288: Are We Being Punked?


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade Episode 288. Today's show is brought to you by DoorDash, Pingdom, and Previs Pro.

00:00:16   My name is Myke Hurley and I'm joined by Jason Snell. Hi, Jason Snell.

00:00:20   Hello, Myke Hurley. How are you?

00:00:22   Fine and dandy, my friend. I have a #snowtalk question for you.

00:00:26   This one comes from Doug and Doug is alerting our audience that spring is coming.

00:00:30   So thank you, Doug, for doing that. But that isn't Doug's question. Doug's question is,

00:00:34   "Jason, do you have any digital spring cleaning routines? My current plan is to go through my photo

00:00:38   library and clean out nonsense photos." Well, the short version of his "no," I don't have a spring

00:00:46   cleaning ritual for digital things. I do try sometimes to clean things, like physically clean

00:00:53   things in my house and pick things up and stuff. But I do have a cleaning robot that does all my

00:01:01   cleaning for me, sort of, all year round. Which is, yep, exactly. So I am a latecomer to Hazel by

00:01:11   NoodleSoft, which is a great Mac utility. But I did get into it last year and I wrote a post about

00:01:18   it on Six Colors that we can link to. And I have started to use Hazel in a bunch of different places

00:01:25   to do a bunch of different tasks. So like my article on Six Colors is about how I use it on my

00:01:30   server where my, because I'm a Mac mini with a giant, you know, raid array attached to it.

00:01:35   And that's where all my podcast archives go. And Hazel is running on that Mac mini and it's

00:01:41   patrolling. And it, for certain podcasts that are timely, that are not archival in any way,

00:01:48   it waits a period of time, a month or two, and then it just deletes them. It's like,

00:01:52   I don't need that anymore. For the ones that I want to save it, like the incomparable,

00:01:56   in case I need to pull it back out of the archive for an anniversary show or an end of year show,

00:02:01   it waits, I think, a month and then it compresses it all. So it takes up less disk space. And then

00:02:10   it's basically in an archive at that point. I can get it if I need it, but it's doing that.

00:02:16   On my Mac, I actually have it running. I have a folder that all my current working writing

00:02:21   documents are in called Stories. It's on Dropbox. Yeah, I thought so. And then I've got a Stories

00:02:28   archive. And Hazel, again, looks at that folder and says, if this file is older than whatever,

00:02:36   hasn't been modified in however many weeks, kick it into the archive. So the Stories

00:02:42   folder never gets too big. It's always basically just my most recent stuff.

00:02:47   - I'm interested by this Stories folder thing. What if you started something and then you just

00:02:52   leave it for a while, would it not just get automatically archived?

00:02:55   - Eventually, eventually after whatever a month or something, it would move to the archive. And

00:03:00   that happens occasionally where I start something and I want to retrieve it, but that's why the

00:03:03   archive exists. Stories archive is literally just a different folder. So I don't, mostly because like,

00:03:09   if I'm on Dropbox, if I'm loading something from a cloud service, I don't want a folder with a

00:03:13   thousand things in it. So it'll only have a dozen, maybe, or two dozen.

00:03:17   - Do you like the mental break of it as well? So when you're looking at that

00:03:22   folder of stuff, it doesn't seem like it's an overwhelming amount.

00:03:24   - Honestly, for me, it's mostly about navigation. It's about syncing and about the fact that

00:03:29   sometimes, especially on iOS, the sort is wrong and you end up, it's sorted by the wrong thing,

00:03:36   or it's sort of backward of the right thing. So like the oldest is at the top. And that's,

00:03:40   when nonsense like that happens, it's a lot easier if there's only 12 things in there than if there

00:03:45   are a hundred. So it's mostly about that, about just like not having the list be too long,

00:03:50   rather than any kind of like mental overhead. But this is my long way of saying that my really,

00:03:56   my biggest bit of digital spring cleaning, so to speak, is that I decided to wire up a lot of

00:04:00   my maintenance tasks to Hazel on my Mac so that I don't have to do them. I just have the robot

00:04:07   basically do them for me. - That's a really good,

00:04:10   that's a really good, yeah, Hazel is a very interesting application. I have it do a couple

00:04:15   of things for me, nothing too much. I just move some, it clears out like download folders,

00:04:21   it clears out podcasts, scratch folders, stuff like that.

00:04:24   - I've got that too, where it takes stuff that's been, also things in my trash. If I don't empty

00:04:30   the trash after a certain point, if something's been sitting in the trash for a week or two weeks

00:04:34   or whatever, it just deletes it and says, forget, it's gone. - Yeah, which is nice. It's just a nice

00:04:39   thing to have. It's especially useful if you have like a connected machine, like a machine that's

00:04:44   just like connected to a network, it can do a bunch of interesting stuff there, like moving

00:04:47   things from place to place. You put something in a folder and it triggers an action to be occurred to

00:04:52   it. It's very powerful. - I've thought about building more of that stuff and I might someday,

00:04:57   but the idea here as with any, and this is user automation, even if you don't write any scripts,

00:05:01   it's user automation, they've got a rule-based thing to do Hazel, but

00:05:04   the great thing about user automation is if there's a dumb repetitive task and you could

00:05:11   pretty easily codify what the rules are, it's much better to have like an automated system do

00:05:17   it for you so your brain never has to deal with it. And Hazel is actually a great way for Mac users

00:05:22   to do that if you're acting especially on files. Sometimes you have to think of the logic of it,

00:05:27   you'd be like, "What is my reasoning here?" But once you figure it out, it's really great

00:05:32   because you figure out the rule, it takes you a couple of minutes, and then you never, ever think

00:05:36   about that thing again. It's pretty great. - Until it breaks. - Until it breaks. That can happen.

00:05:41   It's a computer. Computers ruin everything. - I did just realize one of mine is broken,

00:05:45   which is it's not Hazel's fault. So I have had for years Dropbox automatically look at my camera

00:05:53   role through the Dropbox iOS app whenever I open it and just upload photos to the camera uploads

00:05:58   folder. And then I have Hazel scripts looking at that, taking those photos, and then just sorting

00:06:04   them by date and putting them in their own folders in just a Dropbox. I just have a very large

00:06:09   Dropbox folder with tons of photos in it organized by year or month. I've had this going for years

00:06:15   just as a tertiary backup. I have my photos backed up in multiple places. This is just one of them.

00:06:22   But I have now just realized, as we were talking about this, that I never turned on camera uploads

00:06:29   when I got my new iPhone. So since September, none of these photos have backed up. So I now

00:06:35   need to turn that on, manually make sure those photos are in there, and turn all the scripts

00:06:40   back on again. - I have a script that broke that is a Dr. Drang, the internet's favorite...

00:06:47   - Snowman. - Snowman, yes. He wrote... So he flies a lot out of Midway Airport, which is in Chicago,

00:06:53   which is a Southwest Airlines airport. And I fly a lot of Southwest out of San Francisco and Oakland.

00:06:58   And he wrote a script that's great because Southwest, you have to check in 24 hours before

00:07:03   to get your seat assignment... Well, not seat assignment, your line assignment. And so the

00:07:07   faster you check in, if you check in right 24 hours before, you'll get to board the plane faster.

00:07:12   Whereas if you don't pay attention and you check in 18 hours before or whatever, you will be at

00:07:16   the end of the line and you might not get a place to put your bag. So you really have to do it 24

00:07:23   hours before. And I love Southwest Airlines because I've just, I mean, I've internalized all of it.

00:07:26   Dr. Drang points out that the calendar scripts that you download from, or calendar files you

00:07:32   download from Southwest are not as informative as they should be. And so he wrote a script

00:07:39   that rewrites the ICS file to put your registration code, your check-in code,

00:07:48   and in the title of the event and more detail, and it automatically sets two alarms,

00:07:55   one for 24 hours in advance and one for 24 hours and 15 minutes in advance. It's great.

