2020 Year in Review: Not an Ideal Situation


00:00:00   [MUSIC PLAYING]

00:00:03   Hello, and welcome to Connected, episode 326, our 2020

00:00:14   year in review.

00:00:16   It's made possible by our sponsors, Smile, Pingdom,

00:00:19   and Wondery.

00:00:20   My name is Stephen Hackett, and I am joined by Mr. Myke Hurley.

00:00:24   Hi.

00:00:25   Hello.

00:00:26   How are you?

00:00:27   I'm good.

00:00:27   Happy New Year, nearly.

00:00:28   Happy nearly year.

00:00:29   Yes, nearly nearly nearly. Happy. We're also joined by Mr Federico Vittucci.

00:00:38   Sup. Hey. Hi. That's a new year new year new attitude for Federico. New year new me.

00:00:45   Federico just turned his hat backwards and that's how he's gonna be doing 2021 of a backwards

00:00:51   baseball cap. Fun fact, I am not wearing a hat. Fun fact, you know what Federico that is a fun

00:00:57   fact. It is a fun fact. Fun fact. Whenever you listen to a podcast, imagine if all the

00:01:03   people talking are wearing hats and that will make it instantly more fun. Do you own many

00:01:08   hats? No. I'm not a hat person. I'm not a hat person. I think I have an odd shaped head

00:01:19   for a hat. I don't look good in hats. Yeah. I think I must be similar to you in that regard.

00:01:26   I put a hat on and my face looks wrong.

00:01:28   Steven, you look good in hats.

00:01:30   Steven does.

00:01:31   Steven has a hat optimized.

00:01:36   I think it's partly because he can change his hair just by thinking.

00:01:40   Yeah, it's very transformational from that point of view.

00:01:45   But if I put on a hat, I look like...

00:01:48   What's the character's name?

00:01:49   Inspector Gadget?

00:01:50   Is that the character's name?

00:01:51   Yes, you would look like Inspector Gadget!

00:01:54   it. Yeah! Inspector T.T.! I'm looking at pictures of Inspector Gadget now! Now that I'm thinking

00:02:16   of cartoons on TV, I was shocked to realize a few years ago that I was having this conversation

00:02:23   real friend of mine. It turns out that in Italy, like one cartoon theme song was used,

00:02:33   like the same music was used for another cartoon in Spain. And I did some research and I realized

00:02:39   that basically Italy and Spain had been exchanging theme music for different cartoons over the

00:02:44   years. And it's so weird because for example, in Italy, like we grew up with a certain tune

00:02:50   was used for like Captain Tsubasa, for example, which was called Holly and Benji here. But

00:02:55   like in Spain, the same music is associated with different memories for different cartoons,

00:03:01   because these companies have been exchanging rights for theme music. It's so weird.

00:03:06   That's incredible.

00:03:07   Yeah. So, I don't know, just a fun fact that may help you ease into 2021.

00:03:14   Steven, what are we doing on today's episode?

00:03:17   Today we are going to be going through the tech news of 2020 month by month round robin

00:03:23   style, and we're just going to hit on the big stories and see what is still important,

00:03:30   what's not important, etc.

00:03:33   And so I'm going to start with January.

00:03:35   Does that seem like a good place to start?

00:03:38   If you if that's how you if you can if you conform to that Canada show.

00:03:41   I mean it all went downhill in January but if you really want to do it, just do it.

00:03:46   I guess.

00:03:47   - January was mostly a holdout though, right?

00:03:49   Like I think we got through January pretty good.

00:03:52   - Yeah.

00:03:53   - We'll see I suppose.

00:03:54   - You and I both have January birthdays, so we had those.

00:03:57   And Apple started the year by touting

00:04:03   a new era of services.

00:04:06   So this was a press release with a bunch of artwork.

00:04:10   Eddy Cue saying that 2019 was the biggest year

00:04:14   for services in Apple's history.

00:04:16   They introduced several new exciting experiences for their customers.

00:04:20   So in 2019, we saw Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple News+, and Apple Card.

00:04:26   So those were all new in 2019.

00:04:30   And they're talking about that and how the App Store makes all this money for all

00:04:35   these people and just tooting their own services horn.

00:04:40   Yeah. And then of course, you know, one of the interesting stories of the year when

00:04:44   it comes to earnings, we're not going to talk about Apple earnings other than right now,

00:04:48   is that quarter after quarter they just continue to grow. So 2020 was bigger than 2019 was,

00:04:55   for example. Yeah, that...

00:04:56   Yeah, boy. 20... Yeah, you know what I'm saying. 2020 was bigger than 2019.

00:05:01   The services chart just keeps getting bigger and better as time goes on.

00:05:05   Yeah.

00:05:06   Speaking of services, in January, Apple also announced that the redesigned maps data...

00:05:13   So remember the story from, I guess, maybe 2017 or 2018

00:05:17   that Apple was undertaking this giant process

00:05:20   of updating all the data in Apple Maps

00:05:24   with much more detail, showing buildings

00:05:26   and a lot of upgrades of vegetation and so parks and stuff.

00:05:31   You know, you could see walking trails

00:05:32   and water and all this stuff.

00:05:35   It had been solely rolling out, but in January,

00:05:39   again, Eddy Cue is quoted by saying that,

00:05:42   all users in the US could now experience this.

00:05:45   And that major cities had the look around feature,

00:05:50   which is kind of like their street view,

00:05:53   but it's a little bit different in the street view

00:05:55   the way they actually do it technically.

00:05:57   I can say, at least for me, here where I live,

00:06:02   Apple Maps is way better now after this update.

00:06:07   I've still had it give me kind of bonkers directions.

00:06:11   At one point this summer,

00:06:12   we were visiting some state parks and we used Apple Maps and it took us to someone's house and the

00:06:18   The state park entrance was like two blocks down this little country road

00:06:22   And so with Apple Maps you can file a correction and I got an email back within like three days saying they had fixed it

00:06:28   and sure enough they had

00:06:29   But I think they've done a really good job rolling this out and at least here in the US where my experience is

00:06:35   I still use Google Maps when I'm

00:06:40   Going someplace. I'm not familiar with because I do think Google Maps data is still better

00:06:44   But Apple Maps has really closed that gap in a meaningful way. I think they added the maps here in October

00:06:51   Mm-hmm, so I haven't really been able to use them. Yeah

00:06:55   It's fair, but you know

00:06:57   but this is kind of how I felt always though is like I don't

00:07:02   Think that they particularly have a feature set that would take me away from Google Maps, which already works

00:07:07   So but I'm happy that they're at least trying to do more with it. We'll see how it goes in the future

00:07:12   I know when I was in the UK for your wedding

00:07:15   We used Google Maps on the surface

00:07:18   But I liked the way Apple Maps

00:07:20   Laid out stuff on the tube as someone who was completely unfamiliar with it

00:07:24   I found Apple Maps was it is good easier to understand what I needed to do

00:07:28   So we kind of went back and forth when we were in London

00:07:31   But yeah, they've said that this is going to continue to roll out. It is super good for that

00:07:34   It's super good for that, but I don't need that

00:07:37   because I know how to use it. You know what I mean? Like, I know how to use the tube.

00:07:40   But they did a good job with the entrance and exits type thing.

00:07:43   Yes. Which is really important for me.

00:07:45   I've never been there before.

00:07:47   January 21st, there was a report that Apple had abandoned plans to release an

00:07:54   end-to-end encrypted version of iCloud backups after facing complaints from the

00:07:59   US federal government, in particular the FBI.

00:08:02   This was particularly focused on iMessage?

00:08:05   Yes.

00:08:05   So I don't know if you guys remembered this story.

00:08:08   I didn't remember it until I looked it up.

00:08:10   This was like a big thing, which is like resurfaced from previous about

00:08:14   the fact that even though iMessage is end to end encrypted,

00:08:18   it's not end to end encrypted in the iCloud backups.

00:08:24   So in theory, law enforcement,

00:08:27   if they could get your information, could get into the backup.

00:08:31   It's like this whole thing that people never remember until they're reminded.

00:08:35   about the fact that like iMessage is only end-to-end, fully end-to-end encrypted if you do not use iCloud backup. If you do, it isn't.

00:08:43   There is a way to get the information.

00:08:45   Big news from Twitter in January as well. They announced the feature to limit replies to tweets. So if you use the

00:08:53   official Twitter client you'll see this. It's rolled out to everybody now, I think, where you can say

00:08:59   "Anyone can reply to this. Only people I

00:09:04   mention can reply to this.

00:09:07   So if I if I said something to Federico publicly, I didn't want other people to chime in I could I could set that.

00:09:14   And the trick is if you mentioned nobody then no one can reply to it.

00:09:18   This is a feature that actually got me to switch to the official Twitter app on

00:09:24   the iPhone because

00:09:27   I kind of gotten weary of tweeting like political things and

00:09:33   getting a bunch of replies that you know sometimes these tweets make the rounds and you just have a lot of horrible things

00:09:38   in your mentions, so I think this has been a good change to Twitter.

00:09:42   I think that it can really be used to at least cut down on things in your replies

00:09:49   in terms of harassment and things like that. Now, it's not perfect. People can still quote tweet you.

00:09:55   You can still of course get DMs if you leave those open, but it is at least a step towards

00:10:02   Controlling what happens to your tweets once you send them never use this feature

00:10:06   The trick is to never tweet actually if you never tweet you never have to change the setting

00:10:11   I'm gonna say it's deleted for to recap

00:10:16   Permanent saying mm-hmm

00:10:20   Myke as one of the co-host of upgrade you guys cover streaming and that sort of stuff like can you tell me about this?

00:10:28   HBO guy being at Apple

00:10:31   This is what there's a couple of stories I've dotted through the year that I think were important

00:10:36   And this is one of them Apple signed a five-year first look deal with the then

00:10:42   Had recently just been ex HBO boss Richard plepler

00:10:46   plepler was head of HBO forever and

00:10:49   was responsible for lots and lots and lots of great programming and

00:10:54   has an Apple side of first look deal with him which basically means any project that

00:11:01   Plepler is working on, Apple gets first dibs on it. There was something that he brought to

00:11:08   Apple, or he's the executive producer or something, and I now do not remember what that is,

00:11:15   but this is going to end up being over time a helpful thing for Apple. There's a few of these

00:11:24   first look deals. This was one of the first big ones in 2020. Apple's really getting serious

00:11:31   about this right it's it's really been amazing to see how far Apple TV+ has

00:11:36   come in its first year or so. Lastly to round out January a big historical

00:11:43   moment the end of January marked 10 years since the iPad was originally

00:11:51   introduced back in January 2010 Steve Jobs came out and introduced the iPad as

00:11:56   something better than a netbook because those were cruddy but something more

00:12:02   capable than a phone and more personal than a laptop and here we are now ten

00:12:07   years later and the iPads a whole family and there are people doing work on it full

00:12:10   time it was neat to see how far it's come and our friend John Voorhees put

00:12:16   together a really great article I love in this article he he went through and

00:12:19   found like all of the you know rumors and like mock-ups of what it could look

00:12:25   like. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. There's one here that it looks like an iPhone but it has a

00:12:29   magsafe and a USB-A port on the side of it. Man, they should have shipped that one.

00:12:33   That sounds great. That didn't happen. So it's fun to look back and think, you know,

00:12:38   what things could could have been but yeah, iPad. Ten years. It's amazing, isn't

00:12:45   it? Yeah, I think Federico, you did a bunch of stuff in, what was it, March or April?

00:12:49   I think so. I think it was this year. Because that was when it actually came out.

00:12:53   Yeah, it came, it was announced pretty early.

00:12:56   It was in April. I think we did a thing in April and I did my story. It doesn't feel like 2020, it feels like a couple of years ago to me, but I think that's when I did my modular computer story.

00:13:09   I think. It was this year. And it was for the 10th anniversary of the actual public

00:13:16   release on April 3rd in the US, 2010. Yeah, I did the story about my modular setup with

00:13:24   the external monitor and the keyboards and the stands and all of that. And also we had

00:13:29   a bunch of stories about the iPad, you know, the first decade of the iPad and all the changes

00:13:35   in software and hardware and all of that. It was fun. It doesn't feel like 2020, but

00:13:39   yeah it was a few months ago I guess.

