128: Is It Any Weirder than Dashboard?


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 128.

00:00:12   Today's show is brought to you by Freshbooks, Blue Apron, and Encapsula.

00:00:16   My name is Myke Hurley.

00:00:17   I am joined by Mr. Jason Snell.

00:00:19   Hello, Mr. Jason Snell.

00:00:20   Hello, this is episode 128.

00:00:23   So shout out to the original Mac, which had 128K.

00:00:27   Congratulations, Macintosh.

00:00:29   Congratulations.

00:00:30   Congratulations.

00:00:31   Let's go straight from the Mac 128 into iPad follow-up.

00:00:36   Sure.

00:00:37   Why not?

00:00:39   We got a ton of iPad follow-up.

00:00:40   As was foreseen, I think.

00:00:42   But I will say that on the whole, the follow-up was very considered and thoughtful, and I

00:00:49   was very happy with it.

00:00:51   Like it was all good.

00:00:52   There was a lot of really interesting thoughts that came from people.

00:00:54   There wasn't really any of anybody saying to me, "You're crazy!"

00:00:58   I think that people took in the argument that I was putting out.

00:01:02   So I've got some snippets that I would like to go through, some interesting tidbits and

00:01:07   some stuff that I hadn't considered because I didn't really know about.

00:01:10   So I think we'll start off though with as is something that happens quite frequently

00:01:15   on upgrade.

00:01:16   We record something, we have a really good conversation and then it sparks some thoughts

00:01:19   for you to write a little article.

00:01:21   And you did, you wrote an article about the reasons to be optimistic about the iPad for

00:01:25   Macworld in your column for Macworld.

00:01:28   And there was just a part that I wanted to pull out of that because I think that it was

00:01:32   an area we didn't really spend too much time on last week.

00:01:37   And so you say to create the future of computing device that we believe that the iPad could

00:01:41   be iOS needs better peripheral support, more sophisticated windowing or multitasking, improvements

00:01:46   to file handling, better support for application and system automation and a whole lot more.

00:01:51   And I think that this is well put.

00:01:54   I think that there are a lot of caveats to this.

00:01:58   My feeling on windowing is not windows like you see on the Mac.

00:02:04   My feeling is new ways of doing windows, like how picture-in-picture is a window, stuff

00:02:08   like that.

00:02:09   Yeah, I was actually thinking, I had a moment, one of these days I'm going to write about

00:02:11   it, I had a moment where I was thinking about a tabbed interface for apps, where you could

00:02:17   put different apps and different windows from apps in tabs

00:02:20   and or a split or split sets of tabs and things like that

00:02:25   that are not arbitrarily positioned windows on a screen

00:02:30   maybe like we have now, but are something more than that.

00:02:34   The right, I mean, two purposes in writing this part.

00:02:38   One is this idea that the,

00:02:43   this is what we're talking about about everybody

00:02:45   kind of arguing slightly different things.

00:02:47   I wanted this to be the acknowledgement that iOS is not all the way there, right? Because

00:02:52   some of the arguments are like, "Come on, you can't, you know, it doesn't have this,

00:02:56   it doesn't have that." And it's like, "Yes, it doesn't have those things." And so I wanted

00:02:59   to say, it needs a lot more work for it to get to this. In the article, it's sort of

00:03:04   like, what's that future? Imagine a device in the future, you know, an awesome mobile

00:03:09   productivity device in 2025 with a big screen. What does that look like? And it's like, well,

00:03:13   that's not that far away when you think about it. And how many iOS versions, if Apple's

00:03:17   going to skip iPad features every other iOS version and be very slow to add them, it's

00:03:22   not going to get there, right? So I wanted to kind of use it as a little stick to poke

00:03:27   at Apple and say, you know, if you really believe the iPad to be this thing, you have

00:03:30   to invest in it to get it there because there's a lot of work that Apple still needs to do.

00:03:35   We do work on it now, right? But even those of us who do work on the iPad would not, like,

00:03:41   great that Federico could do what he does, right? But even Federico would argue it could

00:03:46   be a lot simpler, it could be a lot better, you know, and the onus isn't just on people

00:03:50   like the guys who do workflow to do this, right? It's on Apple to build foundational

00:03:54   stuff that makes the act of getting work done on the iPad something that can be done by

00:03:59   more people without having to jump through as many hoops as maybe we have to do now.

00:04:04   So that was my point number one, and my point number two was to say about this stuff that

00:04:10   The one of my thoughts about the iPad in general is being a part of this is screen size and

00:04:18   that you know part what comes with windowing and multitasking and file handling and things

00:04:23   like that. One of the things is my belief that ultimately in 2025 we're not going to

00:04:27   be using a device that's four inches, five inches, six inches diagonal. I just don't

00:04:31   believe it like we'll have smartphones and they're the winners of all of this right.

00:04:36   There's no doubt about that but I have a hard time imagining that people are going to get

00:04:40   work done on a little screen like that. So the question is, what do you do when you want

00:04:44   to sit down at a desk or put something in your lap and have it be a big screen that

00:04:49   you're doing your computing stuff on? Is that a traditional PC in the year 2025? Or is that

00:04:53   something that's sort of like your smartphone but a lot bigger, which is basically what

00:04:57   a tablet is? And it comes back to this point, which is, you need more stuff if you're going

00:05:03   to be that kind of device. And how does, what product gets there? How does the iPad get

00:05:09   because computers have a lot of advantages in that regard. They do all that stuff, although

00:05:14   they're very complex.

00:05:16   Yeah, we carried this conversation onto Connected a little bit last week, and Federico brought

00:05:21   up an interesting point in regards to Windows and applications and advancements of file

00:05:26   systems and that sort of stuff, which I really thought was interesting, and it's tracking

00:05:29   some of the way that I'm moving, which is that a lot of this stuff is moving to web

00:05:34   apps and to web services.

00:05:36   Sure.

00:05:37   there are things that are becoming less and less important and I know he's kind of going along the

00:05:41   lines of Zapier or Zapier and Workflow with this sort of stuff which is roots that I'm starting to

00:05:47   go down as well. Like I'm realizing how you know people tend to be productive on the Mac by taking

00:05:54   advantage of scripts right and I'm finding out that as I'm becoming more demanding of my iOS

00:06:00   device I'm doing the same thing but using the versions that work on those

00:06:05   devices and they are workflow and Zapier and it's very interesting like to see

00:06:09   me going down that route because I'm tracking with what I see Mac users doing

00:06:13   but frankly like I can understand how to build workflows and Zapier tasks I

00:06:19   cannot understand how to use shell scripts and to use Apple script like

00:06:24   these are things that don't track my brain but the others do and it's just

00:06:29   interesting to see me moving down that route a little bit more as well. So there are, I

00:06:34   agree there are definitely things that Apple need to do. I think we all know that this

00:06:37   is one of the things, this is one of the whole reasons for my argument last week was that

00:06:42   Apple needs to move iOS, advance iOS, and the reason they should do that is because

00:06:46   there's so many iPads.

00:06:48   Yeah, I think we both might even agree that the iPads biggest hindrance to growth and

00:06:55   success as a productivity device is not the market being cool on it, especially since

00:07:00   a lot of the feedback we got was from people who work on iPads and, you know, Apple talks

00:07:04   a lot about their iPad enterprise deployments and things like that. But the hindrance is

00:07:10   Apple's software commitment to iPad features because the hardware is great and there's

00:07:17   a lot of opportunity for users, but the iOS on an iPad is not good enough. I mean, it's

00:07:25   good enough but it could be much much better in order to reach a much broader user base.

00:07:30   So regarding this idea, Roman wrote in to ask if we think that Apple should fork iOS

00:07:35   and create a beefed up version, a more professional version of iOS for the iPad. And this is something

00:07:41   I've seen many people argue, like there being an iPad OS and what that would look like.

00:07:46   And I don't want that to happen. I think that a lot of what the iPad benefits from is that

00:07:52   it is a shared operating system with the iPhone and I think they both benefit from each other

00:07:58   for that. What I want to see is just more device specific features like split screen

00:08:03   multitasking right you can only do that on the iPad and I want to see just extra things

00:08:07   continue to be added for iOS for the iPad to take advantage of rather than Apple to

00:08:13   kind of spin out iOS and create a new version for iPad. I don't think that is a good idea.

00:08:19   I mean, I'm sure that with the way that these things are developed, it's kind of made that

00:08:23   way, right?

00:08:24   There is a version of iOS that goes onto the iPad, but it isn't positioned as such.

00:08:28   It isn't marketed as such.

00:08:30   I don't want to see that happen.

00:08:32   I mean, yeah, there's a version of iOS for every single device.

00:08:35   I think the way most of it works is that it's all just device specific.

00:08:38   If I've got a screen of this size, then this behavior is available.

00:08:42   And I agree with you.

