174: The 2017 Upgradies


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00:00:10   It is that one night a year, Jason Snell.

00:00:13   It is the time that everybody has been waiting for.

00:00:16   It is the fourth annual Upgradies. Our Upgrady Awards for 2017!

00:00:23   Happy New Year everybody! There is no better way to kick off 2018

00:00:27   then looking back at 2017 and handing out the most prestigious awards in podcast form that exist.

00:00:35   Jason Snell, welcome to the Upgradey Awards.

00:00:38   Oh, it's time to fourth, fourth annual! That means that it's legitimate,

00:00:42   because it's been around for many years.

00:00:44   Many years, many years, more years than we can count.

00:00:46   Upgradeies. Oh no, it's four, it's not that high, we can count that high.

00:00:51   So I want to just reiterate the rules of the upgradeies and the slight changes that we've

00:00:56   made this year. So in discussing when we were having our pre-upgradies kind of award meeting,

00:01:04   right, where all of the people, what do they call it in the Oscars, right, you've got like the

00:01:10   body of people that make, like the judges, there you go, the judges.

00:01:14   Yeah, sure. The Academy, the judges, the upgraded, yes.

00:01:17   When we got together to have our discussion about how the upgrades were going to go this year,

00:01:22   We decided that we wanted to keep the categories the same, because that makes sense,

00:01:26   but that there were some categories where we were struggling to come up with good answers for,

00:01:31   that were new and fresh. So, we decided this year that we would open up our Upgradients voting

00:01:38   much wider than before. - Right. Previously, we had asked the Upgradients to basically vote on

00:01:46   things we suggested, or fill in the blank, kind of other. This year, we just left it wide open,

00:01:52   So we're integrating the Upgradients even more because the fact is, Upgrade listeners,

00:01:57   you are the academy for the Upgradies.

00:02:00   But, as I've mentioned and we've mentioned many times, the Upgrading awards is not a

00:02:05   purely democratic process.

00:02:07   So we will be talking, if me and Jason have nominations, we will give our nominations

00:02:12   and explain why.

00:02:14   We will then go through the top three nominations from the Upgradients for every category, and

00:02:21   then me and Jason will take all of this into account and decide our winner of each category.

00:02:27   And as is tradition for the upgradees, there will no doubt be some bargaining involved

00:02:34   as we go through the categories. Because I think me and Jason tend to have pet categories.

00:02:39   I know what mine is already, and we'll see how that pans out.

00:02:43   There's some horse trading and all of that. Now, all the years I did the Eddy Awards at

00:02:46   at Macworld and Macuser, there were those meetings

00:02:51   where things would get debated

00:02:53   and people would make their arguments

00:02:54   and there would be potentially like horse trading

00:02:57   and things like that.

00:02:59   Oh, well, okay, we give this thing this award

00:03:02   but that means we give this other thing this award

00:03:03   and isn't that better?

00:03:04   And that was all done behind the scenes.

00:03:06   And what you saw if you were reading those magazines

00:03:09   back in the day was just sort of like,

00:03:10   here they are, the winners.

00:03:12   But here we are doing that meeting essentially

00:03:17   live as a podcast.

00:03:19   So wipe the sleep out of your eyes, it's a new year

00:03:24   and it's time for the upgrade.

00:03:28   - We'll begin as we always do Jason

00:03:30   with the best overall iOS app this year.

00:03:34   Now I want to throw in a vote for an application

00:03:39   that has seen brand new versions this year,

00:03:43   which is why I'm gonna throw it in.

00:03:45   And that is Carrot Weather.

00:03:47   I would say that the Carrot Weather watch app

00:03:50   is the very best watch app that I use.

00:03:53   And Carrot Weather itself has seen

00:03:56   significant enhancements over the last 12 months.

00:04:00   And it has gone from being, I think,

00:04:03   a weather app that had a fun personality,

00:04:05   is the reason that you would buy it,

00:04:07   to just an excellent weather app

00:04:09   that also has this personality if you want it.

00:04:12   And I think that the team over at Carrot

00:04:15   have really put an incredible amount of work

00:04:18   into making Carrot weather, in my opinion,

00:04:20   one of the best looking,

00:04:21   most customizable weather apps around.

00:04:24   And I continue to find new and incredible things

00:04:28   that it can do.

00:04:30   And for me, it's easily my favorite iOS app of the year,

00:04:35   because every single time I see an update in my app store,

00:04:39   I'm treated to just fantastic new features.

00:04:42   - They have done a great job.

00:04:43   In fact, I've got to admit, Myke,

00:04:44   you turned me onto this app

00:04:45   and I almost put it on my list of possible choices for best

00:04:50   because, and I just, I left it off.

00:04:54   I don't know, I don't even know why I left it off,

00:04:56   but maybe it's because we don't have weather in California

00:04:59   and therefore it's less relevant to me.

00:05:00   But I second everything you're saying.

00:05:04   I like the fact that it's a great weather app

00:05:07   and the personality is also present and you can control it.

00:05:10   You can actually, there's a slider.

00:05:12   If people haven't tried this app,

00:05:14   it can be super snarky and make jokes,

00:05:16   but there's a slider like with like six different levels

00:05:20   all the way from super evil and snarky

00:05:23   to kind of snarky but not evil all the way over to

00:05:26   just tell me the weather and don't, nothing else.

00:05:29   And they actually added a politics sub feature

00:05:34   that lets you choose whether you want some of the jokes

00:05:37   to be political and you can choose what side

00:05:42   of the political spectrum you want the robot to be on.

00:05:46   It's wacky.

00:05:48   Personally, I turn all of that off

00:05:50   'cause I don't want the jokes.

00:05:52   I just want the weather.

00:05:53   But it's amazing that it's there.

00:05:55   But it's a great weather app.

00:05:56   Without that, it's got an in-app purchase that I use

00:05:59   that is, it solved my problem of how do I get

00:06:01   my weather station in my backyard into my Apple Watch.

00:06:05   It put it on my phone and on my Apple Watch

00:06:07   'cause you can pick a weather underground station

00:06:09   and say, this is the one I wanna use here.

00:06:11   And that was a new feature that was really good.

00:06:14   And the Apple Watch app is excellent.

00:06:16   They did a great job with the Apple Watch app.

00:06:18   It is a very good Apple Watch app.

00:06:21   That's the one I use now.

00:06:22   I've got that complication on my watch face.

00:06:25   It's a good app, really good.

00:06:26   - What's your nomination?

00:06:30   - I have two that I have been thinking of.

00:06:34   One is really boring, which is Overcast,

00:06:36   which we talked about and is in perilously

00:06:39   in hall of fame territory here.

00:06:41   - It is, Overcast was the 2014 winner of best iOS app.

00:06:46   - So the reason it's boring is because

00:06:51   we've talked about it a bunch

00:06:52   and a lot of our listeners use it as a podcast app

00:06:56   to listen to this podcast.

00:06:58   But I will say this, there is no single thing I do

00:07:02   on my phone more than listen to podcasts on Overcast.

00:07:07   Like it is the number one thing I do on my phone.

00:07:12   Because I work at home, I do my Twitter reading

00:07:16   and things like that mostly on my iPad.

00:07:19   But on my phone, it's just like my phone,

00:07:21   my iPhone is a really great Overcast

00:07:24   and occasionally other things, device.

00:07:26   And so it's super important to how I use iOS.

00:07:30   So I wanted to give that careful consideration.

00:07:33   And then the other app I wanna mention is Scrivener,

00:07:35   which we've talked about before in the context

00:07:37   of both macOS and iOS.

00:07:39   Scrivener with its revamped iOS version,

00:07:44   and then the Mac version updated this year,

00:07:47   and they're kind of, they sync together,

00:07:50   and they've got kind of new features that go hand in hand.

00:07:53   Unfortunately, I didn't do a lot of novel work

00:07:56   editing my novel this year, much less than I had hoped. But as somebody who

00:08:01   tries to use an iPad a lot more when I'm mobile, Scrivener is incredibly

00:08:08   powerful and I love it on iOS and then it syncs back to my Mac as well. I

00:08:15   wanted to mention writing apps and the fact is the two writing apps I use the

00:08:19   most on iOS,

00:08:20   neither of them are good enough, which is why there are two.

00:08:25   Editorial has a lot going for it in terms of customizability,

00:08:29   but it also hasn't been updated in a long time,

00:08:32   and doesn't support a lot of iOS 11 features. And

00:08:36   OneWriter is updated much more constantly,

00:08:39   but is not as customizable. So,

00:08:43   I go back and forth with those, and I think that's a sign, maybe, that if I can't,

00:08:47   if neither of them are good enough for me, then neither of them should be in this category.

00:08:51   What did the Upgradients say?

00:08:53   So, the Upgradients, they voted, I'm going to go from the smallest to the largest, so

00:08:58   we only took the top three, because there were lots of votes, lots of varying percentages

00:09:03   you can imagine, but 1 password came in at 10% of the Upgradient vote.

00:09:08   Tweetbot came in at 16% of the Upgradient vote, but with a huge 30% was overcast.

00:09:16   So the upgradians agree with you. And so we now begin our deliberation portion. So we

00:09:22   both love Carrot Weather, right, and consider it one of the best apps this year, but I cannot

00:09:28   deny that Overcast is one of my favorite iOS apps. And Marco is what, he's added some features

00:09:33   this year that I like, I really love the drag and drop, and I absolutely adore the dark

00:09:37   theme, the real, like, the black theme on the iPhone X.

00:09:41   Can I stop you for a minute about drag and drop? Because people, I think, don't realize

00:09:44   that the drag-and-drop behavior changed in iOS 11, and if you use the native drag-and-drop

00:09:49   behavior, some amazing things that were not possible before are now possible. So, if you're

00:09:53   an Overcast user especially, and you're used to reordering episodes in a playlist, which

00:09:59   I do all the time. I have two tips that I'm going to give out here before we decide, because

00:10:04   I think this is a good time to do it, since you mentioned drag-and-drop. First off is,

00:10:09   I often will add an episode to a playlist, and it shows up at the bottom, and I actually

00:10:14   want it up toward the top. In iOS 11, when you tap and hold and the thing kind of like

00:10:21   pops up like now it's draggable, you can take another finger and swipe down and scroll really

00:10:27   fast. You don't have to slowly drag the one episode up to the top of the screen.

00:10:31   - Or you can do the tap the status bar and it will go straight up for you.

00:10:34   - Yeah, right? I mean, you can move around, you can do all that stuff. So you can tap

00:10:38   to go all the way up to the top, you can scroll around, and then you let go and it drops where

00:10:42   you wanted to go. You can also touch another item and pick it up and slide multiple items

00:10:53   at once. This wasn't something you could do before, but in iOS 11, all that stuff is in

00:10:58   play and I think we forget about it. And I use that stuff in Overcast all the time now.

00:11:04   So it's a really nice, like just by supporting iOS 11, you pick up a lot of these nice features

00:11:10   that were not there before. And I know from listening to ATP, upgradey Hall of Famer,

00:11:16   and Under the Radar that Marco had to struggle with, like, you build your whole system yourself

00:11:26   and then there's an OS thing that does it. You're like, "All right, I guess I'm going

00:11:29   to rip that out and replace it." But the benefit is pretty great.

00:11:33   Yeah, I would say that I really like the drag and drop in Overcast because it's useful for

00:11:39   me, but I think that there could be more done with it. I think that Marco still has some

00:11:46   work to do with tactics and stuff like that to really kind of push it to the next stage,

00:11:52   and I know that he knows that, right? But that will be my criticism.

00:11:57   That release this fall was very much a "I need to be out for iOS 11, but there's more

00:12:03   to do, but rather than wait and rethink it and then release it, it's sort of like do

00:12:08   these basic things and then also in the background be thinking about it. But I'll tell you, Myke,

00:12:14   I find picking an app that we already picked kind of boring, and I am in with you on how

00:12:19   good Carrot Weather is and how much--I mean, I know this is not the newcomer category,

00:12:23   and it's not a newcomer, but it had a really good new version, really great watchOS support,

00:12:28   a whole bunch of other stuff in it. It is a very impressive app that keeps getting better.

00:12:32   I'm gonna throw my support over to Carrotweather.

00:12:34   - Let's do it, Carrotweather is the iOS app of the year.

00:12:37   And I agree with you, the overall theme

00:12:41   of the 2017 upgrade is new, that's what we're going for.

00:12:46   This is why we wanted to, but that's why we decided

00:12:50   we wanted to get more input from the upgrade-ians

00:12:52   because we were concerned about just picking

00:12:55   the same stuff over and over again.

00:12:57   So Carrotweather will take the overall iOS app

00:13:01   with our runners-up being Overcast and Scrivener for this year. So now we move into the best

00:13:07   newcomer iOS app. So this is the best new app released within 2017. I'm gonna go for

00:13:16   something here. I put it on my list too. I see what you're gonna talk about. And the

00:13:22   Upgradients did too. I had this moment when we were preparing Newcomer iOS app where we

00:13:26   "Oh, you know what it should be? This is going to be outside the box, this app." It's totally

00:13:33   lateral thinking for me to pick this app. And then I looked at our document and it was

00:13:38   like, "Oh yeah, 10% of the upgrade suggested it and Myke's suggesting it too." I'm like,

00:13:43   "Okay, all right, fair enough."

00:13:45   It's the Files app. It's Apple's Files app.

00:13:46   Files!

00:13:47   Now I need to say, Files is full of bugs. And it is an app which causes me frustration,

00:13:54   but it has also made working on iOS a billion times better.

00:13:58   The way that I am able to use applications that use the file picker to edit in place

00:14:04   PDFs, the fact that I'm able to just drag and drop stuff

00:14:08   from my mail app into files or vice versa, the fact that I can

00:14:13   throw something into iCloud drive just as like a kind of a holding bin.

00:14:18   And then when it's all taken care of, drag it into Dropbox all within one application.

00:14:22   Like what it does, the base functionality that it has is fantastic.

00:14:26   And when it's working perfectly is just unbelievable.

00:14:29   But even when it's being frustrating to me, I still can't get too mad at it

00:14:33   because I appreciate so much of what it's doing for me on a day-to-day basis.

00:14:37   Yeah, it's not, I mean, the way I was thinking of it when I was phrasing it

00:14:41   was it's not the app itself as much as it is what it represents and it represents

00:14:47   this, it's great functionality, it represents Apple finally acknowledging

00:14:54   that files as a concept needs to be part of iOS. It doesn't need to be front and

00:15:00   center, right? The argument was always like iOS doesn't need a finder, and I

00:15:04   agree with that, like iOS doesn't need a finder. In fact, you could argue the Mac

00:15:08   is so file-centric because it was built in 1984 and has been updated since then

00:15:17   a lot but still it's sort of like it makes it the Mac to think about files

00:15:21   that way and put it at the front and the center and I think of Apple. Apple has

00:15:25   tried with things like the launch, the thing I never use, Launchpad. It's

00:15:31   tried very hard to like come up with ways of like "no, no, no, just it's like iOS

00:15:36   just think about apps and don't worry about it" but the fact is the Mac is just

00:15:39   a document-centric experience. iOS isn't and I'm okay with that but it

00:15:43   doesn't change the fact that sometimes just like on the Mac sometimes you

00:15:46   launch an app, sometimes you open a file and both of those ways of working are

00:15:52   relevant in certain areas. And with files, Apple is like, "Alright, we're not going

00:15:58   to try to pretend that you don't need files. If you need files, here it is.

