375: Scatter My Content to The Sea


00:00:00   (upbeat music)

00:00:02   Hello and welcome to Connected, episode 375.

00:00:12   It's made possible this week by our sponsors,

00:00:15   Fitbaud, Trade Coffee, and Pingdom.

00:00:18   My name is Stephen Hackett

00:00:19   and I'm joined by Mr. Federico Vittucci.

00:00:22   - Hello, hi.

00:00:24   - Hello.

00:00:25   There's no mic, but we've replaced him

00:00:28   with the one true John. Hello, John Voorhees.

00:00:31   - Hey, how's it going guys?

00:00:33   - Hello, much better version of Myke.

00:00:36   Like this Myke 2.0 that goes by John.

00:00:40   I kind of like it.

00:00:41   - I think it's Myke 3.

00:00:41   - I gotta say, it's a lot easier to record with you guys

00:00:45   when I'm not sitting in Federico's lap.

00:00:47   (laughing)

00:00:49   - Okay, okay.

00:00:53   - That's the show this week.

00:00:58   Yeah, I'm still in a bedroom, but I'm in a bedroom by myself.

00:01:01   I see that you've started connected and how we like to do things, John.

00:01:07   Yes, I have.

00:01:08   So look, some people out there are going to be really concerned for our safety because John is,

00:01:13   while he is the one true John, he is also part of the subversive triple J gang that is

00:01:20   threatening to up-heave the entire show and its universe. So John, don't try anything sneaky.

00:01:27   I think you're probably safe since James, well, we don't know exactly where James is, but...

00:01:31   He could be outside my office right now.

00:01:34   You never know.

00:01:35   That's upsetting. We should also say, Federico, you got a booster shot today, so that's awesome.

00:01:41   But you may fall asleep at some point during the show.

00:01:44   Yeah, congrats.

00:01:45   Yeah, thank you. I am boosted. Yes, I was thinking about this today quite different from last year.

00:01:53   this time last year we were in lockdown and, you know, we didn't have vaccines and a year later

00:02:01   not only do we have them, we're not in lockdown anymore, but I just got my booster shot. So yeah,

00:02:07   that was, it's nice, it's nice, I recommend it. It feels great and I'm gonna have, I still,

00:02:15   So this is a sort of technology-related aside.

00:02:20   So we have this government-issued app in Italy.

00:02:24   It's called AIO, by the way, which

00:02:27   is the official app that you use to download your digital--

00:02:31   it's called the Green Pass in Italy.

00:02:32   It's a vaccination card.

00:02:34   It's a QR code that you can show when

00:02:36   you want to go to a restaurant or to a shop

00:02:38   or indoor places.

00:02:41   You've got to show your vaccination card.

00:02:44   they do not support the iOS 15 feature

00:02:49   that lets you add digital vaccination cards

00:02:52   to Apple Health, right?

00:02:55   That's a feature in iOS 15.

00:02:56   I believe some states in the US support this already.

00:03:00   So what I did, I got clever, right?

00:03:03   So I thought, you know what?

00:03:04   I'm gonna use the feedback feature of the government app

00:03:09   to send them a comment and send them a link

00:03:12   to the Apple support, to the K base, basically. I thought, I'm going to send them a link to

00:03:19   this new feature that Apple is documenting on the Internet, and I'm going to say, "Hey,

00:03:25   when are you going to add support for these iOS 15 API?" And my theory was an engineer,

00:03:32   you know, one of these contractors that the Italian government hired to build the app

00:03:37   is gonna get all excited that someone finally sent

00:03:41   that feedback request and they're gonna get back to me.

00:03:44   Well, they got back to me,

00:03:47   very annoyed by the fact that I used the feedback form

00:03:51   to send a technical request.

00:03:53   They replied with a very stern reply actually,

00:03:57   saying that the feedback form is only for actual questions

00:03:59   about the green pass, not about technical feedback.

00:04:03   (laughing)

00:04:04   - Wow.

00:04:05   I didn't mean to hurt you or your feelings.

00:04:08   I just wanted to let you know about this cool API in iOS.

00:04:11   - They just wanted to know why you were writing about bees.

00:04:13   - Not your normal audience, I guess, Federico.

00:04:18   I understand that LeBron James was there with you

00:04:20   when you got your booster shot today.

00:04:22   Is that correct?

00:04:23   - So one of the vaccination hubs is at a mall here in Rome

00:04:28   and they set up all these sort of like structures,

00:04:33   like this tents outside,

00:04:36   but you gotta get in line inside first.

00:04:39   And where you get in line is also where

00:04:42   this huge movie theater is inside the mall,

00:04:46   like a multi-room type deal.

00:04:48   Like you can go there and choose

00:04:50   between like 10 different movies, for example.

00:04:52   And there was a giant statue of LeBron James

00:04:56   and Bugs Bunny to promote the new Space Jam.

00:04:59   Oh, all right, all right.

00:05:00   So that was fun.

00:05:02   Interesting. I actually got my booster shot on a high school stage in an auditorium, which was a little odd too, but

00:05:07   Not not quite the same as having the giant LeBron James next to me

00:05:12   He can always be in your heart John. Yeah, I think so. So we've got a little bit of follow-up

00:05:18   We've been kind of following the path that iOS 15.2 and Mac OS 12.1

00:05:24   have been taking and as of

00:05:28   Really just like a day ago. They are now both at the release candidate state

00:05:33   So I kind of assumed that they'll be out maybe later this week and we're quickly approaching the holiday season and Apple generally takes a few

00:05:40   weeks of much slower pace, although I did read that they're keeping

00:05:44   The App Store submissions open don't they normally close those around Christmas John?

00:05:49   Yes, usually for a couple of weeks, but you're right this year

00:05:53   They're actually gonna keep that open throughout the end of the wild

00:05:56   Someone's someone's got to keep an eye on that I guess I guess so but I know y'all have been in the the beta a

00:06:04   Lot more than I have so you know what what can we expect when these drop? What are some?

00:06:10   Some features. Yeah, I've been keeping track of all the the bigger items and the smaller features

00:06:18   This is a classic sort of grab bag

00:06:22   release, you know, there's not a single like huge thing. It's more of a collection of

00:06:28   medium-sized features if you will. So Apple Music Voice plan, which was announced in September. This is the $5 a month

00:06:35   Siri only

00:06:38   Apple Music plan

00:06:40   will launch supposedly

00:06:42   with 15.2. It's mentioned in the release notes for the release candidate version.

00:06:47   So yeah, you will be able to sign up for that at some point pretty soon, I guess.

00:06:52   The App Privacy Report is now available in Settings.

00:06:57   This is another feature that was announced, not in September, but at WWDC.

00:07:02   This one lets you inspect privacy-related data for apps that you have installed on your

00:07:11   device.

00:07:12   So you can go in the Privacy section of Settings, and you can drill down into individual applications

00:07:17   to see what kind of web requests, for example, they have performed, what kind of servers

00:07:23   they are contacting. If you care about that sort of information, and if you want to go

00:07:28   in and check, like, "Is my podcast client doing anything weird with the ads that I hear?"

00:07:34   Spoiler, some of them are. You can go in and see what they're actually doing. The new iMessage

00:07:43   child protection features for photos, for sensitive content. That is also in 15.2.

00:07:50   And I have some notes of my own for smaller things that are also happening in 15.2. There's the new

00:07:57   macro toggle in the camera for taking macro pictures on the iPhone 13 Pro. We talked about

00:08:04   this at length on Connected before the new button that you have in the camera app. You can now use

00:08:12   hide my email in the Apple Mail app. Hide my email is one of the iCloud Plus, meaning

00:08:19   paid iCloud features. You can now use that directly in the Mail app. You can pick a legacy

00:08:27   contact for when you die. And I know that's, you know, I'm just saying it like it is. You

00:08:34   can now pick a legacy contact in your iCloud settings for when you pass away and you want

00:08:39   make sure that somebody else gets access to your data.

00:08:42   What else? So you can now customize, on iPadOS this one is,

00:08:51   on iPadOS you can customize the corner for Quick Note activation.

00:08:56   So now you can now do Quick Note from the bottom right or bottom left.

00:09:02   And you can actually go in Settings and also do, for example,

00:09:06   example, bottom left quick note and bottom right take a screenshot. That is now something

00:09:12   that you can customize. Oh, yeah, there's a—again, we mentioned this before—there's

00:09:20   a new store section in the TV app. So if you're one of those people, like me, who still buys

00:09:27   TV shows and movies, you can now do so from the store section. And last two that I want

00:09:33   I mentioned, both in Notes and Reminders, you can rename and edit existing tags, and

00:09:40   the Notification Summary, that feature that we talked about in September that we're not

00:09:46   really using that bundles up multiple notifications in a scheduled summary, it got redesigned.