00:08:01   I mean, it's brilliant because he rewrote the ICS file that you download from southwest.com

00:08:06   to be way better formatted. And then you can add it to your calendar.

00:08:13   So I started using it and I love it. And it runs on a Hazel script where

00:08:20   when I had it set to download, when it downloads an ICS file, the way Dr. Drang set it up is,

00:08:27   and the ICS file contains the string Southwest Airlines, which it does, then run the script

00:08:34   and then add it to the calendar. And that broke. And it turns out, I think it broke because

00:08:40   Fantastical 3 has a quick look plugin for ICS files. And it seems to make the ability to look

00:08:49   inside the file. It makes the file opaque. Not quite, not a hundred percent on this,

00:08:54   but this is my guess. So now, if you say it contains the inside of the file contains this

00:08:59   text, it fails because now for whatever reason, it can't see inside that file.

00:09:04   And so it stopped working. But for that, one of the nice things about the way Safari is set up

00:09:11   in OS X is Apple's system is tracking what site you downloaded files from so that they can warn

00:09:18   you. They can say, this is a file downloaded from southwestairlines.com or southwest.com.

00:09:23   So, and Hazel will work with that. So I actually just changed my thing to say,

00:09:28   if it's an ICS file and the place it was downloaded from is southwest.com, then run the script.

00:09:34   And it does it. And it's like magic because you click the button and the file comes down. It gets

00:09:39   rewritten by Dr. Drang's script and my calendar app pops up and says, what calendar would you

00:09:43   like to add this to? And then it's got there with all the alarms and everything. It's pretty awesome.

00:09:47   So that's just an example. Like these things can be super complicated or super simple. And yes,

00:09:53   the more complicated they are, the more likely they are to break, but I still recommend it.

00:09:58   Great smell talk question. **Sebastian> Yeah. Maybe part of

00:10:00   people's spring cleaning routines is to make sure that their automations are still working.

00:10:04   **Matt Stauffer> Yeah. Yeah. And I was going to say, I was going to say, take, if you're,

00:10:07   if you're a spring cleaning aficionado, maybe take a minute to think, are there repetitive tasks that

00:10:12   I do that I hate that could easily be automated in some way on the iPad or on the iPhone or on the

00:10:20   Mac with the tools that are available? **Sebastian> I use shortcuts to do stuff.

00:10:24   **Matt Stauffer> Yeah. I mean, you can use shortcuts. Hazel's a great example where it's

00:10:28   not automator. It's not Apple script. It's not a Pearl script. It's not, you know, it's,

00:10:32   it's none of those things. It's a nice Mac app that will help you. And Keyboard Maestro is a

00:10:38   nice Mac app that will help you. And yes, shortcuts on iOS can help you too. So maybe that's part of

00:10:43   your spring cleaning ritual is can I automate this? **Sebastian> Spring into automation. That's

00:10:47   the theme here. **Matt Stauffer> Great. Summer fun.

00:10:50   **Sebastian> No, no. **Matt Stauffer> Spring of automation.

00:10:53   **Sebastian> That's spring of automation, summer of fun. What was it? Fall of discontent? Fall of

00:10:58   no content or something like that. I think that was what we were going for. Thank you so much to

00:11:03   Doug for sending that question in. You can always send in questions to help us start the show with

00:11:07   the hashtag Snell Talk. Jason, we've mentioned on a previous episode that we would talk about if we

00:11:12   found Apple Arcade games that we thought were particularly good. Now I have one here. This

00:11:17   doesn't mean that there hasn't been any good ones since the last time. What it does mean is I have

00:11:20   not been playing as many iOS games as I would like over the last few months. But when Crossy Road

00:11:26   Castle appeared, I immediately checked it out because I love the original Crossy Road. And I

00:11:31   was really keen to see what a follow-up game from these developers would be on Apple Arcade because

00:11:38   the obvious continuation is like diving deeper into free-to-play mechanics, right? Like in the

00:11:44   IAP stuff, but if it's on Apple Arcade, they're not going to have that. So I was really keen to

00:11:48   see what this game was. And it is very, very different to Crossy Road. So it has a lot of

00:11:55   visual things and some ideas in, you know, you can collect different characters and stuff, but

00:12:00   is effectively like a room/dungeon running, solving platform game. So yeah, it's got more in common

00:12:07   with a classic Mario game than it does with Frogger. And I typically do not enjoy games

00:12:13   where you have like fake buttons, like left, right, and jump, but the mechanics are so simple

00:12:19   and it seems like the recognition of your movements is really refined very well. So I like

00:12:24   it. And also it's lots of evolving mechanics. You're only ever doing one thing for a very short

00:12:30   period of time. You get through a room, you go to a new room, a new puzzle to solve, and they're using

00:12:35   different ways of traversing the environment. It's a fun game. I really enjoy it. So you should try

00:12:41   this one if you haven't. I have also played this game a lot and it's great, fun. And it hits the

00:12:47   spot in terms of it being like a good casual game where I can play it a little bit and have fun and

00:12:52   then set it aside and I'm not committing to a lot of time and it provides, you know, action and it

00:12:58   starts out easy and then it gets progressively harder and you have to solve the puzzles and

00:13:01   learn the new mechanics. And yeah, if you're an Apple Arcade person, give it a shot. And it's got

00:13:07   a multiplayer mode and it's got a controller mode and I haven't tried any of those. I think those

00:13:10   would actually be a lot of fun, but I've just been using touch controls on my iPad because that's

00:13:14   primarily how I play games and it's a lot of fun. Yeah, I've been playing on my iPhone because that's

00:13:20   how if I'm going to play an iOS game, it tends to be there. So yeah, this is a great addition. If you

00:13:24   haven't checked it out already, you should. I want to talk about the touch on the smart keyboard

00:13:28   again from last week's episode. We had a question from Myke that maybe we didn't completely talk

00:13:35   about. I know I didn't mention my feelings on it about whether we would run a function row on a

00:13:40   smart keyboard. I know that you mentioned it because you replied to Myke on Twitter and said so,

00:13:46   but we didn't really get into depth of it. And what I kind of wanted to know is what functions

00:13:52   would you actually want on a smart keyboard, like an iPad focused keyboard? The truth about the

00:13:59   function row is that the way Apple, because the wrong thing to do is to say, well, the function

00:14:05   row is dumb because it's F1, F4, F8, whatever. People don't use that. But Apple already threw

00:14:10   that out and redefined it. And the function row on Apple devices means something completely different.

00:14:15   It's brightness adjustment and it's screen brightness adjustment and potentially backlighting

00:14:22   adjustment, especially if there was a backlit keyboard. The media controls are there, right?

00:14:31   There are some multitasking or on Mac it's like mission control stuff that's up there.

00:14:36   So for me, I use on other keyboards on the iPad, I use it to adjust screen brightness and do media

00:14:42   control all the time. Now, we also know that in the next version of iOS or iPadOS 13, among the

00:14:49   new keyboard commands are these ability to bind keys to different functions. I cannot wait to bind

00:14:56   the escape key on every keyboard that I connect to my iPad to home. That's gonna be so good.