00:13:41   So now we move on to February. Apple announced that there would be a special Apple News section

00:13:47   for the US presidential election, which I know I used over the election weeknight that

00:13:55   existed this year for the American president. I liked that I could actually get it in the

00:14:02   UK, but I know I saw a lot of people complaining, which I understood is that it took up a lot

00:14:06   of real estate in the Apple News app for the US presidential election in the UK, which

00:14:12   is kind of funny, but like it was basically the entire thing for like three days. And

00:14:16   there was a lot going on in the world at that time.

00:14:22   I wanted to mention, I was looking through our old show notes and I found Ming-Chi Kuo's

00:14:26   first rumor report of the year.

00:14:28   And I wanted to just reference this for one reason,

00:14:32   which I'll get to in a bit.

00:14:33   So these were the things that Ming-Chi Kuo said

00:14:34   were going to come in 2020.

00:14:36   A 4.7 inch iPhone with touch ID.

00:14:38   That was the iPhone SE 2.

00:14:40   Triple lens iPad Pro.

00:14:43   This was like the first serious rumors.

00:14:46   There was lots of rumors of the iPad Pro before it came out.

00:14:48   And that was the 2021.

00:14:50   A MacBook Pro, an air refresh, which did happen.

00:14:53   but he wasn't talking about M1 at that point.

00:14:57   Air tags, high-end headphones, and a small wireless charging mat.

00:15:02   That was MagSafe.

00:15:04   He had a good year.

00:15:08   Yeah, but that small wireless charging mat,

00:15:10   didn't know what that meant at the time, right?

00:15:12   We were like, "Are they doing another AirPower?

00:15:14   Are they doing just their own Qi charger?"

00:15:16   No, that was MagSafe.

00:15:17   What he knew about or what he'd seen or gotten information on,

00:15:21   was that was just a MagSafe puck.

00:15:23   Yeah, it's impressive.

00:15:25   Kuo has a very good year every year.

00:15:27   He is the most reliable in this space, I think, of this type of thing.

00:15:33   Like I think what Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo do are different,

00:15:36   especially from the sources that they have.

00:15:38   And Kuo talks about things very early and is often very, very correct.

00:15:44   Spotify made a lot of acquisitions in 2020 to continue boosting their podcast business.

00:15:50   And one of the first ones that they made was acquiring the ringer from Bill Simmons, which

00:15:56   is like a sports and entertainment podcast network and website and Spotify kept the website

00:16:01   going as well as acquiring the content.

00:16:04   This one for me, when I read it, I kind of couldn't believe that it was this year because

00:16:10   it felt like such a long time ago when the director and actor Taika Waititi complained

00:16:16   about Apple's laptops at a press conference in the Oscars.

00:16:19   Oh yeah!

00:16:20   [laughs]

00:16:21   When people, I think he was asked, "What makes things difficult?"

00:16:26   There was this whole unionizing and striking thing at the time, I believe, with agencies,

00:16:34   like acting agencies and stuff like that.

00:16:37   And he was kind of asked a question about what makes things difficult at the moment,

00:16:40   and then he just started talking about how uncomfortable Apple's laptop keyboards are.

00:16:44   Not great.

00:16:45   Not a great moment for…

00:16:47   No, it was funny though.

00:16:48   It is funny. I mean, what was it was especially funny because he had just signed a deal to

00:16:53   produce a TP+ show. That brings us to the final month in 2020, March. The beginning

00:17:01   of the second year in 2020. The beginning of the end of 2020 and this is when lockdowns

00:17:09   started around the world when we started it in Italy in early March and when basically

00:17:15   we all started wondering what was going to happen to Apple and, you know, their plans

00:17:21   for 2020. So first stop is the, the Apple's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And they

00:17:30   had a press release where they announced that they were going to help with donations and

00:17:36   with, you know, providing supplies, closing Apple stores, you know, the usual response

00:17:40   that we're all expecting basically from Apple at that point. And in addition to that, so

00:17:45   So closing Apple stores, retail locations and providing equipment, building their own

00:17:52   face masks as well.

00:17:54   Yes they did and donated a load of them.

00:17:57   They did so much stuff then.

00:17:58   They had blueprints.

00:17:59   They still have them I believe that you can download them, print out the PDF with instructions

00:18:03   on.

00:18:04   Have any of you seen the Apple masks?

00:18:06   No I haven't.

00:18:07   I saw when I went to pick up an iPhone, I saw them.

00:18:11   They look really nice, honestly.

00:18:13   - In addition to that press release and those announcements,

00:18:19   they also put out a COVID-19 website and application

00:18:24   that you can download from the App Store.

00:18:28   Basically, this is a screening tool and a set of resources

00:18:31   and frequently asked questions to check for symptoms,

00:18:35   to check to guide you through the process

00:18:38   of whether you should go see a doctor,

00:18:40   whether you should go get tested, information on social distancing, on wearing masks, on

00:18:46   you know proper hand sanitization, you know all that kind of stuff.

00:18:51   I forgot they did this.

00:18:53   Me too and now that I was checking out the press release and the app again, it feels

00:18:58   like forever ago where we had to be, you know, where other people had to explain social distancing.

00:19:07   is very much like, you know, it feels like last year material to me. You know, what is

00:19:13   social distancing? What does it mean? And now we all know, obviously, what it is.

00:19:17   Wait, I have to wash my hands for 20 seconds? That's a long time.

00:19:21   Back then all of this was new and there were video tutorials on how to properly wash your

00:19:27   hands and... Happy birthday twice? No, surely not.

00:19:31   So yeah, there's still the app on the Apple Store and on the App Store and there's still

00:19:36   the COVID-19 website, which is covid19.apple.com, where you can go. If you're in the US, you

00:19:43   can check your… you can select your state and you can check with your local health department

00:19:47   for additional instructions. And there's also a link to a COVID-19 hub on Apple News,

00:19:53   if you want to get all the stories about COVID-19. I don't know if you still want, but it's

00:19:59   an option, in case you're looking for more news.

00:20:02   Anyway, the big announcement, which at the time when things started getting progressively

00:20:08   worse, we all knew this was coming, Apple confirmed that WWDC 2020 was not going to

00:20:15   happen in San Jose, but it was going to be a virtual...

00:20:18   This was announced on March 13th, which looking back, I cannot believe it was that early,

00:20:25   because I feel like we were asking the question for ages, but I guess not.

00:20:31   Like it felt like such a long time where it was like, oh, what are they going to

00:20:35   do? Surely they got to do it. Everyone else is canceling.

00:20:38   Like it took a long time.

00:20:40   Yeah. At the time, I guess we had no idea just how bad the pandemic was going to

00:20:45   be. And I think I remembered clearly a point where

00:20:49   us folks in Europe were saying this is going to get bad.

00:20:53   Unfortunately, WWDC is not going to happen.

00:20:58   and folks in America were saying "It's fine, we can do a conference in June, this will

00:21:03   be over by the summer." And obviously it didn't go that way. So Apple announced that the WWDC

00:21:08   was going to go online only with a set of sessions and a new system for developers to

00:21:16   chat and ask questions to Apple engineers. We didn't have a lot of details at the time,

00:21:22   Apple shared more in the weeks following the announcement. But yeah, this was a good move

00:21:28   in hindsight. Obviously, it was not going to happen anyway. It was going to get canceled.

00:21:33   Like if Apple had announced, "No, we're going to do this anyway," like it just wasn't going

00:21:37   to happen because the pandemic got real bad by that time. So good move. We all knew it

00:21:44   was coming. So it was the sort of the hot topic for a few weeks on podcasts and on Apple

00:21:52   websites. Following that we got an update to the MacBook Air. I guess this is the

00:21:57   update that people were waiting for because it came with a new Magic Keyboard,

00:22:02   so dropping the butterfly keyboard that everybody hated, and it was also a

00:22:07   performance bump with the new storage option as well, if I remember correctly.

00:22:14   So this is a faster MacBook Air with a new keyboard with twice the storage at

00:22:21   $999. Is that correct, Steven? Yeah, yeah, that's it. So this was the final

00:22:28   Intel MacBook Air. My favorite part about this press release, though, is at the bottom

00:22:33   it says "Mac Mini, also updated today!" which they just doubled the storage capacity

00:22:39   for the prices, which kind of made me laugh. Up next is the insanely popular 2020 iPad

00:22:46   Pro. So this is the 2020 iPad Pro is the one with the LiDAR scanner. And it was quite an

00:22:55   intriguing announcement because Apple announced the 2020 iPad Pro and everybody, after an

00:23:01   initial few minutes of excitement of "Oh my god, there's a new iPad Pro!" we all quickly

00:23:08   realized that it was basically the 2018 iPad Pro with the spec bump in the system on a

00:23:12   a chip going from the A12X to the A12Z, and a new camera system featuring LiDAR, which

00:23:20   however was only used for augmented reality on iPad, and I don't think any of us were

00:23:25   excited about AR on iPad. And so it was sort of a letdown, I guess, but in combination

00:23:34   with that announcement, Apple also announced the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, and we all

00:23:40   freaked out, because obviously this is the accessory that we were waiting for. Like an

00:23:45   actual keyboard from Apple, a backlit keyboard with a built-in trackpad, and a new system

00:23:55   pointer, a new feature for controlling the iPad OS UI directly with a trackpad, or in

00:24:03   the case of a Magic Keyboard, or any other connected mouse or trackpad via Bluetooth.

00:24:09   This was the, I would say, this is the single most important iPad announcement of 2020,

00:24:17   the Magic Keyboard and iPadOS 13.4.

00:24:20   Yeah, it was bigger than iPadOS 14.

00:24:24   It was bigger than iPadOS 14.

00:24:26   It set the stage for iPadOS 14 because in hindsight, I would argue that the most important

00:24:33   features of iPadOS 14, which we're going to talk about later, you know, multi column and

00:24:37   sidebars and all that kind of stuff. Those features were enabled by the pointer because

00:24:42   they are so much easier to use and interact with if you have a Magic Keyboard with the

00:24:47   trackpad and the pointer. So this is a turning point for the iPad's evolution, I would say,

00:24:53   the Magic Keyboard and iPadOS 13.4. We should also remember that the Magic Keyboard was

00:24:57   not immediately available. It would only come out in early May. Apple announced it in March.

00:25:04   They announced iPod S 13.4, but the actual accessory it will launch in May.

00:25:11   March 2020, this is a big month, Apple announced that Universal apps were coming to the Mac.

00:25:18   This was another big change for the App Store ecosystem this year, or last year, I should

00:25:22   say.

00:25:23   The idea being that now you can use, if you're a developer, you can release a single application

00:25:28   that runs on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

00:25:30   Obviously, there are going to be three separate apps,

00:25:33   but you can bundle them up in a universal binary

00:25:35   that you can put out on the App Store

00:25:37   so that customers can buy it once

00:25:39   and they can run it everywhere.

00:25:40   This, to me, has been a big change this year

00:25:45   because an increasing number of apps that I know and use,

00:25:49   I've seen them switch to universal purchases

00:25:53   for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

00:25:55   And actually, you can even do, I believe,

00:25:58   you can do the whole thing.

00:25:59   You can do iPhone, iPad, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS, all in a single listing on the App Store,

00:26:07   which is kind of incredible.

00:26:08   And I guess I should add iMessage as well, because that is also an App Store.

00:26:13   For some reason it's still available.

00:26:14   Glad that one got in there.

00:26:16   Sure, really happy about that.

00:26:18   So Universal Apps coming to the Mac.

00:26:20   Big news for developers.

00:26:21   Seems to have been pretty well received.

00:26:24   I guess the only asterisk would be that the early adopters of Mac Catalyst were left out

00:26:32   from this, because if you're one of the brave developers who started using Catalyst last

00:26:38   year before the good catalyst of 2020, you're out of luck because you can no longer merge

00:26:47   the catalyst app that you did in 2019 with universal purchases that Apple launched in

00:26:54   2020. So it was kind of ridiculous. So not only were you forced to use the bad version

00:27:00   of catalyst, but now you can, you cannot take advantage of universal apps either, unless

00:27:05   you want to release a new binary. But if you do a new, like a new skew on the app store,

00:27:10   but if you do that, you lose all of your reviews and your customers. So not an ideal situation,

00:27:16   "Hey, you know, hey, hey, we're gonna talk about that later too." In March 2020, somehow 9to5Mac

00:27:26   obtained code strings, some code snippets related to iOS 14, and while we didn't have any screenshots

00:27:35   of new features coming in the next OS, we started hearing about certain functionalities, certain

00:27:43   options that were going to become available at some point in the future. One of them I

00:27:50   want to point out today, how spot on it was, codenamed CIMUR, an Apple TV workouts app.