00:09:53   So the summary is a fresh new design, but unchanged functionality.

00:09:58   So as you can see, it's a bunch of miscellaneous features

00:10:01   that got all collected up together in 15.2.

00:10:05   - And it's still not everything that will be coming, right?

00:10:08   Like I think sort of most notably, no universal control.

00:10:12   And so 15.3 and maybe macOS 12.2 will bring those,

00:10:17   potentially.

00:10:19   - Maybe. - Very strange.

00:10:20   - Potentially, yeah.

00:10:22   - Yeah.

00:10:23   - Yeah, I mean, universal control is still

00:10:25   coming this fall feature and there's only 13 days left in the fall.

00:10:29   So I kind of think we're going to be missing that one at this point.

00:10:32   I really want to know Federico, whether who's going to be your legacy content,

00:10:37   your legacy contact and get all of your big brother episodes.

00:10:41   Is it going to be me? Is going to be Steven?

00:10:42   Do we have to fight Sylvia for it? I mean, who gets,

00:10:45   who gets all that sweet content?

00:10:47   I will leave it out in the open. I will,

00:10:51   I will leave instructions to scatter my content to the sea.

00:10:56   Oh, wow.

00:10:59   Yeah.

00:10:59   In the ocean.

00:11:00   I will drop my content in the ocean when I die.

00:11:05   Wow.

00:11:07   And yeah.

00:11:08   Yeah.

00:11:08   That's quite the visual.

00:11:09   Yeah.

00:11:11   Someone grinding up an iPad.

00:11:12   It's the ultimate web three move, you know.

00:11:17   Turn your digital content into a...

00:11:21   - Yeah, decentralize my content.

00:11:24   - That's good.

00:11:25   - Literally, yes.

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00:15:11   So last week, we promised that we would do

00:15:14   a little bit more connected QA.

00:15:17   So we're each gonna pick three.

00:15:19   We have a spreadsheet here we're all looking at.

00:15:22   And you know, I think John's our guest.

00:15:25   I mean, I know John is our guest.

00:15:27   So I would say that we let John go

00:15:30   and then maybe you, Federico, in the middle,

00:15:32   and I'll do round three.

00:15:34   And we'll each pick a couple and we'll go around

00:15:37   and do some Q&A before moving into our next topic.

00:15:40   Alright, well, I'm gonna start with a very self-interested question from Justin Hamilton, of course and

00:15:45   That is what's your contingency plan against the triple J. I need to know this I

00:15:51   Will kidnap your family Wow

00:15:54   Yeah

00:15:57   Still my choice in your family

00:16:00   Okay

00:16:03   Don't know what to say to that

00:16:06   I mean my thought was

00:16:09   John is on the show this week. And so Federico, maybe we can be nice to him and not say things like he'll kidnap his family

00:16:16   And then he won't want to turn on us when he has the opportunity

00:16:20   See I like Steven he's a man of the people, you know, I've been called that by many

00:16:24   Many many people. I mean look John John's family likes me by the way

00:16:30   So it's not like it wouldn't be like a bad kidnapping. Wow, you're gonna sneak up on him is what you're gonna do

00:16:36   They're gonna trust you and you're gonna jump out of their bushes and kidnap them.

00:16:42   So, anyway, we don't really have a contingency plan.

00:16:47   We like triple j, right? We like them, right? As people.

00:16:53   Yeah, it's the combination of them that I'm afraid of.

00:16:56   Yes, it's the three of them together that concerns me.

00:17:01   We'll see.

00:17:02   Yeah, it's a potent combo, no doubt.

00:17:05   I don't like to think about that. I don't like... it's concerning when I think about it, so yeah.

00:17:12   Hmm. Alright Federico, you pick one.

00:17:16   I pick one. Let's see...

00:17:22   Oh, okay, so this is for me. Do most Italians... this comes from brands.

00:17:30   "Do most Italians use cash, cards, or contact-less payments?"

00:17:35   So, until a few years ago, I would have said "cash."

00:17:40   I would have said "cash" is very popular over here.

00:17:44   But I feel like the government has done a big push for adopting card-based payments,

00:17:53   and especially, you know, switching all of the points-of-sale systems to contact-less systems.

00:18:00   And so it's become much, much more common to have contactless payments everywhere.

00:18:06   Like, you can pay contactless for all kinds of things now.

00:18:10   Like, you can buy an espresso and pay with a contactless payment.

00:18:14   You can pay your parking ticket.

00:18:17   You know, when you go park your car and there's like, there's stations that used to be,

00:18:22   used to only accept coins or cash.

00:18:25   Now you can just place your card or Apple Pay there, and it works.

00:18:30   So I would say that now most people, especially people my age now, cash is very uncommon.

00:18:36   The unfortunate downside of all this is that there are still places that look at you weirdly

00:18:45   if you try and pay with a card for anything that is below 5 euros.

00:18:54   And that's a bigger problem that we have for essentially places, usually smaller places,

00:19:02   that do not want to give you a receipt. You know, like they just want cash, they don't give you a

00:19:07   receipt, therefore they don't pay taxes. That's a problem that we have still in Italy, but I will

00:19:12   say that especially compared to five years ago, we've done a big push for content-less payments

00:19:17   and it seems to have that that worked out. So yeah, I'm happy about that.

00:19:22   - All right, I'm gonna go with, man, there's so many good ones. Here's one from Tony.

00:19:31   If Federico was gonna guest host "Ungeniused," what would he, what topic would he wanna do?

00:19:38   - Oh, that's a good one.

00:19:39   - And so if you're not familiar with "Ungenius," it's a mic that's showing,

00:19:42   it's a mic that Show and I have together. It is a show that Myke and I have together where we talk

00:19:48   about weird stuff that we and our listeners find on Wikipedia. So just over the last few

00:19:55   weeks we've done a hoax about spaghetti being grown on trees, a few world records about

00:20:03   food, we talked about spam, Microsoft Bob, we do weird sports like sandboarding, lots

00:20:12   of weird stuff. So Federico, you come on the show and you bring your topic, what do you

00:20:17   like? Very easy, very easy. I like to talk about the Virtual Boy, Nintendo's often forgotten console.

00:20:28   Such a huge failure. The Virtual Boy was Nintendo's attempt to do sort of like virtual reality in the

00:20:35   90s. After the Super Nintendo and before the Nintendo 64, I think I got that timeline right,

00:20:42   it failed miserably and it gave people, give a bunch of people headaches. It was terrible.

00:20:50   That's not good.

00:20:51   It was horrible and the games were horrible. I would love to talk about that.

00:20:56   Okay. It's, yeah, that's a weird, I just like looking at pictures of it. It's such a weird

00:21:02   piece of hardware.

00:21:03   Yeah. It's super weird.

00:21:05   It's like a lot of, and the games were like red lines essentially, right? I mean, it was,

00:21:10   They were very rudimentary for VR.

00:21:13   - Yes, there was a Mario Tennis game, maybe, I think.

00:21:17   Yeah, very strange games.

00:21:19   And sealed copies, of course,

00:21:21   sealed units of Virtual Boy, they go for thousands on eBay.

00:21:26   - They do, and I think a lot of them have to be refurbished

00:21:29   because I think a lot of the tech in those

00:21:32   didn't hold up very well for the years.

00:21:33   - I think so, yeah.

00:21:34   - Yeah, I was just pulling up eBay when you said that.

00:21:37   - Maybe you should get one.

00:21:39   That's not really my jam, you know?

00:21:41   - Yeah, I can imagine.

00:21:43   - Here's one, a cool $400.

00:21:45   - That's fine.

00:21:47   - I think they're fewer than a hundred games too,

00:21:50   so it's pretty limited what you can do with them too.

00:21:53   - All right, Jon, your turn.

00:21:55   - All right, I think this is appropriate to this week,

00:21:57   especially since it's been a pretty quiet week, okay?

00:22:00   The question comes from Brian King, who wants to know,

00:22:04   on slow work days, do you ever just run out of internet,

00:22:08   and how do you cope with that?

00:22:09   - It's impossible.

00:22:10   - Steven?

00:22:11   - It is impossible to run out of internet.

00:22:14   I'm also like perpetually about a day and a half behind

00:22:18   where I need to be, I feel like.

00:22:19   And so even like this last couple of weeks

00:22:22   where the tech news has been slow,

00:22:24   I've been very busy with other stuff.

