Folio did.

00:58:41   That's the maximum, how far it will go back.

00:58:45   But what you do get, which you don't get with the current products,

00:58:49   is anywhere from 90 to that level, you can adjust.

00:58:54   So you can adjust it to be as you want it to be.

00:58:58   I personally was hoping for a little bit more than that.

00:59:02   I wanted it to go back further.

00:59:05   So that's a disappointment for me on paper, but I still need to try it.

00:59:10   It is higher up, so it's not just about the angle.

00:59:14   It's also about the height, and the height makes the angle a little bit more acceptable.

00:59:19   But yeah, it turns out we're going to have to get this and try it,

00:59:22   because I know that people have been frustrated by the lack of adjustability of the Smart Keyboard Folio,

00:59:27   the fact that it only has two angles, one of which is not acceptable for anything except watching a movie,

00:59:33   at which point, I mean, I guess if all you have is that case,

00:59:37   then that's what you have to do in order to watch a movie.

00:59:39   And then the other one is OK, which is the other angle,

00:59:43   but it's the only one that's usable, so you use it.

00:59:45   It would be nice to have a wider range.

00:59:47   And although it has a range where you can adjust between those two points,

00:59:52   we'll see if somebody, I think it was Dear Bone at the Verge,

00:59:56   said that if you're the kind of person who opens your laptop and pushes the angle of the screen way back,

01:00:02   you are going to not get that experience from this.

01:00:05   And I understand why in terms of just the physics of the weight of this thing,

01:00:10   but it's adjustable only to a point, and that's a fair point.

01:00:15   Yeah, like in Dieter's review, he compares it to the Surface,

01:00:20   and it's like, well, the Surface goes all the way back.

01:00:22   And he likes that because I think he uses it on his desk a lot.

01:00:26   But in Sara Dietschy's review, she says, well, you have more adjustability on the Surface,

01:00:31   but it's horrible to use in your lap. It's like uncomfortable.

01:00:34   Because kickstands stink.

01:00:36   Yeah. So there are pros and cons depending on how you're using it.

01:00:40   Like if you're just using it on desk and desk-like environments, then the Surface is more flexible.

01:00:46   And don't buy this product.

01:00:48   If you're just using, and we talked about it here, Myke and I get it, Upgradients get it.

01:00:54   If you're just using your iPad on a desk, get a stand.

01:00:58   Yeah, you shouldn't be using it in a laptop form factor anyway.

01:01:00   And get an external keyboard and get a Magic Trackpad 2, and you're done.

01:01:03   You don't need to make it into a laptop.

01:01:05   You should make it into a desktop if you're using it on a desk.

01:01:08   And then just pop the iPad out and walk away. That's what you should do.

01:01:11   But Sara's video made me feel very happy because she handles this device the way I would handle it.

01:01:18   Like she just picks up the keyboard part and just like picks it up from the table.

01:01:23   And it's just like walking around holding just the keyboard portion, and the whole thing stays together.

01:01:28   And that's something that I want. Because that's how I carry laptops around.

01:01:33   I just pick it up from the keyboard part, and then it's all stable.

01:01:37   Rather than needing to pick up the screen part.

01:01:40   So I kind of like that because that's how I want to carry my iPad around when it's in this form factor.

01:01:45   So I'm excited for that.

01:01:47   I do feel though, after watching these reviews and reading what lots of people are saying about this product who have used it,

01:01:55   this feels like a very personal opinion type of device.

01:01:59   For sure. Because at its core, the challenge with reviewing something like this is you're not reviewing...

01:02:09   Like you review a laptop, you're reviewing 100% of the laptop experience.

01:02:13   Maybe you're not reviewing what it's like if you attach an external...

01:02:15   You run a lid closed and attach an external keyboard and mouse and stuff.

01:02:19   But at that point, what are you even reviewing? It's not even there.

01:02:23   But a laptop, the whole laptop experience is in the laptop.

01:02:26   With the iPad, this is an accessory to a central product.

01:02:30   So it's not for every use case. It's aggressively not for every use case.

01:02:36   So what you really need to do is kind of look at it and say, like I just said about if you're using it at a desk, don't use this.

01:02:43   I mean, maybe you can, but if all you ever do is use it as a desk, why?

01:02:48   You could save a lot of money and get a better experience using something else.

