240: Dance on the Grave of iTunes


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, Episode 240. This episode of Upgrade is brought to you by

00:00:14   FreshBooks, ExpressVPN, and Moo. I am Jason Snell. Myke Hurley is on assignment, and so,

00:00:20   in order to replace Myke Hurley, I have gone to the, uh, one of my go-to guest hosts. It is

00:00:30   you know him from the Accidental Tech podcast and Hypercritical and Reconcilable Differences

00:00:35   and many other places and OS X Reviews. It's John Syracuse, so hello. You always forget Robot or

00:00:40   Not, and you know me from Robot or Not. You know him from Robot or Not, which is an excellent

00:00:44   podcast which is totally not like this podcast at all, because it's, uh, but it is different. It's

00:00:49   you and me. You know, I forget about Robot or Not because we record that in, like, a batch and then

00:00:53   release them. Um, I have to remind you we just like Netflix. You gotta do some bacon research

00:00:58   before our next session. We make all the shows and release them in a batch. Yeah, actually,

00:01:03   we don't. We don't. We don't. We don't. No, we could. We could release them in a binge,

00:01:07   and then, like, every year you get 20 episodes. That seems like a bet. I don't love the binge

00:01:13   thing on Netflix, but that would certainly be bad for podcasts, I think. Well, I don't approve it.

00:01:18   Anyway, nobody wants to hear about this. They want to hear about the Snell Talk question,

00:01:21   which I warned people that you were going to be on the show, and I asked that they could send

00:01:25   questions to them. You mean you told them so they would be excited? Um, yes, that's what I meant by

00:01:30   warning. It was a positive. It was the most positive kind of warning. The positive warning

00:01:34   of, uh, "Greetings! Congratulations and felicitations! John Siracusa will be on upgrade!"

00:01:41   And listener Fuzan wrote in to say, "Is there a particular shape of pasta that is most pleasing

00:01:48   to me?" And I wanted to ask, before we turn the spotlight on me for #SnellTalk, I wanted to

00:01:54   do some #SyracusaTalk. Do you have a particular shape of pasta that you find most pleasing?

00:01:59   I could swear we did this question on the Just Mentioned Roboto Not Podcast, but I'll trust you

00:02:04   if you tell me if we haven't. Oh, I remember nothing of that podcast. Yeah, me neither. I

00:02:10   was thinking, "How many answered this before?" I mean, we've done pasta questions, but I'm not

00:02:13   sure if I've asked you specifically for, like, a favorite shape. This could be, yeah, pasta-shaped

00:02:17   déjà vu or something. My answer is, as it always is when I get asked this question, is it's like

00:02:23   trying to choose your favorite child. There's no favorite. There are lots of ones that I like,

00:02:27   and I'm in the mood for a particular one. It's like music. Like, you might have a favorite band,

00:02:31   but it's very hard to come up with a favorite song. Like, it depends on what you're in the

00:02:33   mood for at the time. So I have strong opinions about what pasta shape I wanted, what particular

00:02:40   time, and I have opinions on which pasta shapes go best with which kinds of dishes, for sure,

00:02:45   but none of them are my favorite. They're all situational. All right. All right, do you have,

00:02:50   like, can you give me an example of a situational preference? Sure. So you've got a really kind of

00:02:56   heavy sauce. Maybe it's like a sauce with, like, ground up meat in it or something. You want

00:03:00   something that's going to stand up to that, like a rigatoni. Big beefy tube that can stand up to

00:03:05   a very heavy sauce. You wouldn't put that in, like, angel hair because it would just overwhelm it.

00:03:09   Similarly, if you have a kind of light sauce, maybe just olive oil and garlic or something like

00:03:13   that, and you want a lighter pasta, I wouldn't do, like, a really thick spaghetti or any kind

00:03:18   of big tube pasta. I'd go with regular spaghetti on that or even thin spaghetti on that. So it's

00:03:22   kind of like wine pairing, but really you want the pasta, the robustness of the pasta shape to match

00:03:28   the sauce or whatever other thing you're putting on it. The right tool for the right job. Yeah,

00:03:32   and I have favorites. Like, my staples are probably ziti rigatoni, irregular spaghetti,

00:03:40   thin spaghetti, I mean, gemelli, penne. Those are usually at all times. Right now I have every

00:03:48   single one of those in my cabinet. There are probably some other esoteric ones that are in

00:03:51   there for special dishes, but those are the staples. So we haven't done a pasta episode

00:03:56   of "Robot or Not," but we did a gnocchi episode. So, you know, maybe we covered that as part of the

00:04:02   greater pasta existentialism of the gnocchi episode of "Robot or Not." I don't know. Maybe.

00:04:07   Yeah, and the pasta shape's like, I have lots of recipes for pasta, as you might imagine,

00:04:13   and the recipes are shape-specific. So in any particular recipe, you can't substitute one shape

00:04:18   for another. It would be like substituting a different meat for another meat. It becomes

00:04:23   an entirely different dish. You know, I hate it when people say that they've got macaroni

00:04:27   and cheese and then you get it and it's not macaroni. Like, just say that. Just say that

00:04:31   it's not macaroni, but don't tell me it's macaroni. Macaroni is a kind of pasta. If you

00:04:35   give me macaroni and cheese and then it's some other pasta and cheese, it's not macaroni and

00:04:39   cheese at that point. But I'm having spaghetti and meatballs and it's not spaghetti. It's like,

00:04:42   well, you know, that's not... So I was thinking about this because just the other day,

00:04:46   for reasons that I'm about to explain, my family had a dish that was with—I forget what it was.

00:04:56   Is it orzo, the little Greek pasta fragments? Orzo are the ones that look like rice.

00:05:01   Yeah, rice pasta. Exactly right. And I had mine with a special pasta and it was penne.

00:05:08   And this is not what Fu Zhan asked, but I hate penne. And I said to Lauren, I was like,

00:05:14   "Oh, that's not my favorite." She's like, "Really?" It's like not something she knew about me because

00:05:18   apparently I've swallowed my dislike for penne over the years. But it all came out, John. It all

00:05:22   was under stress. It all came out. What don't you like about it? I don't know. I don't like

00:05:26   how it goes on the fork and I don't like the tube part because I just feel like that's a...

00:05:31   Do you like any tube pasta? I don't think I do like any tube pasta, honestly. I don't like...

00:05:37   Not even ziti and a baked ziti? Yeah, well, okay, yes. All right. Like ziti or cannelloni

00:05:41   or something like that. It's an enormous tube that is like... Ziti is not enormous.

00:05:45   Okay. Well, then maybe I don't like it. I'll take a big tube pasta. Anyway, what I'm saying is that

00:05:51   jamelli, the little twisty pasta, is my favorite. I don't love the superfine spaghetti or angel hair.

00:05:57   I always like the thicker, more robust spaghetti. And jamelli is nice because it's the little...

00:06:02   It's the twisty guy, so it's a little bit thicker, but it's still... It's all on the outside. I don't

00:06:08   really want... I don't really like the pasta so much where there's also a little cave that

00:06:12   sauce can get into. It doesn't work for me. You have a very limited pasta palette.

00:06:18   I do. Are you surprised? Really? I suppose not. As long as you're not eating honey wheat pasta,

00:06:23   I'm sure it's okay. Yeah, that's true. I'm not. I save that for other things. So speaking of pasta,

00:06:27   I will mention here some personal news that I'm going through now. The reason that I got

00:06:32   served a special sort of pasta is that I have been delightfully diagnosed as being gluten sensitive,

00:06:42   and I have to go on a gluten-free diet, which means I am now rethinking all aspects of my life

00:06:50   up to this point. I put a link in our show notes to the Kubler-Ross model of the stages of grief,

00:06:56   because last week I went through all of them. I have reached acceptance now where I've bought

00:07:00   a few gluten-free cookbooks, and I'm trying to figure out how to make gluten-free pizza dough

00:07:05   and things like that. Oh my goodness. Because, yeah, it's really bad, Jon. It's really bad.

00:07:10   As a part of this process, they're like, "Now, before we stick an instrument down... We sedate

00:07:17   you and stick an instrument down your throat into your stomach and then through into your

00:07:20   small intestine to see if you have the signs of celiac, of gluten insensitivity. We need you to

00:07:28   be sure and eat a wheat product like a piece of toast, wheat toast, whole wheat toast every day."

00:07:33   And I just laughed. I was like, "Guys, it's not going to be a problem. I eat so much wheat,

00:07:39   it is not even going to be... There is no effort required here." I had a piece of toast in the car

00:07:43   right over here. Yeah, I mean, seriously. I got a piece of bread in my pocket right now. I could

00:07:48   just eat right now. It's not going to be a problem. But anyway, so... And I realize we're touching the

00:07:53   third rail by even mentioning people's diets because you guys have gone on that third rail

00:07:58   the last couple of weeks on ATP with all of Marco's stories of 100% plant-based diets and

00:08:04   keto diets and things like that. So, yes, I'm not looking for any advice. I'm not looking for

00:08:11   any favorite recipes. Later on in this process, I might put out a request for that. But right now,

00:08:18   I'm just kind of processing and trying to figure out what products are available in my local store

00:08:22   so that I can continue to eat things that are, in some cases, a sad simulacrum of the actual thing

00:08:31   that I want to eat. Rice pasta, in my opinion, is not worth having. Just don't even try it.

00:08:35   Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Well, if I can get some pasta that is decent, then so be it. But

00:08:40   I'm willing to forgo... There's some stuff that I'm willing to forgo, other stuff not... I think

00:08:45   right now the goal is, can we come up with ways for me to eat dinner with my family without me

00:08:49   having a completely different dinner than everybody else in the family? And that would be like,

00:08:53   can I make some... Yeah, an alternate pizza dough, an alternate pasta that I could mix in there.

00:08:58   But I'm generally with you, speaking of the ATP stuff, in that I appreciate you being the voice

00:09:04   of moderation there, saying perhaps instead of going on the all-plant diet or the all-meat-and-butter-fat

00:09:10   diet that you kind of have a balance and eat your vegetables and do some exercise and otherwise just

00:09:16   kind of do things in moderation. I think one of the things that's always bothered me, and I've

00:09:20   seen people in my own family do this with diets, is you end up going whole on into something where

00:09:27   it's like, "Nope, it's just going to be this one thing, and I'm not going to eat everything else."

00:09:30   And I don't know, that never seems to be a good idea, and it never seems to work out well. I agree.

00:09:37   He says as he cuts all gluten from his diet. Yeah, well, that's doctor's orders. I'm not doing that

00:09:42   because... What do doctors know? It's like a Star Trek, they're just going to give you a salad.

00:09:47   What do doctors know? Yeah, salad and some little foam cubes. Those are future croutons,

00:09:53   the foam cubes. So let's move on. Thank you to Fu Zhan for the Snell Talk question. Let's move on

00:09:58   to Upstream, where we talk about media things, that little area that Myke and I have carved out

00:10:06   over the last couple of years. And when I think about John Syracuse, I think about

00:10:10   having somebody else to talk about my TiVo with, because you and I are both TiVo

00:10:15   customers. And I want to get a TiVo update from you, and I wanted to give you my TiVo update.

00:10:22   So my TiVo update is, still using it, very glad I have my TiVo. I feel like it has become the

00:10:32   secondary input now, because there's so much that we watch that is on streaming. And I don't use the

00:10:38   TiVo interface for streaming, because those apps are not very good, and they're super slow.

00:10:42   And they did a sale not too long ago, where they were selling their 4K model, which doesn't actually

00:10:50   do 4K like cable, but it does 4K video streaming. And I thought about switching to it, but then I

00:10:57   thought about how they've got those awful kind of cheap web interfaces for their streaming apps,

00:11:05   and I just decided I would really rather just save TiVo as my TV channel's device, and everything else

00:11:11   I'm just going to watch on Apple TV. But I'm starting to get the feeling like I can actually

00:11:15   see it coming now, where I'm going to eventually abandon the TiVo and go to an over-the-top

00:11:20   service with a Cloud DVR instead, and just have it be on one box. But I'm not there yet, because

00:11:25   my TiVo works great, and I think in the end I wouldn't be saving any money by switching to an

00:11:32   over-the-top service. I'm going to be spending probably more money if I do something like that.

00:11:35   So we've got three TiVos running right now. I've got my good TiVo, which was the last best flat

00:11:41   one. You know, the TiVo that was rectilinear. That's the Romeo, right? That's what I've got

00:11:46   before they bent the TiVo mold, and they can only make bent TiVos now. Yep, the fanciest Romeo with

00:11:52   the most disk space. Me too. That's what I have. And I love it, and it continues to do what it

00:11:57   does, but I have been using it less just because so much of my stuff comes from the UMTeen streaming

00:12:01   services. And it manifests mostly in how much free space is there on my TiVo. It used to be

00:12:08   perpetually full, and now the free space is going up over time, so I think it's like at 70% now.

00:12:14   And when I watch something, there are so many streaming services that I watch stuff on. It's

00:12:19   like, it's time to watch something. And in general, I don't keep track of where I'm watching them.

00:12:23   I have one thing that keeps track of all the shows that I'm watching, but once I figure out the show

00:12:28   that I'm watching, I have to remember where it is. Is that one on Hulu? Is that one on Netflix? Is

00:12:32   that one on Amazon Prime? And the fourth or fifth choice is that one on TiVo, which means that it's

00:12:38   not on any of the services. It's on some premium channel like HBO or Showtime, or it's on network

00:12:43   television or whatever. And also, it's a currently running show or an AMC or something.

00:12:49   Like Walking Dead or whatever. There are shows that were on television that I could have caught

00:12:54   on my TiVo, but I didn't, and now they're on Hulu, for example, or some other service, right? So it's

00:12:59   very confusing where they are, but the bottom line is my watching is fairly evenly spread around all

00:13:05   my services, which means that TiVo, which used to be the vast majority of my shows, is now one-fifth,

00:13:09   just like every other service is one-fifth or whatever. And I'm fine with that. The interesting

00:13:15   thing is I spend a lot of time these days, like I'm going to watch a show right before I go to bed

00:13:21   or finish a show before I go to bed that I started earlier. There are shows that I don't care that

00:13:26   much about, like The Magicians or something. Like I'm into it, but I'll watch it, but it's not

00:13:29   appointment viewing, right? So very often I'll have the end of a Magicians episode to watch,

00:13:35   and I will watch it on my iPad in my bed from my TiVo. The TiVo recorded it because it's a show

00:13:42   that's running right now, and I'm caught up, so when the episodes go, it will be on my TiVo,

00:13:46   and I'll watch it in the TiVo app, which is strange because it's like, I'm using my TiVo,

00:13:50   but even when I'm using my TiVo, I'm not using my TiVo. Like I'm not using the TiVo remote in front

00:13:54   of the television, even though I'm in the same house and I'm just in a different room. Anyway,

00:13:59   so that's the state of my TiVo. I have three of them. So I've got that good one. I've got a bent

00:14:03   one, the fanciest bent one that they had, and the bent ones are terrible, and they have fans that

00:14:07   make noise, and they use laptop hard drives, and I don't like them, and they're stupid that they're

00:14:10   bent. And then underneath that, I have the whatever the fanciest TiVo you could get before the

00:14:16   Romeos was. I think it's like the TiVo Premier HD Pro whatever blah blah blah. Also a flat box,

00:14:23   it was better looking than the Romeo 2, but slow as balls. It's just very slow. The Romeos were a

00:14:29   huge improvement in speed. That's in the bedroom. That used to be, like, it was like the bedroom TiVo.

