291: The Ugly Potatoes Are Used for Fries


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 291. Today's show is brought to you by DoorDash, Linode, and KiwiCo.

00:00:17   My name is Myke Hurley. I am joined by the one and only Jason Snow. Hello, Jason Snow.

00:00:21   Hello, Myke Hurley. It's one of those rare episodes of Upgrade where we're both in our houses, not allowed to do this live from our studio.

00:00:29   Like we usually do. I'm in my pajamas. It's pretty rare that that happens.

00:00:33   Hashtag Snow Talk this week comes from Martin. Martin wants to know, Jason, what should be or would be, I should say, the first movie saga that comes to your mind that you would happily binge all day?

00:00:47   Movie saga. Interesting. I'm going to say the Marvel Cinematic Universe, mostly because there's a lot of movies there and I like those movies and I just, I think that they would give me the pleasure. They would make me happy. They would make me feel, you know, I feel good and comforted in these trying times.

00:01:03   So I would go with the MCU just because of the variety too, that it's going to be, you know, like a, it's like a great kind of a mix, like a playlist almost like of different artists and things because it's going to be, you're going to get your Iron Man and your Captain America and your Thor.

00:01:18   You got to watch some of those Thor movies that aren't very good. And then you get the good movies again and the Avengers and you, it's a good, I would like that rather than watching, because I love Lord of the Rings and the, even the extended editions, but I don't really want to sit there.

00:01:30   I don't think I want to sit there for nine hours watching, you know, Beardy and Elfie walking around slowly. I don't, I think I would, I like to space those out.

00:01:39   You can kind of let your brain shut off a little bit for the Marvel movies if you want to.

00:01:44   A little bit. And, and I think the variety has something to do with it. It's a, it's a saga of a sort, but there's a lot of variety in the case of like a Star Wars series.

00:01:52   You know, you've got these trilogies where it's the same characters and sort of the same place and the, and the Marvel movies are also of different genres. There's comedy ones and you know, there's, there's different kinds of them.

00:02:03   And so that's, that's like Martin said, first that comes to your mind. And I immediately thought, well, I would just, I'd put on my MCU playlist and just go to town, watch those.

00:02:14   I might have to do that. That seems like an interesting and very long running thing to do. Rewatch all of them.

00:02:22   You won't get through them all, even if you watch them all day, you won't get through them, but it is a project that you could undertake.

00:02:29   This is a slow binge.

00:02:31   It would have to be a slow binge.

00:02:34   I want a slow binge though. I do not want to just binge them.

00:02:38   Thank you for using the term slow binge, which I've been trying to popularize for the last few years. The idea that you watch one or two a night or a day and it's still not one a week, but it's also not eight in a day.

00:02:50   But it's faster than they were originally released.

00:02:52   Exactly. By a lot.

00:02:54   Thank you to Martin for his question. If you would like to send in a snow talk question of your own, just send out a tweet with the hashtag snow talk and it may be included in a future episode.

00:03:03   I think we have inadvertently created a new segment, which is not as fun as our usual segments, but is what is Apple doing in relation to COVID-19?

00:03:13   Because there is a lot every week.

00:03:16   You're going to have a fun chapter art of a...

00:03:19   No, no.

00:03:21   No, didn't think so. Good.

00:03:23   No, I don't think so.

00:03:24   Is there a fun theme song for this?

00:03:25   No, and I'm not going to brand it a name either. It just is.

00:03:29   But I think it's...

00:03:30   It's why you're a professional.

00:03:31   We may as well... My feeling in this, Jason, is we may as well catalog what they're doing. We may as well.

00:03:38   We're here to talk about tech in general and Apple in particular and Apple is doing some things that are interesting in these unusual times.

00:03:46   So one of the stories that keeps happening, and I'm not kidding, every single day of the week there is a different story that refutes the previous day's story, so I will wrap up kind of where we are at the beginning of this week,

00:03:58   is to whether the iPhone 12 will be delayed or not.

00:04:01   So in a nutshell, there are lots of reports that Apple has internally considered delaying the iPhone by a few months.

00:04:08   This makes sense. You can hear about this and it not necessarily be that there is a problem or that they will delay, but they are having, rightly so, conversations for contingency plans.

00:04:20   Like, would we be comfortable releasing the iPhone in November?

00:04:24   Like, they should be having these conversations, right? You would assume that they are.

00:04:28   So you can, you know, assume for now that they are doing that there is a possibility.

00:04:33   But suppliers are coming back online now. So Foxconn and the factories that they have specifically created to build the new iPhone, that factory is becoming stuffed.

00:04:47   I read a report that Foxconn is offering bonuses to people if they will come and work there.

00:04:52   Like, they are trying to build that up again. But production isn't expected to begin until May anyway, so they have the time to tool up that facility,

00:05:03   and provided that it is safe and everyone is good there, and you know Apple is going to be paying attention to that, right?

00:05:09   Like, they're not going to let anyone at the moment, right, would be my assumption, work in a facility that wasn't as safe as it could possibly be, right?

00:05:19   I do think there is also the larger issue, which is, like, we know about how Apple people go back and forth between the US and China all the time to supervise.

00:05:28   Like, the product needs to be built. A lot of times you end up with a new product design and then they build it and send it back, like a sample, or samples, and they test those.

00:05:37   There is this whole cycle that happens. And, like, even if the factory is ready in time, there is the other issue, which is, you know,

00:05:45   what are those people who are going back and forth between Cupertino and the factories, what are they doing now?

00:05:53   Not going back and forth, for sure. So, I'm sure there are ways they can work around some of that, but that's got to put a real block in the final,

00:06:02   like, again, I don't think it's that they're still inventing technology that's going to go in this fall's iPhone. There's a whole roadmap there.

00:06:07   But they still have to get down to the details.

00:06:09   They have to test how it's being made, right? Especially if they have new components. I mean, honestly, they just buy a plane and they just send that plane backwards and forwards with no person on it, right?

00:06:18   It's just like, you load the iPhone in here.

00:06:22   Well, I'm sure they could ship it, but if you've got people going back and forth to supervise parts of it, then you can't do that.

00:06:27   So, hopefully you've got people there and people here and you, I don't know, it's just harder.

00:06:33   And that means it's probably slower, which means that it's not just, do we have a factory? It's also, do we have a product that we can sign off on and they can start producing over the summer so that there are enough of them in volume for us to ship them in the fall?

00:06:47   And, you know, that's a challenge for Apple.

00:06:49   But these exact problems, it's exactly why you want operations CEO, not product CEO.

00:06:54   You know, when it, like, Apple has the right person at the top right now, right? You would assume.

00:07:00   You would assume.

00:07:02   Apple is the best person to lead the ship during a situation like this.

00:07:06   But anyway, so as it stands right now, it does seem somewhat plausible that we could see the iPhone in September or at least by the end of the year.

00:07:16   You know, one of the things as to why people are saying, like, "Oh, it's going to be late," is because, like, you have factory C, which supplies some item, some component, right?

00:07:28   They aren't open.

00:07:30   That doesn't mean Apple couldn't source some things from elsewhere, right?

00:07:33   But the main thing, the most important part, is the factory that actually assembles the phones does seem to be getting to a point where it could be made.

00:07:41   Now, again, we talk about this stuff. Is it important if Apple, like, for the whole world hits the iPhone in September?

00:07:48   Of course it's not, based on everything that's going on right now.

00:07:51   But, like, normalcy is nice, right?

00:07:54   If September rolls around and we have an iPhone keynote and then the iPhone comes out and then by the end of September we've all got our iPhones, it feels like we're in some level of normality in our lives.

00:08:05   And so it would be great.

00:08:07   Well, I think everybody, while getting through this, we have lots of time to think about what comes next, what the different possibilities are, and all of those things, too.

00:08:17   And, yes, if you're being employed by a business, if you are old contingency plan cook, the CEO of Apple, the contingency executive officer.

00:08:27   Tim Cook contingency.

00:08:29   I like contingency cook better, but either way.

00:08:32   I just wanted my own shot at it.

00:08:34   Okay.

00:08:36   If you're him, that guy, who, by the way, posted a video last week and the first thing he said was, "Hi, it's Tim Cook."

00:08:44   Isn't that the best?

00:08:45   I have a question about this video, by the way, which we'll get to.

00:08:48   I know who you are.

00:08:49   Anyway, so he, you know, it's his job and the job of his operations staff and all of that.

00:08:54   And they're at home, right?

00:08:57   This is all they have to do is to talk about what are our plans and how do we do this?

00:09:01   And that's because it's their job. Because they want Apple to continue functioning as well as it can during this and also be planned to function at the fastest level it can once they can kind of crank it back up after this is not over reduced.

00:09:17   The iPhone is not just a product to Apple.

00:09:21   It is an economic industry of its own, right?

00:09:26   It is.

00:09:27   It changes other people's lives if Apple can't get an iPhone out at the rate that they were expected.