00:15:03   Imagine being able to potentially bind those function keys to other things too. So you could

00:15:11   fire off scripts or do other commands or things from there. So I think that's where it's going

00:15:14   and that's why I want the function keys. But the primary reason is for brightness and media

00:15:19   control because I do that all the time and reaching up to the screen to the top right,

00:15:24   sliding down to get control center to make it a little bit brighter or a little bit darker

00:15:29   is really annoying. And on my Mac, I can do that on the keyboard and I do all my media controls on

00:15:33   the keyboard and I can't. It's frustrating that I can't do that on the smart keyboard. So I feel

00:15:38   like it's a real missing thing that Apple could address. They could get away with doing it via

00:15:44   other keyboard shortcuts if they made it that you could assign system-wide keyboard shortcuts of any

00:15:50   kind. But I think it's a more likely scenario that they'd have a little tiny function row up there

00:15:54   with controls, device controls on it. I would, the types of controls I always want to see like home,

00:16:02   to be able to access multitasking is good. I would like to be able to bring up the emoji keyboard,

00:16:10   stuff like that would be, I would really like. So those are the types of things that I would love

00:16:15   to see on an iPad focused function row, because I don't think all of the same really apply. And I

00:16:24   like that on the bridge keyboard, they have like a home button and stuff like that and they bring

00:16:28   up the keyboard. Yeah, lock button. Yeah, and a dictation button, if that's something that you

00:16:31   want. Like they're all useful things where you can add different functions. What about, I mean,

00:16:36   okay, so imagine a world where money and engineering was no object. What about a touch

00:16:41   bar on a product like this? We had somebody write into us about that. Like, I don't think that Apple

00:16:46   could or would do it right now, but I can imagine they would probably like to.

00:16:49   I don't know. I mean, I feel like the touch bar is Apple trying to bring iPad technology to

00:16:57   the Mac. And so I'm not sure it really makes any sense on the iPad. Also technically, right? Like,

00:17:06   I think the amount of power draws is probably not something that could be done with the smart

00:17:11   connector. And I think that the thickness and the weight of it, like it's going to make it a super

00:17:16   thick, heavy thing. One way I thought it could be done, I don't think I'm going to do this, but like

00:17:20   E Ink could be a way to make it maybe a cheaper and lighter and easier to use touch bar. But at

00:17:27   that point, why even bother? But it could be a way. Yeah, I do this. Remember back to the Mac,

00:17:32   this would be like back to the iPad. It's like we built this thing to make iPad things on a Mac,

00:17:37   and now we're bringing it back to the iPad where it's just a thing again. I don't know. I don't

00:17:43   know. I just think technically it's not possible right now. It's an interesting question I had

00:17:47   never considered, which is what about a touch bar? But it's like, I can't see it because I think it

00:17:51   would require some massive re-engineering and I'm not quite sure it would make sense and it would

00:17:55   make it a much heavier kind of product. And does Apple want to go down that route of making a

00:18:02   bridge style keyboard that basically turns your iPad into a full-on laptop, including the weight?

00:18:07   My gut feeling is no, that they want to still keep it kind of light so that people will walk

00:18:12   around with the iPad with this keyboard. By the way, before we move on, I have to mention

00:18:17   another amazing piece of feedback we got, which is I made a joke last week about how maybe the

00:18:23   solution to backlighting on the smart keyboard pro on the new iPad Pro could be front lighting,

00:18:30   where there'd be like a spotlight on the iPad Pro that would shine down on the keyboard so you could

00:18:35   see your fingers. This really happened. Apparently, I think the ThinkPad, the old IBM ThinkPad at one

00:18:43   point had this feature where they would put a little light down on the keyboard so you could

00:18:49   see it. So I was just kidding, but somebody actually thought that was a good idea once.

00:18:55   This episode is brought to you in part by Previs Pro. If you make films or create videos,

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00:20:22   now. Our thanks to Previs Pro for their support of this show and all of Relay FM. Alright Jason Snell,

00:20:28   I wanted to tell you about the App Store review guidelines. I know that they're your favorite

00:20:32   thing. I know you love poring over the App Store review guidelines, but there's a couple of changes

00:20:36   that I wanted to mention. One of them, which is kind of follow up, is that you remember we were

00:20:40   talking about sign in with Apple and we hadn't seen it very much. Well the deadline has been set,

00:20:46   sign in with Apple must be featured and implemented by April 30th. That's the deadline and I don't

00:20:52   know about you, but I've been seeing it more and more recently. I noticed it on the Dropbox app,

00:20:56   I've noticed it in Creative Cloud, so developers are implementing sign in with Apple now,

00:21:02   which is fun. I mean even setting up an Android phone, it's fun to see it there, right? So if you

00:21:07   download Dropbox for Android, there is a sign in with Apple button because they have to offer that,

00:21:12   right? Because if that's how you set up your account on iOS, that's where your account

00:21:17   information is. So that was kind of a funny thing to see. But another thing is Apple have clarified,

00:21:22   I think finally, how advertising can be used in push notifications. So this is what the

00:21:28   new guidelines say, "Push notifications should not be used for promotions or direct marketing

00:21:33   purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed

00:21:39   in your app's UI and you provide a method in your app for a user to opt out from receiving such

00:21:44   messages. Abuse of these services may result in revocation of your privileges." So previously,

00:21:50   this wording kind of said that the practice was not allowed at all, that you could not use push

00:21:54   notifications for marketing. And we've seen over time, this is kind of like a meme on Twitter of

00:21:59   not only companies breaking this rule, but Apple themselves, right? Just like, here's a push

00:22:04   notification about Apple TV, here's a push notification about the credit card stuff. So

00:22:09   you would expect now, I think now that they've refined this, that maybe they will be enforcing

00:22:14   these rules. So companies that are sending them without opt in or without a way to opt out would

00:22:20   be good. So there you go. That's just something I wanted to mention. I think it's important.

00:22:24   And I hope to see Apple as well as other companies kind of paying attention to this.

00:22:31   I also had one piece of upstream follow up for you, Jason. So on last episode, I said that the

00:22:37   Simpsons were not confirmed to come to Disney Plus, but it turns out now they are. This is

00:22:42   fascinating. So on March 3rd, so I think it was the day after our episode, Sky and Disney announced

00:22:48   a deal that would allow Sky to sell and display Disney Plus on their SkyCube box. It's like their

00:22:53   set-top box, which is a bit of an omnibox, right? You can get Netflix on it and stuff like that,

00:22:58   like it has apps. You still have to pay, but you pay through Sky and I think Sky take a cut

00:23:04   is my assumption. But Disney and Sky came to this arrangement. The deal also gave Sky the quote,

00:23:12   "first pay window rights to a bunch of upcoming 20th century films." So they would get it before

00:23:16   any other service, right? Before it would then go to Disney Plus, presumably. The very next day,

00:23:22   Disney announced that Simpsons would be a part of Disney Plus. So obviously as part of this deal,

00:23:28   Disney were like, "Look, we're going to give you all of this, but we want to share the Simpsons

00:23:31   rights now." And so I assume that's what's happened because now Disney Plus have confirmed

00:23:37   that all of the Simpsons will be on the service. So I think that's great because there's a lot of

00:23:43   content. That's a lot of content for Disney Plus. And I think if a territory doesn't have something

00:23:50   as big as the 300 episodes of The Simpsons, it makes it less of a good deal. To know that,

00:23:59   like, "Oh, this great content is available in other markets, but we can't get it, but we're

00:24:03   still paying the same amount of money." That would have been frustrating. So I'm pleased to see that.

00:24:08   So it was just a funny way that it all unfolded. It's one of those things that seem to be behind

00:24:14   closed doors that get out. And this is one of them. I just thought it was funny.

00:24:18   Should we talk about coronavirus? I think we have to. I think we can't escape it.

00:24:26   Do I like talking about it? No, not really. Because this is one of those things where

00:24:31   world events bleed into technology, but it is bleeding in in a big way. And there's a lot of

00:24:38   interesting things coming out of it, so let's talk about it. So since our last episode, Jason,

00:24:42   Google have officially canceled Google I/O. This was set for May. Google had already announced it.

00:24:50   People have already been in the lottery. They bought their tickets. Google is refunding the

00:24:55   tickets, and anybody who won a ticket in the lottery automatically gets entered in for the

00:25:00   next year. Yeah, I think they can even choose. I think they can choose, like, 21, 22, or 23.