00:27:58   Obviously, this turned out to be Apple Fitness Plus on Apple TV.

00:28:02   I think you're right, this was their best, I think this was the best one that they got,

00:28:06   that we hadn't really heard of, I don't think anywhere else at that point. I think Mark

00:28:09   and then reported on it later, but I think this was the first that we'd heard

00:28:14   about the Apple doing some kind of fitness program.

00:28:17   It was also in March that Apple acquired Dark Sky, the popular weather app.

00:28:24   Now, the Android app is no more. Dark Sky is still available on the iPhone, on the

00:28:29   App Store. The data from Dark Sky is being incorporated into the main

00:28:35   weather app for iPhone, which for some reason is still not available on iPad. The weather

00:28:40   app is only an iPhone exclusive, you can use the weather widget on iPad, but there's no

00:28:45   weather app. And the Dark Sky API, I believe, is going to stick around for another year,

00:28:53   but at the end of 2021 the Dark Sky API is going to get shut down. So the Android app

00:29:00   was discontinued a few months later, the API is sticking around, Apple has started leveraging

00:29:05   Dark Sky data in the weather app for iOS 14. And if you're a developer who built a weather

00:29:11   service or a weather application on top of the Dark Sky API, you better start finding

00:29:17   an alternative because by the end of next year, or should I say this year, the end of

00:29:22   2021, this thing is going to get shut down and you've got to find something else.

00:29:26   The only hope is that at WWDC Apple announces their own weather API, right? That's the hopeful

00:29:31   thing, but you can't rely on that if you're a weather developer.

00:29:34   is also an option. In March, Steven, you did something. You did, I would say, let me phrase

00:29:42   it this way, you did something for the first time, and you did something for the last time.

00:29:48   Ooh, nice. That's nice. Yes, I hosted Mac Madness, in which thousands of people voted

00:29:56   through a bracket system for their favorite Mac, and some people were upset that the

00:30:04   Brackett was randomly seeded.

00:30:08   I won't say who, but Myke was one of those people.

00:30:10   Yeah, it was a bad idea.

00:30:13   It was a bad idea, right?

00:30:15   Like, I think we all agreed on that by the end.

00:30:16   Yep.

00:30:17   And we were voting for our favorite Mac, not the best,

00:30:20   you know, not what Jason would do with 2020 Macs,

00:30:22   but favorite.

00:30:23   And ran that through the month of March,

00:30:26   had a winner the beginning of April.

00:30:29   Let's just say stay tuned.

00:30:30   Maybe 2021 will bring something.

00:30:33   I would like you to do it again with proper seeding.

00:30:36   This is the same whatever it is.

00:30:38   Yeah.

00:30:38   24 machines, seed them properly.

00:30:41   Yes.

00:30:42   If I do it again, I will not randomly seed them.

00:30:45   Good.

00:30:47   March is also the last time I had a haircut.

00:30:49   There you go.

00:30:50   I'm starting to look like Federico a little bit.

00:30:51   Is it really?

00:30:52   Uh-huh.

00:30:52   Like you-- OK.

00:30:55   Wait, wait, wait.

00:30:56   Professional haircut or any hair taken off your head?

00:30:59   Any hair taken off my head at all.

00:31:01   Really?

00:31:01   March.

00:31:02   Is your wife okay with it?

00:31:03   Yeah, she likes it long.

00:31:05   Okay.

00:31:06   I didn't know that.

00:31:06   That is surprising to me.

00:31:10   Yeah.

00:31:10   Like no hair cutting whatsoever.

00:31:14   Mm-mm, it's out of control.

00:31:16   But I feel like your hair is not as long

00:31:18   as I've seen it before.

00:31:19   So how is that the case?

00:31:20   I've grown it for longer times than this.

00:31:23   You have?

00:31:24   Yeah, my children want me to grow it out

00:31:25   into the next podcast-a-thon.

00:31:27   So we'll see if it lasts that long.

00:31:29   Yes, I think that's a great idea.

00:31:31   Well, at this point, you just got to go for it, right?

00:31:34   At this point, no, I will go one step further.

00:31:38   And I will say, assuming that we're

00:31:40   going to see each other again at WWDC 2022,

00:31:45   you should cut your hair on stage at WWDC 2022.

00:31:50   I assume the reason that the podcast

00:31:52   is mentioned is because that's the hair Stephen will remove.

00:31:55   Yeah.

00:31:56   For fun raising.

00:31:57   That is also a good idea.

00:31:58   We'll see, though.

00:31:59   You never know.

00:32:00   Maybe people will choose to save it.

00:32:03   They'll pay money to save it.

00:32:04   In any case, you should do it live with some kind of audience.

00:32:09   Definitely.

00:32:10   Yeah, okay.

00:32:11   This episode of Connected is brought to you by TextExpander from our good friends over

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00:33:31   So coming now to March 2, also known as April, Apple and Amazon have some sort of deal, meaning

00:33:39   you can buy content in the Prime Video app directly in certain circumstances for some

00:33:46   content.

00:33:48   This was something that you had to do outside, like the Kindle app where you got to go to

00:33:51   the web and do it because of Apple's cut.

00:33:54   This was an Apple and Amazon, you know, they've had their relationship that's been hot and

00:33:59   cold over the years.

00:34:00   You remember for a while, Amazon wasn't selling Apple products in the store?

00:34:04   That was fun.

00:34:05   But they've made up.

00:34:06   Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook had a handshake.

00:34:08   Well, not really.

00:34:09   They just agreed on a bunch of stuff that would come out in court later on, but we'll

00:34:12   get to that.

00:34:13   We'll get to that later!

00:34:17   In April, Apple and Google announced they were partnering on COVID-19 contact tracing

00:34:22   technologies or how this works is your phone is anonymously talking with other phones that

00:34:29   you're nearby and if someone reports that they have tested positive for COVID, the phone

00:34:34   knows and then you get an alert saying, "Hey, you've been in contact with somebody who tested

00:34:40   positive. You need to go get tested or hide out at home or whatever." This started as

00:34:47   APIs that local health officials, either like federal or in the US's case, unfortunately,

00:34:56   state health officials, you could have apps built that would affect these.

00:35:00   9to5Mac has a tracker on their website showing what states in the US have this and it's not

00:35:06   very many because a lot of state leadership in our country still thinks it's a hoax.

00:35:12   But that aside, this was a big deal because of A) how fast they moved.

00:35:18   So they announced this on April 10th and they said in May the APIs will be out there and

00:35:24   then in coming months it would be baked more into the operating system with what they quote

00:35:33   is a more robust solution.

00:35:35   So this is a big deal.

00:35:38   I wish it had been used more widely here.

00:35:41   I know it's up and running and not other places around the world.

00:35:45   But definitely a notable story of again of these tech companies tackling COVID head on.

00:35:50   The iPhone SE 2 also shipped in April.

00:35:54   This is a phone that looks like the iPhone 8.

00:35:57   So single camera touch ID, forehead and chin, but it features the A13 bionic from the iPhone

00:36:05   11 series.

00:36:08   Fantastic phone.

00:36:09   moved a lot of my family members to these over the past year.

00:36:12   I think everyone else had a lot of family members

00:36:14   on the 6S or maybe a 7, and they didn't want face ID,

00:36:18   especially in the time of COVID.

00:36:20   Like, yeah, you should get face ID.

00:36:21   And if you have to go out and about,

00:36:23   obviously with the mask, it's difficult.

00:36:26   - Oh, boys, my phone started recognizing me

00:36:29   of a mask on.

00:36:30   - Consistently? - Oh, wow.

00:36:32   - Yes, it's only when I wear one type of mask.

00:36:35   - Is it flesh colored? - Is it the type of mask?

00:36:36   No, yeah, it's a picture of my face.

00:36:39   It's the mask type that I wear the most.

00:36:41   It's just this like black mask.

00:36:43   I think it's by a company called NeQI.

00:36:45   If I wear any other mask, it doesn't work.

00:36:47   If I wear this one, works.

00:36:49   - Wow, that's cool.

00:36:50   - It's very nice.

00:36:51   I'm very happy about it.

00:36:52   It's funny 'cause it took me a while to realize

00:36:54   that it was happening.

00:36:55   - Yeah.

00:36:56   - Because my phone was just working, right?

00:36:58   Like I wasn't really thinking about it.

00:36:59   - So anyways, the SE also,

00:37:01   in addition to keeping Touch ID around,

00:37:03   it is the cheapest phone in the lineup,

00:37:07   starting at $399.

00:37:09   So this is a great phone to recommend

00:37:11   if someone's looking at a lower cost option

00:37:14   or they have an older phone

00:37:15   and they like what Touch ID offers,

00:37:18   especially this day and age.

00:37:20   The SE I think is a really good value.

00:37:22   I expect it to be around for a few years,

00:37:24   so its value proposition will get worse over time.

00:37:27   But I still don't think even now,

00:37:29   if you want an affordable new phone,

00:37:32   the SE is a great place to look.

00:37:34   And lastly in April,

00:37:36   Well, next to lastly, there's one more,

00:37:39   we had the Hackett number.

00:37:41   This is episode 291 of Connected,

00:37:46   where I had counted up all of the computers

00:37:51   in my collection, and then we divided them

00:37:56   into the number of people in my household.

00:37:59   - Yeah, that was the calculation.

00:38:00   I forgot the calculation.

00:38:01   - Yes. - That was it.

00:38:03   There is a link in the show notes.

00:38:07   JW Hamilton built a lovely website

00:38:11   where you can figure your own Hackett number,

00:38:14   which is pretty cool.

00:38:16   Mine was 20.6, and it is now a constant

00:38:20   in the PCALC application.

00:38:22   The Hackett number is a constant.

00:38:23   - Yeah, 'cause it's more now.

00:38:24   It's more, you know it's more now.

00:38:26   - Oh, yes.

00:38:27   A lot more, a lot more.

00:38:32   I would like you to figure out your new Hack It number.

00:38:34   - Okay, the 2020 Hack It number.

00:38:36   - With the constant, no, like with the constant,

00:38:38   'cause now you would be like, say like 1.5 or whatever.

00:38:41   - Oh, 1.5 Hack It numbers?

00:38:43   Oh, that's good.

00:38:45   - Right, 'cause that's what you would be now, right?

00:38:47   'Cause the Hack It numbers are constant, so.

00:38:49   - Yeah.

00:38:50   - You would now be more than one, I would assume.

00:38:54   - I had a listener of the show donate his collection to me.

00:38:58   - Yeah.

00:38:59   - I'm gonna be unboxing it on Twitch tomorrow,

00:39:01   but it was three pickup truck beds full of stuff.

00:39:06   - At some point, you need to be that burden

00:39:08   on somebody else.

00:39:09   Donate your collection to someone.

00:39:12   - Back up a tractor trailer to someone's house.

00:39:13   - Yep, it's yours now.

00:39:16   - Myke, I know you were hesitant to make a big deal

00:39:20   of it at the time, but I want to make a big deal of it here.

00:39:22   In April, you celebrated 10 years of podcasting.

00:39:25   - I did.

00:39:26   - Woo!

00:39:28   - Thank you.

00:39:30   I like that it's always tied into the iPad for me because that was when I started.

00:39:36   The iPad had just been announced and I was really excited about it, so I started a tech

00:39:40   podcast and spent many weeks talking with my friend Terry about the fact that it was

00:39:47   going to be delayed in the UK.

00:39:49   I was very upset about it.

00:39:50   And it was.

00:39:51   It came out multiple months later in the UK compared to the US.

00:39:55   But yeah, so it's a decade.

00:39:57   A nice decade.

00:39:58   I'm always very happy that I started this at a round number, like 2010, so it'll be

00:40:03   easy for me to remember it and for me to count it.

00:40:07   And yeah, mine will be in March.

00:40:11   It looks like the first time I was on your first show was March 2011, according to my

00:40:15   records.

00:40:16   Oh really?

00:40:17   Yeah.

00:40:18   According to your records that are not shareable records.

00:40:20   Well no, there's a post on 512 pixels.

00:40:23   Ah, good, good, good, good.

00:40:25   No audio exists, and that's the way I like it.

00:40:28   Anyways, congratulations.

00:40:30   So we move into May, which was March 3.