00:14:35   The bedroom always got like the hand-me-down TiVo, right? When I got the bent one, I got it because

00:14:40   the hand-me-down bedroom TiVo was just so slow, and we knew what the faster ones felt like, but

00:14:46   by the time I decided to get a replacement for the slow one, the only ones you could get were the bent

00:14:50   ones. So I got one of the bent ones and put it upstairs, and because of my TiVo remote situation,

00:14:56   I didn't have enough spare remotes, and they took away the one-two switch in the remotes. Do you

00:15:01   remember that? The little switch in the remotes that toggle between one and two? So you could

00:15:06   have two TiVos and switch it like through some Confluence events I ended up without the right

00:15:10   combination of remotes in my house to be able to have one remote for the bent TiVo and one remote

00:15:14   for the flat one, and instead I had one remote that both TiVos responded to, so I had to put a

00:15:20   big piece of tinfoil in front of the IR receiver on the non-bent TiVo, which is fine because the

00:15:28   non-bent TiVo wasn't even hooked up to the television anymore. The bent one was hooked up

00:15:32   to it, and if you wanted to watch something, the idea was that we would copy all the shows off of

00:15:36   the non-bent TiVo onto the bent one, and then we would just retire the non-bent one. And if you've

00:15:41   ever done that, transferred shows from one TiVo to another, you know it takes an eternity for some

00:15:44   unknown reason. So we were trying to do that, and then eventually we hit roadblocks where certain

00:15:48   shows you weren't allowed to copy them off TiVo because copyright, some garbage, whatever,

00:15:52   and so both of them just stayed there permanently. And so if you wanted to watch something off the

00:15:56   non-bent one, you would go to the bent TiVo, and there you could see the non-bent one on the

00:16:00   network, and you'd watch the shows remotely from that, and it was stupid. So that's to explain why

00:16:05   there were two TiVos, one of which had tinfoil in front of it hooked up to the bedroom television

00:16:08   for the past two years or whatever. But recently my bent one, the hard drive, died in it,

00:16:13   you know, basically confirming my suspicions that laptop hard drives are garbage, and it was much

00:16:18   better when they had 3.5-inch drives. This is my first, you know, I've had TiVos since

00:16:22   before the series 2? Just before the series 2? I don't remember. I bought the original,

00:16:29   I bought the series 1, the original one. That was my first TiVo. I don't know if I had the,

00:16:33   yeah, I think I did have the original one because it was super ugly in the series 2,

00:16:36   which was much nicer looking. So yeah, I've had TiVos for years and years. And this is my first

00:16:41   hard drive to die, and it was one of the stupid bent ones in the bent box laptop thing. Luckily,

00:16:47   I wisely got the extended warranty because I didn't trust the stupid thing, so I got it replaced

00:16:52   under warranty, and they couldn't even replace it with the model because they don't make this

00:16:56   anymore. Mine was like a TiVo Bolt Plus, but since then the top line bent one has been rebranded TiVo

00:17:03   Vox, so that's what I have now. I have a TiVo Vox, but it doesn't matter because I didn't get the Vox

00:17:07   remote, so I can't talk to it. It's just, it's, anyway, I've got that now, and it came with the

00:17:14   new UI, which I thus far avoided. The new UI is garbage. Oh yeah, it's, yeah, they did a whole new

00:17:20   interface update that you could opt into if you've got an older box, and I actually asked on the

00:17:26   occasion of its one year anniversary, I asked Dave Zatz, who does ZatzNotFunny, and he's a,

00:17:32   you know, DVR guy and a TiVo guy, if it was any better than a year before when it was released,

00:17:39   and he said, "Oh no, it's terrible. I regret it every day. Don't update to it." So I have just

00:17:44   remained on the old TiVo interface, which quite frankly is like why I have a TiVo is because I

00:17:50   like that interface, and they've got this new interface that seems to prioritize all sorts of

00:17:54   ways of watching television that I do not participate in, so I have no interest in doing it.

00:18:00   Can you roll yours back? Can you like wipe the drive and revert? I don't think so. I don't think

00:18:05   I would do that. I mean, I warned my wife when I sent it away. I said, "You know there's a chance

00:18:09   that when they send this, it's going to have the new UI, and the new UI I heard is terrible." And

00:18:13   she's like, "We were all ready for it." And sure enough, it came, and we're just going to deal with

00:18:16   it, but she had a question. She's like, "Why would," after trying to use it for a couple of days,

00:18:20   she's like, "Why would they do this? Why would they, why would they make it like this?" Because

00:18:23   she wants to know. And it made me think about it more than just thinking about how garbage is.

00:18:27   And the best explanation I can come up with is the new UI has more places to show pictures of things,

00:18:35   and there's many reasons why that could be a decision they would make. One is it's more places

00:18:41   to sell promotional thing. I don't know if TiVo does this, but potentially, "Hey, do you want your

00:18:46   show advertised on TiVo? Pay us a little bit extra money. We'll make sure your show shows up in the

00:18:50   banner," or whatever. Two, it's for people who can't read. I don't know. People do like pictures.

00:18:56   They like pictures to be in the background. They like pictures to be in the photo. They like to

00:18:59   work sort of graphically, but it's a huge miscalculation to think that TiVo customers

00:19:04   want this, because what we want to see is some way of organizing our shows and going through them,

00:19:09   and to be able to tell things about them. Setting aside the UI for a second, the main thing you want

00:19:15   to do is like, "The Magicians" is a show I record. How many episodes of "The Magicians" are on my TiVo?

00:19:21   Which ones have I watched or not watched? Which one's the newest one? Which one's the oldest one?

00:19:25   Like, you give me information about them. Show me the titles. Maybe show me the season and episode

00:19:29   number. Maybe show me the first words of a description. Like, I kind of think of the Gmail

00:19:32   interface. Do you ever see the Gmail web interface? I don't know if you use that.

00:19:35   No, I do. That's what I use. Where it shows you that you can organize your messages,

00:19:39   and it shows you the subject line and the first few words of the message. It's very information

00:19:43   dense for a single line item. Very compact, right? Especially if you go to the actual compact mode.

00:19:48   TiVo's interface used to be like that. You could organize things and sort them in different ways,

00:19:51   but it was basically a list view. And they'd put as much information as they could on each

00:19:56   list view item. And because of the way they were sorted, and because of various graphical

00:19:59   elements like the little colored dots or the little tiny progress bar, you could see which

00:20:04   ones are old, which ones are new, which ones you had watched already, which ones were you halfway

00:20:08   through, maybe what the titles were, maybe the date they were recorded. Lots of information.

00:20:14   And however many could fit on the screen, and you could scroll to see more. The new interface is

00:20:19   like, how much information can be removed? So you go to the Magicians now, and it shows the same

00:20:24   stupid thumbnail, which gives you no information because it's a generic thing of just like "Elliot

00:20:28   in a weird pose," right? And it's the same thumbnail for every episode. It shows four

00:20:33   episodes, no text associated with any of them. So you're like, "What episode is this? What order

00:20:39   are they in?" And it scrolls horizontally instead of vertically. I was like, "Do I have to go into

00:20:45   the episode for it to tell me the title or the date or the season or the episode number?"

00:20:50   It's almost useless. It makes no sense to me at all. Show me all the episodes of the Magicians

00:20:56   that I have so I can pick the one that I want to watch. And they try to highlight something where

00:21:01   you can just start playing immediately, but I'm like, "Is that the one that I want to play?

00:21:04   Or is that the newest? Or is that the oldest?" And whenever I try to guess, it seems it is sorted

00:21:08   it the opposite way. And this is setting aside the whole change to the UI. The old model,

00:21:13   as rudimentary as it was, made sense with a four-way, with a five-way thing, four directions

00:21:18   and a select. It was go to the right to go into it, go to the left to go to the left to go out of

00:21:23   it, and press the select button to select the item you have selected, and up and down arrows to go up

00:21:28   and down. It was north, south, east, west. It made perfect sense. You could do the entire UI. It was

00:21:34   like the old iOS, where it's like you hit an item and you go to the right and you hit the back button

00:21:38   and you go to the left, only it was even simpler than that because there was no back button.

00:21:41   Then they got rid of that model. Now you enter a menu, and the only way to get out of it is to hit

00:21:44   the actual dedicated back button. The left button usually does nothing. I'm very angry about the new

00:21:51   UI. I can tell. I don't know what I'm going to do when I have no choice but to get that UI. I just

00:21:56   hope they get a clue and restore list view everywhere, at least. Well, I just feel like

00:22:05   that moment is coming where I'm going to finally give up on TiVo, but it hasn't happened yet.

00:22:09   Yeah, I'm getting close. I don't even have any 4K TVs in the house, so the 4K revolution is going

00:22:13   to come to my house and there's going to be a reckoning, and we'll see what survives.

00:22:16   Yeah. I want to ask you about some news because I think you might have an opinion about this.

00:22:23   This is some prime upstream news. Apple and Stephen King, it was reported today as we

00:22:30   recorded this that they are going to series with eight episodes of an adaptation of Lisey's Story,

00:22:37   which is a Stephen King novel. J.J. Abrams is producing it. Julian Moore is starring,

00:22:42   and Stephen King is not only producing but writing all eight episodes of this TV series. Now you are

00:22:49   a huge Stephen King fan. What do you think about this deal? I'm a very big Stephen King fan. I read

00:22:56   everything he wrote up until several years ago when I just fell off the reading bandwagon almost

00:23:01   entirely. So I looked at this and I'm like, "Is this one of the ones that came out after I stopped

00:23:06   reading?" And then I went to the Wikipedia page and realized I had McNulty's disease.

00:23:10   Nope, I totally read this. I read this when it came out, and I remember it pretty well.

00:23:16   And of all the things for Apple to adapt, I would not have picked this because it's very weird and

00:23:20   not particularly family-friendly at all. But I have good feelings about the book. That said,

00:23:28   Stephen King adaptations for movies and televisions just seem to be a problem that we as a species

00:23:37   cannot yet crack. There are good ones in there, here and there, but the batting average is really

00:23:44   low. And having Stephen King be a writer for it I don't think helps. I'm not sure he knows how to

00:23:50   write television. I don't think he knows what good television is. I don't agree with his taste in

00:23:56   television. I love his books and I love his writing and it's all great. But when it comes

00:24:01   to movies and television, I mean, a book no further than his general hatred for the Stanley

00:24:06   Kubrick movie, which is barely an adaptation of his book, but unquestionably a good and effective

00:24:11   movie. But Stephen King hates it and it doesn't make any friggin' sense. So that said, because I

00:24:18   like this book and now remember it, and because I like Stephen King, I will undoubtedly watch this,

00:24:24   but my hopes are very low. Did you like Castle Rock? I did, surprisingly. I mean, it's uneven

00:24:32   and it's barely based on anything having to do with Stephen King, lots of references and the

00:24:37   setting picture, whatever, but it's kind of like, well, it's not the same as Black Mirror, but Black

00:24:42   Mirror, a show I generally dislike, I still feel good about just because that one good episode.

00:24:46   How can one good episode make up for like five seasons of shows that I mostly didn't like? It

00:24:50   just does. I feel like the one good episode, it's worth all the time I invested to get that one good

00:24:55   episode, and we've talked about that before. Similarly, Castle Rock, which I watched all of,

00:25:01   I feel like was worth my time because of that one good episode. I think it was episode seven

00:25:06   or something, which I thought was batting way above, like it was punching way above its weight.

00:25:10   The rest of the show was like, "Nah, hmm, okay, Stephen King, it's kind of weird, yeah, I get it,

00:25:14   where are you going, whatever, kind of silly, blah, blah, blah," and then this amazing episode,

00:25:18   and then back to its old self. Yeah, I'm not sure I've seen any evidence that Stephen King is

00:25:23   actually good at writing screenplays. Yeah, or television shows, or again, if I follow him on

00:25:28   Twitter and he says which shows he likes, I'm not sure he has his taste in shows matches mine. Like

00:25:33   shows he likes, I don't like. Yeah, so interesting idea, but I just kind of found it hard to believe

00:25:41   that you and I were going to be talking about Upstream, and this was announced. Even with his

00:25:46   novels, I think he benefits greatly from the editors he works with, which is not to say that

00:25:52   he's a bad writer or anything, but I feel like I remember that from on writing. That's one of

00:25:56   the things that stuck with me about that book is when he shows his drafts and the editing process,

00:26:01   whether it's him editing it or his actual editor at his publisher helping edit, it really elevates

00:26:06   the raw material that he puts out. So if he has good editorial help and good directorial help,

00:26:15   I think he can do an okay job. But my main fear is that the things he thinks are most important

00:26:22   about the novel are not the things that I liked best about the novel, and so he will be sure to

00:26:26   put in the things that he thinks are important from the novel, and they'll be in there and he'll

00:26:31   be super satisfied that if I gave this to anyone else, they would never put this stuff in, but

00:26:34   it's the most important thing in the novel, and I will disagree with that opinion and it'll end

00:26:38   up being weird. Anyway, I'll definitely watch it. Sure, so that's an Apple deal. JJ Abrams apparently

00:26:44   is finishing out his deal with Warner, which is going to produce this show, and is apparently being

00:26:53   sort of wooed for another big producer deal, because those are all the rage, a big name

00:26:58   producer. And JJ Abrams, I have to say, has been incredibly productive as a producer. I guess that's

00:27:03   their job is to be productive. But if you think about not just the stuff that he's written,

00:27:07   but the stuff that he's produced and that his production company has made, there are all sorts

00:27:12   of them, including things that you would never even identify as being a product of JJ Abrams at

00:27:18   all. I think Westworld is technically a JJ Abrams production. And so he's got a deal that's lapsing

00:27:26   with Warner, and there's a question about Warner and JJ Abrams, are they going to make another deal

00:27:31   to have him stay at Warner now that they've got their new owners? And I see it intimated

00:27:38   here and there about Apple potentially making a move for him, and that kind of fascinates me

00:27:45   only because not only do I think that JJ Abrams actually might be a good fit for Apple, I'm not

00:27:51   sure Apple wants to pay him what he's going to ask, but maybe they've got cash laying around,

00:27:57   they could do it. But also I know that JJ Abrams has a basically lifelong love of Apple. He's a

00:28:03   Mac user from back in the olden days. The opening credit sequence of his TV show Alias was made by

00:28:10   JJ Abrams on his Mac. JJ Abrams goes back a long way with Apple. And I wonder sometimes if we are

00:28:16   a few months out from some big super deal for TV between JJ Abrams and Apple, it wouldn't shock me

00:28:24   if that happened. As long as it wasn't an exclusive, I think he would go for it because I

00:28:27   think that he always wants to be able to make movies that will be released in cinemas, as they

00:28:35   say. Yeah, well, I think the TV deal and the movies are different potentially, right? Where

00:28:40   he's making movies over here and then he's doing his TV where Apple's got a first look or something

00:28:44   like that. But I don't know, JJ Abrams is the one name, if you would ask me, who's the one player in

00:28:51   Hollywood who's the most likely to be a good fit with Apple? He would be who I would say just

00:28:58   because I know his history with Apple. And it'll be interesting to see what he does. But anyway,

00:29:05   this is the third JJ Abrams produced show to be bought by Apple. Yeah, I'm sure you've talked

00:29:10   about this on your other podcast, Focus on this Topic, but I hate the idea of JJ Abrams or anyone

00:29:16   else being a good fit with Apple for making shows because I really don't like the idea of Apple

00:29:24   involving itself in the creative process. I know obviously they're putting up the money, of course,

00:29:28   they're going to be involved. I understand the realities of it, but I just don't have faith in

00:29:32   their taste when it comes to this. And the idea of Apple giving notes to JJ Abrams puts my teeth on

00:29:37   edge. I just don't want to think about it because I like almost everything that he does and I feel

00:29:41   like Apple has no notes to give him. Presumably it would be Zach Van Amburg and Jamie Ehrlich who

00:29:47   would give him notes if anybody. And presumably if they back up half a billion dollars into

00:29:51   JJ Abrams' front yard, then maybe he'll be okay with the occasional note or they will show so much

00:29:58   confidence in him that they won't be so worried about it. He spoke at WWDC, I feel like he's got

00:30:05   an existing relationship with Apple that serves, they have a connection there that maybe leads

00:30:14   somewhere else. I don't know. Yeah, and he's slightly more young in Hipton-Steven-Spielberg.