00:22:26   And so it's very rare that I have a day

00:22:29   where it's like there's nothing going on

00:22:30   and I'm caught up and it's like, okay, well,

00:22:32   we're just gonna peruse the internet for a while.

00:22:35   I just don't have days like that.

00:22:37   - How about you Federico?

00:22:38   Yeah, it's impossible to run out of internet.

00:22:41   I have a huge backlog of YouTube videos that I want to find.

00:22:45   And these days, what qualifies as internet?

00:22:48   Because is playing Halo Infinite internet?

00:22:54   I think so.

00:22:55   Like, I was playing a bunch of multiplayer a few days ago.

00:22:57   That's also internet.

00:23:00   YouTube videos, podcasts, books, TV shows, movies, games.

00:23:05   Music?

00:23:06   No.

00:23:08   The question is not, can you run out of internet?

00:23:11   The question is, do you want to look at a screen?

00:23:15   Like that for me would be the more--

00:23:17   Yeah, that's how I took it, as internet browsing,

00:23:20   browsing the web through a browser, basically.

00:23:23   OK, so if I'm not browsing the web,

00:23:28   there's a bunch of things that I can do on my own.

00:23:30   I can listen to music, or I can play video games,

00:23:32   or I can play with my dogs.

00:23:34   So when you have, when you got hobbies,

00:23:39   you can run out of internet and it's fine.

00:23:46   Does that happen often?

00:23:48   Sometimes.

00:23:49   And I think it's okay.

00:23:51   We don't have to be plugged in all the time.

00:23:53   - Yeah, absolutely.

00:23:55   And you know, this week,

00:23:56   the reason I asked the question was because this week

00:23:58   is actually a very slow news week,

00:24:00   at least in terms of the kind of stuff that we cover.

00:24:02   But at the same time, I know you and I are very busy

00:24:05   with big plans for something very soon on the horizon.

00:24:09   And like Steven-

00:24:10   - It's your trophies, we know about your trophies.

00:24:13   You keep talking about, even with Myke and I,

00:24:15   you're like, oh, Secret is like,

00:24:16   you bought some trophies, John.

00:24:17   (laughing)

00:24:18   - I did, I did.

00:24:20   I have a box.

00:24:22   - No, it's not that, it's something else.

00:24:24   - No, it is something else.

00:24:25   But yeah, I mean, I run out of stories to cover,

00:24:28   but I've got plenty other things to do,

00:24:29   whether it's work related or just fun stuff.

00:24:33   - Do I get a trophy this year?

00:24:34   - Yes, you get a special Steven trophy.

00:24:36   Well, we should give him one.

00:24:37   We should give him a man of the people.

00:24:38   I still think that, you know,

00:24:40   I think that that's something he should get someday.

00:24:42   - I think that'd be really nice.

00:24:44   - I think Federico is gonna get very angry at me

00:24:46   for suggesting that.

00:24:48   Aren't you Federico?

00:24:49   - Yes, I am.

00:24:49   - I'm a millennial.

00:24:51   I just want trophies.

00:24:52   - Yeah, you just want the easy life.

00:24:54   (Matt laughs)

00:24:55   This is interesting coming from Matt.

00:24:58   Federico, you are able to wave a magic wand and add a single shortcut action to iOS and

00:25:03   macOS. What action do you choose? This is a great question, Matt. So, how was this phrase?

00:25:16   Add a single action to iOS and macOS. Yeah, so if I can add a new action, I would say

00:25:27   search Apple Music.

00:25:29   That would be my one,

00:25:31   because you can only search your library in shortcuts,

00:25:35   whereas I feel like I wanna put together a shortcut

00:25:39   that lets me search for anything on Apple Music,

00:25:41   and that's not possible unless you install Toolbox Pro,

00:25:46   and even then, Toolbox Pro is broken at the moment.

00:25:49   The Apple Music actions in Toolbox Pro

00:25:51   haven't worked in like a month.

00:25:53   I don't know what's up with that.

00:25:55   So there's no way to search the Apple Music API in shortcuts.

00:26:00   And I feel like I would really like to do that, because I have a few ideas in mind for

00:26:05   searching something and transferring playback to the HomePod or transferring playback to the Apple TV.

00:26:11   That would be my top of the list one.

00:26:15   There's many other ones that I would add.

00:26:17   The second one would be a proper multitasking action, for example.

00:26:21   pick a window on iPad, create split views, that kind of stuff.

00:26:25   But yeah, search Apple Music would be my one action.

00:26:29   What about you guys?

00:26:31   I think I would probably go with the Safari actions

00:26:34   and getting them to actually work on the Mac,

00:26:36   because so many of the shortcuts that I use regularly on iOS

00:26:41   rely on get information from Safari Reader

00:26:45   or get the contents of a web page.

00:26:49   those actions, which you can find on the Mac, but which don't do anything on the Mac. And so,

00:26:54   right now, all we have is a series of workarounds through things like AppleScript, which is too bad.

00:27:00   But I've been kind of fixated on that since Monterey released, so that's what I'd go for,

00:27:06   even though it's not technically new, but it would be new to the Mac.

00:27:10   I know I talked about the Apple Notes thing last week, and someone sent me a shortcut that

00:27:15   kind of does what I wanted to do. Although it just passes text and not do like the fancy

00:27:21   URL previews and having gotten that working, but I think really like just sprucing up the

00:27:27   note section. I mean, this is so much about what we talked about last time, right that

00:27:30   Apple has all these cool features, and I just don't make it into shortcuts.

00:27:34   And so maybe maybe the real answer is Apple should just do that. All right, I will go

00:27:41   Probably familiar with Mission Impossible where people like wear a mask and pretend to be somebody else and trick other people

00:27:46   There's some Brant's if you could Mission Impossible

00:27:49   style impersonate one of the hosts of connected who do you think you could imitate the best and

00:27:55   Do you think you could fool the other hosts?

00:27:58   Huh?

00:28:01   Federica could you could you?

00:28:03   mimic me or

00:28:05   Myke better. Yeah, I think I think I would mimic Myke better

00:28:11   you know, stroke my beard, do a British accent or whatever is left of it in

00:28:18   Myke's voice, do some vocal fry, put on a crazy wallpaper on my iPhone, you know,

00:28:23   do that kind of stuff. I could do a plausible mic, I think.

00:28:28   Yeah, I think Myke is easier to do than you are. Federico, you have some

00:28:34   like mystery in your eyes, you know, that's hard to pull off.

00:28:37   Yeah, but you also have that...

00:28:39   You're also kind of inscrutable, you know, like I don't know what's going on with you.

00:28:45   You have that depth inside of you that I think is harder to replicate with, you know, if I were to sort of be like fake Steven.

00:28:57   You just joke about Mac Pro wheels and everyone will believe it's me.

00:29:03   Although yeah, you just raised an interesting point.

00:29:05   Like there's the entire sort of like ecosystem of objects around you

00:29:12   that I feel like could make it easy to pretend that it's you.

00:29:16   Like carry around some old Macs and a Mac Pro with wheels,

00:29:21   drive a truck, put on a plaid shirt.

00:29:24   I'm wearing a plaid shirt today.

00:29:25   See, there you go.

00:29:27   There you go.

00:29:28   How do you know?

00:29:29   Perfect.

00:29:31   I don't know, maybe Steven isn't so hard after all.

00:29:35   Maybe not.

00:29:35   But I still feel like I've seen...

00:29:38   Also, Myke is the last of you two that I saw before the pandemic.

00:29:46   So I think...

00:29:47   And I've seen Myke more times when I went to London.

00:29:49   So I feel like it would be easier still for me to imitate Myke.

00:29:53   Yeah.

00:29:54   But you also just saw Jon though, a week ago or something.

00:29:57   Well, but how was the question, Fritz?

00:30:00   It was hosts.

00:30:00   - One of the co-hosts.

00:30:01   - Yeah, I was one of the hosts.

00:30:02   - Sorry, John.

00:30:03   John, out of Myke Federico and I,

00:30:06   who do you think you could best imitate?

00:30:09   - Well, I agree that Federico would be hard,

00:30:12   but I have also listened to hundreds of hours of audio

00:30:17   and I have every single Federicoism

00:30:20   and vocal tick down to a science.

00:30:24   So I think I'd have to go with Federico

00:30:27   'cause that gives me a little bit of a headstart.

00:30:29   - Okay.

00:30:29   - Yeah, that's true.

00:30:30   - So we're all just gonna be suspicious of each other

00:30:32   the rest of the show?

00:30:33   - Yes, I think so.

00:30:36   - I lost track of where we are with questions.