00:09:35   Well, you talk about the world economy. This is a many, many, many, many, many billions dollar part of the economy.

00:09:43   Yep.

00:09:44   And so it's important for developers. It's important for software companies in general, right?

00:09:50   Like it's, it is a thing which matters and so it is important to them but important to many more people for them to get it out.

00:09:58   So the video that you referenced where Tim is recording himself.

00:10:04   Yep.

00:10:05   Presumably.

00:10:06   Is when he was talking about having masks available.

00:10:11   So Apple has sourced and is donating 10 million masks to healthcare professionals in the US whilst also sourcing millions more for the hardest hit places in Europe.

00:10:23   This was just like a little video that he did and he published it but I have a little question about the video.

00:10:27   Have you seen the video, Jason?

00:10:28   Yes.

00:10:29   So right at the end of the video, you watched Tim reach out to stop recording and he puts his arm down and then the video ends.

00:10:37   And I'm really confused as to what actually happened here.

00:10:41   Hmm.

00:10:42   This is completely unimportant but it's just funny to me.

00:10:46   Was he actually not using an iPhone but wanted to make it look like he was using an iPhone?

00:10:51   It's very strange.

00:10:53   Maybe he hit the, maybe he tried to hit the button and didn't and then hit it and then cut it and it trimmed it.

00:11:00   It's, I think.

00:11:01   And trimmed it a little wrong.

00:11:02   He trimmed it wrong but it's also kind of like hilarious to me and like someone surely should be watching these things before he posts them.

00:11:10   Oh, I'm sure somebody is, right?

00:11:12   And they just missed it, I guess.

00:11:13   Like it's not important but it's just like a weird little thing that happened in this video.

00:11:17   I just find it kind of funny.

00:11:19   I was watching all of his sports memorabilia.

00:11:21   He has a visibly placed in Auburn thing and a Duke thing because that's where he went to college.

00:11:27   And like Apple store like shelves.

00:11:29   Like, you know, I watched the video once to hear what he had to say and then twice to just look.

00:11:34   Spot all the things that I thought might be interesting.

00:11:37   Well, the most important message is, "Hey, it's Tim Cook."

00:11:41   In case you didn't know.

00:11:44   Like, who is this man and why did he post a video?

00:11:46   Oh, oh, Tim Cook.

00:11:48   Right.

00:11:49   But yeah, so Tim has, Tim's got masks for everyone.

00:11:53   Thanks, Tim, for doing that.

00:11:55   Thanks.

00:11:56   It is nice, right?

00:11:57   It is also strange. Like there's this weird thing about it.

00:12:00   I have a question. Why Apple?

00:12:02   I mean, it's great, but it's like why are those masks not already available to healthcare professionals?

00:12:08   Why did Apple, and maybe it's just that they are or that they were priced something or they decided to fund it

00:12:15   and then donate it so that the healthcare system doesn't have to.

00:12:18   But it did seem weird that like why is a big private company doing this?

00:12:24   And are they like outbidding other people for it and then donating them?

00:12:28   I don't know. I don't know quite. It's very strange.

00:12:31   My expectation is they are buying them from factories in China.

00:12:36   Oh, that could be.

00:12:38   Because I know that there are factories in China that are selling them.

00:12:42   Using their supply chain to get them back.

00:12:44   Using their transport chain.

00:12:46   Companies that are making them or companies that have them and then Apple is in a position to be able to buy them.

00:12:55   So I think that might be kind of what's going on here.

00:12:59   But it does ask the question though, which is just weird of like why can't governments just buy them?

00:13:08   Why is Tim Cook doing it?

00:13:11   Why is Apple doing this? Is this one of those strange questions of our time?

00:13:16   And it's the same. Facebook did it and Amazon are doing it.

00:13:21   Why aren't the governments doing it?

00:13:23   Maybe they have -- now it could be that these companies have emergency reserves.

00:13:26   There are a couple of people in our chat room listing live who are saying that it may be that they bought a bunch speculatively for the wildfires either for use for themselves.

00:13:35   Facebook definitely did that. They said that was the case.

00:13:37   And then they were going to keep them in reserve but now they're just going to donate them.

00:13:42   Because that's the other thing. Actually it's one of the things in the Bay Area actually where I live does not have the kind of shortage of masks that other places have.

00:13:51   I mean I don't know. There may be places that have shortages.

00:13:53   But we have more masks than you would think.

00:13:55   And the reason is that we've had wildfires sort of two out of the last three years that have put a lot of smoke into the Bay Area.

00:14:02   And people who were asked to go outside during that were told to wear one of these filter masks.

00:14:09   And so a lot of people bought, including organizations, bought those masks either during those fires or speculatively figuring we'll have more of them.

00:14:19   It's going to happen again. Because it happened a bunch of times, right?

00:14:21   So you would just be like, "We don't want to be rushing next time."

00:14:24   Exactly. But that means that a lot of those masks got stored up.

00:14:29   And so not only are there donation points and stuff like that, but it just means there are more circulating in this region.

00:14:36   And it's just a weird quirk of some other terrible thing that happened that has led to that. So yeah.

00:14:43   But it's cool that they're donating them. And I hope companies continue to do stuff like this.

00:14:48   Apple's also created a website and an app for US users to screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.

00:14:54   And will also provide advice for what actions they should be taking. You know, like, you should go see a healthcare professional, you should be social distancing, that kind of stuff.

00:15:02   This is, I mean, it's a simple questionnaire, but it's one of these things that they apparently worked on, you know, with the CDC or at least use the CDC samples.

00:15:09   And they, this is one of those things that like, well, what can we do?

00:15:12   And people at Apple are like, "Well, we could build a web app and an iOS app that does this."

00:15:17   And that tells people what they need to do. And it's fairly simple and we could do it quickly.

00:15:22   And they did it. So that's nice. It's just a little nice, you know, thing to do to try and help, I guess, to have people go through that questionnaire and feel comfortable about it.

00:15:32   So we don't, I don't have access to the app in the UK. I could use the web version.

00:15:37   I did the web version and then told the truth. And so I got, I said no to everything.

00:15:44   And then the last thing is basically stay inside you.

00:15:47   Yeah, that's kind of what I was doing.

00:15:49   Wash your hands and stay inside dummy. Like, all right. Okay.

00:15:51   But in the UK, Apple is displaying information and video messages from the NHS and like the App Store, Apple Music, everywhere.

00:15:58   Every storefront Apple has in, on the, in the, on my iPhone in the UK, I'm seeing messages from the NHS.

00:16:05   So that's really cool too, that they're sharing that.

00:16:07   Apple is offering a 90-day free trial of both Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro X.

00:16:13   So this is something that you can, if you want to go and learn a new skill, right, like many people do, you can download these applications free for 90 days and try them out.

00:16:22   Right. Argument here is that, I heard a bunch of people talk about this, that if you're at home and you want to learn Final Cut or your, you know, your school or your business had Final Cut that you use sometimes, but now you can't,

00:16:36   basically you can just download it and use it and it'll be fine because you've got this grace period, which I think is a cool idea.

00:16:43   I think this is happening in some other software companies too, where there are, there are extended periods or extended trials or something like that.

00:16:50   And I think it's a good idea just on that level of like, you're at home and here are our tools.

00:16:55   And if you want to use them, if you want to learn Logic, if you want to use it because you don't have access to it at some other location, it's a cool idea.

00:17:04   There was also a report of an unreleased feature for Logic Pro finding its way onto Apple's education site.

00:17:11   Apple, what is it with Apple and leaking information itself accidentally? There was a screenshot of a feature that's not in Logic that was photoshopped into a MacBook screen on an education sales page.

00:17:25   Yep. It shows the live loops feature from GarageBand for iPad appearing in Logic. So this image has now been replaced, which is also funny.

00:17:35   Conspiracy theory time, iPad feature finding its way to Logic, 90 day trial, 90 day trial ends in June, ends at WWDC time.

00:17:47   Live loops, maybe there's going to be finally Logic debuted for iPad at WWDC. That's my conspiracy theory based upon this information.

00:17:57   I saw a conspiracy theory that's similar, which is this 90 day free trial is really interesting because it gets us through June and it could be what if they release Logic and Final Cut for the iPad in June.

00:18:08   I'm not sure I follow the Logic entirely there, but sure, why not? You're not supposed to have conspiracy theories.

00:18:17   It is, you're right, you're right. I'm sorry I'm taking the yarn down from the board right now because it doesn't matter.

00:18:23   But the point is, I would love it, because that's been one of our constant criticisms of Apple positioning the iPad Pro as a pro product,

00:18:30   is that they've got three flagship professional apps, Logic Final Cut and Xcode, none of which run on their pro iPad.

00:18:39   So with the keyboard and the trackpad, are we getting to the point where the other piece of this puzzle is going to be full app support?

00:18:47   And then if they do it, there's a whole lot to unravel there. We may have plenty of time to talk about it.

00:18:53   What is it? Do they do an Adobe style thing where it's not all there, but it's a lot of it and the files are compatible?