00:30:18   Slightly. He's basically the younger, hipper version of Steven Spielberg.

00:30:21   Sorry, Steve. There was literally in that sizzle reel they did for Apple TV+, there was that shot

00:30:28   of somebody in a World War II fighter plane and I thought, "Well, that's Amazing Stories." And it

00:30:33   totally was because that is Amazing Stories. It draws the landing gear.

00:30:37   All right, we have more, but first I will take a break and tell you about our first sponsor. It's

00:30:45   FreshBooks. Everyone likes to save time, but it's especially important when you're a freelancer.

00:30:51   Hey, tell me about it. FreshBooks can save you up to 192 hours. That's very precise. With simple

00:30:58   cloud accounting software for freelancers, it simplifies tasks like invoicing, tracking expenses,

00:31:03   getting paid online, and they can drastically reduce the time it takes to deal with your

00:31:08   paperwork. And it's worked for more than 10 million people. FreshBooks automates late payment

00:31:14   email reminders. You don't have to worry bugging your clients, chasing payments so that you can get

00:31:20   paid. You got to get paid. FreshBooks automates that process though. And when you email a client

00:31:25   invoice, FreshBooks will show you whether they've seen it, which means there's no guessing you know

00:31:30   they've seen it. Maybe they know you've seen it and like in the end, they just want to have you

00:31:36   get paid. If you're not using FreshBooks already, you should try it. And there's a great deal so you

00:31:42   can try it. FreshBooks is offering an unrestricted 30-day free trial to listeners of Upgrade. No

00:31:49   credit card required. All you have to do is go to FreshBooks.com/upgrade and enter "upgrade" in the

00:31:56   "How did you hear about us?" section. Thank you to FreshBooks for supporting Upgrade and all of Relay

00:32:02   FM. All right, Jon, 2019. When we last spoke on this podcast, it was late 2018. It is now 2019.

00:32:11   And I have, I want to talk about the Mac this year because it feels to me like 2019 is going to be

00:32:18   one of those years that we point to and say this was a momentous year for the Mac, both on the

00:32:25   hardware and the software side. I want to talk to you about that. But I want to start with Mac OS

00:32:32   because I think that's probably, I had to pick one and that's the one I chose. Like, I'm thinking

00:32:36   about WWDC and how, you know, how potentially the announcements there for the Mac are going to be

00:32:44   much bigger and have much greater ramifications than maybe a lot of people understand. Like,

00:32:49   this idea that they've already laid out there, that they laid out last summer, that a whole bunch

00:32:55   of iOS apps presumably are going to be coming over and running on the Mac this fall. Like,

00:33:00   I'm not sure people understand just how different that's going to be and how potentially weird that's

00:33:06   going to be. It's certainly not going to be what we're used to on the Mac. How do you think this

00:33:13   is going to go both in June and in September? Do you think it's going to be a huge change or do

00:33:19   you think it's going to be maybe less big than it has the potential? Because I keep thinking it's

00:33:26   going to be an enormous thing and people are going to not quite realize just how it's going to change

00:33:30   the whole texture of the Mac to have these iOS apps running on the Mac. Yeah, it's kind of,

00:33:35   it's one of those changes that I think people who are either developers or are plugged in at a more

00:33:40   technical level feel and see more strongly than users. So it's hard for me to say how it's going

00:33:46   to impact just your average Apple consumer in 2019. But like, was it back in June of 2018,

00:33:52   just around WDC? Our episode of ATP that we recorded about it was titled Extinction Level

00:33:59   Event, which was my estimation of what it means to introduce iOS applications that are written with

00:34:07   iOS APIs onto the Mac. Because it is not a strong ecosystem and UIKit is an incredibly powerful,

00:34:14   invasive species. And even though 2018 came and went, if you're a consumer, you're like,

00:34:18   "I got this weird news app that I never launched and like a stocks app, but I just ignore it."

00:34:22   It doesn't seem like a big deal, but June of 2018, we're like, "This is it." If they are serious

00:34:27   about this and they follow through on it and they don't do something fairly radical to ensure the

00:34:36   continued survival and primacy of AppKit on the Mac, say goodbye. UIKit is going to arrive and

00:34:43   eventually wipe out everything on the Mac for lots of reasons that we discussed last summer.

00:34:51   So this summer, we're getting closer to the general public realizing this is to your point,

00:34:55   they're going to give us whatever the real marzipan story is. Last year, it was just like,

00:34:58   "This is a tech experiment we're doing and we're going to ship it and we'll have more for you on

00:35:02   this in the future, blah, blah, blah. But for now, here's some apps." This year, WWC, they're going

00:35:07   to presumably say, "Remember that experiment? Here's the APIs that you developers can write

00:35:12   to and here's how you can import your iOS apps." They're going to have a name, they're going to have

00:35:16   a story, there's going to be a whole big thing to it. They could still choose to say, "And we've

00:35:22   merged into AppKit," or "AppKit is still the primary API and this is just reporting." There's

00:35:26   lots of things that Apple could still do to steer the ship in a different direction. But all signs

00:35:31   point to them saying, "Here's this great new way to make Mac applications." We still support and

00:35:36   love AppKit, yada, yada, but there are so many iOS developers who are suddenly going to be able to

00:35:43   take their existing apps and bring them to the Mac or write new apps with UIKit that are multi-platform

00:35:48   and they have the whole multi-platform story of how you can write a single application,

00:35:50   have it run on all the platforms and be able to merge the stores and it is a big change.

00:35:55   There's lots of times the big change is, "Oh, the big change from Carbon to Cocoa." But if you were

00:36:01   a Mac user, maybe you didn't notice that that much. Maybe you noticed a little bit, maybe the app

00:36:05   seemed a little different, maybe you heard TechNerds talking about it, but in general, it was like,

00:36:08   "Okay, well, a new way to write Mac apps, who cares?" The difference here is that

00:36:13   Marzipan apps and iOS apps look and feel different in a way that users will notice.

00:36:18   And they will also notice the app that they had on their phone, suddenly they have it on the Mac

00:36:24   and it looks and runs kind of the same. And I think it will generally be seen as a positive

00:36:29   change to almost everybody except perhaps old school Mac users who will eventually get used to

00:36:34   it because we get used to everything eventually. Yes, I loved it when you pointed out to Casey and

00:36:38   Marco that people who are upset that Apple seems to be changing have not been around long enough

00:36:43   because the old timers like you and me, it's like I have seen so many different Apples

00:36:49   like in the time since I bought my first Apple computer. This is how it goes and

00:36:55   generally you get over it. But I do agree, I was thinking, and Myke and I talked about this a little

00:37:00   bit, when we do the upgrade is every year, like struggling to come up with like best new Mac app

00:37:07   some years. And honestly, I would say that it's very rare that there's a new Mac app that is not

00:37:14   either a Mac equivalent of an iOS app, because you're not going to write a new Mac app and not

00:37:20   write an iOS app in most cases, or it's an app that takes advantage of very specific aspects

00:37:27   of the Mac, things you can do on the Mac that you can't do on iOS. And when I think of my favorite

00:37:32   Mac apps over the last few years, they're one of those or they're the other. And in the first case,

00:37:37   I think it's actually great for those developers, right? Because maybe not the ones who put all the

00:37:42   work in to make it work on the Mac, but for the next generation of those developers, because they

00:37:47   can come to the Mac without all that extra work. And for the other set, I don't think anything's

00:37:51   going to happen to them, because as long as they have access to the things that you can't do on

00:37:55   iOS, then they'll have a they'll have a role. But that's kind of I mean, there's not a lot like most

00:38:02   of the apps that I use on my Mac every day have been around for a very long time. And the few that

00:38:08   have that I that aren't like that are either electron apps like Slack, or they're, you know,

00:38:15   these unique kind of apps like Audio Hijack, or you know, some of the other rogue Amoeba stuff,

00:38:19   which does things with audio that iOS just doesn't let you do. So on that front, I think it's,

00:38:26   I think it's kind of okay. I do get a little concerned that we're going to either end up with

00:38:32   well, I'm not concerned if they redefine what Mac apps are supposed to look like to make it seem

00:38:39   to fit more with iOS, that'll be frustrating as a user to have a kind of like a redesign that makes

00:38:45   everything look more iOS, but I think I would rather have that than what we sort of have with

00:38:50   those four marzipan apps today in Mojave, which is apps behave a certain way, unless they don't,

00:38:57   which is not that's inconsistent and super weird, but it's kind of hard. I can't imagine. I mean,

00:39:05   marzipan may be, it's going to be better than what we have in Mojave for no doubt, but I kind of have

00:39:12   a hard time envisioning it coming all the way across to saying, oh, these apps are just

00:39:18   indistinguishable, like carbon and cocoa apps, indistinguishable from one another. They're almost

00:39:22   it's impossible to tell where it came from. I think it's far more likely that it'll be very clear

00:39:28   that these apps originated on iOS, and therefore the only solution for consistency in the interface

00:39:34   if Apple seeks that is to redefine a bunch of things about how traditional Mac apps are

00:39:41   supposed to look and make them, you know, push those apps toward being more iOS like.

00:39:47   I mean, back in the carbon cocoa transition, it was fairly obvious for people skilled in the art,

00:39:52   as they say, which one was especially in the beginning, because just the basic behaviors

00:39:57   of like text fields and controls were different enough that you could just tell, but they

00:40:01   eventually the way they fixed that was not saying, and the cocoa way will be the new way. In general,

00:40:07   they made sure that as carbon faded and cocoa became dominant, that all of the quote unquote

00:40:13   Mac like behaviors that we had come to expect from the carbon controls were ported to the cocoa

00:40:17   controls, right? And there was a little bit of a hybrid and a melding, but they didn't just say,

00:40:22   well, forget about that old behavior that you used to like cocoa controls don't work like that. They

00:40:26   worked so hard for many years trying to ensure parity, basically to bring cocoa up to the carbon

00:40:32   standards in terms of Mac likeness and to bring carbon up to the standards of cocoa in terms of

00:40:37   functionality and integration with all Unix world and all that other stuff. And I have some faith

00:40:42   that they're going to do something similar with the marzipan apps and that in the beginning,

00:40:45   it will be easy to tell because even just the most basic controls and navigation won't look or work

00:40:49   right. But eventually, like all the different places in the UI that don't have selectable

00:40:53   text or don't support copy and paste or don't support context menus that they will eventually

00:40:58   provide a way to implement those and implement them themselves in their own applications.

00:41:02   That's my hope anyway, not that I'm saying they're going to make them all just feel like cocoa apps,

00:41:06   like surely it will be a hybrid. And I can imagine them saying this is our opportunity to bring touch

00:41:10   to the Mac. So don't do any changes to the controls that make them less friendly to touch. So

00:41:13   everything's going to be bigger and waste more of our screen space, which won't matter because we'll

00:41:17   have giant 31.6 inch displays on our Mac pros. So everything will be awesome. But anyway, I

00:41:23   have some faith that they will work towards the goal of letting the Mac continue to be

00:41:28   the Mac in the sense that it is a truck in Steve Jobs' parlance. Because otherwise, what's the

00:41:36   hell's the point of having the Mac? If it's just a larger screen with a mouse and keyboard or an iOS

00:41:40   app, there's no point. In the beginning, it's going to look and feel a lot like that just due

00:41:43   to time constraints and the development of the API. And honestly, I think a lot of us will be

00:41:47   happy just to get the iOS port of messages and finally have feature parity. That will feel like

00:41:52   a huge upgrade, even though the new messages app will not quote unquote be Mac like the existing

00:41:58   messages app isn't particularly Mac like. Same thing with like photos and all that. You know,

00:42:03   when they did like, it was like a lion or something when they started iOSifying all of the

00:42:07   Mac apps, either by using what is that the UX kit or whatever, by using like their sort of lookalike

00:42:14   workalike framework for the Mac that APIs were a lot like UIKit, but it wasn't really UIKit.

00:42:21   And changing the UI's of the application, so they look more like their iOS counterparts,

00:42:24   removing functionality and making them frustrating and everything.

00:42:27   The actual legit straight ahead marzipan versions of those will be upgrades both aesthetically and

00:42:34   also probably functionally. And they'll probably also be even more Mac like than the existing one.

00:42:39   So there'll be that little honeymoon period where finally Apple gets to bring us all of its old

00:42:42   applications and can disband the Mac teams and combine them with the UI kit teams and do all

00:42:47   that stuff. And then there'll be the uncomfortable period where we'll be able to tell the difference

00:42:50   and we'll have these, you know, quote unquote real Mac apps sitting alongside the marzipan ones.

00:42:54   But then I hope eventually as the extinction level event progresses and appkit fades into the dustbin

00:43:00   of history, that the marzipan apps that we're left with will have adopted all of the utility

00:43:07   of the applications they replaced. Not necessarily all the individual features and ways of doing

00:43:11   things, but all the utility. That's my hope anyway. So our friend Steve Tran Smith tweeted

00:43:18   last week that he is very confident based on evidence he doesn't wish to make public at this

00:43:24   point that Apple is planning new likely UI kit music podcasts, perhaps even books apps for Mac

00:43:30   OS to join the new TV app. I expect the four to be the next wave of marzipan apps, grain of salt,

00:43:35   etc. And yes, this means the much discussed and long awaited breakup of iTunes finally, he says,

00:43:42   and I, you know, I'll be there to, to dance a jig on the grave of iTunes too. And I use it every

00:43:50   day to play music. But I do think about that moment when these apps will come over to the Mac and I

00:43:57   think, yeah, but they're not super functional. Like if I had to switch from iTunes to music to

00:44:04   play all my music every day on my Mac, the music app as it's currently iterated on iPhone and iPad,

00:44:12   I don't love it. Like browsing music in it is not great partially, I think because it's designed for

00:44:17   a smaller screen. And I would actually argue, I don't know if you've spent much time in the music

00:44:20   app on the iPad, but that, that feels very much like an app that the iPad layout itself is an

00:44:27   afterthought right down to the fact that it's got that now playing screen that just kind of comes up

00:44:31   on the side. Cause you know, whatever, I guess we could do that. It makes it look like the iPhone.