00:30:38   Whose turn is it?

00:30:40   - Jon goes next.

00:30:41   This is the final round, Jon.

00:30:42   Final question for you.

00:30:43   - Okay. - All right.

00:30:44   So if you guys were to do a connected holiday card,

00:30:49   what would you put on the cover?

00:30:50   - What's going on, I wonder,

00:30:52   what's going on with Federico's Christmas trees

00:30:55   at the moment?

00:30:56   - Oh, good question.

00:30:57   - Are they still in business?

00:30:58   - Oh yeah.

00:30:59   - I haven't looked in a long time,

00:31:01   probably since last holiday season.

00:31:03   - Christmas, the great comeback

00:31:05   of Federico's Christmas trees.

00:31:07   Let's see.

00:31:08   So for those who are unaware of these references,

00:31:13   this is a long running sort of, it's not a mean joke.

00:31:17   It's something random that we discovered,

00:31:20   this place called Federico's Christmas trees,

00:31:24   located in--

00:31:26   - It's in Ohio or something, isn't it?

00:31:28   Isn't it Utah?

00:31:29   - I think it's Utah.

00:31:30   - Oh, okay.

00:31:31   I don't know why I thought it was in the Midwest.

00:31:33   - But we're in Utah Valley.

00:31:37   So let's see what it's.

00:31:39   - FedericoChristmasTrees.com.

00:31:40   - In Orem, O-R-E-M, Orem, Utah.

00:31:44   - Wow, they have two locations.

00:31:48   - Fun fact, Federico, Orem, Utah

00:31:50   is where WordPerfect came from.

00:31:52   You remember WordPerfect?

00:31:53   - I do.

00:31:54   - Show my age.

00:31:55   Steven knows what WordPerfect is.

00:31:57   - How do you know that?

00:31:58   - Because all lawyers used WordPerfect forever,

00:32:01   and it was, and Orem, Utah was in the splash page

00:32:04   whenever you started up the program.

00:32:06   - That is a reference I did, okay, interesting.

00:32:10   So yeah, Federico's Christmas Trees,

00:32:12   the first location is in Orem, Utah,

00:32:16   next to a classic skating and fun center, it seems,

00:32:21   according to Google Maps.

00:32:22   - That seems like a cool place.

00:32:23   - Sounds like a good time, yeah.

00:32:25   - So for sure, I think there will be the backdrop

00:32:27   would be a tree from Federico's Christmas trees, and in front of the tree, the three

00:32:33   of us, right? And the three of us each holding something that is either related to us or

00:32:42   to the show. So for example, I would hold either a... I don't know, what is it? Something

00:32:53   that I keep mentioning on the show.

00:32:56   Like headphones or maybe, no, I would hold my DAC, yes.

00:33:00   A DAC, Myke would hold his iPhone's home screen,

00:33:05   facing the camera, and Steven would have just

00:33:10   like a little cart full of computers.

00:33:14   Or like the little IKEA instruction manual for a Calus.

00:33:19   - You know, it's funny, Federico,

00:33:22   I had the same thought that we would all be holding something.

00:33:25   Okay. That's important to the show.

00:33:27   But instead of the Christmas tree company, I thought about the,

00:33:32   the, I'm gonna put it in the discord right now,

00:33:34   the photos of Bill Gates, like laying on a desk,

00:33:39   sexy Bill Gates pictures. Oh my God. I feel like we could,

00:33:43   we could replicate that. Oh my,

00:33:45   I want to do the one line on the desk. Like,

00:33:49   Sort of like, draw me like one of your French girls type style.

00:33:53   Like from this, you know?

00:33:55   Like, I would, oh yeah, I would do that.

00:33:57   Like, surrounded by headphones and my new amp and my DAC.

00:34:02   Like, yeah, I could pull that off, I think.

00:34:05   Okay, so this is fun.

00:34:07   You have the chance to bring, this comes from Brian in Chicago.

00:34:12   Thank you, Brian in Chicago.

00:34:15   you have the chance to bring back one piece of legacy Apple hardware.

00:34:20   What is it and why?

00:34:22   Oh man. Well, I know what the answer should,

00:34:25   let me give you a good answer and let me give you my emotional answer.

00:34:28   How does that sound? Okay. The good answer is the Thunderbolt display.

00:34:33   There's like a regular display and it has a bunch of ports on it and it doesn't

00:34:39   cost $6,000. Okay. Apple just do that. Thunder Thunderbolt display to Casey.

00:34:44   this will buy two of them today. My emotional answer though,

00:34:47   kind of thinking through my collection. I mean, it's gotta be like the cube,

00:34:51   right? There's that half size Mac Pro rumor.

00:34:53   It's gotta, it's gotta be something like, yes, I was hoping you would say that.

00:34:58   Yeah. You know, maybe it even is like acrylic somehow instead of aluminum,

00:35:02   like just lean into it. I think it'd be fun.

00:35:04   My answer is also something that I,

00:35:07   that I found myself sort of thinking about earlier today,

00:35:13   a classic iPod with support for flak music and high-impedance headphones. Like, imagine

00:35:22   if you could use... Can we put Apple Music on there too? So you can just, like, stream

00:35:26   to it? Yeah, yeah. Like, imagine a classic iPod that... It's like, there's a whole market

00:35:33   for these. They're called Dapps. That's digital audio players, right? And I have a couple

00:35:38   of those, and they are essentially these high-resolution audio players that are running like a fork

00:35:45   of Android, and they have apps installed, like Tidal, Apple Music, Kobus, these music

00:35:52   streaming services. Imagine a classic iPod that has Wi-Fi, Apple Music, support for FLAC

00:35:58   files if you still have your personal music library, and, like the new MacBook Pro, a

00:36:05   headphone jack that supports high impedance headphones, I would buy that in literally

00:36:11   a heartbeat. Like, that's my dream device. I found myself thinking this morning about

00:36:17   this, like, I wonder... Because I should say, I am unhappy with all of these digital audio

00:36:24   players that I've tested. I have one that is not connecting to Wi-Fi anymore because

00:36:31   of reasons. An android, I believe is one of the reasons. I would get a modernized iPod

00:36:38   Classic so fast. That would be incredible.

00:36:43   I have a practical answer to this question, which is the airport base station. I'd love

00:36:49   to see that come back, right, and be the center of all sorts of information flowing throughout

00:36:57   at your household, you know, home kit, devices,

00:37:00   streaming services, there's a lot of things

00:37:03   Apple could do instead of relying on things

00:37:05   like the HomePod to act as a hub.

00:37:07   I don't know why they got rid of their hub.

00:37:08   I'd like them to actually do a base station

00:37:10   that took care of all the smarts behind all that stuff.

00:37:14   - And they could like do it the modern way, right?

00:37:16   Like you could have multiple airports

00:37:19   to like cover a bigger house, but it was really bad.

00:37:22   - Right.

00:37:23   - It's like do all the cool mess stuff,

00:37:24   do like the app dashboard stuff, it would be so good.

00:37:29   - Yeah, I don't want literally the one

00:37:31   that was discontinued.

00:37:32   - No.

00:37:32   - That wouldn't be so great.

00:37:34   Although I am still using an airport express

00:37:36   to airplay music to a set of speakers

00:37:39   that are out on my patio.

00:37:40   So, you know, as long as they still work,

00:37:43   they're still fine.

00:37:43   But yeah, I'd love something modern.

00:37:45   - Especially if they brought like the UFO design back,

00:37:48   not the tall tower one, but the one that like, you know,

00:37:51   spaceship.

00:37:52   - Yeah, yeah, definitely.

00:37:54   Guys, thanks to, thanks to the discord. I just, I just discovered something.

00:37:59   What? There's a thing called rock box. Oh yeah.

00:38:04   That it's, it's a custom firmware for the classic iPods.

00:38:09   Oh yeah. It was, it's a, it used to be a really big deal. Winter project.

00:38:14   Oh man. Do it. Yeah.

00:38:19   - It'll support the first through sixth generation iPod,

00:38:24   the mini, the first and second generation nano.

00:38:28   So it's not like on everything, you can't buy any iPod,

00:38:31   but if you get any of those, it'll work.

00:38:34   - I gotta look into this.

00:38:36   - Yeah, do it.

00:38:37   The one other thing I thought about this question,

00:38:40   this is a really good question.

00:38:41   In fact, this was gonna be mine.

00:38:42   You took it from me.

00:38:44   - I'm sorry.

00:38:44   - A long time ago, Apple made, well, they didn't make,

00:38:48   they put the Apple logo on someone else's digital camera

00:38:51   and sold it as the quick take.

