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Connected

426: Just a Cable Away

 

00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Will.io FM, this is Connected, episode 426.

00:00:12   Today's show is brought to you by our excellent sponsors,

00:00:15   TextExpander and Memberful.

00:00:17   I'm one of your co-hosts, Federico Viteacian.

00:00:19   It's my pleasure, once again, like every week,

00:00:23   to introduce my other friend and co-host, Mr. Stephen Hackett.

00:00:26   Hello, Stephen.

00:00:27   -Hey Federico, how are you?

00:00:29   I am doing fantastic, but it's not just the two of us today.

00:00:34   - That's right.

00:00:35   As foretold, we are also joined by Jon Voorhees.

00:00:39   Hey, Jon.

00:00:41   - Hey, Steven, how's it going?

00:00:42   - It's good.

00:00:43   Thanks for joining us.

00:00:45   - Oh, it's great to be here.

00:00:46   I'm looking forward to talking to you guys

00:00:48   about computers and stuff now that we've gotten cars

00:00:51   and trucks out of our system.

00:00:52   - That's right.

00:00:53   Yeah, we talked about cars and trucks

00:00:54   in the connected pro part of the show.

00:00:57   - Is that a metaphor from Steve Jobs?

00:00:59   - Yes.

00:01:00   - It is, that's what it was about exactly.

00:01:02   - iPads and iPads and computers and cars and trucks.

00:01:04   If you are not a Connected Pro member,

00:01:06   now's a great time.

00:01:07   Go to giverelay.com, you'll get 20% off an annual plan

00:01:11   for Connected Pro or any of our other shows.

00:01:14   Now Connected Pro is a longer ad-free version of the show

00:01:17   each and every week.

00:01:19   So you can go to giverelay.com and give it as a gift

00:01:22   or send that link to a family member

00:01:23   who maybe doesn't know what to buy you.

00:01:25   Or you can use the coupon code 2023HOLIDAYS

00:01:29   to get 20% off if you purchase it yourself.

00:01:31   This does run through December 17th,

00:01:34   so you got a couple weeks left,

00:01:36   but now's a great time to join

00:01:37   and get longer ad-free versions of the show.

00:01:41   So, we got some follow-up,

00:01:43   and I wanted to start with Jason,

00:01:47   who runs the excellent Rickipedia,

00:01:50   and this comes out of our fundraiser

00:01:52   for St. Jude earlier this year.

00:01:55   There was a goal that Jason would be adding

00:01:59   API support to Wikipedia.

00:02:02   And so I've got a link in the show notes

00:02:04   to the API page on the site.

00:02:07   And it also includes some links to some shortcuts

00:02:11   that interact with the data provided by Wikipedia.

00:02:14   So he has three example shortcuts on this site.

00:02:18   One is who's the chairman, one is show me the tricky,

00:02:22   and the third one is ineligible picks,

00:02:25   which goes to a page of pics we can't use

00:02:27   according to the new rules.

00:02:30   But if you look at this page,

00:02:32   it is incredible how much stuff is shown in the API.

00:02:36   I mean, we have topics and coin flips

00:02:39   and the charity page,

00:02:42   who's donated what over the years for the flexies.

00:02:45   It's really something really impressive.

00:02:49   And so a big thank you to Jason for working on this,

00:02:53   And we'd love to see what people do with it.

00:02:55   - Yeah, this is incredible.

00:02:57   I mean, you look at the,

00:02:58   there's a change log for changes to the Bill of Rickeys.

00:03:02   There's, it's very nicely documented,

00:03:05   like all these JSON results that you can get from the API,

00:03:10   very nicely formatted, very readable.

00:03:13   This is perfect for automation via shortcuts.

00:03:16   You can integrate this with Siri if you want to.

00:03:19   I'm just taking a look now.

00:03:22   the coin flip and coin flip method are included in the AP.

00:03:27   Yeah, this is fantastic.

00:03:30   - Yeah, this is really nice.

00:03:31   - Yeah, I mean, at this point you can probably build an app

00:03:34   for the Rickeys if you think about it.

00:03:37   - I think that this is a really good opportunity

00:03:39   for home automation.

00:03:40   I mean, really when the chairman changes,

00:03:42   maybe you have all your lights blink on and off,

00:03:45   or when there's a coin flip,

00:03:47   you have your home pod announce something,

00:03:50   you know, like heads or tails.

00:03:51   I don't know. I mean, there's, there's, you could, you could run an,

00:03:55   you could run an automation, um, daily. I'm,

00:03:59   I'm just thinking out loud here,

00:04:01   but you could have automations that run every day.

00:04:05   And if today matches one of the days from the API,

00:04:10   the shortcut could remind you, Hey, today, two years ago,

00:04:15   you were named annual chairman or something like that.

00:04:21   on this day in the Ricky's,

00:04:23   like something like that, basically.

00:04:25   - Or maybe, I mean, you could take it further,

00:04:27   like maybe you could tie a coin flip

00:04:29   to like whether your doors unlock or stay locked.

00:04:33   And so if it's like heads, your house is unlocked

00:04:34   till the next time we do a coin flip or something.

00:04:36   I mean, go wild.

00:04:38   Yes, so thank you, Jason, so much.

00:04:40   The community around this show is just so special,

00:04:43   and this is yet another example of it.

00:04:45   - I do have a follow-up item.

00:04:48   I put it in follow-up,

00:04:49   not because it's a direct follow-up item to a precise thing we talked about before, but

00:04:56   it's just because the topic is something we always discuss on the show and it feels like

00:05:01   it's more appropriate for follow-up. There's a new MagSafe charger that I want to talk

00:05:06   about. And you know, the quest for MagSafe chargers is never over. It just resets every

00:05:13   once in a while. The latest entry in this market is the OtterBox 2-in-1 Power Bank.

00:05:23   Now this is sold on the Apple Store. It's on apple.com in the US. Usually with these

00:05:29   things I haven't checked, but I guess it's not available yet in Italy, but it should

00:05:34   be soon. Anyway, I'll check later. So this thing is wild because it's like the 2-in-1,

00:05:42   They really designed this product for that name.

00:05:46   So it's a charger and a battery.

00:05:50   It supports the iPhone and the watch.

00:05:55   And you can place your iPhone either laying down or standing upright.

00:06:01   Because the thing about this accessory is, this is like a folding battery that you can

00:06:08   close and you can fold open.

00:06:11   And you can use it both as a power bank or as a nightstand or table charger with a cable,

00:06:20   with a 20 watt cable plugged in.

00:06:22   So take a look at the pictures because it's one of those things that you really got to

00:06:26   see what it looks like to understand what I'm talking about.

00:06:29   It's very compact, I guess it's been designed like for people who travel often.

00:06:34   But I could also see this as like an accessory that you can put in a bag if you want to have

00:06:39   a power bank that for whatever reason works with MagSafe. Like if you work at a coffee

00:06:45   shop you can pull this out of your bag and place it on your table and you're charging

00:06:50   your iPhone via 15W MagSafe, which is the highest rate I guess for charging via MagSafe.

00:06:57   And you can also charge the Apple Watch. There's a mini, well there's a small watch charging

00:07:03   Puck right there. But if you don't want to use it as a battery, you can place it on your

00:07:12   nightstand or on a desk, and it becomes like a thick charging mat. You run a USB cable

00:07:20   to it, and now it's a desk accessory. I am really intrigued by this. It's been certified

00:07:26   by Apple, it uses the faster wireless charging for 15 watts on the iPhone, it supports fast

00:07:33   charging on the Apple Watch, and I don't know, it's weird and I kind of love it, because

00:07:39   this thing, unlike the other ones, it folds and it's also portable.

00:07:45   Is it a cube?

00:07:46   It's not a cube.

00:07:47   Oh, that's a point against it.

00:07:48   I know it's a point against it, especially like I'm looking at my sweet, sweet cube right

00:07:53   now.

00:07:54   Here, I just placed my iPhone on the cube.

00:07:56   I mean, I love this thing.

00:07:57   I was actually thinking about buying cubes for the entire house.

00:08:02   Like a cube for me, a cube for Silvia, another cube for me, a cube in the kitchen, a cube

00:08:07   in the living room, like cubes everywhere.

00:08:10   Sort of turned my house into like a Minecraft situation with all these cubes.

00:08:16   I love this thing, man.

00:08:17   I love the cube and it's so dense.

00:08:19   Like I just picked it up, it feels so nice.

00:08:22   But anyway, the OtterBox 2-in-1, I forgot to mention, it's $150.

00:08:27   That's kind of spendy for a power brick, but it does do a lot more.

00:08:31   I mean, here's the thing, Federico, I'm going to rain on your parade a little bit.

00:08:34   This only does 5 watt charging for the Apple Watch, which is kind of a...

00:08:38   No, no.

00:08:39   I think that's right.

00:08:40   The Apple website says fast charging for Apple Watch.

00:08:42   Mmm, alright.

00:08:43   Well, I mean, you're saying that Apple.com is lying?

00:08:47   I am, because I was looking at the specs on the OtterBox page, and what is the OtterBox

00:08:52   box page say it says five watts for the watch it says fast charging for Apple

00:08:59   watch on and five watts is not fast charging for the Apple watch I don't

00:09:04   think and if you're part of ultra club like me and Steven you do not want to

00:09:08   use a slow charger on the Apple watch ultra well it takes all day somebody's

00:09:13   lying here I'm guessing like somebody's not telling the truth because I'm on the

00:09:19   Apple store it says fast charging for Apple watch. I don't know I don't know

00:09:24   we're gonna have to this is a this is a I don't know it's a conspiracy maybe.

00:09:27   Maybe it's a conspiracy and it doesn't say anything now it just says fast

00:09:32   charging for Apple watch on Apple.com so we'll have to do more research here

00:09:38   because I guess that item in particular must not be accurate somewhere. I too

00:09:45   I too have a new charging story.

00:09:48   It's not cubed, but forever I've used

00:09:52   the Studio Neat Material docs.

00:09:54   They're friends of ours.

00:09:56   They have a show on the network.

00:09:58   And I've had just the regular MagSafe one

00:10:01   just on my desk in my office.

