00:00:08 ◼ ► From Relay FM, this is Upgrade 271. Today's show is brought to you by Squarespace, ExpressVPN, and ID Tech.
00:00:22 ◼ ► Huge show today, Jason Snell. We usually start off our episodes of #SnellTalk. I'm just going to ask you a question today. Where are you?
00:00:35 ◼ ► Well, when I heard that you were going to be traveling over the weekend and we weren't going to be able to do Upgrade until you got back, I just didn't know what to do.
00:00:41 ◼ ► So, I was very sad and I decided I would take a trip to New York in order to find out about the brand new 16-inch MacBook Pro.
00:00:55 ◼ ► We very shortly have an interview. You got to sit down with somebody at Apple today, right?
00:01:09 ◼ ► And we talked a lot about the MacBook Pro, 16-inch, and Pro users in general, and the Pro Workflows team.
00:01:16 ◼ ► Great conversation with her. And in the exact same place that I had that conversation with Colleen Novielli not too long ago.
00:01:29 ◼ ► But I think before we jump into that conversation, it's probably worth contextualizing, in case there are people that don't know, because it was funny, like last time, I'm assuming there'll be some Upgradients out there that the first time they ever hear about this news was when they press play on the episode that happened with the iMac when we spoke about that with that episode of Colleen that you mentioned.
00:01:54 ◼ ► Apple kind of went through a list of us. So I got the briefing on Tuesday, and we're releasing this at the embargo time on Wednesday.
00:02:03 ◼ ► And they came through with a list of their priorities, which I thought was interesting to see them contextualize it like that.
00:02:09 ◼ ► So display is number one. Like this is a 16-inch MacBook Pro. It has a 16-inch diagonal display.
00:02:17 ◼ ► It is slightly more dense. It's got more pixels. It's got smaller bezels. The computer itself is actually slightly larger.
00:02:27 ◼ ► It's not, I know that, you know, trying to separate rumors from fact is hilarious. This is one of those rumors that was like, it's a 16-inch display, but they shrunk the bezels enough that it fits in the exact size of the 15-inch. It's not true.
00:02:40 ◼ ► It is not much bigger, but it is a little tiny bit bigger than the 15-inch, but it's got this big 16-inch display and the bezels are smaller than they were on the 15-inch.
00:02:51 ◼ ► So that's number one. Number two is performance. It's got what you would expect, which is the latest 9th generation Intel Core processors, 6-core i7, and an 8-core i9 in the higher-end configuration.
00:03:04 ◼ ► So it's got the latest and greatest. It's got Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics processors, which is the brand new Radeon graphics stuff.
00:03:14 ◼ ► So that's number two. Number three is the battery. It's got a 100-watt-hour battery. This is literally the largest lithium-ion battery allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration as a carry-on.
00:03:27 ◼ ► So it's like a legal limit. You can't make one bigger than this in an internal battery in a device.
00:03:36 ◼ ► That's kind of fascinating, isn't it, really, that that's where we are now, that we're bumping up against air aviation laws in the size of the batteries.
00:03:44 ◼ ► Yeah, and actually, I asked Apple about that today, and what they said was, you know, they're not sure if they would actually, like...
00:03:52 ◼ ► It's a heavy battery, right? Like, there's trade-offs there, and I talked with Shruthi about that, too.
00:03:59 ◼ ► So it's not like Apple's goal is to have a giant battery in there, because they also want to save power and be more efficient, and it's a balancing act.
00:04:06 ◼ ► But in this case, it's a hard stop. Like, well, if you want to maximize your battery, we've got a maximum for you, which is they won't let it on a plane if it's bigger than this.
00:04:17 ◼ ► And to fill that battery, there is an adapter. The power adapter is not larger than it was before, but it is a more powerful adapter.
00:04:33 ◼ ► If you just get an iPhone near that thing, it charges up. Like, it just radiates power.
00:04:47 ◼ ► In what may be the first podcast ever recorded on a 16-inch MacBook Pro. I don't know. Maybe.
00:04:56 ◼ ► Well, we don't know, because Apple did have some creative professionals seated with this in advance. So who knows?
00:05:07 ◼ ► I would say it's a safe bet it's the first podcast. It's probably not the first piece of media created on one.
00:05:15 ◼ ► Okay, so the other priorities here on this product. Storage. Up to 8 terabytes you can get of internal storage on this thing now.
00:05:28 ◼ ► They revamped the audio, and again, I talked with Shruthi about this, but there's a new six-speaker audio system in it with these woofers that are vibration canceling.
00:05:42 ◼ ► And then another one that I did not see coming, Myke, is what Apple is calling "studio quality microphones" built into the MacBook Pro.
00:05:53 ◼ ► We'll come back to that one a little bit later on in the episode. I'm very intrigued about what that means.
00:05:58 ◼ ► Yeah, exactly right. It is, in the short version, they are way better, and I hope all laptop mics are like this, but it remains to be seen.
00:06:07 ◼ ► I'm going to let everybody judge for themselves. I am not talking to you at the moment on that microphone, but that might happen later, just as a little sample for everybody, but we're not there yet.
00:06:21 ◼ ► I know, it's a little drama here. The keyboard, the keyboard, the keyboard, the keyboard. They talked about the keyboard a lot. They did it in the most Apple way, which I could have told you, I did tell you.
00:06:32 ◼ ► I told everybody, like, Apple's not going to say, "We're really sorry. We made a bad keyboard." What they're going to do is make a great new keyboard and say, "Hey, everybody, good news. Great keyboard."
00:06:43 ◼ ► And they're not going to, you know, I think they went as far as to admit that, you know, not everybody liked it. I think they said their standard thing, which is, you know, a majority of people had no problem with it, but it wasn't as broadly appealing as it needed to be.
00:07:01 ◼ ► And I think that's a perfectly fine way you can phrase it. So, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has a Magic Keyboard. They're calling it the Magic Keyboard. It is not exactly the same as the Magic Keyboard that you find as an external keyboard on desktop or as a Bluetooth keyboard.
00:07:20 ◼ ► It is inspired by the Magic Keyboard for the desktop, but, you know, redesigned with a laptop in mind. It's got a millimeter of key travel, so it's definitely... It feels a lot like the Magic Keyboard. I'll put it that way. Having written a few thousand words on it today, it is...
00:07:39 ◼ ► It definitely feels like a Magic Keyboard. But what it is is a scissor switch keyboard, not a butterfly keyboard. And Apple's done some things to try to do key stability because they really care about that.
00:07:52 ◼ ► But in the end, it is a totally new keyboard based on more traditional scissor technology. And we will, you know, I'm not going to assume anything at this point, but I think it's a good sign. And as you'll hear Sruthi talk about, they spent a lot of time and effort trying...
00:08:11 ◼ ► This time trying to figure out what was going to make people happy because obviously whatever process they used last time... This is not the part she said. They're not going to say this, but obviously whatever their process was last time didn't catch all of the things that people ended up complaining about the butterfly keyboard.
00:08:28 ◼ ► So they went back to the drawing board and asked an even, you know, a broad selection of people, you know, what they were looking for in a keyboard. And that all got into this brand new keyboard. So even though it's got all of this other technical prowess around it and the bigger screen, you know, I think for a lot of people, the big story is just going to be, "Hey, Apple made a laptop with a new keyboard." It's not like the old keyboards.
00:08:52 ◼ ► All right. There is a lot to drill into about each of those points because there's still... I still have a bunch of questions and I'm sure that there's more information that you can give, but why don't you introduce our interview, our guest, and then after we do... after we get back from that, we can talk a little bit more in detail about the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.
00:09:14 ◼ ► All right. Yes. I talked to... just before we recorded this, I talked to Shruthi Haldia, who is the product manager for a bunch of Mac stuff, started, as you'll hear, started with Mac Mini. And MacBook Pro is her thing. So she was super excited to talk about this one because this is obviously a big moment in the life of the MacBook Pro.
00:09:37 ◼ ► So Shruthi, I'm glad that you are here. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me about this and about the MacBook Pro. But before we get to that, because I know everybody wants to know about it, but I thought I'd start by asking you something I like to ask people from Apple when I interview them, which is, do you have an Apple story? Do you... did you use Apple stuff before you even became an Apple employee?
00:10:00 ◼ ► Absolutely. I still remember the really amazing moment when I first used a Mac. It was at the computer lab at my high school. I had gotten someone's hand-me-down PC notebook. My parents had given it to me. I was pretty young, couldn't really put together the dollars for a new computer.
00:10:19 ◼ ► But my computer lab at high school had these awesome Macs. And one day I just went there to go and write a composition for my 10th grade class. And I was just blown away by the friendly UI and the user experience. And I kind of fell in love at that moment with Apple. And that's where my journey with Apple began.
00:10:39 ◼ ► That's a very familiar story. I definitely had it in my college newspaper. It was the same thing. They were like, "We have Macs here. Why don't you sit down and write your article?" And I was like, "Oh." And that was it. I guess a lot of people talk about iPods and iPhones and things, but you've got a Mac story. I like it.
00:10:55 ◼ ► Well, I got an iPod maybe 10 years later, or 15 when they were first introduced. But that was definitely the seminal Apple moment, the Mac moment.
00:11:06 ◼ ► I think everybody has a moment like that, using Apple products. So how long have you been working at Apple?
00:11:17 ◼ ► So I have spent the last five plus years working as the product manager of MacBook Pro. I recently started to work on a few other products, including Mac Pro, iMac Pro, Mac Mini, all the Pro Macs.
00:11:36 ◼ ► That's great. I love the Mac Mini. But we're not here to talk about the Mac Mini today.
00:11:44 ◼ ► It's a big day. I feel like this is one of those days that only comes along every three or four years, where there's a major update to an Apple product, and then we see some iterations on that for a while.
00:11:57 ◼ ► And this feels like one of those moments where it's not just a, "Hey, it's faster," is a nice thing to hear. But this is more than that. Am I wrong? This seems like a big update.
00:12:09 ◼ ► This is a very big update. It's so much more than about performance. It's about us rethinking MacBook Pro and bringing great performance and features and capabilities on so many different planes.
00:12:24 ◼ ► It's such an incredible product. People who choose the MacBook Pro, they are some of the most interesting and audacious people.
00:12:37 ◼ ► We see incredible films being cut on MacBook Pro. We hear about great research being conducted with tools literally like MacBook Pro.
00:12:51 ◼ ► And so it's so meaningful for us to be able to deliver a great new product that takes performance to new heights, that has a gorgeous new display, that has a keyboard that we know customers will absolutely love, that has the best possible I/O with Thunderbolt 3 ports with up to 40 gigabits per second of throughput.
00:13:11 ◼ ► You can buy two of those Pro Display XDRs if you would like when they come out in December, and this will drive two of them.
00:13:19 ◼ ► It's just so meaningful to be able to create a product that we think will inspire people to do their life's best work. MacBook Pro customers are pretty inspiring to us.
00:13:27 ◼ ► In thinking about this product today, it's been funny to think about, you know, you can have these incredibly advanced Intel, ninth generation Intel Core processors and these GPUs that are powerful and you've got more SSD storage than ever and you've got more video RAM than ever.
00:13:48 ◼ ► But it turns out keyboards do matter. They're very important. They're built into the product. You kind of have to take whatever comes with the product.
00:13:56 ◼ ► And you know as much as anyone else that there's been some grumbling about the butterfly keyboard design and I think the phrase you used earlier was a lot of people really like it, but it wasn't a hit with everyone and you wanted to do something that had, would it be fair to say, have broader appeal?
00:14:23 ◼ ► Our engineering teams have looked very closely at this question of what it is that makes for an amazing typing experience.