00:08:43   I think the great advantage the iPad has is that it is running the same OS as the iPhone,

00:08:49   end. That makes every iPhone user basically a potential user of the iPad because they're

00:08:55   comfortable with the concept. It means that every, you know, it means they can take advantage

00:09:00   of app development and all of that. So I, yeah, I think that's, this is the way forward

00:09:03   for the iPad is that, and if the, if these rumors that we've heard from time to time

00:09:09   are accurate, that what Apple's going to try to do is unsync iPad changes from iPhone changes

00:09:15   and do iOS releases in WAVES where there's a big iPhone release in the fall, it's iOS

00:09:21   10, and then in the spring there's a big iOS release that's 10 point something, and that's

00:09:27   got the iPad features in it because that was the spring focus, then great, right? Like

00:09:34   great, that is what the iPad needs because I think the iPad needs features that take

00:09:38   advantage of the screen. Although I will say a lot of the features that I complained about,

00:09:42   Those are also—there are people doing lots of work on their phones, whether it's the

00:09:49   big one, #michaelwasright, or whether it's the smaller one that is actually the one I

00:09:54   like. I was going to be more insulting there, and I'm going to let it go. It's not like

00:10:01   I don't need better file handling on my iPhone when suddenly I've got a file I need to get

00:10:05   from one place to another, from out of a Dropbox into an app, or out of an app into the Dropbox,

00:10:10   however I want to do it. It's not like my iPhone couldn't use those features too.

00:10:14   A lot of these features are not screen size dependent. System

00:10:19   automation like workflow works on the iPhone. I don't use it on the iPhone

00:10:22   nearly as much as I do on the iPad but it benefits both. So you know maybe

00:10:28   windowing and multitasking is a place where if you've got a 27 inch

00:10:33   iPad let's say that's like an iMac but it's on your desk that maybe there your

00:10:38   apps are broken out as windows, essentially, as tiles that you can float around on the

00:10:43   screen because it's so huge that you need to use the space for that. But, you know,

00:10:49   an iPhone would never do that. So sure, there are some, but, you know, a lot of this just,

00:10:53   these are benefits that roll up to everybody because there are people all over the world

00:10:57   using their iPhones, maybe not as their primary work device, although some of them are, but

00:11:02   as a work productivity device, and it makes the iPhone better too.

00:11:05   Yeah, I mean there are many things, there are many features that the iPad benefits from

00:11:12   because they're made for the iPhone and I think it would be nice if there was some more

00:11:16   that went the other way as well. You know, the iPhone benefits from some features that

00:11:19   are primarily made for the iPad and that would be like better file management and stuff like

00:11:23   that. Many people pointed out that iPads are cheaper than Macs and that is a potential

00:11:30   reason for the sales numbers to be the way that they are and I agree with this. This

00:11:34   This is 100% a reason that many people would buy an iPad over a Mac for having a device

00:11:38   at home.

00:11:40   But that wasn't, my point wasn't really last week, the iPad is best because it has more

00:11:46   units.

00:11:47   Like that wasn't really the point that I was trying to make.

00:11:50   It wasn't about like why people spend their money the way that they do, but more because

00:11:56   they have, what should that mean?

00:11:59   Right?

00:12:00   People buy iPads because they want to get a computer and it's the cheapest computer

00:12:05   that they can buy that Apple makes.

00:12:07   Okay, that's a thing that has happened.

00:12:10   And they don't necessarily do it because they love iOS.

00:12:13   But my point is because people have made those purchasing decisions, and there are that many

00:12:17   iPads out in the world, that's why the focus I believe should be heavily on the iPad as

00:12:24   a thing.

00:12:25   And as you so succinctly pointed out last week, which I really loved, the iPad is Apple's

00:12:29   second biggest computer platform.

00:12:31   And, and although I do understand that there's going to be a change in purchase behavior

00:12:35   for a product that has, you know, that's half the price of the other product. I, the problem

00:12:41   I have with that is people don't buy bad products. People don't buy useless dud products because

00:12:46   they're cheaper. If the iPad didn't have appeal, they wouldn't buy them. And yes, what they're

00:12:53   buying is, uh, you know, maybe not the high end iPads Apple would like, but the cheaper

00:12:58   But I feel like that argument can be taken to an extreme that is not realistic because

00:13:05   yes the iPads are cheaper, although you know my iPad Pro costs more than the MacBook Air,

00:13:15   but in general they're cheaper. And that was a high and a low, right? They do cross over

00:13:20   a little bit right at the top and the bottom, but the larger point is if the iPad were useless

00:13:25   or a dud or something like that, it wouldn't sell and they still sell twice as many, more

00:13:29   than twice as many as the Mac. So there's something there that is lost if you just look

00:13:35   at the revenue. I do agree with that.

00:13:37   We had some anonymous feedback from somebody who works at a company that supports iPads

00:13:43   in education at scale. So they have lots of customers with many, many iPads. And they

00:13:48   made a great point that there are lots and lots and lots and lots, I think they said

00:13:53   huge numbers of iPads in use in education. And these would typically be used for long

00:14:00   periods of time before they were replaced. iPad 2s are pretty much the most common iPad

00:14:06   in use in education right now with the iPad 4th gen being in second place.

00:14:10   I know the iPad 2 sounds old but I believe Apple was still selling iPad 2s like two years

00:14:15   ago. So, yeah, five years ago it was a perfectly

00:14:19   The typical turnover rate in education is about five years.

00:14:24   So these devices, these iPad 2s,

00:14:28   they're ready to be replaced,

00:14:30   but an issue that schools are having right now

00:14:32   is they don't want or need the Pro devices.

00:14:34   - Right.

00:14:35   - And that these are more expensive

00:14:37   and it's not what they're looking for.

00:14:38   Like the features that the iPad Pro,

00:14:40   the 9.7 inch iPad Pro has that make it a Pro device,

00:14:43   make it a more expensive device,

00:14:44   is not necessarily what schools are looking for.

00:14:46   and that an Air 3 could help sales again,

00:14:50   at least for the education sector.

00:14:51   There may be, if Apple either bumped down the current Pro

00:14:55   into that market or revamped the Air 2

00:14:58   and to make it an Air 3, so it's kind of in line

00:15:01   with that 499 that it used to be,

00:15:03   this may push a lot more sales into education,

00:15:07   which could be significant.

00:15:08   So that's an interesting tidbit

00:15:10   that I had not really considered.

00:15:12   - Yeah, my son's school, they have iPad Air 1s.

00:15:16   I believe, but they started their program last year.

00:15:19   - There you go.

00:15:20   Well, there you go, right?

00:15:20   They started it last year,

00:15:21   and that's the devices that they were going for.

00:15:23   - Yep.

00:15:24   - John wrote in to say that for him,

00:15:27   iOS had not been a viable option for a long time,

00:15:29   as his company had a bring your own device program at work

00:15:32   in which you would log in via Citrix

00:15:34   to access your work machine.

00:15:36   This is exactly how I used to log in when I was at the bank.

00:15:39   All of our terminals, there wasn't actually anything on them.

00:15:43   Every machine that was physically in the company,

00:15:45   nothing on them, you logged in via Citrix always into a virtual terminal. Many security

00:15:52   reasons for why something like this will be done. And when I was at home I used to log

00:15:57   in on my MacBook Pro and it was perfectly fine to do and you had all the authentication

00:16:01   stuff that you needed and passwords and those little dongles and all that stuff. Citrix

00:16:05   is on the iPad and has been there for a while but trying to use your finger in place of

00:16:11   a mouse pointer is a nightmare because you're typically using Citrix onto a Windows in your

00:16:15   environment. So as John pointed out, there are many people who have been forced into

00:16:22   buying desktop or laptop machines because it was the only thing they could do to fulfill

00:16:26   this need to log into their work machine. However, John told me about something that

00:16:31   I did not know existed and I think is incredible. In 2015, Citrix released something called

00:16:36   the X1 mouse, which allows you to use a mouse of an iPad that is running either Citrix desktop

00:16:42   or the Citrix applications, or go to my PC. So you connect it via Bluetooth and it moves

00:16:51   the mouse in the virtual environment with your iPad. It's amazing. And Jon has said

00:16:59   he now basically can move to an iPad Pro and it's like a 13 inch laptop and then when he's

00:17:04   not using that he can use it like an iPad. And this is a massive opportunity for large

00:17:09   corporations to move towards the iPad because they have a way to allow people to use their

00:17:14   Windows environments and also to take benefit of all of the great things that iPads can

00:17:19   do. I had no idea this thing existed. Naturally, the Citrix page for this is horrific. There's

00:17:25   barely any product pages, it's just support pages to find out anything about it because

00:17:29   it's like an enterprise thing. So it's like whatever, people are buying it. And I wanted

00:17:34   to see if I could try and get one of these. Not easy to get, like it's not like on Amazon

00:17:38   or anything. You have to buy it direct from Citrix. And then I can't really use it of

00:17:42   anything because I don't have a server anywhere that I can log into. However, there are videos

00:17:45   on it on Citrix's website and I think this is awesome. Like just as somebody who worked

00:17:50   in this type of environment, I would have used this like for sure. I would have bought

00:17:55   one of these and then used my iPad when I was working at home. I just think this is

00:17:59   an incredible piece of equipment.