00:10:05   But now that I have AirPods that can wirelessly charge,

00:10:08   and on occasion you wanna throw your Apple Watch

00:10:10   on a charger at your desk, like run an update or something.

00:10:13   So they have the new like three in one material dock.

00:10:18   And I just got it in the mail yesterday.

00:10:21   Haven't set it up yet.

00:10:22   I was going to it this morning, but I'm not home today.

00:10:25   It has the Apple Watch, a flat MagSafe

00:10:29   and an upright MagSafe.

00:10:32   So you can use like the always on display.

00:10:33   And I'm very excited about building it

00:10:35   and putting it together.

00:10:38   I have some follow out for the two of y'all

00:10:41   for your App Stories program.

00:10:44   I've really enjoyed the nerding out on the holidays series.

00:10:48   - Oh, thank you.

00:10:49   - And I was listening to part two of that

00:10:51   just the other day. - Yeah.

00:10:53   - And one thing that came up was your wireless networks.

00:10:58   In Federico, you are contemplating changing up

00:11:02   your wireless network.

00:11:04   And I sent you all a text and I thought, what am I doing?

00:11:06   We're gonna be on a show together, which is rare.

00:11:09   The three of us don't get to record very often.

00:11:11   And I just wanted to throw my hat in the ring for Eero.

00:11:14   Yes, their previous sponsor.

00:11:16   Yes, probably some of the Eero's at my house they gave me,

00:11:19   but I've been really happy with them.

00:11:20   I sent y'all a screenshot of my network.

00:11:22   Everything is using ethernet as the back haul.

00:11:25   And I've got the Eero Pro, so not the new,

00:11:30   what is it, 6E is the newest one?

00:11:32   - Yeah. - So mine are a little bit older.

00:11:34   Jon, I agree with what you said.

00:11:36   Like, 6E's gonna be cool, but one, I don't have,

00:11:40   I don't even know if like my internet speed I have a gigabit I have gigabit down

00:11:46   So I don't know if I'd really benefit from 6e and it'd be all new base stations

00:11:51   And like one of my devices has it so I'm not a big hurry

00:11:53   But I do think era wins in terms of ease of use and I think aesthetics. I think they look pretty good

00:12:00   I've got a couple that are out. I think the Google the new Google home one looks really cheap

00:12:05   It looks like a it's like shiny and plasticky and like I'm not saying it's not your thing

00:12:10   But for me, I think I prefer the hero.

00:12:12   I'm... John made me second-guess my decision because he said try to keep everything, you know, as

00:12:19   wired as possible. Yes. And I know that the hero only has two

00:12:24   ports and like already in in the living room in the back of the Orbi

00:12:30   There are like three things that are wired in. Yeah. How can I do that if I get an hero?

00:12:36   - Yeah, so the way mine is set up in my sort of main,

00:12:40   like where the Comcast box sits,

00:12:43   I have it and it's running one ethernet cable into my eero

00:12:47   and the cable out of that eero I have going into it,

00:12:50   just like a gigabit switch,

00:12:52   and that has like 10 ethernets running.

00:12:54   That goes to like the studio, all the other eeros,

00:12:58   like the printer and a couple other things.

00:13:00   So it, I mean, being wired definitely makes things messier

00:13:04   and I wish that Eros had more than just two ports.

00:13:06   Like that's really my main complaint about them.

00:13:09   Like even if it was three, four would be awesome.

00:13:12   But I guess most people probably aren't using ethernet

00:13:15   the way we are and you know, like I'm fine having a switch.

00:13:18   I get to the top of one of my kids closets.

00:13:19   No one sees it, it's fine.

00:13:21   But it definitely makes things a little bit messier.

00:13:24   - What is a switch?

00:13:25   - You know, it's like you take one ethernet in

00:13:28   and you get like a bunch of other ethernet ports

00:13:30   coming out of it.

00:13:30   - It's like a USB hub but for the internet?

00:13:34   - Yeah, basically.

00:13:35   I got a bunch of them.

00:13:36   - Yeah, so here's just literally the first thing

00:13:38   I found on Amazon.

00:13:39   I'm not recommending or not recommending this one.

00:13:42   - Does it require any configuration?

00:13:46   Or is it just you just plug it in and it does its thing?

00:13:48   - Yeah, so you want an unmanaged switch

00:13:51   and all the cheap ones are unmanaged.

00:13:53   And it's like power and ethernet and that's it.

00:13:56   It does everything on your own.

00:13:57   - Why didn't anyone tell me about these things before?

00:14:02   - Well, I'm telling you now.

00:14:03   - They are very cheap unless you try to get one

00:14:06   that is for above one gigabit.

00:14:08   If you go above one gigabit, they start getting expensive.

00:14:10   You can get a two and a half gigabit router,

00:14:15   or I guess switch, for around $150.

00:14:18   If you go all the way up to like 10 gigabit,

00:14:21   you're gonna start spending somewhere

00:14:22   like three, $400 at least.

00:14:25   It gets really expensive with higher speeds.

00:14:27   And the exact one I have right now is $21 on Amazon,

00:14:32   but I just have gigabit.

00:14:34   That's the fastest any of my stuff goes.

00:14:36   Let's be realistic here, okay?

00:14:39   Once this fiber is eventually activated here,

00:14:43   we're just waiting, they gave us a deadline of December 21st.

00:14:47   So I guess we're all, the whole building is talking

00:14:50   about this date of December 21st, we'll see.

00:14:53   But anyway, realistically, okay?

00:14:56   You guys know me, what I do.

00:14:58   I like to play video games, watch Apple TV.

00:15:00   I use the internet over here like you guys do,

00:15:04   but we don't have kids.

00:15:05   It's just me and Sylvia and the occasional guest.

00:15:08   Do I need to go over one gigabit?

00:15:12   - No, I don't think so.

00:15:14   - Yes, you do.

00:15:15   - Okay.

00:15:16   (laughing)

00:15:17   Oh, gosh, you're killing me.

00:15:18   - Look, here's why I think you do.

00:15:21   I think Steven is probably right,

00:15:24   But it depends, if you wanna do remote play

00:15:27   for video games and things,

00:15:29   you'll probably want something faster.

00:15:31   - Yeah, but then the question becomes like,

00:15:33   what's at the other end, right?

00:15:35   I mean, is gigabit down your limitation there?

00:15:40   I mean, I don't know.

00:15:41   I mean, for me, it's the fastest I can do at my address.

00:15:44   So it's gigabit down and like 80 to 90 megabits up normally.

00:15:48   And I hate that it's lopsided.

00:15:50   I've told this story before, AT&T Fiber,

00:15:52   which is symmetrical gigabit,

00:15:54   is available across the street from me,

00:15:56   but not in my house,

00:15:57   'cause the way our neighborhood is laid out.

00:15:59   So it pains me when I walk by someone's house thinking,

00:16:02   they have sweet, sweet fiber in there.

00:16:04   But I don't think you've got to go above it.

00:16:06   I mean, the big question is like, is cost, right?

00:16:09   Like is gigabit, whatever gigabit is a month,

00:16:12   they may charge substantially more to go over that,

00:16:15   and it may just not be worth it.

00:16:16   - Yeah, no, it's a fair point too,

00:16:17   that people are making in the Discord that in fact,

00:16:20   none of the consoles are more than one gigabit,

00:16:23   but I was thinking a little bit more about your PC,

00:16:26   Federico, your gaming PC.

00:16:28   I mean, there are, there are vanish--

00:16:30   - I don't think it's got, I don't think it's got

00:16:32   an over one gigabit ethernet port.

00:16:35   - Oh, all right.

00:16:35   Well, there are vanishingly few things

00:16:37   that use more than one gigabyte, one gigabit,

00:16:40   and the only thing I've got is my Mac Studio,

00:16:43   and I've got that hardwired at like two gigabits,

00:16:46   and it's nice.

00:16:48   I mean, it's nice, it's both up and down.

00:16:50   that speed and it does make a difference in kind of

00:16:52   the large file stuff that I do.

00:16:54   But for everything else in my house,

00:16:57   it's either on Wi-Fi and it's something slower

00:16:59   or it's wired at one gigabit.

00:17:02   - The other thing is like we pointed out with these switches

00:17:06   is that anything internal to your network above a gigabit,

00:17:10   the cost goes way up.

00:17:11   And again, it may not be worth that.

00:17:15   For me, I'm happy with where I am.

00:17:18   If I could get 2 gig fiber,

00:17:20   honestly, I don't think I'd rush out tomorrow

00:17:23   and overhaul the rest of my network to take advantage of it.

00:17:27   I mean, maybe out to the studio,

00:17:29   but there's a couple switches in between me

00:17:32   at my desk and the internet.

00:17:35   And so you're looking at spending noticeably more

00:17:38   for maybe not that much

00:17:40   sort of real life experience improvement.

00:17:43   - What about like in terms of

00:17:47   doing multiple things at the same time?

00:17:50   Like what if I'm remote playing something,

00:17:53   Sylvia is watching a 4K video,

00:17:55   maybe Sylvia's sister is here

00:17:57   and she's having a call on Zoom,

00:18:00   like even in that case, like how, like can you,

00:18:05   and I'm asking this because I never had fiber,

00:18:08   can you fill up a one gigabit connection

00:18:10   by doing those things,

00:18:11   like multiple of those things around the house?

00:18:14   - So what I would say is I had this internet connection

00:18:17   when my kids were doing school at home because of COVID

00:18:20   and my wife was teaching from home and I was doing my job.

00:18:23   And so we had one of our kids' schools still met in person.

00:18:27   So two kids doing video chatting on and off

00:18:31   throughout the day, Mary doing video chatting

00:18:34   all day teaching, and me recording shows

00:18:37   and uploading shows and doing all this stuff I do

00:18:39   made no difference.

00:18:40   I could not tell that the network was congested

00:18:44   beyond anything I would ever notice.

00:18:46   Okay, well, John, I'm sorry, but it seems like I would only get the faster one just

00:18:56   because I know that it's the best one out there.

00:18:59   And all of this is very hypothetical, by the way.

00:19:01   Like I'm just imagining there will be a 2.5 or a 2.0 option for gigabit fiber.

00:19:09   I don't know.

00:19:10   So if I went to the ERO route, which one should I get?