00:44:36   So I, I, I have those concerns, right? Which is like, be careful what you wish for

00:44:41   getting rid of iTunes, trying to do everything and be everything and replacing with a TV app

00:44:45   and a podcast app and a music app and all of that sounds good. But at the same time,

00:44:50   then I start to think, but what if it's just the iOS app? And I get a little concerned that those

00:44:55   iOS apps maybe not right. Maybe they're going to get pushed forward and this is going to be

00:45:00   the impetus to make those iOS apps have more features and more feature parody with the Mac,

00:45:05   cause they don't want them to be as much of a regression, but I'm a little concerned that what

00:45:09   it'll really be is just those kind of limited functionality iOS apps dropped on the Mac.

00:45:14   - You realize what's going to happen, don't you? This is something you might not want to think

00:45:17   about, but I think it's in all of our futures. iTunes will be the new QuickTime Player 7.

00:45:22   - Oh, for sure. For sure. It'll be in the utilities folder. And if you need to like

00:45:27   sync over a wire or get access to the application storage space or any of those like things that,

00:45:34   or maybe even like sideload MP3s onto your hard drive, you'll just have to go to the utilities

00:45:42   folder. Because my guess is that the music app, if it comes on the Mac, is going to be literally

00:45:48   an Apple music app. - But I think it'll be QuickTime Player 7 in another sense in that it

00:45:52   will be the application that we all wax nostalgic about and say, boy, they replaced QuickTime Player

00:45:57   7 with this crappy new QuickTime Player. And every day when I want to get anything done, I have to go

00:46:02   back to the real QuickTime Player, QuickTime Player 7. - This will be the best thing to happen

00:46:06   to iTunes's reputation in years. - Exactly. It'll suddenly be our favorite application. I can't

00:46:11   believe they replaced it with that crappy music application. You can't do anything. And it's like

00:46:14   one screen, you have no options. I can't sort stuff. I can't edit my metadata. I can't do

00:46:18   anything with it. And so if I ever were going to go and get anything done with my music, I have to

00:46:23   launch iTunes Player 7. Oh, sorry. iTunes Classic or whatever they ended up calling it. I mean,

00:46:30   yeah, we spent all this time hating iTunes and then it suddenly becomes our most favorite

00:46:33   application in the entire world simply because the new ones have limited functionality.

00:46:36   And now on the flip side of that, this thing that gives me some optimism is part of the reason

00:46:42   that QuickTime Player 10 or X or whatever you want to pronounce it never got all the functionality

00:46:49   of QuickTime Player 7. Setting aside all the framework stuff of the actual deprecation of

00:46:53   QuickTime and the advent of AV Foundation and all that other stuff is that that application in

00:46:59   several other ones also arrived just as Apple basically stopped doing any serious development

00:47:05   of Mac applications basically. It's not that they couldn't have continued to improve insert

00:47:12   name of bundled Apple Mac OS application here. They just didn't. In general, the applications

00:47:18   stayed mostly the same. There weren't big teams advancing them. Even flagship things like Photos,

00:47:24   once they had iOS-ified it, spent a long time not getting a lot of new features. And when it did,

00:47:31   they didn't really rethink much of anything. I think about the horrendous interface to shared

00:47:36   photo streams and photos, that tiny little popover with that horrible autocomplete field,

00:47:42   you know, that whole thing. And an inability to tell when any action has taken place and trying

00:47:46   to edit things that turn into those little blue cells in a very limited space on a giant 27-inch

00:47:51   iMac screen and how many years that has been like, "Yep, that's good enough. It's fine."

00:47:55   Like one tiny little toolbar button hidden way up in the corner, huge expanses of wasted space.

00:48:03   And compare that to the development lifetime of iPhoto, which started very simple and was

00:48:08   worked on year after year and got more and more features and more and more advanced and better

00:48:11   and better over the years. It's just night and day. So you could say QuickTime Player 10 was

00:48:18   terrible because, you know, just the QuickTime Player 7 was better. Or you can just say that

00:48:23   was the time that Apple put their foot off the gas. And now with the advent of Marzipan,

00:48:28   when they replace iTunes with the music app or whatever, yeah, initially it'll be crappy and not

00:48:32   have a lot of features. But maybe the second year, the music app on the Mac will get a bunch of new

00:48:37   features because now they have all the wood behind one arrow and that team is able to execute and

00:48:42   make one code base that runs on all their platforms. And it's more than one person or

00:48:47   half a person working on it for a year, right? Instead it's like five people working on it for

00:48:51   a year and maybe they can make progress. Like that's my hope that they will come back to

00:48:56   developing applications for the Mac because now they no longer have the excuse that there's like

00:49:00   five people in the company left who know AppKit and they put a half person in this app and a half

00:49:05   person on that app and all that other stuff. So initially, yeah, it's going to be bad and the

00:49:09   music app is going to be extremely limited. But year two and year three are the real,

00:49:13   that we'll see what the real deal is because they do need to add functionality. Like,

00:49:17   can you imagine, like you mentioned how bad the music app is in the iPad and how it feels like

00:49:21   the expansion is an afterthought. Can you imagine that on a 5K iMac, the music application and you

00:49:26   zoom it to full screen? It's just as... I do. That is exactly the nightmare that I am having

00:49:32   is what you just described. I mean, you don't need all the functionality of iTunes, but like you need

00:49:37   a different paradigm. That screen is way bigger. The input devices are way different and it's just,

00:49:42   it's the wrong fit, right? And unlike the TV application where there's no Mac equivalent now,

00:49:48   and we just can't do anything, like we've got to watch it all on iTunes, but like, oh, at least

00:49:51   there's a TV app. We do have a music player application and for all its warts, you can listen

00:49:56   to music in different ways with it. And the new application will be like, yeah, it's like a big

00:50:01   phone that fills your Mac screen. And I'm just going to give that app the middle finger. One

00:50:05   of the reasons the QuickTime Player 10 is what it is, is because Apple decided that it was

00:50:11   philosophically like not going to invest a lot of effort into little utility apps when functionality

00:50:17   existed elsewhere, which is, I felt like that was kind of an older school version of Apple where it

00:50:23   was, you know, Preview is a good example of an app like that. And QuickTime Player 7 was like that.

00:50:28   And there are other examples too, but like with QuickTime Player 10, they were really saying,

00:50:34   you know, look, if you want to trim little videos out of bigger videos and then save them out,

00:50:40   you should just use iMovie. Like it's right there, but we're not going to, you know, we're not going

00:50:44   to make that a particularly easy thing to do in this app. This app is much less functional. And

00:50:50   it's the same Apple that, you know, again, they have Preview and TextEdit and things like that,

00:50:55   but I think modern Apple with a whole other platform to build on iOS looked at it and was

00:51:00   like, now we really just needed to be a media player, some basic functionality. That's all

00:51:04   it needs to be. Just use iMovie otherwise. -I think it was, uh, mentioned the framework

00:51:10   difference. That really does make a difference because the old QuickTime Player before it was 7,

00:51:14   but whatever, the QuickTime Player pre-10, was there to show off QuickTime. Everything the

00:51:20   QuickTime could do, it was just a gateway to the functionality inherent in the QuickTime Framework.

00:51:24   -It was a front end for the QuickTime Framework, whereas QuickTime Player 10 was an app that they

00:51:29   built because they knew that eventually, in fact, this fall is the eventually, the whole QuickTime

00:51:35   Framework was going to be deprecated because it's 32-bit and they didn't want to work on it anymore.

00:51:40   So that's why QuickTime Player 10 is bad. -Yeah, and AV Foundation is mostly about,

00:51:44   you know, encoding, decoding, and playback and not a general purpose editing thing in container

00:51:49   format. Like QuickTime was much more extensive, right? So not only do they want an app that could

00:51:54   show it all off, but making an app that shows it off, like in the app itself, not that it was

00:51:59   trivial, but you were basically just exposing existing framework functionality. The QuickTime

00:52:03   Player didn't contain that functionality, the framework contained it. But we were long since

00:52:08   left that world. So to put that similar functionality in QuickTime Player, it would

00:52:12   basically be like writing iMovie. Like it's not sitting there waiting for you in the framework

00:52:16   because it's not a front end for QuickTime because QuickTime, you know, is no longer going to be a

00:52:20   thing. So I kind of feel for QuickTime Player 10. That's also one of the reasons that no one really

00:52:24   replaced it with something because it's like, okay, well, are you just going to write QuickTime

00:52:29   Player 7 again? Because we've already got that. And if you're not, are you going to write your

00:52:32   own video editor? Because that's pretty hard. QuickTime, I'm kind of sad about QuickTime because

00:52:38   it was and is a great technology that desperately needed to be modernized, but the world modernized

00:52:43   itself around it and it got left behind. And so now it's like, it's not just the 32-bit 64-bit,

00:52:49   but it's everything. The container formats, the codecs, QuickTime was a pioneer that just didn't

00:52:54   keep up. And so all the existing video editing applications and the various frameworks are

00:53:00   written for a different world and there's no equivalent to QuickTime. It's sad. But for the

00:53:07   other applications like preview and text edit, I'm always impressed by their functionality,

00:53:10   especially preview. Like preview doesn't seem like it can do a lot, but like, you know, if you copy

00:53:16   an image to the clipboard and you're like, can I put this image into preview and crop it? But it's

00:53:24   in the clipboard. How do I get an image in the clipboard into preview? So you make, you're like,

00:53:27   maybe I'll just make a new document because you're a Mac user, you hit command N and there's your

00:53:31   clipboard in the document. Exactly sized to whatever was in your clipboard. And you're like,

00:53:35   oh, it just did it for me there. And then you just crop it and you save it and you can convert it.

00:53:40   Like QuickTime preview does expose all the functionality inherent in the ability to read

00:53:45   and write images, which unlike QuickTime is still in Mac OS in 64 bit variants. And so

00:53:51   it does a surprising amount and same thing with text edit with all the different text editing

00:53:54   features and the ability to attempt to open word documents. I'm generally impressed with most of

00:54:00   the built in applications right up to the point where Apple stopped developing them, which was at

00:54:03   this point, like several years ago. Well, let's take a break. And then I have some more Mac stuff

00:54:07   to talk to you about. Let me tell you about our sponsor. Our next sponsor is ExpressVPN.

00:54:15   You know, cybercrime is something you think that happens to other people. But guess what?

00:54:19   People steal data from people like you and me all the time. And public Wi Fi is a huge vector for

00:54:26   this. Because of course, it's not encrypted, it is insecure. So what do you do about it?

00:54:33   Secure your connection to the internet using ExpressVPN. You can protect yourself, you can

00:54:38   secure yourself, you can anonymize your internet browsing and encrypts all your data and hides your

00:54:43   public IP address. And the apps are easy to run. They run seamlessly in the background of any

00:54:47   device you can think about. I've run it on my iPad, you can do it on the iPhone, you can do it

00:54:51   on your Mac, any device you can think about you can turn on ExpressVPN protection with one click.

00:54:56   And then you're safely free to surf on the public Wi Fi to not be spied upon by your internet service

00:55:02   provider. It's the number one rated VPN service from TechRadar. They said they express VPN was

00:55:08   number one. And it's got a 30 day money back guarantee. Myke Hurley, who is not here, he spent

00:55:15   his entire weekend in a hotel in Atlanta. And the entire time he was there, he was connected to

00:55:20   ExpressVPN just to make sure that his connection was secure. Nobody even knew that he was in

00:55:25   Atlanta because his IP address was secured to for less than $7 a month, you can get the same Express

00:55:30   VPN protection that Myke has that I have. If you ever use public Wi Fi, I want to keep those bad

00:55:35   guys at bay. You need ExpressVPN go to expressvpn.com slash upgrade. You can learn a lot

00:55:41   more. Protect your online activity today and find out how you can get three months for free at

00:55:47   expressvpn.com slash upgrade that's e x p r e s s VPN that's expressvpn.com song is free slash upgrade

00:56:00   expressvpn.com slash upgrade three months free one year package. Thank you ExpressVPN for supporting

00:56:06   upgrade and all of relay FM. So john last week, BB edit came back in the Mac App Store, which is

00:56:12   great. It was foretold last June, another one of these things last June, they Apple said that panic

00:56:16   and bare bones were going to come back to the Mac App Store. Transmit came back last fall. And BB

00:56:22   edit came back last week. Interesting combination of factors, right? Some policy decisions with the

00:56:28   Mac App Store, some new functionality in Mojave that lets apps ask for permission to do things

00:56:35   that in the past they couldn't ask permission to do, which were were restrictions that led apps to

00:56:41   say, Well, if we can't do this, we're just not going to be in the store, like read the entire

00:56:44   disk is a good example of that. But also, I think it's interesting that when these apps came back,

00:56:50   they came back in basically a special edition, it's the subscription model edition, which is if

00:56:55   you want to just buy an app and get that app, and you can use it forever, but you're gonna have to

00:56:59   pay an upgrade fee for the next major version, you do that on the transmit or bare bones websites.

00:57:04   If you want to get them in the Mac App Store, you sign up for a subscription, which is annual,

00:57:10   and gives you access to whatever the latest version is whenever they release it. And and that's how

00:57:16   they've managed to figure out how do we deal with not having upgrade pricing in the Mac App Store.

00:57:22   So I think that's interesting on its own. It also has gotten me to start thinking of what the Mac

00:57:27   App Store is going to look like in the aftermath of Marzipan as this new OS comes out this fall,

00:57:32   whether we're going to see a flood or not of iOS apps. You have any thoughts about the the BB Edit

00:57:39   thing though, first, like, I'm not going to buy a Mac App Store subscription to BB Edit because I'm

00:57:44   happy to just have it in the one that I get from barebones.com. But it is a sign of Apple

00:57:51   as we said last June, directly addressing some of the issues with Mac App Store through this

00:57:55   combination of adding an App Store editorial and fixing some of their policies and changing some of

00:58:00   the things in the operating system. And it's it's better than it was. I feel like there's still

00:58:06   inherently a mismatch. It's like a bad fit between the Mac App Store and popular, powerful Mac

00:58:14   applications that existed before the Mac App Store. And it's to Apple's credit that they've

00:58:18   been trying to bridge that gap, trying to woo these developers back. But mostly they've done so

00:58:25   in a non-systematic way. Like, I still think the mismatch is there. Even though these things are

00:58:31   back, they're back because of the herculean efforts of Apple to woo these developers and the efforts

00:58:37   of these developers to do what's required. Like, it's a cooperation between these developers and

00:58:42   Apple's to figure out a way to get this to work. But in the end, when they've all figured it out

00:58:46   and they're back on the store, we are now not in a situation where if you make a powerful Mac

00:58:52   application, that it's a no-brainer to go on the Mac App Store. Not only is it not a no-brainer,

00:58:58   it doesn't seem like a benefit and it seems like you're questioning whether you might want to do

00:59:03   it at all, which is not where the Mac App Store wants to be. You want it to be a place where

00:59:09   developers say, "I want my app on there because that's where I'm going to make all my money

00:59:13   because that's the best for my application. I can make the best application there and I can make the

00:59:17   most money there." And that is just not true of the Mac App Store for powerful applications,

00:59:21   traditional Mac applications, right? Even though they've done all this work to bridge this gap and

00:59:26   to get these high-profile applications, I don't feel like they have fundamentally changed the

00:59:30   nature of the Mac App Store. It is not attractive to that type of application developer, and the

00:59:36   users have learned that if you're a user who wants that kind of application, buy it direct.