00:14:39 ◼ ► You know, what felt like a satisfying key buckle to that, you know, to that sensor on your fingertip, which is actually called a Pacinian corpuscle.
00:14:51 ◼ ► What are some of the sounds that are pleasing to the ear and are also pleasing to your neighbor?
00:14:57 ◼ ► Because they're not necessarily benefiting from you typing, but they have to potentially hear what you're typing at the same time.
00:15:02 ◼ ► Right. This is a keyboard that will probably be used in a public space and you have to keep that in mind.
00:15:06 ◼ ► Right. Or at home, you know, and maybe there's someone sleeping next to you when you're working.
00:15:14 ◼ ► We thought about delivering a satisfying and comfortable typing experience and bringing all the knowledge we had from various keyboards,
00:15:22 ◼ ► including, of course, the Magic Keyboard that ships with iMac Pro that is, you know, very well loved.
00:15:33 ◼ ► For example, the mechanism locks into the key cap, allowing for a very stable key feel, and the travel is now one millimeter, and we think customers are going to just love it.
00:15:51 ◼ ► Right. So it's interesting when you talk about the sound and acoustic modeling and all of that.
00:15:56 ◼ ► Definitely the sense I've gotten is, over the last few years, actually, having so many people talk about keyboards.
00:16:02 ◼ ► On laptops. Is this is not something you can quantify in the same way as gigahertz or processor cores or gigabytes or terabytes of storage or of RAM or anything like that.
00:16:17 ◼ ► This is, there's a little more art to it in terms of like how humans respond to sound or feel.
00:16:24 ◼ ► Or like, you know, does the sound a keyboard makes really matter in terms of the typing?
00:16:32 ◼ ► Exactly. You know, when you think about this question of what makes for a satisfying typing experience, it's sort of about what users believe is satisfying.
00:16:41 ◼ ► It's informed by things like their past experience and then convention and expectation.
00:16:45 ◼ ► It's not necessarily a technical answer. It's not about efficiency of the keyboard. It's about what people like.
00:16:51 ◼ ► So there's a combination of, you know, technical precision as well as the art of understanding what defines a satisfying experience, both from a sound standpoint as well as a typing feel.
00:17:05 ◼ ► So I remember I actually went back and looked at an article I wrote in 2015 about the Magic Keyboard originally when it came out and my response to it then, which was very much like, oh, they really did a good job with this.
00:17:19 ◼ ► Now you say inspired by the Magic Keyboard that is still available as a Bluetooth keyboard and comes with the iMac Pro.
00:17:31 ◼ ► How much of it is the Magic Keyboard and how much of it is sort of just using the Magic Keyboard as a guide?
00:17:36 ◼ ► It was more of using the Magic Keyboard on iMac Pro as a guide because you have to adapt it for a notebook.
00:17:44 ◼ ► And, you know, for example, the extended wireless Magic Keyboard, it's on an incline, you know, right.
00:17:52 ◼ ► And we wanted to bring it to the MacBook Pro. We wanted to have a similar typing feel and experience.
00:18:15 ◼ ► So even though technically it may be a little bit different, but it's still, you know, scissor switch is underneath.
00:18:19 ◼ ► It's a different mechanism. You anticipate that this is going to be a beloved and reliable mechanism in the future?
00:18:30 ◼ ► And the reason I believe that people will enjoy using it is that we've done such extensive internal user studies.
00:18:37 ◼ ► We went out of our way to get a very large group of, you know, great users, diverse users at Apple to try it out in its many iterations.
00:18:48 ◼ ► There was legwork. And it was based on thinking through, you know, if you want to make sure that, you know, it appeals to a lot of people, you sort of have to have a good, broad sense of, you know, a diverse group of people.
00:19:00 ◼ ► So people with, you know, who are developers, people who write a lot, people with small hands, people who are more sensitive to sound.
00:19:15 ◼ ► This is complicated stuff and you think it's just a keyboard, but it is, I mean, it is complicated.
00:19:22 ◼ ► I do have a couple other things that are notable about this keyboard that we should at least mention.
00:19:34 ◼ ► And now we've got the discrete power button/touch ID button that we have already seen in the MacBook Air on one side.
00:19:43 ◼ ► And on the other side, there's a physical escape key, which, again, you mentioned, kind of comes back to especially developers who rely on the escape key a lot and were sad when it wasn't a physical key anymore.
00:19:53 ◼ ► Yeah, so developers, especially those who use text editors like Vim, they can hit the escape key several times a minute as they're swapping between modes.
00:20:02 ◼ ► And some developers, I've actually talked to a few, they sometimes rest their pinky on the escape key just sort of by default.
00:20:27 ◼ ► Because you can't feel where the buttons are, and if you touch it, you're touching it and you're interacting with it.
00:20:31 ◼ ► But you can get the sense of where the corner of the keyboard is by touching the escape key.
00:20:35 ◼ ► Or by touching the touch ID on the other side, you know you can orient sort of without looking down.
00:20:41 ◼ ► And that brings me to the arrow keys as well, which are back in their kind of half-height inverted T configuration, which, again, can't believe I'm talking a lot about the shape of arrow keys.
00:20:52 ◼ ► But who knew? It turns out people really like the inverted T and that neutral space, that blank space, as a way to orient where their hands are on the keyboard without looking down.
00:21:03 ◼ ► Absolutely. We think if you're navigating through a spreadsheet or source code or even playing a game, it's just nice to be able to sort of get to the arrow keys without having to look down. So, agreed.
00:21:17 ◼ ► Now, did I notice that the—I swear this is the last keyboard question—did I notice that the space between the keys is a little bit greater than it was on the previous keyboard?
00:21:24 ◼ ► Yes. We've actually decreased the size of the keycaps just slightly, and as a result, the space between keys is now a little bit bigger.
00:21:32 ◼ ► That's just because when you have higher travel, like you do with this one-millimeter keyboard, you want to make sure that the finger doesn't glance an adjacent key when you're pressing.
00:21:43 ◼ ► Right. The podcast listeners can't see you. You actually showed—you put your hands out, and the idea there is that as you're depressing a key, if it's going down a whole millimeter, you may brush against the key that's right next to it.
00:22:01 ◼ ► Well, I've gotten to the point where I'm doing play-by-play about people pretending to type things, so I think we should move on.
00:22:15 ◼ ► Tell me a little bit about the thought process behind saying we want to—you know, 15-inch MacBook Pro had a pretty big screen, but it's like we can make this bigger.
00:22:24 ◼ ► And not just by making the bezels smaller. The computer is a little bit bigger, too, in order to fit that screen in.
00:22:35 ◼ ► Just a little bit. It's just about 2% in the X and Y dimensions. Because you're right, we grew the display, and we also slimmed the borders.
00:22:45 ◼ ► So as a result, the footprint of the product is almost the same as the previous generation, which is great because our pro customers will benefit from that much more screen real estate and get that incredibly immersive front-of-screen experience.
00:23:10 ◼ ► Any reason to not—was there thought about whether you could go to 2X, full-on 2X, without scaling?
00:23:16 ◼ ► So for customers who prefer to be in that 2X mode, if you will, you can certainly just go into display system preferences and choose another option.
00:23:31 ◼ ► We love this UI because it matches that of the other Macs, and it gives you a great amount of screen real estate and sizes, icons, and the appropriate aesthetic.
00:23:43 ◼ ► So correct me if I'm wrong. I feel like one of the stories as I was looking at this product today that keeps coming back is this idea that Apple is prioritizing the needs of the pro users maybe more than in the previous generation.
00:24:04 ◼ ► And follow me here. Just the idea that if it needs to get a little wider or a little heavier so that there's more battery life, so that there's a bigger screen, it's not an enormous computer by any means.
00:24:17 ◼ ► But we so often see Apple fighting very hard to make everything always a little bit smaller, always a little bit thinner.
00:24:23 ◼ ► And it feels like a lot of the decisions, including the screen here, were, "Well, no. We want 11 hours of battery life. Let's do that. Let's put in the new cooling system so that we can have the most power possible."
00:24:34 ◼ ► Even if this means that it is not as svelte as it was because that's what the pros want. Is that accurate to sort of say that that's the philosophy of this? You can say no. It's fine.
00:24:50 ◼ ► But, you know, even sometimes it would always feel like it was always -- it just had to be a little bit smaller.
00:24:59 ◼ ► I kind of like it saying, "You know what? No. You guys want a bigger screen. And we're going to try -- we're going to make it as small as we can while giving you the big screen."
00:25:06 ◼ ► Yeah. So with any new product, and especially with a portable product, there are always a set of tradeoffs.
00:25:13 ◼ ► You can either maximize battery life or display size or, you know, go for, you know, a very thin and sleek product.
00:25:29 ◼ ► And for this MacBook Pro, you know, we worked very hard on defining the right performance targets as a starting point.
00:25:38 ◼ ► We talked about what we wanted Pros to be able to do with this product, what we wanted them to be able to create.
00:25:47 ◼ ► So that's where we went with -- to the, you know, the new thermal design that enables up to 12 more watts of power in sustained heavy workloads and really drives performance higher than ever before.
00:25:58 ◼ ► Right. For people who don't know, one of the most important things when it comes to laptop performance is having a good thermal system because if it -- otherwise, if your components get too hot, they get throttled down and then your computer is slower.
00:26:10 ◼ ► So the fans and the cooling system are actually integral to being able to do high performance work on a laptop.
00:26:18 ◼ ► Exactly. Being able to cool the silicon, dissipating that heat is, like you said, integral to, you know, driving performance, especially for those sustained workloads.
00:26:29 ◼ ► Like if you're rendering something, you know, in 3D or doing a transcode, you know, some of those longer workloads.
00:26:47 ◼ ► So sound is a theme in this product, which I thought was interesting, both input and output.
00:26:53 ◼ ► New audio system, in the article that I wrote that will be up about simultaneously with this podcast, I said that I think it may be the first laptop that I actually consider acceptable for listening to music.
00:27:09 ◼ ► Which, you know, laptop speakers don't sound very good, but this sounds surprisingly good, and I know you're doing some clever things with having speaker components firing opposite each other so that they can cancel each other out so that they don't vibrate.
00:27:23 ◼ ► Great kind of like awful resonance. What's going on with the audio system on this thing?
00:27:32 ◼ ► So the speakers are awesome. There's a new six-speaker sound system that features force-canceling woofers.
00:27:40 ◼ ► These force-canceling woofers have dual opposed drivers, and when they actuate, they actually cancel out each other's force.
00:27:56 ◼ ► Exactly, because that shaking of your computer parts, if you will, would not only cause sound distortion, but it would change the journey of sound to your ears, like if you're radiating sound through different parts of the notebook.
00:28:23 ◼ ► And of course, getting awesome woofers means the bass is better, so we have a half-octave deeper bass.
00:28:33 ◼ ► But because we've tuned the speakers to deliver a great overall audio experience, we have a really flat frequency response curve.
00:28:52 ◼ ► So now, the value—so this is a pro laptop. I'm wondering what the use cases are for having good speakers in a laptop.
00:28:58 ◼ ► Is it people editing audio and video? Is it people who are pros but they're working on something and they can listen to music in the background?
00:29:07 ◼ ► When you think about, like, we want the speakers on this pro laptop to be better, what are the use cases that you're thinking of?
00:29:19 ◼ ► So one is, imagine someone working on an edit of a film, and they want to show the director the latest cut, the daily if you will.
00:29:29 ◼ ► And maybe they just go into an office and they play back a recent clip on this gorgeous 16-inch retina display.
00:29:47 ◼ ► And, you know, at the same time, when that editor is back home and watching a movie with his kids, then it's great to have an awesome viewing experience.