00:19:15   the 6E or the 6, the 6+, like which one is enough?

00:19:20   If I'm getting a one gigabyte fiber.

00:19:24   - I think 6 is still more than enough in most circumstances,

00:19:28   especially when you're talking about the Eros,

00:19:31   which are not super duper expensive.

00:19:34   They're not cheap, but a 6E router

00:19:36   is gonna cost you a ton of money,

00:19:38   especially if you're getting something--

00:19:40   - Yeah, it's much more expensive than the 6+.

00:19:44   - Yeah, it really is.

00:19:45   - Yeah, I don't think you've got to rush out

00:19:47   and future proof for a speed you're not gonna get.

00:19:51   I mean, one thing to keep an eye out on,

00:19:54   I haven't looked at ERI's website in a long time,

00:19:56   but it looks like some of their products

00:19:58   have the ethernet jacks on the back and some don't.

00:20:01   Like some of the, like I'm gonna get the six,

00:20:04   the add-ons just you have power and not ethernet in them.

00:20:08   So, you know, you gotta think about

00:20:09   where you're gonna put them.

00:20:10   And I don't think you're gonna be running ethernet

00:20:12   around the house very much, so.

00:20:14   - Yeah, I would think your place is pretty easy to do too,

00:20:16   since you're all on one floor, you know?

00:20:19   I think that that makes a difference.

00:20:21   I'm on three floors now, which is kind of hard

00:20:24   'cause it can create a lot of dead spots.

00:20:26   But yeah, I think six, I mean, none of the Apple products

00:20:29   at least support anything greater than six.

00:20:31   So at least there you'd be in good shape.

00:20:33   - Okay, okay, all right.

00:20:35   So maybe I could consider the six plus,

00:20:42   the Hero 6 Plus, which is much cheaper.

00:20:47   Even if you get the three piece, like the three unit version,

00:20:51   which I think is overkill for me.

00:20:53   The three unit says that it covers up to 420 square meters,

00:20:58   which is much, much bigger than what I needed to.

00:21:01   So maybe the two unit is enough, but I don't know.

00:21:04   - I think two would do you probably.

00:21:06   - You know, we got concrete walls

00:21:08   and I don't know if that matters,

00:21:12   but I think the three unit is probably overkill for like an apartment on one floor.

00:21:17   Yeah, probably. I mean this is the kind of thing about wi-fi that I find really frustrating is that

00:21:21   it's really impossible to know until you buy this stuff and try it out because you really don't know

00:21:26   how it's going to work with your configuration. You know, the materials that your house is made of,

00:21:31   that whether you're on multiple floors, all those kind of things are big factors.

00:21:36   Something else before we switch to proper topics.

00:21:40   There's one thing I want to mention on the show,

00:21:43   because I'm hoping that someone from Apple

00:21:45   is listening to this.

00:21:46   And before I forget, I think I mentioned this on and off

00:21:51   before inside one of my articles, maybe in the iOS

00:21:56   review, maybe in the stage manager article.

00:21:58   But this thing is driving me crazy.

00:22:00   And it just happened again as I was replying

00:22:03   to mat on Discord, and I just need to mention this, there's this problem with the iPadOS

00:22:11   16 keyboard that is so annoying. I don't know if you guys have ever seen this. So when you

00:22:19   have an external keyboard connected to your iPad, whether it's a Magic Keyboard or in

00:22:24   in this case a Bluetooth keyboard, there's that little floating, it doesn't have a name,

00:22:33   floating button that is like the keyboard options floating menu. Have you guys seen

00:22:40   this? For me right now it says EN because my keyboard is set in English. And it floats

00:22:47   right there and it always, always gets in the way of text fields, toolbar buttons, just

00:22:56   key interface elements that I need to either see or click or touch.

00:23:03   And this thing, there's no way that like this floating pill, button, menu, whatever, there's

00:23:10   no way to make it go away, it seems.

00:23:16   you long press it, it says keyboard settings, show keyboard, show emoji, show emoji, Italian

00:23:22   and English.

00:23:24   These are like my keyboard configurations I guess, but I don't care and I just want

00:23:30   to hide this thing.

00:23:31   Right now, if I wanted to share a photo, a screenshot on Discord, I couldn't, because

00:23:39   Because this thing is in the way of the plus button to add an attachment, and if I try

00:23:45   to drag it away, seems like I can't, because it insists on showing me a menu instead, so

00:23:53   it's unhideable, unmovable, it's just horrible design.

00:23:59   Like this is actually even worse than some aspects of Stage Manager.

00:24:05   I just, if there's a way to remove this from existence, please let me know.

00:24:11   If there isn't, there should be one.

00:24:13   Last week we announced the triumphant return of the Tiny Heads t-shirt, without Myke's

00:24:19   knowledge or approval.

00:24:21   And I'm very happy to report that with seven days left, we have officially sold more this

00:24:27   time than last time, so thank you for everyone who has ordered a shirt.

00:24:31   If you haven't, again, you have just seven days left.

00:24:35   So there's a link in the show notes, and you can be part of Tiny Head History.

00:24:40   This episode of Connected is made possible by TextExpander.

00:24:45   When you work with a small team, every moment counts.

00:24:48   You don't want to be wasting your time finding video conference details to send to a new

00:24:52   client or tracking down the same FAQs from the company website.

00:24:57   These are the kinds of things you want at your fingertips so you can get your work done

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00:26:02   I cannot imagine sitting down at a Mac

00:26:04   or even my PC without it there.

00:26:07   Today's the last day of the month,

00:26:09   and that means that I have some bookkeeping stuff

00:26:11   to do for Relay, and I was doing that this morning.

00:26:14   I have to send a couple emails and do a couple things,

00:26:16   and I have so much of that built into TextExpander now.

00:26:20   With just a couple of keystrokes,

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00:26:52   Our thanks to TextExpander for their support of the show

00:26:55   and relay FM.

00:26:57   So I realized the other day that it has been 10 years

00:27:02   since the original iPad mini went on sale.

00:27:06   It was announced in the--

00:27:08   - Wow, no.

00:27:09   - It was announced in the fall of 2012

00:27:14   alongside the fourth generation iPad.

00:27:17   Remember that one?

00:27:18   The iPad three had the retina display

00:27:20   and the iPad four came out nine months later

00:27:22   with a GPU that could actually drive the retina display.

00:27:25   I also introduced lightning to the iPad.

00:27:27   The iPad mini, the original one famously

00:27:29   did not have a retina display,

00:27:31   but it did launch with, until what was very recently,

00:27:35   modern iPad design where the long bezels

00:27:39   were a little bit thinner,

00:27:40   not as squared off as what we had seen before.

00:27:46   And I, you know, thinking back,

00:27:49   I ordered an iPad mini immediately.

00:27:52   I was captivated by the idea.

00:27:55   And I want to talk a little bit about that today,

00:27:57   and then kind of about where the iPad Mini has gone

00:27:59   and where it may be going.

00:28:01   So thinking back a decade,

00:28:04   was the iPad Mini something that the two of you

00:28:06   were interested in off the bat?

00:28:08   Did you get one of those early ones?

00:28:10   Kind of what's your story with it?

00:28:12   - I think I remember that I was very into the idea,

00:28:16   but I'm pretty sure I was very disappointed

00:28:20   by the first version of the Mini not having

00:28:23   the retina display.

00:28:24   And so I was very intrigued by the form factor,

00:28:28   but I was very sad about the display.

00:28:31   And I also remember being very happy about this.

00:28:35   Was it the second generation that added the retina display?

00:28:38   - Yeah, just a year later.

00:28:39   In fact, I reread my original iPad Mini review.

00:28:43   And then I was like, I think it's gonna be a while

00:28:45   before they fit a retina display in here.

00:28:47   But they did it the next year.

00:28:49   And I think I actually used the Mini as like my main iPad for like several months.

00:28:58   I think, and I mean now that's 10 years ago, so the details are kind of hazy right now.

00:29:03   Of course.

00:29:04   I'm pretty sure that for like six months, I ran this experiment where like the iPad

00:29:10   Mini was my only iPad.

00:29:13   Was there a cellular version of the iPad Mini?

00:29:15   There was, yeah.

00:29:17   So yeah, I probably used it with a SIM card in it

00:29:21   as like my main computer for like six months.

00:29:25   That was when I was in between iPads.

00:29:28   And it was also right before like I officially

00:29:33   made the leap to go full on iPad lifestyle.

00:29:38   That was 2014 with the iPad Air.

00:29:41   And I think in 2013, so in 2012, the mini came out.

00:29:45   then in 2013, I got the Redlands Play.

00:29:47   I think in 2013, yes, because in 2013,

00:29:51   I was done with treatments

00:29:54   and I was sort of rethinking my entire lifestyle

00:29:58   and workflow.

00:30:00   And so I was in between the iPad 3,

00:30:04   which is the one that I was using in 2012,

00:30:07   and the iPad Mini.

00:30:09   And I think I remember that for like a few months,

00:30:12   I said, "Well, I'm gonna use the iPad Mini

00:30:14   as a work computer.

00:30:15   And then the following year,

00:30:17   I decided I liked the iPad so much,

00:30:20   I wanna use it as my main machine

00:30:22   instead of the MacBook Air that I had.

00:30:24   And so I went all in on the iPad, so the workflow,

00:30:28   but with the iPad Air in 2014.

00:30:31   - Yeah, what about you, John?

00:30:33   - I've had three iPad minis.

00:30:36   I had one of the early ones,

00:30:37   and I'm not actually sure which one it is.

00:30:39   It's probably the 2014 with Touch ID,

00:30:44   I think that might have been, no actually it's the 2013 I had.

00:30:48   And then I went with the 2015 iPad Mini

00:30:53   and now I've got the most current one.

00:30:56   And it's always been a product that kind of,

00:31:00   that intrigued me, I think in a lot of this,

00:31:03   for a lot of the same reasons Federico listed,

00:31:05   but it's never quite delivered until the more modern one,

00:31:09   the one that's out now.

00:31:10   That one I really feel like took a big leap forward.

00:31:14   And those earlier ones ended up as hand-me-downs.

00:31:19   My wife is still using the one that I had before

00:31:23   that has Touch ID, and she loves it for reading books

00:31:27   and playing casual games and things like that,

00:31:29   watching video.