00:38:53   It would just be so cool to have like a standalone camera

00:38:56   from Apple.

00:38:57   Like maybe it's got interchangeable lenses,

00:38:59   probably connect to the internet so you can still,

00:39:01   you know, just puts all your stuff in iCloud photo

00:39:02   or something.

00:39:03   But I just think about how good the cameras are

00:39:06   in my iPhone.

00:39:07   And then I remember they're in an iPhone.

00:39:09   It's like, what if they were in something a lot bigger

00:39:12   and a lot more powerful?

00:39:14   And that would be, that'd be really cool, I think.

00:39:17   - Yeah, 'cause a lot of the camera companies

00:39:19   don't do a very good job with internet connectivity.

00:39:21   Still today, I mean, there aren't very many cameras

00:39:24   that handle that very well.

00:39:25   And I'm sure Apple could do that,

00:39:27   you know, do a good job with GPS.

00:39:29   I mean, I know those features are available

00:39:31   in a lot of high-end cameras,

00:39:33   but I really have never found one

00:39:34   that I thought does it really well.

00:39:36   - Okay, this is from JD.

00:39:37   Who has the best hair of the trio?

00:39:41   Maybe John should answer this,

00:39:42   because Federico and I both obviously have skin in the game.

00:39:45   - Mm, this is very hard.

00:39:47   This is very hard.

00:39:48   I think, you know, I don't wanna hurt Myke's feelings.

00:39:52   I mean, we know from last week

00:39:53   that he's precious with his beard.

00:39:55   And Steven, he's, you know, Steven has got style

00:40:00   and, you know, changing styles every,

00:40:03   almost every week it feels like.

00:40:05   And Federico, you're just known,

00:40:07   known for the hair, I think.

00:40:09   So it's very hard choice, very hard choice.

00:40:14   But I think I'm gonna, but I'm like, I'm gonna go.

00:40:17   Come on. That's an inside job.

00:40:19   It is. Maybe it is. Maybe it is.

00:40:23   I'm gonna go with the guy who, who you own a company with. I see how it goes.

00:40:27   You can, you can sit on my lap again next time.

00:40:30   Thank you.

00:40:32   I'll allow it.

00:40:34   Shoulder to shoulder.

00:40:36   That's the end of Connect to QA forever. So whispering,

00:40:41   whispering sponsors in my ears.

00:40:44   That's what I like.

00:40:45   (laughing)

00:40:47   - Wow.

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00:43:04   So craft the note-taking application

00:43:06   that I think all three of us agree is the best mat catalyst app probably out

00:43:11   there. Yes. Yeah. Really impressive. Definitely.

00:43:15   They recently announced a craft 2.0 and the craft extensions platform.

00:43:20   So these were kind of two sides of a coin.

00:43:27   Let's start with the 2.0 I think if you weren't paying attention,

00:43:33   you'd be really surprised.

00:43:34   This is not like a traditional 2.0

00:43:36   where lots of things are new,

00:43:38   but they're using this moment to sort of outline

00:43:42   what they wanna do in the future.

00:43:45   Do you think that's fair, Jon?

00:43:46   - Yeah, I think it is.

00:43:47   I mean, I had a couple of people ask me on Twitter,

00:43:50   when are you guys gonna review this?

00:43:51   And my response was kind of like,

00:43:52   well, I'm not sure there's really anything to review yet

00:43:55   because it was more of a preview and a roadmap

00:43:58   than it was actually an update.

00:44:00   I mean, I think they fixed some small stuff in the app

00:44:03   and made a few modifications, but for the most part,

00:44:06   this is not a new, a real 2.0 yet.

00:44:10   - I think that's right.

00:44:11   It feels more like, sort of like,

00:44:14   here's our roadmap, sort of here's our,

00:44:17   sort of like a statement of where we're going,

00:44:20   rather than here's what we've been building,

00:44:23   and you're gonna see that throughout the course

00:44:25   of the multiple releases.

00:44:28   It's interesting because, like,

00:44:31   I wanna draw a parallel here.

00:44:33   This is what a lot of people think Apple should be doing at WWDC, and I don't think it would go

00:44:40   over well in our community if Apple said "here's our roadmap for iOS 16, but actually today you

00:44:48   cannot try any of this, except this one little thing." So it's, you know, it's of course different

00:44:55   when a smaller indie developer does it. I think it works in the context of craft, especially because

00:45:02   of extensions, as we're going to see in a minute. But yeah, it's definitely different

00:45:07   from what we're used to see in a 2.0 quote-unquote release.

00:45:12   Yeah, it's a little odd in the sense that it was kind of framed as a release, but I

00:45:18   think that that was designed to get people's attention. And it was kind of the anniversary

00:45:23   of the app. This has been the hot app of 2021. It came out late last year, really had been

00:45:30   in beta for quite a while and took note-taking by storm, really. I mean, note-taking's become

00:45:35   this incredibly hot area right now, and I think Kraft is the friendliest of all of those

00:45:41   note-taking apps that are out there. And we use it, you know, Federico and I use it really,

00:45:46   I think, mostly as a shared notes tool these days for things like show notes for podcasts

00:45:52   and for documentation for MacStories, the web development and organizing some projects and

00:46:00   things like that. But yeah, that's kind of where it's been and how I'm using it. I mean,

00:46:06   they've said that they're going to try to do things like improve the editor so that it handles

00:46:11   media better, you know, images, sketches, and files, and that sort of thing. I think it does

00:46:17   a pretty good job at that already. It does sound like maybe they're going to get away

00:46:22   a little bit from the strict block-based system that they've got, which I think would be good.

00:46:29   I think the blocks get in the way a little bit.

00:46:32   I mean, you and I have talked about this, Steven.

00:46:33   I mean, to me, they're a little awkward to deal with, especially on the Mac.

00:46:37   Yeah, they are.

00:46:38   And there's some really weird things.

00:46:41   Like, if you make a table, it can only be so many rows long,

00:46:45   and then you have to scroll it within the block,

00:46:47   the invisible block that it lives in.

00:46:49   Even though the document can be as long as you want,

00:46:52   the table's stuck in this invisible playground.

00:46:57   It's very strange.

00:46:59   Right.

00:46:59   Right.

00:47:00   They've also-- yeah, they've also--

00:47:01   they've said they're going to work on dealing

00:47:04   with better collaboration, too.

00:47:06   And I know this is something that we've struggled

00:47:08   with a little bit.

00:47:08   Like, we've grown our collaborative spaces in craft

00:47:13   over the course of time.

00:47:14   And I really don't remember who created which of the spaces,

00:47:18   whether it was me or Federico or Alex.

00:47:21   And recently, I think all of our subscriptions

00:47:24   came up at about the same time.

00:47:26   and I wasn't sure whether my subscription had expired or whether Federico's had and suddenly I

00:47:34   was locked out of our shared space that he had created or what was going on. So I think there's

00:47:38   there is room for them to approve improve that kind of user experience. And that's something

00:47:43   that they could I think really like stand out with. I mean Notion has that collaboration,

00:47:49   but Notion is really a different thing than Kraft and even Obsidian. Right. Notion is like a whole

00:47:55   operating system almost in there and I do when we talk about the extensions I

00:48:00   do have questions about what craft is and what what it seems the team wants it

00:48:04   to be but I do feel like their focus is like on the editor and our some

00:48:11   organization and collaboration like those are all good things to focus on

00:48:13   but at the same time they also announced this extensions platform they spell it

00:48:19   extensions all lowercase but with a capital X in the middle which is not

00:48:23   good I know what they're doing over there don't do that no it's extreme is

00:48:28   what it is extreme extensions you got to say it like that you do a little bunch

00:48:34   of the links in the show notes you can read about it basically you can it

00:48:37   create plugins for craft they're built with JavaScript HTML and CSS they live

00:48:45   over in the right hand side sidebar I've got one installed just so I could play

00:48:49   with it before the show. But they're pretty limited in what they could do. If you think

00:48:54   about like Obsidian, like y'all have been talking about Obsidian on App Stories, like

00:48:58   plugins that change the UI or like add components to every window. This is not right. What craft

00:49:05   extensions are. These are really dealing with content, importing, exporting stuff. It seems

00:49:12   like the, the feature set is a little bit, a little bit more constrained if you will.

00:49:19   Yeah, it is. It's early days. I mean, I kind of think of it as though, you know,

00:49:23   the extensions are designed to be a little bit like the craft share sheet. It's ways to get

00:49:29   things in and out of craft to somewhere else. Whereas with something like Obsidian,

00:49:35   there are fundamental features that are bolted on and part of the actual app itself. Because,

00:49:43   For instance, with Kraft, these extensions can only, at least at the moment, live in the sidebar.