00:18:02   Well, I think, and this is a conversation that we should probably have another time,

00:18:07   But I think one of the things about the iPad that I heard from some people about was this

00:18:12   whole idea of the problem with when I wrote about the Brydge keyboard, right?

00:18:17   They're like, "Yeah, but no trackpad and you got to reach out and all that."

00:18:20   And it's like, I don't believe that Apple is going to support like a cursor, an arrow

00:18:26   on the screen of your iPad that you can move with a trackpad or a mouse.

00:18:31   here, you can already 3D touch on the phone or two-finger tap on the keyboard on an iPad

00:18:38   and get an iBeam cursor for text editing. And my feeling is, as soon as that came into

00:18:45   existence Apple should just build in Bluetooth mouse support for iOS, and basically say,

00:18:50   "Look, it's for text editing. It only works in that one context. It doesn't work anywhere

00:18:54   else." Or apps can support it, like the Citrix app. And just basically say, "Any Bluetooth

00:18:58   pointing device will work with iOS, but it'll only work in the context of text editing or

00:19:02   specific apps. There's no cursor per se. And that would be, would most people use it? No,

00:19:08   but it would have great edge case uses like this. And so why not? I would love to, I would

00:19:13   love it if the makers of Bluetooth and smart connector keyboard shell things could include

00:19:20   a track pad just for text editing. I would love that. That would be awesome.

00:19:24   Yeah, I don't know about, I mean I can see that. It's just not a use case that I have

00:19:29   too much.

00:19:30   Well, yeah, I know, it's not your thing, but my argument is basically if I can put two

00:19:34   fingers down on my keyboard to move a cursor around on screen and edit text, emulating

00:19:40   a trackpad, at that point you might as well just let me use the Magic Trackpad if I'm

00:19:46   sitting somewhere at a table. Right? I mean, why not? Why not let me do that?

00:19:51   I was yeah okay I just think this is a this is something that's interesting

00:19:56   right and obviously Apple is weird pushing into the yeah it's very weird

00:20:01   Apple is pushing into corporate IT right like IBM and all that stuff and they're

00:20:04   really pushing iPads into that and this will be a product that can help big

00:20:08   companies move to a more iPad environment right what if what if

00:20:12   Citrix didn't need to make its own mouse right yeah what if what if anybody who

00:20:18   is doing a virtual terminal like this. And this also goes for your various VNC clients

00:20:24   and things like screens, where you could say, "Well, if you're in screens, now you're driving

00:20:29   a Mac from your iPad. If you've got a Bluetooth pointing device connected, it'll move the

00:20:35   pointing device on the screen." Again, that's not a super mainstream use case, but it would

00:20:40   help out a lot of people, especially in work environments, business and enterprise.

00:20:47   And in some hopeful good news, we received some anonymous feedback from somebody who

00:20:50   works at an Apple authorized reseller.

00:20:53   And they told us that they have not been able to order any new iPads for about two months.

00:20:58   So the stock that they are ordering keeps getting pushed back.

00:21:02   So it'll be like, oh, it's going to come on this date that date comes, it's like, oh,

00:21:04   it's going to come on this date.

00:21:06   This reseller is not in the US or Europe.

00:21:09   So they said they tend to see these shortages first, even though other places around the

00:21:13   the world will still have stock of the devices because Apple kind of they will stock their

00:21:18   bigger markets more, right? So they have stuff in the US, they have stuff in Europe.

00:21:22   But it's a sign of the channel potentially draining.

00:21:25   Yeah, which they said tends to mean new device, new hardware. So I hope that that means that

00:21:34   and there's going to be new iPads soon.

00:21:36   I wonder if this is connected to something Tim Cook said on the call a couple weeks ago

00:21:41   when he talked about how they had some issues meeting demand for some iPads. And there's

00:21:48   speculation that that meant that they were iPad models, maybe it's the Air 2, maybe it's

00:21:52   the Air, that they just assumed people would buy the Pro and people instead really did

00:22:01   want the lower cost devices and they didn't make enough of them. And I saw this note and

00:22:05   I thought, or the other possibility is that they have stopped making the Air 1 entirely,

00:22:11   or maybe even the Air 2 entirely, but they've stopped making some of those older models

00:22:15   now and are repositioning the production line and are making new models. And so, you know,

00:22:24   they got stuck. Is it possible that they got stuck not being able to fulfill demand because

00:22:30   they were already kind of like moving along to the next model. I don't know. I don't know.

00:22:35   But it's interesting to get that hint that perhaps this is, I mean it could be some weird

00:22:39   quirk but it could also be a really early sign that there is new iPad hardware coming.

00:22:44   We can only hope, right? Yeah, I mean there's got to be, right? Sometime,

00:22:49   hopefully soon. Yeah, like eventually there will have to be.

00:22:53   There will always be, yeah. All right, so the last piece, last thing

00:22:57   I want to mention, obviously, as we mentioned ATP in our last episode, they took all of

00:23:04   our stuff and it's in their current episode of ATP, episode 208.

00:23:09   Somebody referred to this as like a comic book crossover event where you have to read

00:23:13   the issues of all the different comic books to know what the story is.

00:23:17   So because of this, as this conversation just keeps going from show to show.

00:23:22   And everybody's saying, "Hey, Myke, Marco, get a room."

00:23:25   Right?

00:23:26   are going to, later on this week, me and Marco are going to go head to head. I don't even

00:23:32   know what exactly we're going to address, but I think maybe we're just going to shout

00:23:36   at each other or past each other, we're not sure yet. It will probably be a Relay FM B-side,

00:23:42   I'll put a link in the show notes if you want to go subscribe there, but if you follow me

00:23:44   on Twitter I'll tweet about it when it goes up. So we're going to record just a little

00:23:47   special something, which will basically, I think Marco referred to it as top two computing

00:23:53   I will be bringing iOS and he will be bringing macOS and we're just gonna talk it out and

00:24:01   maybe possibly try and put this thing to bed.

00:24:05   And of course, I'll talk about it next week, I'll put a link in the show notes for next

00:24:08   week's episode where you'll be able to go and find that.

00:24:10   So we're just gonna bring this together and finally try and get some closure on this deal.

00:24:18   But we'll see what happens.

00:24:20   Maybe I can switch him to iOS, what do you think?

00:24:22   Nope.

00:24:23   you don't think it's going to happen? Well, I mean, he's… one of the things that made

00:24:27   me laugh about it is, you know, iOS developers cannot switch to iOS. So, it's just not

00:24:33   going to happen. Yeah, I wonder about that. I wonder about that.

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00:26:46   to FreshBooks for their support of Upgrade and Relay FM. So we didn't get any time to

00:26:53   talk about this hybrid Mac between the ARM and Intel chips. This is something that Mark

00:27:00   Gorman spoke about a couple of weeks ago. Can you give a refresh?

00:27:04   Yeah we bumped this story last week because we talked for so long that we didn't, we were

00:27:08   we're done. And so we are going to talk about a little late. Mark Gurman wrote a story at

00:27:14   Bloomberg where he works about Apple developing a new Mac that involves ARM, but not in the

00:27:24   way that sort of the conventional wisdom had described it, which is Mac's running ARM,

00:27:31   like ARM processor, an A-series processor like in the iPhone or the iPad with a version

00:27:35   of Mac OS on it that is compiled for ARM, uses the ARM instruction set instead of the

00:27:39   Intel instruction set and runs on that. That's not what he reported. What he ended up reporting,

00:27:44   although the initial headline basically suggested that and then they had to change the headline

00:27:48   because I think the person who wrote the headline kind of didn't understand or read the article,

00:27:52   which is bad, but they fixed it. And it's interesting though because this is the, and

00:27:57   the way I refer to it is it's the coming of the hybrid Mac. It's the idea that, in fact,

00:28:01   The hybrid Mac is already here in a way because the touch bar, right, the touch bar on the

00:28:06   MacBook Pro is running a version of watchOS, a version of iOS, a couple of levels down,

00:28:14   and it's got the touch bar, touch ID, and the webcam are all running through there.

00:28:22   And the rest of it's an Intel Mac, right, but those two parts of the system talk to

00:28:27   each other.

00:28:29   And Germin's report suggests that that's actually the big clue about where Apple is taking the

00:28:35   Mac in the future, which is not just compiling Mac OS for ARM, but instead moving functionality

00:28:44   to ARM or adding functionality on more capable ARM processors that run side-by-side with

00:28:52   the Intel processor.

00:28:54   So it's a really interesting idea that you would have an Apple-designed chip that would

00:29:00   be running alongside the Intel chip to do who knows what.