00:31:30   And my current Mac Mini, I'm using for a lot

00:31:35   of different uses.

00:31:37   I mean, it's primarily for reading.

00:31:39   I'll read articles in Matter,

00:31:42   I'll do things like respond to emails.

00:31:46   It's kind of the device I use when I'm done

00:31:49   sitting in front of a computer all day

00:31:51   and still wanna get a few things done,

00:31:53   so I'll sit on the couch and use the Mini.

00:31:56   - Yeah, that 2013 was a big year.

00:31:59   That is when the first iPad Air came out,

00:32:02   and so the big iPad matched the Mini

00:32:05   in terms of industrial design,

00:32:07   and they both got the A7,

00:32:11   which had shown up in the iPhone 5S,

00:32:13   the first 64-bit A series chip.

00:32:16   And so that year, you really had two iPads.

00:32:19   You had the Mini and you had the Air,

00:32:22   and you just picked your size.

00:32:24   And other than that, they were effectively the same iPad.

00:32:27   And year is kinda like the,

00:32:30   it may have given us false hope

00:32:33   about how Apple is gonna treat the iPad Mini down the road,

00:32:36   because in 2014 it got Touch ID, as someone just mentioned,

00:32:40   but no other updates.

00:32:43   And then in 2015, it got updated to the A8,

00:32:47   but again, really no other changes.

00:32:49   And that fourth gen from 2015 was on sale for four years.

00:32:54   And in the later years,

00:32:58   just as the 128 gigabyte high-end model,

00:33:01   do y'all remember that?

00:33:02   Where like the only iPad mini was the most expensive one,

00:33:06   and it put it like midway in the range price-wise.

00:33:08   It was very strange.

00:33:10   And I think they started taking it

00:33:11   a bit more seriously in 2019,

00:33:13   when it went from the A8 to the A12,

00:33:16   and it got first-generation pencil support.

00:33:20   And those five generations of iPad Mini

00:33:23   all looked the same, other than the display and touch ID,

00:33:27   but in the same form factor.

00:33:29   In September of last year, so about 12, 13 months ago,

00:33:34   we got the current iPad mini,

00:33:37   which brings the flat sides,

00:33:41   Pencil 2, USB-C, all that stuff to the mini

00:33:44   for the first time.

00:33:45   - And now it's been over a year,

00:33:47   and of course there's no update,

00:33:49   and I guess we're just waiting for,

00:33:52   to understand what this new iPad mini schedule

00:33:54   is gonna be like, and I don't know,

00:33:56   I have a feeling that the iPad mini is gonna be

00:33:59   at least on a two year schedule, right?

00:34:03   So for example, if a Pencil 3 comes out next year--

00:34:08   and we've been talking about the weirdness of the Apple Pencil

00:34:11   lineup over the past few weeks.

00:34:13   So let's say that a Pencil 3 comes out next year.

00:34:16   I wouldn't be surprised if in September 23,

00:34:19   we got a new iPad Mini that supports the Apple Pencil 2,

00:34:24   so the older version.

00:34:26   But it's got maybe a liquid--

00:34:28   it's got the Mini LED display.

00:34:30   It's got promotion and the better display,

00:34:32   but it doesn't have the fancy Apple Pencil.

00:34:35   Like, it's always gonna be one step behind somewhere,

00:34:40   and right now it's one step behind

00:34:42   in the display department.

00:34:44   Yeah.

00:34:45   Maybe in the future it'll be behind

00:34:46   in terms of the accessories.

00:34:48   Yeah, I think that's a good point.

00:34:49   I think the thing with the Mini is that

00:34:51   it's really not designed to be updated

00:34:53   on a super regular basis.

00:34:55   I mean, the A15 is still a really good chip,

00:34:58   and for something like the Mini,

00:34:59   it powers it really well.

00:35:01   I do wish that like Federico would add a better screen,

00:35:04   but I feel pretty good about the performance otherwise,

00:35:08   still using it today.

00:35:10   I think it could also use some additional storage options.

00:35:13   I think that's a little bit limited as well,

00:35:15   but a few more tiers of that and a promotion

00:35:20   and a better display could be a nice selling point

00:35:24   going forward.

00:35:25   - I think I agree with like the two year cadence.

00:35:27   I think that seems about right to me.

00:35:31   And maybe look at the other iPads,

00:35:33   like the iPad Pro is 18 to 24 months,

00:35:36   the iPad Air, like that's about when iPads get updated.

00:35:40   Now there's a weird thing going on in the iPad line

00:35:41   for a long time now,

00:35:43   where they don't all get updated at once,

00:35:45   and so you end up with oddities,

00:35:47   like that the 10th generation iPad, right?

00:35:50   It's like a bundle of mystery,

00:35:52   it's like why is that thing the way that it is?

00:35:55   And so there's always some pressure there on some products

00:35:59   that, okay, well, you're clearly out of step

00:36:01   with your siblings.

00:36:03   But the iPad Mini, I mean, it was Tim Cook's, like,

00:36:08   first newish product.

00:36:10   I mean, it was basically an iPad 2,

00:36:12   but smaller in the beginning.

00:36:14   And then they made it really good with the second gen,

00:36:17   with Retina.

00:36:19   But it's always felt a little bit like

00:36:21   it's probably the least well-selling iPad, I would imagine.

00:36:25   Maybe that or like the 12.9.

00:36:27   but it's definitely not a mainstream,

00:36:30   like the iPad Air or the 10th generation iPad,

00:36:33   no adjective is.

00:36:34   Some of that's Apple's fault,

00:36:36   like the four year period where it didn't get an update.

00:36:38   Yeah, it didn't get an update.

00:36:39   It didn't sell because you didn't update it, right?

00:36:41   And people, if you look at the iPad sales over time,

00:36:46   their best quarters are when they have updates.

00:36:48   And so I hope that the Mini does get regular attention

00:36:53   because, and I got some links in the show notes,

00:36:55   both of you wrote about the current iPad mini,

00:37:00   and that's really why I got one.

00:37:02   I was using an 11-inch iPad Pro.

00:37:05   I kinda given up on the mini,

00:37:07   and I had the keyboard and the trackpad and everything.

00:37:09   And then, John in particular,

00:37:12   you spoke so highly of the new mini.

00:37:15   I ordered one based on your article,

00:37:17   and I have absolutely loved it,

00:37:20   to the point that I don't use the iPad Pro anymore.

00:37:24   I need to probably pass it on to somebody.

00:37:27   The Mini really works for me because I don't use the iPad

00:37:30   as a laptop replacement.

00:37:33   I use it for Discord and email and Slack and video stuff.

00:37:37   It's fully in sort of the traditional iPad uses for me,

00:37:41   just personally.

00:37:42   And so the Mini is fantastic for that.

00:37:44   I got the big storage and I got the cellular

00:37:46   and that's awesome to have on a device that size.

00:37:49   And I just hope Apple keeps paying attention to it

00:37:52   because the new one really is so good,

00:37:56   and if they just push it a little bit further,

00:37:58   like with some of the display stuff in particular,

00:38:01   it would be outstanding.

00:38:02   - Yeah, I do notice the display stuff a little bit,

00:38:05   and it does bug me.

00:38:07   One of the things I've been experimenting with lately

00:38:09   is pairing the Mini with a Logitech Crayon,

00:38:13   because Logitech, they were touting the Crayon again

00:38:17   with the latest iPad releases,

00:38:19   and they sent me one to test,

00:38:20   and it's really a nice device.

00:38:22   I mean, the thing with someone like me is that I'm,

00:38:25   you know, I like Apple's pencil,

00:38:28   but the pressure sensitivity, not having that,

00:38:31   I haven't really missed with the Mini

00:38:32   because I use it more often to just kinda like

00:38:35   sketch things out, maybe take a few notes,

00:38:37   maybe mark up some screenshots and that sort of thing.

00:38:41   And the crayon is really good for that.

00:38:43   And you can turn the power off when you don't need it

00:38:45   and the battery lasts kind of a long time.

00:38:47   So that's something, I may write about it at some point,

00:38:50   but the Crayon has been kind of a nice pair with the Mini.

00:38:55   - The Mini definitely fits into like

00:38:57   the digital notebook kind of space.

00:39:00   And I'm not a big Apple Pencil user.

00:39:01   I have the Pencil 2.

00:39:04   It is really nice that it snaps onto the side of it,

00:39:06   but the Crayon will probably make more sense.

00:39:09   I already had the Pencil 2, so I just kept it.

00:39:11   But I think if you're looking for something

00:39:13   like a little digital sketch pad with good notes

00:39:15   or one of a thousand other good sketching apps

00:39:18   on the App Store,

00:39:19   there's something about the Mini in its size

00:39:21   that's I think really attractive about that.

00:39:24   And that kind of leads me to my big question about the Mini.

00:39:28   And honestly, I think it's Apple's big question

00:39:30   about the Mini is like, who is it for?

00:39:32   Like who walks into an Apple store

00:39:35   and leaves with an iPad Mini?

00:39:36   Do you all have ideas on that?

00:39:38   - I have no idea.

00:39:41   I think it's a very, like when you phrase it like that,

00:39:45   because it's a very tricky question.

00:39:49   I've always looked at the iPad mini as an additional iPad

00:39:54   for people who already have an iPad.

00:39:57   - Yeah, that's what I was gonna say.

00:39:58   - Or Mac users who want a very small tablet

00:40:03   for exactly what you described, Steven,

00:40:06   like the occasional side task or like a consumption device

00:40:11   that you can use on the couch, in the bathtub,

00:40:13   or in bed, like whatever.

00:40:15   I don't know who walks into an Apple store and buys an iPad Mini standalone to say,

00:40:23   "I want to do a bunch of things on this one, including studying and doing work and playing games."

00:40:30   The iPad Air is a much better deal as like an sort of all-purpose device.

00:40:38   The iPad Mini is very specialized.

00:40:40   And at the same time, the iPad Mini is very different from an iPhone Mini.

00:40:45   An iPhone mini is, or was, a full on iPhone, right?

00:40:52   It just, you chose it because it was smaller and pocketable.