00:49:49   Their entire UI is part of the sidebar. And this kind of grew out of their system that they put

00:49:56   together for, they called it Kraft Connections, I think, where they had a series of, like,

00:50:01   Connects, that's right, which is like nine apps, like Bear, Ulysses, Things,

00:50:10   Devin think a lot of well-known apps and it's great that they had those integrations,

00:50:15   but it always struck me as something that was just not extensible. That it wasn't going to

00:50:19   scale well because no matter what, there was going to be a significant portion of their users

00:50:24   who wanted some other app that wasn't part of that collection. And this allows Kraft to expand that

00:50:32   stable of interactions without having to coordinate them directly with the developers

00:50:37   of those apps, which is how I think these other ones were done.

00:50:41   And that does make sense, so it's not reliant on partnerships with other apps and other

00:50:47   developers, because those could just go away, like if an app gets sold or something changes.

00:50:52   So I think it makes sense to be a little more agnostic from that standpoint.

00:50:57   But I do—my big question with all of this, reading it, is, OK, excited about the updates,

00:51:04   but is craft trying to chase down something like obsidian, which is endlessly customizable

00:51:12   or is there a plan just to kind of stay the course, keep doing what they do, but just

00:51:19   make it a little bit more flexible for everybody. I just don't know. Like, do you ever read

00:51:24   on that? Either one of you. So we've seen this massive explosion in the note taking

00:51:29   space over the past couple of years. Also, maybe because of the pandemic, people having

00:51:36   tons of time, having to remote work, they obviously turn to a note-taking system to

00:51:43   organize all of this information that is coming in. I feel like we are potentially going to

00:51:49   see some consolidation in this space starting next year, just because it always happens

00:51:57   in any market, especially on the App Store and with these services. We're going to see

00:52:01   some consolidation. Some of these other competitors getting abandoned would be my prediction for

00:52:10   next year. But I think the next... I feel like an extensible platform is the next logical

00:52:18   step for this kind of applications, because if you make one of your core propositions

00:52:26   the wild flexibility that users have in terms of structuring notes, structuring documents

00:52:33   and pages and sections of those pages, it's only natural that that kind of user eventually

00:52:38   wants more customization.

00:52:40   And to want more customization, it means that you want to be able to modify the behavior

00:52:44   of the app and therefore have something like plugins or extensions.

00:52:48   Now, Kraft is obviously being paying attention to Obsidian and I feel like it needs to be

00:52:54   understood just how much of a big deal Obsidian is in the not taking space at the moment,

00:53:01   right?

00:53:02   They managed to capture everybody's attention because of this flexible structure that they

00:53:08   have.

00:53:09   basically like Sublime Text from back in the day. Imagine all the community that there

00:53:18   used to be around Sublime Text and plugins and all those modifications years ago, but

00:53:26   imagine that for a note-taking app that a bunch of people can use even if they're not

00:53:31   developers. So obviously, Kraft has been paying attention to that. Kraft's big advantage over

00:53:38   Obsidian is the design, right? They have that polished sort of Apple-native design that

00:53:47   is, you know, makes Kraft much more intuitive and approachable and easier to use on Apple

00:53:53   platforms. So I feel like Kraft looked at Obsidian's popularity and they went like,

00:53:59   "Well, obviously this space is moving in a direction that demands additional flexibility.

00:54:05   We cannot possibly build all the features that people want.

00:54:09   Therefore, how can we do it?

00:54:12   And obviously, the answer is something very similar

00:54:14   to Obsidian, where you have an API.

00:54:16   They have a craft API.

00:54:18   And extensions are made using a combination of JavaScript

00:54:22   and HTML, CSS, and that API.

00:54:26   So I feel like craft, in order to succeed with this,

00:54:33   if they want to get some of those Obsidian users

00:54:37   to switch over to Craft, these extensions

00:54:40   will need to be much more powerful than they currently

00:54:43   are in terms of customizing the UI of Craft,

00:54:47   getting access to other notes in your workspace,

00:54:52   and not just the current note, and be able to display

00:54:55   custom UI on top of Craft.

00:54:58   Now, maybe Craft doesn't want to do it,

00:55:00   in which case I understand.

00:55:01   But if they don't want to do it, then these extensions will never be as powerful as they are in Obsidian.

00:55:09   Now, I would wrap this up saying,

00:55:12   I've never... No, I've seen once,

00:55:16   you know,

00:55:18   an application that I felt, you know,

00:55:21   in the right hands, and by right hands I mean Apple,

00:55:25   this thing could go places.

00:55:27   This thing could do wonders if it was a system app.

00:55:31   craft feels to me like the perfect candidate for an Apple acquisition.

00:55:38   I'm just going to say it.

00:55:40   I think this is the kind of tool that Apple could use to really propel notes into the

00:55:48   next generation of these note-taking apps, because this is happening, right?

00:55:51   So this new generation of note-taking apps, this is a thing now.

00:55:55   It's happening.

00:55:56   Now, Apple can ignore it or not.

00:55:58   I'm just going to say that I wouldn't be surprised.

00:56:00   I wouldn't be shocked if Apple is looking at this and they're like, "This is a beautiful

00:56:03   app, much faster to use than Apple Notes, uses iCloud, works great on all Apple platforms,

00:56:11   and they are building this customizable foundation for users." I want to see what happens here.

00:56:15   I want to see how quickly Kraft can iterate on this extension platform. I want to see

00:56:20   who else is paying attention to Kraft. Yeah, I'm in a wait-and-see approach at the moment

00:56:26   for this.

00:56:27   I bet their VCs would be pretty happy with that acquisition that you propose Federico.

00:56:34   You're right though, I think it does have kind of that workflow feel, not so much in

00:56:40   the sense of what the app is, but the polish and what it could become if it were actually

00:56:47   a system app, right?

00:56:48   Yeah, that's really interesting.

00:56:49   Yeah.

00:56:50   Yeah.

00:56:51   I really thought about it being a way for Apple to, like you said, to bring Notes into

00:56:54   to the modern area because I mean,

00:56:56   Notes got tags and it's gotten some collaboration stuff,

00:57:01   but it is like fundamentally the same app

00:57:04   that it's always been.

00:57:05   And that just comes from a different era

00:57:07   of note taking apps.

00:57:09   - Right.

00:57:10   - Whereas Obsidian and Kraft and these others,

00:57:13   they're sort of this newer generation that,

00:57:16   maybe Apple can get notes there.

00:57:17   Maybe it's not interested in,

00:57:18   I mean, there's always something to be said

00:57:21   Apple's system apps are kind of made for the the middle part of the bell curve

00:57:27   where they hit the most number of users and most users don't care about stuff

00:57:32   that craft and obsidian offer above notes right and so it's all very

00:57:36   interesting to consider what could happen there. Alright so we've got one

00:57:41   more topic today I'm going to talk to John about his Mac journey over the last

00:57:46   year. Federico did get the the booster he's feeling a little under the weather

00:57:52   now so we're gonna let Federico go not force him to talk about the Mac. Feel

00:57:57   better buddy. Yeah I hope you feel better Federico. Have fun you guys talking about

00:58:00   Mac OS. We will. This episode of Connected is made possible by Pingdom. If you have a

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00:59:36   and relay FM alright John Federico's gone tell me the truth is that a pain is

00:59:42   it a pain to work with Federico every day oh I thought you're gonna say is it

00:59:46   really his hair it's really your hair that I would have picked but he's gone

00:59:49   now so we don't you know we can we can tell the truth now no Federico is

00:59:53   wonderful to work with you and I get along we complement that's good well

00:59:57   that's good yeah okay yeah Mac talk you have in the past I'm going back a couple

01:00:04   years just for context you had a MacBook Pro but you also had a Mac mini and you

01:00:12   were kind of living the Mac mini life there for a long time right yeah it

01:00:16   really was I have a 2018 mini it's a pretty high-end fully spec'd one and

01:00:21   today though it sits in a closet and it's gonna be converted to a Plex

01:00:26   server and other duties over the holidays. But you know what happened was, I guess a couple of things

01:00:32   happened. One is I got a MacBook Air, an M1 MacBook Air last fall in November when they were released,

01:00:39   right? That's kind of where the journey really started because that arrived and I used it as,

01:00:45   most people use a MacBook Air as a portable Mac. And I was still on the mini at the time,

01:00:52   But then right before WWC, Apple sent me an iMac to review. I had that and reviewed it in July,

01:00:59   set it up right away, and got an extension over the summer to hold on to it for a little bit

01:01:06   longer because I really wanted an M1 Mac that wasn't one of my primary Macs to test

01:01:13   Monterey on. And I wanted to really live with the iMac for an extended period of time to see whether

01:01:21   that was something I'd like to move to eventually because I mean they're such beautiful Macs. I

01:01:25   really love the way they look and I wasn't sure though whether it was the all-in-one

01:01:30   Mac was for me. So I lived on that iMac from the beginning of June all the way until the end of

01:01:40   November. Right after Thanksgiving I kind of I packed it up and sent it back. And throughout

01:01:46   November I had this kind of debate with myself of what was I going to do? Was I going to buy my own

01:01:51   iMac? Was I going to go the MacBook Pro route? You mentioned I had a MacBook Pro before and I did.