00:25:04   If you can't do next year, you could defer it even further. Which is even better. I didn't know that

00:25:10   part, but that's even better. Google haven't been completely clear yet what their plans are going to

00:25:14   be for I/O. I think it's clear to assume what they're going to be. Probably exactly the same

00:25:20   as what we expect Apple's will be. That they will do a media, well, possibly media invited event

00:25:26   where they should do their keynote, and they'll do that somewhere else, probably at their headquarters.

00:25:31   And then they'll have video events and video content going out for their developers,

00:25:37   the same as they would have anyway, but it will all be made without anybody in an audience.

00:25:44   That's that. Apple pulled out South by Southwest. Apple were going to be showing off trailers and

00:25:51   stuff with new content coming to Apple TV+. Then South by Southwest was canceled. It wasn't because

00:25:58   of that. You can't fire us. We quit. Yeah, the whole thing got canceled. But yeah, Apple had

00:26:05   already, along with a lot of people. The way this generally works is that these events that have

00:26:09   multiple participants, the participants all start dropping out and then it gets canceled or

00:26:15   postponed. Sometimes we're going to be asking the question a lot over the next few months about

00:26:20   when is a cancellation, when is a postponement, what is the difference? Because some of these,

00:26:26   like the Comic-Con in Seattle got postponed till summer, which is great, except you try to imagine

00:26:33   how are they going to find all the hotel rooms and the conference center space in the summer,

00:26:38   if they can even have it then. And it's a question of is a postponement a soft cancellation?

00:26:44   I think a lot of the postponements are wishful thinking on the part of the organizer.

00:26:50   No, I think so. And the fact is we don't really know how this is going to go, but yeah,

00:26:55   I think that some of it is softens the blow. We're just going to postpone. Gives them the option to

00:27:00   fully cancel it later, but lets them keep their options open. Santa Clara County in California,

00:27:05   which is a county that includes San Jose, which is particularly, and also Cupertino and everywhere,

00:27:12   has urged technology companies to consider canceling any large-scale events. They have not,

00:27:17   as some people are kind of claiming, said you cannot do this. They are saying we would prefer

00:27:22   if you wouldn't. They haven't made a rule, but they are making guidance. It's another

00:27:29   little increment toward the cancellation of WWDC, and something that we have been talking about for

00:27:37   a while. And I think, not only do I have a hard time believing that they would have WWDC now,

00:27:47   but I assume they've already decided not to have it. And it's all about coming out with the

00:27:52   strongest announcement of what the replacement for it, if there is one, is going to look like,

00:27:58   rather than it being, you know, I don't think that we haven't heard from Apple because they're

00:28:01   debating it. I suspect Apple has decided not to do it, and is trying to figure out how to go out

00:28:07   with a message of what the new thing will be like. Because how can you, your county is saying,

00:28:13   don't do this. So I don't know how you can say, no, what we would like to do is fly in from all

00:28:19   over the world, thousands of people, and then have them in close quarters in Santa Clara, and

00:28:27   have our most important platform building employees also in that building, and they'll all

00:28:34   like bump into each other and stuff, and then we'll all go back. Seems like a bad idea. Seems like a

00:28:39   really bad idea. Seems like a really bad idea at all, doesn't it? Then John Prosser, the YouTube

00:28:44   channel Front Page Tech, claims that they have an internal source at Apple stating there will not be

00:28:49   a media event for products in March. Prosser's kind of, I've been seeing him around recently

00:28:56   with lots of sources and stuff that seems to be turning out true. I'll take this. He also

00:29:00   published a memo, which was also obtained by Bloomberg, from Tim Cook to Apple employees

00:29:06   urging them to work at home where possible this coming week. The idea of a no media event for

00:29:14   products in March doesn't mean no products in March, but we also don't know. They could just

00:29:19   release products, they could do briefings if they wanted to, but again, it is not wild to

00:29:26   assume that Apple do not want to have lots of people come to their campus right now

00:29:30   for practical reasons and for public relations reasons. You don't want to be seen assembling

00:29:38   hundreds of people. And as we discussed last week, Apple can do product rollouts without events.

00:29:45   They don't need the events. We saw it with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. They can do small scale

00:29:50   briefings with people and with journalists in controlled environments, one-on-one, one-on-two,

00:29:58   a group of 10, group of five. They can do those things where they can kind of have more control

00:30:04   over it and not have the big public environment. And those groups are much smaller, right? It's not

00:30:09   every single person from that giant theater met in a small group. It's a much smaller group of

00:30:15   people who actually get those conversations to happen and roll out the products that way.

00:30:21   They absolutely can do that. And this is sort of what my gut feeling was a few weeks ago is that

00:30:27   the solo events become briefings and the giant events become solo events maybe.

00:30:33   And everything gets taken back a notch in terms of human interaction because that's where we are

00:30:39   right now. Which is the right way to go. And in the same way that Apple is, along with many

00:30:45   tech companies telling their people to work at home where they can, they're guaranteeing people

00:30:51   that work in situations that can't be worked from home. If you maybe work on site for some reason

00:30:58   and you cannot do the work that you do from home, Apple is guaranteeing the hourly rates for those

00:31:04   people, which I think is the right thing to do. Some Apple retail stores are canceling events and

00:31:10   removing a portion of their seats to discourage people hanging around. Yeah, I heard from people

00:31:14   who work at Apple retail that their approach is evolving even if they're not closing stores.

00:31:22   They're canceling high profile events and field trips and all of this stuff. They're not doing

00:31:31   that stuff. They're scaling everything back. And it sounds like the retail stores, you know,

00:31:40   they have those seats, they have chairs, and they have those little cubes, those little wood cubes.

00:31:45   It sounds like they've all been instructed to take about half of those out of the store.

00:31:50   The idea there is reduce the density, discourage people from hanging around,

00:31:54   because they want to kind of reduce the load of concern of potential threat in the Apple store.

00:32:03   This is not a time for big congregations, including at Apple retail. So I think we'll see more of this

00:32:08   even if they stay open. The idea that, you know, we're gonna phase out events for a while. We're

00:32:14   gonna phase out seating areas so that we're not encouraging town squares or whatever. Like,

00:32:20   we don't really want you hanging about in large groups. We want you to kind of come in and then

00:32:25   head back out again, because that's where we are right now.

00:32:27   Matt Fingert (guest): And look, something we can't comprehend right now, and we really can't,

00:32:31   is how this is going to impact technology and Apple's products over the next year. Every day,

00:32:36   I'm seeing different reports from analysts about whether there is or isn't delays on products.

00:32:40   Right now, people are saying, "Oh, it's going to be delayed for months." And other people are

00:32:44   saying, "Apple got it all done." So it is just not possible for us to see, but we will as time

00:32:50   goes on over the next few months, we'll get the idea.

00:32:52   Eric Michael (guest): We literally don't know if that March event postponement is because it's

00:32:56   an event or because they can't get the products. We don't, or both, right? It's probably both.

00:33:01   Matt Fingert (guest): The only one we don't know for sure is the iPhone. When does the iPhone come

00:33:05   out? Then we'll know if Apple was here, because everything else, we don't know. But you know

00:33:09   there's an iPhone in September, but if the iPhone comes out in October, then we'll see, "Ah, okay,

00:33:14   that was the effect that was had on them." This is uncharted territory room right now.

00:33:20   Every day it's changing. It's wild. Talking about new products, a friend of the show,

00:33:25   Ming-Chi Kuo, has reported that Apple is working on six products that feature mini-LED

00:33:30   screen technology that will debut sometime from now until the end of 2021.

00:33:34   Eric Michael (guest): First off, I don't think Ming-Chi Kuo knows who we are,

00:33:37   but we like him. It's an unrequited friend. The show likes him.

00:33:43   Matt Fingert (guest): Yeah. I consider Ming-Chi Kuo a friend.