00:40:33   Are we saying that the 3rd?

00:40:36   It doesn't make sense, right?

00:40:37   It's going to be March 3.

00:40:40   So one of the biggest stories in May, which has continued throughout the year, was the

00:40:47   Black Lives Matter movement kind of seeing a...

00:40:52   I don't want to say a resurgence, because it was obviously something that had existed

00:40:56   prior, but I think it was something that a lot of people started to pay much more attention

00:41:01   to quite rightly after the killing of George Floyd, which sparked demonstrations across

00:41:06   the US, which then spread out across the globe. And I know from a political standpoint, engaged

00:41:17   me a lot more. I know like many of the people that I work with and in many industries across

00:41:23   the globe. It was definitely one of the big themes of this year of which there were many

00:41:32   big themes and hopefully is going to continue to be something into the future which brings

00:41:39   about much much needed and long overdue change in racial and social justice equality.

00:41:46   Going back into more tech focused stuff, Apple launched the Zane Lowe interview podcast in

00:41:54   May, which was Apple's first honest to goodness podcast effort. They had Apple News today,

00:42:01   later on in the year and some other stuff but this was kind of like, hey here's a thing,

00:42:06   it's a podcast. The 13" MacBook Pro got the good keyboard, it got the revised to get the

00:42:13   Magic Keyboard. I don't remember if it got anything else of note. I think it was just

00:42:18   mostly the Magic Keyboard. Did they get rid of one of the models at this point, Steven?

00:42:24   Or like they didn't update the function key version?

00:42:28   Yeah, this may have been when the escape went away and they all got touch bars. It may have

00:42:34   been before this. I'm not positive off the top of my head.

00:42:38   In May, even though we knew WWDC would be virtual, we were told about the schedule and

00:42:44   that it would be happening on June 22nd. I remember that was also a thing that felt like

00:42:49   it went on way too long and did go on really too long because we were all trying to prepare

00:42:53   for the rest of the year. And it wasn't until May that we found out that June 22nd is when

00:42:59   WWDC would start. Craig Federighi was on this podcast called App Stories.

00:43:04   Yeah, terrible show, don't listen to it.

00:43:07   good episode it had the whole year it was that way. That interview as well. Amateur

00:43:12   hour. That was nice. I was happy. What is he? Is he the only repeat guest? Maybe? Only

00:43:21   repeat guest on App Stories. Right? I think so, maybe. No, he is. He really is. But I

00:43:29   know you've done like developer interviews. I figured if maybe somebody had overlapped

00:43:33   in that. Nah. Nah, we only allow for one person to be a repeat guest. Wait, if I'd been on

00:43:40   it more than once, I think I've filled in for you more than once. Well, it's you and

00:43:43   Craig Federighi. Excellent. Excellent. Spotify hired Joe Rogan and made the Joe Rogan...

00:43:52   is it called the Joe Rogan Experience? Yeah, the Joe Rogan Experience. What an annoying

00:43:56   A... a Spotify...

00:44:00   The show is not that much better, anyway.

00:44:03   Exclusive podcast.

00:44:04   Yikes!

00:44:05   And that has gone really well with Spotify so far that nobody could have predicted.

00:44:12   And Microsoft previewed the Fluid Office framework, which I'm still very intrigued about, but

00:44:20   have seen nothing more about it since.

00:44:22   June 2020. So before we talk about the online first online only first, but not last very

00:44:29   likely that online only WWDC June 10th, Apple announced the very much expected demise of

00:44:39   iBooks author. You may remember iBooks author as this Mac application that allowed you to

00:44:44   author digital and interactive books that you could sell on the iBooks store. While

00:44:51   is no more. iBooks Author had been languishing for the past few years, it never came to iPad,

00:44:57   it never received a lot of features that Pages eventually received, and it was just left

00:45:02   there, sort of like abandoned ware, you know, just there for some people. And now, of course,

00:45:10   Apple put out a support document and an email to book publishers saying, you know, "Thank

00:45:17   you for trying iBooks Author, but we're not gonna make this thing anymore", basically.

00:45:20   If you want to author your digital books on Apple platforms, use pages.

00:45:25   I'm sad about this.

00:45:26   I really liked iBooks Author.

00:45:28   I did my one and only interactive iBook editorial in 2013 in iBooks Author, and I loved it.

00:45:41   It actually had an intuitive UI in a way that I hadn't seen in any other ebook authoring

00:45:47   application for Mac.

00:45:50   And I know that there's a lot of features from iBooks Author that Pages still does not

00:45:54   offer, such as the way that you could animate inline objects and, you know, have all of

00:46:00   these different pop-ups for changing styles and formats.

00:46:04   It was really nicely done.

00:46:06   They should have done an iPad version, and they never did.

00:46:08   So in any case, iBooks Author is dead.

00:46:11   Yep.

00:46:12   I used it for iBook a few years ago, too, and I wouldn't say I loved the experience.

00:46:17   bugs in iBookAuthor really became frustrating, but you're right that Pages didn't get all

00:46:25   the stuff that iBookAuthor could do, and like, it was really cool to make a book where you

00:46:29   could have all this interactivity, and a lot of that's just gone away.

00:46:34   In June we also saw the fight between Apple and Hey.

00:46:39   Hey.

00:46:40   Hey.

00:46:41   The new email client, an email service that launched in June,

00:46:46   and it was this whole fight, basically boiling down

00:46:49   to the fact that Hey did not want to use Apple's own in-app

00:46:53   purchase system.

00:46:54   They wanted to direct people to their own website

00:46:57   to subscribe and pay for Hey.

00:46:59   And Apple was not OK with it.

00:47:03   And they-- did they remove or threaten

00:47:06   to remove Hey from the app store?

00:47:08   I think they didn't approve it for the Mac.

00:47:11   They didn't approve for the Mac and they threatened to remove the iOS version and they, I believe,

00:47:18   they stopped.

00:47:19   Like, they said, "We're not going to approve your updates either unless you comply with

00:47:24   our requests."

00:47:25   Yeah, because if you remember then Apple announced, I think during WWDC, that thing about like,

00:47:32   "We're not going to hold up your updates anymore if there's a problem."

00:47:35   So there was this very public fight between Hay and Apple, Apple responding to Hay and

00:47:41   Hay going public with the emails and the letters that they received from Apple and the App

00:47:47   Review team. It eventually got resolved in a way that we all expected. We did a show

00:47:53   about this at the time saying this is bad publicity for Apple, especially going into

00:47:58   WWDC, especially into 2020. They need all the goodwill that they can get from developers

00:48:04   and this is not the best story to have ahead of WWDC.

00:48:07   And eventually they made up and they found the solution.

00:48:11   And now you can download Hey from the App Store,

00:48:14   and you can subscribe, like I did, to the Hey service on the web,

00:48:21   outside of the app. There's no link to sign up for a Hey plan from the iOS or iPadOS version.

00:48:29   You need to go to Safari, create your account, and you pay from there.

00:48:33   you cannot do so from the mobile app. But that's fine, and once you have an account, you just log in

00:48:39   and you can use "Hey!" on your device. So it was this public dispute that could have been easily avoided,

00:48:45   I guess, but it was also necessary, I think. It fit this much bigger storyline, I think, and this is

00:48:52   why this story should be remembered, and we should talk about it, because it became part of this

00:48:57   bigger storyline about Apple and anti-competitive practices, basically the reason why they are

00:49:03   under scrutiny, both in the US and in Europe, for antitrust law, basically. And different companies,

00:49:11   we're going to talk about those later, sort of banding together and saying, Apple is treating us

00:49:15   unfairly and we want to do something about it. This is the first piece of this much bigger puzzle

00:49:20   that became one of the key storylines, I think, of 2020, besides the pandemic. Is Apple treating

00:49:29   companies and developers unfairly on the App Store. So this is one of the first

00:49:33   one of the first scenarios that we're going to talk about this year.

00:49:37   WWDC, online only, all of the operating systems were covered. WatchOS 7

00:49:46   featuring new complication features on the watch face, the new hand washing

00:49:51   timer, support for, well, Fitness+ was not announced yet, but it would get

00:49:58   obviously, Fitness+ integration. iOS 14, widgets on the home screen. This will

00:50:04   turn out to be the feature of the year, really. All new home screen on iPhone,

00:50:08   widgets, folders in the shortcuts app, you know, big updates to Safari for native

00:50:18   translations and blocking third-party trackers. iPadOS 14, of course, building on

00:50:23   top of IPAT OS 13.4, with multi-columns, sidebars, all new designs for built-in applications

00:50:31   like shortcuts, like music, like calendar, and MacOS Big Sur, of course, with all new

00:50:38   design, new system icons for built-in MacOS applications. Very polarizing update, I would

00:50:47   say. Big Sur with the new design. As soon as Apple showed it off, everybody started

00:50:53   talking about how it looked like an OS that was designed for touch with the more spaced

00:50:58   out elements and the more iOS-like, you know, minimalistic UI and the new control center

00:51:05   and the new support for widgets. So really interesting update. It's part of the reason

00:51:11   why I am interested in the Mac again. So, very divisive update, I would say. And obviously,

00:51:19   yeah. And obviously, alongside Big Sur, Apple also took the wraps off Apple Silicon, which

00:51:28   would eventually turn out to be the M1 chip in the new generation of Macs that would come

00:51:34   out later in the year. But at WWC, Apple started sharing some of the details behind what they

00:51:39   had been doing. They confirmed, yes, we have been busy building our own chip architecture

00:51:46   for macOS devices, and they shared all the details which I don't want to repeat, not

00:51:54   because I don't want to, but because I can't, because I don't know them, as well as Steven,

00:51:58   but basically Rosetta 2, for example, the new technology for ensuring compatibility

00:52:04   with older Mac software, and the all-new system for running iPhone and iPad apps on the Mac.

00:52:13   What it all means for developers who have applications built for Intel devices, bringing

00:52:19   them over to Apple Silicon.

00:52:22   It was the right time to start sharing these details with developers, and in addition to

00:52:27   the details, Apple also started sharing the DTK machines, the Developer Transition Kit,

00:52:34   in the form of a Mac Mini. The Mac Mini, which in the future would turn out to be the reason

00:52:39   why Steven won one of the annual RIKIs.

00:52:42   Well, the DTK was like a Mac Mini with the A12Z in it. I won because they released an

00:52:49   M1 Mac Mini in the fall.

00:52:50   You won because but but you saw it coming and neither Myke nor I did so

00:52:55   You you I'm better than you both of us. Yes, you are you are a better person than both of us, honestly

00:53:01   Wwc finally

00:53:04   We were lucky enough to have some Apple guests on our show Myke. Who did you have an upgrade?

00:53:09   We had Bob Borchers and Ronak Shaw

00:53:14   on upgrade and then on connected we had Jenny Chen and Steven Toner and this kind of started a trend

00:53:21   which I've been really pleased to see of

00:53:24   Individuals from Apple appearing on podcasts and YouTube channels and all that kind of stuff throughout the year

00:53:30   This was the beginning of that and it's been something that for me

00:53:34   I've been has been like a real past professional highlight this year is that I've been able to do a bunch of these interviews now

00:53:41   And it's really great. Yeah, MPU's been lucky to be there as well. Of course app stories

00:53:46   We talked about Craig Federighi coming on. Yeah, it's been really cool to see Apple bringing podcasts

00:53:52   Into like the media fold a little bit more. Yeah, it's not that they didn't happen, right?

00:53:57   Like I know that you dumb on the year prior both of you at WWDC

00:54:02   But this was the start of like every time

00:54:06   There was an announcement like a with which there were many this year

00:54:10   There you would see a bunch of podcasts and a bunch of YouTube videos with with people in them

00:54:15   So I thought it was really good. It was a good kind of like opening

00:54:19   Of the the gates as it were so yeah, I think it's very great

00:54:22   But the real big update in June

00:54:27   Was the rebooted membership program here in relay FM. I think that's the feature that we should talk about. Yeah, I mean

00:54:34   Myke and I worked

00:54:36   We've said this before the hardest

00:54:38   I feel like the hardest we've worked since starting the company and figuring out what the membership program should look like moving forward and

00:54:44   We've settled on the system we have now where you can

00:54:47   sponsor individual shows for instance you could join connected by going to relay.fm/connected/join and

00:54:55   You get an ad-free longer version of connected plus a bunch of benefits that all members get including

00:55:02   the Discord, which has been a real bright spot for me in 2020.