00:19:01   Because I could see them doing that and saying, "We don't have every feature of Final Cut on the iPad, but you can take your Final Cut library and put it on there or vice versa and it will work."

00:19:11   And Logic, that would be great if you could take a Logic project and copy it to an iPad and it would just open and you could still edit there, even if not every feature was there. But we'll see.

00:19:22   And then over time, they would add those features. Or is it that the reason they haven't been around all this time is because Apple's not going to play it that way and they want to be like, "No, it's real Logic. The whole thing is there."

00:19:32   Which I guess they could do, but I don't know. We'll see. We'll see. Plenty more time to think about this one, but nice that it's entered the conspiracy room now.

00:19:42   And as TJ says in the chat room, this kind of thing can lead to subscription pricing rather than upfront pricing. Because Logic Final Cut, big payments.

00:19:51   Yeah, Apple has used them to put its money where its mouth is in terms of app store pricing, right? Where they are expensive, although they're way cheaper than they used to be.

00:20:01   And what they do is they make you pay full price and then for a long time they do updates and then they finally do, like they did with Logic 10, they drop the barrier and say, "Well, here's a new version and you have to pay for this version."

00:20:16   But since they started doing all of this, of course, they now have subscription options for software that they built in.

00:20:23   And I think it's worth asking the question, like, would Apple do that with its own pro apps? Would it say, "Logic is now a free app with a trial and then it costs X dollars a year," like what Adobe does?

00:20:38   You know, I wouldn't put it past them. I feel like on one level, they might be happy to do it the way they're doing it now because it gives them an advantage because they don't really need the money from this.

00:20:47   So they don't necessarily need to build their whole business on the subscription revenue from their pro apps or anything.

00:20:53   But at the same time, the pro app business probably is run like a business with a profit and loss statement.

00:20:59   And they may look at this and say, "Well, we need to do this. It's great that you made us the standard bearer for app pricing, but nobody does that anymore. Please let us do subscription pricing."

00:21:11   So I like that idea. I mean, I like that as a possible concept. It'll make everybody angry, but I like it as a possibility. I think it's a strong possibility.

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00:23:43   So I want to give a little bit of follow up.

00:23:46   We were doing an Ask Upgrade talking about board games to play both with family members and with people at home and people outside of home.

00:23:55   Using our iPads and such.

00:23:57   And Robbie wrote in to say that they came across an App Store story recently on great strategy board games that have been put onto the iPad.

00:24:06   So there's like a long list of games there.

00:24:09   And I also, in the past few days, because the App Store is doing a fantastic job right now with putting useful and relevant stuff together,

00:24:18   came across a just play online with friends list of games, which I'll also include that in the show notes as well.

00:24:25   So if you're looking for stuff right now, like if you're looking for games and looking for apps, take a look at the App Store.

00:24:32   They're putting together a bunch of really great collections like working at home.

00:24:37   So many meditation and wellness applications I'm seeing right now.

00:24:41   Yeah, it's really good.

00:24:43   So I recommend that you go and take a look at that if you haven't.

00:24:47   Yeah, for sure.

00:24:48   And there are a lot of those where you can, you know, it's a classic board game and you can play it online and you can, you can, board games, by the way, are sometimes great on iPad just because the computer, you know, the program tells, does all the rule arbitration.

00:25:04   So it counts things and moves things and stuff so you don't have to do it, which is great because it makes it, you know, you, everybody's just a player instead of people having to manage the game.

00:25:13   And, and yeah, if they've got an online play, that is really cool. Even if there's no component of like voice or whatever, you can just put them on speakerphone or, or set up a computer on a Zoom call and then you're using your phone or your iPad to do the game.

00:25:27   And like there are ways to make that work.

00:25:29   So I would suggest to give that a try if you've got some game playing friends that you want to connect to while you're all inside.

00:25:35   And I have a couple of upstream notes.

00:25:37   So I have Disney Plus now.

00:25:40   Congratulations.

00:25:41   Great. We watched two Toy Story movies this weekend. We're going through Toy Story right now.

00:25:46   So we watched one and two over the weekend.

00:25:49   We're going to lead the Mandalorian to build up a bit. We have two episodes right now and it is coming weekly. So I'm just going to let it build up.

00:25:55   Yeah. There's a lot of conversation about the fact that they're, uh, they're rolling it out weekly because they want UK people to have that same kind of weekly experience as the US did, even though we've seen it all now.

00:26:04   And there's some controversy about that where people are like, come on, what are you doing?

00:26:07   And it's like, but I like, I kind of like it cause you can let it queue up like you're doing and then, and then get it all in a bunch.

00:26:12   But like it was made to roll out weekly experience though, because you can, because you've been spoiled about it.

00:26:18   Yeah, it's, it's true because there are, there are baby memes and stuff like that.

00:26:21   But, um, but I think that beyond that character, there is a really nice narrative ride to be told if, if you watch it week by week.

00:26:30   Um, I don't think it means that the UK is going to be delayed behind the rest of the world in the future.

00:26:35   Like season two of The Mandalorian will drop everywhere at the same time, but they want to, they just want the rollout to be, um, for the UK fans to have that same kind of experience.

00:26:44   UK viewers. So we'll see how that is, is, is how that plays out in the UK.

00:26:50   Obviously this is not a new thought, but it is when you go on the service, it is wild to see just how much stuff there is, how much stuff Disney owns. It's bananas to look at now and you're like, I could watch stuff forever.

00:27:05   With just one is already here. Like they have, there is a lot of content, like a lot of content. Even if you just watch The Simpsons, you'll be set for a long time.

00:27:13   So, uh, also Apple debuted trailer, a trailer for show Defending Jacob, which is starring Chris Evans as the title star.

00:27:22   This, this is of course the show that, what I want to say is that it was shot at John Syracuse's house. That's not true.

00:27:28   It was shot in the park that's behind John Syracuse's house, a part of it. But, uh, but as far as I'm concerned, basically watch for John Syracuse and his dog. They're probably in it.

00:27:38   Probably in it. Probably also a star in the show. I'm expecting.

00:27:41   Yeah, it's pretty much Chris Evans looks down and there's this cute dog and then we just follow the dog after that.

00:27:46   It's John's dog. Uh, the show is very dramatic. It's a like child gets convicted of murder of another child and they go through that. Right?

00:27:59   Like how do you do that? And what, who is he actually guilty? Is he not guilty? That's the show basically.

00:28:06   Um, it looks very dramatic, very interesting. I will be watching this one. It's a limited run short series. I think, uh, April 24th is the date.

00:28:16   Uh, so I think that's all I've got for upstream.

00:28:21   All right. Escapism.

00:28:23   There's so much great stuff out there right now.

00:28:26   It's true.

00:28:26   Find it. There's lots of stuff on YouTube. Lots of stuff on all your streaming services. Anywho, let's talk about our Max.

00:28:33   We have a new report from Ming Chi Kuo. Uh, I want to read this quote that was translated from the report on Mac rumors because it was, uh, it sums things up quite nicely.

00:28:42   Kuo believes that ARM based processes will significantly enhance the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup.

00:28:48   Allow Apple to refresh its Mac models without relying on Intel's processor roadmap, reduce processor costs by 40 to 60% and provide Macs with more hardware differentiation from Windows PCs.

00:29:00   There's no denying why Apple wants to do it when you look at things like that, right? Like that sums it up very nicely.

00:29:07   Yeah, I think the question we get a lot is what is, you know, we talk about ARM a lot, but we don't talk about why or what.

00:29:16   And the answer, the short version of it is ARM is a processor style almost and Apple's A series processors are ARM processors.

00:29:24   And ARM processors are designed in large part to be powerful but low power devices. And that's why Apple chose to do it.

00:29:32   So Apple uses these ARM processors on the iPhone and the iPad. And the idea is, could they run on a Mac? And sure they could.

00:29:38   There are some ARM Windows laptops now. Like you can do it. Um, it's just a processor transition because they're not Intel processors.

00:29:45   But what do you get? You get a battery life that improves and you get potentially speed that improves because we saw that the iPad Pro is faster than the MacBook Air already.

00:29:58   And that's with a, as we're going to talk about in a bit, that's with an old processor that's still in it.

00:30:03   But here's the other piece of it, which is just like you look at it and you think, of course I figured, but now seeing it, wow.

00:30:11   Which is reduced processor costs by 40 to 60 percent because Apple's going from buying a product retail or, okay, wholesale from Intel who makes it.

00:30:24   And Intel's taking its profit off of every one of those to Apple making them or at least contracting with the factory to make them.

00:30:32   They're eliminating the middleman who is Intel from these processors and that means Apple's margins go up, which means potentially they either make more money on each of these or they lower the prices.

00:30:44   So if you could imagine a MacBook driven by an ARM processor, a 12 inch MacBook or a MacBook Air, MacBook Air is $999 now.