00:29:04   He suggests some sleep-based functions where, you know, in laptops there's this Power Nap

00:29:10   feature where it makes it basically Power Nap is a feature that was introduced a few

00:29:14   years ago that makes your Mac behave more like an iPad or iPhone in the sense that when

00:29:19   got it closed, when you've got it asleep, it can still be like doing work in the background.

00:29:25   Because your iPhone and iPad do that, right? When your iPad is locked or your iPhone is

00:29:28   locked, it's not like they aren't able to check your email and stuff so that it's there

00:29:33   when you--or receive push notifications, right? But it used to be that Macs, when they were

00:29:38   asleep, they were dead, right? They didn't do anything. And with these features, they've

00:29:44   been able to do that. So Germin's report is, well, what if those got offloaded instead

00:29:49   to this ARM chip? They would be much more power efficient. And that's almost like a

00:29:54   beachhead of like, what features can we transfer either while they're in use or while your

00:30:01   computer is asleep? And the net result, I think, is interesting because what other computer

00:30:08   like this makes Apple capable of making a computer that's unlike any other computer

00:30:13   out there in terms of features because they get to use Intel like it's a stock Intel PC

00:30:20   but add this Apple chip that makes it different from any Intel PC because no other Intel PC

00:30:26   has the ability to run this ARM hybrid thing. So that's the idea.

00:30:35   So as Goman pointed out, it's running the stuff that we see in the new MacBook Pro,

00:30:41   we see that already, like the touch bar, the touch ID, and apparently the camera as well,

00:30:46   right? They're powered by this chip, which is called the T1. Outside of PowerNAP, what

00:30:52   other things could conceivably be run by a second chip in this? Like, because, I mean,

00:30:59   when I first saw this article, I was like, "Oh, this seems exciting," but PowerNAP wasn't

00:31:05   that exciting to me. It's very low level and okay, it may get better battery life, which

00:31:10   is awesome. Well, that's it, right? It's not "Yay, power nap arm," right? The answer would

00:31:16   be, "What if your battery lasts that much longer?" What if your computer is able to,

00:31:24   while you're sitting there, just go to sleep, and it looks like it's still running, but

00:31:28   it's asleep? There are potential uses here that are more like it allows them to eke out

00:31:35   much better battery life. But I don't know. I mean, this is the real question, is what

00:31:40   else can go into this. I had a few people say to me, "Well, one thing you could do is

00:31:45   you could run iOS apps."

00:31:47   Yeah, I thought about that and I wonder what you thought about that because, I mean, it

00:31:52   would make it easier to do it, right?

00:31:54   Look, I've been a supporter of the idea of running iOS apps on Macs for a long time now

00:31:59   and I know that it would be weird but I think the idea is, you know, is it any weirder than

00:32:05   dashboard. I mean, dashboard was essentially a separate platform of apps. There were web

00:32:13   apps, JavaScript apps, but that was a separate platform and they ran in a separate layer,

00:32:18   although there were weird ways you could get it to appear in the one layer. And so, you

00:32:23   know, could you not do that? I'm not sure Apple likes that from a bunch of strategy

00:32:28   levels, but it's something that you could do. It could be for developers that they have

00:32:34   the ability to run ARM code instead of compiling for Intel and running it there. I don't know.

00:32:40   And the real question is what else could you offload there for security reasons and for

00:32:45   performance reasons? Could there be other stuff that runs, you know, if the ARM chip

00:32:50   is available that it runs on the ARM chip and then other stuff runs on the Intel chip.

00:32:55   It's like an extra set of items. I don't know, right? But I'm intrigued by the idea that

00:33:03   it's at a fairly low level. This isn't necessarily like, "Oh, well, you have two processors and

00:33:08   sometimes you're in ARM mode and sometimes you're in Intel mode." That it's more like,

00:33:12   at a very base level in the system, certain devices can take advantage of this chip being

00:33:16   there in order to be much more efficient in some way, and as a result, Apple's laptops

00:33:21   are more impressive than they would have been otherwise, and more different from the competition.

00:33:28   Cuz I assume it would be pretty difficult to run the code kind of on, you know, switching

00:33:36   between one or the other. Like you'd have to decode for whatever's gonna be written,

00:33:39   gonna run on ARM but have to be rewritten for ARM, right? Because I'm sure that if you

00:33:44   were doing emulation you'd only burn through any battery savings or efficiencies you're

00:33:48   gonna be keeping.

00:33:49   Yeah, it's, it's, it's a weird, it's a weird story and it may be that this is, as David

00:33:55   Shab in the chat room points out not that much in the way of news because, you know,

00:34:00   everything that's embedded, including dongles, have arm chips in them and that this is a

00:34:07   detail that Gurman got that has potentially been blown out of proportion. But the idea

00:34:12   here, is it news, for example, to say, "Well, you know that arm chip that runs the Touch

00:34:16   Bar. Well, the next generation MacBook Pro, it'll do a little bit more." I mean, that

00:34:21   not be a big deal. That may just be like, well, yeah, of course. If you've got—I would

00:34:25   imagine that Apple's designers are saying, and their engineers are saying, once we've

00:34:30   got an ARM processor, we can make that whatever we want. We're experts at that. Once we've

00:34:34   got it inside of MacBook Pro, what could we do? What could we do that nobody's thought

00:34:39   about because they've only been using the Intel chip? And now we've got an Intel PC

00:34:44   that also has this potentially as powerful as we want it to be ARM processor running

00:34:48   a different operating system if we want with security features and all sorts of things

00:34:53   like that, what would that be? I don't know, and it may not be that big a deal. In the

00:34:58   end it may just be they'll quote better battery life, or it'll be a big deal for developers

00:35:04   because they'll need to write some ARM extensions for their apps in order for them to be the

00:35:08   most awesome on MacBook Pro, but nobody else cares. That part I don't know. But the back

00:35:16   of my mind, the thing that gets me about this is that this, I wonder if this is Apple's

00:35:24   take on what the future of the Mac is, which is not to say we have so much prowess in making

00:35:32   mobile devices and building ARM processors and doing touchscreen interfaces that we're

00:35:37   going to just keep pushing the Mac until it's an iPad, right? It's not that. Instead, it's

00:35:41   saying let's take, as they've been doing the last few years, let's take everything we learned

00:35:46   from the iPad and the iPhone and use that to give our computers, our Macs,

00:35:52   advantages that they wouldn't otherwise have because we spend so much time on

00:35:58   on this right down in this case right down to the hardware right down to the

00:36:02   existence of another parallel operating system that they can embed in an input

00:36:06   device in a computer right and that that is why I think this is interesting

00:36:11   because that is Apple--that seems to be Apple's playbook with the Mac and it

00:36:17   gets the Mac to an interesting place because like I said it makes the Mac

00:36:22   unique in that it's not, you know, it's not an Intel PC anymore. It's an Intel

00:36:31   Plus Apple custom PC that is different in some ways. Now can that

00:36:37   differentiation be enough? Is that enough to make any difference? Who knows? Who knows

00:36:42   if anybody actually cares or if it's a distinction without a difference. But it feels right to me

00:36:49   that that is, that feels consistent with Apple's approach with the Mac over the last few years,

00:36:53   that they would take it to this level where it's like, we're not going to undo what the Mac is,

00:36:57   but we're going to use all of the stuff that we learned from the iPhone and the iPad and pour it

00:37:02   into the Mac so that the Mac becomes more than it is now, not like less and, you know,

00:37:07   more like an iPad.

00:37:08   So let's play this out in the route that the article on Bloomberg seems to suggest that

00:37:15   this is, or hint at, that this is like Apple is working on the underpinnings of Mac OS

00:37:20   and starting to move a lot of that to ARM, right, to make it more efficient. If that

00:37:24   is the case, and they are starting with stuff like low-level stuff like PowerNap and, you

00:37:29   they're going to continue to move through until they're able to run a lot of code on Arm to make

00:37:34   it more and more efficient and over time they move more and more and more and more over to Arm chips.

00:37:37   What is the end game here? Do you think that this is the beginning of a move towards a Mac that runs

00:37:47   entirely on Arm processors or is it unlikely that in the future of the Mac existing, you know,

00:37:55   You know, imagine it's 20 years from now, right?

00:37:57   Until the Mac is replaced, or 30 or 50 years even.

00:38:01   Let's keep pushing this out.

00:38:02   I'm not saying that it's happening, please.

00:38:04   - A thousand years.

00:38:05   - Please, I'm not saying it's happening.

00:38:06   I'm just, this is a theoretical argument.

00:38:09   - On an infinite timescale, yeah.

00:38:10   - Would there be advancements in ARM technology

00:38:14   to eclipse from a power perspective

00:38:16   what Intel is able to do at the same rate?

00:38:18   'Cause that's the issue right now, right?

00:38:19   Is that Intel chips are far more powerful than ARM chips.

00:38:24   - Yeah, this is the question.