00:55:06   Getting to know our members better and engaging like really fun, meaningful conversations with a bunch of people all around the world.

00:55:14   It's been great. And so, and the membership has been really successful so far.

00:55:18   So a big thank you to everybody out there who has joined, either Connected or any of our other shows.

00:55:23   It really means a lot to us and it's given us stability in a year that hasn't promised it.

00:55:30   This episode of Connected is brought to you by Pingdom from SolarWinds.

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00:56:39   Our thanks to Pingdom from SolarWinds for the support of the show and RelayFM. Are we ready for July March 5?

00:56:47   Mm-hmm. Apple canceled some Apple Arcade

00:56:51   The report said that this was part of a strategy shift to create content with stronger engagement.

00:57:03   You know, kind of the pitch of Apple Arcade is you can play any of these apps just as

00:57:09   part of your subscription.

00:57:10   None of them have in-app purchase, so you've got to buy coins to beat the boss or whatever.

00:57:15   And I guess Apple feels like some of these games have gone too far the other direction.

00:57:20   I know for me at least like I only have Apple Arcade because it comes with the Apple One

00:57:25   membership that we pay for. It's not something I would seek out on my own.

00:57:28   I think we've also seen a slowing down of releases. You know Apple at the beginning was really putting

00:57:35   out a bunch of games all the time and clearly that was a push to you know populate the store.

00:57:39   But it has slowed down and I think y'all have talked about this on App Stories. I don't know

00:57:44   if there's been like a real breakout hit from Apple Arcade. There were some good games that

00:57:49   that we all talked about in the beginning,

00:57:50   but when's the last time an Apple Arcade title

00:57:53   really made big waves?

00:57:56   And I think that's a bit of a problem.

00:57:57   I think Apple needs to look at that.

00:57:59   And so in July, they reportedly canceled some contracts

00:58:04   with game developers and shifted things around.

00:58:07   And I don't know if we've seen the changes out of this yet,

00:58:11   but I think I would imagine the Apple Arcade

00:58:15   is not performing the way that the company would have hoped.

00:58:18   Is that fair?

00:58:19   Yeah.

00:58:20   I also, this is a report that I wasn't sure about when it came out and I'm still

00:58:24   not sure about it now.

00:58:25   There have been a lot of still like very experiential games to come to Apple

00:58:31   arcade, um, that clearly weren't canceled.

00:58:34   I don't know if there was like a parameter of cancellation.

00:58:38   Uh, I still feel like, as I said at the time, it feels like Apple was maybe going

00:58:43   for more of a balance than maybe length too far in one direction.

00:58:48   That they will now try and find a balance if those games is kind of what I think is going to be the case

00:58:53   Another big story this year

00:58:56   Really throughout the the whole year this popped up in June some and then later in the fall is Apple's ongoing

00:59:03   commitment to fighting the effects of

00:59:06   Climate change and the announcement in July is that they were committing by the end of the decade so by 2030

00:59:15   to be 100% carbon neutral for its supply chain and

00:59:19   products. You may think, "Steven, they're already carbon neutral." They have been that I think for a while in their facilities. So like the

00:59:27   Spaceship and Infinite Loop and then they have offsets for their retail stores

00:59:33   but they want to continue to push that down the line to their suppliers and

00:59:37   their manufacturing. So this is

00:59:40   This is a big deal.

00:59:42   I mean, this is a huge undertaking

00:59:44   because now they're partnering with companies

00:59:46   that they don't necessarily control.

00:59:48   When you build your own spaceship donut ring headquarters,

00:59:53   you can design this in.

00:59:55   So now they've got to go in and retrofit parts

00:59:57   of their manufacturing supply chain

01:00:00   and the rest of their business.

01:00:01   Very ambitious, but I totally believe

01:00:05   they'll be able to do it.

01:00:06   I think Apple's work in this area has really been,

01:00:11   really awe-inspiring, honestly.

01:00:14   They've really done some amazing work led by Lisa Jackson.

01:00:18   I think she's a phenomenal leader.

01:00:20   And it's pretty great that they wanna say,

01:00:23   not just what we do, but for the product life cycle,

01:00:27   we want this to be carbon neutral.

01:00:28   It's very exciting.

01:00:29   Also in here is their robot Dave,

01:00:34   replacing the robot Daisy and we're still very concerned about what happened to Daisy.

01:00:39   We know what happened to Daisy. Dave murdered her.

01:00:41   They killed Daisy. Recycled Daisy. Wait, didn't they actually respond to this at one point?

01:00:46   I think somebody emailed Lisa Jackson, right? Maybe.

01:00:50   I think somebody emailed them and I think Lisa replied and was like, "Daisy's fine."

01:00:56   But clearly not. Obviously she's not, like, you know, Daisy.

01:01:02   We don't like this story.

01:01:03   We don't like to talk about it.

01:01:05   Daisy, rest in peace our friend.

01:01:08   Tom Hanks movie Greyhound, which my Apple TV really wants me to watch.

01:01:13   Like it just, it's at the top of the screen every time I turn on my TV.

01:01:16   All the time.

01:01:17   That's the movie.

01:01:19   This is starred in and written by Tom Hanks and it opened on Apple TV Plus.

01:01:25   It's largest opening weekend release ever for Apple TV Plus.

01:01:29   That's not a huge list of things that had to beat, but you know, way to go Tom Hanks.

01:01:36   Of course, this is just one story in many, we're not talking about them all, of movies

01:01:41   that have come out on streaming services because movie theaters are either closed or have greatly

01:01:49   reduced capacity because of COVID.

01:01:52   And I think all of this, and again, you guys talk about this one, upgrade a lot, but I

01:01:56   I think this whole industry is probably far from the end of its being affected by this.

01:02:03   But Greyhound, there you go.

01:02:06   Have you seen anybody seen it?

01:02:07   No, I haven't watched it.

01:02:08   I probably will at some point.

01:02:10   Yeah, it's like on my list, but there's a bunch of stuff I want to watch before it.

01:02:15   And lastly, for me here in July, we talked about Amazon and Apple cutting deals.

01:02:23   This year another big theme has been antitrust hearings in the US, in the EU, other places.

01:02:30   Not just Apple, but really the big companies.

01:02:33   Facebook and Amazon in particular, but then Apple and...

01:02:38   Google.

01:02:39   ...Microsoft.

01:02:40   No, no, Google, no Microsoft.

01:02:41   Microsoft stayed out of it.

01:02:43   Yes, Microsoft is not a monopoly anymore.

01:02:47   I don't know.

01:02:50   had their time and it was in the 90s. So anyways, part of this, you always get details of inner

01:02:58   company workings. Like, do you remember when Samsung and Apple were in court over Samsung

01:03:04   ripping off the look and feel of the iPhone and we saw all these pictures of prototypes

01:03:08   of like weird iPhones that never made it out? Well, this time it was some emails with Steve

01:03:13   Jobs and talking about this issue of digital goods in apps and where Apple

01:03:23   settled is like the Kindle app again it's always sort of the go-to like you

01:03:27   can't buy digital books and Amazon apps you've got to go to the web it's really

01:03:31   goofy that's still the case today and some of the decision-making that went

01:03:37   into this from these internal emails.

01:03:41   And none of these companies look good in some of this stuff.

01:03:45   I think some companies like Facebook and Amazon,

01:03:52   there's clearer cases for antitrust,

01:03:55   but this thing of locking things away

01:03:58   to their own payment gateway continues to be an issue.

01:04:01   So we got to see 2010, some of these emails,

01:04:05   how this started out.

01:04:06   Alright, so we move on to August. The 27 inch iMac was updated. It got an SSD T2 chip. It

01:04:15   also got the nano texture display option from the Pro Display XDR. This was the last big

01:04:21   Intel update, I think. I think? I think Apple did some smaller updates afterwards, but this

01:04:28   was I think the last update that had any kind of like...

01:04:31   I'm trying to think. I don't think...

01:04:34   No, there was something because you remember they said when they...

01:04:38   Oh no, this was... Was this the last one? I think this might have been the last one.

01:04:41   I think it is.

01:04:42   But yeah, this was actually a pretty chunky update and put that 27-inch iMac in a position

01:04:50   where it was more powerful than the iMac Pro in some instances, for example. So really kind of

01:04:55   like beef that machine up and is hopefully setting the stage for what should be a pretty incredible

01:05:00   2021 for the iMac, I think.

01:05:03   This machine is why I think the iMac Pro is not going to survive this transition.

01:05:08   Oh definitely. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is one of the many reasons.

01:05:11   Yeah, I think we're just going to have really fast iMacs and then if you want it, a Mac Pro.

01:05:14   There's no need for the iMac Pro anymore, especially after it gets some Apple Silicon

01:05:19   variant. Phil Schiller advanced to Apple Fellow, giving away the reins of the marketing department

01:05:28   to Greg Joswiak. Sheila, even as a fellow, remained to Apple running events and parts of the app store

01:05:36   still, I believe, if I'm remembering correctly, but it's clearly in a transitionary phase towards

01:05:43   retirement at this point. Good for him. Good for Phil. This is where my favorite story of the year

01:05:49   again this was the whole epic Fortnite Apple thing where Fortnite was updated

01:05:58   they added in their own payment option for in-app purchases was immediately

01:06:02   pulled from the store then court case court case court case court case and at

01:06:08   this point nothing's changed but will continue to change I think there was a

01:06:12   court date announced coming up soon for when they're going to be going back into

01:06:16   court again but this is a story that isn't a 2020 story as such it started in 2020 but

01:06:23   is going to continue for a long time and this is just the beginning of that but I really

01:06:29   personally really liked that story a lot just because there was just a lot of discussion to

01:06:35   be had about it and people fall on different sides of it there's a lot of interest in debate on all

01:06:40   sides. Yeah, it was one of my favorite stories of the year, honestly, just from

01:06:44   an intrigue perspective, because I think it also helped solidify some points of my

01:06:50   own that had been bubbling up for a while since like the "hey" stuff started

01:06:55   about kind of like, hey, being a little bit unhappy with Apple's kind of

01:06:59   positioning as where they are as a company and how they run the App Store

01:07:04   and what they do and don't provide. I don't agree with everything. I don't

01:07:09   agree with a lot necessarily of what Epic is throwing at Apple, but I do agree with

01:07:14   some of it and I think that some stuff needs to change and will continue to.

01:07:19   Then straight after Apple said that cloud gaming services cannot have their own apps

01:07:23   in the app store and this is something that they have confirmed over time, but now just

01:07:28   all of these companies are launching PWA versions of these services so Apple's losing out on

01:07:34   everything now.

01:07:35   They could have maybe got some money now they're not going to get any money.

01:07:39   Martin Scorsese signed a first look deal with Apple. This is another big individual and

01:07:44   there's a movie, Martin Scorsese has a movie coming to Apple TV and then they signed a

01:07:49   first look deal as well. And this is also when the US government attempted to start

01:07:54   to ban TikTok, but that's kind of, will they, won't they still at this point, but that was

01:08:00   when that whole thing, that whole drama began as well. All the way back in August, which

01:08:05   It feels like it was just happened and was a really long time ago.

01:08:08   Well, we have reached September or March 7.

01:08:14   But then, but September again, like then started the three month long Apple event.

01:08:19   I was getting ready to say, oh, Federico got both Apple events.

01:08:23   Then I remembered, oh, wait, there's one in October and in November.

01:08:26   And then there was product releases in December.

01:08:27   Yes. So September, the first Apple event, this is the one about the Apple Watch.

01:08:35   Apple One, Fitness Plus, and the new iPad Air. So, new Apple Watch, the Series 6, and the Apple Watch SE,

01:08:43   the cheaper one. The Series 6 Apple Watch, same design as the previous generation, but of course

01:08:48   it can now measure your blood oxygen levels, which seems to be pretty fitting, given how a lot of

01:08:54   people are interested in this data in 2020. There's also the new Apple Watch for Families setup,

01:09:00   where you can set up an Apple Watch for your kids, and you can restrict access to certain features,

01:09:04   and you can check on your kids' locations if they're wearing an Apple Watch with GPS.

01:09:12   I don't think that any of us is using this feature. I mean, Steven, you're one with kids.

01:09:17   Are you using this?

01:09:18   Uh, no, we're not. But it does look interesting, and I think if our kids were older, we may

01:09:23   consider it. They also don't go anywhere, so they're just here.