00:30:53   Well, what, you know, we're starting to say, could there be a $799 ARM MacBook with 15 hour battery life? Yeah, there could easily be that.

00:31:01   So you can just see. And every time Apple wants to have a new processor generation, they'll know it and they'll time it and they'll have their products move hand in hand with the processors like they do on the iPhone, which they can't do with Intel because they are waiting for Intel's next processor generation and then they have to build their products on it.

00:31:21   You know, you're saying about like there is a third option of like reducing price or making more money. You say keep it the same price, have more money to do other things.

00:31:31   Right, they could be technology that they would want to put into the laptops that they can't do because it'd be too expensive.

00:31:39   Right, that's true too. They could use the increase in margin on the processor to spend on features somewhere else, whether it's new features or whether it makes it easier for them to put more RAM or more storage or whatever in those devices.

00:31:56   Yeah, that's true too. They could load them up. And they'll make the choice there about would I rather have a $799 laptop that looks like this or a $999 laptop that looks like that. And that's an interesting and very complicated question.

00:32:09   But like, it's hard to see why they wouldn't do this, right, unless there's a real gotcha that we're not seeing here. It just seems so apparent and Ming-Chi Kuo says, yeah, of course, that's what they're going to do.

00:32:24   But this was the preamble to Kuo's report where he then says that Apple will be launching Mac desktops with ARM processors in 2021 alongside other laptops that will fit into the line.

00:32:37   So, you know, we've only really been talking about laptops because that seemed like the most obvious. But now, as well as the laptop which should come, is expected to arrive, we have a Q4 this year, a Q1 2021. Other points in 2021 we're expecting to see Mac desktops running on ARM chips.

00:33:00   This timeline feels more aggressive than I had assumed. Is that the same for you?

00:33:06   I don't know. I've been guessing that they would roll over their consumer product line into ARM in a wave, right? So I guess if we're saying kind of ARM iMacs in 2021, I'm not too surprised about that.

00:33:22   I've been thinking for a while now that their first steps are probably get the consumer product in the laptop and then get the consumer product in the desktop and then ponder what your pro level processor is if you can make one and like what if they really want to change the whole line over you hold the pro stuff for a little bit later on and you start with the with the consumer level stuff because there I would think more issues with pro products because they haven't done at least that we haven't seen a processor that's at that level from Apple doesn't mean they could have done that.

00:33:51   Doesn't mean they couldn't make one. They have to choose to put any resources to design it and then they could make it and then they could ship it. They could also write off the high end pro market and say why should we do this when AMD and Intel are already building these things?

00:34:03   We'll keep those around for our high end users. They can they're comfortable on Intel. They've got features that they don't get on ARM processors. We'll just let them sit there for a while.

00:34:12   So I think that's the bigger question but a consumer desktop running ARM in 2021. I'm not surprised by that at all. If they're especially if they're going to ship the first one in the fall of 2020 and it starts filling my mind with ideas about something we've talked about over the years, which is maybe the reason the iMac has stayed the same more or less since 2007 is because there is a new iMac design and it's the ARM iMac and it's a redesign of the iMac that may look nothing like the current iMac

00:34:41   because they've been holding it off because that the thermals change, you know, all the needs of that system change or maybe not or maybe it looks just like an iMac does now and they put no effort into the external but they totally change the internals. That's also a possibility.

00:34:56   But I'm interested by the idea of what does an ARM iMac do and what does it mean because the iMac that currently exists can go up to the high end. The highest end iMac is almost as powerful. I think it's more powerful in some ways than the base model of the iMac Pro.

00:35:14   But the base iMacs are workhorse, you know, they're cheaper, they're for desks at hotels and, you know, to put on desks at companies and like they're not glamorous, but there are lots of them because that, you know, we when we said when we were we were talking about it when I interviewed

00:35:36   Colleen about that, they're a billion dollar business for Apple, like it's a huge business. Well, picking up picking up reduced processor costs for products that are not really pushing the envelope in terms of performance makes total sense to me.

00:35:58   ARM iMac totally whether they redesign it or not. I feel like the iMac needs a redesign or at least really is asking for a redesign just because like the bezels are so huge and the chin at the bottom is so so high, but I could also see Apple saying it's not worth it. It works for us and just leaving it the way it is to

00:36:18   So I was wondering, do you think there could be any new Macs coming out of this? Not just not updates to the previous line, but like a new Mac?

00:36:31   I think it's possible. I don't know whether Apple wants to do that or not. Apple seems to have discovered that putting Max in existing slots is popular, right? Like the 16 inch MacBook Pro is a MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air retina MacBook Air is a MacBook Air.

00:36:49   And they when they've tried to go outside that a little bit and been like, well, we've got this 13 inch Pro that's not like the other 13 inch Pro people are like, no, no. And then they did the MacBook even, which I think is an existing product name. Just it's been a while and that has gone away now, although maybe it would come back.

00:37:07   But so I think they've got the opportunity to rethink their product line, and I think that's fascinating, right? Like if our product line is at least in part built on on on Intel and what Intel offers, then when Intel is not there anymore, we as Apple can reconceive a product line.

00:37:25   And I think on that, I think that's true. I think Apple could say we don't need all these products. We want to differentiate more like we do with the iPad. They could totally do that.

00:37:34   But the consumer is part of that equation, too, right? And I that's the part where I think Apple has seen in the last few years that sometimes they've tried to make changes to their product line and say, Oh, well, we've got this 13 inch MacBook Pro and we've got this 12 inch MacBook.

00:37:50   And it seems like the consumers just rejected it and said, We're just going to keep buying the MacBook Air. Thanks. And now they made a new MacBook Air and it's their best selling laptop because people wanted to buy the MacBook Air.

00:38:00   And I wonder if they learned that lesson. They're like, All right, we're not going to do a weird laptop. We're going to just do a MacBook Air that runs on an ARM processor and we're going to call it MacBook Air because people are comfortable with that name.

00:38:11   And we're going to call it iMac or Mac Mini because people are comfortable with that name, even if they could be more aggressive about like differentiating what their products are or simplifying their product line or changing the product line.

00:38:23   I'd love to see them strike out with a new product and and see what happens there. But I don't know the whole affair of the MacBook Air makes me wonder if their customers aren't interested.

00:38:38   Does that make sense? Yeah, it does make sense because it's like, are they set to what they know? Would they be willing to accept something else? And the MacBook Air is the perfect example of that, of like a computer that was incredibly old. There was new stuff to replace it, but no one will buy anything else. They just wanted a MacBook Air.

00:38:59   It was complicated because they were, you know, those products were more expensive. There's a lot of complexity there. I still believe there's room in the consumer laptop lineup for a smaller, lighter, thinner consumer laptop, maybe cheaper.

00:39:15   And so that's why I keep coming back to the ARM MacBook thing, right?

00:39:19   Yeah, I think we both agree that that will be the product, right? It'd be a great place to start, right? Leave the MacBook Air for now and go with this new thing that is, you know, designed to be fanless and, you know, and basically designed to be an ARM laptop with lots of great battery life.

00:39:37   And it's kind of like an iPad, which is how they, that's basically how they sold it when it came out was this is a laptop designed by the people who made the iPad. So bring that out as an ARM MacBook and start there. But at that point, I do think that they're probably more likely to infiltrate familiar products than to wipe away the brand recognition of iMac or MacBook Air.

00:40:02   Ming-Chi Kuo also reports that USB 4 will be supported in Macs maybe in 2020, 2021. I'd never heard of USB 4 before, but apparently USB 4 converges USB-C and Thunderbolt.

00:40:19   Right. There's just one. Everything is USB 4. You won't have a port that's like, well, this one's USB, but not Thunderbolt, but this one's Thunderbolt. USB 4 is a merging of USB-C and Thunderbolt into a, basically USB 4 is Thunderbolt 3 point something? I don't know.

00:40:36   They basically have come together where they've said that this is going to do both of those things and there's only one and it will remove some complexity because even though there will still be USB 3 things out there that are using USB-C and there'll be USB 4 things out there, there will, instead of it being, well, it does this, but doesn't do that because it's USB and not Thunderbolt.

00:40:59   It'll be a more traditional incompatibility, which is, oh, you can't use that with this because that's a, that's a four and this is a three, which is something that's kind of easier to understand than this is a USB-C port that does USB 3, but not Thunderbolt because that's really confusing.

00:41:16   Because like one of the prime, so obviously you should say you will have problems with stuff that already exists, but let's say you wanted to buy a new laptop and you wanted to buy a monitor with it. You wanted to buy both new products, right? Something that's just come out in both monitor world and laptop world.

00:41:30   It is not clear for many products if one will support the other, but if you're buying new stuff with USB 4, you don't have to worry about like, okay, it's got a USB-C port on it, but is that fast enough to give me the monitor that I need and also data?

00:41:47   Like can I also then plug in other, like you don't have to worry about any of that anymore because it will support everything. And so that will be, that's, that is what USB-C should be now or the Thunderbolt port should have been shaped differently. But, uh, this will, USB 4 will bring us what we're looking for with this one.