00:40:57   The iPad mini, it's not like you can fit it in your jeans pocket, you know?

00:41:02   It's still a tablet, but it's just very small.

00:41:06   So I think the ideal customer is the person who wants to read a lot of books and comic

00:41:14   books and manga or listen to music or audiobooks but doesn't want to get a Kindle. But then

00:41:21   again it's not priced like a Kindle. And you can get these other e-readers from Kobo or

00:41:29   these other companies much cheaper than an iPad mini. So to answer your question, I don't

00:41:35   know who walks into an Apple store and says I want an iPad mini.

00:41:39   Yeah, I think there's another customer, Federico, who is the person who uses the 12.9 iPad Pro.

00:41:46   Yeah.

00:41:47   Because, you know, I mean, I think there's a lot to be said for having both the largest and smallest iPad, if you're into the iPad, because that's kind of the route that I've gone.

00:41:57   And, you know, there are times where the iPad Pro 12.9 inch is just, it's just too big.

00:42:02   I don't want to lug it around the house.

00:42:03   I don't want to have it in my lap,

00:42:05   but maybe I'm watching TV and browsing through Discord

00:42:09   or something at the same time.

00:42:11   And the iPad mini is a better way to do that than my iPhone.

00:42:16   And so it does actually pair really well with that iPad,

00:42:20   but still just like, I think for Steven,

00:42:24   it is very much a secondary iPad in kind of the way I work.

00:42:28   - It's just interesting.

00:42:28   And I think the price is a big factor there.

00:42:31   Like if it was the cheapest iPad,

00:42:34   - Yeah, that's the problem. - That would be one thing.

00:42:36   But they've made it, it bucks the trend.

00:42:40   Normally with Apple stuff, the larger the display,

00:42:42   the more it costs.

00:42:43   That's been the way,

00:42:44   that's how most consumer tech is, right?

00:42:47   But the iPad mini, with the iPad mini,

00:42:50   Apple has made it a little bit different.

00:42:52   Like it's a bit of a premium product because it's smaller,

00:42:56   and because of that, you pay a bit more than the base iPad.

00:43:01   And that's just, I mean, that is what it is.

00:43:03   I can't change that, but it does complicate things

00:43:06   if you are looking to make a purchase.

00:43:10   - And I mean, I am the kind of user

00:43:12   who has a 12.9 inch iPad Pro to, you know,

00:43:16   what John said, like the ideal,

00:43:18   an ideal customer is the kind of person

00:43:20   who has a big iPad Pro and wants a small iPad Pro.

00:43:23   But as I mentioned recently, for me personally,

00:43:27   I just realized that I always go back

00:43:30   to using one iPad, like the overhead

00:43:33   of having multiple iPads is just too much for me.

00:43:36   I know that it works for a lot of people.

00:43:38   It worked for me before,

00:43:40   but it always falls down eventually as a setup.

00:43:43   Like there's always that friction of,

00:43:46   oh, I forgot to download this app

00:43:48   or this app I am not logged in

00:43:50   or my home screen is slightly different.

00:43:53   My widgets are different.

00:43:54   Like there's always that extra step

00:43:57   that you gotta go to make sure

00:43:58   that the two iPads look the same.

00:44:01   And maybe you don't have the problem, maybe you don't care,

00:44:04   but I know myself and I know that eventually,

00:44:07   I always end up with having one iPad that is not charged.

00:44:12   And I'm like, oh, I don't wanna deal with that.

00:44:15   Let me just grab the iPad that I was using 20 minutes ago.

00:44:19   And so for me, that's a sign that I am not cut out

00:44:22   for the multi iPad lifestyle.

00:44:24   I've tried it many, many, many times.

00:44:27   It just doesn't work for me.

00:44:29   But it could work if there was a better way to sync those,

00:44:34   you know, sort of your user profile across multiple iPads.

00:44:39   If it was a little more advanced,

00:44:41   sort of like an Apple TV syncing its home screen,

00:44:44   like if I could sync my widgets and my home screen pages,

00:44:48   and I think maybe there could be a lot of potential there

00:44:53   for people like me.

00:44:55   - I think that's an interesting perspective, Federico,

00:44:57   because I think a lot of Mac users feel like that too

00:44:59   when they have a desktop and a laptop.

00:45:01   - Yes, yes. - Right?

00:45:03   And so I think given that that's your primary device,

00:45:06   I'm not surprised that's where you're coming from.

00:45:08   For me, I feel like having both iPads is a little easier

00:45:11   because they're not my primary devices.

00:45:14   And while I like having the bigger screen

00:45:16   of the iPad Pro 12.9,

00:45:18   when I'm writing or doing research and writing

00:45:20   and that kind of thing,

00:45:21   having the mini is just kind of a nice sit back

00:45:26   and relaxed kind of iPad, but I totally get

00:45:29   where you're coming from with that

00:45:30   and keeping everything logged in and synced up.

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00:48:01   There is one more item in our document today

00:48:04   and all it says is Federico's surprise,

00:48:07   which happens a lot on this show.

00:48:09   You're a big surprise boy,

00:48:11   but Jon and I have a guess of what you've done.

00:48:15   I don't know if you wanna hear that guess

00:48:17   or how do you wanna play this?

00:48:19   - No, I don't wanna hear that guess.

00:48:22   Obviously, I like my surprises.

00:48:25   This is a regular thing on my shows.

00:48:28   So before we talk about the actual surprise,

00:48:32   I would like to contextualize.

00:48:36   This surprise is about my setup, right?

00:48:39   It's about what I've been setting up

00:48:42   in my new office space.

00:48:44   And I mean, I wouldn't be well-surprised

00:48:46   if you guys were able to guess what I've done.

00:48:49   But before we get to that, Steven,

00:48:51   why don't you contextualize, let's see if you can remember,

00:48:55   this whole saga of what happened with my desk

00:49:00   and my new office over the past few weeks.

00:49:03   - Yeah, so you moved, you have a new office,

00:49:05   you bought a Apple Studio display

00:49:09   that you mounted on a VESA mount just right on the wall,

00:49:12   using iPad Pro, and you have a,

00:49:15   I believe a 14-inch MacBook Pro.

00:49:18   And your idea was, okay, I can use the studio display

00:49:23   with either of my computers, right?

00:49:24   Depending on what you're doing,

00:49:26   if you're doing your regular work or if you're podcasting,

00:49:29   you could take advantage of the same screen.

00:49:31   And you have struggled to find a keyboard and mouse

00:49:35   or trackpad, input story, input accessories

00:49:39   that lets you fluidly move between those devices.

00:49:43   You know, you really, your vision was

00:49:46   Single Thunderbolt cable goes to the iPad,

00:49:49   the iPad and the keyboard and mouse, the track pad,

00:49:51   everything just works with the studio display.

00:49:54   Okay, it's time to record app stories,

00:49:56   give my MacBook Pro,

00:49:58   plug the same Thunderbolt cable into it

00:49:59   and all your accessories and display and everything

00:50:01   move over to the laptop.

00:50:04   And we talked about some possible solutions for this.

00:50:08   We spoke about how you could use universal control,

00:50:12   but that would mean that the MacBook Pro

00:50:14   would have to be on and awake all the time.

00:50:16   We talked about, I think you even tried

00:50:18   some Logitech accessories that kind of promised to do this,

00:50:23   but you didn't like and didn't really do

00:50:24   what you wanted to do.

00:50:26   We also talked about you could just use these devices wired

00:50:32   'cause they both have trackpad and the keyboard

00:50:34   have lightning ports and you could leave those plugged in

00:50:37   to your Thunderbolt dock, which you also bought.

00:50:39   Someone in the Discord, I don't think it made it

00:50:40   into follow-up or maybe it did, I don't remember,

00:50:42   but someone in Discord had suggested,

00:50:45   well, you could just plug the keyboard and trackpad in

00:50:49   for a second, 'cause that pairs them,

00:50:52   and then unplug it and like get rid of the cable,

00:50:54   you know, hide the cable away in your actual usage,

00:50:57   but there's still a lot of back and forth, right?

00:50:58   And you're like repairing your devices several times a week.

00:51:01   - Exactly.

00:51:02   - So I believe where we left you is

00:51:04   you don't really have a super smooth solution

00:51:07   to move between your two computers

00:51:09   and the rest of your setup.

00:51:11   - Right, well, that's an excellent summary.

00:51:13   I think you got all the details right.

00:51:15   I don't think you forgot anything.

00:51:17   So here's the thing.

00:51:19   Usually I record episodes of my podcasts on macOS, right?

00:51:24   Usually that's what I do.

00:51:26   But the thing is I never left iPadOS today.

00:51:30   In fact, as I'm talking to you right now,

00:51:33   the screen I'm looking at in front of me

00:51:35   is iPadOS with Stage Manager.

00:51:38   And the iPad underneath the display

00:51:44   It's also iPadOS, obviously.

00:51:46   I am recording this on macOS, but I'm not looking at it.

00:51:51   In fact, and I'm gonna send you a picture.

00:51:53   - All right.

00:51:54   - I'm uploading this in Discord.

00:51:56   This is a tiny macOS window.

00:52:01   - Steven is the editor of the show.

00:52:02   You're shaking now, aren't you?

00:52:04   - No, if he's recording on macOS, so you are using--

00:52:08   - I'm recording on macOS.

00:52:09   - Yeah, you're--

00:52:10   - I'm recording on macOS.

00:52:11   Yeah, you're recording on Mac OS using VNC or screens or some sort of remote control from the iPad to get to the Mac

00:52:17   That is absolutely correct because the thing that I've done is

00:52:22   so we've been talking about like this dream of

00:52:26   having these accessories without wires without cables that I absolutely hate and

00:52:33   I wanted to have like I wanted to achieve this dream

00:52:36   And so I've been talking with a bunch of people behind the scenes as I always do and I realized that there was only one

00:52:43   Way forward for me if I wanted to do this and have the Apple magic keyboard and the Apple magic trackpad

00:52:50   without cables and

00:52:53   use both with

00:52:55   Mac OS and iPad OS and there was only one way and that one way was universal control

00:53:02   by universal control I

00:53:05   Could do it with my previous setup

00:53:08   But I couldn't do it in a way that I liked because it meant that I needed to leave

00:53:14   my

00:53:16   MacBook Pro open here we go or at least

00:53:19   Connected somehow. Okay, this this is leading into John and I's guess. I think you guys guessed it

00:53:25   Yes, we you have you have purchased

00:53:32   We were debating a Mac mini or Mac studio. It's absolutely a Mac studio. No, no

00:53:38   Last week I went ahead and I'm sorry, but I needed to test this out

00:53:43   I didn't know that there are new Mac minis on the horizon. So for now I

00:53:47   kept it pretty cheap and you know, I did pretty simple I got me a

00:53:54   refurbished Mac mini a

00:53:57   a base model from--

00:53:59   Well, Steven. There you go.