00:16:03   You've got it." And if you don't want to launch the Files app, you will never see

00:16:06   the files. So yes, it's a little bit more about what it means, what it means as a

00:16:11   statement about iOS productivity, which is very important to you and me.

00:16:15   It is like the last wall crumbling to say, "Yes, iOS is a legitimate platform to get things done."

00:16:22   And sometimes what you need to do to get things done is edit a file.

00:16:30   So what is your pick?

00:16:32   So I have files on the list. The other one I wanted to mention is Affinity Photo, which is new on iOS this year.

00:16:38   Affinity Photo is basically what Photoshop should be on iOS, and I'll refer people to my previous rant,

00:16:45   and I wrote about it at Six Colors, about Adobe completely botching their iOS strategy

00:16:50   by deciding that iOS was a toy OS for phones, and that Photoshop didn't need to come to iOS as anything except a bunch of little tiny

00:16:57   broken up chunks of Photoshop, rather than just doing a good touch Photoshop on iOS.

00:17:07   and I had some pushback on that from people who said, "Well, you know, Photoshop on iOS

00:17:14   is not something you'd actually want to see or that they could even do," which is totally

00:17:18   wrong because, you know, it's got the power of a laptop, it could do it. Affinity Photo

00:17:22   really puts the lie to that statement, though, because it's Photoshop. It's a third-party

00:17:27   app trying to be Photoshop on iOS with layers, you know, multi-layer support, all of the

00:17:34   features that you would expect from something like Photoshop on iOS and

00:17:39   Apple used it in all its demos for iOS 11 at WWDC. It is a very impressive app.

00:17:44   It's buggy, it's got issues, you know, there are other photo editing apps on

00:17:50   iOS that are excellent including Pixelmator, but what I like about

00:17:55   Affinity Photo is it's new and out of the blue as it was arriving, Apple said

00:18:02   "Yes, we want to use this to show off what an iPad can be."

00:18:06   And also as a statement like,

00:18:08   "Why is Photoshop not here?"

00:18:11   Because again, here it is.

00:18:14   And if Affinity Photo can do it, Photoshop could do it too.

00:18:17   So very impressive bit of engineering in Affinity Photo.

00:18:22   - Do you know I've never used this app?

00:18:23   Like I see people talking very highly of it,

00:18:25   but I very rarely edit images, you know,

00:18:27   with any real requirement,

00:18:30   like, you know, like hard quality or whatever, like, it's not really something that I do

00:18:34   very much, so I've never played around with it, but I've seen many, many people speak

00:18:39   very, very highly of it, so, you know, it is good.

00:18:42   Yeah, I'm still using Photoshop on my Mac, but it's one of those things that if I was

00:18:46   somewhere and needed to do something and I did not have a Mac and I needed to do something

00:18:49   Photoshoppy, this is what I would turn to, for sure.

00:18:53   So the Upgradients votes at 9% Things 3, at 10% is Apple's Files app, and at 27% is an

00:19:03   app called Apollo, which is a Reddit client.

00:19:06   I've never used Apollo with any, I mean I've downloaded it, I've played around with it,

00:19:09   but I really love Narwhal for my Reddit consumption.

00:19:14   It's a very simple, very good looking app that I enjoy.

00:19:18   And you know, I basically, the reason that stopped me from using it is I set up Apollo

00:19:22   on my iPhone and then opened my iPad and realized that I had to put all of the same settings

00:19:27   in and then kind of just didn't do it.

00:19:29   Oh wow.

00:19:30   Oh, because it's not syncing settings across devices.

00:19:33   So I was like, "No, I'm okay."

00:19:35   Because a lot of these apps, especially at Reddit clients, I like to customize them quite

00:19:39   heavily just to see what I want to see and the way that I want to see it.

00:19:42   And even just like the swiping gestures and stuff, it was like, "Okay, I have to set these

00:19:47   twice."

00:19:48   just wasn't willing to try it but but I know many many people that absolutely

00:19:53   love this app and you know with 27% of the overall vote it's it's clearly very

00:19:58   popular so we come to that time again where we decide the winner I mean files

00:20:04   files right it's gonna be I mean this isn't just me and you 10% of the

00:20:08   upgradians agree so alright we're going into best overall Mac app now this is

00:20:14   one of the the categories that I struggled with Jason because honestly I

00:20:17   I feel like I would just be picking the exact same things that I picked last year.

00:20:22   So in this instance, I decided that I would throw up my hands this year and just see where

00:20:30   you and the upgradians took me.

00:20:32   So the apps that I always think of here are 1Password, which also came up for best overall

00:20:39   iOS app. I do use that and rely on it. I thought about Twitterific, the apps I use on the Mac

00:20:47   the most for professional work, you know, BB edit, which we've covered before audio

00:20:52   hijack, which we've covered before logic, which we've covered before. There are so many

00:20:57   of these isotope, which is, you know, I don't really want to pick an obscure, um, high-end

00:21:03   audio plugin. That's ridiculous. Um, so I finally made a pick and it's partially to

00:21:14   be controversial but partially because I think it's really good and I think that

00:21:18   the circumstances of its release have obscured it a little bit which is Final

00:21:25   Cut Pro X. Final Cut Pro X keeps getting updated. Logic and Final Cut Pro, for

00:21:31   people who complain about Apple not updating Pro hardware, let me tell you

00:21:35   those Pro apps get updated. Those Pro apps have active teams who are updating

00:21:39   them all the time. They just got updated again for the new iMac Pro. I love Final Cut Pro

00:21:45   X. I use it to do all of my video stuff, including all the Total Party Kill videos, which are,

00:21:52   yes, it's a D&D podcast, but it's like, I've got a source video of the people, I've got

00:21:56   a source video that's a capture, I've got an edited audio clip, I have to sync them

00:21:59   all together, I have to move the pieces around on the screen as people are moving around.

00:22:05   I've done it for videos, live action videos that I've done as well.

00:22:11   As somebody who is not a professional video editor, I can get really good output from

00:22:18   Final Cut Pro X.

00:22:19   I understand how it works.

00:22:20   The learning curve was not so bad.

00:22:22   The learning curve was not nearly as bad as logic, let me tell you, for audio.

00:22:27   The learning curve for video.

00:22:28   And like, anything I can think of doing in Final Cut Pro X, I can do it.

00:22:35   Like, that's the amazing thing, is, you know, I took, for one of these Total Party Kill videos,

00:22:40   I had a, uh, the video was essentially a bunch of people's video feeds in squares, and I just,

00:22:47   you know, I made duplicates and chopped them up into little pieces and moved them around on the

00:22:51   screen and created a frame around them and moved all this stuff, and it's like, I just thought to

00:22:56   to myself, "Oh, can I just duplicate this and change the crop and move it around on

00:22:59   the screen?" And the answer is, "Yep, you can totally do that." You can set keyframes

00:23:04   and fade things in and fade things out and slide things around on screen. There's so

00:23:08   many things you can do that are not...that they're learnable, they're understandable.

00:23:14   And these are all the reasons that I think a lot of pro video editors hated Final Cut

00:23:17   Pro X when it came out because it was not what they were familiar with. And I get it.

00:23:23   I totally get why that's a thing, and I'm not saying this is a great app for people

00:23:27   who have been using nonlinear editors for years, although my understanding is it's gotten

00:23:31   a lot better, but for somebody like me who wants to produce good output, something that

00:23:37   iMovie is not going to let me do, produce good output in a way that's understandable

00:23:43   and I don't have any of that baggage. I mean, I used to use the old version of Final Cut,

00:23:47   I found it kind of impenetrable, sort of like Logic still is. And it's not that. I think

00:23:57   it's really good. And again, I'm not a high-end pro user and I can't endorse it for that,

00:24:02   but as somebody who is sort of in the middle here, where I can't use iMovie, but I want

00:24:06   to make videos and I want to do things with them that are not just cut, cut, cut, dissolve,

00:24:12   It is incredibly powerful and I like that it gets updated all the time. So that's my pitch for Final Cut Pro X.

00:24:18   I agree with you completely. So when you said about if you feel like you can do it, you can just do it.

00:24:24   That's the 100% the way that I feel

00:24:26   about Final Cut Pro X. It was a runner-up last year and it was me

00:24:32   giving, installing its virtues last year because I'd just gotten into starting to make YouTube videos and music in Final Cut.

00:24:38   Honestly, I wished that Apple would take Logic and Final Cut Pro X it, but I think we'll

00:24:45   go past that at this point because Logic Pro X exists.

00:24:48   They changed the UI, they did make it easier to understand, but they didn't burn it down

00:24:52   and start over again like they did with Final Cut.

00:24:54   But I understand why Final Cut is a more important app because it's probably more widely used.

00:25:00   So I mean, I plus one for Final Cut Pro X, but let's go over to the Upgradients and see

00:25:07   where they land. Safari at 7%, OmniFocus at 9%, and 1Password at 16%. So as you can tell

00:25:14   from those lower numbers than previous, this was all over the map. There were lots and

00:25:20   lots and lots of varying submissions for this category. And those picks, I mean, it's hard

00:25:27   to argue with them, I guess. I mean, 1Password is fantastic. Can't really argue too much

00:25:33   of 1Password. It was a runner up in 2015 for best Mac app. But you know, I would say for

00:25:41   me Final Cut Pro X. Let's do it. I wanted to do it last year and I think that it is

00:25:48   an application that is worth it and that's what we're going to go with. So Final Cut

00:25:53   Pro X will take the crown for best overall Mac app. Upgradients, I promise you're going

00:26:01   to get one at some point. We come into the best newcomer Mac app to round out our applications

00:26:09   section portion of the upgrade ease for 2017. And Jason, do you want to go first?

00:26:15   Uh, sure. I will go first and say, um, I think that there's a, it's, it's rare that there's

00:26:23   essentially a new Mac app. Um, but Twitterific for Mac was new this year. Icon factory did

00:26:30   Kickstarter, they took the old Twitterrific for Mac, John Siracusa was still using it, but even

00:26:36   hearts like me stopped using it because it was, you know, truncating tweets and it was not good,

00:26:43   just because it hadn't been updated and Twitter had changed a lot. And they brought it back. They

00:26:48   took pieces from their iOS version to make a common code base and wrote a bunch of new stuff.

00:26:54   And I was concerned.

00:26:57   I supported the Kickstarter.

00:26:58   I wanted it to be good.

00:26:59   I wanted it to be usable throughout the beta process.

00:27:02   I was sort of like using it sporadically.

00:27:04   Um, after it came out final, I, um, I switched over to it and I am using it 100%

00:27:12   of the time or 99% of the time I'm logged into a couple of accounts on the Twitter

00:27:16   app that, um, that I'm not logged into on Twitter yet, but then the official Twitter

00:27:22   app on Mac doesn't support 280 characters yet. So I will just, I'm using Twitterrific

00:27:28   on Mac 100% and I love it. And the fact that it's a new version of this app from scratch

00:27:35   basically on the Mac is a, it's good. They more than fulfilled my expectations of this

00:27:44   when they said that they were going to crowdfund a new version. I was concerned it would be,

00:27:48   know kind of weak okay but you know not fantastic and that like would it would

00:27:55   it continue would they continue developing it and all of that and it's

00:27:58   just it's exceeded all my expectations it's very very good. So I'd say the the

00:28:03   1.0 release was I found a little bit underwhelming I think it was missing a

00:28:08   lot of features you know even more than what was expecting to be missed and

00:28:13   there was some features that were working but like there wasn't any UI for

00:28:16   them like muffles and the mutes they just weren't on the Mac app but the

00:28:21   icon factory followed it up very quickly and they've continued to improve the app

00:28:25   throughout the year since its release and they've even been innovating on

00:28:31   Twitterific for the Mac which I was very excited to see they had their polls

00:28:35   feature which now is on iOS but it debuted on the Mac where they would try

00:28:39   and detect if a tweet had a poll and then give you a link to throw you out to

00:28:43   the official Twitter website so you could participate in the poll. So I was a little

00:28:47   bit concerned when version 1 came out, but it looks like that they have not stopped,

00:28:53   and if anything, they are continuing to push forward and to advance the application. So

00:29:00   I think that it's been really interesting to watch that kind of unfold over the last

00:29:04   few months.

00:29:05   Yeah, I agree. If this was, I would be much more hesitant with the 1.0 release, but the

00:29:11   fact that they keep updating it as you said and adding new features, that gives me a good

00:29:17   feeling too, that it's being worked on and improved and keeps going past where it was

00:29:23   when it started. That is, yeah, they've done a good job.

00:29:27   So, my vote will be cast for the runner-up of the best newcomer Mac app last year because

00:29:32   last year it was in an alpha and we spoke about it but we couldn't, we decided that

00:29:38   couldn't award Forecast.

00:29:44   Forecast is an app from Marco Alment and it is an app that I have been using for nearly

00:29:50   two years now.

00:29:51   It is a podcast production tool, it is a post-production tool.

00:29:54   It enables me to encode my files to MP3 incredibly quickly, to bake in all the metadata and add

00:30:01   chapters.

00:30:02   So if you enjoy the chapters in Upgrade, it is because of Forecast.

00:30:07   my opinion were no good tools and it was one of the reasons that I was kept away from adding

00:30:11   chapters to our shows because the tools were not very good and Marco has created a tool

00:30:16   which is local to the Mac. I mean some of them were web tools which I wasn't interested

00:30:20   in. Some of them you had to type in the time codes by hand, again not interested, but this

00:30:25   enables me to add markers in Logic so I can just add the points whilst I'm in my editing

00:30:30   app which doesn't take very long at all and then it just observes those and turns them

00:30:34   them into chapters and bounces them out to the MP3, which is encoded incredibly quickly.

00:30:40   We spoke about forecast a few weeks ago when it debuted, and that's where my vote is cast.

00:30:46   Now my thinking about forecast was like, oh, it's going to be a niche app, right? We believed

00:30:52   that it would be a niche app. But as we have previously discussed, I mean, as we debuted

00:30:57   the podcast tips segment as a recurring segment and upgrade, our belief was that there are

00:31:02   a lot of people in our audience that make podcasts themselves.

00:31:06   So the upgradians voting for best new comer Mac app is as follows pixelmator

00:31:12   pro with 7% forecast with 9% and Twitterrific

00:31:17   with 12%. So interesting. We sit here at this moment. Now this is,

00:31:22   this is what I think about this, right?

00:31:24   Forecast is still a niche app like overall it is.

00:31:29   And I think that it is a great app

00:31:31   and it's something that I love,

00:31:33   but like for the world at large,

00:31:35   maybe Twitterific is a better pick.

00:31:38   So, I mean, I would be happy to give Twitterific

00:31:41   this vote because it's yours, it's the Upgradians.

00:31:46   What do you think?

00:31:48   - That's right Upgradians, you heard Myke right.

00:31:51   We're picking your choice.

00:31:53   Twitterific, 12% Upgradient plurality, majority,

00:31:58   I don't know, the most votes from Upgradients and plus me.

00:32:01   So let's do it.

00:32:02   I love Forecast.

00:32:03   I feel like we also kind of, I mean,

00:32:05   we talked about it so much last year

00:32:07   and then it finally came out, which is great,

00:32:09   but it is still, like you said, pretty niche.