00:30:05 ◼ ► We gave a pro a 16-inch MacBook Pro a few days ago, and she's a musician and she's very talented.
00:30:13 ◼ ► And she was watching some movies and she said, "It's like I have a cinema on my lap." That was pretty awesome.
00:30:19 ◼ ► And for a little while now, I think at least in the last generation of laptops, Apple started doing some really nice sort of like stereo separation stuff happening.
00:30:29 ◼ ► So that the stereo field, it's not new in this laptop, but that you're pushing the stereo field a little bit further apart so you really can hear even from a laptop.
00:30:49 ◼ ► So you can just really get a sense of sounds coming from different parts of the sound stage.
00:30:56 ◼ ► And I say that again as somebody who basically thought that if you're going to listen to audio on a laptop, you should plug in headphones immediately.
00:31:28 ◼ ► You know, I'm in a hotel room right now, so I can't really judge it, but I will say as somebody who has heard a lot of laptop mic audio,
00:31:39 ◼ ► because doing podcasts, you end up with lots of people who either don't have another mic, or they think they're recording on their microphone,
00:31:51 ◼ ► Like I would rather have your headphone audio from your, you know, from your phone earbuds than laptop audio.
00:32:04 ◼ ► I'm not sure I'm ready to recommend that everybody throw away their microphones and only ever use the 16-inch MacBook Pro to record all audio from here on out,
00:32:11 ◼ ► but I want every, I certainly want every laptop to have microphones like this, because it is, it sounds pretty good.
00:32:21 ◼ ► Well, so the new microphones on the new MacBook Pro, they have such a high signal-to-noise ratio.
00:32:28 ◼ ► It rivals that of popular third-party standalone mics that even podcasters and musicians use.
00:32:34 ◼ ► We had a little demo with the Blue Yeti, and yeah, it sounded pretty good, and I used a Blue Yeti for several years.
00:32:42 ◼ ► So I think, yes, I do think there's an argument to be made that if you're not so serious that you want to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment,
00:33:02 ◼ ► Don't type while you're doing your podcast, though, because then, because the microphones are right to the upper left of the keyboard, right?
00:33:09 ◼ ► Yeah, so that's the one danger is that, you know, don't do a lot of typing while you're talking.
00:33:15 ◼ ► I don't, but I have, let me tell you, I have the scars of people who do their podcasts and then they are hammering at their keyboard, and it does not sound that part of the past.
00:33:24 ◼ ► You know what's amazing? People are oftentimes caught in moments where they want to record something.
00:33:31 ◼ ► We find that with musicians. They'll be on the tour bus, traveling to their next gig, and they'll record on their Mac notebook or on their iPhone.
00:33:48 ◼ ► And sometimes those samples, those sounds actually make it into their final recordings.
00:33:54 ◼ ► And so it'll be so great to have this awesome high fidelity recording experience for those customers so they can have a great source material to work with.
00:34:08 ◼ ► There's going to be a hit song recorded on this microphone for sure. There's no doubt about it.
00:34:44 ◼ ► So for customers who are upgrading from 15 inch quad core MacBook Pros, they'll see up to two times faster performance.
00:34:54 ◼ ► On the graphics side, we now have AMD's latest Radeon Pro 5000M Series graphics, which are the latest 7nm graphics from AMD.
00:35:11 ◼ ► We're getting twice the performance versus the previous generation MacBook Pro on graphics.
00:35:32 ◼ ► We're giving you the latest and greatest. Also, we're giving you the option to max this thing out.
00:35:37 ◼ ► Yes, absolutely. That is definitely, you know, the idea here is to give Pros the ability to design the system that can power their workflow.
00:35:58 ◼ ► Exactly. Another might say, "64GB of system memory is crucial for my, you know, photography editing with gigapixel images."
00:36:25 ◼ ► But certainly there are a bunch of different industries and they all have different priorities.
00:36:29 ◼ ► So that's an interesting trend with this to say, you know, we're going to give you the base model cutting edge
00:36:46 ◼ ► It's not only great for Pros, but even students and people who are just aspiring to create their life's best work,
00:36:53 ◼ ► they want to get, you know, a completely decked out new MacBook Pro, you know, that they want to be able to use for years.
00:36:59 ◼ ► They may want to get 32 gigs of memory or make sure they have enough storage to capture their entire photo library
00:37:08 ◼ ► Now speaking of being maxed out, something I wanted to mention that just tickled me while we were talking about it earlier today
00:37:13 ◼ ► is the battery in this thing, which is a 100 watt hour battery, which, fun fact, the FAA won't let you on a plane
00:37:29 ◼ ► So you guys, I assume, just sort of said, "What's the biggest battery we could stick in this thing?"
00:37:36 ◼ ► We wanted to give customers the biggest possible battery life and biggest possible battery.
00:37:50 ◼ ► So whether Pros are working on performance intensive tasks or just kicking back and watching films,
00:37:59 ◼ ► It's going to be up to 11 hours of battery life for wireless web browsing and up to 11 hours of video playback in full screen mode.
00:38:09 ◼ ► And it's interesting because this new 16 inch MacBook Pro, it has a larger display, there are more pixels, and the battery is driving that.
00:38:23 ◼ ► And in addition to doing those two things, you're getting an additional hour of battery life.
00:38:27 ◼ ► This is the dance that we see a lot with mobile devices, with the iPhone, with the iPad.
00:38:31 ◼ ► It's also true of laptops that you're not just making, in this case, the battery bigger.
00:38:38 ◼ ► But you're also using, presumably, a system that is more efficient when it can be and trying to get both of those things to balance out.
00:38:47 ◼ ► You're trying to get them all to balance out so that you can maximize battery life when you need to.
00:38:53 ◼ ► Today, while I was using my test unit, I looked at the significant energy consumption in the menu bar and it said, "Your screen is very bright."
00:39:02 ◼ ► I was like, "Oh, that's a good tip. I could make it a little dimmer if I wanted to have more battery life."
00:39:20 ◼ ► One of the persistent conversations that was had was that, based on everybody's imagination of what this product was going to be,
00:39:32 ◼ ► I remember seeing a story that said, "It will be a miracle if this thing starts lower than 3,000."
00:39:59 ◼ ► The new 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers so much capability and performance at the same price in the U.S. as the previous generation 15-inch.
00:40:18 ◼ ► It's so immersive, great front-of-screen performance with P3 wide color and 500 nits of brightness.
00:41:08 ◼ ► So that's a great amount of capability and performance and portability and battery life.
00:41:15 ◼ ► So for everybody who had $2,399 saved up and they thought, "Oh, I've got to wait for this 16-inch that I keep hearing is rumored."
00:41:37 ◼ ► It is this really interesting idea of getting real pros into Apple and having them talk to the people who make the products that they use.
00:41:50 ◼ ► It has this great balance of real creators, award-winning cinematographers, musicians, 3D animators, and also system architects.
00:42:00 ◼ ► So you have this great collaboration about Pro Workflows, actual work that pros are doing, the roadblocks they're hitting, the performance wish list that they have.
00:42:22 ◼ ► I mean, I would imagine if you're designing computer systems, you are... everybody gets stuck in a rut a little bit.
00:42:39 ◼ ► And so to have those things kind of cross over, I would imagine, gives you a completely different perspective.
00:42:44 ◼ ► I mean, the difference is between... it's easy to fall into a mindset of, "Oh, let's increase the performance by 60%."
00:42:51 ◼ ► Well, a pro might be saying, "Well, I need to edit four streams of ProRes 4x4 in Final Cut."
00:43:05 ◼ ► And so instead of taking a mindset around improvements and percentages, it's really important to get grounded in the problems that our pros are faced with,
00:43:15 ◼ ► that are blocking their progress, that are limiting their ability to create what they want to create.
00:43:19 ◼ ► Right. I have to take this action 50 times a day, and it makes me wait five minutes every time.
00:43:36 ◼ ► How do we deliver the heat dissipation to allow the sustained workload to work like this?
00:43:45 ◼ ► They're also from the inside saying, "This is a thing that we need," instead of it being sort of like, "Well, how do we make this computer better?"
00:43:51 ◼ ► And I know that the people who design these computers are talking to customers, and I know that there's some of that.
00:43:56 ◼ ► But to build a whole team and bring it inside Apple to say, "We want you to ask us these questions."
00:44:02 ◼ ► Absolutely. But the system architecture partnership there is so close that literally the cinematographer is sitting next to the system architect.
00:44:18 ◼ ► Yeah, it's made a world of difference in how we think about performance and thermal architecture and delivering products that will enable pros to do their life's best work.
00:44:28 ◼ ► So let's talk about the passion of the professional user, because it does all come back to that, right?
00:44:35 ◼ ► This is not just a bone-dry technical tool that's a lump of silicon and glass and aluminum.
00:44:45 ◼ ► This is creativity. This is people's life's work. These are the paintbrushes and the canvases.
00:44:59 ◼ ► And so it is such an honor to do what we do at Apple, to work on these products that make such a difference in people's lives.
00:45:06 ◼ ► That's fantastic. And I agree. People do love the Mac. Take it for granted sometimes, and I know that people sometimes are like, "Well, you know how huge the iPhone is."
00:45:14 ◼ ► It's like, "Yeah, it's great." But do you know how huge the Mac is? If you look, it's bigger than it's ever been.
00:45:22 ◼ ► Yeah, I was going to say, this is the kind of product where you obviously can hear the enthusiasm.
00:45:27 ◼ ► You talk to the people who use Macbook Pro, like, their lives are on it. Their livelihood is on it. Their sweat and their blood.
00:45:42 ◼ ► And yes, when they're unhappy about something like the keyboard, perhaps, they will let you know it.
00:45:55 ◼ ► Which is not, I mean, that's got to be a good thing. Because you're enabling the next--
00:46:08 ◼ ► Apple has incredible engineers working on the Mac and incredible team members all around the company,
00:46:16 ◼ ► working super hard to improve features, to design new innovations, to make the Mac experience awesome.
00:46:29 ◼ ► And you know, one of the Apple phrases that we hear a lot is, "We can't wait to see what you'll do with this."
00:46:42 ◼ ► Shruthi, thank you so much for spending time with us talking about the new Macbook Pro, 16-inch Macbook Pro.
00:46:49 ◼ ► I think people are going to be very excited to read all about it and get their hands on it.
00:46:56 ◼ ► Obviously, a lot going on here. But before we continue, let me take a break to thank our first sponsor of this episode.
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00:48:50 ◼ ► We have huge, this is huge news today, I think, for a bunch of reasons, but I think ultimately the thing that we need to get out of the way is this is not the computer that everybody wanted because at this point the 16-inch MacBook Pro became an almost unicorn of a machine.
00:49:12 ◼ ► But I think, looking at what we have, this is like the realistic best case scenario, that it is a better machine with a bigger screen, a bigger battery, much stronger performance, and a completely revised keyboard.
00:49:28 ◼ ► That's what was realistically the best that it was going to be, right? What more would it have actually been?
00:49:36 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, I went through the list with Shruthi, but the fact that it's scissor mechanism, there's more travel, it's not quite 50%, but as she said, it's gone from 55, like 0.55 millimeters to 1 millimeter. It's almost twice as much travel.
00:49:53 ◼ ► It's got the escape key, which as she said, you know, Unix programs like Vim from a million years ago still use escape. There are lots of people who use escape all the time, and having it be a virtual key was terrible.
00:50:08 ◼ ► And like, there's just a story again and again of Apple with this product design showing that it was listening to all of our complaints and seems to have knocked a whole bunch of them off, the ones that at least that it thought were reasonable.