00:42:05   And that's kind of a fun thing because it's like maybe finally Apple created a spec that gets widely adopted and isn't killed, right? Firewire never took off, but Thunderbolt has taken off.

00:42:18   And of course there's going to still be incompatibilities and dongles and dongle town and all of that. Although the dongles will be reduced and instead what you're going to get is, oh, this doesn't work with that because reasons and this cord doesn't work with this thing because reasons.

00:42:31   It's a thing that doesn't distribute this because it does that. That's still going to be there for a while. But what I like about this is it looks like if everybody gets on board and says, yeah, USB 4, USB 4 is the thing. We're going to just do that now.

00:42:41   Then give it a couple of years and a lot of this stuff will hopefully wash away where, where more and more stuff will just be USB 4. Sort of like calling wifi, you know, by a number two. It's like, oh, USB 4. Got it. Like this is a three and this is a four.

00:42:56   So maybe we'll, I'm not saying it's going to be perfect, but it feels like this is a good direction that will resolve some of the problems that we currently have.

00:43:04   Which I would greatly appreciate. Yeah, that'd be nice.

00:43:08   All right. This episode is also brought to you by DoorDash. Between never ending laundry cycles and incoming emails, you've got plenty on your to do list right now.

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00:44:18   One of the things that my local town has done is actually put up a website showing all the restaurants that are available for takeout and they've got links to DoorDash there and then I actually found out that our local liquor store also has that where they are not doing in the store now, but you can order online and then have DoorDash come and bring it to you.

00:44:39   So definitely the DoorDash economy is cranking up around here and I get it because in the before time it was incredibly convenient to do takeout and now it's what's driving these businesses.

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00:44:59   It's necessary for us to see some signs of that.

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00:45:55   So I wanted to talk a little bit more Jason about the iPad Pro.

00:46:01   Mine arrived.

00:46:03   I bought one.

00:46:04   It's nice to have it in silver.

00:46:06   The Lidar makes the AR faster.

00:46:08   Nobody should buy this iPad unless you don't have one.

00:46:11   If you have the 2018 you don't need this iPad.

00:46:13   You don't need it.

00:46:14   That's right.

00:46:15   Unless you're an AR developer or something you don't need it.

00:46:16   I have it. I'm happy that I have it because it has allowed me to donate my 2018 to Adina because she was starting to do more illustration work.

00:46:26   This iPad is way better than the 10.5 inch iPad Pro she was using before.

00:46:34   So that was like the iPad Pro with the home button.

00:46:37   She can use Apple Pencil too now, right?

00:46:39   Yeah. Better Apple Pencil, better screen, bigger screen.

00:46:42   I was going to buy the next iPad anyway because we wanted to do the shuffle and it was just a case of waiting.

00:46:49   It is just a shame that the iPad that they brought out doesn't really do anything else.

00:46:55   But that is a conversation we'll come back to in a minute.

00:46:58   No, actually let's do it now.

00:47:01   So there was a little bit of kerfuffle in some corners of the internet about what the 2020 iPad Pro's system on a chip actually is.

00:47:10   So effectively the A12X and the A12Z are the same chip.

00:47:17   But the Z enables a GPU core that the A12X could not take advantage of.

00:47:23   So effectively it's the same chip design but they're produced slightly better or differently which enables them to put that GPU core into every iPad.

00:47:34   So this is a process called re-binning which I'd never heard of before until this week.

00:47:38   Quinn Nelson, who's one of the hosts of Flashback and Relay FM had a good Twitter thread that I'll put in the show notes about this.

00:47:44   Effectively, when a chip maker makes a chip, the manufacturer will build in a margin of error for what the results are going to look like because chip making is very difficult.

00:47:54   So you have a plan for how powerful you want your chip to be, but when it's manufactured it may not result in exactly what you were hoping for.

00:48:02   Or you plan for a different result.

00:48:04   Yeah, in the big scheme of things, if you can think of an Intel processor, let's say, and this has been going on for ages, they shoot for this highest performance and then some chips can't do it.

00:48:16   There's a flaw in them and they don't work as well.

00:48:18   But what happens is a lot of them at a lower clock speed or with cores disabled or whatever, they work fine.

00:48:27   And so sometimes you'll have a range of chips that it's like the high end, the middle, and the low, and they're actually all from the same batch.

00:48:34   It's just that the ones that can handle the high that pass all the tests are binned as high performance.

00:48:41   And the ones that fail but work fine at a lower performance are binned at lower performance.

00:48:47   And that also, if people remember the old days of overclocking processors?

00:48:51   Jason, people still do that very much today.

00:48:54   Overclocking is what that is too, right? Which is, I know they say that it only goes this speed, but it really can go faster.

00:49:01   And sometimes it can, but there may be a reason that it only goes so slow, and if you crank it up it may work fine, or it may become unreliable.

00:49:11   So basically, processors are not the identical items that you think they are.

00:49:16   They're more like almost like a crop that you would harvest and every potato looks a little different.

00:49:23   But you can still make fries out of them. So you can chop them up and they still make fries.

00:49:30   Right, the ugly potatoes are used for fries, or hash browns or something.

00:49:34   So what's likely happened here is that when producing the A12X, they were more frequently resulting in a 7-core GPU than an 8-core GPU.

00:49:43   So they put a 7-core GPU out because they could reliably get that yield on that chip.

00:49:49   But then as the production processes improve, because they get better at it over time, they were more able to accurately produce the 8-core chip,

00:49:58   so that's what ships today, and they slightly re-changed the name, but it's effectively the same process.

00:50:04   But this process is very frequently used in parts manufacturing for all types of computer components, like processors, GPUs in general, like independent GPUs, all that kind of stuff.

00:50:15   So the Z stands for the snooze of it being the same chip as 18 months ago, and it's boring.

00:50:20   Well, yes, maybe that's what they were going for. But the idea of like, you know, as everyone's trying to find their gotcha headline for Apple, right, because it generates views and clicks.

00:50:30   So what people, what started out was like, "Oh, Apple's ripping you off, it's the same CPU."

00:50:37   And it's like, well, yes, it is the same CPU, but they weren't throttling it before any more than any other company would, probably any more than Apple typically does, right?

00:50:46   Like, I'm sure this is not the first time Apple's ever done this with their own chips.

00:50:50   In fact, my understanding for some of the chips that Apple makes, or not that they make that they buy and they put in their product,

00:50:57   I think it's widely known in the industry that a lot of times what happens with not just the chips, but some of the other components too, is Apple pays more to get first pick.

00:51:06   And Apple picks the one that meets their standards, and then other companies take what's left.

00:51:13   That's another thing that happens sometimes with Apple stuff.

00:51:15   So there's a lot of this that goes on where it's like, why is it that my third-party monitor has weird image retention and the Apple one and the iMac doesn't?

00:51:25   And the answer is, I mean, if it doesn't, maybe it does, but like that often can be the answer is because Apple got all those panels and ran its tests on them and gave back the ones that didn't work.

00:51:34   Didn't they have this with phone screens a while ago? I think it was like Apple and Google were both using LG and they were using effectively the same panel.

00:51:43   But on the Google Pixel, if I'm remembering this correctly, it was something like this. The Google Pixel had very bad viewing angles, but the iPhone didn't.

00:51:53   And the theory was that they were using the binned displays that Apple rejected.

00:51:57   Yeah.

00:51:58   Yeah, it's fascinating. So again, I guess your screen, all of your computer parts are like potatoes is what I'm saying.

00:52:04   Yeah, they're all potatoes.

00:52:05   They're grown.

00:52:06   Of some kind. Maybe screens are like sweet potatoes and processes of regular potatoes.

00:52:11   Potato theory.

00:52:12   Yeah.

00:52:13   Hashtag potato theory.

00:52:14   So we come back to the question of why does this iPad exist? And you wrote an article on Macworld, kind of going into that a little bit more.

00:52:22   And I think it's the things that we've been talking about, right? Like, why does this exist?

00:52:27   Like LIDAR, right? The idea that again, would you do a whole product?

00:52:32   But maybe you would if you're Apple to get the LIDAR stuff out there now so that they can roll out a whole bunch of stuff about it for developers in June without preannouncing the features of the new iPhone, even though the new iPhone is by all accounts going to have this LIDAR sensor on it too.

00:52:47   It gets it out now. It lets people play with it now.

00:52:50   So by the time that iPhone ships, there should be lots of stuff out there that can support it because it's not a surprise and they want it to be super cool for the iPhone.

00:52:59   So and, you know, I could get the argument to have like, well, we're gonna the related to that is the complexity of the accessory product line.

00:53:09   Like Apple knows that they're going to this different camera bump with this different sensor everywhere. And if they come out with this big smart keyboard for iPad now using the old cutout that they're going to have to change it.

00:53:25   And all of those will then be incompatible with what comes next.

00:53:30   So you change the camera bump now it's backward compatible, but it's also forward compatible.