01:02:51   It's for a particular use case. And what that means is, it's just like when we would talk about the bridge.

01:02:57   It's like people would not get why we had that product.

01:03:00   And the answer is because we had a case where it made sense.

01:03:04   But not everybody does, right? And there are a lot of people who probably looked at this product and thought,

01:03:09   "Oh, this is really exciting. This is awesome. I'm going to get one of these."

01:03:12   And it turns out it may not be for you.

01:03:14   It doesn't mean it's not a bad product for what it's for, like what it's meant to do.

01:03:20   But it's not for a lot of cases. A lot of use cases, the smart keyboard folio is better.

01:03:27   Or an external keyboard in a stand is better. Or a bridge keyboard maybe even. I don't know.

01:03:32   Not the one with the trackpad though.

01:03:34   Not the one with the trackpad though. No.

01:03:37   There was two last things I wanted to mention on this before we move on for today.

01:03:42   Feature wise is the one-handed removability is a thing.

01:03:47   I've watched people do it in videos, like in the marketing video.

01:03:51   You can just pick the iPad off the keyboard without touching it.

01:03:55   Which we're all wondering, obviously it's going to be heavy to allow that, but is it even possible?

01:04:01   Or is that just a cool marketing thing?

01:04:03   But no, you can just pick the iPad off of it really easily, which is great.

01:04:06   And the trackpad is a physical click, but it works across the entire trackpad.

01:04:12   It doesn't work just on the bottom area.

01:04:14   And there's two parts to that. One, I'm really pleased that's the case because I would have been really upset if it was only clicky in the bottom.

01:04:21   The backboard then, yeah.

01:04:23   I was expecting it would be a Force Touch trackpad anyway.

01:04:28   I don't know if I was wrong to think that, but that was just what I expected it to be.

01:04:33   I just think it's interesting that Apple is making a trackpad in 2020 that clicks physically.

01:04:39   But I guess it's just really difficult to do in the form factor that they have.

01:04:44   But nevertheless, I'm happy that the entire thing clicks because then I'm probably not going to notice any difference to my usual trackpads.

01:04:51   Right.

01:04:52   And I did want to say, I saw Steve Trout Smith, he tweeted, he has his...

01:04:58   And it's like the perfect review for me.

01:05:01   So it says, "Magic Keyboard Micro Review. If this is the accessory you've been waiting for, it's perfect.

01:05:06   If you're somebody trying to force an iPad into your life when you don't need or want it to be more than a Netflix player, it's not going to do a lot to solve your problems."

01:05:13   Yeah. He also went on to say something very much like what we just said, which is,

01:05:18   "Baffled by people complaining about the 12.9-inch Magic Keyboard plus iPad weighing as much as a 13-inch laptop, making it equivalent to a laptop is kind of the point."

01:05:28   Yeah.

01:05:29   Yeah. Even more so than any other keyboard.

01:05:32   Right?

01:05:33   If the Smart Keyboard Folio made it weigh as much as a laptop, I would maybe raise an eyebrow.

01:05:38   But this thing has a trackpad in it as well. Like it is a laptop now.

01:05:41   That's what it's for.

01:05:42   That's the point.

01:05:43   This is the first, first-party, complete, "Your iPad is now a laptop" product that Apple has done.

01:05:51   And it's telling, in fact, that the Smart Keyboard Folio is still available, right?

01:05:57   That's Apple saying, you know, not everybody wants the big heavy keyboard with a backlighting.

01:06:02   And the Magic Keyboard with the moving keys and the trackpad and all that. It's like, not everybody needs this.

01:06:09   That's why you also could get this other thing that's a lot thinner and lighter.

01:06:13   I'm super excited to get mine.

01:06:15   And you could expect us to be talking about this thing a lot more, I think, over the next coming weeks.

01:06:19   So we've been waiting for this product for a long time.

01:06:22   A long time.

01:06:24   And we've been trying to find ways to make this lifestyle for ourselves, and Apple's finally made the product that will do it.

01:06:32   Yeah, that's the thing that really hits me more than anything else.

01:06:35   I've written a bunch of columns about using the iPad in different ways.

01:06:39   For Six Colors and for Macworld.

01:06:40   The iBook.

01:06:41   Exactly.

01:06:42   And I keep coming back to that idea that, you know, is Apple ever going to embrace the idea that the iPad can be used as a laptop with a pointing device

01:06:52   and build its own thing instead of us doing things like the bridge keyboard.