00:33:47   Eric Michael (guest): Okay, good. Mini-LED, by the way, this is not the micro-LED that has been

00:33:54   talked about, that's almost like OLED, as a competitor for OLED. Mini-LED, and we'll link,

00:34:01   Sina did a nice explainer about it, but mini-LED is smaller banks of LED backlighting. Any screen

00:34:07   that does LED, you've got the screen, and then you've got light behind it shining through it.

00:34:11   And on TVs, you can have this sort of like active backlighting where these dimming zones,

00:34:17   like if it's darker, they get darker, and if it's brighter, they get brighter. And it's a way to,

00:34:21   since you can't control every single pixel, like OLED or micro-LED, to get more dynamic range.

00:34:28   So like I've got an active dimming TV, and it's not, it's HDR, but it's not an OLED. And as a

00:34:37   result, it's, and sometimes you can see it, it's dimming zones of the screen. Well, mini-LED,

00:34:43   those zones are a lot smaller. The way it's described by the the CNET explainer is that

00:34:48   if you took the screen off and just saw the mini-LED display behind it, what you would see is

00:34:54   like a super low resolution black and white version of the picture, if that makes sense. So,

00:35:00   you know, it's the pixels, if you will, these backlight areas are a lot smaller,

00:35:06   which means that the darker parts get darker and the lighter parts get lighter, and you end up with

00:35:11   a more refined backlighting scheme that gets you a better quality picture, and the brighter stuff

00:35:17   seems brighter, and the darker stuff seems darker, and you get better dynamic range. So

00:35:21   mini-LED, just to be clear, it is a more advanced and precise active backlighting system,

00:35:28   not an OLED-like thing where every pixel is controlling its own light. That's micro-LED

00:35:35   or OLED. So the products that we'll be getting this technology, because clearly this is something

00:35:41   that Apple is looking to roll out to everything, it would appear. So over the next two years,

00:35:46   12.9-inch iPad Pro, 10.2-inch iPad, 16-inch MacBook Pro, the 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, which

00:35:53   is a product that doesn't currently exist, and 7.9-inch iPad Mini sometime in 2020, and 27-inch

00:36:01   iMac Pro in Q4 2020. Is that a new iMac Pro I hear? Yes, believe it or not, the product is not

00:36:10   dead. What is it, like rumors of my death were greatly exaggerated?

00:36:14   Qo did not give dates for any other of the products in this report, but I guess there's

00:36:20   some logic you can apply here. Like, one, you would not expect the first iPad to get this technology

00:36:26   to be the iPad Mini. That would seem peculiar, unless they radically redesigned the iPad Mini

00:36:34   and made it like a new big thing. But the 12.9-inch iPad has been rumored to be getting a

00:36:40   second update after the first update, if that ever comes. So it could be then, in September. And I

00:36:48   guess you would also expect to see a 14-inch MacBook earlier than, like, the end of the year?

00:36:56   Yeah, what's unclear here is, are there other device generations before the Mini LED technology?

00:37:02   Because obviously Min-Chi-Kuo's source here is a Mini LED manufacturer or component manufacturer.

00:37:09   So he can say, "Oh, there's going to be a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro with Mini LED." And we're like,

00:37:15   "Oh, there isn't one of those now, that's interesting." There could still be a 14.1-inch

00:37:21   MacBook Pro using the old technology in between now and then, or not, we don't know.

00:37:25   Mm-hmm. So there's a lot of interesting things here. I think really, the thing that I like the

00:37:31   most about this report is the iPad Mini and the iMac Pro. Because I like the idea of the iPad Mini

00:37:40   continuing. I like the idea of the iPad Mini getting new technology, because it means we

00:37:45   could see a redesigned iPad Mini, which could be a very interesting product, right? An iPad Mini with

00:37:51   Face ID and super thin bezels, that's like a little pocket computer. I like the thought of

00:37:57   that product. And also the fact that the iMac Pro is going to continue is interesting. It would be

00:38:06   funny in a way for me, because if that is, I don't think we'll see probably any change to the iMac

00:38:11   Pro until then, maybe. That would be funny because of just how long it would have been around for.

00:38:17   And it basically then reminds me of the Mac Pro. Q4 2020 is the end of this year.

00:38:22   Yep. That's not surprising to me at all. If he had said 2021, I would have been like, wow,

00:38:27   that's... But Q4 2020, so it's a three-year cycle for it. And in the meantime, they built the Mac

00:38:34   Pro. I don't think that's unrealistic. And I would hope that it would keep getting updates every

00:38:41   couple of years from now on if they're going to keep it around, which I think they should.

00:38:47   I don't know if we've ever given our full case for the iMac Pro, but I think it's embedded in our

00:38:51   discussion of the Mac Pro over the last few years, which is the Mac Pro is an extreme product. The

00:38:56   iMac Pro is less extreme and has a lot going for it, unless you need the expansion stuff. But for

00:39:01   most users, even the iMac is pretty powerful. The iMac Pro is a great buy if you don't need

00:39:07   that internal stuff, if you don't need cards and internal storage and all the other stuff that the

00:39:12   Mac Pro gives you, you just need processor power. The iMac Pro is pretty great and I love mine.

00:39:19   Tim Cynova Yeah, and that's exactly it, right? Like we...

00:39:22   I mean, I don't want to pay and I can't really afford the Mac Pro that I would want, honestly.

00:39:28   But the iMac Pro gives me all of the power that I need in a form factor that I want because I also

00:39:34   don't need to buy a monitor. It makes it a great machine. It makes it the Pro machine that we want

00:39:42   it makes it the Pro machine that we would have bought, right? Like a Mac Pro in this kind of

00:39:47   price range is the product we would have had if the iMac Pro didn't exist. So it's kind of perfect

00:39:52   for that. So I am also very pleased to see that it is continuing to persist as a product in Apple's

00:39:58   lineup. Tim Cynova

00:39:59   Yeah, for sure. No, this is fascinating stuff. The 12.9 inch iPad Pro, there's a question like,

00:40:06   does that mean that there are two iPad Pros, but only the big one gets the mini LED?

00:40:12   David ELLIS That would make sense if they are going to do a second revision in one year,

00:40:17   which is not out of the ordinary, like it's not unheard of, that they may just do it to one of

00:40:22   them, right? Not like overturn the entire iPad Pro product line in... twice.

00:40:29   Tim Cynova It could also be that what they're planning on rolling out is this, right? Because

00:40:33   it's between now and the end of 2021. Maybe their first mini LED product is the iPad Pro 12.9.

00:40:40   And it gets that now and the 11 doesn't. And they say, you know, because I think it's not terrible

00:40:46   for Apple to say the bigger iPad Pro has some things that the smaller iPad Pro doesn't, right?

00:40:51   Like a little bit of differentiation. Right now they're identical. A little bit of differentiation

00:40:56   is not terrible. David ELLIS

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00:42:42   Okay, so 9to5Mac. Zach Hall at 9to5Mac has been breaking stories left and right

00:42:50   during our show as well. So we have a lot of stuff to talk about here today. Breaking news.

00:42:56   Breaking news. We have a few different stories. We're going to cover them all. First up is iOS 14

00:43:02   cursor support. Quote, "A rich system-wide support for mouse cursors in iPadOS."