00:50:20 ◼ ► The escape key, we did that little analysis of the little graphics that Guillermo found in a version of Catalina Beto.
00:50:28 ◼ ► Yeah, exactly right. And said, "Oh, I think that there's an escape key." So it's like, I kind of expected that there'd be an escape key.
00:50:34 ◼ ► I had no expectation that they were going to go back to the half-height arrow keys in an inverted T, which, you know, I feel like such a nerd when I talk about how I care about the shape of an arrow key layout.
00:50:49 ◼ ► But the fact is, it's not just the arrow keys. As I mentioned in the interview, it's the neutral space. It's like, it helps you orient.
00:50:57 ◼ ► It's so important to have things you can orient on on a keyboard by feel so you don't have to break concentration and look down.
00:51:03 ◼ ► And having the physical escape key and the physical power key and having that blank space, the neutral space next to the arrow keys, it's a big deal.
00:51:12 ◼ ► And they did all of that. And I went back, I sent you this link earlier before we started, in 2015, when the Magic Keyboard came out.
00:51:19 ◼ ► I wrote this article on six colors where I said, "You know, the MacBook keyboard really worried me. But now that I see that Apple has made the Magic Keyboard, I feel a lot better about the future of Apple's keyboards.
00:51:29 ◼ ► Because, you know, maybe we're not going to be in this kind of apocalypse where everybody uses the butterfly keyboard because the Magic Keyboard is here and it's great."
00:51:36 ◼ ► And of course, that didn't happen. Instead, we did have the apocalypse of the butterfly keyboard.
00:51:43 ◼ ► And it's taken until 2019 to get back four years to that Magic Keyboard and what we all thought should have happened in 2016 on the MacBook Pro and didn't, which is, just do a version of the Magic Keyboard that goes on the laptop.
00:51:58 ◼ ► And it took them several years to get there and a lot of pain and a lot of complaints and a lot of bad PR for Apple.
00:52:06 ◼ ► But they did get there. They did get there and do what we kind of all thought that they should have done all along, which is, it's good.
00:52:21 ◼ ► I mean, I have not spent, I don't use the butterfly keyboard every day even though we've got a couple in our house. So, you know, for me it was just my memory of not liking it every time I've used it.
00:52:36 ◼ ► I did. I immediately didn't like it. I tried to be open-minded about it and say, "Look, maybe other people will like it but it's not for me."
00:52:43 ◼ ► And this, you know, this keyboard doesn't feel exactly like the old MacBook keyboards but I would say it is some combination of the classic MacBook keyboard feel and the Magic Keyboard and that's a good combination.
00:52:56 ◼ ► I will say, like you mentioned, it's a version of the Magic Keyboard. It basically seems like it's inspired and very close, right? Like it's not exactly the same. Is that correct?
00:53:07 ◼ ► Yeah, what Truthy said in the interview is that, you know, "inspired by" is the key phrase there because they did, it came up a couple of times today and she mentioned it.
00:53:14 ◼ ► Like, the Magic Keyboard is pitched. It's like at an angle. It gets taller as it goes to the back and you don't do that on a laptop keyboard.
00:53:22 ◼ ► Laptop keyboards are flat and while I would make the argument that desktop keyboards should also be flat and not pitched, it's bad. Don't do it.
00:53:29 ◼ ► It bends your wrists in a bad way. On a laptop, they gotta be flat. So they had to totally redesign it but they used that as their inspiration.
00:53:37 ◼ ► I think that is as close as you'll get to Apple saying, "Okay, we've got a keyboard people like. Let's do that."
00:53:44 ◼ ► Let me ask you though, how confident are you that even with the changes that they've made that they will have actually landed on a design that is going to be back to the reliability levels that we would have expected?
00:53:55 ◼ ► We can't. I mean, all I can say is, well, first off, we don't actually know what the reliability levels were before.
00:54:03 ◼ ► It wasn't a thing but it doesn't mean that there weren't issues. It just wasn't a thing.
00:54:11 ◼ ► But at the bottom of this thing, literally, is a scissor switch and there's a millimeter of travel.
00:54:18 ◼ ► And that means it is, I think, just physically a lot less likely for there to be the minute particle interaction seizing up that happened with that other keyboard.
00:54:29 ◼ ► So you never know what the internet's going to do. You never know when people are focused on something.
00:54:35 ◼ ► Everybody, every new thing Apple does, somebody is going to find something that goes wrong with it.
00:54:40 ◼ ► Even if it's a one in a million and they're going to post a YouTube video and it's going to get reblogged.
00:54:54 ◼ ► And the fact that they're basing this on the Magic Keyboard, which everybody seems to have a positive feeling about,
00:55:00 ◼ ► is another, you know, the fact that they're calling it a Magic Keyboard, they are really trying to go down that path.
00:55:06 ◼ ► So who can tell? I mean, the problem with this is, as I sit here talking to you, nobody has this product yet except the reviewers.
00:55:14 ◼ ► And when you get thousands of these out there, you know, you can't tell until then whether there is some endemic problem with them or not.
00:55:25 ◼ ► So, and I think that says a lot about how people feel about Apple and its keyboards now, is that there has been, the thing that's happened in the last three years is a loss of trust.
00:55:35 ◼ ► So Apple's going to have to earn that back and it's going to have to do it by people taking the plunge and giving it a try and saying yes or no to it.
00:55:44 ◼ ► And then, you know, as the word of mouth spreads, if it's positive, then people will jump back in.
00:55:49 ◼ ► I think Apple hammering home that this is a new keyboard by calling it the Magic Keyboard, calling it something familiar,
00:55:55 ◼ ► they're trying to get people to take the plunge and basically say, "Look, it's not that keyboard, it's this new keyboard, give it a try."
00:56:03 ◼ ► So one of the things that we thought leading up to this, right, was that this was going to be a more expensive machine, but now we know it isn't.
00:56:26 ◼ ► That was the idea that this was, as I said in the interview, this sort of capstone product that cost three grand and it's aspirational.
00:56:36 ◼ ► Which seemed like, well, you know, Apple's raising the price on everything, so maybe, but the truth is that instead this is just Apple at its usual game, which is fill in the slots, right?
00:56:48 ◼ ► Occasionally they raise the price of the slots, and they did raise the price of the slots three years ago, but this is just a drop in replacement for the 15, like at both price points with some expanded specs.
00:56:59 ◼ ► And so that's really good. Now, different markets may have different pricing, but in the US the pricing is the MacBook Pro 15 pricing, and that's great.
00:57:11 ◼ ► That means if somebody was out there hoping for a new replacement for their 15 and they were just waiting, they're not going to suddenly have a product that costs $700 more than they thought.
00:57:29 ◼ ► Oh, the rainbow Apple logo. You can put a sticker on it. I'm looking now, it's just the usual space grey, but you just put a sticker on it and then you get your rainbow.
00:57:43 ◼ ► Or if you put it on the inside, then it'll be a hidden rainbow until you open it, and then there'll be a revealed rainbow. But that's it. No secret rainbows, I'm afraid. Sorry.
00:57:53 ◼ ► I mean, so MacBook Pro, right? Like this product has been pro since before it was called to name everything pro, right? Like these machines were made for professionals. Professionals want performance.
00:58:05 ◼ ► And I guess in a nutshell, everything is about twice as fast this time, right? Is where we're at.
00:58:13 ◼ ► Yeah. Before they were MacBook Pro, they were PowerBook, right? Which was power. So we went from power to pro, but it's the same implication. And you know, Apple has defined pro products a certain way lately.
00:58:23 ◼ ► And this is, you know, they are going to make choices in terms of the battery, in terms of the thermal system, which is different now because they want to give that performance.
00:58:35 ◼ ► And the performance boost is part of it. And as I said with Struthi, the ventilation, just like having the cooling system, you know, you can have a really fast processor.
00:58:46 ◼ ► And if it has to throttle down every time it gets going, then it's not actually fast. It's imaginary fast. And so, you know, with this, they've loaded in the latest Intel ninth generation processors and those AMD Radeon processors.
00:59:03 ◼ ► And I think what really has struck me about the specs part of it, they have a base, but they've also really upped the max. So it's like you can have 8 gigs of VRAM.
00:59:15 ◼ ► You can have 64 gigs of RAM. You can have 8 terabytes of storage. Like, they don't start there. But if you want to max. So what that means, and I don't know all of the details of the pricing.
00:59:26 ◼ ► As we release this, it's undoubtedly out there, but I haven't seen it right now. But you're going to be able to spend a lot of money on one of these if you want to load it up.
00:59:37 ◼ ► And you know what? For pros, I think that's exactly right. If they want to prioritize something like storage or RAM, then they can do that. And they can go even further than they could before.
00:59:49 ◼ ► Yeah, like if you've got one of these on a film set and you're dumping a bunch of footage into it, maybe you want an 8 terabyte SSD. Right?
00:59:59 ◼ ► Like maybe that's just a thing that you would benefit from and you will pay the ungodly amount of thousands of dollars that it will cost because it's easier for you.
01:00:09 ◼ ► It makes the machine more usable for you. Right? Like these are the options that should be in the edge case machines.
01:00:18 ◼ ► Right. And if you're a Photoshop person and you've taken enormous photos, you might say, "Well, I just want as much RAM as I could ever possibly give it."
01:00:25 ◼ ► And so you'll go up to 64 gigs of RAM and that will also cost you a fortune. But again, you're a pro and that helps you do your job better.
01:00:32 ◼ ► And one of the things that struck me that's true, if you talked about the, think about the pro workflow group, is the idea that what you're trying to do is optimize for these scenarios that the pros have where you say things like, "This is a job killer for me."
01:00:45 ◼ ► Like, "This one thing takes me out of my flow," or, "It costs me, you know, I have to stop working for 20 minutes while this thing happens."
01:00:55 ◼ ► And if that thing can be fixed, and it can be fixed by specific tweaks in the hardware, it can be fixed by more RAM, whatever that fix is, what you're doing is you're enabling that pro customer, pro user of a laptop, to do their job better.
01:01:11 ◼ ► Like, that's, in the bottom line, it's like, spending, if spending a huge amount of money on RAM means you don't have to wait to run, you know, Photoshop, or every step you take in a giant Photoshop file, you have to wait for two minutes, and now it's 30 seconds or five seconds.
01:01:30 ◼ ► Well, you've transformed your job and it's worth every penny, even if it looks like a huge amount of money to us who are not inside that workflow.
01:01:38 ◼ ► The machine has a new thermal layout, right? Like, that's how it's enabling all of this additional power and headroom, but obviously with that, fans, how are the fans?
01:01:49 ◼ ► I think I described them to you before we started as soothing. There is something about it, I think it's a pleasant sound.
01:01:58 ◼ ► I have heard a lot of laptop fans that are, like, kind of not pleasant, but it's loud. Like, I mean, that's the point, is it's not a thermal system that's been designed to be quiet, it's a thermal system that's been designed to blow out a lot of heat so that it can keep working at peak performance.
01:02:15 ◼ ► So, you know, they will crank up, and they were demoing something that was a MacBook Pro attached to two Pro Display XDRs running 8K video, and I walked, because you can do that, and I walked up to it, everybody else was leaving, and I walked up to the guy who was sitting at the laptop and I just put my ear down, and I said,
01:02:38 ◼ ► "What is that sound? Is that the Pro Display?" And I was like, "No, that's the laptop." It was really blowing. But, you know, I will, for people who are like, "Oh, laptop fans, that's a bummer," I will remind you of not that long ago, I think like three years ago, where there was that whole mini scandal about how there were high-speed configurations of Mac laptops that turned out to be slower than low-speed configurations, because they got so hot,
01:03:07 ◼ ► and the thermal system couldn't cool them off fast enough, and they ended up having to throttle back and be slow. And that's not good. Like, that's not what people want. That's not what pros who want performance want.