00:32:11   I'm glad it's out there.

00:32:13   It's great because of what it does

00:32:16   in terms of its interface.

00:32:18   It's as generic as they come and Marco admits that

00:32:22   because that's not the point.

00:32:24   It's very good and people should try it and it's free

00:32:26   if you're doing a podcast.

00:32:27   but Twitterific is a very good and getting better

00:32:31   all the time Mac Twitter client.

00:32:35   - So Overcast becomes a runner up for the second year

00:32:40   in a row in best new column Mac app,

00:32:42   which is probably-- - A forecast.

00:32:44   Forecast. - Forecast, I should say,

00:32:45   which is probably the first and only time that will happen.

00:32:48   I can't imagine that very,

00:32:50   it will have an app that hits that twice.

00:32:53   - Newcomer twice? - Yeah.

00:32:54   - It seems unlikely.

00:32:55   - It's an interesting thing to do.

00:32:57   Alright so we have completed the apps segment of the 4th annual upgrade. So let me take

00:33:02   a break and thank our first sponsor of this week's very special episode of upgrade.

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00:35:07   So this now brings us on to some of our beginnings of our media picks and first we'll start with

00:35:13   games.

00:35:14   So let's talk about our game of the year.

00:35:16   I everywhere I've been in these types of discussions there is only one option for me and it is

00:35:25   Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch and also the Nintendo Wii

00:35:29   U. Jason, the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is not just my game of the year. I think

00:35:37   it might be my favorite game of all time. Wow. Nintendo surprised everybody with the

00:35:45   quality of this game. It was delayed a little bit and then clearly was delayed so it could

00:35:50   be the launch title of the Switch. And nothing, no game has ever sold a console to me the

00:35:58   way that Zelda did. Because there was this game with what felt like an infinitely large

00:36:03   world which you could pick up and just take with you. I've never had a video game delight

00:36:08   me in the way that Zelda has. There are so many moments and everybody that plays this

00:36:14   game has had these moments where you're doing something and something happens and you're like

00:36:19   "oh my gosh" and you kind of feel like surely I'm the only person in the world that this has happened

00:36:24   to. This is not a normal thing in video games like where things happen and you cannot believe

00:36:32   that they have happened. Like I've seen so many videos of like people that are able to trick two

00:36:38   huge beasts into fighting each other like stuff like this which is like this this doesn't exist

00:36:43   in a video game. The story is light. Maybe my criticism of the game is that the story is pretty

00:36:52   light but I can see why it happened that way because what Nintendo decided to do was say to

00:36:58   you "well here is Hyrule, just go!" You know it is very possible to the first thing you ever do in

00:37:04   this game is to run right into the boss's castle. You can just go. You can do anything in any order

00:37:11   And I think I've ever played a video game where I've wanted to explore in the way that I have with Zelda

00:37:17   and I'm continuing to do so.

00:37:18   This is not a game that I have decided to put down.

00:37:21   It's not like... I absolutely loved Super Mario Odyssey

00:37:24   but when I was done with the main story of Odyssey, I kind of felt done with the game.

00:37:28   Even though there was more to see, for some reason it wasn't drawing me in in the way that Zelda did.

00:37:33   You know, I spent tens of hours just climbing mountains

00:37:38   and going around and seeing like,

00:37:39   what is this over here?

00:37:40   What is this over here?

00:37:41   And you know, you could see pretty much

00:37:46   every game of the year list

00:37:48   from all of the major games publications.

00:37:50   The Legend of Zelda sat at the top of that list.

00:37:52   And honestly, the reasons are endless.

00:37:56   - Yeah, I have not played it, but I have watched.

00:38:00   Probably I've spent many hours watching my son play it.

00:38:03   And he loves it.

00:38:05   And the two DLC packs that have come out have both been,

00:38:09   I think, so the second DLC for Breath of the Wild

00:38:14   just came out like a couple of weeks ago,

00:38:16   three weeks ago, something like that.

00:38:18   And he heard from a friend that it was coming out

00:38:23   and it was like an hour before his bedtime.

00:38:27   And he turned on our, we actually have it on the Wii U,

00:38:30   he turned on the Wii U and he sat there

00:38:32   hitting the update button.

00:38:34   And after like 20 minutes, he was like,

00:38:35   I don't think it's coming.

00:38:36   I said, yeah, it might be midnight or something.

00:38:38   They might've just said it's coming out.

00:38:40   Like, yeah, okay.

00:38:41   So the next morning he got up like at 6.45 in the morning.

00:38:45   I get up at seven to go get the tea

00:38:48   and he's sitting in the living room with a Nintendo,

00:38:52   the Wii U console and has already checked for the DLC

00:38:57   and downloaded it and is playing it.

00:38:59   And he's gonna play it every minute

00:39:00   until he has to get ready to go to school.

00:39:02   I think that says something.

00:39:03   'cause that kid loves video games.

00:39:05   He loves them.

00:39:06   And that's the one that like it is, yes.

00:39:09   So I have witnessed it from afar.

00:39:12   I've witnessed the power of Breath of the Wild.

00:39:13   - But what is your pick?

00:39:15   - So my pick is I am picking a game that is on,

00:39:20   I think it's on Xbox, PlayStation and PC,

00:39:24   but not on the Mac,

00:39:25   but it is What Remains of Edith Finch,

00:39:28   which we did an episode of The Incomparable about.

00:39:30   It is as John Sirakusa would say,

00:39:33   an artsy-fartsy game. Really well-written, quirky, a little Addams Family-ish in some

00:39:42   ways. It's one of these games where you're walking around. It is actually, my wife asked

00:39:48   me about, I was talking about games that I liked, and she said, "Oh, is that the one

00:39:52   with the girl in the Pacific Northwest?" And I said, "Yes, it is the one with a girl in

00:39:59   the Pacific Northwest, not the one with the girl in the Pacific Northwest or the girl

00:40:04   in the Pacific Northwest, because there's three games I've played that all could be

00:40:07   described by that. One of which is what remains of Edith Finch, and she's going around in

00:40:12   a weird Winchester Mystery House-like house that is her family home, and she hasn't been

00:40:18   there in a while, and she's uncovering family secrets, and the story takes a bunch of left

00:40:23   turns and is really delightful and very well done. And of all the games that came out this

00:40:30   year that I played, and there weren't that many of them, that was the one that I liked

00:40:34   the best. So I wanted to put a plug in for What Remains of Enoch Finch.

00:40:38   Again, I've heard only good things about it. I haven't played it myself, but it is a game

00:40:44   that I've seen get a lot of applause this year. So the Upgrading's votes at 6% is Player

00:40:50   Unknown's Battlegrounds which is a tour de force of a game, has broken incredible records

00:40:57   before it even came out in 1.0, probably, actually very very very probably the most

00:41:04   popular video game in the world right now. Super Mario Odyssey is in at 18% and The Legend

00:41:10   of Zelda Breath of the Wild at 41%. These three make up basically the top three of every

00:41:18   single game of the year list that has existed this year, just in varying orders. I would

00:41:24   say, you know, I think that it is the upgrade, the upgradey's choice is very clear and it's

00:41:29   the legend.

00:41:30   Very clear. I agree.

00:41:31   It is, I could sit here and talk about this game forever. So yeah, it's just a wonderful,

00:41:39   wonderful video game. iOS game of the year. Jason, what do you got?

00:41:45   I have three. So first off, I wanted to...

00:41:50   The one that I was going to talk about

00:41:52   until December happened was Jackbox Party Pack 4.

00:41:57   So Jackbox Games makes these collections of party games.

00:42:02   Jackbox Games is the originator of You Don't Know Jack,

00:42:05   which started as a CD-ROM trivia game show in the '90s.

00:42:09   And they're still around and they're still making games.

00:42:12   And in fact, a lot of the people who work there

00:42:14   are involved with one of my favorite podcasts,

00:42:16   "Hello from the Magic Tavern."

00:42:18   And they're in the Chicago improv scene and podcast scene.

00:42:23   Jackbox Party Pack 4, like its three predecessors,

00:42:29   is a series of games, like I think they're five,

00:42:32   five, four and a half, five.

00:42:34   They're party games.

00:42:35   You can play them in a room where,

00:42:39   or you can play them over like Google Hangout

00:42:42   or other video chat as long as somebody is sharing their screen and I've done

00:42:46   that numerous times with the incomparable people. The way it works is

00:42:52   the gameplay happens on a device and it can be an iPad or an Apple TV or a

00:42:57   console and everybody brings their own device as their controller, so their

00:43:02   phone or their iPad, and you log into the Jackbox servers and then you play along

00:43:07   as you sketch funny things or suggest lies to try and fool other players or be

00:43:15   a monster dating other monsters on a monster dating app is one of the games

00:43:19   monster seeking monster or weird public art that you draw a strange drawing a

00:43:25   piece at a time and you all vote to see what item is accepted and then and then

00:43:30   people have to draw the next part of that item it's a whole bunch of fun

00:43:34   party games, the people who put it together have a great... they're trying to

00:43:37   do new stuff but also have a great sense of what works in a party situation like

00:43:42   that. For streaming, they... for Twitch or... we use just Google Hangouts, but either

00:43:49   way, if you've got streaming to an audience, there's a whole set of

00:43:52   audience features. So we played a game with the incomparable of... on Party Pack 3

00:43:59   that involves basically trying to guess what a survey of people said about a

00:44:04   particular topic, like how many people like to drink soda warm or something

00:44:11   like that. And the game is you have to pick the percentage and then the other

00:44:14   person picks higher or lower and and all that. If you have enough people though,

00:44:19   the audience is the survey instead of the general public survey that they're

00:44:24   using. Oh wow, that's amazing. And so all of a sudden it flipped over to what do

00:44:28   incomparable listeners on this live stream think of this topic, which was just like,

00:44:32   "Oh my god, that totally changes the game." They're great games. Party Pack 4 is brand

00:44:37   new. It launched within a couple of weeks. It was on every platform, including Apple

00:44:40   TV. It's great on Apple TV. It's on the iPad. So I like that one a lot, and that is a new

00:44:46   game that came out this year, and those games are really great. If you haven't tried them

00:44:50   and you have either a streaming, you know, put it on your Mac and stream it using Skype

00:44:56   something to your friends or if you've got a party and you've got people gathering around

00:45:02   the TV, I highly recommend it. So I mentioned December though. In December, two of the games

00:45:10   that I played in the last year, you know, year and a couple of months that I have liked

00:45:16   the most were both released on iOS. And this puts a wrinkle in my selection because these

00:45:24   These are not new games, but they are new on iOS, just out on iOS.

00:45:30   So I'm going to mention them briefly.

00:45:32   Inside is from the makers of Limbo.

00:45:35   It is a game in which you are running from left to right, but oh my god, there is so

00:45:39   much more than that going on in terms of the story, the experience, the sound, the look.

00:45:44   So many twists and turns that the story takes.

00:45:48   You think you're watching one thing, you're not watching that thing, you're not watching

00:45:52   that other thing you thought it was.

00:45:53   just keeps going. It is amazing. It is such a great experience. It's probably the best

00:45:57   game experience I've had in the last year and a half or so. And so it's out now on iOS.

00:46:03   And Life is Strange, which came out in 2015, which is, yes, another one of those games

00:46:08   that's about a girl in the Pacific Northwest. It is really good. I love it. And that just

00:46:17   came out for iOS. And that's a, you know, you have the ability to wind time back backward

00:46:22   and make different decisions and the decisions you make affect what happens in the story

00:46:27   and you're trying to navigate personal relationships and also stop people from getting killed by

00:46:31   supernatural events with time travel. Really great game. The voice acting on that is really

00:46:39   solid as well. And so, I don't know, Myke, that was an unexpected bounty to have two

00:46:46   of my favorite games that I played recently drop on iOS in December, just in time for

00:46:50   the holidays, which is, I assume, why they did it, and I highly recommend them. So those

00:46:56   are the three that I have rolling around in my head for iOS Game of the Year.

00:47:00   My iOS Game of the Year is Flip Flop Solitaire. Flip Flop Solitaire is the perfect iPhone

00:47:06   game. It is very quick to play. You play, like, rounds of Solitaire, but as is usual

00:47:13   with Zach Gage's games, also the maker of Really Bad Chess, he flips it on its head

00:47:20   a little bit. So in this solitaire game you can stack cards both ways, high and low. It

00:47:26   enables a completely different way of playing because there's a completely different strategy

00:47:32   at hand. And I found it way easier to complete a game because you can build things where

00:47:37   you might not be able to build things until you can end up eventually being able to stack

00:47:41   the cards into the order that they should be to finish. I really love it, it's made

00:47:45   so well, it takes advantage of all the iPhone features that you would want, it looks great

00:47:49   on the iPhone 10, it has tons of great haptic stuff so it feels like the cards are flicking

00:47:54   around on the screen. It is a great game. It's joined my kind of iOS hall of fame along

00:48:00   with games like 3s and stuff like that as games will always remain installed because

00:48:05   they're so so easy to just pick up and play and they don't have instant replayability

00:48:10   because of their simplicity. There is no "I've completed this game so I'll stop" because

00:48:18   no completion in solitaire you just keep playing more rounds.

00:48:21   Battle gradients at 9% Animal Crossing pocket camp at 10% flip flop solitaire and at 21%

00:48:29   Monument Valley 2. Monument Valley 2, do you know I never finished it? I kind of felt like

00:48:33   I played it. I love Monument Valley, love it. But the second one, I'd already played

00:48:40   a bunch of Monument Valley, it didn't draw me in in the same way. So I mean I'm not really

00:48:46   be feeling that one. I mean of course flip-flop solitaire has also hit the

00:48:50   upgradeions voting but I didn't mention that Jackbox Party Pack, I adore Jackbox

00:48:56   I have never played it on iOS I'll play it on the Nintendo switch doesn't matter

00:49:00   where you play it. I play it on the Apple TV too but it's the same game on all these

00:49:04   platforms you know the greatness of the Jackbox is the fact that you don't need

00:49:09   controllers you know everybody plays it on their own smartphone devices or their

00:49:12   computers or whatever and it just makes it way easier to be able to play the game with an

00:49:20   infinitely sizing group so it's fantastic. So where do you want to go Jason? Where are you feeling?

00:49:26   I don't know I mean I haven't tried flip-flop solitaire but I really like Zach Gage's games.

00:49:33   I'm a big fan of really bad chess which is such a brilliant idea. I really have had this year I

00:49:41   I have really enjoyed the Jackbox Party Pack series in general.

00:49:44   They're all available on iOS.

00:49:46   Of course, they're on other platforms too.

00:49:49   The advantage of Flip-Off Solitaire is it's an iOS game,

00:49:52   and the others are multi-platform games that I mentioned.

00:49:57   I don't know, what do you think?

00:49:58   I mean, I'm happy to give Jackbox an award

00:50:01   because I love those games.

00:50:03   I could not love them more,

00:50:05   and I'm so happy that there was a new set of them,

00:50:08   although I recommend all of them.

00:50:09   They're all great.

00:50:11   But I'm also happy to go with Solitaire if you think that's a better way to go.

00:50:16   Let's go with Jackbox.

00:50:17   Alright.

00:50:18   I have nothing of good things to say about Jackbox.

00:50:21   So Jackbox Party Pack 4 is the winner of the iOS Game of the Year.