01:09:27   Sure. I mean, fair enough. Good point. Apple also introduced a new Fitness+ service. This

01:09:33   is the premium workout service that Mark Gurman originally reported on months before.

01:09:38   It actually came out a few weeks ago. This is a workout service where you watch videos of

01:09:46   trainers explaining a workout and you work out with them. The peculiarity, of course,

01:09:52   there's hundreds of similar services on the App Store. The unique feature here, obviously,

01:09:57   is the integration between different Apple devices, the Apple Watch and Apple Music.

01:10:01   If you're an Apple Music subscriber, you can get all of those playlists and you can bring your own music into the workout as well.

01:10:08   If you wear your Apple Watch, you kinda have to. I mean, you can work out without an Apple Watch for Fitness+ workouts, but you're highly encouraged to do so.

01:10:18   And the peculiar thing is that you're gonna see your live metrics from your Apple Watch on the screen as you're following the workout.

01:10:25   And you can follow those workouts on your iPhone on the small screen if you're okay with it, or on an iPad, or

01:10:30   ideally, if you have a big enough living room, I suppose, on an Apple TV.

01:10:34   You can follow those workouts there, and you will see your Apple Watch data displayed on the screen.

01:10:39   Really fascinating service. I haven't signed up for it yet.

01:10:43   Part of the reason why is I need to figure out another thing that Apple announced in September,

01:10:48   and I still haven't had the time for it. Apple One, which is the new bundle

01:10:54   Option that we've been waiting for for a couple of years essentially it comes in two flavors Apple one and Apple one premiere

01:11:01   I think it's called I think and there's a family one. I think

01:11:04   Three because one of them is premiere for family. I think

01:11:09   Yeah, it's individual which is $15 a month family which is $20 a month

01:11:15   And it's it's all the same stuff

01:11:18   But you share it with five people and you get 200 gigs iCloud and then there's premiere

01:11:22   which is 30, where they add on 2 terabytes of iCloud space, News+ and Fitness+.

01:11:28   And it has the family sharing built in, like the sharing of mobile people's built into that plan.

01:11:33   Right. So Fitness+ is included in Apple One Premiere alongside Apple News and of course

01:11:39   Apple Music and Apple Arcade and Apple TV+. I haven't signed up for it yet because I have a

01:11:44   weird setup with multiple Apple IDs, one based in the US and another in Italy and I'm afraid.

01:11:51   It's one of those things where you touch it and it explodes, and I really don't want anything

01:11:56   to explode at this point in my life, so I'm just going to leave it there.

01:12:00   Eventually I will check out Fitness+ because it looks really interesting.

01:12:05   But I'm also lucky enough to live with a Pilates instructor, so I kind of have my own private

01:12:10   lessons going on at the moment.

01:12:12   I like it a lot, I suppose.

01:12:14   Yeah, I mean, I got my own Fitness+ built in at home, essentially.

01:12:18   Does she show you your metrics? No, but I can glance at my Apple Watch, and

01:12:24   also she gets upset when I do. It's like, "Don't look at it. Don't be distracted."

01:12:28   So yeah, it's kind of nice, actually, to do some... Yeah, anyway.

01:12:34   New iPad Air with the A14 Bionic and Touch ID. So this is a first on Apple devices, I

01:12:41   guess on iOS and iPadOS devices. Touch ID is coming back, and it doesn't leave in a

01:12:46   home button it's in it's in the sleep/wake button it's in the I guess it's

01:12:51   called the top button on the iPad Air. Yeah that's on the side if it's on the

01:12:55   keyboard. Right it can be on any side because the iPad can be rotated but

01:13:01   what's interesting about the iPad Air besides the so-called colors which are

01:13:07   not really I mean technically you can buy one in blue or in green but they

01:13:12   don't really look blue or green. Just buy one in silver, trust me, it's by the car.

01:13:18   The iPad Air is interesting because it's essentially the 11-inch iPad Pro without

01:13:23   some Pro features. It's a 10.9-inch display, it doesn't have the 6GB of RAM

01:13:31   from the Pro line, it doesn't have a lighter, it doesn't have a... what doesn't

01:13:38   have actually besides slider and 6 gigs of RAM. Promotion. And promotion. And it

01:13:45   only has two speakers instead of four. Right. But anything else you support it

01:13:50   here you can use the second generation Apple Pencil, you can snap on the Magic

01:13:54   Keyboard, and you have Touch ID instead of Face ID, which for some people may be

01:13:59   a plus given the times. This is a really good iPad. I was lucky enough to be able

01:14:04   to review one when it came out. I think this should be treated as the new default iPad

01:14:12   for most people. If you're looking at a powerful iPad with support for the Magic Keyboard and

01:14:17   the Apple Pencil, this is where you should start, not the iPad Pro. Then of course if

01:14:21   you want to go bigger, if you want to have more options, go with the iPad Pro. But this

01:14:25   is a really, really, really good iPad. Apple also introduced the 8th generation iPad. So

01:14:32   this is the base model one. This one comes with an 812 bionic and the old

01:14:36   design, so you still have the "OMP" button and slightly worse performance. Obviously

01:14:41   this is the cheap iPad if you really want to get into the iPad ecosystem

01:14:45   without spending a ton of money. Lastly, in terms of Apple announcements in

01:14:50   September. This is what made me so happy. A few months ago, iOS and iPadOS 14, the

01:15:06   release dates, the release date of both OSes was announced in September with a

01:15:12   24-hour notice. Usually Apple historically has released golden

01:15:23   master versions of those OSes with a one week or eight day, sometimes ten day

01:15:29   notice, but this time they did an event and they said iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, they

01:15:36   come with all these great features and they're coming out tomorrow. And yeah, so

01:15:42   So, developers were not happy. I was not happy. My review came out a month later.

01:15:47   In the end, it was fine, and it went really well. But at the time, I was annoyed, and

01:15:52   I was upset. So, it took me by surprise, and it took everybody by surprise, I think.

01:15:57   One of the best stories of the year, I would say, one of the most heartwarming stories

01:16:03   of 2020, also, I guess, started happening in September, and it only grew from there.

01:16:11   Underscore David Smith became the most important indie developer in the world.

01:16:17   I think it's fair enough to say Widget Smith, his new app for making custom widgets for

01:16:22   the iOS 14 home screen, took the world by storm and it became the most popular app on

01:16:28   the App Store.

01:16:29   This is an incredible story.

01:16:32   Years of artwork and an experience paying off in a way that none of us, I think, would

01:16:40   have expected.

01:16:41   No, no.

01:16:42   We just meet sort of a... becoming so popular outside of our usual circle of Apple blogs

01:16:49   and podcasts and...

01:16:50   An app being wildly popular and an app being number one in the app store for two weeks

01:16:56   or whatever are two very, very different things.

01:16:58   Right.

01:16:59   Like, I could have imagined any of them...

01:17:01   I can imagine any of Underscore's apps being wildly popular because they're very good,

01:17:05   but this is a different... this is a different thing.

01:17:08   This is a completely different level.

01:17:10   You say that about one of the most...

01:17:14   what became the most important indie developer in the world at that point.

01:17:17   I guess you could maybe even argue of all time?

01:17:20   Of all time, probably.

01:17:22   I can't imagine... I can't think of many, if any, modern app development companies

01:17:29   with a hit like that being one person.

01:17:32   I don't think that happens.

01:17:34   I think that's correct.

01:17:36   Yeah.

01:17:37   Yeah, so made me so happy to see. Wonderful story. Go check out Widgetsmith, really good

01:17:42   app. The Jeremy's happened, Jeremy's of course being our game where I fidelity go.

01:17:49   It's not a game, it's very serious stuff.

01:17:51   It's a very, look, a game can be serious, and I, being a slightly competitive person,

01:17:58   I take this very seriously. It's, you know, my obligation to guess the names of the little

01:18:03   figurines that we can input on our devices. And the sometimes questionable choices of

01:18:09   the Unicode Consortium. And also I would say this is all Jeremy Burge's fault.

01:18:15   The creator of Emoji. The present president and CEO of Emoji, Jeremy

01:18:21   Burge, a friend of the show, sometimes my worst enemy at this time of year. But also

01:18:28   I love Jeremy very much. It's a complicated relationship, complex feelings that I have

01:18:32   toward Jeremy, but this game is one of my favorite moments of the show during the year. So this is

01:18:39   the third year, I think, that we've gone through this guessing and it never lets me down. And lastly,

01:18:46   in September, I'm gonna leave it up to you guys to talk about it, the podcast-a-thon. Despite

01:18:52   all of this, it happened and it went extremely well.

01:19:01   Yeah, I can talk a little bit about this. So last year was the first one in 2019. We've been raising

01:19:08   money for St. Jude for years. In 2018, the relay FM audience raised $70,000. In 2019, we raised

01:19:16   $315,000. But this year just even exceeded that. The final number for the 2020 campaign is $481,000

01:19:29   for St. Jude. Which is actually the first time we've revealed that number, right? That's right,

01:19:33   the first time we've shared it. We had some donations come in after the Podcastathon.

01:19:38   We ended September at 456, but then after some final donations and stuff like that, it ended up

01:19:45   at $481,000. Yeah, which is just unbelievable. We hit the original goal of 315 during the Podcastathon.

01:19:54   and that day alone raised over $100,000,

01:19:58   donations from 50 countries.

01:19:59   I mean, it was so amazing to take part of this

01:20:04   and to watch those numbers continue to grow,

01:20:07   especially this year when there are so many things

01:20:11   in the world that need support,

01:20:13   a lot of people are hurting financially,

01:20:16   but the Relay FM community really stood up

01:20:18   and backed St. Jude in a way that we just are so humbled by.

01:20:23   And we're really excited to do it again in the fall.

01:20:25   So hopefully together.

01:20:28   - I want to say something.

01:20:30   I've been pretty lucky in my life to get to know

01:20:33   plenty of folks who do wonderful things and amazing things.

01:20:37   I was able to meet astronauts and doctors

01:20:44   who treat the worst diseases imaginable.

01:20:47   Folks who make apps that millions of people use.

01:20:52   I've been able because of what I do and because, you know,

01:20:54   circumstances in my life to get to know tons of different people,

01:20:58   but what you two were able to do with this event,

01:21:02   and I say this honestly, coming from my heart,

01:21:05   is generally incredible and important

01:21:09   in a way that it's one of those stories that I

01:21:14   tell to my friends. Like, Hey, you know that, you know,

01:21:19   Two of my friends, they do this thing and it's, it's like,

01:21:23   it's wild to think about it. And it's, you know,

01:21:26   the cause right behind it is so important and it's

01:21:31   so like the cause behind it is so despicable,

01:21:36   right? You know, children getting cancer. I mean,

01:21:40   it's,

01:21:41   it's possibly the worst thing that could ever happen much,

01:21:44   much worse than a pandemic,

01:21:45   but to be able to act on it and to build a community around it and to

01:21:49   do something positive about it. It's so beautiful. It's a beautiful thing you two

01:21:53   should be proud of. Well, I'm very proud of it and I'm very thankful for you to say

01:21:57   that, but I have to circle back because you said you know an astronaut and I

01:22:00   don't think I knew this about you. Well, not only do I know him, this is a story

01:22:05   from when I was a kid, this is a person who, let me double check, I also have his

01:22:11   picture and an autograph and a personal letter from him. Who is this person? An Italian guy.

01:22:18   Okay.

01:22:19   Named Roberto Vittori.

01:22:21   He was an ESA astronaut.

01:22:24   Right.

01:22:25   He was, let's see, Italian Air Force in 1990.

01:22:29   He flew the Soyuz and he, yeah, he went to the ISS.

01:22:37   He was born in Viterbo.

01:22:41   Yes, that's why I know him.

01:22:42   Wow.

01:22:43   Because my dad interviewed this guy a bunch of times

01:22:46   and one time we were able to meet and I have his photo.

01:22:51   It's actually a beautiful photo

01:22:52   of the space shuttle taking off.

01:22:55   And I believe that the personal dedication says,

01:23:00   "To Federico, with the hope that one day you'll join me

01:23:03   in space," or something like that.

01:23:04   - That's nice.

01:23:05   - It's very nice, it was very nice.

01:23:07   - Do you secretly hate this guy though?

01:23:08   'Cause like, he's potentially a more famous person

01:23:12   than you from Viterbo?