00:54:01   I'm uploading a picture in Discord.

00:54:03   Oh, there it is.

00:54:04   I got a base model 2020 Mac Mini,

00:54:09   the very base model, 256 gigs of storage, eight gigs of RAM.

00:54:14   And this is my new setup.

00:54:19   I'm uploading--

00:54:20   Being crushed by three other pieces of hardware

00:54:23   on top of it, that poor Mini.

00:54:25   Please do not complain about this in the article that I will publish on the

00:54:30   monthly log for Club Maxories members in just a few hours,

00:54:33   which Jon did not read.

00:54:36   I wrote how all of this will be hidden eventually because I still need to

00:54:41   actually get it.

00:54:43   I know you don't have a new desk.

00:54:45   I still need to get a new desk. All of this is temporary.

00:54:48   And I just wanted to make sure that this could work for today.

00:54:55   And so here's how it all came together.

00:54:57   I got a Mac Mini.

00:54:59   I upgraded the Mac Mini to Ventura.

00:55:01   I got a refurbished model.

00:55:02   It basically looks new, like it's incredible.

00:55:05   Like you can save money and get a computer

00:55:07   that is basically new, but it's not.

00:55:10   So here's the idea.

00:55:15   The Mac Mini is always on, okay?

00:55:18   It never goes to sleep.

00:55:20   And I was actually talking to Jason

00:55:22   about this behind the scenes.

00:55:24   Jason and I talk and eventually, like I always say,

00:55:27   eventually those things become articles.

00:55:29   Sometimes on Mac stories,

00:55:30   sometimes on Mac Word and Six Colors.

00:55:32   Talking to Jason, Jason told me,

00:55:34   "Hey, I think you can totally do this with a Mac Studio."

00:55:37   And that got me thinking.

00:55:38   I was like, "I don't wanna buy a Mac Studio,

00:55:40   but maybe I can get a Mac Mini."

00:55:41   And so it dawned on me,

00:55:43   like I can get a refurbished Mac Mini.

00:55:45   So,

00:55:46   Steven, the USB pre-2 is lacking cables

00:55:50   because it was just for the photo op.

00:55:53   so I wanted it to look nice.

00:55:56   - Oh wow.

00:55:57   Wow, it's like an Apple thing.

00:56:00   You've got no cables whatsoever.

00:56:01   Good job.

00:56:02   - You bought the white stream deck?

00:56:04   - Yes, that looks sick.

00:56:06   God, that looks good.

00:56:07   - Yeah, that does look pretty cool.

00:56:09   - I'm getting to it, I'm getting to it.

00:56:11   So the Mac Mini is always on.

00:56:13   The Magic Trackpad and Magic Keyboard

00:56:15   are originally paired with the Mac Mini.

00:56:19   Then I enabled universal control

00:56:21   And the Mac Mini is running headless.

00:56:25   It's not connected to a display.

00:56:27   The iPad Pro is on the--

00:56:30   that's actually not the Apple Smart Cover.

00:56:34   It's another Smart Folio that I got from Amazon.

00:56:37   I don't remember the name.

00:56:38   I'm trying that out.

00:56:40   But anyway, the idea is I can pick up the iPad

00:56:45   and bring it to the living room if I want to use it

00:56:48   like a tablet or place it there, run a single cable

00:56:52   and connect it to the studio display.

00:56:54   So when I'm working, the iPad Pro is always connected

00:56:57   to the studio display.

00:56:59   When I want to use the keyboard and trackpad,

00:57:01   I just need to imagine that I'm moving the pointer

00:57:05   to the left of the Mac Mini.

00:57:07   - No, the Jason Snell technique.

00:57:10   - Yes, and by imagining that, it does appear.

00:57:13   You just, you will it into existence

00:57:18   and the pointer appears, right?

00:57:20   That's how universal control works.

00:57:22   And it totally does.

00:57:24   It totally works.

00:57:25   So for the past few days, I've been using

00:57:29   and working with the iPad Pro like this.

00:57:32   Here's what's going on with the other gear.

00:57:35   The USB Pre 2 is my current audio interface.

00:57:40   That's where the microphone and mute switch

00:57:42   are plugged in right now.

00:57:44   It's connected via USB to the Mac Mini.

00:57:47   When it's not in use, I can just unplug the USB... what is it? USB B cable?

00:57:56   Yeah, it's like the printer USB.

00:57:59   I can just unplug the USB B cable from the right side of the USB Pre, so it's disconnected from the Mac Mini.

00:58:06   The CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt dock. This one controls the studio display, so I can use

00:58:17   I can use it to run the iPad Pro to the dock and the dock goes to the studio display

00:58:22   and I can also use it for expansion and Ethernet.

00:58:26   The Mac Mini is plugged into Ethernet right now

00:58:32   and it also has the new Elgato Stream Deck MK2.

00:58:39   That's the only model that I could find in white.

00:58:43   I know that I wanted to get a white Stream Deck,

00:58:46   and I know that I wanted to get white accessories,

00:58:48   because I already know that in the future,

00:58:50   I will get a different desk with a slightly darker texture.

00:58:54   It's going to look sick.

00:58:55   And white accessories are going to look amazing on it.

00:58:58   So that's why I really wanted to get these white accessories.

00:59:02   And the Stream Deck, like I wrote in the article

00:59:05   that will come out in just a few hours,

00:59:10   The Stream Deck, I figured out how to use it to run shortcuts by pressing, obviously, physical buttons,

00:59:22   but those shortcuts, you may wonder, well, if it's plugged into the Mac, surely the shortcuts are running on macOS.

00:59:31   No, the shortcuts, I am triggering them on the Stream Deck, but they run on the iPad.

00:59:39   and you may wonder how can you do that.

00:59:42   I realized that I could put together a nice little system

00:59:45   where I can press a button on the Stream Deck

00:59:50   and using PushCut, which is this incredible automation utility,

00:59:55   it sends a notification to my iPad Pro.

00:59:58   And on the iPad Pro, I can just tap the notification

01:00:01   and it runs the shortcut I want.

01:00:03   So, for example, to start the timer in Timery

01:00:07   that I'm usually starting for shows, I pressed a button, the iPad got a notification, I tapped

01:00:14   it and it started my timer. So I will be setting up the Stream Deck as a physical dashboard

01:00:21   for my shortcuts that I'm running on the iPad Pro instead of Mac OS.

01:00:27   Additionally, the Mac Mini, obviously I realized, well, if I have a Mac Mini that is always

01:00:33   is on, I gotta use it for something. You know, why not? So I had this OWC

01:00:39   Thunderbolt drive, it's a 1TB drive that I got last year, so I set up

01:00:44   once again my offline music collection, my music library, with Roon on the Mac

01:00:50   Mini. So the Mac Mini is already being used as a Roon core, so I can listen to

01:00:55   my music library using Roon, Roon Arc, and other compatible apps from my iPhone, the

01:01:02   iPad, other Macs, whatever, which means I will no longer need my Intel NUC that I was

01:01:08   using before for my music collection. Now if I have a Mac Mini again, well, rest in

01:01:14   peace Intel NUC. I no longer need you. But I'm thinking about other uses for the Mac

01:01:21   Mini as a server. I'm open to ideas if people have recommendations. I mean, of course, Plex

01:01:26   comes to mind. I'm thinking about theā€¦

01:01:29   - I need to watch some Italian TV is what I need, Federico.

01:01:32   So get that Plex thing up and running.

01:01:34   - I probably will do Plex.

01:01:37   I will do the guest account for people.

01:01:42   So I will probably need to find,

01:01:45   since we moved, I can no longer find

01:01:49   my HD Home Run TV tuner.

01:01:51   I think I lost it.

01:01:52   (laughing)

01:01:53   They are impossible to find online.

01:01:56   - Yeah, they really are.

01:01:57   I've got one here.

01:01:58   don't know how to get one anymore. I think I lost mine and I don't know how to buy one,

01:02:05   but what I will do is I will set up an HDOM run eventually when I will be able to purchase one

01:02:11   and set up a guest account on Mac OS and do what I described I think on App Store or connected,

01:02:18   I forgot, but basically I will make a section of Mac OS where people can find Netflix, Apple TV+,

01:02:27   live TV and whatnot. But I think I will also check out that signals for HomeKit. It's a

01:02:37   third-party HomeKit utility that you can run on Mac OS as a server thing and basically you can use

01:02:44   like HomeKit stuff to run shortcuts on the Mac in the background, which is something that I will be

01:02:51   that I will be thinking about.

01:02:53   But yeah, I'm open to ideas.

01:02:54   If folks have other ideas for a Mac Mini

01:02:57   that is always on.

01:02:58   Right now I got room, Plex, signals for HomeKit.

01:03:02   If there's anything else, please let me know.

01:03:04   - One thing I would add is,

01:03:07   you probably want a new external drive for that,

01:03:09   but you can set up a time machine server

01:03:12   just in regular macOS now.

01:03:14   And so it could be backing up Sylvia's MacBook Pro.

01:03:17   And I guess, are you keeping your MacBook Pro, did you say?

01:03:20   - I'm known at this point.

01:03:21   - But you could set that up so anytime she's just

01:03:24   on the network, time machine is running

01:03:26   just across the network, so she doesn't have to like

01:03:28   plug in a time machine drive, which you know,

01:03:30   can be a real pain on a notebook.

01:03:32   - Yeah, it's nice.