00:59:43   That has been what we've learned, and I feel like that is still the case. Like,

00:59:46   Steve Trout and Smith, to mention him again, or I think it was him, maybe it was Guy Rambo,

00:59:50   dumped the entitlements of one of the Mac App Store versions of BB Editor or whatever,

00:59:55   and half of them are still called "temporary exception dot something dot whatever."

00:59:58   Right? There's a mismatch there, and no amount of schmoozing or getting flagship applications

01:00:06   onto there or working hard with individual developers is going to change that. And that's

01:00:10   not a scalable system anyway. Is Apple going to work like that over the course of a year with

01:00:15   every single developer who wants to make an application that just wants to do things that

01:00:18   Mac applications used to do? No. Direct Mac applications with notarizing, which will be

01:00:23   mandatory shortly, and all the other things they can impose, is still the way to go.

01:00:29   If you make that type of application, you spend a lot of time thinking, "So I have to go in the Mac

01:00:36   App Store. Will I actually make enough sales for it to be worth what I know will be the huge hassle?

01:00:41   Is it worth potentially having the Mac App Store version behave differently and have a different

01:00:46   set of support concerns than the other ones? Are there some features I can only do in the direct

01:00:50   sale version?" These questions still exist and highlight the fact that there is a mismatch

01:00:56   between what those Mac apps want to do and what the Mac App Store allows.

01:01:01   I think some of those temporary exceptions are Apple wanting—I mean, obviously there was a PR

01:01:07   move, that's why they announced it at the keynote, to say, "We're making changes to the Mac App

01:01:11   Store." When I talked to the people involved in this announcement in June, what they basically

01:01:16   said is, "Yeah, a lot of the stuff's not there, and it's not going to be there in the fall."

01:01:19   And clearly Apple's solution was, "Well, we're going to give you temporary permission now."

01:01:24   But those temporary exceptions have been there. Like, temporary exception has existed since the

01:01:28   dawn of the Mac App Store. That has always been their tool to get apps in there, but they didn't

01:01:33   rename them. They have added some, but I think you're right. I think those are the challenges.

01:01:38   How far down the path do they go? Is there a whole other set of different permissions that Mac apps

01:01:43   can get maybe this fall or not? They did enough to get Bare Bones and Panic and Office 365 and

01:01:51   Creative Cloud. And even them, barely. I think there are still potential, if not functional,

01:01:59   then sort of semantic differences between the Mac App Store version of BBI and the direct one,

01:02:04   because there have to be different code paths. Yeah, and transmit for sure. Transmit, there are

01:02:08   some differences where there are some features that are—I think Panic has said that they will do them

01:02:14   at some point, which is very strongly like, they can't do them until Apple opens that up for them

01:02:20   to do this feature that's in the regular version that's just not in the Mac App Store. And if you

01:02:24   think about it from their perspective, Panic or BBI, if they're making their application,

01:02:28   those features that were in there that they can't do in the Mac App Store? They made them because

01:02:33   they think they're good features that people want to use. And the fact that they can't put them in

01:02:37   the Mac App Store means that they are working so hard to get as much of the functionality of the

01:02:42   app they made into the Mac App Store. It's like, why am I working so hard to wedge this into this

01:02:47   funnel when I have the perfectly good working applications that I can sell to people right now,

01:02:52   and I have my own store, and I'm a big enough company, and I have an existing customer base?

01:02:55   The upside is maybe potentially you can get a big boost in sales, but maybe not because most people

01:03:00   like these applications have been in the Mac App Store, so part of it is just your relationship

01:03:04   with Apple or the good will and the PR and being featured by Apple. And again, not a scalable

01:03:10   system and doesn't change the fundamental nature of the Mac App Store. So is the future of the Mac

01:03:14   App Store a repository for iOS apps that are coming to the Mac? Is that its future?

01:03:19   So yeah, so that's the flip side of this. If you're coming from iOS, you're coming from an

01:03:24   environment that's even more constrained than the Mac, and so no big deal, right? And especially if

01:03:28   they combine the app stores or have a way to have an application that works across all the platforms,

01:03:33   like if, as we were discussing, the introduction of UIKit and the iOS APIs on MacOS as an extinction

01:03:39   level event for all "native" Mac APIs to eventually be replaced by iOS ones and Mac developers to

01:03:46   eventually replace by iOS developers, this all works itself out long term. Because yeah, the

01:03:49   old, funny guys will be there with their weird applications and need all these special permissions,

01:03:53   but that's probably not where the growth is. There's not like there's hundreds of those

01:03:57   clamoring to make new applications every year, like you said. Like, what is the best new Mac

01:04:00   app this year? Sometimes it's hard to tell. There are tons of iOS apps, there are tons of iOS

01:04:04   developers, and they fit right into the App Store because they're used to this level of abuse/

01:04:08   whatever. They've got Stockholm syndrome or whatever, and they have accepted that this is

01:04:13   the channel where all the sales come from because it is literally the channel where all the sales

01:04:16   come from on the phone, and they don't know about the direct model or whatever. So long term, I

01:04:22   think this problem will mostly work itself out. It may come up again because eventually you'll be in

01:04:28   a situation, unless Apple's the only one who's going to make applications, like pro-level

01:04:31   applications, like the Apple attitude, Austin, seems to be that the only application that needs

01:04:37   any kind of special permissions is Xcode and everything else can fit into the App Store model.

01:04:41   But even if you just look at something like Logic or Photoshop or Lightroom or any of these

01:04:47   pro-level applications, it still would have to jump through some hoops to work in the Mac App

01:04:54   Store, and Apple would still have to help them jump through those hoops. That's not a healthy

01:04:58   ecosystem of new pro applications, and thus far very few iOS applications have reached

01:05:07   the heights of functionality that the best Mac apps have. There are a few of them out there. We

01:05:11   can name some graphic design applications on iOS or some other apps that are super impressive and

01:05:14   some ones that are up and coming, like what, Fair Write or whatever is that, the only running

01:05:18   application they use. But the highs on the Mac are very high. Trying to get those developers to

01:05:25   add that kind of functionality to a Mac app written with iOS APIs will be a big rung in the

01:05:34   latter and the climb to slowly replace the old Macaways with all these new Macaways.

01:05:38   And I think it can happen. I think the path ahead for Apple and the Mac is fairly clear,

01:05:43   but it's going to be a difficult road. And success is not guaranteed because we have proof that

01:05:48   people make tons and tons of iOS applications of middling complexity that are appropriate for

01:05:54   phones and iPads. But we don't yet have proof that there will be Mac applications with the complexity

01:06:00   of a Logic or Pro Tools or a Photoshop or all those other things. We can't just keep relying on

01:06:05   these same old developers like Panic and BB Edit and Adobe and Microsoft. Eventually we need more

01:06:11   new blood. I'm trying to think of all the great new iOS applications. We've got Affinity as a new

01:06:19   name. Sure. Pixelmator, what are some other ones? There are some very powerful iOS applications that

01:06:26   I can imagine them either already make a kick-butt Mac application or they certainly could make one.

01:06:31   So have some faith in the future, but I want to see an existence proof that amazing new complex

01:06:38   feature-filled applications written in UIKit can appear on the Mac and fill those gaps.

01:06:44   My gut feeling too is that the priority with Marzipan is not to allow people to use Marzipan

01:06:51   to then break out of the box of iOS and add more functionality on the Mac. So I would put money

01:06:58   that for a very long time, if ever, if you want to have access to the system at a level that is

01:07:05   way beyond what iOS apps can do, your answer is to write Mac apps, like to write them the old way.

01:07:13   Because it would seem to be that would be one of the last boxes that Apple would feel like they

01:07:17   needed to check in terms of letting people build apps using that framework, using that code base,

01:07:25   and then being able to write a whole disk backup app with it. So it feels like the iOS apps that

01:07:35   come over with Marzipan or are conceived as being iOS and Mac from the get-go using Marzipan are not

01:07:43   going to be pushing into areas that some Mac apps live in because, you know, Apple won't let you.

01:07:50   Like I imagine it'll be much more locked down. The security model will be the iOS security model,

01:07:55   and you'll be very limited to what you'll be able to have access to on the Mac,

01:07:58   and that'll just be a function of Marzipan maybe forever.

01:08:01   - It'll be a tricky part. We'll be getting them to play nice with the Mac system environment.

01:08:07   So you mentioned Rogue Amoeba and all those applications that manipulate the various sound

01:08:10   things at sort of a system level that in no way would fit in any kind of app store, right?

01:08:14   That's one side of that, but think about the applications that are running and how

01:08:18   Rogue Amoeba's apps see those applications and how they see the changes that the Rogue Amoeba

01:08:23   apps are making to the system. If Rogue Amoeba tries to change the inputs of a Marzipan app,

01:08:28   will it correctly, will the pipes connect in the right way, right? Will they see those changes?

01:08:34   Just behaving in a way on a Mac system, behaving in a Mac-like way,

01:08:39   understanding when all these settings that don't exist on the iOS devices are changed

01:08:45   out from underneath those apps, that they respond to those changes in the expected ways.

01:08:49   That's a great example of one of those details that if they don't nail it on the first try and

01:08:54   it seems like there's a big disconnect, second and third and fourth visions of Marzipan,

01:08:59   if this is indeed the path forward, will include connecting those dots. And eventually, I think,

01:09:04   the Rogue Amoeba apps will work with them right before Apple totally crushes the Rogue Amoeba's

01:09:09   apps' ability to run at all on the Mac, which would be a shame, right?

01:09:11   - Yeah. Now, Steve Trout and Smith did try and succeed to get AppleScript sort of working in a

01:09:16   Marzipan app. - Oh, god. Automation. That's a

01:09:18   holiday thing. - And get services to show up in an AppleScript or in a Marzipan app. And so,

01:09:28   I bring those up just to say, I think you make a great point, which is, it's not just how these

01:09:34   apps work and look and feel on the Mac. It's also going to be, are they apps? Do they interact or

01:09:42   are they dark matter, right? Are they in their own little world where it's like, well, they exist,

01:09:48   but Mac apps look and they're like, doesn't look like anything to me. It's just Marzipan. And that's

01:09:54   not great. Just like how in Mojave, if certain frameworks die, all of the Marzipan apps quit,

01:10:03   not just one of them, they all quit because they're really one process at one level.

01:10:07   - Or they just have a common parent process. I mean, it's the same thing if you kill login

01:10:12   window on your Mac today, everything disappears because it's the parent process of your entire

01:10:16   login site. - It feels very classic to me in a way though, right? Which is like, oh, no,

01:10:20   it looks like an app, but it's not really an app quite. It's not quite. And that goes over

01:10:26   lots of stuff, including, yes, can I grab audio from that? What if I adjust the inputs? It also

01:10:32   does mean things like automation. Is it scriptable? A base Mac app, I can tell it to launch using

01:10:38   AppleScript and I can use UI scripting to do things in Keyboard Maestro or something like that.

01:10:44   That may all be completely broken, but that will make those apps less good citizens on the Mac.

01:10:51   And in the long run, I suspect that something more like shortcuts will be the approved user

01:10:58   automation system on the Mac too. But we do have a lot of things that define what a Mac app does

01:11:04   now. And if it's like, oh yeah, well, you just can't use audio hijack with this app,

01:11:09   this class of apps, that's less good for the platform. So that's part of, that's why they

01:11:16   announced it and gave themselves a year before they actually had to ship anything for developers

01:11:20   because it's really hard. - Some of that stuff that's broken, they'll never fix because that's

01:11:24   not the way forward. - I think AppleScript is a great example. I could imagine them saying like,

01:11:29   yeah, it's not really supported. Apple events, Apple, it's not. - Or even stuff like the services

01:11:33   menu, which is sort of next step, right? That could probably be made to work, but if that's not

01:11:39   going to be in their future plan, they won't ever bother enabling that function. Like,

01:11:42   this is no point. And on the other hand, Apple has been laying the groundwork for this for years

01:11:45   with things like share extensions, which were conceived and implemented as a cross-platform

01:11:50   thing long before Marzipan existed. They're different, like share extensions on the Mac

01:11:54   are different than they are on iOS, but they're similar enough that you could see how by making

01:11:59   both Mac applications and iOS applications have this share extension model, despite the code

01:12:05   and API differences, it is one of the rare cases of a new system level thing that Apple actually

01:12:13   made across platforms that is just waiting for all those tubes to be hooked up behind the scenes.

01:12:18   Like, oh, there you go. Remember all the share extensions you've been writing? Now there's a

01:12:21   unified way to write them and they work across all platforms and it's a paradigm that works.

01:12:25   But there's so many places where that doesn't exist, mostly because there's system level

01:12:29   functionality on the Mac that has absolutely no equivalent in iOS. And it should, like the answer

01:12:33   to this is not, well, don't worry about that because it's not an iOS. The answer to that is

01:12:36   add stuff like that to iOS. Give file system access to iOS, let it see external storage,

01:12:42   let you control the system sound routing. Like we've all, you know, we all know the iOS complaints.

01:12:47   That's the solution. And if the solution on the Mac is we're going to do all those things,

01:12:51   but what we're going to do is we're going to implement them on iOS and then bring those

01:12:54   implementations to the Mac and all the existing Mac implementations will just fade away. That's

01:12:59   one path to the future. And arguably is a reasonable one because a lot of these systems

01:13:04   as implemented on the Mac are very old and very creaky and you know, things like services,

01:13:08   people who use them and love them, they're great, but they are not, they are not a well-loved piece

01:13:15   of software from the perspective of how often new features get added or even how well they're

01:13:23   surfaced in the UI. You don't know if services exist. You can use Mac for years and just never

01:13:27   see them. Yeah. Apple actually did some things to services in Mojave, which is super weird, but

01:13:32   it would not be a big leap for them to find a way to bridge the gap in terms of saying, well,

01:13:38   we've got a new solution that is basically like services, but it's using the share functionality

01:13:43   that would be addressed in the same way. It wouldn't surprise me if that's the direction

01:13:47   they go, but as an iPad user, I have to say the flip side of all of this really is that I hope

01:13:51   that part of the process means that the iPad apps get better and more powerful because if you're

01:13:56   going to do some extra work to add functionality to them, especially so that they work on larger

01:14:00   screens and they work on the Mac, maybe that means that the iPad can pick that stuff up too and that

01:14:04   the iPad apps will be more functional. I'd take that. I'd love that. That's kind of a side effect

01:14:09   of the app-centric nature of what was originally iPhone OS, like that the entire phone was the app,

01:14:16   even when it wasn't springboard, it was the app. That conception of iOS, that it's all about the

01:14:23   apps. We need more powerful apps for the iPad. I can't wait to see what the new apps can do.