01:23:13   - Well, I don't like to think of myself

01:23:15   as a person from Vietnam. Easy. I don't think of myself from that place. I'm Rome, baby!

01:23:25   I'm big city boy! Big city Federico, they call me. Well, look, look, it's famous in

01:23:30   space, alright? I'm famous on Earth. So it's fine. Oh, nice. I like that. Here's a Wikipedia

01:23:35   page, do you? I do not. Myke does. But also he's got that fancy NASA picture that I don't

01:23:41   He's a handsome man, too. Look, you don't need to… We got it. You like

01:23:47   this guy from Viterbo better than me. It's fine.

01:23:49   Yeah, he's now my favorite Viterbo native. Whatever.

01:23:52   Roberto Viterbo. I'll just say some pretty amazing things

01:23:56   about you two, and this is how you pay me back. All you want is the more famous guy

01:24:00   from Viterbo. Thanks. Really good friends I have on the show.

01:24:04   No, your words are very kind. I was struggling not to…

01:24:09   from Roberto, they would have been kinder. Yeah, fantastic. Yeah. I mean, he's into space.

01:24:14   Like, yeah, no, I mean, I mean, we said it in the 2019 podcast-a-thon that it was like

01:24:19   the peak of our career. Like it felt like so much had built up to that. And I felt that

01:24:23   way again this year. And I agree with Myke. Hopefully we can be in person in Memphis to

01:24:28   do it this fall. This episode of Connected is brought to you by Wondery's Business Wars

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01:25:54   Our thanks to Wondery's business wars of their support of connected and relay FM.

01:25:59   All right, October March version 8 guys there's an Apple press event in October no way

01:26:06   We got the adorable and tiny home pod mini a $99

01:26:12   Siri speaker ball that makes the regular home pod look like a joke in terms of cost

01:26:17   We've got one sounds pretty good. We're happy with it. It's very small very adorable

01:26:23   clips

01:26:25   3.0

01:26:26   big news there

01:26:28   Apple just keeps chugging away on the clips train. They did get rid of... what after they get rid of at the end of the year?

01:26:33   Music Memos.

01:26:36   Yeah, rest in peace.

01:26:38   But of course the highlight of the press event was four new iPhones.

01:26:42   The iPhone 12 mini returned to a small flagship phone. The iPhone 12...

01:26:49   iPhone 12 Pro is the same size, but has the third camera and nicer materials.

01:26:55   And then the phone that the two of you use, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the big boy.

01:27:00   The best one.

01:27:01   Hmm, I agree.

01:27:02   Maybe.

01:27:03   No, it is the best one.

01:27:04   It is, it's the biggest, the best.

01:27:06   It's the most iPhone.

01:27:08   It is the most iPhone.

01:27:10   It's the iPhone nest of all iPhones.

01:27:14   Exactly.

01:27:15   This event will be remembered, not for any of that, but for a Verizon guy being on stage saying 5G 400 times.

01:27:24   And then Apple saying 5g

01:27:26   400 times today, we're bringing 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g

01:27:34   5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g 5g

01:27:35   5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G,

01:28:05   and I disabled one of the new features right away.

01:28:09   I've kept 5G disabled for the past three months,

01:28:14   and I haven't noticed at all.

01:28:16   -I just haven't upgraded my cell plan.

01:28:19   -It was so useless that I was paying for it.

01:28:23   It was included in my plan, and I didn't even know.

01:28:27   So, yeah, I turned it off. It's fine.

01:28:30   4G gives me plenty of data,

01:28:33   but also there's a pandemic going on and I'm at home most of the time.

01:28:38   5G will be great one day. It'll be. It's just not now and it's fine. Yeah. But it's just not now.

01:28:44   Apple also announced Apple Music TV which is a 24-hour music video channel. I tried to open it

01:28:52   in the TV app on my Mac and it's just I can't find it. I don't know where it is.

01:28:57   No one's ever actually seen it but apparently it exists.

01:29:00   This was one of those stories that I added in and knew that all the listeners would go, "Oh yeah."

01:29:05   Oh yeah.

01:29:05   And then we move on.

01:29:08   I feel like so much of the Apple Music content is like that.

01:29:11   The shows they do, I don't know if any of it's really taken off.

01:29:16   No. Well, the service itself is doing well and that's the most important thing.

01:29:19   But all of the ancillary stuff doesn't really seem to have done what they want.

01:29:27   And we were blessed by the official Mac Stories review of iOS and iPadOS 14.

01:29:34   Federico's greatest work to date. Yeah, it's fantastic. I'm loading it now and I'm just

01:29:39   mesmerized by all the animations y'all did. It's excellent as always. Very good animations.

01:29:45   Great job. Ah yeah, that happened this year. A monumental achievement.

01:29:54   Yeah, that launch day was weird for me, for a bunch of reasons, but it went really well in the end.

01:30:04   No astronauts ever written something like that, I tell you that.

01:30:08   Yeah, go to space and try and write 70,000 words in space if you can.

01:30:12   Good luck.

01:30:13   Good luck with that, with zero G.

01:30:15   Good luck typing with no gravity.

01:30:18   Go on with that butterfly. You should bring a butterfly keyboard in space and see if it works.

01:30:22   Yeah, you got five more Gs than he does.

01:30:24   5G.

01:30:29   All right, Myke, take us to November.

01:30:31   Jon Stewart signed a deal with Apple TV to produce some kind of news-related content.

01:30:37   We don't know what it's going to be yet, but it's going to be something probably in 2021.

01:30:42   Ted Lasso took the world by storm and got renewed for three seasons, having

01:30:48   only shown one of them, but it's very clearly Apple's crowning achievement with Apple TV

01:30:53   Plus to this point. It was their breakout success. It's the breakout success that they needed and

01:30:58   it's one that they were able to get. Hopefully they will have more in the can and with the

01:31:04   amount of content that Apple have been signing seems like at least something's going to be good.

01:31:08   Apple had another press event where they showed off the M1 along with a selection of new Macs,

01:31:15   which everybody loves and is probably Apple's best achievement of the year.

01:31:19   Just how fantastic these computers are. And they also introduced macOS Big Sur to the world,

01:31:28   which I really like. They announced the App Store Small Business Program, which is the 15%

01:31:39   cut that Apple will take if you earn less than a million dollars a year and Instagram changed their

01:31:47   app layout and everyone hates it. It's very confusing. I've gotten used to it at this point

01:31:53   but I have I've run a couple of Instagram accounts right and one of my Instagram accounts has the old

01:32:00   layout. And it's nice. It's nice in there. I like it there.

01:32:05   I don't know why, but I gained two thousand followers on Instagram over the past week

01:32:11   without doing nothing. And I honestly believe that somebody pulled a prank on me and bought

01:32:16   me some fake followers without me knowing.

01:32:18   I had that happen with Twitter once. And I blocked them all.

01:32:22   I honestly have no idea. The thing is, this looks like real people.

01:32:27   Well okay, I might be able to help you with this actually. I've been trying to think about this for you.

01:32:32   Because I know you asked me if I had any ideas. Have any of your posts seen increased engagement?

01:32:37   Yes.

01:32:38   Right. Okay.

01:32:39   Well no, wait. Posts, you mean the max stories?

01:32:42   No.

01:32:44   On Instagram?

01:32:45   Your Instagram posts. You get lots of likes on at least one photo or something.

01:32:48   No.

01:32:48   Oh then I don't know then.

01:32:49   No.

01:32:50   No.

01:32:51   My theory is that they're not actually fake followers. They are real people.

01:32:56   Like I went in and started checking out their profiles.

01:32:59   They seem to be like actual human beings, like sharing stories and...

01:33:03   Fake followers are real people.

01:33:05   This is like a whole thing.

01:33:07   Like the fake follower things are, they are still real people.

01:33:11   It's kind of weird, but it's...

01:33:14   They're not bots.

01:33:15   They are actual people.

01:33:16   Well, the thing is, it's very weird because they, like, they all seem to have

01:33:23   something in common where most of these people, they seem to be into the fitness and health

01:33:32   segments of Instagram. But I don't know why they started following me. I basically only

01:33:39   post photos of my dogs and my tattoos and sometimes stories about my articles. Yeah,

01:33:46   it's a whole thing. There isn't a, um, a post of yours that's like exploding because that

01:33:52   would suggest that maybe that you know you got put in like the explore tab or

01:33:56   something the fact that that hasn't happened suggests that if they are like

01:34:01   real people your Instagram account has been linked somewhere and that you're

01:34:05   never gonna write that one else no never never anyway yeah I don't like the new

01:34:10   Instagram layout by the way but at least they took reels out of the search tab

01:34:15   Yeah, yeah. Well, folks, we have reached December, the real end of 2020, so I'm gonna take us

01:34:25   home with the final month of the year. It's not a very good year. Tim Cook says that Apple

01:34:31   employees will not be back at Apple Park in large numbers until, at the very least, June

01:34:38   of 2021. It makes sense, right? We were all expecting this. This is not gonna be over

01:34:44   anytime soon. Just yesterday, here in Italy, we started doing vaccinations on Sunday, and

01:34:52   the current timeline, unless things change, I suppose, is to have the vast majority of

01:35:00   Italian adults vaccinated by the end of October 2021. So, at this point, and Italy is a small

01:35:08   country. And at this point, it seems pretty much impossible to have an in-person WWDC.

01:35:15   So very likely the WWDC 2021 will be an online event again, and it should be, right? Because in

01:35:23   June, this will not be over. So, same for Apple employees, they will not be back at their office

01:35:30   until, you know, I guess the first half of the year they'll be working from home and then maybe

01:35:36   Apple will reconsider depending on how things go in the US in what is going to

01:35:41   be hopefully a better year for the US and a better year for everybody else as well.

01:35:45   I have another theory for you about your Instagram. This is way out there but

01:35:51   your "My Must Have Apps of 2019" article has a link to your Instagram profile in

01:35:58   it and this was also an article where it references home screen customization.

01:36:04   You're an influencer. That's all I have for you.

01:36:07   Could be. Could be. I wish you could see referrals on Instagram with the business account, which I have.

01:36:14   But all you can see is like the total counts of like, yeah, you gained 2,000 followers. Yeah, I get it.

01:36:19   They only show you stuff that happens inside of Instagram.

01:36:23   Inside of Instagram. Yeah. In December, Apple announced their Best of 2020 awards.

01:36:29   This year Apple was very original in that they also produced physical awards for this

01:36:38   winners.

01:36:40   Really interesting idea that we've never seen done before.

01:36:44   They had a bunch of picks.

01:36:46   Yeah, I'm all did it right back in the day.

01:36:49   Sure.

01:36:50   Yes.

01:36:51   Absolutely.

01:36:52   You sound sure.

01:36:57   They had some fascinating picks for their best apps, including...

01:37:04   I just want to say how probably the best one in my opinion is the Mac Game of the Year,

01:37:10   Disco Elysium.

01:37:11   If you haven't played Disco Elysium yet, go play Disco Elysium.

01:37:14   It's a really, really good game that is also coming out over the next few months on Nintendo

01:37:19   Switch and consoles.

01:37:21   Moving on to better things.

01:37:23   The AirPods Max were announced, and this is, I would say, my favorite surprise of this

01:37:29   final part of 2020.

01:37:32   We were all convinced that the over-ear headphones that were now coming out, we were all convinced

01:37:39   that the project had been shelved, that Apple had faced multiple delays and issues with

01:37:45   the production of the earcups and the sensors and the headband, but no.

01:37:49   The AirPods Max were announced.

01:37:52   One day they just put out a press release and you can buy them and they will come to

01:37:56   your house on the following Tuesday.

01:37:59   It was a Thursday for me, I remember, because it was just a few weeks ago.

01:38:03   And these are really good headphones.

01:38:05   They are also...

01:38:06   I love them.

01:38:07   I really love them.

01:38:08   They are really good headphones.

01:38:10   They are not cheap headphones, because these are $550.

01:38:14   It's even more if you live in Europe.

01:38:17   But these are really good headphones.

01:38:19   They were reviewed, I would say, pretty well. Sound quality was praised, build quality was

01:38:25   praised. Still somewhat skeptical of the headband design that Apple chose, and obviously, you

01:38:33   know, we talked about it, the case, right? The so-called smart case, not so smart and

01:38:39   not so useful. But thankfully third parties are showing us a bunch of options. So Steven,

01:38:44   you for sharing that link to the Water Field Design Case for AirPods Max.