00:43:07   Wow. Yeah, so this is the big one. And this is something we theorized about when we were talking

00:43:16   about the rumors of a trackpad on those keyboards that they might build in, you know, text cursor

00:43:22   support or the assisted touch support or some combination thereof now. But then iOS 14 had

00:43:30   better figure it out, right? Like put it together in one way. And this leaked code that they say is

00:43:38   from iOS 14 suggests that Apple is going to, if you've got a connected pointing device,

00:43:45   it's going to give you a cursor, not a big floating invisible finger thingy, you know,

00:43:53   virtual cursor. With the hand or the pointer, like the real ones. Yeah, the cursor will actually

00:43:58   change based on context like it does on the Mac and then it will submarine, it will disappear

00:44:03   when you're not driving it because obviously if you have no pointing device attached,

00:44:09   you won't ever see it. But if you do have a pointing device attached, you'll see it when

00:44:13   you're moving it and then you'll stop. Or if you decided you want to change over to touch,

00:44:17   right? So like your mouse is attached but you want to start using it. Well, the cursor doesn't need

00:44:22   to be there at that point. Exactly. So this is big. The report claims that there are two smart

00:44:29   keyboards in development. Maybe one has the touch bar, Jason. One doesn't. I'm kidding. But as a

00:44:38   quote from the article, the presence of new smart keyboard models in these gestures heavily suggests

00:44:42   that the keyboard accessory will feature a standard laptop-like trackpad. Yeah, there's

00:44:46   even tap to click apparently as one of the options here. Although, another quote, although we could

00:44:51   not find information of the physical shape of the new accessories, the code findings imply

00:44:55   a standard laptop-like design of the keyboard above and large trackpad below. Now, my question

00:45:00   on this really is it kind of is basically what we were talking about last time. I would expect

00:45:06   and hope that there is an iOS 13 stepping stone. Well, you can't release a trackpad that doesn't do

00:45:13   anything. Exactly. So there has to be something. And my guess is either it will be some quick

00:45:20   refinements to assistive touch or it will be that text editing only thing. I really think the most

00:45:26   likely scenario is that out of the box, it'll do text editing and then you can turn on assistive

00:45:30   touch. And that's how they'll sell it. And then in a later OS release, iOS 14, they will have

00:45:38   more proper cursor support and it gives every developer the chance to think about that for next

00:45:43   time. Do you think that there's any chance that when Apple release this product that they would

00:45:48   say, "We are working on more"? I think there is a chance. I think there is a chance that they will

00:45:55   release this and say, "Here's how it works. Text editing, you can turn on this other feature." And

00:46:01   then it's coily saying something like, "You can expect to see more of this in the future," or,

00:46:07   "We're working on other great innovations in terms of cursor support on iOS. Stay tuned for that."

00:46:12   Wouldn't it seem that this is one of those situations where the hardware team got ahead

00:46:16   of the software team? Exactly. And so that's one of those things where you can't sync these things

00:46:21   up and everybody knows there's going to be a next version of iPad OS. So for them to say,

00:46:26   "We got more in store, so this is just the beginning," why not say that? They don't even

00:46:33   need to disclose what it is. They can keep that secrecy. But it lets Apple say, "We're just getting

00:46:39   started. Can't move a cursor my ass." Something like that. They'll never regret that.

00:46:46   Yeah, exactly. So I'm excited. I'm genuinely so excited. This is exactly what I wanted.

00:46:51   Yeah, I know. I kind of don't believe it. Is this a trick, Myke? Are they playing a trick on us?

00:46:57   Is Zach and everybody at 9to5Mac, are they tricking us as Benjamin Mayo?

00:47:02   They're all in on it. The fix is in, Jason.

00:47:05   They're tricking us. They're telling us everything we want to hear. And then there'll be a yoink

00:47:10   moment at some point when we realize that it's all a lie and there is no trackpad and there is

00:47:15   no cursor. It feels like that a little bit. Like this is almost too good to be true, but apparently

00:47:21   it is true. So that's too good. We have a couple of stories about the Apple Watch. So first up,

00:47:26   the Apple Watch health sensors. There seem to be some new ones on the way. So Zach is reporting

00:47:32   that according to code of an unreleased version of iOS 14, the same one, which we didn't mention,

00:47:36   but apparently was obtained in December. This build comes from something in December.

00:47:41   Who knows how it was attained, but that's what is being reported. That there are two new sensor

00:47:47   capabilities for Apple Watch coming. One of them is blood oxygen levels. So this basically just

00:47:52   monitors the amount of oxygen in your blood. Between 95 and 100% is considered healthy.

00:47:57   Blood oxygen levels below 80% could lead to risks. It's possible, I guess, that this sensor would

00:48:03   require new hardware. Like it would need to be a different sensor. I don't know, but I assume so.

00:48:08   You would think it would, although what I've heard is that the hardware on some Apple Watches has

00:48:15   been able to do this for a long time, but it hasn't been allowed. It hasn't been regulated

00:48:21   and they haven't built it in. I assume this would be on a new Apple Watch, but it's possible that it

00:48:27   could not be. And if you've ever had the little thing like clipped to your finger where they just,

00:48:31   I mean, it doesn't, you can do this through skin like now, but it's these big plastic things that

00:48:36   go on the tip of your finger and then they look at your blood oxygen level because it's shining a

00:48:40   really bright light basically looking at the blood under your skin. So it's a thing that it's another

00:48:49   data point that could be added to health data and logged and alerts could pop up and stuff like that

00:48:57   for sure. And there's also some improvements coming to the ECG function on the Apple Watch.

00:49:03   So currently series four and five Apple Watches are not very good. They have inconclusive readings

00:49:09   when a heart rate is between 100 and 120 beats per minute, but this is going to be taken care of and

00:49:14   fixed. I'm assuming this will just be like a software update and previous watches will benefit

00:49:19   from this because it seems more like a missing feature or bug than anything else. Unless it's

00:49:24   a hardware issue that it's just bad at that and the new ones will be better at that. I don't know.

00:49:29   It's one of the great mysteries. Zach Hall reiterates that Apple is developing sleep

00:49:35   tracking in one report and then doubles down on it in another report. So there will be links in

00:49:40   the show notes for all of these reports. So you can go and read them because as is always more

00:49:44   details in these things that we are getting to. So sleep tracking is going to be coming to the Apple

00:49:49   Watch. We've heard this for a long time, but sleep goals that you could set inside of the app,

00:49:56   recommendations for getting better sleep, except the health app will say, "Hey, why don't you think

00:50:00   about this?" And as is usual with this stuff, the more data you can give to it from different areas,

00:50:06   the better kind of information it can give back to you. But sleep tracking has seemed like an

00:50:11   obvious feature for the Apple Watch for a long time and it seems like it's going to be coming

00:50:15   at least with watchOS 7. Maybe it needs a new Apple Watch. I don't think so, but we'll see.

00:50:23   Yeah, I don't think so. This is one of those where I feel fairly confident that in the end,

00:50:27   you can use this with any Apple Watch, but you're going to need to make sure it's charged.

00:50:31   And I had it where my Apple Watch was not on the charger overnight one time, and I got through

00:50:37   mid-afternoon the next day before it said, "I'm at 10% battery and I'm going to die very soon."

00:50:44   So a scenario where you wear it all night and then charge it in the morning,

00:50:52   I just think that we are already there with a lot of these watches. So it should work as long as you

00:50:58   find some time to charge it. And I would like to think that if you were somebody using this

00:51:03   feature that maybe the Apple Watch could pop up and be like, "Hey, you should charge me if you

00:51:07   want to do sleep tracking tonight." That kind of thing I think would be kind of nice, maybe in the

00:51:11   middle of the afternoon. So like, "Oh, I'm not going to last. It would be great if you could

00:51:15   give me some juice." As you would expect, a new version of watchOS will bring new watch faces.

00:51:21   One of these is the Infograph Pro watch face. This is going to include a tech emitter.

00:51:26   This is a very complex thing to explain, but you will have seen this on some watches where you have

00:51:34   that dial around the outside that sometimes can be moved. It makes that little clicking sound.