01:14:28   What we need on the iPad and have needed for years is a more powerful iOS. That's all we

01:14:34   usually talk about on the Mac. What new features does this OS have? Oh yeah, and by the way,

01:14:39   there are apps that run on it. It's so inverted on the iOS. We so rarely think about what the OS can

01:14:45   do, what features have they added to the OS, because the OS is like whatever, it's just a way

01:14:49   to run apps. And yeah, we all know under the covers there are APIs that are important and so on and so

01:14:53   forth, but the apps take such a prime place that there is no thing of like, "Oh, the OS added

01:15:00   system-wide text-to-speech everywhere. The OS added the ability to mount network shares using

01:15:06   this new protocol. The OS added a way to control sound inputs and outputs and create new..." Like,

01:15:11   the OS added a new context menu and a new..." We don't think about what the OS can do for us in

01:15:16   iOS because it hasn't been doing enough. Whereas on the Mac, all those things we just talked about

01:15:20   are things you can do at the OS level that influence all the apps that are running in

01:15:24   that stew, in that environment. A new way to manage Windows, the dock itself, like all these

01:15:28   things that we consider part of the OS. On iOS, we get crumbs, we get table scraps, and we don't...

01:15:36   We tend not to think about it, except for maybe iPad users asking for better multitasking, but

01:15:40   we need to ask for and should expect so much more out of the OS itself in iOS instead of just being

01:15:47   like a status bar and a springboard for us. And like maybe a way to split the screen up a couple

01:15:51   different ways. We need more. Yeah. Now, that's my... Whenever I come back to the storage stuff,

01:15:58   that's one of my things. Or the sound stuff. Those are two of the things that really get me.

01:16:02   Peripherals, yeah. At USB-C on these iPads now.

01:16:06   I know, right? So we'll see what happens there. You want to talk hardware a little bit? Because

01:16:10   I do think it'll be a big year for the Mac in terms of hardware. Lots of possibilities. You're

01:16:15   going to get... Well, I say your Mac Pro, but we'll see. You're going to get a Mac Pro. You can judge

01:16:21   if it's your Mac Pro or not. There, yeah. A Mac Pro.

01:16:23   Yeah. The card is modular.

01:16:26   I don't know if I believe that. They just mean the monitor is built in. That's all they mean.

01:16:33   It's fine. It could just be that that's literally all that they mean. Or they could mean some aspect

01:16:38   of the production, which is that they have stuff that they can drop in, but it's not a user thing.

01:16:42   Oh, God. It's the worst kind of just obsessing over... They give us so little. They give us

01:16:47   one adjective, and we spend two years talking about that one adjective. What's this mean?

01:16:52   That is the worst kind of criminology. That is the kind of stuff... That happened,

01:16:56   without giving any spoilers, that happened on Star Trek Discovery a couple of weeks ago,

01:17:01   where a character said something, phrased in a certain way, that they created this entire

01:17:06   conspiracy theory about how that phrasing was similar to phrasing of another character in

01:17:11   another Star Trek series. And so it was all connected, man. I'm caught up on Discovery,

01:17:16   I think, but I don't even know what you're talking about. Probably because I haven't seen

01:17:18   the other Star Trek series. Well, also because it's really dumb. I just rewatched that episode

01:17:22   yesterday, and I'm like, "That whole thing came from this one line reading of one character? Come

01:17:26   on." But yes, we are reduced to that, which is, "What does it mean? It might be modular." And it's

01:17:32   like from a third source who saw it one time or heard people talking about it briefly and

01:17:38   heard the word modular and doesn't know what it means. It's hard to tell. There will be one

01:17:44   this year, they said. I imagine we'll see it at WWDC, at least as a promo. Maybe they'll have one

01:17:50   like they did with the iMac Pro, where it's like, "Don't touch it. It must be looked at."

01:17:55   I'm gonna touch it. Yeah, don't even play it, but you can see it, and then it'll ship on December

01:18:00   29th, and that'll be fine. But there are also rumors about that new MacBook Pro, like the 15-inch

01:18:08   that's actually a 16-inch that I know Marco's excited about, which maybe they would finally

01:18:13   have a new design where they would not use the old keyboard that has gotten such bad publicity

01:18:19   for Apple over the last few years. Yeah, the latest tweet rumor I saw was, "Oh, actually,

01:18:23   that's going to be a 2020 model," and people were getting sad about it. I don't think we can wait

01:18:28   that long, but yeah, there's a Mac laptop with a new keyboard and a hardware escape key. I feel

01:18:34   like it's in our future. Is it in our future in 2019? God, I hope so. Well, I mean, it wouldn't

01:18:40   surprise me if it is more like 2020. It would be much better if it was in 2019. The iMac is the

01:18:45   same way. We got that new iMac thing. I flew to New York. I talked to the product manager.

01:18:49   I'm getting briefed about it in the car on the way to meet with the product manager,

01:18:55   and I get there and I'm like, "So it's just a speed bump," right? And when you think about it now,

01:19:02   it's like, "Okay, well, in the spring of 2019, they did new iMacs." It's like, there's no way

01:19:08   there's going to be a new iMac design this year, because why would they have just turned over the

01:19:12   new iMac in the spring if they were going to do a brand new iMac in the fall? It seems like that

01:19:17   is now a 2020 product if it happens. And that's a product that really needs a redesign, right?

01:19:23   We are still using the iMac as the 2012 car model and just update it every so often,

01:19:30   but it is a 2012 iMac that Apple is still selling with updated processors and stuff.

01:19:37   We talked about this on ADP. Despite the fact that it looks just like a screen with a little stand,

01:19:41   you're like, "Well, what the hell else can you do? I don't care about the chin. Make the chin

01:19:45   smaller. Who cares?" There are things you can do. There are many design challenges inherent in that

01:19:49   computer that they can take another run at. And whatever it's been seven years now, seven years

01:19:56   is a good run for a case design. And if you think people have these very aggressive images that they

01:20:02   make out there of showing the iMac with the year underneath each design and how radically they

01:20:07   changed, you have the little gumdrops and then the lifesavers, and then you've got the cool

01:20:14   looking ones. You've got Dalmatian flower power, then you've got the little one with the arm on it,

01:20:19   and then you've got the flat white ones, then you've got the flat silver ones, and the flat

01:20:22   silver ones get skinny, and then it's skinny, skinny, skinny, skinny, skinny, skinny, skinny,

01:20:24   skinny, skinny, skinny, skinny, skinny, and present day. There's this huge run at the end

01:20:28   where evolution stops. And in some respects, it's because the design was refined and made

01:20:36   more essential or whatever Johnny Ivey word you want to use. And it didn't need to change in any

01:20:41   radical way. But every seven years or so, it's a good time to rethink it. And so I feel like part

01:20:49   of the reason the speed bumps are just speed bumps is because the new design isn't ready, but you

01:20:53   don't want to wait for the new design to be ready to speed bump them. So you speed bump them in the

01:20:56   existing case with the existing cooling and do the best you can. But I really hope there is a

01:21:02   redesign in the future. I hope the redesign in the future of the plain old iMac is part of the

01:21:07   rededication to the Mac, because I feel like the iMac Pro is the last Mac design that predates

01:21:14   Apple's rededication to the Mac, which sounds weird, but it's like, isn't that the bellwether

01:21:17   of their rededication, the amazing iMac Pro? I don't think so. I think that project and that

01:21:21   design, that idea started before Apple had decided to rededicate itself to the Mac in full.

01:21:27   Oh, yeah. It's literally the replacement for the Mac Pro because they were killing the Mac Pro. And

01:21:31   then they changed their mind when the iMac Pro became this transitional product.

01:21:35   And changing your mind about the Mac Pro isn't just deciding to make one computer that you

01:21:39   weren't going to make before. It's rethinking the entire idea that it's possible to cover the

01:21:44   problem space of Mac users with a very limited feature set. And you realize that's actually

01:21:49   not, it's not really possible. And furthermore, it's a mistake. Like we're, it's a misreading of

01:21:54   our audience for these products to think that by simplifying the products, we can simplify their

01:21:59   lives and everything will work out fine. And these people are like, my life is complex. I have

01:22:03   complex problems. I need a tool that helps me solve them. No amount of simplifying your

01:22:06   hardware is going to change that. Give me powerful first little computer. So the Mac mini is a

01:22:11   reflection of that. The Mac Pro is coming to reflection of that. The iMac Pro is not a

01:22:15   reflection of that because the iMac Pro is the last of the, it was going to be the previous top

01:22:19   end before they realized that it couldn't be the top end because it wasn't top-end enough.

01:22:23   I feel like the definition of what a modern Mac is, what a Mac is now, the iMac Pro is that

01:22:33   because it was the first Mac to have the T2. It fits in, it just doesn't fit where they thought

01:22:38   it was going to fit. They thought it was going to be the very end of the line and it's not. Yeah.

01:22:41   And they didn't, I don't think they changed their definition of like, here's what the Mac in the

01:22:45   future is going to have. It's going to have the T2. It's going to do all these different things

01:22:48   that are, you know, that we're going to take off of the shoulders of other controllers or of the

01:22:53   Intel processor. All of that, I think they still believe, but it, yeah, it was not, it was meant to

01:22:59   be the Pro Mac in an era where there was no Mac Pro. It was meant to be the Apex and it's just not,

01:23:06   it's not the Apex. And the ways in which it's not the Apex is revealing of like Apple's customers

01:23:11   saying, that's an amazing computer, but I can't fit this inside it. It can't do this for me. It

01:23:17   doesn't give me this amount of versatility. That's the change in the thinking. I hope that thinking

01:23:23   will eventually be reflected in the laptop line. I see no evidence of that yet, but I really hope

01:23:28   it will. I mean, a hardware escape key is actually a good step in that direction of saying, we gave

01:23:32   you an escape key, but what we've heard from you is you don't like that escape key. So here's a

01:23:39   hardware version of it, which that seems like such a subtle thing, but it's a reflection. It's like,

01:23:43   well, we gave you what we wanted. You have an escape key, right? And we're just saying,

01:23:47   no, you don't understand. Just having someplace where I can press my finger to make escape

01:23:51   is not an adequate solution. There is enough of a difference between pressing my finger on the

01:23:55   screen and pressing a key that it's worth your trouble to make that a physical key. So please

01:24:00   do that, even though it seems like a subtle thing and a simplification and it's nice and uniform,

01:24:04   and the touch bar goes end to end and it's all awesome and everything. Please think really hard

01:24:07   about that. And the next time you make a keyboard, Oh, and by the way, yada yada, all the other

01:24:11   keyboard problems that we've been discussed forever. But I feel like the hardware escape

01:24:14   key of all the things is the most important sign, kind of like the USB ports that we assume might be

01:24:20   on a pro Mac or whatever. Like, do they recognize a certain amount of ugliness that Apple is willing

01:24:27   to put a complexity and ugliness that Apple is willing to put into its products, non uniformity,

01:24:32   non uniformity asymmetry not backwards looking, but at least not like relentlessly forward looking

01:24:39   because they realize a certain set of customers have a problem or a situation or a preference

01:24:46   that they want served in the best way possible, even if it makes the computers that Apple makes

01:24:52   slightly less pure or less of the vision of the future that Apple thinks should happen. So that's

01:24:59   what I'm looking for in all the new Mac stuff. I think it's reflected in the Mac mini, which

01:25:04   did not reduce its number of ports to some ridiculously small level and it is amazingly

01:25:07   powerful and all that other stuff. Like they made a versatile little computer for people who like

01:25:12   versatile little computers. They could have made that same computer, made it much smaller

01:25:15   and just put like four thunderbolt ports in the back of it and said done and done and no one would

01:25:20   like it. One thunderbolt port in the back of it and they're like, yeah, just figure it out. Yeah,

01:25:23   maybe two. Maybe two. The thing that I think bugs me the most about the new iMacs is the fact that

01:25:31   it's the first Apple product since December of 2016 to be released that is a new Apple product,

01:25:41   or no December 17 when the iMac Pro came out to be released without T2. All of the, oh, the only

01:25:47   other remaining T2 products out there are products that haven't been updated in too long. And we,

01:25:54   there are lots of reasons why. The biggest reason why is that that would require a complete redesign

01:25:59   of the iMac and they would need to get rid of the spinning disks and all of those things.

01:26:03   But it does make it feel like a holdout of a of a bygone era, not 2012 where the design of the

01:26:10   hardware comes from on the outside, but just of the, you know, of 2017 and before when what a Mac

01:26:19   was was different and it's been redefined. And then here come these things that are, I mean,

01:26:24   the good news is in like five years we're going to be talking about how Macs made from in 2019

01:26:30   can't run old versions of the operating system and can't do all these things except for those iMacs

01:26:35   because they didn't have the T2 and they therefore they have this capability. But it just that really

01:26:41   bugs me. At the same time, I don't think the right way. People have talked about like the iMac Pro

01:26:47   being the basis of a new iMac design. It's like the iMac Pro is designed like the like the iMac.

01:26:53   It's got the new cooling system in it and it's a very different system on the inside. But like,

01:26:58   I feel like if they're going to do a new iMac, it should not look like the iMac Pro

01:27:02   because they really should make an effort to clean those bezels up like the because if you

01:27:07   think about where all monitors and laptops and screens of all kinds are going TVs,

01:27:13   the bezels on the iMac are and the iMac Pro are enormous. And that would be the first thing that

01:27:20   I would rather be a little thicker, quite frankly, because I don't see the thickness of my iMac

01:27:25   and have the bezels go away. And I know, you know, so I keep thinking there is a new iMac design out

01:27:29   there. But that's what it is, is a really new iMac design. And it'll have a T2, at least in the larger

01:27:37   of the two iMacs, it'll be that new design. But I don't know when that is. Is that 2020? Is that 2021?

01:27:44   It may be a while. My optimistic take is that if we had seen new T2 iMacs that adopted some of the

01:27:55   cooling structures of the iMac Pro, it would mean that any redesign of the iMac case is much farther

01:28:01   in the future than we think it is. Right. Right. The fact that they did this stopgap thing makes me

01:28:07   think that the iMac design is imminent and it wasn't worth their while to basically make a

01:28:14   non-Pro iMac Pro in the old case, like better pooling and stuff. Not so imminent that they could

01:28:20   wait and not update the processors. Yes, exactly. And so it's heartening on multiple levels, the

01:28:25   idea that they did ship the speed bump, that they didn't just say, "Eh, we'll wait it out," right?

01:28:29   That they said, "We can do a speed bump while we wait, and we should do a speed bump while we wait,

01:28:33   because it's better than having nothing." And so I agree with all that. Despite these computers

01:28:38   having some disappointing aspects, all signs point to their reasoning process making sense, assuming

01:28:44   our speculation is correct. And I would say the opportunities to do a new iMac case are more than

01:28:51   just shrinking bezels or changing thicknesses. There are many opportunities. There are problems

01:28:56   with the iMac design inherent in its nature that can be tackled. You could pick just one of them

01:29:03   and spend the entire redesign figuring out one of them is the relationship between your face and the

01:29:07   screen. Unless you have a VESA mount like you, which most people don't, that relationship with

01:29:13   a fixed bent L-shaped stand is not optimal in many different situations. You could do something

01:29:19   about that. Apple has experience making iMac screens that move into different positions and

01:29:23   different heights. They could decide to tackle that. Say they don't want to tackle that. The

01:29:27   second problem with the iMac design is all the ports are on the back, which looks really good,

01:29:30   but it's a pain in the butt when you got to plug things in. How can they fix that without making

01:29:34   it look ugly? What is the solution to ports and cable routing for a computer like the iMac?