00:53:35   So if people buy that that that keyboard in May and there's a new iPad in the fall or in the spring that has a whole bunch of new stuff in it, it'll still be compatible with it.

00:53:47   So that's a part of it too. It's just like I am like my gut is that some combination of these things went on at Apple where it's a little bit like if you've ever had anything where you're like, well, I want to do this like like a home a home thing.

00:54:02   Like if you need to change something in your kitchen, you're like, yeah, but if we do that, then we have to do this. And if we do this, then we have to do this other thing.

00:54:08   I think maybe something like that happened where they're like, why don't we just do a quick speed bump or, you know, quick modification where we add that in, then we know that everybody's going to have a compatible accessory and that camera bumps going to be the size it is.

00:54:22   And I think those all go together as a as a real possibility about why this product is exists. It's essentially not any different except for the camera, but they wanted to do it now to get the iPad on this new page and be able to ship this other stuff.

00:54:40   I mean, I think like that the magic keyboard is a big part of it, right?

00:54:45   Right. Well, I mean, because they wanted to ship the magic keyboard.

00:54:49   Exactly. And what if you know, here's the thing, what if you know that you've got a 5G, maybe super awesome A14X iPad, but it's not going to ship until the fall or the or even next spring.

00:55:02   And it's going to have the new LIDAR sensor on it. So it's going to have a totally different camera bump. You're like, wow, I want to ship this magic keyboard now, but it's immediately going to break for everybody who just bought one of these.

00:55:13   And Apple's not above that, but like, I could see them saying, we're going to gear up to make this thing and we're going to make a lot of them.

00:55:21   And do we really want to have a forced incompatibility where we're going to then immediately have to turn around and make a whole bunch more of them.

00:55:28   And the ones that we already made are no longer relevant unless you've got an old model. Do we really want to do that and have somebody say, why don't we just do this?

00:55:37   Why don't we just put the new sensor on now? We've got it. It has these other benefits in terms of priming the pump for LIDAR.

00:55:44   And it means that our accessory game is locked for the next, I don't know, few years, including the super hot accessory that we're doing right now.

00:55:54   And you know, you could make the counter argument that why wouldn't Apple just make everybody buy it again?

00:55:58   But I would say if that was true, why are they making it backward compatible with the previous iPad Pro?

00:56:04   I think Apple has decided that the accessory is too important. It's too expensive. And too expensive. Yeah.

00:56:10   Like you can't release a new one of these every time you release a new iPad because you increase the iPad's cost by like 50%, 40%.

00:56:20   And it makes it easier for people to buy the new iPad, right? They buy this keyboard and they love it on their old iPad.

00:56:26   And then the new iPad comes out, you know, this fall or next spring and people are like, oh, I can use my magic keyboard with it.

00:56:32   So that's, it's like $350 off or $300 off that product because I don't have to buy the rebuy my accessories.

00:56:40   If they've got multiple ones, even more so, right? So I think that might be part of the calculation here is just wanting to lock in these accessories, wanting to get the LIDAR stuff out there.

00:56:51   And, you know, and I think those are the ones that are most likely. There is, of course, conspiracy there.

00:56:59   Do we have to go in the conspiracy room again for this? Which is if they're transitioning to ARM, you're going to ideally in the past,

00:57:07   Apple has released a transitional product for just for developers to test as a, you know, new computer.

00:57:15   Like they did the G5s that had an Intel motherboard just stuck into them. And that was the developer transition hardware.

00:57:21   Wasn't a Mac Pro. It was a G5 with a weird Intel motherboard in it.

00:57:25   And that's the big conspiracy theory is, well, gee, this new iPad Pro with that keyboard would be great.

00:57:31   And six gigs of RAM in every model and all of that would be a great developer transition kit for Mac OS on ARM, right?

00:57:38   I mean, the question is, wouldn't the old one be too? And maybe, maybe so, although maybe the lower end configurations that only had four gigs of RAM are a little bit iffy.

00:57:47   But maybe that is also part of what's going on here. That's been one of my conspiracies for a while now is the easiest way to provide developers with an ARM Mac to test on would be to just say, yeah, you can install it on an iPad. It'll work.

00:58:01   Yeah, I like, you know, I like that theory. I also just, you know, this was a theory of like, they wanted LIDAR out because it's going to be important for AR development and they're going to ramp up AR stuff, right?

00:58:14   Like it could be one or both. And I honestly, the more we talk about it.

00:58:17   Everybody who's doing that, just buy, just buy the iPad and, and cause everybody's like, we know guys, we know that this is coming. Do you want us to do cool stuff?

00:58:25   Don't make us wait until September and Apple saying, you got it now, you got it right now.

00:58:30   And then we'll do another AR kit update in June in beta and you'll get that and you'll have months before that iPhone comes out. Did we say that out loud?

00:58:38   No, we didn't. We're secret. We're Apple to do that. And right. Like that's, that's actually kind of big and it's not that big a deal, right?

00:58:45   They, they changed the bump. It's like, I don't know how much work goes into a, a new product. There certainly is some, they have to do PR.

00:58:53   They have to do all these things, but in terms of what's new in this iPad, it's almost nothing. Like it really is almost nothing.

00:58:59   It is only the LIDAR because that, that one extra core of graphics will affect nothing. Really.

00:59:07   And there were rumors that there was a U1 chip in here, but, um, what I'm hearing now is that's not even true. It doesn't even have that. So yeah.

00:59:16   Okay. So six gigs of Ram and LIDAR. They're really the only changes.

00:59:21   And if you have a terabyte on the old model, you already had six gigs of Ram.

00:59:26   Uh, but while we're on the iPad subject, uh, you had a wonderful, uh, post where you extracted, um, created, I should say a bunch of GIFs of the iPadOS cursor in its playfulness.

00:59:39   And you know, I was thinking about it. You, you alluded to it in the, in the post as well. Like I think, cause everyone's super pumped about this, right?

00:59:47   Like people are very excited about this. iPad people are happy about it. Mac people think that it's wonderful too, right? The cursor that Apple have made for iPadOS 13.4.

00:59:59   I think people are really happy about this and love it so much because this is a modern example of Apple's whimsiness that we do not see as much anymore.

01:00:09   Because the animations that this cursor is doing are very attractive, very nice to look at. They're very cute in a way that Apple doesn't really do as much anymore, but used to do a lot more, I think.

01:00:24   This is that whimsy thing that, and these are delightful. These, the, nobody needs the pointer on any computing device to be delightful. Like it's not necessary.

01:00:39   It is super not necessary for Apple. The Mac one, if you move it from a text insertion to a, uh, something that you have to click on, it just goes from the I-beam to the arrow. That's all it does.

01:00:51   But on the iPad, when you do that, it morphs like the circle, like stretches out. There's an animation to make it a vertical line.

01:01:03   And if you, you know, if you go over a button, it kind of animates like it's a blob going, like covering the button. And then the button animates with this, um, this parallax view that's very much like what's in the Apple TV, where it's almost like the blob is stuck on it.

01:01:27   And if you go far enough, it, the blob pulls back off into the circle and that's animated. And then the other nice touch is that it's detecting what's behind it.

01:01:38   So if it's on a dark background, it's light. And if it's on a light background, it's dark and it does a little fade to change lightness as you move it around on the screen.

01:01:48   It's just none of that is necessary. Like the Mac pointer, that arrow cursor is a black arrow with a heavy white rule around it. So it works on both and it's visible on both.

01:01:59   And they just, they didn't want to do that. So they didn't, they made it a smart little ball cursor thing that fades as necessary so that it's visible. Like again, unnecessary, but delightful.

01:02:11   It's made things feel so much older to me now. Like I'm looking on my Mac now and it's like, why does the Eyebeam like the text selection thing look like that? Like it just looks old and weird to me now.

01:02:23   In, in, cause it's like the, the way it looks on the iPad makes more sense to me now. It's just like a nicer view or like why does the hand, a little Mickey Mouse glove? Like none of that's needed.

01:02:34   You know, it's, it's, there's just this funny thing to me now where I look at it and it's like, that just looks old.

01:02:41   Do you think we're going to have, you think Mac OS is going to have new, new cursors in the fall and then you're going to have to go to like classic cursor support mode with a checkbox somewhere in order to view classic pointers?

01:02:56   It wouldn't surprise me, Jason, because people like this one so much that maybe, probably not, but maybe sometime in the future now I can imagine it changing.

01:03:08   Where if you would have asked me before, I would have said, well, no, why would they change that? But now I can see that maybe it's possible.

01:03:14   You mentioned Apple TV or TV OS on the latest episode of the talk show, John Gruber stated that this cursor design, he understands it heard that the cursor design that we have on iPad OS was one of the original concepts imagined for TV OS, that there would be a cursor and you would move the cursor around rather than it just snapping from thing to thing like it does with focus engine.

01:03:34   Can you imagine how terrible that must have been? Using the, moving a cursor around with a tiny track pad on that Apple TV interface?