00:38:28   I know, I think a lot of these arguments get mixed up

00:38:32   and you heard it too, the most recent ATP,

00:38:36   they talked a little bit about this other thing

00:38:38   that was posted on like Reddit or something

00:38:40   that was, or Slashdot that was somebody saying,

00:38:42   "Oh, I've seen ARM Macs at Apple and their prototypes

00:38:46   "and they're totally locked down and it's App Store only

00:38:49   "and there's no terminal and they're like iPads

00:38:51   "except they're Macs."

00:38:53   And there's just a lot of stuff being conflated here,

00:38:55   which is one that ARM Macs would be,

00:39:00   there's ARM in a Mac is not the same as ARM Macs.

00:39:02   And another one is that an ARM Mac would be an iPad,

00:39:05   you know, would be totally locked down

00:39:07   and they would change all of the security model

00:39:09   that they built up over the last few years,

00:39:11   like Gatekeeper and signed apps and things like that,

00:39:14   which I think are totally separate issues.

00:39:16   It could be, but the existence of an ARM Mac

00:39:18   does not force that to happen.

00:39:22   So there's all of that. I think in this case, the two parallel tracks are Intel Plus ARM and ARM.

00:39:32   And I'm sure that Apple is compiling macOS for ARM and running computers, running ARM chips

00:39:42   in their labs, just as they ran Intel for years as a hedge against the failure of PowerPC,

00:39:51   which is kind of what happened. Power PC let them down, Intel was blowing Power PC's socks

00:39:56   off, and they made a switch. So I'm sure they're doing it now, and I'm sure there are conversations

00:40:01   inside Apple that are very much, "What kind of ARM chip could we build for a Mac, and

00:40:10   what would that get us?" And then there are also conversations about, "Would we be willing

00:40:15   to have different chips on different devices in the Mac line, you know, in other words,

00:40:21   you know, your laptops are ARM and your desktops aren't, or your MacBook is ARM, but the rest

00:40:27   of them aren't. I'm sure they're having all those conversations, right? I feel like in

00:40:33   parallel there's this other track, or the outcome of that conversation was, "Nah, you

00:40:39   know we're just not there.

00:40:42   We don't want to try and compete with Intel at the high end.

00:40:46   It's easier to just let Intel build those chips.

00:40:48   Let's focus on making our iPhone and iPad chips the best we can

00:40:51   and let's not worry about it.

00:40:53   But let's take this other hybrid approach.

00:40:57   So it may be that they're connected in that way.

00:40:59   It may not be.

00:41:01   That it's more like the time is not right.

00:41:03   Maybe the time will be right later, but it's not right yet.

00:41:05   But in the meantime, let's not be so focused on it's either

00:41:09   ARM or Intel that we miss an opportunity to roll all of our ARM knowledge into the Mac

00:41:15   while keeping the Intel processor there and basically saying, "Hey, Intel, your chips

00:41:18   are great. We're going to keep using your chips, but we're going to do some other stuff

00:41:21   too, because that makes our computers better." I think that's where Apple is today. That's

00:41:26   my gut feeling. Or, you know, it's a little like physics. You know, it's what we see today

00:41:33   at Apple seems to be that that's their point of view. It's possible that behind the scenes

00:41:38   they totally change their point of view, and we won't know for a year or two when those

00:41:42   hardware decisions end up happening. Because remember, there's always kind of a delay.

00:41:46   But based on today's evidence, that's what I would say, is that the Apple is keeping

00:41:54   armor around as a possibility if Intel lets them down like PowerPC did, and if they feel

00:41:59   like the Apple chips are going to beat Intel, they're going to make the Mac better, so why

00:42:04   are we bothering with Intel? But Intel's a pretty sweet deal. I mean, they just, Intel

00:42:08   does all the work and Apple buys the chips and Apple doesn't have to invest their chip

00:42:14   designers in any part of that process because somebody else is doing it and that's pretty

00:42:20   sweet. So the hybrid Mac I think is a sweeter deal. So that's my gut feeling is that this

00:42:25   is not a step toward an all-arm Mac necessarily. They may yet go there but that this is more

00:42:34   like this other path of what can we do to make Intel,

00:42:39   it really is like Intel Plus.

00:42:42   It's Intel's processor and we know how to do that.

00:42:45   And then we add features on with our processor

00:42:47   and our operating system that is running on that processor,

00:42:51   even if it's not technically macOS at that point.

00:42:54   And that's what they're,

00:42:55   that seems to be what they're doing.

00:42:56   So I don't think this is proof

00:42:58   that eventually there'll be ARM Macs,

00:43:00   like pure ARM Macs, no Intel,

00:43:03   because I think it's on a different track.

00:43:05   It might still happen, but I don't think this is going to be the reason it happens,

00:43:08   if that makes sense.

00:43:09   It would surprise me if the Mac was able to go through a transition

00:43:17   from Intel to ARM as successfully as it went from PowerPC to Intel.

00:43:21   I would be surprised if that happened.

00:43:26   It just seems like it would be a lot to ask of the community.

00:43:33   Well, that's, that's, I mean, I hate to say it, but, um, the number one reason I

00:43:37   said this, um, I don't hate to say it that much. I said it on this podcast. I

00:43:40   said in that Mac world article, I wrote about it too, but I think the number one

00:43:43   argument against Apple doing, doing a trip transition, a full on chip transition

00:43:46   for the Mac is that it's a lot of work. And, um, does Apple want to do that work?

00:43:52   Does Apple want to put developers through that work? Doesn't Apple, I still believe

00:43:56   Apple sees the power of the Mac being it, that it is 30 years old and it has an

00:44:02   installed base and people like the Mac and they like what the Mac is. This is its benefit as a

00:44:07   platform. Yeah, yeah, so undercutting it by making it less stable and weird and new at a point when

00:44:12   people could just go to Windows or go to iPad, go to iOS, but just go away from the Mac. To make a

00:44:19   weird Mac, even if it wasn't limited in all the ways that that one rumor slash speculation post

00:44:25   was, even if it was just a Mac on ARM, going through a chip transition it's like it's a lot

00:44:30   of work, it's not that they couldn't do it, but would they do it? And my feeling is they

00:44:34   wouldn't. My feeling is that Apple has decided the way forward for the Mac is not to spend

00:44:42   effort on that, it's instead to spend effort on these kind of hybrid, sprinkling in hybrid

00:44:47   features that push the Mac to be, in some ways it's sort of like Apple is setting expectations

00:44:54   with iOS, right, like iOS devices, this goes back to PowerNap actually, iOS devices don't

00:45:01   behave like computers and they create expectations in users for how a device behaves, and then

00:45:09   the computers don't behave like that, and the users who might have been perfectly fine

00:45:13   before are now like, "Why doesn't it do this?" right, "Why is my email not there when I open

00:45:17   my computer, it's there when I open my iPad?" The answer is, "Well, it was asleep and it

00:45:21   doesn't work like that and it's like that's not a good answer so maybe you

00:45:25   know that's Apple's tack with the Mac at this point is what do we need to do to

00:45:29   keep advancing the Mac so it's the Mac but without but fulfilling the

00:45:34   expectations that our mobile devices have created for that platform that it

00:45:40   wasn't designed to to fulfill yeah I think it could be interesting to think

00:45:50   about like what are the things that Apple can do that are new or to change

00:45:55   the Mac in some way by moving things to ARM right so like when they bring out

00:46:00   the next MacBook Pro it won't matter so much that it's running the same Intel

00:46:04   chips because it can do all these things that it couldn't do before or can get

00:46:07   all these performance increases it couldn't do before because they're

00:46:11   enhancing what the ARM chips can do you know and then that could be a way to

00:46:14   continue making the Mac appealing even when Intel's missing their timeframes

00:46:19   games, right? Right, right, exactly. Well, that's exactly it. Like, how Intel's chips

00:46:26   are going to come when they're going to come, and everybody in the PC market's going to

00:46:29   get them. And Apple will decide whether it's going to turn over its devices then or not.

00:46:36   But that's Apple's decision to make, because the chips are going to come. So what can you

00:46:39   control? And the answer is, you can add all of these other features that nobody else gets

00:46:43   to add because they don't have, you know, they don't, short of Microsoft doing what

00:46:48   they actually did at one point and it didn't go anywhere, but the idea of, you know, short

00:46:55   of Microsoft saying, "Well, we've added this whole other spec now, which is this mobile

00:46:59   OS inside and you can, and here's a chip, a low-power chip from Intel or Qualcomm that

00:47:04   you can put in. And short of a platform-wide reaction from Microsoft on Windows for this,

00:47:13   Apple will be able to differentiate in this way. And that's good. That's good because,

00:47:19   you know, otherwise they're just being compared to a Dell or Lenovo laptop and they—and

00:47:26   if Apple's a step or two behind on the Intel generations, the comparisons are difficult,

00:47:31   right? But they're less difficult if you've got something that is a differentiator that is

00:47:37   entirely designed by Apple. Last thing I'll ask about this, because my initial thought on this

00:47:44   was thinking about corporate land and wondering if something like this would upset Intel and could

00:47:53   potentially lead to problems between Intel and Apple. You know, like Intel I'm sure would prefer

00:47:59   to sell Apple their versions of these chips because Intel try and they make they make small

00:48:04   chips right like I don't know if there are specifically I don't know about this stuff

00:48:08   Well they make mobile their own mobile processors yeah so I wonder if something like this could

00:48:13   upset Intel and could cause problems in the Apple Intel relationship because Apple were like you

00:48:18   know because they will be touting like we have these amazing chips that can do things that no

00:48:22   other chip can do and our computers still run Intel but we need to add this other stuff because

00:48:27   because the Intel chips are rubbish.