00:50:26   As is typical in the upgrade-ies, there is always one weird game award given.

00:50:33   Our game awards are never that consistent.

00:50:36   And I figured this year I really wanted to just make sure I got Breath of the Wild in

00:50:40   in there which I did so I'm all good on that one. So the Jackbox Party Pack 4 will be our

00:50:46   iOS cross platform game of the year.

00:50:50   Yes. It runs on iOS. That's all that matters.

00:50:53   Alright, we move on to favourite movie. For me, I think the most fun that I have had in

00:51:01   the cinema this year, and I've not seen that many movies, this is typical for me, I think

00:51:05   would have to be Baby Driver. I am such a huge fan of Edgar Wright and this movie

00:51:14   as soon as I saw it and I saw the incredible cast attached to it I was

00:51:18   very very excited about it. When I saw it was so heavily focused on music you know

00:51:24   made me really really excited and I couldn't wait to see the movie and I was

00:51:30   not disappointed. You know it is very rare that a movie will make me sweat

00:51:35   in just sitting in the seat. But there is like the main climactic sequence of this movie

00:51:41   really can kind of just to push you, right? Like it really will get you. And I absolutely loved it

00:51:50   for that. I mean, I will say since without getting into all too many details, it's kind of been

00:51:55   ruined a little bit by one of the cast members and the choices that they decided to make in their

00:52:02   their life, which are terrible, but I do love Baby Driver and I can't fault the entire movie

00:52:10   based on that personally. So I'm gonna say that it was my favorite movie of the year

00:52:15   because it was.

00:52:18   All right. So I went back and forth on this. My initial thought was to mention Wonder Woman,

00:52:26   which I liked a lot and have seen since on 4K on my Apple TV.

00:52:31   Like it's a good movie.

00:52:33   But you know what?

00:52:35   I'm gonna pick "Spider-Man Homecoming"

00:52:37   because I think it's the first good Spider-Man movie

00:52:41   in a long time.

00:52:42   I've got things I can, you know,

00:52:45   I can defend parts of some Spider-Man movies,

00:52:47   but basically since "Spider-Man 2" way back when,

00:52:51   and it's a modern telling of Spider-Man,

00:52:55   integrates him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

00:53:00   I like the performance of Peter Parker.

00:53:03   I like the supporting cast in his high school.

00:53:06   I think the villain is one of the best,

00:53:08   if not the best Marvel villains ever,

00:53:10   which is Michael Keaton as the Vulture.

00:53:14   He's motivated.

00:53:15   You understand why he does what he does.

00:53:18   Like it's, I really, there is a twist in this movie

00:53:21   that I totally didn't see coming

00:53:23   that I love it when that happens.

00:53:26   - Yep.

00:53:27   - And it's entirely set up, but it's did not see it coming.

00:53:30   And just, I'm a fan of Brian Michael Bendis's,

00:53:37   Ultimate Spider-Man, which since 2000 is, you know,

00:53:41   that was a comic about,

00:53:43   let's go back to basics with Peter Parker

00:53:45   and tell a modern story about a kid in high school

00:53:49   who gets Spider-Man powers,

00:53:50   which was originally what Spider-Man was about.

00:53:52   And then they, in the comics, they took him out of high school.

00:53:54   He graduated, he became an adult, all of these things.

00:53:57   It was like, let's go back to basics.

00:53:58   And this is what this movie does.

00:54:00   And I love it, because that's what I like about Spider-Man,

00:54:03   is he's a kid trying to struggle with his personal issues

00:54:08   and also being a superhero and how they collide

00:54:11   so that his superhero stuff ruins his personal life,

00:54:14   basically.

00:54:16   So yeah, I would say Spider-Man Homecoming

00:54:19   by a nose over Wonder Woman, but I like them both.

00:54:25   So our Upgradients voted at 13% for Baby Driver, 14% for Wonder Woman, and 16% for Blade Runner

00:54:33   2049. I will mention at this point, the voting closed before Star Wars The Last Jedi came

00:54:41   out. Probably would have changed the voting. Probably.

00:54:45   Again, we've spoken about this, I really like that movie. I wouldn't say it was my favorite

00:54:49   movie of the year. I personally enjoyed Baby Driver more even though I really enjoyed Star

00:54:54   Wars.

00:54:55   And I'm too close to it now, yeah, to judge it. Maybe ask me, you know, unfortunately

00:55:03   ask me again in a couple of months is not going to do it for Star Wars. I feel for all

00:55:08   the movie critics and TV critics. I was just talking a couple weeks ago to Tim Goodman

00:55:13   about this because we do the TV Talk Machine podcast together and he was talking about

00:55:17   how like Black Mirror dropped its new season on it's dropping. Let's see. So so it dropped

00:55:27   right before New Year's but for Tim Tim got it like two weeks before as an advance copy

00:55:32   or something for a screener. But still it's like you're you're a TV critic and you're

00:55:36   putting together your best of the year list and something comes out in the middle of December.

00:55:40   It's like come on. Why are you doing this? Well, that's how I feel about about the last

00:55:45   Jedi right now. A lot of things I liked about it. Do I like it better than Spider-Man or

00:55:49   Wonder Woman? It's very different. Maybe? I can't tell. So I'm gonna let it, I'm just

00:55:57   gonna let it go.

00:55:59   I'm also, because I liked, my brain didn't explode in the way that it did for Force Awakens.

00:56:07   I'm cool with it because I don't want Star Wars to win this category every year.

00:56:12   Every year, yeah sure.

00:56:14   otherwise it could and so that's kind of how I feel about it. I wasn't down on that movie

00:56:19   at all but I got a lot of what I expected with it. I got a lot of what I didn't expect

00:56:25   with Baby Driver. Yeah I get it. I don't know what we do. I haven't seen Blade Runner 2049

00:56:30   so I don't even know. Saw that movie, loved that movie. Wasn't my favorite movie of the

00:56:33   year. Loved it though. Really like way more for me personally than I enjoyed the original

00:56:38   Blade Runner because it gave me way more of what I wanted. Now, personally, loved Spider-Man,

00:56:45   so totally happy to go with Spider-Man.

00:56:47   - Yeah, we could do that. We could do that. I mean, I could also advocate for Wonder Woman,

00:56:53   which I mentioned and the Upgradians mentioned. That's a good movie. It's like DC Comics.

00:56:57   - I haven't seen it.

00:56:58   - Okay, DC Comics made a, you know, it's a good DC Comics movie. They did finally did

00:57:01   it. You did it, everybody.

00:57:02   - I mean, if you want to go with Wonder Woman, we can go with Wonder Woman, right? Because,

00:57:07   I mean I haven't seen it yet but it's second and you were thinking about it.

00:57:12   We both like Spider-Man. Let's go with Spider-Man. I mean unless you want to override me with

00:57:17   Baby Driver but I feel like I haven't seen that one either.

00:57:21   Best favorite movie that we both saw. Favorite movie that we both saw goes to Spider-Man

00:57:27   Homecoming. So that brings us to our favorite upgrade, Myke at the Movies segment of the

00:57:34   I went with Spider-Man Homecoming because I liked the movie a lot.

00:57:37   That was it. I went with Spider-Man Homecoming because I really liked the movie and of all the movies that we have watched for the show this year

00:57:47   it's the one that I enjoyed the most when talking about it. So that's kind of where my vote went with that.

00:57:54   And my vote went to the final cut version of Blade Runner where we brought John

00:57:58   Syracuse on to the show just to have him teach us the ways of Blade Runner.

00:58:03   And that's partly why I voted for it, but I also voted for it because I really like.

00:58:09   This was the most I've enjoyed Blade Runner.

00:58:12   I've seen it like four times in three different cut versions.

00:58:15   Um, this is the first time that I've really gotten like, I got it.

00:58:21   Like I understood why it, uh, is, it is so beloved.

00:58:26   And even though I don't feel that kind of attachment to it, um, the final cut

00:58:30   version of it, um, made me really appreciate what is great about it.

00:58:34   Um, so I, I appreciate that.

00:58:36   And then of course, John gets to explain to us why it is too.

00:58:40   And that was also fun.

00:58:41   So a fun Myke and the movies conversation experience, and also a better.

00:58:46   Watching the film experience that I've had with that film before.

00:58:49   So that was my rationale.

00:58:50   Um, the, um, gradients went 22% spinal man, homecoming 25%

00:58:56   percent for Terminator 2 and 29 percent for Blade Runner Final Cut. This was way

00:59:01   closer than I had expected it would be. I thought that the Final Cut Blade Runner

00:59:06   would pull out way ahead just because Jon was a part of the episode.

00:59:10   Everyone loves Jon. And I would say that you know I only enjoyed it because we

00:59:16   had Jon on the show. I think this was the the least fun that I have watching the

00:59:21   movie because I'd seen it too soon. It was too soon for me. I didn't enjoy

00:59:27   watching it again. I actually enjoyed it less than the first time but I did enjoy

00:59:34   talking to John about it and going through that and I enjoyed that episode

00:59:37   that we did together and really that's more what this is about. You know it's

00:59:41   not about how much we like the movies it's how much we enjoyed the segment.

00:59:45   Well it's very clear now how much we like the movie The Winner is Spider-Man

00:59:48   and how much we like the segment the winner is Blade Runner.

00:59:51   - And considering that really what we are asking for

00:59:54   is what was the better segment,

00:59:55   then we should go with Blade Runner Final Cut.

00:59:57   - All right, let's do it.

00:59:58   - I also love that originally in the voting document,

01:00:01   I called it Director's Cut and was corrected

01:00:04   by John Siracusa. - No!

01:00:05   No, that's not what it's called, Myke.

01:00:08   Correction. - Of all people

01:00:09   to be corrected by, he was the person,

01:00:11   the only person that noticed it.

01:00:13   And then I had to go in and fix it.

01:00:15   - Yep.

01:00:16   favorite book which is where I leave the room.

01:00:19   - Yeah, goodbye.

01:00:20   Goodbye.

01:00:21   My favorite book this year that I read this year is,

01:00:26   I thought about a bunch here,

01:00:29   but I'm picking Borderline by Michelle Baker,

01:00:32   which was one of the Nebula nominees.

01:00:36   It was one of the best novel of the year

01:00:39   in one of the science fiction fantasy categories.

01:00:41   It is a kind of, I would say noir-ish,

01:00:46   in a way detective story except set in the present day and there are fairies

01:00:57   and the main character is like a great noir investigator. She is really messed

01:01:05   up. She has borderline personality disorder. She tried and failed to kill

01:01:12   herself. So she's a multiple amputee. She's got to use prostheses to walk. She's amputated below the knee in one leg and above the knee in the other. So she's got lots of issues. She's got mental health issues. She's got physical issues. And it turns out she's got supernatural issues.

01:01:39   and yet it feels like the whole book feels and it's set in Hollywood so it's definitely got that

01:01:45   like the Hollywood the LA noir like it's well lit but still everything is dark and awful

01:01:52   and the fantasy element of it I'm not a big I keep saying I'm not a big fantasy person I don't read a

01:02:00   lot of fantasy but I think the ones I pick seem to be good ones you know I only read them if

01:02:06   everybody is acclaimed to them. And this is a part of a series now. I read the sequel this year as

01:02:10   well, and it's very good. But Borderline, I really recommend it. It's very good. There are other

01:02:16   books that I read that were close. A Close and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers is really good.

01:02:20   Death's End by Qixin Liu, which is the third book in a trilogy of totally weird Chinese science

01:02:27   fiction novels that were translated and are award-winning for good reason. They're so strange

01:02:32   and good. So almost like visionary and the ideas there's death's end has more ideas in it than like

01:02:41   20 other science fiction novels. And like every chapter, there's another just wild science fiction

01:02:46   idea that he just poured into the book instead of like saying, okay, that's a good idea. I could

01:02:50   write a whole book about that. Like, nope, just throw it in there, move on to the next idea in

01:02:54   the next chapter. But I think the most pleasant surprise in the book that I, I really ended up

01:03:00   liking the most and thinking about and recommending to people which is always

01:03:02   for me the the question is borderline.

01:03:06   All right so the Upgradients voted 8%

01:03:10   Artemis by Andy Weir, 15% the Caledonian Gambit by Dan Morrow.

01:03:18   I have read that one many times. And 19% Turtles All The Way Down by John Green.

01:03:25   I feel like with this and some of the other nominees I'm seeing that sort of

01:03:30   like people like discovered you through Cortex and then followed you to this

01:03:35   show I feel like that YouTube influence coming through here maybe? I noticed that

01:03:40   quite significantly when it came to favorite book that Turtles All the Way

01:03:44   Down by John Green would win that that was very interesting to me like would

01:03:48   win the Upgradients vote so Jason I'm leaving this one completely down to you

01:03:53   Well, I've said what my choice is, and so why not just, because we love him, say The

01:04:01   Caledonian Gambit by Dan Morin.

01:04:03   Everybody should go out there and get it.

01:04:05   That's all I really wanted.

01:04:08   I'm waiting for the audiobook version that will hopefully come one day.

01:04:11   No, it's out.

01:04:13   Is it out now?

01:04:14   When did that happen?

01:04:15   Yeah, the audiobook, it came out like a few months ago.

01:04:17   God, no one tells me any day.

01:04:18   There's an audiobook.

01:04:19   All right, well, I'm going to go get the audiobook now.

01:04:21   I didn't know that.

01:04:22   great so I'm gonna do that then so I maybe would have voted for it but we're

01:04:25   gonna go with the Caledonian Canbut by Dan Morin as the upgradey book of the

01:04:30   year which I'm very very excited about. For those who would like to accuse us of

01:04:34   nepotism and giving an award to our friend yep yeah I choose.

01:04:40   Honestly the upgradeans are the ones who nominated it right? This is what I was gonna say right like

01:04:44   they 15% of the vote which again like that's really close like to the winner

01:04:51   of the Upgradients, right? Like 15, 19, like that's close, and you read the book, you like

01:04:56   the book, so that makes sense when it comes to deliberation.

01:05:00   "Nicala, Damien Gambit" by Dan Morin, and it's going to be the first thing I do once

01:05:03   we stop recording today is to go and download the audiobook that I didn't know existed.

01:05:08   So we have finished the Media and Pop Culture category, and we are moving into technology,

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01:06:49   Alright, Jason.

01:06:52   Favourite Apple product.

01:06:55   This one's a bit of a runaway and it's not surprising.

01:07:00   I'm actually going to go with the Upgradients first, just so we can provide some difference.

01:07:05   At 7%, the Apple Watch Series 3.

01:07:09   At 18%, the iPad Pro 10.5.

01:07:14   And at 44%, the iPhone X.

01:07:19   I will say, just to say, there were a bunch of votes for the AirPods in here. I didn't

01:07:25   include them because technically they were a 2016 thing.

01:07:29   And I think the AirPods won the favorite Apple product last year.

01:07:33   Well, I can tell you, the favorite Apple product of 2016 was in fact AirPods. That was a thing.