01:03:41   Yeah, with the track pad, yes. I mean, I've used an LG TV where they have a cursor and the remote is, it's like a Wiimote and that's pretty nice.

01:03:49   Sure.

01:03:49   And maybe they were thinking about something like that rather than a touch pad.

01:03:52   Oh, like an infrared point at the screen and it moves around kind of thing?

01:03:55   Yeah.

01:03:56   Oh.

01:03:56   And I'm seeing more apps we all are being, having added support for cursor mode. Screens by Adobe is a great example. It's a VNC application, right? So you can use your, you can like log into your Mac from your iPad and having cursor support in an app like that is really useful.

01:04:14   And I like this actually.

01:04:16   We talked about how there was that one like virtual desktop app where you could buy their mouse and then it would work because it was attaching to their.

01:04:26   Oh my God, Jump desktop. Yeah.

01:04:27   Yeah, exactly.

01:04:28   Yes.

01:04:29   But you had to do all of this stuff and now if you've got an external pointing device and you've got screens and you connect to a Mac or PC, you just use the keyboard and the mouse and you're driving that Mac. It's amazing.

01:04:40   It's really good. And I used my lunar display and they have, I don't think they've updated, but it does work. It doesn't work as well as screens, but it does work.

01:04:48   Right. Because it's not, it's not, it doesn't know the hover state, which means until you click it is the cursor stays where it was, but when you click it moves and I hope they update that because it's a really nice feature to be able to see the cursor move along.

01:05:01   I've also been, there's a couple of apps that I use every day that I'm on the betas for and they're adding cursor support in and it really does make a big difference because there are function, there's functionality in data rich applications that you couldn't do.

01:05:15   You know, like, and we've seen this, like Apple's doing it with the iWork updates, which I'm now tapping on my watch for.

01:05:21   Like on one of these spreadsheet applications, like being able to have multiple things you can do with a spreadsheet, like being able to expand your selection and also being able to click and drag down to use automatic formulas.

01:05:34   You can't really do that stuff very easily or very well with fingers, but you can do it way better when you have a cursor.

01:05:40   So I can't wait for the iWork updates. I don't know where they are. Yeah, they should have shipped by now in my mind.

01:05:46   Yes. Well, you know, those people are all at home too. That's right.

01:05:51   I wanted to say that, but at the same time I do want them and I really hope Google get their act together on this.

01:05:57   I know it's so painful. It's worse and worse now. Like I, and again, everybody is going through trying times now, but Google has been dragging its feet on iOS updates for a while.

01:06:06   And like, I wouldn't it be nice to have Google Sheets and Google Docs actually support iOS 13 features. Wouldn't that be great?

01:06:15   Like I really want the multi-window, but I can let that go. Supporting cursor support properly, that is a must now.

01:06:25   And my hope is that Google will know that, right? And that like that Google will understand that this is more important.

01:06:32   This is a priority.

01:06:33   You know, they do support things, but they support things slowly. Um, but I, I expect them to integrate this one sooner rather than later.

01:06:42   But I, you know, I really want to see it everywhere.

01:06:44   Yep.

01:06:45   Because it's great.

01:06:46   All right. Today's episode is also brought to you by our friends over at Linode.

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01:08:18   All right, we have some hashtag ask upgrade questions to finish today's episode.

01:08:24   Spruce Pine, thank you, asks, I use spreadsheets a great deal and often need precise pointing for presentation creation.

01:08:31   Do you believe the addition of this true mouse and trackpad support on iPad will make the iPad a true laptop replacement for tasks like these?

01:08:40   Depends on the apps, right?

01:08:42   Yeah, but I think that's what it comes down to.

01:08:44   I think it opens that door more. So for me, my thinking on this is, especially watching lots of reviews from lots of different outlets, press outlets.

01:08:54   If you couldn't, for whatever reason, bring yourself to leave your laptop for an iPad before, I think the door is open to more people now to do this.

01:09:06   Because you will be able to get more out of it in the sense of you can use your iPad for the iPad things that you want, but then you'll also be able to set it down with your trackpad or eventually put it into your Magic Keyboard.

01:09:19   And you will have more functionality unlocked to you, which is more traditional in the ways that you work.

01:09:26   So I think that it opens the door more, and as you say, as more people integrate these features correctly, and I bet Apple is going to really heavily push people on this, it is going to make it even more of a thing for people.

01:09:41   Yeah, I would imagine that Numbers, probably also because those products also are meant to, I think they share code and they're very similar on iPad and Mac already, that Numbers and Keynote will get this.

01:09:53   But Microsoft has been very good at making their iOS apps very good, and I cannot imagine that Excel and PowerPoint are also not going to get way better in terms of this sort of support.

01:10:08   I mean, they integrate the Apple Pencil for a bunch of stuff, right? Like in Excel.

01:10:14   Spreadsheets are really hard on touch devices. They were really not invented for them, and I don't use spreadsheets on my iPad, but for this I would.

01:10:24   Manuel asks, "Do you think the 16-inch MacBook Pro will get an update before August? Is it safe to buy a 16-inch now or wait for a processor update?"

01:10:34   I don't know why Manuel has asked about August. I mean, I'm assuming that that is specific to their purchasing.

01:10:40   School, maybe? Yeah.

01:10:41   I think it's possible. So if the smaller MacBook Pro would have been updated, I would have said, "You're probably good."

01:10:53   But because we haven't seen that, that is a big question, and I wouldn't be surprised if that MacBook Pro would also bring a refresh to the other one. Maybe there's different processors or whatever.

01:11:04   I would say you've got to wait now until after June. Don't buy it now if you don't have to.

01:11:10   Interesting. I don't think any changes are going to be so substantial that it's worth waiting.

01:11:18   Substantial for sure.

01:11:19   I mean, if you can wait, then fine, but I wouldn't put the chances of before August at very high since it came out in the fall.

01:11:30   So I would say I don't think it's going to be a big enough deal to wait.

01:11:35   I think you're right. I think the most they're going to do is processor updates, the most.

01:11:42   And again, the amount of benefits you see there will be minor.

01:11:47   Minor processor updates.

01:11:48   So if you want one or need one now, probably go for it. But if you don't have to, if it's not in a rush, then wait. But who wants to wait?

01:11:58   Amanda asks, if someone wants to upgrade their 2018 iPad Pro for space reasons, I have a 64 gigabyte model right now.

01:12:05   Does it make sense to get a bigger 2018 with discounts on that model or get the 2020?

01:12:12   I would say if you can find a good price on a 2018, go for that. Right?

01:12:18   The terabyte model. Right?

01:12:22   Well, any.

01:12:25   Well, the difference is the RAM. Right?

01:12:29   I mean, be aware that the six gigs of RAM in the terabyte model from 2018 means that it's essentially identical to the all the models.

01:12:39   But I would say you just had to go for that one. You know, it would be my point.

01:12:43   Yes. If you want to try and get something as close to the 2020 as possible, go for that.

01:12:47   But if that's still outside of your price range, I think any 2018 iPad Pro you're going to be happy with.

01:12:53   I think so. Just be aware that, you know, some stuff will suffer.

01:13:00   And I think the future now that they're shipping six in all of the 2020 models, the future is going to be less kind to the four gig models.

01:13:10   Yes. That don't have the terabyte of storage space. So something to watch for.

01:13:13   But yeah, if you're just looking at it straight up of, you know, can I just get a bigger 2018 with discounts?

01:13:20   Sure. I think because as we've listed today, there's very little that's different about them.

01:13:27   Ryan asks, what's the story behind Quibi? It feels like a tech startup, but seems to have real money and star power behind it.

01:13:34   Should it be taken seriously as a streaming service? We haven't spoken much about Quibi yet, but we know we my plan is that we will.

01:13:42   Like it's been on my radar for a while and it's launching next week.

01:13:46   So we were probably going to spend some time maybe talking about it next week. But what is Quibi, Jason?

01:13:51   Quibi is, you may have seen their Super Bowl ads about it. That's when they started their marketing push.

01:13:56   It's kind of a tough time to launch a service, a new service, because we're all distracted.

01:14:00   Then again, we're all at home and this is a, looking for more content.

01:14:04   This is a something to watch quick.

01:14:06   Quibi is short for Quick Bytes and it's a video streaming service.

01:14:10   But the difference is it's meant to be short. It has a lot of entertainment industry money behind it.

01:14:16   And they've made a lot of deals and paid a lot of people to create content for it.

01:14:20   So you can sort of see it.

01:14:22   Yeah, so they want to, they spent a lot of money in order to create a new streaming service without any brand backing behind it, which is a bold move.

01:14:32   But with Starpower, they want to create short video things. The idea here is basically this is a streaming service of stuff you watch on your phone.

01:14:41   And if you do a lot of watching a video on your phone or you don't because you don't want to watch a long Netflix show on your phone,

01:14:47   Quibi is supposed to fit the bill there because these are all short things.

01:14:52   They have over 50 originals.