00:48:29   - Could be.

00:48:32   - I just wonder about that, right?

00:48:33   Like I wonder if that could cause stickiness

00:48:35   between the relationship

00:48:36   and or if anybody would really care, you know,

00:48:39   because at least it seems that Apple is a relatively

00:48:43   in regards to the rest of the market small customer,

00:48:46   like for Intel, like they're a big customer,

00:48:48   but there's something like 10% or something

00:48:50   of the chips that they sell, I think it said

00:48:51   in the Bloomberg article.

00:48:53   And I just wonder if this type of thing

00:48:55   could rock the boat in any direction.

00:48:57   Could it make Intel step up

00:48:59   or could it cause problems between Intel and Apple?

00:49:02   I don't know.

00:49:02   - Yeah, I don't know.

00:49:05   I think from Intel's perspective,

00:49:09   if Intel feels like it's doing a good job

00:49:12   at fulfilling the PC market,

00:49:14   that Apple will be a fairly satisfied customer, right?

00:49:18   Intel's kind of competing with Apple

00:49:20   on chip design internally at Apple,

00:49:22   but the rest of the market,

00:49:24   It's like, it seems unlikely that Lenovo is gonna be

00:49:27   like tapping their watch and being like, come on Intel.

00:49:29   Right, it seems unlikely, it's possible.

00:49:32   So like, I feel like Intel can just sort of stick

00:49:35   to what it knows and try to do its best.

00:49:39   And then Apple will just have to make a decision

00:49:41   like these guys are messing this up,

00:49:43   we could just do this now or not.

00:49:44   Like Intel doesn't seem as invulnerable as it used to.

00:49:47   There was a time even like three or four years ago

00:49:50   where people looked at Intel and were like,

00:49:52   nobody is going to catch Intel.

00:49:54   Intel's chip making ability is so far ahead of everyone else

00:49:58   that they have this huge advantage.

00:50:00   And I feel like, you know,

00:50:02   it's, Intel's still the leader there,

00:50:04   but people don't feel that it's quite as invulnerable

00:50:07   as it was.

00:50:08   And so, you know,

00:50:09   it may also be that Apple's chip designers are like,

00:50:12   we could do, we could totally do it.

00:50:13   We can totally beat them.

00:50:14   I can make a high-end iMac with an ARM chip.

00:50:16   Let's do it, let's do it.

00:50:17   And somebody in Apple management's like, hold on.

00:50:20   (both laughing)

00:50:22   Like just because we can, doesn't mean we shouldn't.

00:50:25   - I mean, how much in life is like that, right?

00:50:27   Which is just 'cause you can do it.

00:50:29   I was talking to somebody about another project

00:50:31   that I work on that everything on their website

00:50:36   is built custom.

00:50:39   And we're talking about doing a new version of that website.

00:50:41   And several of us in the tech industry were like,

00:50:45   okay, this is the point where you need to take

00:50:47   your own in-house developers and say,

00:50:51   yes, I know you can implement your own forum system

00:50:54   and like every single bit of architecture for your site.

00:50:59   Just, and this happened to Mac world too.

00:51:02   Just because you guys are good programmers

00:51:05   and you could build it

00:51:05   does not mean you should build it, right?

00:51:07   There are other things we can do.

00:51:09   Where do we use your talent

00:51:10   in the way that has the best net benefit?

00:51:12   And where can we take something off the shelf?

00:51:14   And it's not quite a perfect parallel,

00:51:17   but it's not far off of saying,

00:51:19   Intel's gonna hand us processors.

00:51:21   That's like taking an open source package

00:51:23   and deploying it on your website instead of building

00:51:26   something that does the exact same thing,

00:51:28   but building it in house.

00:51:29   Like you can build it,

00:51:31   but imagine all that time that you won't spend building it

00:51:34   if you can just take this perfectly good thing

00:51:35   off the shelf.

00:51:36   Maybe it's not perfect.

00:51:37   Maybe it's not exactly what you would do.

00:51:39   Maybe it doesn't fulfill all of your needs,

00:51:41   but it's free essentially, right?

00:51:44   Because somebody else developed it

00:51:45   and all you have to do is license it or buy it.

00:51:48   I do think there's a parallel there. So much of life and work is about saying just because

00:51:54   we can do it, maybe we should not. Maybe there's something else we should do instead.

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00:54:35   All right, so

00:54:39   Tim Cook has been doing the rounds in Europe over the past couple of weeks. He has been

00:54:45   popping up all over the place. He's been visiting schools and he got an honorary degree in Glasgow.

00:54:53   From James Thompson's old stomping grounds, no less.

00:54:56   My brother as well. My brother went to the University of Glasgow. I actually have been

00:55:00   in the room where Tim was given his honorary degree, where I went to see my brother's graduation.

00:55:06   And he's been giving lots of quotes about certain topics and one that kind of came a

00:55:11   little bit out of left field for me. He gave an interview to the Telegraph in which he

00:55:15   spoke out very harshly against the idea of fake news and what fake news means. And I

00:55:22   say it's surprising because this just doesn't necessarily feel like something that Apple

00:55:27   has too much of an issue with. You know, I would maybe expect something more like this

00:55:32   coming from a company like Facebook or Twitter, right? There's like a, we need to stand against

00:55:36   this because they are kind of a place where this news gets spread and Apple

00:55:41   maybe not so much but Tim Cook believes in this very strongly and the idea of

00:55:45   fake news basically being news that is incorrect or you know through bad

00:55:51   reporting or that is created to be incorrect to spread mistruths in whatever

00:55:57   side of the political fence that you may be sitting on. So I want to read a couple

00:56:01   of quotes from Tim he said that he believes this has to be ingrained in

00:56:06   In schools it has to be ingrained in the public, there needs to be a massive campaign.

00:56:10   We have to think through every demographic.

00:56:12   We need the modern version of a public service announcement campaign.

00:56:16   It can be done quickly if there is a will.

00:56:18   All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of

00:56:22   fake news.

00:56:23   The outcome of that is truthful, reliable, non-sensational, deep news outlets will win.

00:56:28   Jason, what should Apple's role be, realistically, in trying to help stop what fake reporting

00:56:37   is occurring, which is, you know, I don't, I can't really think of words to say that

00:56:42   aren't gonna bring up emotions in people.

00:56:45   - I think there are two issues here. One of the issues is, let's differentiate between,

00:56:52   like news that is wrong because somebody well-meaning got it wrong and news that is inaccurate because

00:57:00   it was made up or it was intentionally false. Two different issues, right? And one of them

00:57:07   has been with us a very long time and the other one probably a little bit less. But

00:57:13   certainly that's part of the debate here is there are, the argument is lots of stuff gets

00:57:18   passed around on social media, especially on Facebook, that is from these websites that

00:57:24   their whole goal is to inflame people of a particular political viewpoint. And it works

00:57:31   on both sides of the spectrum here in the US. We've seen examples of both where the

00:57:35   goal is create headlines that reinforce a worldview. And they're made up, but they reinforce

00:57:43   a worldview and then you get people to share them on Facebook. And people come to those

00:57:48   sites to view and they get page views and they make money. That's the whole purpose

00:57:53   of it. It's generally not even intended to be. There are sites that fabricate things

00:58:00   or that speak to reinforce a worldview that are doing it knowingly and to make money,

00:58:06   and then there are other ones that are doing it not that they care about the politics of

00:58:10   it, but they just want to make the money and they know that those clicks are there for

00:58:14   the taking. So the challenge with that is how can any gateway to news and information

00:58:22   sharing, does it want to be a gatekeeper? And if it does, how does it do that? And how

00:58:28   does it differentiate between items that are factually incorrect and items that are opinion?