01:03:21 ◼ ► But, like, look, let's be real. If you are plugging your laptop into two 6K monitors and you are not hearing your fans, you should be concerned that you're not hearing your fans, I feel like.
01:03:35 ◼ ► Yeah, yeah. So that's the whole idea here, is that they, you know, I think they're faster and there are more blades, and they redesigned the heat tube, or whatever they call it. Heat pipe, they call it.
01:03:48 ◼ ► But it is. That's what it is. It's like an exhaust of a car. And that's all redesigned so that they, obviously they're using the same lessons that they've learned in other places and tried to apply it.
01:03:58 ◼ ► This is their latest attempt at a state-of-the-art blower design, basically, for a laptop. So we'll, you know, we'll get it out there and people will have opinions about when the fans rev up and how they sound and whether they sound soothing or not.
01:04:12 ◼ ► You can decide for yourself. But there was something about it. I was like, "Oh, that's not as unpleasant a fan noise as I expected." But it's definitely there, and I'm going to take it as a good sign that it's keeping that thing cool.
01:04:24 ◼ ► So when it comes to the iPad Pro, especially the smaller size, well, the smaller size one, every time they've upped the overall screen size of that machine, I feel like you've been able to notice it.
01:04:37 ◼ ► You know, when you go from 9.7 to 10.5, and then, you know, 10.5 up to like 11, where we are now, you can see the difference.
01:04:47 ◼ ► Do you see clearly 16 inches over 15 inches, like how much of a difference on a laptop screen of that size does an extra inch actually feel like?
01:04:59 ◼ ► Well, it's a great question and it's one that I'm going to defer to people who are hardcore 15-inch Mac Pro users, like maybe Marco Arment on ATP this week will probably have a lot to say about that.
01:05:10 ◼ ► My understanding is he has one, so everybody just listen to ATP this week because, you know, for me, I spend most of my time looking at a 27-inch iMac and a 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
01:05:23 ◼ ► And occasionally, if I have my Mac laptop out, it's an 11-inch MacBook Air. So to me, it seems enormous, but I can't compare it to the 15.
01:05:32 ◼ ► And, you know, it is more and more is better and definitely using it as somebody who's never really used a 15-inch laptop, I was always a 13-inch or 11-inch laptop person or 12-inch laptop person.
01:05:44 ◼ ► I look at it and I just think, "Oh my God, the screen is huge." But that's the point, right? Like get as much as you can on the screen.
01:05:51 ◼ ► And it's not any brighter than the previous 15. It's the same wide color gamut. It's 500 nits.
01:05:58 ◼ ► But the pixel density is a little bit more and it is bigger. And bigger is generally better, right?
01:06:04 ◼ ► But beyond that, I can't really say. I'm interested to hear what a veteran 15-inch user thinks of the difference between the 15 and the 16.
01:06:14 ◼ ► Yeah, you know, I find this machine an exciting laptop relic. There's a lot of interesting stuff going on here, especially from just a power perspective.
01:06:22 ◼ ► But this is never a computer that I would own because I have no desire for a laptop of this size in my life.
01:06:28 ◼ ► Yeah, I think the unsaid thing, which I just left hanging with Sruthi because, you know, Apple's not going to comment on future products.
01:06:40 ◼ ► I cut out her answer where she said, "Well, yes, let me confirm all future products." No, my expectation is that this product is not an outlier, right?
01:06:48 ◼ ► Like, this product is the beginning of a new Apple laptop product update phase that will presumably roll out a lot of these same features on a 13 or 14-inch MacBook Pro.
01:07:07 ◼ ► But I would imagine that this keyboard will, just as the butterfly keyboard did, roll out to all the products over time.
01:07:14 ◼ ► It doesn't make sense for them to do it as a one-off. So this is the start of something.
01:07:20 ◼ ► So even if you don't care about a 15-inch MacBook Pro and you would rather have, or a 16-inch, I guess, now, and you'd rather have a 13 or 14,
01:07:27 ◼ ► or even if you're a MacBook Air user and you're like, "I want this keyboard and a MacBook Air,"
01:07:32 ◼ ► I think it's just a matter of when they next update those products because this seems to be, you know,
01:07:39 ◼ ► this is the product that we will reference for the next three years, probably at least, and say,
01:07:52 ◼ ► Yeah, and I guess the interesting part of that is it looks like the MacBook Pro, right?
01:08:06 ◼ ► It is physically bigger in every dimension. They have changed the entire, like, top case, the keyboard area, right?
01:08:14 ◼ ► It's completely different because it's now taken into account a different keyboard layout in many important ways.
01:08:26 ◼ ► Apple has decided this is the way it looks, though. So, like, this is the first part of a new generation of laptops.
01:08:34 ◼ ► Don't expect them to start hovering or blowing smoke or whatever, you know, a new laptop would do. This is how they look.
01:08:41 ◼ ► Well, yeah, I think this gets us to the disappointment thing here, which is all the things heaped on the unicorn,
01:08:59 ◼ ► Apple, I think, feels like this is what a laptop should be like. So, Apple's not gonna do that redesign of how this looks.
01:09:09 ◼ ► It looks just like the MacBook Pro has looked for a long time, and they aren't changing that at all.
01:09:15 ◼ ► And then there's a bunch of other, like, people who hate the touch bar and want it to go away. Like, the touch bar didn't go away.
01:09:19 ◼ ► It got a little smaller, and all the keys and the touch bar are a little bit further apart from one another,
01:09:24 ◼ ► which is, uh, truthfully mentioned in part because of the travel, 'cause just the physics of it, the geometry of it.
01:09:30 ◼ ► Like, the more you have to push down with your finger, you need the other neighbor keys further away, 'cause otherwise you'll hit them, and that's bad.
01:09:38 ◼ ► So, you know, they spaced them out a little bit more, but the touch bar didn't go anywhere.
01:09:43 ◼ ► There are only four ports. There's no MagSafe connector or anything that didn't come back. There's no SD card reader.
01:09:50 ◼ ► None of that—if those were on your list, I think the answer is that either Apple didn't think they were a high enough priority,
01:10:00 ◼ ► Mm-hmm. But I do want to run the numbers. It is 9mm wider, it's about 5mm deeper, and it is about a millimeter thicker.
01:10:14 ◼ ► But it is heavier, quite significantly, I think. 0.28 pounds heavier. Like, that was—I mean, the size change is fine. Heavier.
01:10:30 ◼ ► And, um, yeah, this is—look, I'm somebody who took a laptop back and forth in a backpack to and from work every single day for a decade, at least.
01:10:39 ◼ ► And every ounce matters. And I think what you're seeing in this is Apple prioritizing the things that they thought were most important to pros, which were power.
01:10:58 ◼ ► And I think maybe also, this is just me doing some analysis of Apple, but I think maybe the thing that stung and the thing that they got when they said a couple years ago,
01:11:12 ◼ ► "We're recommitting to pros. We're, you know, basically we're sorry, but we care about pros and we care about the Mac, and it's going to be better."
01:11:18 ◼ ► I think maybe one of the things that really stung them was this idea that they were—that their priorities were misaligned with their customers.
01:11:26 ◼ ► And I think the chief misalignment was about this idea that Apple products need to be thinner and lighter all the time.
01:11:35 ◼ ► And it doesn't mean that weight doesn't matter, and it doesn't mean that size doesn't matter.
01:11:42 ◼ ► But it means that if you're a pro and your computer isn't powerful enough or the keyboard isn't good enough or, you know, whatever,
01:11:53 ◼ ► because they thought the most important thing to you was that it be a little bit thinner or a little bit lighter,
01:12:01 ◼ ► maybe that's wrong, like that's misguided, that there are other products that Apple makes that are thin and light and that are still pretty powerful.
01:12:12 ◼ ► And presumably that 13-inch MacBook Pro replacement, whenever it comes, that is like this product, will be a thinner, lighter product than this.
01:12:20 ◼ ► But the problem is, like, Apple's it for MacBooks. So if you make the highest-end MacBook thinner and lighter and less capable, there's nowhere to go.
01:12:33 ◼ ► There's nowhere to go from there that's upward. And that's my little pocket theory about the disconnect between Apple.
01:12:42 ◼ ► Observing four years of the disconnect between Apple and its pro users over laptops, I think that's the root of it,
01:12:50 ◼ ► is that Apple internalized, so internalized the drive for thinness and lightness that they started making decisions that were out of whack with the priorities that their pro customers had.
01:13:04 ◼ ► So yes, this is heavier. It's not heavy, but it's heavier. And it's not huge, but it's bigger, a little bit.
01:13:15 ◼ ► Yeah, they're not trying to make, you know, super chunky products here. But I think that there is something that has shifted at Apple, and we can speculate, is that less influence of Jonathan Ive, maybe?
01:13:27 ◼ ► I don't know. But there's something has shifted at Apple where they're like, "Oh, you know..."
01:13:31 ◼ ► Especially for pro products, like this is, we've gone too far. And the thing that we value most is not what our customers value most.
01:13:40 ◼ ► And it doesn't mean that they want to make six pound laptops and huge, you know, enormous six pound laptops. It's not what it means.
01:13:48 ◼ ► But it does mean they start with worrying about the power and the battery and the screen and all of that.
01:13:56 ◼ ► And then what's the smallest package they can put that in? It's just, it's a little bit of a change in balance.
01:14:08 ◼ ► One priority that has remained the same is I/O. We are completely the same. Four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, a headphone jack. That's it.
01:14:27 ◼ ► I would love for Apple to put some effort into creating some sort of a magnetic connect USB-C something or other, but I just don't think it's ever going to happen.
01:14:38 ◼ ► I actually kind of like what Microsoft are doing here, where they have their magnetic surface connector on their products, which enables like a crazy fast charging and stuff.
01:14:54 ◼ ► Yeah, I would love Apple to come up with some sort of like, probably can't be inductive, but something like that, a magnetic connect something or other fast charger.
01:15:05 ◼ ► Yeah. This is something I've noticed recently as you know, like with all the new Surface products.
01:15:10 ◼ ► I was like, I actually kind of like that because that was something that people hated on theirs before, right?
01:15:14 ◼ ► Like the Microsoft, you could only charge via their connector and they had USB-C, but you couldn't do it.
01:15:22 ◼ ► But yeah, this is where we are, right? Like Apple is all in on Thunderbolt 3 and they will not budge from that.
01:15:30 ◼ ► Like this is something where, you know, I feel like you could say that people who had issues with the keyboards and people who had issues with the IO,
01:15:38 ◼ ► you could say that, you know, that Apple would be impressed on in every possible way to make changes here and they have decided not to budge on the IO.
01:16:04 ◼ ► So they have three microphones and they use them to do beamforming and the idea there is they're basically able to,
01:16:08 ◼ ► I don't know if they're technically omnidirectional, but they're picking out where the audio is coming from and then focusing on that.
01:16:15 ◼ ► But it's not doing any like noise reduction or, you know, processing of the audio after the fact.
01:16:20 ◼ ► They say it's just a better microphone with a better noise floor, so it's not as hissy.
01:16:27 ◼ ► And therefore, you know, they're calling it studio quality, which, you know, that doesn't mean anything.
01:16:34 ◼ ► It sounds pretty good, but I've only really used it in one room, which is the room I'm in right now.
01:16:38 ◼ ► And at the desk where I am right now, it didn't sound as good as it did when I was over sitting on the edge of the bed,
01:16:47 ◼ ► If you, you know, if you type or click with the trackpad, it picks it up because it's right there next to the keyboard.