01:38:49   Did you buy it?

01:38:50   I bought it.

01:38:51   Nice.

01:38:52   Like I didn't... sometimes, you know, you guys share stuff in our iMessage group and I don't

01:38:56   react, you know, to it.

01:38:59   Yeah.

01:39:00   But I actually take action upon it.

01:39:01   You are a man of action, that's why.

01:39:03   I am a man of action.

01:39:04   Even when I don't communicate, I'm always ready to go.

01:39:08   And in that case, I click the buy button as soon as I saw the link.

01:39:11   I'm looking forward to the Federico Vittucci review of this.

01:39:16   I don't want... I don't need this right now, so like maybe I'll get it in the future.

01:39:21   But I want to... I'm looking forward to you getting it, because I want to know...

01:39:24   What color did you get?

01:39:26   - Ah, the black one. - Yeah, I don't like the blue and the red one.

01:39:29   In December, Fitness+ launched publicly.

01:39:33   People seem to be pretty into it. It seems pretty fun.

01:39:36   The videos are well produced.

01:39:38   When you follow the workouts, you can follow the main trainer, but there's also one of

01:39:43   the trainers who does a more... an easier, I think, version of the same workout, if you're

01:39:49   not experienced in that type of physical activity, which I think is a very good idea.

01:39:56   Seems to be a pretty well-designed service.

01:39:58   We'll see how it evolves over the next few months.

01:40:00   I will say, go check out the Fitness+ account on Instagram, where Apple has officially presented

01:40:07   all of the trainers that they have for the program and you can follow the individual

01:40:11   trainers on Instagram as well. And it's a pretty diverse set of trainers, which I like,

01:40:16   I appreciate. You know, it's not just a bunch of white guys and white ladies doing workouts.

01:40:21   I like the diversity in the Fitness+ service. The iPhone 12 line was confirmed as the most

01:40:30   popular 5G phone in the world.

01:40:33   5G!

01:40:35   Big accomplishment! Go 5G!

01:40:37   Yes, 5G phone, we all love it when the iPhone is popular.

01:40:42   Why are we talking about this?

01:40:45   Does it take much to become the most popular 5G phone

01:40:48   in the world?

01:40:49   Is it like an actual accomplishment?

01:40:50   They're not first, but, you know,

01:40:52   Apple sells a lot of models, so there you go.

01:40:55   This is like when you get third place

01:40:57   in a race of like four people.

01:40:59   It's like, but I arrived third.

01:41:02   Nice job.

01:41:04   Lastly, to end this year,

01:41:07   let's talk about the Apple Car.

01:41:09   The Apple Car project, it seems

01:41:13   to still be in the works

01:41:15   at Apple with a

01:41:18   suggested timeline of

01:41:21   2025 or 2027.

01:41:24   Now, can we in good conscience

01:41:27   talk about stuff launching in 2025 or 2027 at this point in the history of human society and the

01:41:35   world. It feels pretty disingenuous to talk about these stories right now. Surely it's all plain

01:41:43   saying from here, right? Okay, so, friend of the show and award-winning analyst Min-Chi Kuo,

01:41:51   you gotta believe that he won an award at some point, believes that the long rumored electric

01:41:59   vehicle that Apple is making will be launching at some point over the next five to seven years

01:42:06   and that Apple has developed this innovative battery technology that will be one of the key

01:42:16   features of this EV from Apple. I honestly don't know what to think here. I'm very skeptical

01:42:21   of everything about the Apple car. I'm very skeptical of... I don't know. Like, it's one of

01:42:28   those things that, yeah, okay, they're working on a car. I don't know if I believe it. I don't know

01:42:34   how important it is. I am very skeptical because I don't have any trust in the Italian government

01:42:44   having the proper infrastructure in place within five to seven years to support a nationwide

01:42:50   system for electric vehicles. Just get Jon to send you a charger.

01:42:55   Jon sends me plenty of things. He was recently assigned the very important task of shipping me

01:43:03   a headphone cable that I purchased. And he's now taking care of my headphone cable. We can talk

01:43:11   about chargers next. But no, like, we don't even have the new Apple maps in Italy. I've

01:43:19   been living in Rome for seven years at this point, coming into my eighth year in Rome.

01:43:26   And in these past eight years, we still have that single charging station in my area. Like,

01:43:34   never grew, it was never expanded, it was still that single station in an area of

01:43:40   Rome where 60,000 people, 60,000 people live. There's two chargers. How am I

01:43:48   supposed to be optimistic about electric cars over the next five years? Now, it's

01:43:53   totally possible that the timeline will accelerate and the things will get

01:43:57   better here, but it feels to me like whenever I see news about electric

01:44:02   vehicles. It feels to me like most of those people and most of those websites

01:44:06   are based in California and then I get it, right? This is obviously where these

01:44:12   companies are based and I guess the streets of California are easier to

01:44:17   explore, I don't know, but to think that I will within the next five years be

01:44:22   able to travel to southern Italy with an electric vehicle alone without being, you

01:44:29   know, ended up, you know, stranded in the middle of nowhere without any charge. I

01:44:36   don't know, it feels pretty optimistic to me. Well, but we'll see, I guess, the Apple

01:44:41   car 2025. Will we still be here in 2025? Who knows? Maybe it'll be like the iPhone

01:44:46   and it'll be US only at first, and if you get it into another country it won't turn

01:44:50   on. You know, like how the original iPhone wouldn't unlock in other countries at first. I can't wait to

01:44:55   jailbreak my car. Jailbreak your car. Yeah, I mean, Fedor Chrome with you, like, these

01:44:59   These rumors have been around for so long and I just, it seems like such a leap for

01:45:03   Apple to do this.

01:45:04   I just, I'm very weary to put much stock in any of this until we see more.

01:45:12   Do you remember when the Apple Watch reviews came out and everyone started shaving their

01:45:16   wrists for their Apple Watch photos?

01:45:18   It was a very troubling time in tech journalism.

01:45:22   Did people shave their wrists?

01:45:24   Yeah, and like their hands.

01:45:26   Some did.

01:45:27   Yeah.

01:45:28   distinctly the Verge of you, Neil Iptail shaved his wrist in hand for his Apple watch photos.

01:45:32   Yeah, well, well a lot of them were very hair conscious. Yes. You know, I don't know why honestly. It was very, it's very upsetting.

01:45:39   What will that be for the Apple car? Will it be people

01:45:42   pretending they know

01:45:44   like how to drive around a track? Or like, oh, I've always had this racing helmet here in my closet. Wearing gloves. Yeah, driving gloves.

01:45:53   I think some people do that like unironically, I discovered.

01:45:58   Like some people have like racing gloves and they actually use them even if they're not like actual racers

01:46:05   And I don't get it, but hey, if it makes you happy. If it makes your hands feel more protected than good for you.

01:46:12   So is that it for the year? That is 2020. All right. Yes.

01:46:18   Good riddance 2020 if you want to find just a whole big mess of links

01:46:24   We have them on our website at relay.fm

01:46:28   84 84 links. That's the count. Yeah, that's a lot

01:46:32   You can find all of them at relay.fm

01:46:35   /connected

01:46:38   /326 while you are there

01:46:41   You can do a bunch of things. You can send us an email with feedback or follow up you can

01:46:47   can join and get connected pro which is an ad free longer version of the show

01:46:52   each and every week and you also get lots of extra goodies that all relay

01:46:57   FM members enjoy. If you haven't joined it's a great time to do it here at the

01:47:01   the beginning of a new year. You can find us all online Myke is on Twitter as

01:47:07   @IMYKE. Myke do you have anything fun coming up the next couple weeks? Any

01:47:12   Any streams, any adventures?

01:47:15   I don't know, man.

01:47:16   I don't know.

01:47:17   I don't know.

01:47:18   I don't know if I'm leaving the house.

01:47:21   I haven't decided that yet.

01:47:24   So, stay tuned for that.

01:47:26   Yeah.

01:47:27   Maybe just do a Twitch stream of you approaching your door.

01:47:31   Like, "Eh, not gonna do it."

01:47:34   Yeah, maybe.

01:47:35   You can find Federico on Twitter @vitici.

01:47:39   He is the editor-in-chief of MaxStories.net.

01:47:43   Federico, I have a question for you.

01:47:45   - Of course you do.

01:47:47   - What is your general feeling about New Year's resolutions?

01:47:50   - Interesting question.

01:47:53   I feel like most of things in our society,

01:47:59   they are a construct to make us feel better about ourselves.

01:48:03   They're like a, sort of like an,

01:48:08   what do you call it? Let me check. There was a saying that I'm thinking of. Yeah,

01:48:16   they're like some kind of opium for society, in a way. I believe that it was

01:48:22   Marx who said that religion is an opium for society, and it's sort of like

01:48:27   that in the sense that it's something that you do, something that you say

01:48:30   because it makes you feel better, because it makes you feel safer. There is a

01:48:33   a quality to New Year's resolutions in that it gives you, at the very least, it gives

01:48:39   you a sense of purpose, it gives you a sense of structure, it gives you a platform to get

01:48:43   started on something, on anything, right? The problem with it is, and the reason why

01:48:49   I find, for example, Myke and Gray's theme-based approach so fascinating is the fact that it's

01:48:58   a more pragmatic way to think about it. The problem with New Year's resolutions is that

01:49:03   they're often too vague, right?

01:49:04   I wanna work out more or I wanna go to the gym or--

01:49:08   - One of the issues is that they're either vague

01:49:10   or they're too specific and then you have a fail state.

01:49:12   - They're either vague or they're too specific

01:49:14   and you don't find that middle ground.

01:49:16   So here's what I think.

01:49:19   I think that most people do them

01:49:21   because it's a thing that other people do

01:49:26   and so they share them and they think that they have

01:49:30   New Year's resolutions when they actually do not, and they just say them publicly, usually

01:49:36   in social networks because it's like a thing. What I think is that it is useful in the context

01:49:42   of the concept of a year in human life, it is useful to think of in this time period

01:49:50   between January 1st and December 31st, here's what I want to accomplish, and that is useful.

01:49:56   My problem is that I like the gist of the idea behind it.

01:50:03   I don't like, I very much dislike the sort of amateurish way that people go about them

01:50:11   most of the time.

01:50:12   I think either you should follow the advice of Myke and Gray and go for a theme, or you

01:50:19   should think about them long and hard and be realistic about, like, don't set like

01:50:25   a list of 20 resolutions that you want to follow, because then, when it's like May or

01:50:31   June and you're five or six months into your resolutions and you haven't followed them,

01:50:36   you're just going to feel bad about yourself. You shouldn't feel bad about yourself. Life

01:50:40   is already complicated as it is. So be realistic, think about them long and hard, start planning

01:50:46   your resolutions ahead of time, and maybe consider sort of like a spin-off on the idea

01:50:52   of New Year's resolutions like a theme. So go listen to Cortex, I think it's a useful

01:50:56   exercise in the context of think about the things you want to accomplish. Don't be too

01:51:03   specific but also don't be too vague. I don't know if that's the answer you were looking

01:51:08   for, Steven, but yeah, I think it's... I would also say that I think it's okay to give yourself

01:51:16   a pass right now. Like obviously you should take care of yourself, but don't feel obligated

01:51:24   to come up with a list of 20 things that you must accomplish, because everything is a mess

01:51:29   right now and it's fine. Look after yourself. And the best resolutions that you can keep

01:51:34   right now is drink lots of water, get enough sleep, and don't think about work all the

01:51:41   the time and go watch Soul by Pixar. It'll make you feel better. That would be my advice.

01:51:47   That's about where I thought you would end up.

01:51:49   Man, I give good answers. I think I give good answers. I think it's a quality about myself

01:51:54   that I recently discovered. Like, I can, I, if we were to go on a date, Steve, and me

01:52:00   and you eventually, I think I would, you would be impressed by this quality of mine.

01:52:06   I'm impressed. I'm impressed.

01:52:09   Thank you.

01:52:10   You can find me on Twitter as ismh.

01:52:15   I'm also ismh on Twitch and write 512pixels.net.

01:52:19   I'd like to thank our sponsors for this week's episode,

01:52:23   Smile, Pingdom, and Wondery.

01:52:26   And until next year, guys, say goodbye.

01:52:30   Arrivederci and buon anno.

01:52:31   - Cheerio. - Bye, y'all.