00:58:35   And there's no such thing as a wrong opinion. There are such things as wrong facts, but

00:58:39   everybody gets to have an opinion. You know, in other words, you can have the opinion that

00:58:45   the earth is flat, but it's not, right? And if you say it is versus I think it is, that's

00:58:51   a different quality. I mean, I would say your opinion is dumb if you're saying your opinion

00:58:56   is a fact doesn't exist, but people get to have their opinions and that's an extreme

00:59:01   example. People get to have political opinions. So one of the ways that people are talking

00:59:05   about this is like Facebook. Can Facebook say, "This is not a trusted news source. This

00:59:09   news source has been known to post things that are false," and like label things, not

00:59:13   censor them in the sense of like, you know, "Oh, you posted that thing and it went straight

00:59:18   down the memory hole," but instead like, "This is a questionable article." You know, in other

00:59:22   words, is a, and Apple News follows into this too, right? Do you have some sort of system

00:59:28   that is able to let people flag stories and say, "I don't think this is real," which is

00:59:33   different from "I don't like this, this makes me feel icky," but it's like, "I don't think

00:59:37   this is real, I think this is made up, this is provably false." Do you have people who

00:59:41   are checking things and flagging sites and individual stories and saying these aren't

00:59:44   real? It's a little bit like dealing with spam or something like that. If you flag a

00:59:48   site, that site will just maybe go away, but they'll put up a duplicate of it at a different

00:59:52   name and then you have to flag that site too. You know, there's an arms race that has to

00:59:58   happen there. But I personally think that that is one of the jobs of these

01:00:03   conduits of information to let their users know that this stuff is junk if

01:00:11   it's junk, but you got to be really careful, right? Because the trick is

01:00:15   that what you're trying to do is give people a warning that that

01:00:22   source is not credible, but people are going to argue about what credibility is.

01:00:27   is. Like, is Breitbart credible? Is Newsmax credible? Is Fox News credible? Like, there's

01:00:34   a spectrum of conservative media. And, you know, I would say that at the extreme, there

01:00:40   are a lot of stories that are posted that are just made up that are entirely fabricated.

01:00:43   But somebody might also point to a story here and say, "Well, they're, you know, that person

01:00:47   that they're quoting is lying or is not, you know, is not, it's shading the truth there

01:00:53   a little bit. It's like, "Well, is that fake? Probably not. That's probably not accurate."

01:00:58   There's the other dimension too, which is, what about a story that's wrong? And people

01:01:01   argue about them and there are all these definitions of where we draw the line. So it's a really

01:01:07   hard problem, but I do think somebody like Facebook needs to make an attempt to, at the

01:01:12   very least, push the worst stuff, the stuff that is just spam, essentially. Spam in the

01:01:20   guise of news and market and say, "This is not a trusted source." But I think in doing

01:01:28   that, they need to be really broad about what the trusted sources are, and that's going

01:01:31   to make people angry that their pet issue of this news source on the other side of the

01:01:39   political spectrum is all fake and yet isn't marked as fake. And Facebook, like, "That's

01:01:45   going to happen, but too bad, you know, right? I do think that there's a responsibility there

01:01:51   to maybe be helpful without being, like, without picking a side.

01:01:58   Matthew: And how far do Apple go in this? Is it just Apple News or is it more?

01:02:03   Tim: Well, I think, I mean, I think at Apple, in terms of being a conduit, it's got to be

01:02:09   Apple News, just like that's their thing, right? So with Apple News, if Apple News can

01:02:16   work on this, I think the reality is like, wow, this is a tough thing for Apple to bite

01:02:20   off on in addition to everything else versus something like Facebook. Facebook, you've

01:02:26   got the whole social graph, people are pouring things into your feed, you don't know where

01:02:30   they came from. I would actually argue that something like Twitter is actually a better

01:02:34   example of a service that should probably worry about this. I think Twitter has other

01:02:38   things to worry about than something like Apple News where it's mostly curated and from

01:02:43   your own choices, which is a little bit different. I think where what Cook was talking about

01:02:48   and this backs it up to something that maybe Apple could do, but it's also sort of a call

01:02:51   to everybody, which is this, what he said, public service announcement campaign. It's

01:02:56   like we need to educate people, especially kids because that's where most of us get our

01:03:03   most of our education, right? But everybody to be way better consumers of information,

01:03:10   to not see that email or that Facebook link and take it on, take it on its face. The,

01:03:18   I think older people are actually more vulnerable here because they remember when there were

01:03:24   gatekeepers. And so they ascribe a level of credibility to headlines that they see than

01:03:34   I think a younger person would, because younger people know people can do anything on the

01:03:38   internet and is it real or not. And apply some, ideally they would apply a lot of skepticism

01:03:43   to that because really you can say anything on the internet. There's no truth detector,

01:03:47   right? But older people, and I'm not saying like retirees, I'm saying people who are,

01:03:52   did not come of age in the internet age and did not get those antibodies like anything

01:03:56   on the internet could be fake. And I think most of our listeners are tech savvy enough

01:04:00   that they probably have some of those antibodies, right? But those people, it's a real challenge

01:04:06   trying to educate them on this issue, and I don't know if they can be. Like the idea

01:04:11   that you can't trust, there was that story about, well, I can't remember, it was a completely

01:04:17   false statement. And there was a woman that they were interviewing on, I think it was

01:04:22   ABC News. And she said this false statement that had come from one of these organizations.

01:04:29   And I think it was about the 3 million illegal immigrants who voted in the California election

01:04:35   or something like that, which is, there's no proof of that. It didn't happen. And when

01:04:39   they asked her, "Why do you believe that?" She says, "It was in the media." And I think

01:04:44   a perfect example of somebody who is seeing something that reinforces her own personal

01:04:53   beliefs and has this added benefit of being in the media and therefore that makes it okay

01:05:02   and true. And I do think it's a huge problem for society that people are being manipulated

01:05:11   by very clever internet people, people like us, right?

01:05:14   I feel like a lot of this is people like us

01:05:17   are using the technology we love

01:05:19   and the systems we love like the internet

01:05:21   to troll slash manipulate lots of populations of people

01:05:26   who aren't as savvy.

01:05:28   And this is not the first time in history

01:05:29   that this sort of thing has happened,

01:05:30   but it's happening today with our technology

01:05:32   and it's our tools and it's the stuff we understand.

01:05:34   And I think that may be where Tim Cook

01:05:36   is really coming from is we gotta,

01:05:38   those of us who are tech savvy

01:05:39   need to grapple with the fact that people who are less savvy are being fed bad information.

01:05:50   And the problem with it is they're being fed bad information that they accept because they

01:05:54   want to feel good and it reinforces their worldview. And you know what? If you want

01:05:57   to feel good, that's fine. Have whatever political views you have, it's fine. But this is the

01:06:04   The road this goes down is this complete distortion where there's literally nothing connecting

01:06:10   two sides of any issue because the facts are not agreed upon. You can't argue a point if

01:06:17   you can't agree on the facts about the point.

01:06:20   So Tim is kind of stepping up as the guy in charge of the biggest company in the world

01:06:25   and he's throwing around some of the political power that comes with that in trying to effect

01:06:31   some change, which is not the first time that he's done something like this. You know, he—Tim

01:06:34   Cook—and it's one of the reasons that, you know, I've mentioned this in the past and

01:06:37   I still believe it, that Apple is a more responsible company under Tim. It's kind of in its mark

01:06:44   on the world, it is more responsible. And I think this is another example of that, where

01:06:49   if Tim Cook really believes in something, then he molds Apple in his image. And I think

01:06:55   mostly that is a good thing, I think.

01:06:56   So here's my wacky idea, which will never happen but I'm going to mention it, which

01:07:00   is either a company like Facebook should fund this, like internally, or the tech industry,

01:07:08   especially those that have vested interests in information, should fund a Super Snopes,

01:07:16   basically. Snopes is the fact-checking website, essentially. Create a non-profit entity that,

01:07:23   funded tech companies that does nothing but fact check, truth detect, spam watch. Make

01:07:33   sure that they are overseen so that what they're not doing is picking political winners and

01:07:38   losers but are very much trying to verify information and create an open system of scoring

01:07:48   websites and articles for truthfulness so that the Facebooks and Twitters and Apple

01:07:53   news of the world can use that information in order to prioritize what floats to the

01:07:58   top and to label things. I don't think it'll ever happen, but I feel like that's basically

01:08:04   if Silicon Valley threw some money at this, I don't say that lightly because you can't

01:08:08   throw money at things usually. There are lots of complications, but, and there would be

01:08:11   complications here, but I feel like that would be a big step here is that nobody is really

01:08:16   financially motivated to do this, to do truth detection. Like I said, I think maybe Facebook

01:08:23   is the only one that is. And even there, we see Facebook's history with this sort of thing

01:08:28   and they kind of don't want to spend money on it. Part of that is that there's some institutional

01:08:32   arrogance that their software can figure out this stuff better than paying human beings

01:08:37   to do legwork and other journalistic work. Facebook kind of doesn't believe in that.

01:08:44   I don't know. I do feel like this is not a solution without some, or not a problem without

01:08:51   some solutions, but I do feel it's a little like spam email in that it's all about mitigation,

01:08:56   making it less terrible, not making it cured. But still, one would actually need to try

01:09:03   to make it less terrible.

01:09:05   And maybe Apple's going to start that. I hope so.

01:09:08   Yeah, maybe. I don't know. I'm skeptical. I feel like this is Tim Cook sort of making

01:09:14   a statement of belief, but I have a hard, I don't know.