01:16:54 ◼ ► And, you know, and this is what I told Shruthi, it's like, the jury's still out on this.
01:17:01 ◼ ► I guess we could let people hear what I sound like on that microphone if you would want to dare do that.
01:17:07 ◼ ► Yes, I do want to do that because, I mean, of all of the things that we have the ability to give people an actual, like, test of,
01:17:19 ◼ ► Alright, Myke, well here I am. Now I'm on the, now I'm on the microphone of the MacBook Pro. It's different now.
01:17:27 ◼ ► So I can't hear it. You did send me a test of it earlier, and I will say it sounded better,
01:17:32 ◼ ► and I like what you wrote in your article, that basically this is the case of, like, as a podcast professional,
01:17:42 ◼ ► you will probably have audio that is a sight more usable than you would have previously.
01:17:59 ◼ ► but if this, if you have this computer, I think the bar for what you would need to buy to get a better sound is higher.
01:18:17 ◼ ► The problem I think I have with it is the context. It's sitting up and to the left of the keyboard,
01:18:23 ◼ ► and what that means is if you're, depending on where your laptop is, it's going to have weird sound, potentially.
01:18:31 ◼ ► Or it could have great sound, but it really is going to depend more on placement than a microphone,
01:18:35 ◼ ► where you could place the microphone. And it's by the keyboard, so if you touch the keyboard,
01:18:44 ◼ ► when we play Dungeons and Dragons, and we're doing screen sharing, and we're also looking at a map in a web browser
01:18:50 ◼ ► that people are moving tokens around and stuff, like, I can tell you from denoising those files,
01:18:57 ◼ ► Or anybody that records a podcast with video, just to their co-host, which is a thing that a lot of people do.
01:19:06 ◼ ► And even if the microphone is good, like, you can't hold the microphone a foot or two away from the fan.
01:19:17 ◼ ► So I think that's the case, is that we'll see how it goes, and I hope people have enjoyed this extended demo of it here.
01:19:31 ◼ ► If this was the standard for laptop microphones, I think the world would be a better place.
01:19:35 ◼ ► And that said, it's got some issues that it kind of can't avoid, because it is an on-device microphone,
01:19:49 ◼ ► But it's going to also make, let's just say, it's going to make great casual company meetings,
01:19:53 ◼ ► Skyping in, or Zoom, or whatever, and FaceTime calls and stuff like that, and podcasts aside.
01:20:04 ◼ ► and really just want to get something down, the thing they get down will actually sound better now.
01:20:20 ◼ ► But I was surprised by it, and I think it's not a feature I would have ever asked for, and yet it's pretty good.
01:20:28 ◼ ► Yeah, there is like a, you mentioned intentionality with a microphone, where to get the best out of a microphone,
01:20:45 ◼ ► I'm pleased that it exists, but if you're doing professional audio work, you should probably still be using a microphone.
01:20:53 ◼ ► But as you say, this is one of those things like, yeah sure, it's a professional machine, give me weird stuff like this.
01:21:17 ◼ ► Talking about weird interesting stuff, I think one of my very favourite things that I found out about this machine today,
01:21:24 ◼ ► is that, because I just think this is a funny thing, I will never need this, but I love that they did it.
01:21:29 ◼ ► You can change the screen refresh rate in system preferences, so if you're working on a 30 frames per second YouTube video,
01:21:37 ◼ ► you can change the screen refresh rate to 30 frames per second in system preferences, so it matches the content that you're producing.
01:21:47 ◼ ► Yeah, so if you're doing film content, you set it to 48, and then it's a multiple of 24, and you're going to see every frame.
01:22:01 ◼ ► That's the kind of thing where you can see the existence of the Pro Workflow team, because somebody's mentioned this.
01:22:06 ◼ ► You don't come up with this stuff without having worked with video professionals, right?
01:22:28 ◼ ► Right, and they quote 11, but that's 11 web browsing or whatever, which means if you're doing heavy, heavy, heavy work,
01:22:35 ◼ ► and the processors are going and the fans are going, it's not going to last 11 hours, it's not going to be close to that.
01:22:40 ◼ ► But the web browsing number gives us a milestone in terms of, like, is there more battery than there was before?
01:22:53 ◼ ► Presumably, that also means that if you're using it harder, it's going to be more maybe than it was.
01:22:59 ◼ ► Or, alternately, if you're using it harder, it's because it's so much more powerful that maybe the battery won't last as long,
01:23:07 ◼ ► And it gets complicated, but that's a big battery, and they're quoting more battery life.
01:23:12 ◼ ► And, you know, I think there will be tests in this area over time now that it's out or coming out, and we'll find out more.
01:23:25 ◼ ► If it's a big encode of 4K video, it's going to be a different thing than something else.
01:23:39 ◼ ► Before we wrap up on this, and I guess touch on the Mac Pro ever so quickly, because there's a tidbit of news that we can share there.
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01:25:25 ◼ ► So I think that maybe over the last couple of years, it's probably been pretty fair to say that the professional that Apple had in mind for their products were video editors, music producers, like maybe like the more like flashy professions.
01:25:44 ◼ ► When I would expect there are more MacBook Pro users that are doing more typing work, right? They are doing more going to meetings type work than sitting and actually editing video or producing music on these machines.
01:26:01 ◼ ► Like if you imagine how many of them are out in the world, do you think that this MacBook Pro is maybe a shift back towards kind of leveling it out a little bit as to who this machine is catering for?
01:26:14 ◼ ► I think it depends on how you, what narrative you want to construct here because you could argue that if you look at the keyboard and the disappearance of the escape key, just those two things, you can look at it and say they took their eye off the ball because those are things that developers, which are their number one,
01:26:39 ◼ ► they've said repeatedly are their number one customer for Pro hardware or developers, that they would care about the keyboard or the escape key.
01:26:49 ◼ ► And that maybe that keyboard blunder is exacerbated by the fact that they were not concerned about their needs as much as the needs of other groups.
01:27:00 ◼ ► If you don't buy that, I think I would say there's always a portion of the Pro market that doesn't need the product, right? Like that's always been the case and it continues to be the case where the fact is if you love computers, you love Apple laptops, and you've got the money, you buy a MacBook Pro because it's the best.
01:27:23 ◼ ► And I think there are a lot of people who do that, that they buy the best because they want the best and they've got the money to spend on it.
01:27:30 ◼ ► And a MacBook Air might be fine for them, but it's like, I don't want the MacBook Air, I want the MacBook Pro, it's the best or the biggest or whatever.
01:27:35 ◼ ► And what are you going to use it for? Well, you know, email. Okay, you can do that. Watching movies, great. The speakers are great on this. You're going to love it.
01:27:45 ◼ ► And they're not pros, but they're a part of the market. So I think it's a combination. You can listen to what Sruthi said. She, I think, said it really well about the passion of the Pro user and the fact that pros, this is their life's work, this is their life's blood.
01:28:00 ◼ ► Amazing stuff gets created on MacBook Pros and they want to create a product that makes those people happy.
01:28:07 ◼ ► I think Apple knows, not that they talked about this, but I think Apple knows that yes, some aspect of it is aspirational. It's like, this is a product so good the pros use it and I also use it.
01:28:18 ◼ ► Right? Like, this major motion picture was edited on it. This song was created on it. That's the kind of work that gets done on these things and I also have one.
01:28:27 ◼ ► It's definitely a component of it. So, you know, I think Apple is trying to make their aspirational Pro users happy and that's also maybe why they have this approach of making the top level so big.
01:28:46 ◼ ► Right? So like, if you're an aspirational user, you buy the base model, maybe. But a real Pro in one of these areas is going to not buy the base model. They're going to buy the high-end model and they're going to spec it up and they're going to put all the RAM in it and all the SSD in it, whatever else, and they're going to spend a huge amount of money on it.
01:29:02 ◼ ► And with these 15-inch pros, there's more of a wingspan there and maybe that's the secret sauce is saying this is a really nice laptop anyone can buy. And if you're a Pro Pro, you can pin the needle.
01:29:19 ◼ ► You can spend a lot of money. You can get all the features that you want on the high-end and we're providing that too. But it's tricky, right? Because it's a little bit about both.
01:29:26 ◼ ► But I think if there is one criticism that really holds water here, it may be like looking at the keyboard and the touch bar and the escape key and all of that, like that was a case maybe where they weren't thinking of a big part of their Pro market when they made those decisions. I don't know.
01:29:52 ◼ ► Fact number one, December. We previously had a season, fall. Now we have December. And if you read this as a narrowing of detail and not a slipping of schedule, it would be the first what, 21 days of December? Because that's when fall is and then fall ends and it's winter after that.
01:30:11 ◼ ► But December is the word they used. So now we have a date. All the great Pro Macs are released in December, apparently.
01:30:20 ◼ ► And then I have fact number two, which is they're now going to be configurable. The way they phrased this today was so funny because it was like, we're doing an upgrade to the Mac Pro that doesn't exist. It's like that you can't. You can't upgrade it. It hasn't shipped yet. But they're upgrading its specs in advance of its shipping.
01:30:45 ◼ ► Well, because I guess it's one of those things where like now that the Mac Pro can go up to eight, you can't have the Mac Pro not.
01:30:54 ◼ ► Right. They've got big SSDs and that they maybe didn't have in June and they want to sell them because think of the profit margins on those. So anyway, so that's fact number two.
01:31:04 ◼ ► In fact, number three is a funny one, which is in June they said that the Mac Pro can handle up to three 8K video streams, which people are like, whoa, that's amazing. That's a huge amount of data.
01:31:16 ◼ ► And what they said to us on Tuesday was, well, we tweaked our card and that super enormous card with all the heat sinks on it, the fans and everything, the afterburner.
01:31:31 ◼ ► And now, you know, our engineers worked on it and all that. And remember when we said it could do three streams of 8K? How about six? It'll do six.
01:31:52 ◼ ► We got a little version of that same demo, which made me laugh, which is like, what if there were an entire orchestra in a Logic project, which is an actual use case because that's a case where there's so many software instruments that they had to like chain Macs together with different sections of the orchestra.
01:32:06 ◼ ► And now you can do it all on one Mac Pro, which is great. And they had a demo with like a John Williams symphony that was all software instruments running on one Mac Pro, which is great.
01:32:16 ◼ ► But yeah, there is that moment where people are like, oh, now you can have a podcast with 1000 guests and that would be the worst incomparable draft ever.
01:32:23 ◼ ► But yeah, so they're just dunking on us all by saying, yeah, sure, why not six 8K video streams? That's a huge amount of data.
01:32:32 ◼ ► But they say they can do that now. So they upgraded some specs of a product that hasn't actually shipped yet. So it's not really an upgrade. It's just a restatement of specs.
01:32:51 ◼ ► Yeah, so nice of her. You know, as I've said before, as we said with Colleen Navielli a while ago, you know, these are voices we haven't heard before from Apple.
01:32:58 ◼ ► And just a little behind the scenes, like it's a little nerve wracking, right? Like you're an Apple person.
01:33:03 ◼ ► You've been trained about public presentations, but now you're having a conversation and there's a PR person in the room.
01:33:09 ◼ ► And like, I'm sure having not been on that side of it, there's very much a feeling of like, you know, oh boy, what am I?
01:33:22 ◼ ► It was really nice to hear from her. I think she is really passionate about the pro users of, in general, and of the Mac.
01:33:32 ◼ ► And I think that really came through and I was happy to have her. So thank you to Shruthi Haldia for coming on. I really appreciate it.
01:33:50 ◼ ► Upstream is where we talk about the latest in streaming media in companies because, of course, Apple's in it in a big way.