00:51:39   It's a thing for measuring speed and distance. Yeah, I would say this is very much a skeuomorphism

00:51:46   feature where this is a way to measure things that digital watches are great at showing you in lots

00:51:55   of different ways, data. But analog watches, watches, you know, old school watches with hands,

00:52:01   they had to come up with a way to do it. And it sounds like the tech emitter is basically that

00:52:04   way of doing it. And they're going to do a tech emitter on the Infograph Pro watch face, which is,

00:52:10   it's just funny. But I think it makes sense that this is a watch concept. So why would you not have

00:52:15   it available? It's the same reason that there are hands and a sweeping second hand on the Apple

00:52:20   watch is because it's a kind of classic thing that feels like a watch and it's an analog way to

00:52:25   display the data. And I would hope that they use this in some fun ways, right? Like it's a computer,

00:52:31   like do cool stuff with it. A photo album watch face, which I think is a good idea. You can

00:52:36   currently set images as a watch face, but this would actually be a photo album, so it would

00:52:40   scroll through. It includes shared albums, which is cute, right? So you could have like a little family

00:52:46   shared album and a watch face and you could all put your images into it and the watch face could

00:52:50   change. We do this with our Echo Show and it's very nice. So I think that's a cool idea. And this

00:52:56   is an interesting one, the kid Apple watch mode. So you'll be able to activate a second Apple watch

00:53:03   without a phone. It kind of feels like an MDM type thing, like the mobile device management

00:53:07   type stuff, because it would be a watch that's managed by another device or managed by the phone.

00:53:13   You can set what apps and services you want to be installed on it, including a school time mode,

00:53:19   which would lock the watch to certain apps and functions during a defined period. Now,

00:53:24   let me ask you, Jason, do you think that this would bring different hardware in any way?

00:53:30   No, I think this is just being able to, like I've got a kid, honestly, I think that the way that

00:53:38   this works the best is I've got a kid and I don't want to give them a phone, but I would get them

00:53:43   an Apple watch cellular even. And that way they can call for help, they can call me, I can see

00:53:49   where they are, all of those things without having to have a paired Apple watch. And I expect Apple

00:53:55   know that people are doing this, right? Yeah, and I think people want, this is a good example where

00:54:00   there's a lot of cases where you give a kid a phone because you need to keep them in touch and

00:54:04   you want to see where they are, but you really don't want them to have a phone. They're maybe

00:54:10   too young to have a phone, you don't think that you want that, but you could get them an Apple watch

00:54:14   and then they're reachable in case of emergencies, you can send them texts, all of those things,

00:54:22   and all they are is they just have to keep wearing their watch and you can see where they are and all

00:54:25   of those things. So I think it's an interesting idea that you have to make happen so it isn't like

00:54:30   the premise of the Apple watch was originally, which is that your watches are all attached to

00:54:36   your iPhone and they're your watches and you don't want that. If you want to give one of these to the

00:54:40   kid, you want it to be a different number, you don't want them to see your texts, right? You

00:54:43   want to be able to text them and that, so it sounds like they're, this is all part of this

00:54:48   larger trend toward making the watch be more standalone and not completely reliant on a

00:54:54   specific iPhone. And this is actually kind of an interesting first step that eventually this would

00:55:00   be for anyone who wants to buy an Apple watch, but it's just another step along the way where there's

00:55:07   this idea that you can kind of spin off an extra watch for things like for kids and then, you know,

00:55:13   school time, like FaceTime, having the ability to do parental controls on the watch and limit like

00:55:18   what they can do when they're at school is a natural thing to fit into this too. And then

00:55:24   there's one last report from Zach. I expect there will be more this week, by the way, like we've had

00:55:30   a lot in the last 24 hours. I reckon that this will be another one. Oh, Benjamin Mayo published

00:55:37   the iPad article, by the way, the cursor article. We may have mis-credited that, so I will now

00:55:42   reflect. I will change my set on that in case, but yeah, I expect there's going to be a lot more at

00:55:47   9 to 5 Mac over the next coming days because they're good like that. But this one is about

00:55:52   over-ear AirPods, which is something we've spoken about for a while on the show. Zach in the chat

00:55:57   room says yes to that. So... Head pods. Head pods. So they've discovered icons in this leaked code,

00:56:05   potentially two colors. So there is an icon which is white and an icon which is dark.

00:56:10   I do wonder if that's colors or if it's night mode, like dark mode. So that's my question,

00:56:17   right? Do they actually have a white one and a black one or do they have two colors of one icon?

00:56:22   We're not sure. We'll see. Yeah, but why would you show black headphones if they don't exist?

00:56:28   Well, what I mean is if you turned your UI from light to dark... Anyway. Right. But yeah, anyway.

00:56:36   But anyway. Okay. I would love it if we would see these colors on other AirPods, not just on the

00:56:42   over-ear ones. Maybe that's something that Apple will do. 9 to 5 are saying definitively that these

00:56:47   are not Beats headphones. They're classified in the code as AirPods. There isn't really any more

00:56:52   information except for the fact that this is iconography, which would seem to indicate that

00:56:56   they exist. I wonder about this charging. Here I can like probably lightning, right, would charge

00:57:03   these products. Not something you'd put in a battery case, I can't imagine. No, it could be

00:57:07   USB-C. I could see that too. Yep. Depending on what cables you think you've got at hand,

00:57:12   the Sony over-ear headphones that I bought last year are USB-C charging and a lot of those are

00:57:18   going that way. And I don't know if your Apple... I mean, you could do lightning because that's what

00:57:23   the AirPods case is, is lightning. But I could see it also being USB-C. Whew. What an afternoon

00:57:31   already. It's a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff. There's a lot going on. A lot going on.

00:57:36   Mysterious... Again, I have to say what is going on at Apple that there's code that is allegedly

00:57:44   from iOS 14 that has been floating around since December. I love the information, but if I'm at

00:57:51   Apple, I'm like, "What is happening? Why is this happening?" Well, I don't know. Something's

00:57:55   leaking. Something's gotten somewhere it shouldn't be, right? Like that's kind of what's going on

00:57:59   here is something has gotten out. Zach does confirm in the chat room that dark mode changes the widget

00:58:04   panel color, maintaining the glyph color. So black and white, it would seem to be. Thank you for that

00:58:08   clarification. Whew. Very interesting stuff. Should we do some Ask Upgrade to finish out?

00:58:14   I think we should. All right. Today's episode is brought to you by Pingdom from SolarWinds.

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00:59:34   Time for some #AskUpgrade questions. And Sean asks, "Would you be interested in a much larger

00:59:42   iPad like 20 inches? What would you do with it and why would you want that?"

00:59:49   Um, I keep thinking about how Apple could at some point make a Surface Studio style product. That's

00:59:56   the big kind of, it's like a Surface iMac and you can pivot it down. It's on like an easel so you

01:00:02   can kind of, you can put it down or it's easel style. It goes down, it goes back up. You can

01:00:08   have it with a keyboard and mouse. You can take it down and use the, use a stylus on it. So you

01:00:13   could use the Apple pencil on it and touch it. But then lift it up and have it be more like a

01:00:17   traditional computer thing. I keep thinking like a 4K iPad kind of concept could be pretty cool.

01:00:22   Let me tell you, if iPadOS has the ability to do cursors and external devices like natively on the

01:00:29   system, at that point, there's no reason why you couldn't not only hook up an iPad to an external

01:00:35   display, but build a device like this that is both keyboard and trackpad, let's say, or keyboard and

01:00:43   mouse, and touch with the pencil so that you've got an even bigger Surface for things like,

01:00:48   especially for artists, but for anybody who has the ability to do both. But the ergonomics are

01:00:53   super important if you have a big device like that because it's probably too big to handle

01:00:57   comfortably, but you could do something like what Microsoft has experimented with that Surface

01:01:02   Studio where it can be both a traditional computer and kind of come down and then be something that

01:01:06   you work on. So yeah, I'm kind of intrigued by that, but they have to get all these other

01:01:12   pieces in place first and it sounds like maybe they're doing that. I would love it. I mean,

01:01:17   I'm using my iPad like it's just a monitor now more and more. Like all of the work I've done on

01:01:23   preparing today's episode was done with my iPad in a stand of a mouse and a keyboard.