01:06:59   Build its own thing and say, yes, you can use an iPad as a laptop.

01:07:03   And honestly, I wasn't convinced that was ever going to happen in a short period of time, in a few years' time.

01:07:11   And that's what this is. So I'm excited.

01:07:15   So hopefully that they arrive and we can talk about them.

01:07:20   Fingers crossed for mine to come in tomorrow.

01:07:22   All right. Should we do some #askupgrade questions before we finish out today?

01:07:27   Yeah, let's do it.

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01:09:11   So we have some #askupgrade questions.

01:09:14   Graham wants to know, "My partner is looking to buy an Apple Watch and is debating between the Series 3 and the Series 5.

01:09:22   In your opinion, is the Series 5 worth the extra money?"

01:09:26   That's a personal question. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but what's it worth to you? Because the Series 3 is great.

01:09:37   It's older, but it's a great value at that price.

01:09:41   If you haven't had an Apple Watch before or your partner hasn't had an Apple Watch before,

01:09:48   and that probably implies a reluctance to get into the Apple Watch,

01:09:56   the low price of the Series 3 may be a selling point.

01:10:01   It doesn't have the big screen that's really nice. The bigger screen is really nice.

01:10:07   I like a lot of things about the Series 5. I'm happy I have one.

01:10:11   But the Series 3 is a pretty great device on its own and is an excellent price.

01:10:17   We were talking about the iPhone SE.

01:10:19   So I think that's the real question.

01:10:21   When you're thinking about the money your partner is willing to spend or you're willing to spend for your partner about this,

01:10:27   that to me is the question.

01:10:29   Because do you go for value or do you go for "Let's get something really nice"?

01:10:35   Because between the Series 3 and the Series 5, the main differences are aesthetics.

01:10:43   I much, much prefer the design of the Series 4 and the Series 5 to the Series 3 and before.

01:10:52   And you've got the always-on display now.

01:10:57   The Series 3 had LTE, so you've got that still.

01:11:01   I think that's probably the main differences.

01:11:04   I think really, if you look at the Series 3 and you're like "I like the way this looks"

01:11:09   and if you don't care about always-on, then you're good for it.

01:11:14   I agree with what Jason is saying. It is very much a personal decision.

01:11:18   You know what I was just about to say? Just go to the Apple Store. You can't do that.

01:11:23   You can't try them on.

01:11:25   This is more difficult to make these decisions now, right?

01:11:30   If you're just using the web?

01:11:32   Yeah.

01:11:35   In my opinion, the Series 5 is worth the extra money for my own tastes.

01:11:40   I skipped the Apple Watch for a while, stopped wearing it, but the Series 5 gave me the reasons to come back.

01:11:47   Because I liked the way it looked, I liked the options that you had in materials,

01:11:52   and I also liked that you can always have the always-on display.

01:11:58   As Joe in the chat room says, you can still return them.

01:12:02   So you can make your decision that way, I guess. You can try it out if it doesn't work for you

01:12:06   and you feel like you would want the other one, you can still return the products.

01:12:10   Will wants to know, "What are your favorite HomeKit accessories this many years into the system?"

01:12:16   I have one, which is the Hue bulbs, and I love them.

01:12:20   But that's the only HomeKit accessory that I have.

01:12:24   I haven't looked. I mean, honestly, every now and then I look for HomeKit plugs.

01:12:30   I don't want to replace the plug outlet, but look for the ones that sit in the middle.

01:12:35   I can never find anything in the UK from a company that I feel like I can trust.

01:12:41   Belkin products are completely gone here. You can't find them, which is really weird.

01:12:47   So I don't really know what's going on with HomeKit, but I do hope that they are getting ready to change it in some way.

01:12:56   Because it's not good.

01:13:00   Yeah. I have a bunch, in contrast to Myke's sadness.

01:13:07   I love the Lutron Casita switches, because one of my great complaints about HomeKit stuff is you end up with smart bulbs and stuff,

01:13:22   and then you've got these light switches where it's sort of like, "No, don't touch the light switch.

01:13:26   If you turn off the light switch, the lights can never come back on automatically."

01:13:30   That's the power to the smart bulb, and then the smart bulb you have to turn off separately, and you can't use the light switch to do that.