01:09:19   It did feel very non-committal. Yeah, right, like all of us technology companies

01:09:22   need to create some tools that help them. Okay, why don't you all get together and build

01:09:26   that organization, build that nonprofit that's funded by tech companies with a huge commitment

01:09:30   that's going to hire a bunch of people, both technical and editorial people, to build verification

01:09:37   tools to create a sort of like, "This is not a fake site. This is not a fake. This is a

01:09:44   real story. This is a fake story that's been disproven." So that you can have ubiquitous

01:09:48   fact-check links that will pop up and say, "This story is disputed," or, "This story

01:09:53   is wrong," or, "This story has been revised, but this news entity hasn't done the revision."

01:10:01   I mean, there are lots of approaches here, but saying all of us technology companies

01:10:07   need to create some tools is great, but what then?

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01:11:24   Ask Upgrade

01:11:26   Brent asked if you could use an Apple Pencil on the iPhone would you want to?

01:11:32   Be honest have you ever tried?

01:11:33   So I have tried.

01:11:35   I tried when

01:11:37   the Apple Pencil was released.

01:11:40   Right. Like, does this work outside

01:11:42   of that? I've never tried.

01:11:43   Right. Like, I know it doesn't work,

01:11:45   but I wanted to see if it would work.

01:11:47   Right. I didn't know.

01:11:47   We didn't know enough about it.

01:11:48   I wondered if it would and it didn't.

01:11:49   I would use it maybe

01:11:53   in certain circumstances.

01:11:55   Like, I feel like there would have to

01:11:56   be more

01:11:58   added to the

01:12:00   software on the iPhone to make it

01:12:02   really worthwhile.

01:12:03   Something that I always kind of liked and do like on the Samsung phones is that, you

01:12:08   know, you can just pop out the stylus and just write on the blank screen and it starts

01:12:11   writing.

01:12:12   You start taking notes on it.

01:12:13   I always thought that was kind of cool.

01:12:14   I'd like to see something like that, you know.

01:12:17   There are a lot of little features that the note series that have that I wish that Apple

01:12:21   would find a way to implement.

01:12:22   Like you can like just select areas of the screen and create screenshots or like make

01:12:28   GIFs out of areas of the screen by using the stylus.

01:12:31   So yeah, stuff like that.

01:12:32   I would like for the Apple Pencil.

01:12:36   Maybe it would be useful on the plus where you've got big screen, you could do some stuff,

01:12:39   but yeah, I think I could find some use for it.

01:12:41   I'm sure Jason has no use for it.

01:12:44   Not really.

01:12:45   No.

01:12:46   But I could find use for it because I love the Apple Pencil and I love my iPhone.

01:12:49   Reid asked, "Do you ever use the 3D touch app switching gesture?"

01:12:53   This is where you kind of like squeeze on the left hand side of the screen.

01:12:57   Yeah, then slide it.

01:12:58   Then slide it.

01:12:59   do because it doesn't work very well with cases?

01:13:03   I almost never do. I will occasionally remember that it's there and use it but most of the

01:13:08   time I'm still doing the double tap and I don't know how much of that is that I don't

01:13:13   think of it and I don't know how much of that is that I use my iPad so much that I end up

01:13:20   using the same gestures I use on my iPad on my iPhone.

01:13:24   you use the double tap of the home button for your iPad to multitasking.

01:13:29   Yeah. Even though there's a touch gesture, I usually don't use it.

01:13:34   That's what I do. If I'm not using a keyboard, like if I'm not using Spotlight or Command

01:13:40   Tab or something, which is what I'm usually doing because my iPad is usually connected

01:13:43   to a keyboard, I do use the software like swipe up with four fingers. Or like swiping

01:13:49   left and right with four fingers. I do that a lot.

01:13:51   will swipe left and right to go back between apps. If I'm multitasking, I will do that,

01:13:56   but I won't do the like reveal the switcher gesture. Usually I double tap and that's just

01:14:02   – I think it's just habit. Also works on both devices, right? I mean, that's the

01:14:06   other thing. It actually works on both devices as opposed to saying, "Well, on my iPad,

01:14:10   I'll do this, but on my phone, I'll do that." I just end up using the button.

01:14:14   Yeah.

01:14:15   Justin asks, "Why do you think it would be an improvement to have an always on screen

01:14:20   with the Apple Watch which is something that we were talking about last week. I don't want

01:14:23   other people seeing my messages. So I get where Justin's coming from from this, right?

01:14:28   Like what if the screen was always on and everything that came through lit up the screen?

01:14:33   I can say from experience having used a Pebble and LG watch for a while, I tried out the

01:14:38   LG watch when that came out with the Android Wear on it, it sucks to have your messages

01:14:44   just automatically displayed because people will read them, which used to happen to me

01:14:49   all the time because my LGG watch would light up and people would just read the message

01:14:53   because it was in full color. In my mind, this isn't the same UI. Like to see a message,

01:14:59   you'd still have to raise your, like raise it to see it, right? You raise your wrist

01:15:03   to like look at the message.

01:15:04   - You raise your wrist or you'd tap or pull down or something, but you do something to

01:15:10   switch it off of the watch face.

01:15:13   - Yeah, but the always on watch face would be the time and maybe there would be some

01:15:18   new indicators.

01:15:45   Richard asked, "Do either of us have AppleCare on our watches? I just wanted to know if it's

01:15:50   something worth getting." I don't think I do. No, I don't. I didn't buy it for my series

01:15:54   2. Do you?

01:15:57   No, I don't have AppleCare for any device I own.

01:16:00   Okay, why is that? What is your thinking there?

01:16:05   My failure rate has never been enough to justify paying AppleCare for my devices. The amount

01:16:14   of money I've saved by not paying for AppleCare has more than covered the few times I've needed

01:16:21   to replace or repair a device.

01:16:23   I have moved to this thinking over time. Like I used to buy AppleCare for my devices, but

01:16:31   I've never had a problem in which I've needed to take something in to have it fixed under

01:16:35   an AppleCare warranty. Plus because there is the, you know, there is an excess on those,

01:16:41   I've just stopped getting it and I'm fine.

01:16:44   But if you are a person who breaks stuff a lot, Richard,

01:16:48   then yes, get it.

01:16:49   If you, you know.

01:16:51   - That's exactly it.

01:16:53   - If you break stuff, then get it.

01:16:54   If you don't break stuff, then don't get it

01:16:56   and just hope that you'll win out over time.

01:16:59   And Brent asked me as an activist

01:17:02   for the multi-pad lifestyle,

01:17:04   how often do you use both of your iPad Pros at the same time?

01:17:07   Not very often, honestly.

01:17:09   I don't, I mean, I have done that.

01:17:11   like if you know that there have been times where I've needed to have lots of information

01:17:16   you know like I'm using two applications and I also need to look at a PDF or something

01:17:20   for whatever reason it might be for some planning. I have used both iPads and there are times

01:17:26   where I might you know crack out my iPhone to use a calculator when I've got two applications

01:17:30   open and need them to see them both. But it is infrequent that I will use more than one

01:17:36   iPad at a time, mostly because Splitview has really helped a lot. I have kind of multiple

01:17:44   screens in my mind, two apps running side by side. There are times when I'll do it,

01:17:48   but it is infrequent that I would need to have more than one iPad at a time.

01:17:54   Yeah, yeah, it's more about like, what's the context of what you're doing, I would think.

01:18:02   This looks like a job for a big iPad, that sort of thing.

01:18:06   Yeah, which is how it tends to be for me.

01:18:09   All right, so that wraps it up for Ask Upgrade this week.

01:18:12   It is worth just reminding you that there will be a mic at the movies next week, and

01:18:17   we are going to be watching The Terminator.

01:18:19   I'll be back.

01:18:21   We will be back, and we'll be talking about The Terminator.

01:18:24   This is the first time that I've realized that the movie is called The Terminator.

01:18:28   I just thought it was called Terminator.

01:18:30   No.

01:18:31   That's Terminator 2. The Terminator. The Terminator.

01:18:35   The original from 1984. I've also just realised how peculiar that

01:18:40   word sounds when I say it compared to when you say it.

01:18:43   Yeah. Terminator. I say every syllable, every sound,

01:18:48   every consonant is said in quite sharp tones. Terminator.

01:18:53   If you want to find out show notes for this week head to relay.fm/upgrades/128. Go to

01:19:00   sixcolors.com for Jason's awesome writing. Go to the incomparable.com for his many podcasts on

01:19:07   pop culture items and he also hosts a bunch of shows over at relay FM as well. I am imike,

01:19:13   I am yke on twitter. Jason is jsnell, he's jsnell. Thanks again to our sponsors this week,

01:19:19   The Five Folk over at Encapsula, The Great People over at Blue Apron and the quite lovely

01:19:26   fresh books. We'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye Mr. Snow. We'll be back next time.

01:19:32   Goodbye. Oh I wonder if that's gonna get old.

01:19:39   [LAUGHTER]

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