01:07:39   We also, I will note as well, we made a decision on last year's episode to make a change to

01:07:45   this category. This category is now only Apple made products. Previously this was anything

01:07:55   within the Apple ecosystem including third parties and we decided to just make this Apple

01:08:01   made only. So that is why there are just Apple products in this. There are no accessories

01:08:06   or anything like that. So iPhone X right? I mean come on. Like it was incredible. It

01:08:13   incredible I love my iPhone 10 I thought for a minute about just being completely

01:08:18   contrary and saying the iPad Pro second generation 12.9 because it's great but

01:08:24   it's not that different from the first generation 12.9 and come on yeah it's

01:08:30   the it's the iPhone 10 look the iPad Pro 12.9 and even to a point in 10.5 a great

01:08:37   in every way the previous ones were yeah right I mean they got the 120 Hertz

01:08:43   stuff they got the promotion which is really nice but the iPhone 10 is better than previous iPhones

01:08:49   in basically every single way right like they've everything has been improved in them and it is the

01:08:56   leap ahead that we've kind of been clamoring for for the last couple of years yep and it's just and

01:09:03   the more and more I've used this phone the more it becomes a part of my life the more and more I've

01:09:08   integrated into my life, the more and more I love it and months in I still look at it and I'm like

01:09:14   what are you future technology? Like I still look at it and I'm like how? How is this thing?

01:09:21   And I absolutely love it and as more and more apps embrace their design and change and adapt

01:09:26   their design it only gets better and better. So funnily enough this is uh this is the only

01:09:34   Upgrady that so far this year where there is no runner-up

01:09:38   Because the way that I'm considering runner-ups for this one going forward is like the top picks and my pick your pick and the upgrade Ian's

01:09:45   top pick

01:09:47   Well, they were all the same and it's the iPhone 10

01:09:50   And I think that that is a huge statement that there is just one for this one because everything else

01:09:58   Whilst great is far away and the iPad Pro 10.5 is incredible, but we're going to talk

01:10:03   about that a little bit later on in the show.

01:10:08   Favorite non-Apple product.

01:10:09   Jason, I want you to go first for this one and there's a very good reason for that.

01:10:13   Okay, um, sure.

01:10:15   I struggled with this one a little bit, trying to think what came into my life this year

01:10:22   that um, that I wanted to single out here and I had two that I thought of.

01:10:28   One is on the smart home side, which is,

01:10:31   I complain sometimes about smart light bulbs

01:10:35   and the idea of smart light bulbs,

01:10:37   because now you're buying, every light bulb you buy

01:10:39   has to have Wi-Fi, and then when it dies, it dies,

01:10:41   and then you have to get another light bulb with Wi-Fi in it.

01:10:43   It seems a little bit much, seems kind of complicated.

01:10:46   You've got these bulbs that are extra hot,

01:10:47   'cause now they're running, you know, Wi-Fi circuitry

01:10:50   in addition to being a light bulb.

01:10:53   And this year I bought a bunch of Caseta smart switches

01:10:58   from Lutron, and I think they're really great.

01:11:03   I installed them myself, replaced old light switches,

01:11:08   and they are exactly what you'd think.

01:11:10   The Wi-Fi's in the light switch.

01:11:12   And as a result, I don't need to buy smart bulbs.

01:11:16   I just replaced my light switch,

01:11:17   and now I have a light switch

01:11:19   that is not only a physical light switch,

01:11:21   but it has a remote control and it works with HomeKit.

01:11:24   And I've got these on a couple places in my house

01:11:26   and I will add more.

01:11:28   And it allows me to make my home lighting smarter

01:11:33   without ripping out existing lighting

01:11:37   and replacing it with new expensive smart lighting.

01:11:42   So like my living room now,

01:11:44   we actually don't even use HomeKit most of the time.

01:11:46   We just use, there's a remote control in our living room

01:11:48   that dims the lights, it's great.

01:11:51   So I love that and that's really helped me

01:11:54   kind of embrace HomeKit, I would say.

01:11:56   And then the other thing I wanted to mention is

01:11:59   another favorite non-Apple product this year,

01:12:02   oh the irony, is the Intel NUC Mac Mini that isn't,

01:12:07   that's a, you know, I've got a Core i5

01:12:13   little tiny computer with SSD only in it,

01:12:18   and it is, I've written about it a couple of times,

01:12:20   It's the Mac Mini Apple should make, basically.

01:12:23   It's a really small modular, it's built around SSD.

01:12:28   It's got a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port on the back,

01:12:33   as well as four USB-A ports and an HDMI video out.

01:12:38   It's pretty great.

01:12:39   I would love to see an Apple version of that.

01:12:41   It could be a little bit different,

01:12:42   but having used that Intel NUC for a little while now

01:12:45   in my house, it's a great little computer.

01:12:48   this teeny tiny fits in the palm of your hand computer and it makes me wish that it was

01:12:53   a favourite Apple product instead of a non-Apple product.

01:12:57   So my pick is the Nintendo Switch and this was one of those categories where I'm like

01:13:03   "oh man this is one that I really hope I'll be able to go my way because I love my Nintendo

01:13:09   Switch you know it's my favourite games console ever because I'm able to live the dream that

01:13:13   I've had since I was a kid of being able to take my games with me everywhere and they're

01:13:18   the same games. I can play them at home, I can play them on the sofa in my hands, I can

01:13:22   take them on the plane with me. And the Nintendo Switch has completely changed the way that

01:13:27   I play video games. Now it's like I want all my games to be on the Switch or I don't want

01:13:31   them at all. It's kind of how I feel and there's many people that are this way. Which doesn't

01:13:36   surprise, well so now when I look at it I'm unsurprised. This is how the voting has gone

01:13:40   for favorite non-Apple product. The Amazon Echo came in at 4%. The Google Home Mini came

01:13:46   in at 5% from our Upgradients vote. The Nintendo Switch took home the largest single voting

01:13:52   percentage of the night with 60% of Upgradients voted for the Nintendo Switch as their favorite

01:13:58   non-Apple technology product for 2017. That's huge. I think the highest we get up to other

01:14:05   than that is a 45% vote, which is coming up a little bit later on.

01:14:10   And well you know iPhone X at 44, no, and Breath of the Wild was way up there.

01:14:16   41.

01:14:17   But here's the thing, I think it's got to be this.

01:14:21   I bought one.

01:14:22   My problem is that I don't get to play it much because my son has taken it away from

01:14:26   me.

01:14:28   But it's great.

01:14:29   It's like, I refer you to all the podcasts in which you've talked about Nintendo, but

01:14:33   – Basically remaster since March.

01:14:35   Every episode of remaster since March.

01:14:37   Yeah, the Switch is really good and it's also for people who have bought Nintendo hardware,

01:14:43   I mean look, I said earlier I have a Wii U for Pete's sake. It's good to see Nintendo

01:14:49   do good hardware. No, it is not cutting edge, they still make weird decisions, but the fact

01:14:54   that it is playable as a handheld or as a portable or as a docked on your TV console,

01:15:05   Most of the time I see my son playing it, it is actually on the TV with the controllers

01:15:13   in the little controller holder thingy.

01:15:19   But yeah, I'll go with that.

01:15:22   It's a great idea well executed.

01:15:25   Yeah, a couple of things on it, right, which does make it so amazing.

01:15:29   This is one of the greatest comebacks of a company in history.

01:15:32   Nintendo looked like that they had basically completely lost it at the point with the Wii U.

01:15:36   Everything that they were able to build up with the Wii was just being squandered. And just a

01:15:43   couple of weeks ago, Nintendo announced that they sold 10 million Nintendo Switches, which in the

01:15:50   games console world is a really, really big number. Like when PlayStation were able to talk about the

01:15:56   fact that they'd sold 10 million PS4s, it was big, big news. But what makes that even more impressive

01:16:01   is that is with no holiday season. Nintendo sold 10 million before the holiday season from March

01:16:08   to then, like to March to the beginning of December, which is incredible. So I'm

01:16:14   very excited to see when Nintendo were able to go with the Switch because they seem to have turned

01:16:20   the tide in an almost unprecedented way. It looked like at some, like, you know, people were saying

01:16:26   like, oh, you know, Nintendo should give it up and just make iPhone games. But they showed everybody,

01:16:31   the

01:16:45   great

01:16:57   I had I think two units and neither of them worked reliably.

01:17:02   I was getting missed keys and Jason had his problems of his

01:17:07   and he ended up getting one that worked.

01:17:08   But then again, I think Steven had a 10.5

01:17:13   and his wasn't working.

01:17:16   Federico Vitici had two 12.91s and neither of his worked.

01:17:20   Jason got the golden egg of one of these keyboards that works.

01:17:24   - On the third try.

01:17:26   Okay, also on the third try, I think that it is just straight disappointing.

01:17:31   Like, this is the piece of technology that has annoyed me, has angered me the most this year,

01:17:36   because of all the hassle that I had to go through as well.

01:17:38   And the killer is, if it worked, I would recommend it far and wide to people,

01:17:41   because it's a great piece of, you know, ergonomic design,

01:17:46   and the fact that it's got the clips on it, you slide the iPad Pro in,

01:17:49   you can pull it out really easily, and you've got a laptop.

01:17:52   It's, you know, I, I love using mine and yet I can't really recommend it because I mean,

01:17:58   I've read every now and then somebody says, Oh, what's that thing that you wrote about

01:18:01   or what's that thing that you use? And I'll say, well, it's the bridge keyboard, but,

01:18:05   but be warned, they have quality problems and you may have to return it. Um, like just

01:18:11   bottom line, make sure it works when you get it. And it's not a reliability problem where

01:18:15   it gets bad over time, it doesn't work out of the box. You type not even that fast and

01:18:23   characters drop. And it's just, I think they have bad Bluetooth chips or something like

01:18:27   that. And I am baffled why they have not gone through and checked all of their products

01:18:33   and pulled the stuff out. So at this point, what I keep saying is, I would really like

01:18:39   someone else to make a keyboard that's like the Brydge keyboard, except reliable. And

01:18:47   also I'll say the most disappointing thing is all of the conversations we've had about

01:18:52   it, the company has never said a word. Which leads me to believe honestly, and again this

01:18:58   is just speculation, and if Brydge would like to write in, they can correct me, it leads

01:19:05   me to believe they're well aware that they have a quality problem and they don't care,

01:19:08   just trying to unload those units to people who are not paying attention, which is kind

01:19:14   of, you know, it's unconscionable. So it's great that I've got one that works, but super

01:19:20   disappointing, right? I mean, I think not in the worst gadget category as much as the

01:19:24   most disappointing tech. It's like, it's a really cool idea and, you know, some large

01:19:29   percentage of them don't work right.

01:19:31   - Yeah, it's just disappointing and frustrating.

01:19:36   - Yep.

01:19:36   - I like yours.

01:19:37   I like your pick.

01:19:38   I can see an ad hoc here, explain it.

01:19:40   - It's a little conceptual,

01:19:42   but when I was thinking about most disappointing tech

01:19:46   this year, I did think about the Bridge keyboard

01:19:48   'cause everybody else I know has tried to get one

01:19:52   that works like mine and failed.

01:19:57   I'm gonna say Apple's smart connector technology

01:20:02   is the most disappointing tech of the year.

01:20:06   I say this because when the iPad Pro was announced,

01:20:10   we all got excited like,

01:20:11   "Ooh, Apple has released a new connector type.

01:20:14   It's magnetic, you can use the smart keyboard with it.

01:20:18   This is really interesting.

01:20:19   There are some third-party devices.

01:20:21   Where will this take us?"

01:20:24   And the answer is nowhere.

01:20:26   I think there are fewer than 10 smart connector capable accessories on the

01:20:32   market, three of which are the Apple smart covers for the three different

01:20:36   sizes. When the new iPad Pros came out there was not a rush to the new 10.5

01:20:43   design which was like "oh this is going to be big" and the sales figures

01:20:46   have actually been pretty good, like this is a winner of a product.

01:20:49   Where are the smart connector products for it? There's almost none.

01:20:53   the smart connector product that we did get for the 10.5 was disappointing, right? The

01:21:00   third-party case from Logitech. And it never made its way to the iPhone. It... which, I

01:21:13   mean, maybe that's fine. Maybe it was never intended to be the iPhone. Maybe it really

01:21:16   was intended to be a keyboard thing. I'm starting to think that the reason the smart connector

01:21:19   was there was entirely to enable the smart cover and at some point they're

01:21:24   like why don't we let Logitech build a keyboard for it too like why not we'll

01:21:29   we'll say that it's open but obviously almost nobody wants to make one of these

01:21:35   perhaps because the size of them the iMac or the iPad Pro market is so small

01:21:40   and it's only on the iPad Pro whereas if you make a Bluetooth keyboard you can

01:21:44   make it from war devices. I don't know, but I look at the smart connector and

01:21:51   think this is something that we're really excited about and like it's just

01:21:55   nothing now it's almost nowhere and while it works great on the smart

01:21:59   keyboard like where are the other accessories for it where are the other

01:22:03   attempts to make to get back to the bridge keyboard like to make other kinds

01:22:08   of iPad Pro accessories keyboards whatever cases that embrace this thing

01:22:14   And, you know, there's nothing.

01:22:16   It's just a -- It's just a --

01:22:17   It's turned out to just be a thing for Apple

01:22:20   to put in that one product.

01:22:23   -Yeah, it's a shame, right?

01:22:24   'Cause anything else that there has been,

01:22:26   like, that Logitech charging stand,

01:22:29   it's just kind of pointless, really?

01:22:32   -Yeah, well, it's not adjustable.

01:22:33   And charging through the smart connector is really slow.

01:22:38   -Yep. -Yeah.

01:22:39   -So it's almost -- -It's not really why it's there.

01:22:40   -Yeah, I mean, Federico's made this joke a bunch,

01:22:42   and he's completely right.

01:22:43   right it should just be called the keyboard connector because that's all it is.

01:22:46   Right. That's as far as we can tell that is that's about all it can do.

01:22:50   Yeah. The upgrade is voted. 5% most disappointing product is the Apple TV.

01:22:55   At 15% is the MacBook Pro and at 16% is the Pixel 2 XL.

01:23:02   Now Pixel 2 XL in this case I'm almost discounting this from the discussion

01:23:07   because I don't believe that the 16% of people that voted for this actually use

01:23:12   this product and this makes more sense in the screw up category.

01:23:19   People just throwing it in there because it was a bad product for some people. I don't

01:23:23   know if this is something that our listeners were personally very disappointed about. All

01:23:30   16% of you can let me know but considering how many people voted, there would have been

01:23:34   a lot of people. But anyway, the MacBook Pro is in there as well at 15%. I understand that.

01:23:40   many people, Jason, like a significant percentage of this actually said MacBook Pro keyboard,

01:23:46   like specifically.

01:23:47   That would have been a good pick.

01:23:49   So, but I lumped it all in with the MacBook Pro because I figured that all worked together

01:23:53   and it brought it up into the 15% bracket because otherwise it would have been way lower

01:23:57   if it would have just been one or the other.

01:24:00   But so yeah, the MacBook Pro was an upsetting one for people.

01:24:04   Where do you want to go with this?

01:24:07   I don't know.

01:24:08   What do you think?

01:24:09   Don't know. I mean, I don't want to say the MacBook Pro because I have a Mac Pro and I'm fine with it

01:24:13   Like it doesn't it doesn't bother me

01:24:15   I mean, I know that there are problems with them

01:24:17   But like it's in the same vein that I don't necessarily think that the pixel 2xl should be here. No, let's let's uh,

01:24:24   Let's put the smart connector to use for once. Yeah and give it an give it an award

01:24:30   So the the smart connector is our most

01:24:35   Congratulations Apple, you're award-winning smart connector technology now. Award-winning.