01:01:59   It was 2016 which was really bad timing for buying a MacBook Pro and really soured me on

01:02:06   laptops for a while. Thank goodness the MacBook Air is a big change from that. But I was trying

01:02:13   to decide where was I going to go with this. And in the end I'm at least now working with a setup

01:02:20   that I view as temporary but it's actually pretty good. It's the MacBook Air connected to an external

01:02:28   display and a Thunderbolt hub that I use to get more ports out of the two-port MacBook Air.

01:02:36   And it's been fantastic. And I think I had a lot of choices. One thing is I could have gone back

01:02:43   to the mini, the 2018 mini, but boy that thing makes a lot of noise and it gets hot. And I

01:02:47   really, once I started using M1 Macs, I really didn't want to go back to an Intel-based one

01:02:53   as my full-time machine. I mean, I don't mind having it sitting headless in a closet behind me

01:02:58   doing various things, but I didn't really want it on my desk blowing hot air at me.

01:03:03   I didn't really want a MacBook Pro either because although I am very jealous of you guys who all

01:03:10   have them, especially the display, I don't really need that kind of power in a portable

01:03:17   Mac. I spent two weeks in Europe visiting my son and then visiting Federico recently

01:03:24   and that was really kind of the clincher for me when it comes to portable Macs. I took

01:03:30   my MacBook Air and my iPad Mini with me and nothing else. And the MacBook Air was absolutely

01:03:35   fine for recording shows, producing them, doing the various things I did. I mean, I had a lighter

01:03:42   workload while I was on that trip, but that's true with lots of trips. I mean, because it was a

01:03:47   vacation. But I did do some of my ordinary Mac storage work, and it was perfectly fine. So that

01:03:55   really got me to thinking, what was it about the iMac that I loved so much, and was the iMac the

01:04:01   the thing that would be my next desktop computer. And I concluded no. And there were a few limitations

01:04:08   about it that bothered me. I mean, the first one was just Apple sent me one with 500 gigabytes

01:04:13   of storage, which wasn't enough. But that's solvable because they go up to two terabytes.

01:04:19   But the two things that weren't solvable was that they cap out at 16 gigabytes of memory,

01:04:28   the screen is 24 inches. Now when I was on the mini, I was using a 27 inch 4K LG display.

01:04:35   It wasn't an ultra fine, it wasn't quite that fancy, but I got used to that space. And I

01:04:40   really didn't want to go back to, I didn't really want to settle on a 24 inch display,

01:04:45   even though the iMac's screen is the best screen I've ever used. And it is disappointing

01:04:51   to be going back to the 27-inch LG in that sense, but I do appreciate the extra space.

01:04:59   And then the memory was an issue. The memory, 16 is not quite enough for a lot of what I

01:05:04   do because a lot of times I have lots of tabs open and lots of apps open all at once, and

01:05:09   I do run into memory constraints. Sometimes, a lot of times it's on Fridays when I've got

01:05:13   a bunch of apps open, I'm putting together our newsletter, and MailChimp, we've got,

01:05:19   know, if anybody is a Club Max Stories member, you know, these newsletters sometimes are

01:05:24   kind of long. Sometimes they're like 10,000 words long with 25, 30 images in them, and

01:05:30   Safari struggles under that load with MailChimp sometimes with the memory required for it.

01:05:35   So I decided what I was going to do was I was going to wait. I'm going to wait and see

01:05:39   if an iMac comes out that's bigger, you know, iMac Pro, or if we get a more pro-level M1

01:05:47   M1 or M1 Pro Max or whatever it happens to be,

01:05:52   Mini and an Apple external display.

01:05:56   And I think that's probably the option I would prefer

01:05:59   only because I think I would replace the Mini

01:06:02   before I would replace the display

01:06:04   if it was a good enough display.

01:06:06   - It's just such a weird time.

01:06:07   David and I have been talking about this on Mac Power Users

01:06:10   but we're halfway through the transition to Apple Silicon.

01:06:15   And the way they've done is they've started

01:06:17   the low end and they've worked their way up and it's easy to connect some of the

01:06:21   dots right there will be a bigger iMac and it will have the M1 Pro and/or the M1

01:06:27   Max in it and there could be another Mac Mini there you know will be some sort of

01:06:33   Pro desktop the further out you get the sort of harder it is to really nail down

01:06:39   what it's gonna be so it's sort of in this weird spot and then you add on to

01:06:45   that there's probably features in the MacBook Pro that the next MacBook Air

01:06:50   would get like MagSafe or a redesign you know so it's just a very strange time to

01:06:56   be making these decisions especially if someone's like in your position where

01:07:02   you need more horsepower you need more storage like just the base level MacBook

01:07:07   Air isn't isn't quite quite enough right and right it's weird because it's close

01:07:14   Right, and I feel like the m1 even the base m1 I could live with in a different computer with more

01:07:22   memory, but and in a bigger display, but

01:07:26   it's a little hard right now to know which way to go and I

01:07:30   work mostly at a desk and you know, we've all spent a lot of the last couple of years at home and I

01:07:40   I don't need another M1 portable Mac right now. I mean, I've got the Air and I love the Air and

01:07:46   as much as I would like the Pro to use the Pro, I feel like a lot of that power in a portable

01:07:53   device would be wasted on me because it would sit in clamshell mode or something on my desk

01:07:59   most of the time and I wouldn't be traveling with it, which is why ultimately I've decided to wait.

01:08:04   and it's been fine so far. I mean, I've been on this setup since, I guess it was the weekend

01:08:11   after Thanksgiving, so you know, a few weeks now. So, I mean, you seem like you've sort of come

01:08:16   around to the idea of having a desktop and then having a notebook for the times that you need it.

01:08:26   where does Apple's external display trajectory

01:08:31   or lack of strategy, where does that fit in for you?

01:08:37   For example, would you be maybe more willing

01:08:41   to kind of split the difference

01:08:42   and have like a decently specced MacBook Pro

01:08:46   and use it at home with a nice Apple display

01:08:49   and away from home when you don't need it?

01:08:51   Like is the lack of a display,

01:08:53   I guess pulling you to an iMac or maybe you wouldn't be there other otherwise. I think that that is

01:08:59   Probably true. I mean one of the things about the iMac I used all summer that I loved the most is the screen

01:09:08   I mean it is so bright and colorful and

01:09:10   Crisp that I'd never really used display quite as good as that now

01:09:16   You know I and I take that display that display is good enough for me

01:09:22   Although I would certainly like something even more high-end a little closer. What's on the MacBook Pro, but blown up

01:09:28   And I'd also like a matte display. So I'm not sure which what you know, I think in the end for my next desktop

01:09:35   It's gonna depend on

01:09:37   Which comes out first more than anything else?

01:09:40   Because I know I'm going to get impatient and if an iMac comes out having used the original m1 iMac for six months

01:09:48   I know I like it a lot and I know that I'd be happy with it

01:09:51   it. And I like the, there are a lot of advantages to an all-in-one just in terms of a nice clean

01:09:58   look on a desk. And my desk is kind of out in the open on the first floor of our house.

01:10:03   So that would all be great. But an awful big part of me really does feel like I like the,

01:10:10   having, I would prefer to have the component version of that, which is a very small mini with

01:10:17   more IO and a separate display that I would keep for a longer period of time probably.

01:10:23   And I would, you know, anything from 27 inches up to maybe 32-ish I would be happy with,

01:10:29   and I'd like it to be matte, but I don't want to spend five, six, seven thousand dollars.

01:10:35   I'm not going to do that. There's just no way. So, you know, I would spend a couple thousand

01:10:39   dollars on it potentially, but I'm not going to go all the way up to, you know, five thousand

01:10:45   And so as a result, I don't really feel like a MacBook Pro with an Apple display is really

01:10:55   a way I would go either.