01:03:33   - Yeah, I've got that set up for the MacBook Airs

01:03:38   my kids use for homework and school stuff,

01:03:41   and it's fantastic, like it works really well,

01:03:44   and I mean the first one is slow

01:03:46   'cause it's over your network, you know,

01:03:47   maybe buy Good Heroes to see a previous discussion,

01:03:51   but after that it's totally fine.

01:03:53   And that could be a good use,

01:03:54   especially since it's always going to be on

01:03:56   because you want it always on for other stuff you're doing.

01:03:58   - Yeah, mail rules too, Federico.

01:04:01   I mean, this is kind of the kind of stuff you can do

01:04:03   if you have an always on Mac with mail

01:04:05   running in the background,

01:04:06   you can set up rules that probably will handle

01:04:08   a lot of the stuff you used third-party services for

01:04:10   in the past.

01:04:11   - Yeah, we did an episode of MPU like two years ago

01:04:16   called the Mighty Mac Mini, and it was all about uses

01:04:21   for an always-on computer.

01:04:24   Like, another one is Hazel.

01:04:26   Like, if you have things that you want to run,

01:04:30   I mean, really, like mail,

01:04:31   any always-on Mac app can be really helpful.

01:04:35   So a lot of people use Hazel in conjunction

01:04:37   with Dropbox or iCloud Drive to, like, process files.

01:04:41   I would definitely have your entire photo library,

01:04:44   like downloaded to it so you can back that up somewhere.

01:04:47   - You just gave me an excellent idea.

01:04:49   What if I add,

01:04:51   what if I add

01:04:54   Hazel support

01:04:56   to Apple frames?

01:04:58   - Ooh, there you go. - So that you can drop

01:05:00   a bunch of images in a folder

01:05:02   and, huh, hmm.

01:05:05   Gotta think about it, but that's an idea.

01:05:06   You could do it.

01:05:07   - Yeah, having an Always On Mac makes a big difference

01:05:10   when it comes to automation,

01:05:11   because especially with like iCloud Drive,

01:05:12   you can drop things in folders and use them

01:05:16   to trigger all sorts of automation stuff.

01:05:19   - Okay, okay, these are all good ideas,

01:05:21   so I'm making a note.

01:05:23   - The opportunities are endless with an Always On Mac.

01:05:26   I mean, I've got one, I've got a 2018 Intel Mac Mini

01:05:30   under my TV that has a SuperDrive attached to it,

01:05:32   'cause sometimes kids still wanna watch stuff on DVD,

01:05:35   but I have Homebridge running on it,

01:05:37   I've got the Time Machine server running on it,

01:05:39   I have Plex running on it.

01:05:41   - Homebridge for what?

01:05:42   So I use Homebridge to bring in my Ring accessories

01:05:47   into HomeKit.

01:05:48   - Oh yes, I remember that, yeah.

01:05:49   - And there's something else.

01:05:50   I run two main things in there.

01:05:52   I forget what the other one is, but,

01:05:53   oh, my home alarm system.

01:05:56   They have an app, but it's not HomeKit compatible,

01:05:58   but there's a Homebridge plugin.

01:05:59   So, I mean, you have lots of opportunities here

01:06:02   and I think you're gonna find,

01:06:04   like for me, if that Mac Mini died,

01:06:06   like I don't know if, I mean,

01:06:07   it'd be a bummer not to watch DVDs for the kids,

01:06:09   but like I'd replace it

01:06:10   because of the other stuff that I use it for.

01:06:12   Are you guys familiar with this piehole thing that people mention?

01:06:17   Yeah, network ad blocking.

01:06:19   That's kind of a, yeah, it's definitely a rabbit hole, Federico.

01:06:23   So far I have Hazel running one of these ad blockers on your network, like either piehole

01:06:31   or someone in Discord mentioned ad guard home. Time machine server, Plex, channels, DVR.

01:06:41   anything else? Like I will be. These are all like holiday projects and it was killing me

01:06:48   that I couldn't mention this in the App Stories episodes. But yeah.

01:06:52   Part three, baby.

01:06:53   Part three. I guess there should be a part three.

01:06:57   There should be. I've got another project that I'm working on that's along the lines

01:07:01   of this, which I'm not going to disclose.

01:07:04   Interesting. Interesting. There's one aspect I did not mention. Well, two more actually.

01:07:11   So one is, this Mac mini is low on storage, obviously.

01:07:16   So right now I placed the Dropbox folder on the external drive and I selective synced

01:07:23   the two folders, one for App Stories and the other for Connected, which are the two folders

01:07:28   I use to upload files for the shows.

01:07:32   I don't think I need it for anything else.

01:07:35   I don't know how bad of an idea it is to run Dropbox on an external drive, but I mean it

01:07:43   works and it's supported as long as you have an APFS drive, which I do.

01:07:50   So it should be fine I think.

01:07:52   And lastly, controlling macOS.

01:07:55   So obviously this Mac Mini is not plugged into anything, right?

01:07:59   screenshot I sent you before was a screenshot from Adobe Screens, the VNC app. Now, running screens

01:08:07   locally over Wi-Fi is fine. I mean, it's totally doable. You're not getting, obviously, the full

01:08:16   experience of, like, when you connect a Mac Mini to a studio display. You get the occasional latency

01:08:23   problem, you get the graphical artifacts,

01:08:26   you get the jittery animations.

01:08:28   Like, you can tell that compression is going on

01:08:31   and that you're communicating with a computer

01:08:34   over a wireless network.

01:08:36   Now, are there better alternatives to this?

01:08:40   I tried the-- so I looked around a little bit.

01:08:44   I tried Jump desktop instead of screens.

01:08:48   And I didn't like the UI, and I actually

01:08:50   thought that the image quality was worse than screens.

01:08:54   I don't know if there's a better alternative to VNC if I want to keep the Mac Mini headless.

01:09:03   The one thing I want to look into is changing the form factor of the virtual display this

01:09:13   headless Mac Mini has.

01:09:16   So when you run a Mac Mini headless, by default, at least right now, I'm getting a 1080p virtual

01:09:22   display, right? At 16.9 form factor. I'm pretty sure that there are like these fake

01:09:30   HDMI dongles.

01:09:31   Yeah, there are, I have one.

01:09:34   That you plug into a Mac Mini so that it's convinced that it's actually plugged into

01:09:40   a display, but it's not. My main problem being, when I'm using screens with Stage Manager,

01:09:48   it doesn't really play nice with the 16 by 9 form factor. I just wanna... I don't know

01:09:55   what the solution is. I just wanna force this headless Mac Mini to use a 4 by 3 form aspect

01:10:02   ratio instead of a 16 by 9. Yeah. So that the window in Stage Manager doesn't have

01:10:09   black bars around it. So you could look at a dummy HDMI plug. Those are gonna

01:10:16   force it to 1080 or 4k. I have not run this. I found it just kind of searching

01:10:22   as you were talking. There's a GitHub project called Better Display. Apparently

01:10:26   can do a lot of custom or non-standard screen resolutions for Mac OS. Again, I haven't run

01:10:37   this, I'm not vouching for it. Jason also put RDM in.

01:10:41   RDM, yes, I'm saving this.

01:10:43   So I'll put both of those in the show notes. So there are options, and if you can do it

01:10:47   in software, that'd be nice. I think the HDMI dongles, I've used them in the past, and I

01:10:54   I believe basically they trick it into 1080 or 4K,

01:10:58   and both of those would be 16 by nine.

01:11:00   So you don't want to--

01:11:01   - Okay, yeah, I don't want that.

01:11:03   - Yeah, so I'd look at either RDM or Better Display.

01:11:06   - Better Display looks very nice.

01:11:07   - And they're just little menu bar apps,

01:11:09   and that may be able to take care of it for you.

01:11:13   - Excellent, excellent, excellent.

01:11:16   - Yeah, that's great.

01:11:17   That Better Display is great to see.

01:11:18   I mean, I run a headless Mini 2, a 2018 one,

01:11:21   that's really just a Plex server

01:11:23   more than anything else now,

01:11:24   but having a better way to view the screen

01:11:27   would be a big help.

01:11:28   - So report back on those if you try them for us,

01:11:31   'cause I'd like to know.

01:11:33   - Oh, this is gonna be a whole thing.

01:11:35   Because my thought, so initially I thought,

01:11:39   no, hold on, because first you need to wrap your head

01:11:43   around this setup.

01:11:43   It gets kind of trippy if you think about it, right?

01:11:46   I am using an iPad Pro plug-in to a studio display,

01:11:49   and I'm controlling Mac OS using a Magic Keyboard and Trackpad on my iPad Pro that are originally

01:11:57   paired with the Mac that I'm actually VNCing into. It's a bit of a mind trip, right, when

01:12:04   you think about it. My initial thought was, well what if, when I need Mac OS, I jump over

01:12:14   sidecar mode real quick and I dip in and out of sidecar. But it seems like it's not possible

01:12:25   when the iPad is plugged into a studio display. Sidecar kind of freaks out and it kicks you

01:12:31   back to the lock screen and it doesn't want to do it. So if you're running a Mac mini

01:12:37   headless and you try to enable sidecar on the iPad but the iPad is physically plugged

01:12:42   into a display, sidecar freaks out, kicks me back to the lock screen and it doesn't

01:12:47   want to do it for me.

01:12:49   So that doesn't seem like a solution.

01:12:51   That's why I'm using screens.

01:12:53   If there is a better alternative to screens, I'm all for it, but in terms of performance

01:13:00   and design, it really is the best I've found so far.

01:13:04   If this was a Windows PC, I'd be using RDP instead of VNC and remote desktop is much

01:13:11   better than VNC in terms of performance and image quality. I don't think RDP is supported

01:13:18   on Mac OS, unfortunately. So yeah, we're stuck with VNC. I mean, it all works. I'm recording

01:13:25   this episode with Audio Hijack running as like, I'm basically using Mac OS as just another

01:13:32   window in Stage Manager, which is kind of amusing and ridiculous.

01:13:38   But it hurts me when you say it like that.

01:13:39   I know, I know, it's just another window, but it does what I want. And this is the conclusion

01:13:46   from the story. This is like the universal control dream that I had in mind, right? I

01:13:53   have this iPad as a modular computer, which with a single cable can become a desktop workstation.