01:24:41   So I'm gonna put in our history here. We're gonna get smart connector bridge keyboard

01:24:49   and I'm gonna put the MacBook Pro in as the other runner-up coming from our gradients

01:24:56   because I think that might be a more actual representative use case of what's going on.

01:25:01   So another one of my favorites, the favorite tech story of the year.

01:25:07   So the theme or specific story that was the most interesting to you, to me, to our listeners.

01:25:15   We're going to start with the upgradients on this one, Jason.

01:25:19   Net neutrality and all of the hubbub and the repeal and everything that has happened over

01:25:24   net neutrality comes in at 4%.

01:25:27   Mac roundtable where a bunch of Apple executives apologized for their lack of

01:25:32   focus on the Mac also came in at 4% with 30% was the HomePod firmware leak and

01:25:39   this is also my favorite tech story of the year. This was wonderful because

01:25:47   it was a rare and strange thing to occur for this firmware to come out but then it

01:25:53   sparked maybe three, four weeks of stories as people were digging further and further

01:25:58   into the SDK or the, what was it, was firmware, firmware, sorry, into the SDK, into the firmware,

01:26:04   taking a look inside of the operating system that was going on the home pod and finding

01:26:08   hints to things for so many, so many products. And as somebody who comments on this at a time

01:26:15   where it should have been, you know, historic, history would say really quiet, like leading up

01:26:20   to some product launches, we had a ton of really interesting things to talk about. So

01:26:25   the HomePod leak was one of my favorite, if not my favorite tech story of the year.

01:26:30   It's a good one. That was, I don't know how I feel about it as a favorite. I think there

01:26:38   may be another category that we have coming up.

01:26:41   Oh, there is. We're going to talk about it in just a minute.

01:26:44   That might be a better fit for it because did I enjoy that? It was fascinating though.

01:26:49   I try to be conceptual with this one too.

01:26:51   And my favorite tech story of the year is

01:26:55   announcements of overreaching smartphones.

01:27:00   And I have two examples,

01:27:03   which is Andy Rubin's Essential Phone,

01:27:06   which was brought out with a huge amount of hype

01:27:10   and with all the arrogance of someone

01:27:18   with the power of Google and Android behind them to back up their statements

01:27:24   without actually having that behind them.

01:27:28   A phone that they, you know,

01:27:31   it seems like a nice phone, it shipped late.

01:27:35   The high-end phone that they were going to ship a very small number of

01:27:39   certainly didn't match the hype. Like, they admitted at one point that the

01:27:42   volume that they were possibly able to sell of it was extremely low.

01:27:47   I don't really like the hype, I don't really like Andy Rubin, and I think in hindsight

01:27:54   there are a lot of tech journalists who look at the coverage of that and would say, "Why

01:28:00   did we do that other than to fill space on the internet?"

01:28:05   And even more than that is the red Hydrogen One phone, which is the guy who runs the company

01:28:13   that makes the red cameras declaring that he's going to reinvent the smartphone

01:28:18   business by creating a very expensive phone with a holographic screen and all

01:28:26   sorts of special materials and it's going to do things no other device has

01:28:30   ever done and it's going to cost a fortune and you'll pre-order it now

01:28:34   because you love my company and it'll ship eventually and we don't even have a

01:28:41   anything other than kind of a shaky pre-production unit

01:28:44   for people to see right now.

01:28:46   And I'm just gonna go out on a limb and say,

01:28:48   that's gonna be a flop too.

01:28:50   That's gonna be a disaster too.

01:28:51   And I think that's an interesting trend

01:28:56   where people are coming out of the woodwork and saying,

01:28:58   oh yeah, we can make a high-end smartphone too.

01:29:01   And it's just gonna roll on out

01:29:02   and a couple thousand people will buy it.

01:29:06   And then you can't really run a company like that.

01:29:08   So I thought that was an interesting trend.

01:29:10   So that is what I nominate for my favorite text to write here.

01:29:14   Yeah, this is interesting.

01:29:15   So my kind of take on that,

01:29:17   the Essential Fund was really hyped,

01:29:19   and it was, a lot of people really liked it,

01:29:21   but that there were still problems with it.

01:29:23   And yeah, you're right.

01:29:24   Like they were never gonna sell a lot of them,

01:29:26   and now Andy Rubin's gone from the company,

01:29:28   and now they're probably gonna disappear

01:29:30   because all they had was Andy Rubin,

01:29:32   and now he's taken a leave of absence

01:29:36   because of everything that he had been up to,

01:29:38   like so many people that have been caught out now,

01:29:42   which is great, but he's gone.

01:29:43   So I can't imagine them sticking around for much longer.

01:29:46   The red hydrogen, I agree,

01:29:47   is a lot of noise and a lot of smoke.

01:29:50   We haven't actually seen the phone yet, so who knows?

01:29:53   Right?

01:29:54   Like we can't say- - Feels like snake oil to me.

01:29:55   Feels like snake oil. - Yeah, I mean, there is-

01:29:57   - And that's why I would say as a favorite story,

01:29:59   I mean, maybe it'll be brilliant and groundbreaking

01:30:02   and totally change how phones work.

01:30:04   But to me, it looks like, again,

01:30:06   somebody who's had a success in another product category

01:30:08   who's just decided that he's gonna do this product

01:30:11   and it's gonna take the world by storm

01:30:12   and is gonna discover it's hard to make a phone

01:30:15   and hard to ship it and hard to ship it in any volume at all

01:30:19   and it'll be a flop.

01:30:21   But right now it's not a flop, it's snake oil.

01:30:24   - Yeah, I've seen people that have seen

01:30:26   a production pre-production unit

01:30:28   and have been impressed by it, right?

01:30:29   But that doesn't mean it's gonna be that good

01:30:32   when it ships, they might not be able to do it volume,

01:30:34   we'll have to wait and see.

01:30:35   And then another interesting add to this

01:30:38   is Razer, the gaming periphery and computer maker, they made a phone. Like the Razer phone,

01:30:46   which is apparently very good. They put a 120Hz display in their phone. And apparently

01:30:54   it's incredible. So they did it, but they're probably not going to sell a lot of them either.

01:30:59   But they actually made a phone that's really good, but they probably won't sell a lot.

01:31:04   - That's a gaming phone for gamers,

01:31:06   that's not a bad idea.

01:31:07   And it's also not $1,000 or $2,000.

01:31:12   - They're not trying to change everything,

01:31:15   but they're focusing in a way that smartphones tend

01:31:18   to be like, this is the smartphone for everyone, right?

01:31:20   That's what everyone's trying to build.

01:31:21   But they're like, no, no, we're making a smartphone

01:31:22   for gamers and it's gonna have these huge speakers

01:31:25   on the front of it because that's what you would want

01:31:27   and it's gonna have a headphone jack

01:31:29   'cause that's what you want

01:31:30   and it's gonna have a 120 hertz display

01:31:33   and they're working with a bunch of game developers

01:31:35   to get 120 frames per second going on.

01:31:38   And yeah, it's like a whole big deal.

01:31:40   But I do like this category

01:31:42   and I kinda wanna reserve the HomePod for our next

01:31:46   because I think that that's an easy win

01:31:47   for the next category.

01:31:49   So why don't we go with overreaching smartphones

01:31:51   as a favorite tech story of the year?

01:31:53   'Cause it has been very interesting

01:31:55   to watch this trend this year,

01:31:56   which has been different to previous years

01:31:58   in that for whatever reason, in 2017,

01:32:02   a bunch of companies believed that they could make a phone

01:32:06   and it would be the best phone ever.

01:32:09   And that has yet to happen.

01:32:11   Because the funny thing is Samsung and,

01:32:16   I mean, do you know what?

01:32:17   Even maybe Google could fall into this category

01:32:20   with the Pixel 2.

01:32:21   They overreached a little bit, right?

01:32:24   Like, and they extended themselves

01:32:26   past maybe what they could have done

01:32:27   and they settled on lower quality hardware parts

01:32:31   for the 2XL and they didn't get the good screens

01:32:33   that they maybe should have gotten.

01:32:35   So it's been interesting this year to watch companies

01:32:37   that are clearly trying to compete with Apple and Samsung

01:32:40   and falling short in some way.

01:32:42   - Yep.

01:32:44   - Favorite tech screw up.

01:32:45   For every single reason that I mentioned, the HomePod leak.

01:32:48   It was almost hilarious how much of a mistake this one

01:32:53   ended was, you know, like wild to think like

01:32:59   all of your product releases will come out because somebody uploaded something somewhere

01:33:05   accidentally and left it there for a weekend.

01:33:07   A public update to firmware for a product that is not even going to ship for until the

01:33:14   next year as it turns out.

01:33:16   Because that's the other funny thing about it. It's like that product ended up getting

01:33:20   delayed anyway.

01:33:22   It's like it was nowhere near shipping so why is there a public channel where the firmware

01:33:26   for the HomePod is sitting?

01:33:28   And then it's all the information that it ended up having in it which it probably just

01:33:32   shouldn't have had at that point anyway.

01:33:33   You know like outlines for the iPhone X like my gosh.

01:33:37   So a wonderful wild story and I'll just read the other two that the Upgradients voted because

01:33:45   that's right at the top.

01:33:46   So Jucero at 7%, Uber at 8% and the HomePod firmware leak at 45%.

01:33:51   It was really interesting to me to see that the root bugs and stuff like that whilst voted

01:33:56   before did not make the top three. And Uber by the way is just Uber. Because it's impossible

01:34:03   to pick just one thing that they did wrong this year.

01:34:05   No no I think that's the way to do it is just general free-floating Uber badness.

01:34:11   And yeah that is there and there. They've been in here, they've been in before. 2014

01:34:16   Uber screw-ups was a runner-up so they haven't really changed in the last few years. So what

01:34:24   is your pick?

01:34:26   I had to say Juicero or Juicero,

01:34:30   however you wanna pronounce it.

01:34:31   - I always think of Canyon Aero.

01:34:33   - I know Canyon Aero is exactly what I think of.

01:34:35   This is the startup that created a high-end juicer

01:34:42   where you would buy packages with barcodes on them

01:34:44   and it would check the barcodes over the internet

01:34:46   and make sure that they were still fresh

01:34:48   and then they would dispense juice into a cup

01:34:50   and you would drink the juice.

01:34:53   and some reporters and the hardware was amazingly over-engineered.

01:34:58   It's this incredibly expensive over-engineered piece of hardware.

01:35:01   And there was a wonderful blog post by a hardware engineer saying,

01:35:04   this is not how you design first-generation hardware. Keep it simple,

01:35:07   start simple and then iterate.

01:35:09   And some enterprising reporters found that you could just buy the Juicero packs

01:35:15   and squeeze them out and not use the incredibly engineered,

01:35:20   expensive piece of hardware to dispense the juice. You could just squeeze them out. And

01:35:25   uh, yeah, that company died.

01:35:27   There's a pretty good business model ruined by over expensive hardware. Like the business

01:35:32   model of shipping people the fresh juice packs that they could juice was fine, but having

01:35:37   this like multiple hundred dollar machine that did it, ridiculous, right? Like just

01:35:43   send some something to people that they can just push and it squeezes out, right? Like

01:35:47   a press of some description but they want it to be super fancy and it be

01:35:52   connected to the internet and then that ruined the company. So what do you want

01:35:56   to do HomePod leak as number one and Chucera was the runner-up? Yeah that's

01:36:00   that's fine. So this is a fun one where one thing gets in the same year a

01:36:07   runner-up in one category and the winner in another. So Bravo Apple I guess?

01:36:13   When we created these categories, I don't know if I ever expected Apple to be winning

01:36:22   it with such a wide margin. But that was a big ol' screw up.

01:36:26   And our last technology/hardware related thing this year is the most life changing hardware.

01:36:34   There are gradients voted as such. Nintendo Switch at 11%, the Apple Watch at 21% which

01:36:39   which is the highest that the Apple Watch ranks in any of the awards so far of the night,

01:36:43   and AirPods at 43%. For me, this totally works. I think for the life-changing hardware thing,

01:36:50   it doesn't necessarily have to be released in a year, but there has to be something significant.

01:36:54   And for me, the reason that I consider AirPods in here as being totally fine is most of our

01:37:00   listeners probably didn't get them until 2017. So for me, I think that that is totally valid

01:37:05   to have AirPods in this category. Jason, where are you?

01:37:11   I thought about this too because life changing. That's a high bar and I feel like it's a different

01:37:18   set of rules. It's like, "What am I using day in and day out?" So I thought about the

01:37:21   cellular Apple Watch because I really like how that once or twice a week I'm going running

01:37:29   and something people may not know. One of the challenges of working at home here is

01:37:34   the dog needs to get walked and I need to exercise and the dog doesn't want to run with me on a leash

01:37:43   like she won't do it. So I have to choose and it becomes this thing where I either have to go out

01:37:50   twice which is not great because that's a lot of time or I have to choose like walk the dog or

01:37:55   exercise and I found a path, a fire road that I can run on that's not too far away from here. It's

01:38:01   it's like a five minute drive and I can I can take her out there and she will she

01:38:07   will stay with me when I'm running ish like enough and she doesn't have to be

01:38:11   on a leash on the fire road and I took so I've gone up there a bunch of times

01:38:16   with just my Apple watch and my AirPods it's amazing like I'm still in touch I

01:38:22   can listen to music I can track my workout I walk the dog it's great it's

01:38:29   so great. I thought about it and it's like, well, that's life-changing in a limited way,

01:38:33   but it is life-changing. I came back to having, honestly, having Amazon Echos in the house,

01:38:39   and I think that's my nomination is having Amazon Echos around. We've got an Echo show

01:38:44   in the kitchen. The kids use it all the time. I use it all the time. It's integrated with

01:38:49   our smart home stuff. We use it for cooking all the time. And actually one of the nice

01:38:56   things about having a screen on the Echo Show is that it's displaying our timers and you

01:39:01   can of course call out, you know, set a timer, set a carrot timer for eight minutes, set

01:39:06   a pasta timer for 12 minutes and they stack up and then...

01:39:09   I loved that when they added that.

01:39:11   Right, and they say, "Oh well, your pasta timer is done," and all of that. It's not

01:39:15   a perfect product, but I feel like it's integrated itself in our lives this year more than any

01:39:19   other. So that's the one that I'm going to nominate.

01:39:22   And this is exactly why in 2016 the Amazon Echo won this category.

01:39:26   Of course.

01:39:27   But the thing is, for me I completely agree with you because we're only adding more stuff

01:39:34   to our house, right?

01:39:35   Like this is a growing ecosystem in our home.

01:39:38   So for this year for our Christmas tree, we didn't have a Christmas tree last year, this

01:39:42   year our Christmas tree I've got it hooked up to a Wemo switch so I can turn the lights

01:39:45   on and off, right?

01:39:46   Like that's not something I had last year but I do it now and it's fantastic.

01:39:50   I've had a Wiimote Switch sitting in my house for a year and I've not used it with anything

01:39:53   because I didn't have anything that it really worked very well with.

01:39:55   But it's perfect for Christmas tree lights.

01:39:58   I'm going to go with the 10.5 inch iPad Pro.

01:40:02   I absolutely love this iPad.

01:40:03   I consider it the perfect iPad.

01:40:06   I think it is the best iPad ever made because I think it hits most people.