01:34:00 ◼ ► We had spoken about the fact that For All Mankind had already been renewed before it went on air for a second season.
01:34:07 ◼ ► That was because the production timelines were long. The Morning Show, that was always a two season deal.
01:34:14 ◼ ► Now, C and Dickinson have both been renewed for a second season, according to a Variety article, which had some other interesting information in it about viewership numbers and response.
01:34:25 ◼ ► So I want to give a couple of quotes. So Variety has some sources that say, "The service today has drawn millions of users who are spending, on average, more than an hour on the Apple TV+ platform.
01:34:36 ◼ ► And Apple insiders were impressed by the volume of activity on the platform, which spiked by triple digits this past weekend after the fanfare from the November 1st debut."
01:34:47 ◼ ► It's early days. I saw a post on Twitter by somebody who is in the TV industry who basically said, "You know what? Apple did fine."
01:35:01 ◼ ► They're not going to do The Sopranos the first time out. They had these four big shows. They basically had one that, you know, they said, "I won't tell you which one."
01:35:09 ◼ ► But my take on it was one was good, two were fine, and one was bad. And you know what? That's a pretty good batting average.
01:35:14 ◼ ► And like, yeah, you've got to start somewhere. And now comes the hard part, I would actually say.
01:35:20 ◼ ► And I know that that's the last thing anybody who's working on Apple TV for the last two years wants to hear, but they've got to know it.
01:35:26 ◼ ► Like, now comes the hard part, which is you've got to keep going. And you've got to roll out new shows, and you're going to be judged, and you've got to continue to give people reason to watch your service.
01:35:36 ◼ ► And we'll see where they go from here. But I think, you know, I would caution against anybody who's too positive or negative about this.
01:35:48 ◼ ► Like, it's early days. If you like the show, it's great. But if you see things that are like, "Apple hit it out of the park and it's the best ever," it's like, Apple, I think, is doing fine.
01:35:57 ◼ ► And it's the first inning. It's the first—sorry for people who don't understand sports—it's the very beginning of the game. That little translation there for you.
01:36:05 ◼ ► And likewise, the people who say, "Oh, Apple, they totally failed. It's over. It's a disaster." Like, that's also not true.
01:36:11 ◼ ► In fact, one of the things that I think is funny is that I hear—I've heard a lot of positive word of mouth about Apple shows, and I wonder if TV critics were so exhausted about hearing that Apple was coming into the business,
01:36:25 ◼ ► and that Apple's practices in terms of giving screeners to TV critics in advance was weird and kind of awkward, and that they're a new player and they're perceived as being kind of arrogant, which, you know, I think is something that Apple might just have to own.
01:36:41 ◼ ► My point is, I'm wondering if maybe the initial critical evaluation was tinged a little bit more harshly because of all of those extenuating circumstances, because I keep talking to people who are just random people who watch these shows, and they seem pretty happy about it.
01:37:01 ◼ ► I have not heard people say that something is a stinker, even though not everything is for everybody, and I've heard a lot of people say positive things, too. So we'll see how it goes over time, because that's the other thing, right?
01:37:11 ◼ ► Like, the critics may say, "This show is bad. This show is good." You know, a lot of times, critics love stuff that fails and hate stuff that succeeds.
01:37:18 ◼ ► So Apple will know the stats, but it's entirely possible that Morning Show or See or For All Mankind or Dickinson is going to have incredible word of mouth and incredible stats, and it's going to end up emerging as the hit.
01:37:31 ◼ ► It's also possible that one of these shows really either takes flight in episode 7, 8, 9, 10, or crashes and burns.
01:37:41 ◼ ► And because we've only seen the first four now of those four series, we don't know that either, and I think the critics haven't seen most of them either, except maybe the Morning Show.
01:37:51 ◼ ► So it's early, and we'll see how it goes, but there's a lot more that Apple--now comes the hard part for Apple TV+. They just got to keep on doing it every week.
01:38:13 ◼ ► Yeah, we gave it to Apple last week about the TV app being a little bit wonky, but Apple did launch that thing in 100 countries, and it more or less worked with some wonkiness.
01:38:22 ◼ ► Disney+ launched in the US and, like, crashed and burned. Plus, first off, let's start with the app.
01:38:29 ◼ ► The app they made available when the service was available, instead of having the app available to download in advance and log in in advance so you'd be ready.
01:38:37 ◼ ► They didn't make it available until the day that the service came out. And then there were all these service problems.
01:38:45 ◼ ► And this is the company that bought MLB Advanced Media. This is BAM Tech. They are a highly regarded technology platform for video streaming.
01:38:54 ◼ ► And I don't know whether it's all at their feet, but people were really interested in Disney+, and they were getting stream failures and app failures and log in failures and every kind of failure under the sun.
01:39:07 ◼ ► Yeah, it seems to be, like, as I say, there were issues. I had issues, but the issues in Apple TV+'s launch were not widespread in the same way as the case of people just could not use the service for the majority of the day.
01:39:25 ◼ ► And, you know, maybe there is a, I'm sure that there is a difference in demand. I don't know which one was in higher demand because Disney+ is not worldwide.
01:39:41 ◼ ► It wasn't a worldwide launch, so I don't know, but there would have been a difference. I don't know who it speaks good or bad for, but Disney+ should not have been in that situation because it was a pretty bad one.
01:39:55 ◼ ► So, not great. Not great for them. There's also been some, like, really interesting and weird things happening. So, surprise to everybody that the Star Wars movies, the first seven, I think, so far, are in 4K HDR on Disney+, which we did not know beforehand.
01:40:17 ◼ ► It is such a great story. So, it's there in 4K HDR. This is apparently a master that was done with the intent of eventually releasing them on disc in 4K HDR or future formats.
01:40:29 ◼ ► It apparently precedes George Lucas leaving Lucasfilm or at least it precedes George Lucas being done with Star Wars because apparently he was involved in this final 4K version, which, as far as we can tell, is like George's final word on his endless tweaking of Star Wars movies.
01:40:50 ◼ ► But the most amazing thing, so, for people who don't know, this is so crazy. So, in the original Star Wars...
01:41:02 ◼ ► So, in the original Star Wars, in the cantina, there's the Greedo. Greedo is the guy who holds the alien who holds Han Solo at gunpoint. And Han doesn't want to come with him. He's gonna, like, take him to Jabba the Hutt and Jabba's gonna kill him. So, Greedo is threatening him and Han shoots him.
01:41:21 ◼ ► And he's dead. And he tips the bartender and he walks out. 'Cause Han is a tough guy. And in the special edition version of Star Wars, famously, George Lucas re-edited that scene so that Greedo shoots and misses at Han.
01:41:39 ◼ ► And then Han shoots Greedo dead. And the whole idea there is apparently that they didn't want Han to seem like a bad guy who would kill someone in cold blood, which is totally who Han Solo is.
01:41:54 ◼ ► Like, he knows he's going to get taken to Jabba and killed. And so he is acting in self-defense, but it is a deferred self-defense. And George Lucas is like, "Oh no, kids will think it's okay to shoot green aliens, so I'm gonna change it."
01:42:06 ◼ ► And people were really outraged because it kind of changes Han's character and it's not great. So this is a famous story. You probably heard it. There's, like, Han shot for his t-shirt. That's great.
01:42:15 ◼ ► Well, guess what? In the 4K HDR, Blu-ray, whatever TV news stream that's on Disney+, he changed it again! He changed it again. So now, not only do they shoot simultaneously...
01:42:31 ◼ ► So Han would have died, but again, Greedo is just a bad shot. But the most amazing part of this is Greedo doesn't speak English or whatever the equivalent is, English equivalent for Star Wars, and he's subtitled.
01:42:46 ◼ ► But in this new version, after saying all these threats to Han in his made-up alien nonsense and having it be subtitled, before the moment where they shoot simultaneously, he says, "McLunkey."
01:43:03 ◼ ► It's not subtitled. It's just "McLunkey." And then they shoot each other. So there's new, totally made-up, random Greedo dialogue that is never before seen since 1977, apparently. And then they shoot simultaneously. So it's like a last little gift.
01:43:26 ◼ ► It's like he's mad at somebody called "McLunkey." It's so strange. I heard somebody say that it's "hutties," and he's actually saying the same thing that another character says, where it's a thing that you say that basically says, "Prepare to die."
01:43:44 ◼ ► But it just sounds like "McLunkey." "McLunkey" is maybe the secret word that says, "Let's shoot each other simultaneously here."
01:43:56 ◼ ► By the way, also, our friend Todd Vizzeri has been asking around for a while. Todd Vizzeri himself a Disney employee through ILM about the fate of The Simpsons, because The Simpsons is all on Disney+ now. And one of the big issues on the FX app with The Simpsons stuff was that there are two versions of The Simpsons. There's the 16x9 version, which is the widescreen version, and there's the 4x3 version, which is the standard TV aspect ratio. And the show changed midway through from 4x3 to 16x9.
01:44:26 ◼ ► Any shows, right. And what happened was that, at least in some versions of The Simpsons, they took the 4x3 episodes and they cropped the tops and bottoms off of them and just made them 16x9 by cutting picture out. Which is bad, and you shouldn't do it.
01:44:40 ◼ ► They did this with some other shows too, where they're like, "Oh, well, we'll just cut the tops and bottoms off."
01:44:46 ◼ ► And then there are other shows, like The Wire is one, where they're able to use some of the original film stuff to restore them.
01:44:55 ◼ ► So The Wire, they shot it in 16x9, but it wasn't framed that way. It's a complicated story. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is like that, where they shot it on film, and so there is more detail, but there's also lights and people standing off the set that have to be erased.
01:45:14 ◼ ► And so, the long and short of it is that Disney Plus is, Todd got somebody at Disney Plus, or related to Disney, to say, "Oh yeah, the 4x3 episodes of The Simpsons will be in 4x3."
01:45:25 ◼ ► That is not the case. All the 4x3 episodes of The Simpsons are apparently cut at the top and bottom to make them look like they're widescreen, which is bad because it cuts off stuff, including jokes.
01:45:36 ◼ ► There are a lot of, the famous one is, there's a joke about Duff Beer, where they have three different brands of Duff Beer, Duff Light, Duff Ultra, and the joke is that there's one tube that goes into the barrels, and there's just like a splitter.
01:45:50 ◼ ► So it's all the same beer, but in the 16x9 version, you can't see the splitter, and so it doesn't make any sense and there's no joke there.
01:45:58 ◼ ► It's bad, and they should feel bad, and they should fix it. But anyway, weird stuff is happening on Disney Plus, but I'm looking forward to seeing The Mandalorian, so we've got that.
01:46:13 ◼ ► At least we have a date, right? Like, I'm kind of frustrated that it's many, many months, like, you know, it's the best part of half a year, right? Like, between--
01:46:28 ◼ ► I was hoping there would be some, I mean, you know, because in theory, yes, I could use a VPN, but I can't get the apps, so, like, it's not really a tenable solution, like I'm just going to wait, but I'm happy to have a date now, right?
01:46:40 ◼ ► March 31st, that's when I can get this stuff. The thing I don't understand is, for Disney's original content like The Mandalorian, why not just let me pay for it?
01:46:51 ◼ ► I'll just give them the money now. Like, don't give me the back catalog stuff if that's the issue.
01:47:10 ◼ ► They need to work on that a bit. But you know what I mean? Like, I get why, like, you know, all the stuff that's tied up with different companies.
01:47:16 ◼ ► Because they want to launch with a big bang and it's not just The Mandalorian, right? They want to launch with all their movies and their Marvel stuff and all the other stuff, too.