01:01:28   That's how I'm using my iPad. Honestly, over the last two weeks, that is the vast majority

01:01:36   of time with my 12.9 inch iPad Pro. That's how I'm using it. So I would love to see a bigger screen

01:01:43   like so then I could do that even more if I wanted to. The operating system makes as much sense and

01:01:48   works for me in just the ways that I want, whether I'm using my hands or other devices.

01:01:53   And I'm super pleased that Apple is starting to agree with this, right? So I would love to see

01:01:58   a bigger iPad to allow me even more flexibility in those modes whilst then also still being able

01:02:03   to grab the thing and draw on it. Francois asks, "I've heard that photos and iCloud can downgrade

01:02:10   image resolution when shared via messages or via shared albums. Is this true? What should I do

01:02:16   about it?" So I wrote a book that talks about some of this. So you could buy my book. It's called

01:02:24   Take Control of Photos and you can get it at takecontrolbooks.com. Indeed. Thank you. Thank

01:02:30   you announcer. This is complicated because there are different scenarios where it gets down resed

01:02:36   and where it doesn't. I think shared, so shared albums have a maximum photo size. So if you just

01:02:43   do a shared album, you will not give, be giving people the full res images. I think if you send

01:02:51   individual images in iMessage, you know, in messages that you will get the full size file,

01:02:57   I think, but I'm not 100% on that one. The one I am 100% on is there's a feature, if you're on iOS,

01:03:05   there's a feature called a share iCloud link, I think is what it's called. And what it will do is

01:03:12   it will, instead of sending photos, it sends a link to an iCloud repository of the photos that you

01:03:20   sent. And depending on what device you want, it does different things, you're on, it does different

01:03:24   things like on an iPhone or an iPad, it will offer to just automatically put those in your library.

01:03:29   And if you say yes, it gets them all in your library at full resolution. But you can also opt

01:03:34   and on some devices like on the web, you can see them and it gives you the option of just downloading

01:03:39   the files and like a zip archive. And those are the full resolution files. So the iCloud link

01:03:44   method of sharing things is the one where you're basically guaranteed to get full quality.

01:03:50   He tried to email in some places, they'll give you options. It's kind of a mess. But I think

01:03:57   I'm positive about this because I think Apple is going in a direction where they really want to

01:04:01   sort of use the iCloud link as the concept here. Because it means that if you're using another,

01:04:08   if it's another photo person, photos person who's got iCloud photo library, no data essentially

01:04:14   transfers. It all happens up in the cloud. Like you send this link and they go, yes, I would like

01:04:20   those photos and they just pop into your library and you didn't have to download 40 photos. They

01:04:26   just happen on the server and suddenly they appear in your library. That's pretty great because if

01:04:33   you've ever sent a big photo in messages or a couple of photos and then watched as the progress

01:04:37   bar very slowly went along as you're trying to get this giant set of photos on a cell signal or

01:04:44   something like that, it's not great. But I think it's less clear than it should be. But I think

01:04:49   that Apple is pushing in that direction where they realize, so I don't recommend anybody use

01:04:52   a shared album, honestly, because you're not getting the full quality. Eric says, do you think

01:04:58   Apple will ever sell the new Mac Pro silver and black Magic Keyboard, Mouse and Trackpad separately?

01:05:03   I'd love to get them to match my non-Pro silver iMac. So they did the iMac Pro stuff, right? The

01:05:09   black with space gray. So I would imagine at some point they will get the silver and black

01:05:17   as well just because if you're making them, why not sell more of them for people who want them?

01:05:23   So, you know, it's got this initial cache, but if the iMac Pro stuff is any indication,

01:05:28   they will eventually sell it to everyone. I would think they would. I don't really like the look of

01:05:32   those myself. The two-ton, the silver and black. It doesn't work for me. I'm a big fan of that, but

01:05:38   it's got a keypad on it, so I'm not interested. John says, with all your recent keyboard adventures,

01:05:46   my come assuming, and mostly using US layouts, how are you managing the switch from British?

01:05:52   So the keyboards that I have ordered all have British layouts. That's typically what I do,

01:05:56   but I don't struggle with the US layout anyway. Like I do have and have had many keyboards or

01:06:01   laptops that have the US layout. My MacBook Pro right now has the US layout on it. It just takes

01:06:06   me a minute to get used to the return key shape change, but that's it. Everything else is mostly

01:06:10   fine, but with iOS it's actually really manageable anyway because you can specify what language your

01:06:16   keyboard's in in the keyboard preferences. So even if I was switching from a British keyboard

01:06:22   and an American keyboard, the system will recognize the key presses correctly. It's very clever like

01:06:27   that. Yeah, so you can say I'm using British. I'm writing in British. I'm writing in English or

01:06:34   American English. Andrew says, it seems as if Apple Notes has been doing basic OCR and scan notes for

01:06:41   a while. Is it possible to extract the OCR text? I don't think it is, right? It's doing recognition,

01:06:48   but that's it. I've also found the recognition to not be that great, but there are shortcuts that

01:06:52   can help you, and I'll include a link to the MaxLori shortcuts archive because they have

01:06:56   some OCR shortcuts in there if you want to grab them on iOS. Yeah, when we talk about OCR,

01:07:00   there are two different kinds of OCR. There's an OCR that gets you text that tries very hard to get

01:07:05   you clear text of whatever it's reading off of an image, and then there's the one that is there to

01:07:11   make it searchable, and they're different. Like that one is the goal is to do a text index that's

01:07:18   searchable, and when you think about it, OCR is looking at each word and making guesses based on

01:07:26   context about what the word is by looking at the image, and it's got a percent likelihood score.

01:07:33   Like this is 80 percent the word that, but sometimes it has a harder time, and it'll say,

01:07:40   "This is, you know, 40 percent it's this word, 40 percent it's this word," and in a OCR for reading,

01:07:48   it has to pick one, and so it picks one. OCR for indexing, what it does is they're both in there.

01:07:55   Both the possibilities. So you have something that's not readable by a human,

01:07:59   but if you've ever done this, if you have OCR text in your in Apple Notes, which does this,

01:08:05   you do a search. If you search for a word, it'll show you that word. Sometimes if you search for

01:08:12   another word it could be, it will come, it will pop up, and you'll be like, "Well, that's not

01:08:18   that word." It's like, "No, but it's a word it could have been." So like it's trying to be as

01:08:22   broad as possible. Like this could be this or that or they, and if you're building OCR for search,

01:08:28   you put all of them in there. And that way if you search for a phrase, it's more likely to find it,

01:08:34   because one of those is probably the answer, but it doesn't lead for readability. So the Apple

01:08:39   Notes stuff is not built for readability. All right, if you would like to send in a

01:08:46   question for a future episode, just send out a tweet with the hashtag #askupgrade. Thank you to

01:08:50   everybody that does that, we'd love to get some more. So if you have any questions you want us

01:08:54   to answer, just send out a tweet, #askupgrade, and they may be included in a future episode.

01:08:59   If you want to find Jason online, he is @jsno, J-S-N-E-L-L, and he writes at sixcolors.com,

01:09:05   and as well as podcasting here at Relay FM, also at The Incomparable as well.

01:09:08   I am @imike, I-M-Y-K-E on social media. Thanks so much to our sponsors this week,

01:09:14   the people at Pingdom, DoorDash, and Previz Pro. You could go check them out, help support the

01:09:20   show. Thank you so much for listening, thank you so much to 9to5Mac for providing content for us.

01:09:25   An entire segment, thank you to Benjamin Mayo and Zach Hall.

01:09:29   Much appreciated. We'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snow.

01:09:33   Goodbye, Myke Hurley.