01:14:01   I can unplug the cable and use it as a tablet. I have this trackpad and this keyboard on

01:14:06   my desk with no cables and they seamlessly switch between devices. I have a Mac for all

01:14:15   those times when I need to use a Mac. I have a Stream Deck for running shortcuts by pressing

01:14:19   physical buttons with nice colored icons on it. And eventually I will have a new desk,

01:14:26   but like right now I'm very very happy with this. And unless I majorly screwed up somewhere

01:14:33   and I didn't actually record this episode, which shouldn't be the case because I recorded

01:14:38   myself multiple times to make sure that everything was working and Audio Hijack says that everything

01:14:42   is working, I think this is it. I mean obviously I will need to get a new desk. All of this

01:14:50   equipment that is currently on the desk, like the Mac Mini, the USB audio interface, the

01:14:56   Thunderbolt dock and the external drive, all of this, I want to go away from the desk so

01:15:03   So I will need to, I think I will need to get like a custom design desk or something,

01:15:08   like I'm thinking about it, I need to talk to the guy who designs things for us about

01:15:14   this, but like, the idea is that I will get like a section underneath the desk where I

01:15:20   can place all of this, and my audio gear.

01:15:24   So I'll think about that, but eventually the goal is to have a very minimal desk with just

01:15:28   iPad, trackpad, keyboard, stream deck and the cube obviously some very nice

01:15:35   diffused lighting underneath the desk and behind the desk but this is the

01:15:41   setup this is it and I'm very happy with it. And the beauty of it is if you do

01:15:46   need to actively directly control the Mac Mini yes you can just just plug into

01:15:54   to it because it's right there. It's just a cable away. Yeah, that's nice. Having it

01:16:00   all in one spot like that makes it a lot more flexible too. I like your setup. That's really

01:16:05   a good solution. Now my one last question is do I really need to keep using this USB

01:16:13   pre 2? And I'm only asking because it's ugly. Well I was going to ask you about that. It's

01:16:18   It's just ugly at this point guys. Can you tell me by this where this is a nicer looking

01:16:26   product that maybe even makes me sound better? I mean that would be nice. Like is there anything

01:16:31   better that looks nicer than this object?

01:16:35   First question, why are you unplugging it?

01:16:38   No, no, no, no. This will stay on the Mac Mini. I'm just concerned about leaving it

01:16:45   powered on all the time.

01:16:48   It doesn't have an on/off switch?

01:16:49   No.

01:16:50   I have a little box for mine that cuts the power to the USB.

01:16:54   Yeah, that's one of the benefits of the MixPre 3 that I'm using is that it does have an

01:16:59   on/off switch, so mine just is turned off when I'm not using it.

01:17:03   It's a lot smaller too.

01:17:04   Yeah, I think one of the MixPre, I'm talking on the MixPre 6 at the moment, the 3 is a

01:17:10   little bit smaller.

01:17:11   The setup can be a little tricky on them.

01:17:14   It's definitely like set it once and never touch it again

01:17:17   because it basically treats the USB signal as an input.

01:17:21   It's kind of different from the way

01:17:22   the USB Pre 2.0 thinks about things.

01:17:25   But I've been happy with mine.

01:17:26   I mean, I use a USB Pre 2.0 still at my desk,

01:17:29   but the MixPre is what I use when I travel.

01:17:31   I'm using it today 'cause I'm recording somewhere else

01:17:33   and it's pretty great.

01:17:35   - Yeah, I mean, what I like too about the MixPre 3.0

01:17:38   is it takes SD cards so I can hit record on it too

01:17:41   and have an extra backup that's physically

01:17:43   on a different piece of hardware than my Mac.

01:17:45   - Oh, but this doesn't look any nicer.

01:17:46   - No, I mean, they're all gonna have knobs

01:17:49   and stuff on them.

01:17:49   - Why do they look ugly?

01:17:51   Why are they ugly?

01:17:53   I mean, look at the CalDigit.

01:17:54   It's a pro accessory, but it looks decent.

01:17:58   - Yeah, it's ugly.

01:18:00   - Yeah.

01:18:00   - No, the CalDigit's not good looking either, I don't think.

01:18:03   It's too big.

01:18:04   - Some people like the Elgato, the Wave XLR,

01:18:08   I think is what it is, like one big knob.

01:18:11   I have one.

01:18:12   I do not like it.

01:18:13   I think the preamp isn't that good,

01:18:15   and I think the one knob is like too confusing to use.

01:18:19   - Oh, but this looks much nicer though.

01:18:22   - Yeah, but it's a pain to use, I think.

01:18:24   - It's very software bound too, isn't it, Steven?

01:18:27   I think it is.

01:18:28   - I only use it on Windows, and a Windows it is,

01:18:30   I don't know about on the Mac,

01:18:32   but what I like about the MixPre and the USBPre 2

01:18:36   is there's no software required.

01:18:38   You know, someone mentioned Focusrite,

01:18:39   - Right, exactly. - The Scarlett lineup,

01:18:41   and that stuff looks nice, but at least in my experience,

01:18:44   some of the Scarlett devices do require

01:18:47   like Mac OS software drivers or something,

01:18:50   and I just am like at my cellular level,

01:18:53   allergic to audio drivers.

01:18:55   Like I want just a USB or a Thunderbolt device.

01:18:58   - These are not, the red is not gonna play well

01:19:00   with the vibe of this room.

01:19:02   - So I'm gonna put a link to this in the Discord.

01:19:07   the Universal Audio Apollo.

01:19:10   - That's it, I like it.

01:19:11   - It uses Thunderbolt.

01:19:12   I think it also, I think it requires software.

01:19:15   I'm not sure, I've never used one.

01:19:16   - I like the sound of this, go on.

01:19:19   - It looks nice. - Apollo is a great name.

01:19:20   - Apollo, really. - It looks nice.

01:19:21   It's what Marques Brownlee has on his desk.

01:19:25   He's talked about it before. - I like that, okay.

01:19:27   Ooh, see, now you're getting, like, this is more my vibe.

01:19:30   - But I don't know the software story there.

01:19:35   Again, I haven't used one,

01:19:36   but it looks nice and it's thunderbolt-y.

01:19:40   - Now that's, ah, see?

01:19:43   - Yeah, that's a good looking device.

01:19:44   - That's more like it.

01:19:45   That's more the vibe.

01:19:47   Which one though?

01:19:48   The Apollo Solo looks real nice, Steven,

01:19:54   but I don't think it's XLR.

01:19:56   - The Solo, I think, is probably the way to go.

01:19:58   I don't think you need anything more than that.

01:20:00   Like you don't need one that has multiple channels in.

01:20:03   - No.

01:20:04   700 bucks puts it in the price area of the USB pre 2,

01:20:08   I think.

01:20:09   - Oh, this is much, much nicer.

01:20:10   - But you will be swimming in uncharted territory.

01:20:13   None of your friends can support you with this.

01:20:14   Like if you bought a mix pre,

01:20:16   Jon or I could help you with it.

01:20:17   - Nobody can help you with that one.

01:20:19   - Well, you can just text MKBHD.

01:20:21   - I like that.

01:20:23   I will be alone with my Apollo.

01:20:26   See, it's Thunderbolt-y.

01:20:27   Well, I can just, I can text, hey,

01:20:30   be like, hey, Marques.

01:20:32   probably don't know me, but I need some help with this thing.

01:20:35   Um, ah, thank you, thank you for this, Steven.

01:20:39   If you think of anything else that looks nice and does what I need,

01:20:43   see, this is more the vibe. Like, I wouldn't be, I wouldn't mind this being shown on my desk.

01:20:49   You know? Does it need to be powered on all the time? Well...

01:20:55   I bet it's got a switch on it.

01:20:57   I think it's probably got a switch. Looks, uh, looks switchy enough to me.

01:21:02   Yeah. Okay. Yeah. The sound, the sound devices stuff actually creates a fair amount of heat.

01:21:08   At least mine does. If you don't have a powered off, it kind of, it's kind of warm. So I, I,

01:21:12   I keep it off all the time. Okay. So this is a serious contender. I just realized,

01:21:18   and I was taking a look at the discord. Um, the Luna display, I suppose is an option now for me

01:21:25   if I want to control with better quality than VNC.

01:21:30   - Yeah, you got options.

01:21:33   - It looks like I'm not quite finished with my setup,

01:21:36   but like the core structure, I think, right,

01:21:40   is in place at this point.

01:21:42   Well, this has been a bit of a journey.

01:21:46   There will be more pictures and screenshots

01:21:50   in the Montre log, which I forbid John

01:21:54   from opening today.

01:21:57   - Yes, eventually it'll get published

01:22:00   when I can find the time.

01:22:01   But I'm on a microphone right now.

01:22:03   It's just not happening at the moment.

01:22:04   - But you guys guessed it.

01:22:06   You guys guessed all of this, right?

01:22:07   You guys were--

01:22:08   - Mac Mini or Mac Studio, yeah.

01:22:10   - Yeah, we were pretty close.

01:22:12   - So if you wanna find links to stuff we spoke about,

01:22:14   including images of Federico's setup,

01:22:18   they're in the show notes at relay.fm/connected/426,

01:22:23   and any self-respecting podcast app

01:22:24   will have them there as well.

01:22:26   While you're on the website,

01:22:27   you can join and get Connected Pro,

01:22:29   which is a longer ad-free version of the show

01:22:31   each and every week.

01:22:33   You can go to giverelay.com or use the code 2023holidays

01:22:37   until December 17th for 20% off an annual plan.

01:22:41   Go check that out.

01:22:43   You can find us all online.

01:22:44   Federico is the editor-in-chief of MacStories.net.

01:22:48   John is the managing editor of Mac stories.

01:22:53   - Yeah, that's the title I gave myself.

01:22:55   - The lieutenant editor of Mac stories.

01:22:57   You boys do great work, I love everything you do.

01:22:59   John, thank you again for coming on this week.

01:23:01   - Thanks for having me.

01:23:02   - You can find my writing at 512pixels.net

01:23:05   and I also host Mac power users here on Relay FM.

01:23:08   I'd like to thank our sponsors this week,

01:23:11   TextExpander and Membrful.

01:23:13   And until next time guys, say goodbye.

01:23:15   - See you later.

01:23:16   - Adios, el chutro.