01:10:56   I think I would probably stick with the Air for portable computing and then whatever comes

01:11:02   out first, whether it's a bigger iMac or a better Mini, and I would probably go that

01:11:08   route.

01:11:09   Now the toughest call would be if the Mini came out first and there's no display.

01:11:14   What do I do then?

01:11:18   Probably still wait because I don't want to buy a new display and then six months later

01:11:26   there will be an Apple display because I know my next display, if I buy it and it's not

01:11:30   an Apple one, it'll be probably a fairly high-end one.

01:11:35   And even so, I mean, there just aren't very many good choices right now.

01:11:38   I know Jason Snell just wrote about this on Six Colors, I think yesterday.

01:11:41   there aren't a lot of good choices to begin with.

01:11:43   So I guess I'm playing the waiting game

01:11:46   and probably waiting for a bigger iMac more

01:11:48   than anything else.

01:11:49   - To save you the feedback,

01:11:50   he linked to a thing that Casey wrote.

01:11:52   So I'll link to Casey's thing in the show notes.

01:11:55   - Right, right.

01:11:55   - Oh, and Dan did it.

01:11:56   You were so close to what actually happened.

01:11:59   Yeah, and it's been, I mean, I wrote a thing at WBC 2019

01:12:05   of like, what's Apple's display story here?

01:12:08   Like clearly the pro display is awesome,

01:12:10   but come on.

01:12:13   And they just haven't done it.

01:12:18   And every, you know, we can't talk about,

01:12:20   oh, this is the time, this is the time.

01:12:22   And I really think the line of the sand is the new iMac,

01:12:25   the new big iMac.

01:12:27   Like if there's a 27, 29, 30 inch iMac

01:12:32   and there's not an external display that matches it,

01:12:38   then like, then what?

01:12:40   There is the complication,

01:12:43   and they've spoken with us on ATP,

01:12:45   but there's the complication of what you can do internally

01:12:49   with a machine versus what you can do

01:12:50   over a Thunderbolt cable.

01:12:53   And like when the first 5K iMac came out,

01:12:55   Apple made a deal of like,

01:12:57   there wasn't hardware to do this, so we invented it.

01:13:00   - Right.

01:13:03   - Eventually, Thunderbolt was able to drive it,

01:13:07   but it took a while and the pro display XDR,

01:13:10   it's a bunch of pixels, but if you double the refresh rate,

01:13:15   are you at the edge or beyond what Thunderbolt 4 can do?

01:13:20   Like all of that stuff has to be dealt with.

01:13:24   Like let's just say that the new big iMac

01:13:27   has promotion in it.

01:13:29   That doesn't necessarily mean they can put it

01:13:31   in an external display of the same size.

01:13:33   And so it is extremely complicated.

01:13:37   And I think it's actually harder to guess now

01:13:40   because the new MacBook Pros have some of these features

01:13:43   that may be really difficult to get into

01:13:46   a standalone external display.

01:13:49   Like in a lot of ways, the display on my 14 inch MacBook Pro

01:13:52   is nicer than my Pro Display XDR.

01:13:55   It's not as big, it's just as bright as mini LED

01:13:59   instead of the LED array that the Pro Display has.

01:14:04   and it has promotion, which a lot of people care about.

01:14:07   And so it's even more complicated as time goes on,

01:14:12   which is, it's just, it's a bummer.

01:14:16   And I mean, I know Apple hears this feedback

01:14:21   'cause everyone like who pays it into Apple

01:14:24   even a little bit has this issue of like,

01:14:27   if you buy one of these amazing new laptops,

01:14:31   if you buy a Mac mini, even if you buy a Mac pro,

01:14:35   like the only first party option is just ridiculous.

01:14:40   And it's a bummer, right?

01:14:43   It's like, they're so close to having

01:14:45   like the Mac hardware lineup perfect.

01:14:48   And then there's this like huge gaping hole

01:14:50   right in the middle of it.

01:14:51   - Yeah, yeah.

01:14:52   It's that complexity I think is at the end of the day

01:14:55   why I would probably just jump on board with an iMac Pro

01:14:59   because it's really hard, as you said,

01:15:04   to judge exactly where the external displays are going.

01:15:07   And I do kind of feel as though

01:15:10   if we get a larger display on an iMac

01:15:12   and we don't get a separate display around the same time,

01:15:16   that maybe it's just not coming

01:15:17   or it's not coming for a while yet,

01:15:20   maybe another year plus.

01:15:21   And in that case, I do think

01:15:23   that I would like to have a new desktop computer

01:15:25   and not be relying on a MacBook Air in clamshell mode.

01:15:29   - Yeah, yeah, it's just, it's complicated.

01:15:34   It's all good though.

01:15:36   I mean, I mean, the display situation is terrible,

01:15:38   but like you're picking from a bunch of really good Macs,

01:15:42   right, which is cool.

01:15:44   - Absolutely.

01:15:45   - It hasn't been the case in a long time.

01:15:46   - Absolutely, I mean, and I'm actually for the first time

01:15:51   in a very long time excited about portable Macs.

01:15:53   I mean, that MacBook Pro from 2016 really soured me on them

01:15:58   for a long time.

01:15:59   - Yeah, you got in at a real bad time, man.

01:16:01   - The worst time, I think.

01:16:03   I mean, it was not a good machine, and it was hot,

01:16:07   and it had a terrible keyboard,

01:16:09   and all sorts of different problems,

01:16:11   but the MacBook Air, I'm still blown away

01:16:14   by the fact when I use it, it's absolutely silent.

01:16:17   And I've never had Macs that were absolutely silent,

01:16:21   and that's why the Mac Mini,

01:16:23   even with the closet door shut,

01:16:24   I can hear the Mac Mini behind me.

01:16:26   It's in my office behind me,

01:16:27   and I can still hear it in there humming away.

01:16:30   And I love that the air is completely silent

01:16:33   as was the iMac that I was using.

01:16:36   - Well, I hope you get resolution to all of this.

01:16:41   (laughs)

01:16:42   - I do too, I do too.

01:16:44   I mean, the easy thing, the fun thing would have been

01:16:46   just to pull the trigger on a MacBook Pro,

01:16:48   but I think I'll be better off in the end

01:16:52   if I wait a little bit longer.

01:16:53   - Yeah, I mean, I really liked the Mac lifestyle

01:16:56   that you described where you have like a nice desktop,

01:16:59   it's always there.

01:17:01   It's also really nice to have a Mac

01:17:02   that's just on all the time

01:17:04   from an automation standpoint.

01:17:06   And then my notebook is,

01:17:08   my Mac Pro is really nice,

01:17:10   but it is a secondary machine, right?

01:17:13   And I like that sort of setup.

01:17:17   And I think for people who do what we do,

01:17:18   it makes a lot of sense.

01:17:20   All right, John, thank you for joining me today.

01:17:23   - Yeah, thanks for having me.

01:17:24   It's always fun to chat with you guys in a format other than iMessage.

01:17:28   All right, so if you want to find links to the stuff we spoke about, head on over to

01:17:33   relay.fm/connected/375.

01:17:39   If you're interested in a longer ad-free version of the show and you like saving money, go

01:17:44   to giverelay.com.

01:17:45   22% off of annual memberships.

01:17:48   That special runs through December 17th, so don't delay.

01:17:53   Jon, where can people find you on the internet?

01:17:55   Well, they can find me hanging out with Federico at maxstories.net and of course I'm on Twitter

01:18:00   and Instagram too.

01:18:02   I should do the @johnvorhles.

01:18:07   That's where you can find me, Steven.

01:18:08   It's just so poetic and sing-songy.

01:18:10   I love it.

01:18:12   I've done it hundreds of times, so I've got it down at this point.

01:18:17   You can follow me on Twitter as ISMH

01:18:20   and my writing over at 512pixels.net.

01:18:23   I'm also the co-host of Mac Power Users.

01:18:25   We have some really cool episodes coming up.

01:18:28   We interviewed somebody who works at Pixar

01:18:31   and it was an awesome interview.

01:18:34   We're gonna do studio tours and we have a very,

01:18:38   like very, very, very special episode coming up

01:18:43   right at the turn of the year.

01:18:44   So lots of good stuff coming on the Mac power users feed.

01:18:48   Thank you for joining us today on connected though.

01:18:50   I'd like to thank our sponsors for making it possible.

01:18:53   Fitbaud trade coffee and Pingdom.

01:18:56   John, until, uh, I guess till next time you're on connected.

01:19:01   Say goodbye.

01:19:01   Goodbye.