01:47:25 ◼ ► Yes, it's also been funny, like, you know, we won't go into all this today, but like, there's been a bunch of articles, right, and you can find many of them online.
01:47:32 ◼ ► Like, all of the things that are tied up in all these different issues that they're having. Like, the whole thing where, to get some of the content away from Starz, they have to put an ad for Starz in the sign-up screen.
01:47:43 ◼ ► Yeah, like, yeah, right, right. That actually is a thing that we weren't going to talk about, but I'll mention at least, which is a lot of irate people about the fact that Apple is running trailers for other Apple shows.
01:47:54 ◼ ► When you start to play an Apple TV+ show, which I find funny because people are like, Netflix doesn't do it. And it's like, yeah, Netflix auto-plays video with audio if you stop your remote for a moment.
01:48:06 ◼ ► Like, that's way more hostile. I get people don't like it. It would be nice if Apple would let people opt out, but like, I'm telling you, everybody else, like, HBO does it, Amazon does it, Hulu does it, like, everybody does it.
01:48:21 ◼ ► I will say, I hate it when everybody does it. I wish nobody would do it. Like, we were just watching the second season of Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime.
01:48:28 ◼ ► Right, and it wants to tell you about some other show at the beginning. Yeah, we're watching it too.
01:48:32 ◼ ► I actually, I really enjoyed the first season. I like the second season even more. But like, they're showing me some ad, like, stop it. Just stop it. I give you the money already.
01:48:41 ◼ ► Hey, I would watch HBO for Game of Thrones. I would watch the HBO stream for Game of Thrones and it was always like, let's show you a trailer for Ballers. It's like, I don't, I know, I don't want to watch Ballers.
01:48:55 ◼ ► But you know what, the skip button works for those two. So yeah, it's not great, but at the same time, it is kind of industry practice and people can say, well, I expect Apple to do better.
01:49:04 ◼ ► It's like, I don't know, I expect Apple to try and get you to watch other shows because they spent a lot of money on those shows and you know, there are, there are worse ways they could do it, including like how Netflix does it.
01:49:15 ◼ ► But to a certain degree, I kind of expected they could be maybe a little more subtle and maybe they will be over time. But right now they really want to expose you to other shows.
01:49:24 ◼ ► Also, also I will say I expect their tech to be a little bit better. Like right now it seems like they're just randomly or they're burning in promos and in the long run what they really should do is discover a show that you're not watching and promo that to you one time.
01:49:56 ◼ ► We do still actually have some follow up that I want to get to before we close out today's show, Jason.
01:50:12 ◼ ► Recently over 100 million people had their personal information stolen in yet another major data breach. Social Security numbers and contact details and credit scores all taken from customers of Capital One.
01:50:33 ◼ ► And this is another reason why I use a VPN because you can't control how big corporations mishandle your data.
01:50:42 ◼ ► So like stop any at any point you can stop someone from getting your information, do it.
01:50:48 ◼ ► And like if that means that you are taking additional steps to protect yourself, you should do that.
01:50:53 ◼ ► Because look, when you use ExpressVPN, you send an app for your computer, it's an app for your phone, it's an app for your tablet.
01:51:07 ◼ ► Because you don't want your internet service provider or the provider of the internet at the hotel that you're staying at to have that information about you.
01:51:15 ◼ ► I don't use unprotected networks without using ExpressVPN because it's super easy to log on with just a click, it's super fast.
01:51:22 ◼ ► It costs less than $7 a month. This is why I use it, just to make sure that I'm keeping as much of my own data to myself because you cannot trust any big company with any information.
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01:52:08 ◼ ► So on last week's episode we were complaining that Apple had done a bad job of letting you navigate to their TV+ shows, right?
01:52:30 ◼ ► You can tap it, you can select the show and it goes to the section in the Apple TV app.
01:52:40 ◼ ► Imagine. Can you imagine if Apple, the company that owns shortcuts, could have written that for us?
01:52:45 ◼ ► We had some questions about family sharing in Ask Upgrade about being able to have a family account, probably with friends,
01:52:53 ◼ ► where you could share some stuff without all paying for one, purchases through one credit card, right?
01:53:01 ◼ ► We have multiple people write in to suggest that you could use gift cards as the source of funds, which makes sense, right?
01:53:06 ◼ ► Like everyone's loading money together and putting it on a gift card and you're all paying.
01:53:10 ◼ ► But you're still having to do reconciliation at that point, right? Like to work out how much, who's paying for what.
01:53:18 ◼ ► But Ben wrote in to say that if you turn off purchase sharing, apps remain tied to individual accounts.
01:53:27 ◼ ► But then you could turn on stuff like Arcade and Apple TV and you will benefit from the joint subscriptions.
01:53:36 ◼ ► Obviously you're still having one person foot the bill for Arcade and TV, but you're still not then having to like divvy up every single purchase of every application.
01:53:54 ◼ ► And I'm happy to report on your behalf that it seems from the review that they passed a lawnmower test, right?
01:54:01 ◼ ► They did pass the lawnmower test and I'm happy to reveal now that the embargo has dropped that it also passed the airplane test.
01:54:07 ◼ ► Because I've been, I've wanted to write about how, or tweet about or whatever about how they did on the airplane.
01:54:12 ◼ ► But I didn't want to admit that I was in New York because that would be super suspicious.
01:54:20 ◼ ► I agree with this because I had just been on a plane. I was not in New York, but I was on vacation.
01:54:24 ◼ ► Which legitimate vacation I just got back from, which the episode would have been late about for anyway.
01:54:30 ◼ ► Yeah, people are going to say that we lied about you being gone and we lied about, on Twitter about recording the episode as soon as you got back.
01:54:52 ◼ ► It's not quite the same, but it's like, it's close enough and then I didn't have big, you know, over ear headphones on my head the whole flight, which was great.
01:54:59 ◼ ► And I could notice every now and again, it would adjust, get a little bit better, which I thought was kind of cool that it was doing that.
01:55:06 ◼ ► I noticed something that I didn't really thought about before. I didn't need to have the volume of my audio up very high at all. Like half.
01:55:15 ◼ ► Right, that's the beauty of it is that you don't have to crank it and potentially damage your hearing. You can just have it at a normal level and because it's cancelling out the other noise, it's just fine.
01:55:24 ◼ ► I did notice that my left air pod is coming loose more often than I would like. So I'm going to try and I'm using the smalls. I'm going to try and bump up to the medium and see if that works for me.
01:55:39 ◼ ► After about an hour, my left ear on the outside of the ear started right outside of the ear canal started to hurt. I thought, Oh no.
01:55:48 ◼ ► And I took it out and put it back in and then it was fine. So it literally must have been just pushing on the wrong spot and then it was fine.
01:55:56 ◼ ► But I will say multiple hours of use of these things with noise cancellation on and I'm really happy with it. This is a great purchase for me. I really like these things a lot.
01:56:06 ◼ ► I regret buying those Sony headphones. They did the job but they were pricey and I did it because I needed to have something that wasn't in my ears and was noise cancelling.
01:56:18 ◼ ► Instead, Apple made noise cancelling AirPods that have a vent to equalise pressure which is exactly what I wanted. Oh well, I'll put those on eBay or something.
01:56:29 ◼ ► We have a mic at the movies coming up. It's going to be our first holiday mic at the movies.
01:56:41 ◼ ► Oh, first of this year, I see. It's the 2019 original mic at the movies holiday edition and we are choosing, of course, the great holiday movie, the great Christmas movie, Beloved by All. Die Hard.
01:56:55 ◼ ► The upgrade program is sticking its fork in the ground on this one and we are declaring Die Hard a holiday movie.
01:57:03 ◼ ► This is one of the rare mics at the movies where I have seen the movie many times but I really want to talk about Die Hard with you.
01:57:12 ◼ ► Yep, November 25th. So that's going to be when we're going to be talking about Die Hard.
01:57:21 ◼ ► First one comes from Jeff. Is transparency mode on AirPods Pro better than or different to just wearing non-pro AirPods which do little to block outside sound?
01:57:41 ◼ ► Yeah, I've noticed that I like it. I feel like, you know, and I know that people smarter than me have said kind of the frequencies but it doesn't let everything in. Like it's kind of doing some manipulation of the audio.
01:57:53 ◼ ► But it's definitely making it louder which is useful. I mean, I think that the transparency mode is really good.
01:58:00 ◼ ► And I'm as happy to listen to my content in certain circumstances with transparency mode on as I am with the noise cancellation mode on. So I think that's really good.
01:58:12 ◼ ► Wilhelm says, I'm returning my AirPods Pro after a week of use. I feel like an idiot for saying this but it turns out that noise cancellation gives me a headache.
01:58:20 ◼ ► It feels like my head is getting inflated like a balloon. Am I the only person this is happening to?
01:58:24 ◼ ► No, you are not the only person. I felt this way about every set of noise cancelling headphones I'd ever tried before AirPods Pro.
01:58:32 ◼ ► I think it's just a personal sensitivity thing that for whatever reason, there's like a pressure.
01:58:38 ◼ ► If you have a sinus cult or infection right now, maybe that is making it worse for you. I don't know.
01:58:44 ◼ ► But whatever it is Apple is doing with the pressure equalization stuff works for me. But it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work for everyone.
01:58:54 ◼ ► And some people, and I don't know whether it's a different sort of brain or hearing thing, but I think some people are very much unnerved by the cancelled out audio effect.
01:59:03 ◼ ► Because it does feel like sort of the oxygen has been removed from the room. And it doesn't bother me.
01:59:11 ◼ ► It's weird but it doesn't bother me but I can totally see how for some people that would actually cause distress.
01:59:15 ◼ ► And it's probably, you know, I'm not an expert here, but there's probably a physical reason.
01:59:21 ◼ ► Like it probably some people don't, just can't do it because of some way they've happened to react to it.
01:59:32 ◼ ► It says, "Myke, the American holiday of Thanksgiving is coming up. Have you ever had occasion to participate in this meal?"
01:59:38 ◼ ► Yes. We actually typically try and book an American themed or style restaurant here in London for a Thanksgiving dinner.
01:59:49 ◼ ► Thanksgiving dinner, there are just so many great foods that I would never eat otherwise because it just doesn't happen.
01:59:57 ◼ ► And plus depending on where you go in London, you can get a very good Thanksgiving meal because there are a lot of Americans here.
02:00:04 ◼ ► So if you do a good one, you can do very, very good business on that day where you would probably not be doing that great business,
02:00:12 ◼ ► but you will completely fill out the restaurant weeks in advance for an expensive meal.
02:00:17 ◼ ► So yes, I will definitely try and fund a Thanksgiving. It's in a couple of weeks, right? It's in a couple of weeks. End of the month?
02:00:30 ◼ ► I like sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin pie. Mashed potatoes. I would say turkey, although there was a period where I was having ham instead of turkey,
02:00:43 ◼ ► I am a big fan of...what is it where you put like...is it sweet potato casserole? Like the mushroom?
02:00:58 ◼ ► My mom always made those and I never liked them. They're okay, but they're very popular. Very popular.
02:01:05 ◼ ► All right, so that ends this week's episode of Upgrade. Big one. Big episode this week.
02:01:14 ◼ ► Hey, this is one they're going to listen all the way to the very end. Thank you so much for tuning in.
02:01:29 ◼ ► just send in a tweet with the hashtag #AskUpgrade and we should hopefully be able to get to some of those on our next episode.
02:01:36 ◼ ► If you want to find show notes for this week's episode, go over to relay.fm/upgrade/271.
02:01:54 ◼ ► Thanks again to our sponsors, the fine folk over at ExpressVPN, ID Tech, and Squarespace.