01:40:10   It has become the iPad, if I'm not at home, it's the iPad I'm using.

01:40:14   It's the iPad I travel with, it's the iPad I take out to work with.

01:40:17   Because a 10.5 inch screen is enough for me to be able to have multiple apps on screen

01:40:24   and do what I need to do when I have a keyboard attached.

01:40:27   The 12.9 for me when I'm travelling is a bit too big.

01:40:32   When I'm at home it's perfect.

01:40:34   And this is the model when I talk about, it's used as a joke but it's a true thing, the

01:40:39   multi-ipad lifestyle, having two iPads and how you work with them.

01:40:42   And since I got the 10.5, the idea has never become more clear of having an iMac at home

01:40:49   on a laptop that you take with you.

01:40:51   I have the 12.9 that stays at home and the 10.5 that comes with me.

01:40:55   And previously I would take the 9.7 and I would kind of wish for the 12.9, but I don't

01:41:01   feel that way with the 10.5.

01:41:02   I'm totally fine with it when I have it.

01:41:04   It works great for me.

01:41:05   I absolutely love this iPad.

01:41:07   It looks great.

01:41:08   It's got so many fantastic features.

01:41:09   It is a great addition.

01:41:10   So we haven't had this for a while in our voting.

01:41:14   We've lost a couple of categories have kind of stacked up.

01:41:18   We have three completely different answers here.

01:41:21   And I wanna know where you're feeling at this point, Jason.

01:41:24   - Well, I, what won this category last year?

01:41:31   - Amazon, the Amazon Echo.

01:41:32   - I think this is the category to give to the AirPods.

01:41:36   - I think you're completely right.

01:41:37   - Even though they came out last year,

01:41:37   because I think that this was the year

01:41:39   that they really set in for our listeners

01:41:40   And for us, let's be honest, I love the AirPods

01:41:43   way more than I thought I would.

01:41:45   It's why we thought that that was the best

01:41:47   Apple hardware last year.

01:41:49   And I agree with how life-changing that is.

01:41:51   That has changed.

01:41:53   I use wired headphones in very specific environments now,

01:41:56   airplanes mowing the lawn, noisy environments

01:41:59   where I need to really shut out noise and doing a podcast.

01:42:03   But if I'm just cooking dinner or whatever,

01:42:06   plus the running scenario I mentioned earlier,

01:42:08   it's all AirPods and they're great.

01:42:10   Yep, I just lost my Sennheiser headphones that I use for planes.

01:42:15   I left them on a plane and I was really annoyed because I now needed to buy new headphones

01:42:20   for the plane.

01:42:21   In a way that like previously I would have been excited about the fact that I now had

01:42:26   an excuse to buy new headphones.

01:42:28   I was actually just kind of frustrated about it because it's like "oh no I have to buy

01:42:31   new headphones" because I use them so infrequently, right?

01:42:35   Because even sometimes when I'm on the plane I already have my AirPods in so I just never

01:42:39   get the other ones out if I'm just listening to podcasts. Because plus, if I'm planning

01:42:43   on listening to podcasts, I don't want to use the over-headphones anyway because I have

01:42:46   to then get the adapter and it's a whole big mess. Right? So it's, I love my AirPods. And

01:42:52   they really are excellent and genuinely are like when it comes to how technology can change

01:42:58   the way that you do things in your life, this is one of them. And it makes a big difference.

01:43:03   So yeah, completely on board with this. The AirPods are fantastic and they definitely

01:43:08   deserve this award.

01:43:10   All right, Jason, so we have come to the end of our technology section and our hardware

01:43:15   section of the night, and we are going into our final section of categories, which is

01:43:21   podcast related awards.

01:43:23   And I know that this is what people listen to so intensely is for the podcast related

01:43:28   awards.

01:43:29   And I think there's going to be some real contention as we get in to our final round.

01:43:33   But before we do, let me take a moment to thank our third and final sponsor for the

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01:45:20   Okay, so this is the category that changed everything for this year.

01:45:23   Favorite tech podcast. So two things are happening with our two main podcast awards,

01:45:31   but this was the one that made a big change for us. So the favorite technology podcast,

01:45:36   we have our first lifetime achievement Hall of Fame award winner, and that is the Accidental

01:45:41   Tech Podcast. Since we have started the Upgradies, ATP has taken home the award every year. They are

01:45:48   three-time award winners.

01:45:50   Yeah, time to retire it.

01:45:51   So when it came to doing the Upgradies this year, my feeling was,

01:45:56   it is my favorite tech podcast, so I will probably just keep voting for it.

01:46:00   So I figured, and we figured in talking about it, that maybe we needed to look at how we had

01:46:07   the Upgradients help out, so that's why your voting is so much more important than ever before.

01:46:11   And also this year, I actually don't have a pick, because I want to pick ATP.

01:46:17   It is, as well, like we're going to talk about this in a moment, a lot of my podcasting habits

01:46:23   have changed. I don't listen to as many tech podcasts as I used to. The only tech podcast

01:46:27   that I listen to every single episode of is ATP. So that's where my vote would be.

01:46:33   - So Lifetime Achievement Award, Hall of Fame, put it in there and we have to move on. I had two

01:46:40   that I wanted to mention, one on Real AFM. There were rules here and I think this,

01:46:45   I'm gonna complain about something in a second. I feel like there are unstated rules here

01:46:49   that some people are following and some people are not. One of the unstated rules is, and

01:46:55   I think this one is a good one, is nothing that we're on. Or that we do.

01:47:02   We haven't completely abided by that in the past, we've just been awkward about it. So

01:47:07   So like the runner up for 2014 was analog, 2015 was cortex, and 2016 was the Six Colors

01:47:14   Secret Subscriber podcast.

01:47:16   Try and not vote for ourselves, but...

01:47:19   I would say driven by the person who is not on those things.

01:47:22   But it's true.

01:47:23   I'm not saying it's an actual hard and fast rule, but it's sort of a guideline.

01:47:26   And the other guideline, which is a little bit weaker, is steering away from relay a

01:47:31   little bit, because otherwise it becomes, again, it's sort of in that same ballpark

01:47:35   of it's all just sort of self-congratulatory and all that, which is going to happen to

01:47:39   a certain degree. Anyway, I have two picks. One is on Relay, which is Canvas with Fraser

01:47:45   and Federico talking about iOS stuff. I don't listen to every episode, but I pick based

01:47:51   on topic, and I'm very interested to hear those guys because I always learn something

01:47:55   new. I learn about a new app. I learn about a new technique. I really enjoyed -- they

01:48:01   did an episode where they interviewed the developer of "Fahrenheit," and that was

01:48:07   kind of fun to listen to that. That was their membership episode. I really

01:48:13   liked that. But I like that one as a person who also tries to use iOS for a

01:48:18   lot of work stuff to hear those guys talk about it. And then the other one I

01:48:22   want to mention is Mark Bramhills' "Welcome to Macintosh," which is in its second

01:48:26   season now and had a the emoji series that they that they did that was really good and

01:48:34   has a few episodes of drops since then too. I love that somebody is who who kind of gets

01:48:42   us is taking the time to build a show that is at the quality of one of these you know

01:48:50   storytelling, you know, former NPR/NPR or public radio kind of storytelling

01:48:57   podcasts about Apple and related technology stuff.

01:49:02   I, and Mark does a really good job with that.

01:49:04   He did a Kickstarter.

01:49:04   I backed the Kickstarter.

01:49:05   I got some stickers and I think that's a really good show.

01:49:08   So I wanted to mention those two.

01:49:10   I will say in the upgrading info, uh, welcome to Macintosh missed out

01:49:14   by like half a percent to making it in.

01:49:16   Um, so I mean, okay.

01:49:20   So here's the thing. Welcome to Macintosh got 12% of the vote. This very show upgrade

01:49:27   got 13% of the vote. Okay, I want to stop you right there. Well, I know that there's

01:49:31   a reason I'm saying this, right? Like, allow me to finish it, right? I don't think that

01:49:36   it's worth leaving upgrade in at 13% is what I was going to say. Because two things. One,

01:49:42   why this is the show and two, I think that people, so this is my thing and I'm just saying this,

01:49:49   right I think people think that they shouldn't vote for this show so they

01:49:51   don't because I think it would be higher if upgrade was in the run-in because

01:49:55   this is the show right this is what I mentioned earlier is is I'm going to

01:50:00   assume for my own benefit that a lot of people didn't bother nominating upgrade

01:50:07   mm-hmm because why would upgrade ever get an upgrade II it's silly because

01:50:12   it's never gonna win we're never gonna win upgrades never gonna win the

01:50:14   If that's not true, then among people who care enough about Upgrade to vote in the Upgradies,

01:50:20   Upgrade is their fourth favorite tech podcast.

01:50:23   Which is a heck of a slogan. We might want to put that on a t-shirt.

01:50:29   "My fourth favorite tech podcast."

01:50:32   As voted for by me in the Upgradies.

01:50:35   So we're going to remove Upgrade. So "Welcome to Macintosh" now sits in at 12% of the vote.

01:50:41   The talk show sits in at 17% and I will say this is a big surprise for me, connected at

01:50:47   27%.

01:50:48   I wouldn't have expected that to occur.

01:50:50   Thank you to everybody that voted.

01:50:52   So here we are.

01:50:54   We are at a big impasse.

01:50:56   I have no nomination in this and I think that's going to remain.

01:51:00   I'm not going to bring in a late nomination because, you know, I really like Upgraded

01:51:06   and Connected.

01:51:07   I like listening to those shows all the time.

01:51:11   I would love to win an upgradey but I don't need to.

01:51:17   Honestly I really like Welcome to Macintosh.

01:51:20   Let's give it to Mark Bramhill.

01:51:21   I think we should.

01:51:22   And the reasons for this for me is like look I'm never gonna fight to win an award for

01:51:29   myself.

01:51:30   That just seems ridiculous.

01:51:33   Honestly I will say like the fact that nearly a third of you voted for connected is all

01:51:37   I really need.

01:51:38   That's as much as I need to win an award.

01:51:40   I just appreciate that you enjoy the shows, right?

01:51:42   Welcome, the talk show is a fantastic show.

01:51:48   One of the things for me here is basically

01:51:52   every single one of you gave it a different name,

01:51:54   so it was very difficult for me

01:51:55   to collate the vote on that one.

01:51:57   So I'm a little bit frustrated there.

01:51:59   I think it was like 17 different versions

01:52:02   of the way people wrote the name of the show

01:52:04   for me to make up the 17%.

01:52:06   But the thing is, like Jason said,

01:52:09   Obviously I'm not being that's just funny whatever that like Jason said welcome to Macintosh is an incredible production

01:52:15   Mark is a great guy

01:52:17   The show is very good

01:52:19   If you're not listening to it

01:52:21   You should and I think a great way to maybe make more people listen to that show is to give it the upgradey

01:52:26   So the upgrade award winner for 2017 is welcome to Macintosh

01:52:32   which is really the third place because

01:52:36   Come on guys like we I love that you were voted for upgrade, but we're never giving ourselves an award, but thank you for voting

01:52:42   We appreciate that and we're gonna go with we're gonna go with canvas

01:52:47   We are gonna go canvas and connected as our runners-up

01:52:50   For for this year. So thank you very much to that but the winner is welcome to Macintosh

01:52:57   So we get into favorite non tech podcast

01:53:04   Now, this is my category. This is the one that I'm really going to push on. But before

01:53:13   we do, a second lifetime achievement Hall of Fame award winner is the Flop House. The

01:53:19   Flop House has won for the last three years, like ATP. So the Flop House can no longer

01:53:25   be in the running, can no longer be in the vote. So congratulations to the Flop House

01:53:29   for their Hall of Fame award that they will win. I'm gonna go with the upgrade names first.

01:53:36   Again with this, at 7% is Reconcilable Differences, which I believe RecDiffs is a... they are a

01:53:44   runner-up. They were a runner-up in 2015 for Favorite Non-Tech Podcast.

01:53:49   I was tempted to... my challenge with RecDiffs is that it's... is it a tech podcast or not

01:53:57   a tech podcast. I'm not sure what it is.

01:54:00   Rektiffs did win podcast newcomer in 2015 as well. So they are a previous upgradey award

01:54:06   winner. Another previous award winner, the podcast newcomer award winner of last year

01:54:12   was Dubai Friday, which is sitting in at 29% of the vote for favorite non-tech podcast.

01:54:19   And the, and another previous runner up for favorite podcast, two years, it's been a runner

01:54:26   wrap in 2014 and 2016 is Hello Internet with 32% of the vote. Jason, can you give me your

01:54:35   nomination?

01:54:36   Jason Tucker My nomination is, I thought about this a lot

01:54:41   because there are so many in here. I think I mentioned buffering the Vampire Slayer last

01:54:44   year which is really good.

01:54:45   Matt Walter That was mentioned a bunch at PodCon by the

01:54:47   way. I kept hearing people talking about that show.

01:54:49   Jason Tucker That's a good show. It helps. I mean, it

01:54:53   It helps that the hosts are so great.

01:54:55   And they're doing music about every,

01:54:57   there's a song about every episode, it's amazing.

01:55:01   I decided this year to throw my support behind a show

01:55:03   that my friend Tony Sindelar recommended to me.

01:55:05   It's a Dungeons and Dragons podcast by a bunch of,

01:55:09   this may sound familiar to you, Myke.

01:55:13   It's a Dungeons and Dragons podcast

01:55:16   by a bunch of very funny people.

01:55:18   And then they record it and it makes you laugh.

01:55:21   and yet there's also storytelling and character building and all of that.

01:55:24   Now, I've described a lot of podcasts right there.

01:55:27   I'll specify it a little bit further.

01:55:29   It is recorded live in front of a studio audience in Sydney, Australia

01:55:33   by a bunch of comedians from Australia.

01:55:36   It's called Dragon Friends.

01:55:38   It is hilarious.

01:55:40   I've never heard of this show. I feel like I should have heard of it.

01:55:43   It's really good.

01:55:45   The people are funny.

01:55:47   They do a lot of pre-rolling of dice and things

01:55:50   things so that there's not a lot of "let's look it up in the rulebook" stuff that slows things down.

01:55:55   It's really more about the storytelling and the role-playing. Very, very funny. First season's

01:56:02   audio is a little dodgy, but the second season is spectacularly funny. A few months ago I was at a

01:56:12   wedding with a bunch of people who are friends of Tony's, and somebody made a Dragon Friends

01:56:20   Friends reference and like five people all countered it with another line from Dragon

01:56:24   Friends and we had that moment of like, "Oh my god, we've all discovered this podcast

01:56:29   through." I think Tony wasn't even the originator. I think he heard about it from one of them

01:56:33   and then they all spread around. It was hilarious to be in that moment when I'm suddenly surrounded

01:56:36   by five people who know all the details of this obscure podcast that I listen to that

01:56:40   nobody I know listens to, you know, other than Tony. It's great. So I recommend it.

01:56:45   It is a very fun, very good D&D comedy podcast.

01:56:50   - I need to talk about "The Adventure Zone."

01:56:52   - Yeah, do it.

01:56:54   - "The Adventure Zone" is my pick,

01:56:55   and I wanna preface this with a very big statement.

01:56:58   So, "Hypercritical," the show by John Siracusa,

01:57:03   I consider to be one of the greatest podcasts of all time,

01:57:06   was my favorite podcast of all time.