01:13:35   It's the worst. And the Lutron Casita switches are light switches that are smart home light switches.

01:13:41   So I have a couple of these, and I have them in my living room.

01:13:47   My living room lights are on this, and it means that I can adjust my living room lights, turn them on and off from my iOS devices,

01:13:55   from my Logitech little smart remote.

01:13:58   It will talk to them using voice assistants and using a physical remote control that comes with the Lutron switch.

01:14:09   Or, you guessed it, on the wall, it's a switch. It's real with real controls, and you can just turn it on and off by pushing the buttons on the wall.

01:14:20   Because it's controlling. The light bulbs are dumb. The switch is smart. And it's way better that way.

01:14:26   So that's my favorite. I also have done most of the lighting in my office now is smart lighting.

01:14:32   So I've got a smart switch for my floor lamp. I've got some light strip Phillips Hue light strips around the windows on my side wall.

01:14:42   And for when I do video, I actually have two TV lights, two LED lights, and they're up mounted on the ceiling and attached to a smart switch.

01:14:54   So I can just, with the Home app, I can just turn those on when I need to be well lit for video and then turn them back off, which is pretty great too.

01:15:02   So my garage lighting is second, and I have a lava lamp that I can turn on just for fun.

01:15:08   But the Lutron Casita stuff is the stuff that I really love because it feels much more appropriately integrated into my home to not have smart bulbs,

01:15:17   but instead to have smart switches in the walls because they function as light switches and they're smart. And that's way better.

01:15:26   I've never lived that lifestyle, but it's interesting. Like I get it.

01:15:31   I liked one of the things that we do like about the Hue bulbs, though, is the color changing abilities, which I guess this can't do unless you have bulbs that do it.

01:15:42   But this is a case of taking existing things and fixtures and making them smart.

01:15:49   Well, right. I could make the living room bulbs smart, but then I would have a light switch that had to stay on all the time and you couldn't actually touch it, or you'd break everything.

01:15:58   And I don't like that. There are companies that make smart switches that cover up your light switch.

01:16:03   You rewire it to stay on all the time, and then you put this over it, and it's a smart switch.

01:16:07   I actually have one of those in my bedroom because we put in a smart ceiling fan that's also an overhead light.

01:16:13   And the problem there is sometimes you press the button and nothing happens because for whatever reason the smart home network didn't get the signal or something.

01:16:21   Whereas if you flip a light switch, the lights come on. So I'm not -- I get the appeal of like the color kind of stuff, but --

01:16:33   Ours are all in lamps, which is helpful.

01:16:36   Because there isn't that break of a light switch. The lights that we have, the actual light fixtures in the house, we turn on by switches, but we actually use the lamps more in the rooms.

01:16:49   So, but yeah, I get it.

01:16:51   Makes sense.

01:16:52   I would like to one day change our actual light switches to something like that, just so we have the additional flexibility of also having them controllable via the internet.

01:17:04   But I just haven't gotten around to that yet.

01:17:07   Partly because I'm a little bit scared about doing that wiring.

01:17:11   This is daunting to me. Did you do it yourself or did you have somebody do it?

01:17:16   I have done it myself, and I've also had other people do other switches. I've done both.

01:17:21   I like being able to do it, but I get -- my wiring in my house is -- a lot of it is old, and so I get really frustrated, and it starts to get confusing about what switch is what, and that's when you bring in the electrician.

01:17:33   Yeah. Chris wants to know, "Which current or former Apple executive do you hope writes a tell-all book? Which story do you want to hear the most?"

01:17:45   I say Phil Schiller, only because he's been there. Phil Schiller has been there.

01:17:51   I feel like we answered a version of this question before, but I'm going to throw out Phil Schiller because he's been there a long time.

01:17:55   So he can actually talk about jobs returning and about lots of different product rollouts.

01:18:00   If he were to ever write a tell-all book, he knows where all the bodies are buried, and for a long stretch of Apple history, and that's why I'd want to hear from Phil.

01:18:11   I, for some of the same reasons, want it to be Ive, because Johnny was there, again, for a lot of jobs his time, but I also want to hear about the design aspect.

01:18:29   Also, I'm interested in his life as somebody who grew up in the UK and all that kind of stuff.

01:18:36   I would love a book from him at some point, but he doesn't seem like the type of person to do it.