01:29:41   They could tackle just that problem and say, "Can we figure out a better way than the current

01:29:46   solution that is not horrendously ugly, that people can plug and unplug? Can we put some

01:29:51   facing the people, some not facing? Where should the ports be?" If you try to tackle both of those

01:29:56   at once, you could have a radically different iMac that is still nevertheless basically a big screen

01:30:00   that's in front of you with very little visible stuff anywhere on it, but is an overall better

01:30:05   computer. I don't expect them to tackle those hard problems. I expect them to be fairly conservative

01:30:12   if the past decade or so of the ever-skinny-ing iMac is true, but the opportunity is there if

01:30:18   someone had a really good idea, basically. I love some of the old iMac designs, like the one with

01:30:23   the little arm, whatever we want to call that design, the big silver arm. I love that design.

01:30:28   I thought it was ingenious. I thought it was a great fit for the technology limitations at the

01:30:33   time. It was just brilliant. It didn't last very long if this technology changes so fast,

01:30:40   and it became pointless once you could flatten the whole thing out. But I'm ready to be wowed by an

01:30:48   iMac design. I'm not sure that's in the cards, because I feel like not that the A-teams are all

01:30:52   designing iPhones and iPads, but just that that's where most of the action is happening. So it makes

01:30:58   some sense to be more conservative with the iMac and maybe just take another crack at it and maybe

01:31:02   just make skinnier bezels or whatever. Well, Apple knows who's buying an iMac, and the thing is the

01:31:07   iMac is doubling as its entry-level desktop computer, and that's the reason why there's

01:31:14   a base model that didn't change at all. That's the reason why there are spinning disks in the 4K iMac

01:31:20   at the low end, even though it's really unconscionable, and you and I agree on this point.

01:31:24   It's because I think on that low end, they are really concerned about people's price sensitivity,

01:31:32   and they're trying to get the lowest price possible. I believe that we have reached the

01:31:36   point where everything should be a Fusion Drive in the 4K iMac. If you're going to buy a Retina

01:31:41   screen, maybe that cheap one that's not even Retina, they should probably not even be selling

01:31:46   it, but just like the $999 MacBook Air, they're using it to hit a price point. But the rest of

01:31:50   them at the very least put some SSD in there so that you could do the Fusion Drive thing and can

01:31:55   be a little bit faster. But that's the truth of it. This is a weird computer that goes from being

01:32:02   entry-level to being as powerful as an iMac Pro. So I think that distorts some of the decisions

01:32:09   they make about the iMac. The iMac has always been their entry-level desktop from its introduction,

01:32:14   right? And that has never stopped them back when the Mac was so much more important to the company,

01:32:19   obviously, from having lots of innovative ideas there. If you look at all those different

01:32:26   iMac designs, lots of complicated, expensive, interesting choices. It's only because the Mac

01:32:35   is so much less important to the company that you see less of that these days. But part of the

01:32:40   beauty of it is that if you come up with a good design, it doesn't have to be expensive to

01:32:46   manufacture or overly complicated. The beauty of a good iMac design is that it solves problems for

01:32:51   the users in an elegant way that just seems obvious. It doesn't look like it's trying too

01:32:56   hard to figure something out, but in general, it's just pleasant to use. And things like how difficult

01:33:01   it is to plug and unplug a little something into any one of the ports. Tackling that problem,

01:33:07   it's a very difficult problem. If you were just a PC maker, you'd just put a bunch of ports on

01:33:11   it and be done with it. But Apple doesn't want it to be in your face and ugly, but it is a pain

01:33:17   to reach around behind and get things. What can we do to solve that? If you come up with a solution

01:33:22   for that, it doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't have to be pro. If you do it well,

01:33:27   it is perfectly suitable for the lowest of low-end entry-level things. And kind of in the same way

01:33:32   that I was always amazed at the-- what the hell is the name of this one? The one with the silver arm.

01:33:36   Chip transitions happened at the same time as the industrial design transition. So that was the iMac

01:33:41   G4, because there was never a G4 in the old plastic bubble. And then the G5 came out, and that was the

01:33:47   beginning of our kind of single screen with a foot. Then it got complicated, because then they

01:33:53   did an Intel version of that same design. And then they did the aluminum. So there's that white

01:34:00   plastic iMac that could be either Intel or a G5. This is an awkward phase. I think they went-- they

01:34:08   think they went everything behind the monitor a little bit early. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I don't know

01:34:13   what the issues were with the G5 fitting in the sawed-off volleyball. Oh, yeah. The iMac G4, the

01:34:20   one with the arm-- I remember one of the interesting statistics about that was that the

01:34:25   base, the semicircular base, had less volume than the G4 Cube. So you can understand maybe why it

01:34:31   would have been hard to fit a G5 in there with cooling in an optical drive. It might need the

01:34:36   whole volleyball if they wanted to do that. Well, son. Reference acknowledged. I was always amazed

01:34:42   that that computer was available at that price, because it looked so much more expensive than it

01:34:46   was. Kind of like those cars, like this said a lot about Volkswagen. Some Volkswagens feel like

01:34:53   Audis, which is a much more expensive car. Their interiors feel much nicer than the price tag would

01:34:59   allow you to admit. For whatever it was, it was like-- it wasn't cheap, but it was there-- you

01:35:05   could buy the entry-level iMac, and it was that iMac. And for that amount of money, you got a

01:35:10   computer that looked so much more expensive than it was. And I don't know if they were just eating

01:35:13   the margins there or found a way to manufacture that inexpensively or whatever, but that's always

01:35:19   been the beauty of a Mac. Even today's iMacs. You get the cheapest iMac you could possibly get,

01:35:24   and that case is still beautiful. It is seamless. It seems like it's all one magic piece. You can't

01:35:30   figure out how to even manufacture such a thing. It is just as beautiful as the highest-end iMac.

01:35:35   In fact, it's the exact same damn case, other than the screen that's in it. So I have faith

01:35:41   in the ability, especially with such an elemental design, to come up with a design that works for

01:35:47   the cheapest possible computer, that makes people feel like they're getting something special,

01:35:52   and that improves upon the existing design in all possible ways. All right, let's take a break one

01:35:57   last time, and then we'll do some Ask Upgrade. How about that? Our next sponsor is Moo. Very excited

01:36:04   about this. I use Moo. Moo is an online print and design company. It offers a variety of premium

01:36:09   print products, including business cards, postcards, notebooks, and more things that start with P,

01:36:16   premium print products. And Moo delivers to happy customers all over the world. Networking is an

01:36:21   important part of any career, whether you're a designer, novelist, CEO. Don't get caught

01:36:26   without a business card. Make a Moo card. You can be prepared and show your creativity.

01:36:31   Business cards made with Moo are awesome. I've got them. Those are my business cards. I use Moo.

01:36:36   Great design is the heart of what they do. There's nothing like a slick, well-made business card. Not

01:36:41   only are they super easy to design and order, but Moo business cards offer all the extra special

01:36:45   touches. Gold foiling, spot gloss, allowing your artwork to truly stand out. They have thick,

01:36:51   textured paper available. Everything you want for a high-quality, memorable business card.

01:36:56   Great to see your hard work on screen, but better to have it in your hand and give it to people

01:37:02   who you think need to know who you are. Count on Moo to help you make a good first impression.

01:37:08   Business cards, customized flyers, stickers, greeting cards, notebooks, postcards. They've

01:37:14   got notebooks in soft and hardcover. You can customize them with your brand if you're ordering

01:37:18   50 or more. Hardcover books have a tough, tactile cloth cover. Softcover notebooks are lightweight

01:37:24   with sewn binding. Great quality stuff. Whatever you need, Moo has you covered with easy customization

01:37:31   options. I created a variety of Moo cards with different variations. In fact, you might think

01:37:37   I might have done six colors of cards for sixcolors.com. That's what I did. Easy to do,

01:37:45   easy to set up, easy to order the variations. Got a great little box containing all my Moo cards.

01:37:52   Super easy to do. You can get 15% off your order right now by going to moo.com, just like it sounds,

01:37:59   moo.com, moo.com, and use this promo code PRINT15 at checkout to get 15% off. That's moo.com,

01:38:09   promo code PRINT15. Thank you to Moo for supporting Upgrade and all of Relay FM and

01:38:15   providing me with my business cards. Moo, let's get physical. All right, John, ask Upgrade time.

01:38:22   I did tell people that you would be here and some of these questions may be specifically

01:38:29   because you're here. Listener SM wrote in to ask, "Tons of movie/TV streaming services will launch

01:38:36   over the next 12 months. In five years time," so not an infinite time scale, a five-year time scale,

01:38:42   "which of them is still around and what will be the top two in terms of subscribers?" In five years,

01:38:49   I think all the major players will still be around. You'll still have Netflix,

01:38:52   Amazon, Apple's thing will still be around because they're definitely going to give it at least five

01:38:56   years. Disney's streaming service isn't even here yet, but it will be here in five years.

01:38:59   The only major player I can think might, things that might drop out is maybe Hulu might get

01:39:05   absorbed. I can imagine consolidation might eat up one of the minor players. I mean,

01:39:09   Amazon's certainly not going to sell its service because it's just too big as a company,

01:39:13   even though its service may not be big. So I don't think the landscape will change that much,

01:39:16   except that Disney will be here. And unless there's some other service that I'm not thinking of,

01:39:21   there could probably be consolidation in the fringes. Maybe somebody buys Crunchyroll or

01:39:25   some crap. Yeah, I feel like a lot of those small niche services are going to get swept up by

01:39:30   somebody. Either in whole or in part where the channels thing, the Amazon and Apple channels

01:39:37   approach might allow some of them to survive on their own. But I feel like more likely somebody

01:39:42   is going to be kind of voracious. Right now, the trend in media companies is just keep buying stuff

01:39:47   and get bigger and bigger and bigger. So I'd imagine those other services will just kind of

01:39:52   keep getting swallowed up until there are only the large players. I have a hard time

01:39:57   seeing any scenario where Netflix and Amazon aren't the two biggest still in five years.

01:40:02   Yeah, yeah. I mean, that's safe. But the only thing that's weird to me is I'm thinking about is

01:40:06   all the networks and their streaming services, like they're not equipped to compete, but they're

01:40:11   also not inclined to sell unless someone just buys the networks outright, which may be the way this

01:40:17   resolves itself. I'm watching Discovery on the CBS app. That's not a sustainable anything. I

01:40:24   understand what they're doing and why they're doing it. I also understand that CBS is not going

01:40:29   to sell itself to Netflix unless you buy all of CBS. They're not just going to sell the streaming

01:40:33   thing because CBS is not a streaming concern. It is a network with a streaming app. That whole

01:40:38   situation where ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox to a lesser degree, want to have their own streaming thing and

01:40:45   things like AMC and the AMC app, that all just feels untenable. I'm just not sure how it resolves

01:40:50   because they're all attached to various behemoths. Maybe the resolution is Disney buys them all.

01:40:55   And I don't know. You see what happened with Fox, which is Fox sold everything off except

01:40:58   the broadcast. And they kept that. But I'm not sure if the people who own CBS and Viacom,

01:41:06   which they're trying to stick together. But yeah, I think there's a real question for what happens

01:41:12   if you're a network. NBC is universal and it's Comcast. And so they can have a strategy

01:41:18   that involves streaming and also involves cable and involves a broadcast. Aren't they also part

01:41:23   owners of Hulu? Is that NBC? Yeah, they own a piece of it. Disney now owns a majority of it,

01:41:29   but they own, I think Disney owns 30% and they own, or Disney owns 60%, they own 30%. And then

01:41:34   there's an outstanding 10% that's owned by somebody else. Is it me? Do I own it? I should check. It

01:41:40   could be. You should. Yeah. Look under the, let's see if there's a Hulu under your pillow.

01:41:44   As in the radio is unclaimed portions of Hulu that you may own. It could be, it could be,

01:41:49   it could be. There's a class action lawsuit, I'm sure. Okay. Trevor wrote in to say one aspect of

01:41:56   the cancellation of AirPower. I haven't heard discussed much. Is that possible that I feel

01:42:01   like AirPower is the, is the most discussed, least interesting product ever. I haven't discussed much

01:42:08   as the leaks that proceeded over the last few months, many pundits and bloggers seem to have

01:42:11   inside sources or supply chain tipsters that said its release was imminent. Were they all wrong or

01:42:17   lying? And I can answer this with a little bit of a journalism knowledge, which is, a lot of times

01:42:25   rumor reports are based on the best information at the time. And it's kind of hard to point at a

01:42:33   report and say, well, that didn't come true. And therefore that information was bad because the

01:42:39   situation inside the company, the situation on the ground may change. My guess is that all of those

01:42:44   inside sources saying that AirPower was going to be released were based on actual people at Apple

01:42:50   who thought that AirPower was going to be released because at the time they thought it was going to

01:42:54   be released. And it was only later that a decision was made to pull the plug for some reason. And

01:42:59   it's unclear whether that was because they had a last minute safety concerns or whether the FCC

01:43:04   wouldn't, wouldn't authorize it because of the way it was built or it failed in some part of the

01:43:11   process. But I just more broadly, a lot of times, I know this sounds weird, but a lot of times the

01:43:18   rumors are true when they're reported. But the thing is things change. So, you know, everybody

01:43:24   at Apple thinks we're going to release pro you know asteroid, right? That firewire breakout box

01:43:30   that famously never got released, but there were lawsuits about it. At the time they thought they

01:43:35   were going to release that thing. And then my understanding is then there was a demo where Steve

01:43:40   Jobs threw it off a stage like a digital camera. And that was the end of that. So that's my guess

01:43:45   about AirPower is like at the time it wasn't just the tipsters or the sources. It was Apple thought

01:43:51   they were going to ship it. And then things changed. And we don't know the whole story there,

01:43:56   but clearly things changed. So I don't think they're wrong. I don't think they're lying.

01:44:00   I don't think their sources are even necessarily bad. One of the challenges with this is that the

01:44:06   facts on the ground can change after you've heard from your source. And, you know, that that's part

01:44:11   of the difficult business of being a tipster, I suppose. Yeah. And most of these things also,

01:44:16   they don't have a full picture, right? So if you're just involved in some ask one aspect of

01:44:21   the ecosystem that involves AirPower, you will have seen over the past several years ever increasing

01:44:29   signs of AirPower's imminent arrival. If you're involved in the OS, you see or may even be working

01:44:34   on ways to integrate AirPower into the OS. Maybe you're doing 3D renders of animations that are

01:44:40   going to show when AirPower is connected. If you're working in marketing or PR, maybe you're making

01:44:46   display ads for AirPower. If you're working on the packaging, maybe you're working on the packaging

01:44:51   for AirPower and the manual for the AirPods is going to mention AirPower. And if you were talking

01:44:57   to all these people over the last year, they would all be saying AirPower is coming because I'm doing

01:45:01   all this stuff for writing to AirPower. And here we are, we all, I mentioned this, we all bought

01:45:05   AirPods. If you bought them on the day of release that come with a box that has a big sticker on it

01:45:09   that mentions AirPower. The person who made that sticker, if they were a tipster would say AirPower

01:45:13   is imminent because I just stuck a sticker on a box that we're sending out to customers that

01:45:17   mentions AirPower. And yet AirPower never arrived. And all those people could be 100% right and every

01:45:22   sign points to AirPower coming, but none of them are Tim Cook or whoever the decision maker is about

01:45:26   canceling the thing. So as far as they're concerned, of course AirPower is coming. We're doing,

01:45:31   at this company, we're doing everything we can surrounding AirPower. Every aspect of support

01:45:35   for AirPower, which we saw from like people hacking iOS and displaying all the AirPower animations and

01:45:40   all the AirPower ads, like, but in the end, someone said, don't actually ship this product to customers,

01:45:46   even though everything else that mentions it shipped to customers. So listener Phil says,

01:45:51   what is John's Mac Pro hierarchy of needs? So to review this concept, this is from ATP.