01:57:09   Was.

01:57:10   "The Adventure Zone" is my favorite podcast of all time.

01:57:14   Jason

01:57:15   When I finished so the adventure zone

01:57:17   Has been going for multiple years the McElroy brothers and their dad Clint they played together

01:57:23   the first campaign was DMed by Griffin and

01:57:28   The other three played they played together

01:57:32   They have completed one large campaign and now they're running through a bunch of mini campaigns before they decide on the route for their second campaign

01:57:39   I mean the first campaign ran for like three years in total

01:57:43   I think it was I found it all as it was coming to an end and binged the entire thing

01:57:49   And basically caught up

01:57:52   The final episode had me sitting on my sofa crying my eyes out I have never been affected

01:58:00   By a podcast in the way that I have this one the story that they tell

01:58:06   over the 69 episodes that it takes to

01:58:09   Finish the first campaign. It's like nothing I've ever heard in basically any medium. It's one of the greatest stories I've ever

01:58:17   Consumed I love the adventure zone

01:58:21   There are so many moments where I'm laughing. I have tears in my eyes

01:58:26   I am rooting for them

01:58:29   there was a moment where a big thing happened and

01:58:31   And I fist pumped at the moment that I was doing some washing up and drowned my

01:58:35   kitchen in soapy, sunny water because I was so taken by that moment.

01:58:40   Uh, this, this podcast is just wonderful.

01:58:46   Like, and more than anything.

01:58:49   It this evening, this is one that I want to win.

01:58:53   And I beg of you that you allow me to call the adventures on our favorite

01:58:57   non-tech podcast of the year.

01:58:59   Did we not have this discussion a couple of years ago

01:59:01   about the flophouse in the adventure zone?

01:59:03   - No, it was always the flophouse in Hello Internet.

01:59:05   - Oh, it's Hello Internet, that's right.

01:59:07   - If you remember, Jason, I let you win that first one.

01:59:10   - You let me, I know.

01:59:11   Well, that's why I'm casting my mind back to you.

01:59:13   So I have a couple of comments about the adventure zone.

01:59:15   First is, you are not the only friend of mine

01:59:18   who has had this, who's said this about the finale

01:59:21   of the adventure zone.

01:59:22   I've heard from other people

01:59:25   who have had the exact same reaction,

01:59:27   which is incredibly emotionally affecting finale resolution of the storyline.

01:59:33   And the other thing I wanted to say is yes, Myke and I just picked

01:59:38   Dungeons and Dragons podcast, which may seem totally like weird to you, dear

01:59:44   listener, if you have not ever done this, what I'll say, because having

01:59:48   done my own total party kill, we have our own on the incomparable D and D podcast

01:59:52   as well, and not really knowing why anyone would listen, but finding out

01:59:56   that lots of people listen and really love it.

01:59:59   What I've learned in thinking about this is,

02:00:01   what's great about these podcasts is,

02:00:03   you get a bunch of people, you get to know them,

02:00:06   and you get to know their characters.

02:00:08   You get to watch an unfolding story

02:00:12   that goes in unexpected directions

02:00:13   because the characters and the people involved drive it.

02:00:16   There's no script that's been written.

02:00:18   - Nobody knows what's gonna happen, right?

02:00:20   - Even the Dungeon Master who knows all the details

02:00:23   of the world has, and the best ones are the ones

02:00:26   and this happens to us all the time, by the way, where after it's over, the Dungeon Master says,

02:00:31   "Well, you didn't do a single thing that I thought you would," right? And I feel like listeners

02:00:35   really like that. They make a personal connection, they're listening to characters and a story,

02:00:40   but they don't know where it's going. And I think that a lot of us who are used to watching TV and

02:00:46   movies and reading books and all of that, I feel like we get, we start to get trained to look for

02:00:55   what would the writer do next? How would this story get told in the shape of a

02:00:59   normal kind of a story? And you start second-guessing the story or you're

02:01:03   thinking, "Well, this is a big Marvel movie or a Star Wars movie, we know

02:01:06   what's going to happen." Like, there's a limited possibility. Whereas in these

02:01:10   things, characters can die and nobody knows the death is coming until it

02:01:15   happens because it's all about rolling dice and things like that. Weird, funny

02:01:19   things emerge, I have sung improvised parody song lyrics out loud in public

02:01:28   with a recording knowing people will listen to it while playing a Dungeons

02:01:32   and Dragons podcast, right? Why would I do--why would I ever do that? And yet I

02:01:36   have. So what I'm saying is I understand why people like these, and if you have

02:01:42   never played Dungeons and Dragons and you're like, "Why would I ever listen to one?"

02:01:45   You might want to give the adventure zone a try and I was super quick about the adventure zone

02:01:50   When you begin that show you will not understand why I cried at the end of it. The adventure zone began as

02:01:57   The McElroy brothers needing to fill a space where one of them was going on paternity leave

02:02:04   From their other show my brother my brother and me

02:02:06   So they were just messing around and they came up with a dumb idea for a show and they just did it

02:02:11   But people loved it so much. They turned it into a story

02:02:13   I would say really I know there are so many pieces of media where you get this advice, but

02:02:18   Try and get through the first campaign. Maybe it's under ten episodes

02:02:23   I think because yeah at the end of that first campaign is when

02:02:27   Griffin is started to write his own story

02:02:30   They play with a standard Dungeons & Dragons story like a campaign or arc or whatever you'd call it

02:02:36   Yeah, it's it's actually if people who have tried it the fifth edition starter kit comes with that adventure

02:02:42   I played that one with my family.

02:02:44   And so like, I'm maybe not using the terminology correctly.

02:02:48   I think I should say "arc" and there are like six campaigns within the arc.

02:02:52   Yeah.

02:02:53   Give it ten episodes maybe.

02:02:54   I mean, I've listened to about ten episodes and it is getting great.

02:02:59   So once they get to the campaign called Murder on the Rockport Limited, that's where it kicks

02:03:05   off, which is the second part and that's where this is an original story.

02:03:11   Because that's when they are taking it very seriously at that point.

02:03:14   And then later on, Griffin writes all the music for the show, except the theme song,

02:03:19   he writes the music, and that becomes more and more incredible as the show comes on and

02:03:22   the use of music in the show, to the point where I've now bought all of the music and

02:03:26   just listened to it constantly.

02:03:28   I am obsessed by this show.

02:03:30   It took over my life in a very interesting way.

02:03:34   And that's why it's the winner of the upgrade.

02:03:36   You have to stop me because I'll just keep going.

02:03:39   listen to the adventure zone I have convinced a bunch of people a bunch of

02:03:42   listeners of analog to listen to the show and I get tweets every single day

02:03:46   from people telling me wow I thought that you were wild but it turns out you

02:03:51   weren't and I'll just say the this genre is good so like try the adventure zone

02:03:56   if if that doesn't work for you try Dragon Friends do you recommend that I

02:04:00   go to the star on dragon because the adventure zone you must go to the

02:04:03   beginning I I mean you'll miss I I started with season two of Dragon

02:04:07   friends because I download season one and there's a disclaimer at the beginning that

02:04:11   says "sorry this sounds really bad" and I was like "I'll just skip ahead" and I didn't

02:04:15   miss much. I mean you have to, you're in the middle of the story. Give it a try and start

02:04:19   at the beginning and if it doesn't work just skip to season two.

02:04:21   I imagine we are similarly sensitive to bad audio though, me and you.

02:04:26   Yeah, yeah. There was a claim that they were going to fix it but I'm not sure that ever

02:04:29   happened. And then yes, and for those who want to hear me play Dungeons & Dragons you

02:04:34   can listen to Total Party Kill because it's also available. But I think this is a fun

02:04:38   genre. I think there's a reason that there are a billion D&D playthrough podcasts now.

02:04:42   There were not when we got started, I think, but we didn't know what we were doing. But

02:04:47   now it's a thing where like everybody realizes, "Oh, this is actually a really great way to

02:04:52   entertain people," is by getting interesting people in a room and having them play this

02:05:00   because then they're inhabiting characters and stories play out and it's a lot of fun.

02:05:04   So our final award of the evening goes to favorite podcast newcomer.

02:05:09   The Upgradians voted as such. 10% of the vote went to download. Congratulations, Jason.

02:05:14   Yay!

02:05:15   You see, that's great because there were so many in this that like 11% goes to Unmade,

02:05:23   which is Brady Haran's new podcast, and 12% of the votes, it's very close in at the top,

02:05:30   is What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law. It's hosted by Roma Mars. I believe. Again,

02:05:37   I'm not very familiar with the top two Upgradient shows. I just know that they exist. They're not

02:05:43   shows that I've listened to very much. But Download I have and Download's great. So

02:05:47   congratulations on being up there. My vote is another McElroy joint. It's called The McElroy

02:05:52   Brothers Will Be in Trolls 2. It's a very hard podcast to explain. There have only been three

02:05:57   episodes and it is not a regular show it it'll only be updated when it's necessary the show begins

02:06:03   again this is another thing that happened on my brother my brother and me it was a joke on the

02:06:06   bim bam which is another incredible show that i love so much by the way but the adventure zone

02:06:12   just beat it out for me um there was a joke in which justin mcelroy said oh we're gonna be in

02:06:20   trolls 2 and the joke was he was so sure of it like it wasn't even a question so the sequel to

02:06:26   to the Trolls movie. So they will be in Trolls 2.

02:06:30   And then...

02:06:31   Not to be confused with the legendary bad movie Troll 2.

02:06:33   Yeah, this is a whole big joke as well in the episode, but Trolls 2, so a movie that

02:06:38   doesn't yet exist, right? This show, the kind of standalone show that they created, the

02:06:45   McElroy-Briars will be in Trolls 2, is told from the perspective of Justin from the future

02:06:50   telling the story of how they were in the movie. But they're not in the movie, and it

02:06:56   incredible. So there are three episodes. The first one, they've just done a live show in

02:07:01   Portland and some edible delicacies found their way to them and that's how the story

02:07:09   begins because they're like planning this out a little bit more. The second episode,

02:07:15   do you know what, I don't actually remember the second episode very much because the third

02:07:19   episode is one I've listened to multiple times where they have a call with their agent and

02:07:24   It's a real call that they have with their agent and it is incredible and hilarious.

02:07:29   So there's only three episodes to it, but if all the shows that I've listened to that

02:07:34   I knew this year, I think this might be my favorite.

02:07:37   Wow.

02:07:38   It's a very low time investment because it is just a silly, wonderful thing.

02:07:45   So mine is more serious, but I have to say it was really brilliant and it is the spinoff

02:07:52   from Serial called S-Town?

02:07:55   I still haven't listened to it yet. It's been in my queue forever, but I haven't yet gotten

02:08:00   to it.

02:08:01   Well, I think there's a question. So they dropped it as the entire series dropped it

02:08:04   once. And there was a lot of discussion of why that was, and doing the Netflix model

02:08:09   where you could binge it or not. I think it did make it in some ways less essential for

02:08:14   people like you, where it's like, "Well, it's all there for whenever. It's not rolling out

02:08:17   over time. I'm not really missing anything." I know why they did it, which is that there's

02:08:22   actually a twist that happens fairly early on that everybody would be talking about.

02:08:27   Well, how should I put this? There's a twist that happens in like episode two or three

02:08:31   that after episode one, if you had to wait a week or two, everybody would go to the internet to

02:08:36   search about it and have the twist ruined for them. Does that make sense?

02:08:40   - Yeah, completely. Like you don't want it to be spoiled like that.

02:08:43   - Yeah, 'cause it's a real story that really happened and there's people introduced in

02:08:48   in episode one, and something happens to one of the people in episode two or three, that

02:08:54   if they had released it weekly, everybody would have been spoiled about an episode after

02:08:58   episode one, because they would have written about episode one, and they would have looked

02:09:00   up this person, and they would have said, "Oh, did you know this about this person?"

02:09:04   And the whole thing is spoiled, and it really is a twist. And that's why they did it. That's

02:09:08   why they dropped them all, I think. I'm convinced.

02:09:10   - Because you could probably just do some Googling and get the answer, right?

02:09:13   - Right, so that led them to say, "Why don't we do this Netflix style and binge it?" Anyway,

02:09:17   really good. It's a story of the reporter, it becomes part of the story, he gets these calls from this kind of weird guy down in Alabama.

02:09:27   And it leads to like, well maybe there was a murder that wasn't enforced by, because it was by a rich person in this town, and he goes to investigate.

02:09:42   and what ends up happening is it's not about that at all.

02:09:45   It's about the town and the people and the people who know this guy who made the call

02:09:53   and it just keeps going in a way that--talking about the D&D podcast before--

02:10:01   in a way that a really rigorously structured story by a writer would not go.

02:10:08   but it's life and it's messy and weird and goes in unexpected direct directions

02:10:14   and it was really masterfully put together so I liked s town a whole lot I

02:10:22   thought it was really good and so that's my that's my nominee I have no idea where

02:10:28   to go with this one I don't know what we do with this because it's just like a

02:10:33   a whole batch of stuff.

02:10:39   And me and you have only listened to our own shows. You don't want to vote for download.

02:10:46   Download's great.

02:10:48   Download is great, go listen to download. I mean, I could say S-Town, but S-Town has

02:10:53   been the top of so many lists, but that's probably for a really good reason. Should

02:10:57   we just go mainstream? Just go mainstream and just go with S-Town?

02:11:02   do it. I feel like we should. I mean, again, I haven't listened to it yet, but it has been

02:11:06   the top of so many lists. I know it must be good. It's really good. Alright, so we're

02:11:12   gonna go. I really liked Serial, but this is like a whole other level of weirdness and

02:11:19   it's just very well, and it's personal. I mean, that's one of the things is that the

02:11:22   reporter gets personally affected by the story as it goes, which I think is, you know, that

02:11:27   doesn't always happen and sometimes it happens and it feels contrived and it does not feel

02:11:31   contrived like it is it is yeah it's really well done so I'm comfortable with

02:11:36   that if you are sure I am and that's it S town is the winner and our final

02:11:40   winner of the night Jason we have done it for another year we have gone through

02:11:46   our upgrade ease I want to thank all of our up gradients for their help in

02:11:51   helping us with that with the wins this year you've really helped us I think a

02:11:55   lot and there's been some great picks suggested by us gradients and I'm really

02:11:59   happy with how the awards have gone this year and I'm very excited for next year. I mean

02:12:04   just taking a very quick tally, we don't have any, we don't have any Hall of Famers that

02:12:10   have occurred as of this year. So everything's still up to play for next year. Bunch of new

02:12:16   winners, there are a selection of returning winners but no new Hall of Famers. The Hall

02:12:21   of Fame is three, to win three times. Win three times, go in the Hall of Fame. And so

02:12:25   congratulations to ATP in the Flop House for achieving the first achieving the Hall of Fame status.

02:12:30   So there we go until next year Jason Snell thank you so much as always. You should do that again

02:12:38   because it is next year. Okay well but it'll be next year. Oh you mean the upgradees? Yeah.

02:12:44   All right that was just I that was confusing to me. Okay let me I'll say that again then. All right

02:12:50   So Jason Snow, until we reconvene on the Upgradey Awards next, next year in 2018 awards,

02:12:57   say goodbye, Jason Snow. Bye everybody, thanks for listening. Happy New Year. We'll see you in a week.

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