01:18:42   I would expect more that Schiller would than Ive would, even though I don't think either of them will.

01:18:50   No.

01:18:51   But it feels more likely to me that Schiller would do something than I would, just because Ive seems so very private, but I can't imagine him sharing any stories, really.

01:19:02   Right.

01:19:03   Kaelan Gosso asks, "Do you think that the pandemic could finally push Apple to break its pace of new software versions every year?"

01:19:11   I'm going to say no. I think, I mean, for Mac OS, I think it's possible, but my short version is no.

01:19:24   I think it will instead push them to make smaller revisions and make them throughout the year and be a little less ambitious in what rolls into a particular release.

01:19:37   But I think they, you know, anything is possible right now, but I think that they're probably more inclined to continue rolling out versions every year,

01:19:48   even if they're less ambitious and the new features are broken up across the whole year instead of just all dropping in a lump in the fall.

01:19:57   They've already been moving in that direction, and I think following that kind of plan gives them the flexibility to adjust when something like this happens and say,

01:20:07   "Well, you know, we're not going to get -- this year is going to start out, the successor to Catalina is going to be later and it's going to be a little bit quieter,

01:20:15   but then we're going to roll out some other features in the spring."

01:20:18   And I think that's a more likely scenario than just, "Nope, we're not going to do an OS update," because if you watch, they're still doing OS updates throughout the year.

01:20:26   So in some ways, it's just where the milestone release happens, and I think that they find value in having a milestone release more or less every year.

01:20:35   It doesn't have to be a massive release, and they can trickle those features out later.

01:20:39   And finally, James asks, "Do you think AirTags would be a subscription product? Like, or a service?"

01:20:47   I don't. I just think that Apple has not gone so far around the bend that they look at a new piece of hardware and say, "This is actually a service."

01:20:56   And I don't think find -- my other comment would be that Find My is not a service, right?

01:21:04   Like, Find My on your existing hardware from Apple, you don't pay for that. You get that just with your product. You can find it.

01:21:14   And so I don't think -- I think Apple will view this as you buy the AirTags and then they're on Find My until they die.

01:21:24   Yes, I hadn't thought of anything like this until I got this question, and I was wondering if there could be different levels to it, but I'm not sure how that would work, either.

01:21:37   Like, or if it could be somehow attached -- I mean, it's obviously going to be attached to iCloud, but it just seems like too complicated to be like you have to be a paid iCloud member to use more than two of them or something.

01:21:48   Like, there is a product here because other companies do it. So like, Tile and Tracker have a -- you buy the thing and you can track it, but then they have like plus models, right, where you pay and you get more features.

01:22:00   But I think for this particular product, I think Apple is looking for more of like overall ecosystem lock-in than subscription lock-in.

01:22:11   Like, if you were thinking like, what's the business angle behind this? It's like making it more desirable to be in the Apple ecosystem in general by offering this product than it being a, we want to get more revenue per user on a recurring basis.

01:22:29   When this product, people will buy them over and over again, which is different to typical products. Like, as in the amount that a person could have could be like five, which is different, right, to a normal Apple product.

01:22:48   Like, most people do not have like five iPods or whatever, but this --

01:22:52   Well, that's true, but they do have multiple Apple products. And then every one of these that you buy, you're giving Apple more money for them. And I'm not sure there's any overhead there. And then they're not going to last forever.

01:23:03   No.

01:23:04   And they keep you in the Apple ecosystem. So I think they -- I haven't thought about it either, and I think it totally could. But I don't think they will.

01:23:17   If you'd like to send in a question for a future episode, just send out a tweet with the hashtag #AskUpgrade, and it will go into a list and can be picked later on. Thank you so much to everybody that has and does. Please keep sending them in. We love to get your questions.

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01:23:53   We do stream this show live, too, 9 a.m. Pacific time every single Monday at relay.fm/live. If you want something to listen to while you're working at home right now, you can do that.

01:24:08   We also have a schedule of all of our live shows at relay.fm/schedule. If you want to find Jason online, you can go to sixcolors.com, and he's @jsnew, J-S-N-E-L-L on Twitter. I am @imike, I-M-Y-K-E. Thanks so much for listening to this week's episode of Upgrade, and we'll be back next week. Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snow.

01:24:28   Goodbye, Myke Hurley.

01:24:30   [Music]