01:45:58   This is actually, it was just on the fly in the middle of an episode. It was the MacBook hierarchy

01:46:04   of needs of saying, we're all disappointed with the current line of laptops that have been for

01:46:07   a while and we hope new ones are coming and we have all sorts of grand dreams and plans of

01:46:10   what they should include. But if you had to list the things that you needed, like number one,

01:46:16   it has to have this number two, it has to have that number three, like in priority order. And

01:46:19   then at each point in the priority order, draw a line and say, if they do one, two, and three,

01:46:24   this will be an obvious improvement. If they do one, two, three, four, and five,

01:46:28   this will be a great laptop. And if they do one, three, four, five, six, and seven,

01:46:31   this will be the best laptop ever Apple ever made. Sometimes they're not mutual exclusive

01:46:36   and it's not that simple. But in general, that's the concept. So what is my Mac pro hierarchy of

01:46:40   needs? Unlike the MacBook pro, they haven't been releasing disappointing Mac pro models for years.

01:46:50   They've been releasing the same disappointing Mac pro models since 2013. So it's not like

01:46:56   there's been one after another, like at this point, any Mac pro, like the number one item

01:47:02   in the hierarchy is a new modular power wall computer because Apple doesn't sell one. They

01:47:08   sell a tiny little modular computer where you can connect the monitor to it, but it's the mini.

01:47:12   It's clearly not your pro level thing. That's it. That's the only computer they sell. It doesn't

01:47:16   have a monitor attached to it. Right. And so that's number one item, the existence,

01:47:21   the proof of life and actual professional high-end computer that doesn't have a monitor built in that

01:47:28   has the capacity to hold and run the most powerful stuff, the biggest CPU, the most RAM, tons of hard

01:47:35   drive space, the fastest GPU, you know, just existence. Second one I feel like is I'm tempted

01:47:44   to say Apple monitor just because I'm so obsessed with that, which Apple has also said is coming,

01:47:50   but like a really good Apple monitor. It doesn't have to be anything more than 5k,

01:47:56   but I want it to be at least as good as the 5k IMAX one. And I would prefer if it had something

01:48:02   like face ID built in or whatever, but anyway, the monitor, this is so boring. It's like,

01:48:06   I wanted to do a Mac pro and then I want there to be an Apple monitor. And then the number three

01:48:10   for me is powerful GPU. GPU is more powerful than in any existing Mac, because it's another thing

01:48:17   you can't get. You can get the biggest GPU you want in your IMAX pro. And that's the fastest GPU

01:48:21   you can get in any Mac and you can't get a better one and you can't upgrade it. So I want the Mac pro

01:48:27   to have a better GPU than any iMac and that all things that come with that. You have to be able

01:48:33   to cool it. There has to be room for it. So on and so forth. Does it have to be upgradable?

01:48:37   Probably, but I'm just going to say a good GPU. And that's, that's my, basically those three items

01:48:41   are my line of acceptability. If it exists, it comes with a really good Apple monitor and has

01:48:46   a powerful GPU. Notice I didn't even mention the CPU. Oh, it has to be a faster CPU than any iMac.

01:48:50   Nope. You can just use the same ones in the iMac pro. It'll be fine. Like I don't, I'm not saying

01:48:54   it has to be the best in, you know, in that for me personally, that's not the biggest deal. I can

01:49:00   continue to go down the line by listing ever more esoteric things like somewhere along there, I would

01:49:04   put in a face ID on the Mac, which I think desperately needs to exist, but yeah, is lower on

01:49:10   the list than all those items. And I'm willing to wait for it. Is swapability of the GPU so that

01:49:15   you could replace it with a better one later? My fourth item would be upgradability, more extensive

01:49:21   upgradability. Like the line of acceptability is there. If they, if they provide that and it has

01:49:25   like, even if like almost nothing in it is upgradable, more powerful GPU sort of implies

01:49:32   that it would be on a card. It doesn't necessarily dictate it, but it doesn't have to be like the old,

01:49:36   the old Mac pro had very powerful GPUs that were not upgradable. That's my line of acceptability,

01:49:42   those three it's, it doesn't mean it would be great and doesn't even mean that I'd be super

01:49:46   happy with it, but I'm saying, okay, you did the thing. You may hit a Mac pro that texts all the

01:49:51   boxes, but upgradability is number four, that it is more upgradable than everything else. Yes.

01:49:55   Obviously I want to be able to upgrade the Ram and the storage and the GPU and like,

01:49:59   as more upgradable than any other Mac, like, because again, otherwise what the hell's the

01:50:03   point of the Mac pro, if it's not more upgradable than an iMac pro, like it has to be more upgradable.

01:50:08   Uh, there are degrees of that. Uh, but I feel like the most important upgradable thing is probably

01:50:13   the GPU because GPU has changed faster than all the other components and are generally

01:50:19   sold as upgradable things in the whole rest of the PC industry. So I don't think it's too,

01:50:23   too much of a stretch existence though. That's a good number one. I like it. Got it. Got to exist.

01:50:28   Yeah. I mean, just like a product like the Mac pro introduced from Apple that is not six years old.

01:50:35   It'd be good. What are your, what are your chances? What do you think your chances are? Picture

01:50:40   yourself on it's new year's Eve. You're not out late because it's annoying to be out late on new

01:50:45   year's Eve. Is there a Mac pro in your house? If Apple is selling it, uh, and if it, if it

01:50:52   fills these three items, uh, almost certainly. Yeah. So as long as it's, it exists, has a monitor,

01:50:58   has a powerful GPU. Yeah. Yeah. You're going to go ahead and buy it. Cause I, you know, I don't,

01:51:04   what would stop me from getting it? Like, cause my backup plan is I'm at pro, right? Um,

01:51:08   if this exists, if it was, if you know, it's a modular computer, it comes with an alpha model,

01:51:14   there's at least as good as an iMac and it has a more powerful GPU than an iMac. There's not much

01:51:18   that would stop me from getting that over an iMac pro because it's better than an iMac pro. Like it

01:51:22   suits my needs better. It has a more powerful GPU. The monitor is separate. So like, you know,

01:51:28   we talked about upgrade abilities number four, but the fact that the monitor is separate means that

01:51:32   if they come out with a new Mac pro, I can get it and not replace the monitor. I say, as I said,

01:51:37   in front of a monitor that is more than 10 years old, listen to Brian, this is Brian Hamilton says,

01:51:42   after two years of the switch, have your feelings about the ergonomics of the joy cons changed at

01:51:48   all? I don't touch the joy cons because I use the pro controller. So that's a no your feelings

01:51:54   haven't changed, which is don't use them. Uh, I mean, well that's just for me personally,

01:51:57   like they're too small for my hands and I have serious RSI issues that make it a very

01:52:01   bad idea for me to even attempt to try them. But for smaller people's hands, they're fine.

01:52:06   Yeah. I think we have a pro controller now. Um, yeah, they're, they're cute and fun, but I've

01:52:15   tried to use them for an extended period of time and it's just painful. They're not great for adult

01:52:19   size hands. I think the quality of the components is good, but they are very, very small. Yeah. Oh,

01:52:24   uh, don't tell my son because we're keeping it a secret from him. Um, because it's for me,

01:52:30   but I bought a, I bought a PS4. Did you get a pro? No, I didn't. Come on. There are, there are

01:52:36   reasons to complicate it to get into your TV. Yeah, but it's not hooked up to the 4k TV.

01:52:41   That's the point of this. This is for me. This is my secret PlayStation. You got one of the, the,

01:52:50   the new slim ones, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I got a, I got a deal open box on Amazon with, uh,

01:52:57   Spiderman. So it's basically my Spiderman box. I'm going to play Spiderman. Not going to let my son

01:53:03   buy any games for it. Not going to let him monopolize the TV playing games on it. It's

01:53:08   just going to live out here in the garage. One of these days, he's going to notice that it's there

01:53:11   and he's gonna be like, wait, what? One of the things I like about Spiderman is that it's,

01:53:15   it's got the settings and it's got the friendly neighborhood setting is literally basically combat

01:53:19   just happens and it's fine. And you watch the story. I'm not playing on that. I'm playing on

01:53:25   the next, the next setting up, which is combat is easy, but you do have to do it. Once you get the,

01:53:30   your, your PS4 and you're looking for games. I have my, I finally put my games list up on my,

01:53:35   uh, blog. You should take a look at lots of good PS4 games there. Some of which you might've

01:53:39   already played, but some of which you might not have. Angelo writes, if you could go back 25 years

01:53:43   and warn your young self about something in tech in 2019, what would it be? So the way this is

01:53:50   phrased as a warning, it's like, it has to be, you can't say like here, the stocks to invest in,

01:53:56   cause that's not a warning. That's like a, it's like a tip or advice. A warning is something bad

01:54:02   is going to happen. And I get to go back 20 years, 20 years and warn you about it. And I think at

01:54:07   this point, the main thing that I would warn people, warn myself about is what the dominant

01:54:14   platforms, the bad effects of dominant platforms like YouTube and Facebook, like the, the, the way

01:54:19   and Twitter for that matter, the way that they've allowed toxic ideas to flourish and spread.

01:54:26   Right. I'm not sure what me 20 years ago could do about this, but it's because it's phrased

01:54:33   as a warning. I would say Facebook seems like a more pleasantly designed version of MySpace now,

01:54:41   but here's what it's going to become and YouTube, you know, there's going to be a thing called

01:54:44   YouTube and it's going to be seemed like a nice way to put your videos up. And it might not be

01:54:49   easy to see, but eventually this is what I'll turn into. You'll always be, you know, three

01:54:54   suggestions away from Nazis, right? And Twitter looks like it's fun, but they will shirk their

01:54:59   responsibilities entirely to maintain any semblance of order on the platform and it will

01:55:04   enable all sorts of bad things. So that's what I would warn myself about. I don't know what I would

01:55:09   be able to do about it, but I think it is the, the most salient aspect of modern computing that is,

01:55:15   would not have been obvious 25 years ago. And all the people who are talking about it 25 years ago

01:55:21   sounded a little bit detached from reality because lots of people always warning you about terrible

01:55:26   things are going to happen. Like, you know, whatever it was like, this was the seventies,

01:55:30   it was, it wasn't nuclear winter, but there was some other, like the world is going to freeze in

01:55:34   the seventies. You remember that whole thing? Or, I don't know, global cooling. Yeah. There was

01:55:40   something, anyway, or the idea that there's some sort of oppressive system that's going to be,

01:55:45   like, you sound, you sound like you're disconnected from reality. If you were to accurately describe

01:55:51   the situation of those technology things in 2019, 25 years ago, it would sound fantastical. And

01:55:58   people 25 years ago were saying that. They were also saying all sorts of other crazy ideas that

01:56:02   didn't happen. Right? So that's, that's the trick about going back in time is you know the truth

01:56:06   about what's going to happen, but it sounds so ridiculous and dire. It just happens to be

01:56:12   what actually ended up happening. So that's what I would warn myself about. I don't know what I

01:56:15   would do with that information though. Yeah, it depends on exactly how you interpret this.

01:56:19   Cause I was thinking, so 1994, it worked out this way anyway, but I feel like what I would kind of

01:56:25   want to do is warn myself that although the temptations to abandon Apple in the next four

01:56:30   years as it does its death spiral would seem to be great. Don't because Apple in 2019 will be

01:56:39   enormous and just stick with it kid. I would never consider that because I never wavered and neither

01:56:46   did you. You didn't waiver, did you? There was a time where it felt like I was going to have to

01:56:50   make a career change of some sort. You were going to be unemployed in Greenland. Exactly. Out of no

01:56:54   decision of my own, I was going to suddenly be writing about Windows NT and I was not happy

01:56:59   about this at all. But then again, there were people when they shut down Mac user, they gave

01:57:05   people the option and some people did get go work at, you know, personal computing or whatever it

01:57:11   was. They had to write all their articles in all capital letters. Yeah. With three dot extensions

01:57:15   at the end. Backslashes, Jason, backslashes. I don't know. I think you're right. I think maybe,

01:57:19   maybe what I would say is, you know, watch for the rise of these social media companies and

01:57:26   don't trust them. And if you can find a way to become an early investor and that's not a warning

01:57:31   anymore and change their direction. No, no. It's like, give Mark Zuckerberg cash. So you have a say

01:57:36   over what he does. Cause he's going to destroy everything. I think what you want to do is like,

01:57:41   I mean, what, what, what's actionable with that warning would be to like befriend Mark Zuckerberg

01:57:47   and distract him socially so that he never found Facebook. Like you just, you don't want to,

01:57:51   you're not going to kill him. You're just going to be like, let's go hang out and do this. I have got

01:57:55   a great idea for a startup and convince Mark Zuckerberg to hang out with your startup that

01:57:59   eventually fails. And you've distracted him long enough that Facebook doesn't happen.

01:58:02   It's a great, it's an awesome new VR startup. It does VR ML on the, on the web. But because it's

01:58:09   a black mirror episode, it turns out my space ends up being worse than Facebook. Yeah. It's not,

01:58:13   it's not impossible. I like this. This is the, the new fangled science fiction story where you go

01:58:19   back in time to socially distract Hitler. Well, it's like the one where you make,

01:58:23   make Hitler successful in art school, right? He just, it just needs one thing to be different.

01:58:28   He just needs validation. Yeah. If he was just, if he was just a more successful painter,

01:58:31   then we could have avoided a lot of heartache without having to murder baby Hitler.

01:58:34   All right. Well, we, we don't alas have the time travel to go back 25 years and work. We're in our

01:58:39   young selves. Thanks a lot, Angelo. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Well, John, thank you so much for being

01:58:45   on Upgrade again. It's, I know it's been four months, so thank you for returning and, and

01:58:51   filling in for Myke while Myke is flying over the Atlantic between pen shows and his home.

01:58:56   Yeah. Unlike Myke, I love the Mac more than I love pens. Yeah. Well, we got to talk about the Mac

01:59:01   and it's great. Cause then Myke's going to hear this episode and he's going to be like,

01:59:04   I'm glad you talked about the Mac. So I didn't have to, cause that's the thing that he does.

01:59:07   We worked together. We have a good partnership after 240 episodes of

01:59:11   finding things we want to talk about. Well, you know, it's like Casey, we talk about the

01:59:15   Mac pro like, you know, it's part of the deal. It's something you gotta, you gotta talk about

01:59:19   that stuff too. All right. Well, thank you to John. I would like to thank our sponsors as well.

01:59:25   FreshBooks, ExpressVPN and Moo. Myke will be back next week with me. I'm always here on Upgrade.

01:59:31   That's the rule. But until next time, say goodbye, John Syracuse. I'm not going to do it this time,

01:59:37   Jason.

01:59:48   That's it. That's the end.