01:14:54   They're doing things like they have a movie. They break the movie down into 10 minute chunks for you to watch.

01:15:02   Right. Stuff like that. I think one of the funny things about Quibi right now is Quibi was made for a world that we're not in right now, which is like.

01:15:12   Right where you're on the go.

01:15:13   Yes.

01:15:14   Because that's their whole thing. Like their marketing page. Watch on the go and offline anytime.

01:15:20   This is not a thing that people need right now. People want at the home, but they can still go for it. Right.

01:15:26   Like it's it's you know, they still have content.

01:15:29   But I wonder if they are not in the right environment for what they want to ship, but they're doing 90 day free trials.

01:15:38   So, yeah.

01:15:40   So here's what I would say.

01:15:43   Should it be taken seriously as a streaming service?

01:15:47   It should because of the money and the star power and everything that's behind it.

01:15:54   They're really serious about this. So it should be taken seriously.

01:16:00   Do I know I don't I think it's a ridiculous thing and it's a joke and it's going to fail, but I could be wrong.

01:16:07   And I think you should actually I think you'd if I was working for a streaming service, I would not take it seriously at my peril because they are really serious about it.

01:16:16   But I am really skeptical about it. It seems to me it feels just and again, I may be wrong because I am a Gen X-er and perhaps Millennials and Gen Z people will love this and it's perfectly tied to them.

01:16:34   And although Myke's point is really strong, which is it's meant for a lifestyle that they are not currently leading, but perhaps they can sample this in the 90 day trial at home and then they're going to love it.

01:16:44   And then they're going to want to continue it when they are released to move about the country.

01:16:50   But all that said, my gut feeling as somebody who watches this stuff is this is a very well-funded idea that comes from media industry olds who want to get hip with the kids.

01:17:05   And that I just I really doubt that it actually is a product that people are going to want that it's more like an idea of what if we did something different that was not as traditional as Netflix, but it may be, you know, it may be a middle-aged person wearing a hairpiece and not an actual young product. So we'll see.

01:17:26   Founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was at Disney. He's a Gen Z-er if there ever was one. Yeah. CEO is Meg Whitman, which is a name that you may remember.

01:17:35   She was at eBay and then she ran HP into the ground and then she ran for governor of California and lost. And yeah, what an interesting, inspiring executive.

01:17:47   No more expiring executives than Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman to do a new revolutionary bite-sized video service for the youngs.

01:17:58   I don't know about this one. You know what it feels like to me? Should be taken seriously, but I don't.

01:18:04   It feels like Luminary in its idea of like, we're going to throw a bunch of money at people, but it probably isn't going to go anywhere.

01:18:14   I mean, I'm intrigued though, because they have thrown a lot of money at a lot of very talented people. So maybe they will have some stuff that's interesting, but it doesn't seem like it.

01:18:26   I look forward when all of these clips end up on Hulu after they go out of business.

01:18:31   Oh, Jason Snell with the fire. And finally today, Rob asks, for those of us new to working from home and joining video and audio calls, what would you recommend as a headset or an external microphone for the best experience?

01:18:45   Would you recommend either headset or microphone or do you have specific recommendations for that?

01:18:51   Well, I, um, if you're not podcasting, you don't need a podcast microphone.

01:18:57   No, but you might want something a bit better, right? Like that, I think that's the thinking for a lot of people is like,

01:19:02   Well, the problem, problem is you get the microphone and then you've got to get the headphones to attach to it, or you can use your existing headphones.

01:19:09   I'm going to, I'm going to go against what you think I'm going to say here, Myke. And I'm going to say, um, I think you could get a good computer headset and if you're on phone calls and stuff and you're not podcasting, I'd, I'd get a headset.

01:19:25   I'd get like a Sennheiser. Um, my friend, uh, Steve Lutz has the PC one 31, which he uses on his computer.

01:19:33   Um, although that one I think has a, has a, has a stereo Jack, but there's, there's USB headsets too.

01:19:40   I would just find a nice, maybe look on, on wire cutter, find a nice rated, uh, headset Logitech, I think has some headsets too.

01:19:48   I would get a headset if all you're literally all you're doing is you want something to wear on a zoom call. Um, although to be honest, uh, your iPhone wired, although they won't work if it's a lightning, then it won't work on a Mac.

01:20:02   Do you have an old pair of iPhone, uh, ear pods in a box somewhere? Because you can plug those into your Mac and they just work and it's good enough.

01:20:13   It really is good enough. I love the audio technica, a microphone for podcasting and it does have a headphone Jack.

01:20:19   You bring your own headphones and then you've got a cool microphone and it's very high quality. Um, and it's about a hundred bucks.

01:20:26   It's not necessary if all you're doing is joining video calls every day. And I would say ergonomically the headset, if you're all day on audio and video calls, you need a headset because you need to be hands-free.

01:20:38   You don't want to have, and you don't want to be hunched over a microphone and Myke and I have like boom arms and microphones float in the air and stuff, but you're not going to have that.

01:20:46   So I, I'm, even though they're not great for podcasting, I think getting a good headset that's comfortable and that has the microphone right on it.

01:20:54   If you don't end in a pinch, just like I said, find an old pair of earbuds. That's got the microphone on it that plugs into your computer and use that.

01:21:03   Uh, what is that microphone that you like? The Audio Technica ATR 2100X, I think is the new version, but the 2100 is just the same version with a different port on it. A hundred bucks.

01:21:17   That's my best. That's my go-to podcasting mic, but again, I think you can probably find a $50 headset, $40 headset or floating around in an iPhone box that you never pulled out an old headphone jack version of, of, uh, ear pods will do it too.

01:21:34   Also air pods, if you've got those, although they won't last all day, but if you've got a break between between meetings, you can just use those and they're fine too.

01:21:41   I think the most important thing is don't, don't be in an unnatural position where you're hunched over or you have to hold something you want to just kind of on your head or in your ears so you can be free because otherwise you're going to hurt.

01:21:54   So I will make one recommendation, which is my, there's a good old Blue Yeti. If you want a microphone. So, okay. It's not as good for podcasting.

01:22:03   What I like about the Blue Yeti, it does have its own integrated stand, uh, where some microphone options wouldn't. It has a headphone port. Uh, it's very usable.

01:22:13   It's not the best thing in the world, but I would recommend it if you're looking, if you, for some reason want something, uh, which is, uh, external, but I agree with all of the recommendations that Jason gave as well of like, you probably don't need, uh, to have an external microphone.

01:22:32   Unless you're an aspiring podcaster. Yeah. And like there is the idea of like, look, maybe your company has said to you, we'll give you a little bit of money for this and you also want to make a podcast. You can then have both. Right.

01:22:46   And honestly, you don't, you know, if you've got a Mac laptop, um, your external microphone on it is probably okay. It's not, it's bad for podcasting, but it's probably okay.

01:22:58   The key is you got to wear headphones because you don't want your microphone picking up the audio of everybody else on the call and routing it back. And they do some noise canceling, but it doesn't really work and things get echoey and weird.

01:23:10   Or people get cut out. Yes. But if at that point, if you can get it so that you've got the, the, the headphones you're wearing have a microphone, they're a headset or they've got a little dangly part and that the Mac recognizes that do that instead. Cause that's better.

01:23:23   I will also make a recommendation if you're doing a fat like family calls and stuff. Uh, AirPods audio sharing is good because then you don't, then you can, everybody can have their own headset effectively.

01:23:39   Uh, and then also you're not doing like, as you say, you're not getting everyone talking over each other. Uh, so if you haven't used that feature before, it's really good for the sort of stuff.

01:23:49   AirPods audio sharing, cause I know a lot of people are doing, and I'm doing more of this too now with friends, right? Like me and Adina are having calls with friends. Uh, it's just as a way to keep up with each other. So it's a good thing for that.

01:24:00   But yet there are lots of options out there, but as Jason said, you probably already have something in your home, which is more than possible. But if you're looking for other options, they do exist.

01:24:10   All right. That is it for this week's episode of upgrade. You can find links and show notes at relay.fm/upgrades/291. You can find Jason online at sixcolors.com, the incomparable.com and he is @jsnell, J S N E double L.

01:24:24   I am @imike, I am Y K E. Both me and Jason hosts many other shows here at relay FM too. You can go to relay.fm/shows. If you're only listening to upgrade or maybe one of them more, go check them out. I bet you can find some cool stuff there that you will enjoy.

01:24:38   Uh, thanks so much to our sponsors this week. Linode, DoorDash and KiwiCo. Thank you so much for listening. We hope that you're happy, healthy, staying safe. Make sure that you do all of those things. Wash your hands, stay away from other people as much as you can, if you can.

01:24:55   We're all going to get through this together. Thanks so much for listening. Until next time, say goodbye Jason Snell.

01:25:01   Bye bye Myke Hurley and goodbye to everybody out there who is working outside of their house because they're essential in some way. Thank you for doing that.

01:25:09   Thank you. Yes.